Skip to main content

Full text of "The principles of logic"

See other formats


Oxford University Press, Amen House, London E.G. 4 


Geoffrey Cumberlege, Publisher to the University 


















I. In the Second Part of the foregoing Book we were 
concerned with negations. We were employed in banishing 
some views of inference which appeared erroneous. From 
this negative process we turn with relief, and with the hope of 
rest in a positive result. But we must not deceive ourselves. 
The positive result we have already reached, offers a welcome 
in part illusive, and a rest that is doomed to speedy dis 
turbance. We saw in all inference an ideal synthesis, which 
united round a centre or centres of identity, 1 not less than two 
terms into one construction. The conclusion was then a new 
relation of these terms, and it was by an intuition that we 
perceived it to exist within the individual whole we had com 
pacted. And this account that we gave was not a false ac 
count, for it was true of those inferences to which we applied 
ourselves. But there are other reasonings no less important, 
which we then ignored, and which fall beyond it. It was 
thus a theory provisional and limited in range. 

2. And there came a point where we had to transcend 
it. In negative inference we were forced to contemplate the 
possibility of retaining the middle (Book II. Part I. V. 8). 
If, our construction being reached, we choose to rest in it, if 
we refuse to isolate a single relation within that whole, if we 
prefer to treat the entire compound synthesis as the conclusion 
we want, are we logically wrong? Is there any law which 
orders us to eliminate, and, where we can not eliminate, 
forbids us to argue ? The question once asked is its own reply, 
and it rings the knell of a blind superstition which vanishes in 

If so, we have been forced beyond our formula. For the 



conclusion is not always a new relation of the extremes ; 2 it 
may be merely that interrelation of the whole which does not 
permit the ideal separation of a new relation. And, having 
gone so far, we are led to go farther. If, the synthesis being 
made, we do not always go on to get from that a fresh rela 
tion, if we sometimes rest in the whole we have constructed, 
why not sometimes again do something else? Why not try a 
new exit? There are other things in the world besides rela 
tions; we all know there are qualities, and a whole put to 
gether may surely, if not always at least sometimes, develope 
new qualities. If then by construction we can get to a quality, 
and not to a relation, once more we shall have passed from 
the limit of our formula. 

3. The next Chapter will show that this kind of infer 
ence really exists, but at present we must follow the lead of 
those doubts which it tends to awaken. If our formula is 
not wide enough, and if we framed it to suit the facts we had 
before us, it is natural to suspect those facts we trusted in. 
Are they complete? Are there not other inferences, which 
we failed to consider, and which, if we considered them, 
would affect the result? And this question once asked leads 
to consequences we hid. Though we widened our facts be 
yond the boundary of the traditional logic, we stopped short 
of the truth. We desired to inveigle by doubtful promises, 
and commit the reader to a voyage he could not easily be quit 
of. We are now at sea where alarm brings no risk, and we 
may avow the truth that, in our former account, we left out 
a very great part of the subject. There are large branches 
of reasoning which we deliberately ignored, and which explode 
the formula we went on to set up. The following Chapter 
will detail their nature, and we may content ourselves here with 
a brief enumeration. 

4. Our education in logical superstition leads us first to 
think of Immediate Inferences. Are they provided for? 
The syllogism itself perhaps failed to provide for them, but 
the failure of the syllogism can not be our excuse. No doubt 
we might appropriate the doctrines advanced by some enemies 
of tradition, and reply that the so-called Immediate Inferences 
are not inferences at all, and that we are not required to 
provide specially for illusions. But I do not think that this 


answer will hold. If some immediate inferences seem to be 
tautologies, yet others are more stubborn. They appear to 
get to a fresh result, and they certainly do not seem to move 
in accord with our formula. 

5. We have now begun the list of our difficulties, and it 
does not much matter how we proceed with it. We may 
take up next the operations of Arithmetic. Addition and sub 
traction seem processes of reasoning, but they scarcely can be 
said to present a new relation of extremes existing by virtue 
of relation to a 3 middle. So too with Geometry : when I 
prove equality by ideal superposition, is this no reasoning 
and no kind of inference? On the other hand does it show 
that terms are related because of a common relation to a 
third term? However in the end we may answer this ques 
tion, it certainly seems to suggest a problem which we took 
no account of. Our formula once more perhaps is not ade 

6. Then come other difficulties. When A is given us, 
and we are able to find two further possibilities, Ab and Ac, 
and when again some other knowledge assures us that Ac is 
not real on this we assume that A& is fact. We seem here 
to reason, and to reason with at least a show of correctness, 
but the form of our inference is not provided for. Even if 
we assume that it can be reduced to the type we have ac 
knowledged, the reduction is at least a task we have not yet 
taken in hand. And the reduction may possibly prove not 

7. We are not at an end. When an object AB is recog 
nized as C, the C is added by ideal supplement, and we seem 
to have a genuine inference. But this inference has not got 
the premises we required. In the cases which we considered 
the premises were data, but we see here no datum beyond the 
perception. This is once more a ground for amending our 
formula. And then again we seem to find yet another ground 
in the hypothetic judgment. Imagine A, 4 and perhaps nothing 
follows ; but suppose A real, and we may then seem compelled 
to get A-B. This operation suggests enquiry, and it leads 
us to think of yet another trouble. In the method of Dialectic 
a result is got by an ideal operation, which hardly consists in 
the act of putting terms together. Now it may be said that 


the method is a pure illusion, but that short way would per 
haps prove long in the end, and would lead to enquiries not 
easy to dispose of. It is better in the interest of logic to ask 
under what type of reasoning this method will fall ; a ques 
tion which once more may cause a strain in the fabric of our 

8. If ideal operations which lead to fresh judgments all 
claim to be inferences and this claim, we may be sure, will 
now be set up we shall have to consider some other questions 
which we before ignored. Take first Abstraction; here an 
operation of analysis is performed on some datum, and in 
conclusion a judgment is got which is concerned with one ele 
ment of the original whole. 5 Is this judgment which we thus 
have reached a conclusion? And, if it is a conclusion, will the 
reasoning fall under the type which we recognize? There is 
matter here for doubt and discussion, and the discussion seems 
likely to carry us further. For in Comparison and Distinction 
we get to results, and we get to them by an ideal experiment. 
Is that experiment inference? If so, we once more are asked 
to what type the inference conforms. We may already and 
by anticipation have provided a place for it, but appearances, 
I confess, are much against us. We can not off hand dismiss 
the claim set up by these processes, and we can not easily 
bring them under our formula. 

9. It is clear that our hope, if we had any hope, of a 
speedy termination, must now be relinquished. We must 
prepare ourselves to reopen our enquiry as to the general 
nature of the reasoning process. The next Chapter must go 
through the mental operations we have here enumerated. It 
will ask first if they really are inferences, and will next dis 
cuss the peculiar nature of each. From this basis we may 
hope to arrive in the end at some positive result. 


1 " A centre or centres, etc." But always in the end " a centre." 
Cf. Bk. III. I. V. 

" Is not always a new relation of the extremes " should have 
been " is not always to a relation of, etc." 


3 " By virtue of relation to a middle." It would be better to insert 
"given" before "middle." 

4 "Imagine A, etc." But see on Bk. I. II. 48, and III. I. II. 
18, and the Index, s. v. Suggestion. 

5 " Is concerned with one element of, etc." " Seems concerned with 
but part of, etc.," would be better. Cf. Bk. III. I. V. 13. And see 
T. E. I. and IX. 



I. In the preceding Book we possessed an advantage we 
no longer enjoy. Those examples of reasoning, upon which 
we worked, were too clear to be doubted. No unprejudiced 
mind could deny the fact of their being inferences, and the 
issue was confined to the question of their principle and inner 
nature. But at the point which we have reached, doubt is 
possible on all sides. Not only will the character of the speci 
mens we produce be matter of debate, but their claim to be 
specimens will be disallowed. We must ask not merely, To 
what kind of inferences do they belong, but, Are they really 
inferences at all ? 

With this prospect in sight a preliminary reflection, before 
we argue, seems likely to be useful. What test shall we apply, 
when any claim to inference is sent in? Where the facts are 
not palpable it will clearly be a gain if we are able to agree to 
an explicit Canon, for we then shall have something to which 
we can appeal in the course of the discussion. 

2. We may say that inference is the same as reasoning, 
that to reason without inferring, or to infer without reasoning, 
does not sound possible. But when do we reason? Do we 
always reason when a judgment is given as a judgment for 
which we have a reason? If that reason were taken as a fact 
merely got by simple perception, then this question would 
probably be answered in the negative. But suppose our reason 
is no fact of sense, but is another judgment; not something 
that exists but some knowledge that we have of it the answer 
surely will in that case be different. We should be said to 
reason where a truth is given as a reason for belief in another 
truth. In other words where, instead of affirming that S is P, 
we say S must be P, wherever we have a necessary truth, there 
is reasoning and inference. We apply the same test in a dif 
ferent form when we turn to the use of " why " and " be 
cause." If these have a sense, if it is possible to ask Why, 



and then to answer Because, in all such cases we seem to have 
an actual inference. There is judgment as to which a doubt 
can be raised, and that doubt is satisfied, not by pointing to a 
fact, but by reference to a truth. There is a mental operation, 
in which a result is seen to follow from an ideal datum. And 
we may agree that, wherever this mark exists, an inference is 

3. And there is another mark which perhaps we may 
use. Where illusion exists it seems to arise from mistaken in 
ference; for the senses are infallible because they do not 
reason, and fallacy can come from nothing but inferring. If 
this is true, then possibility of error means presence of infer 
ence, and we may employ the first as a test of the second. But 
we are treading here upon dangerous ground. It may be 
denied that, when water is hot to one hand and cold to the 
other, the mistake that exists is a fallacy of inference ; l and 
the denial could not well be discussed in these pages. We 
can not assume that in every case where error is possible, 
reasoning exists, and so we are disappointed in our canon ; 
but for all that we have an admitted indication. It will be 
agreed that, where we discover mistake, we shall not be 
wrong in looking for inference, and that, to some extent at 
least, we may expect to find it. 

4. Armed with this understanding we may begin at once, 
and may take up the claims which our first Chapter found 
were demanding a scrutiny. They make no pretence to ex 
haust the array of possible applicants, and they enter in no 
systematic order. Still we hope, and believe, that the worst 
has shown itself, and we at least do not know of more terrors 
in the background. 

(A) The first to come in are the three-term constructions; 
(i) those where elision is simply not used, and (ii) those 
operations where we also go to a quality. What reply shall we 
make to each of these? 

(i) I cannot think of any way by which to escape the claim 
of the first. If A is given to the right of B, and B again to 
the right of C, and I therefore judge that the terms are ar 
ranged as C B A, this is clearly an inference. I did not 
know it before, and I get it by putting two truths together. 
And if this is not an inference, why is it an inference when I 


go -to C A? No answer can be given; we are forced to 
admit that C B A is inferred; and yet it is not an infer 
ence according to our formula. 

5. (ii) But there follows close a further consequence. 
We have reasoned to a whole C -- B A, and this whole may 
have a new quality x. But, if so, we have reasoned from terms 
in relation, C B and B A, to no new relation but to the 
presence of a fresh quality ; 2 and hence once more our formula 
has broken down. 

A friend of our youth may be called upon here to supply 
us with an instance. I sail round land, and reconstruct my 
course by a synthetic process, and the whole shore that I com 
bine is then interpreted as belonging to an island. A B, 
B C, C D, D F, F H, H A become, when united, 
H A 

; B; and from this circular frontage I go to the 

name and to the other qualities possessed by islands. I may 
be told in reply that the name and the qualities, if indeed there 
are such, do not come directly from the construction itself, 
but are got by a further and additional premise that does not 
appear. And this, I admit, is true altogether of the name, 
and true in part of the other qualities. But it still leaves 
something which comes from the construction, and which 
comes directly. The circular shape and self-contained single 
ness are more than the mere interrelation of the premises, 
and need not be got from previous knowledge of islands. You 
do not go outside the construction to get them, the whole 
would not be itself without them; and yet they are another 
side of that whole, which is distinct from the putting together 
of the parts. But, if so, surely you have reasoned to a quality. 
At some time, I presume, we have all been visited with the 
pleasing pain of hanging our pictures and arranging our fur 
niture. How many combinations were we forced to reject, 
until we came upon one which would do. But these attempts 
were all inferences from hypothetical data, and we went from 
the construction direct to a quality, and so to a judgment. If 
the quality was aesthetic that made no difference; for we did 


not say of the whole psychological image, That now hurts me, 
or gives me a pleasant sensation. We said of the content, 
which we had in the premises, That leads and must lead to a 
certain result. And this was an inference, which certainly fell 
outside our formula. 

It is clear, I think, that when trying experiments in the 
actual world by combining and dividing real things, or by 
drawing upon paper, we may be surprised by qualities which 
we did not anticipate. And the same must be true of ideal 
experiment. 3 In both cases, the interrelation being given, we 
perceive a quality which comes from that, and which is more 
than and beyond the bare interrelation. But in the second 
case the construction, being got by an ideal process, is itself 
an inference, and its result is also nothing but a conclusion. 
But it is not any fresh relation of the original data; it is an 
issuing quality. 

6. It seems clear that reasoning does not always give us 
a new relation of the terms we began with. Our formula has 
now too palpably lost its virtue ; and virtue being gone, we 
may proceed less anxiously. The advances of those more 
audacious claimants, who showed their heads in the foregoing 
Chapter, may be calmly received. There is no longer any 
absolute presumption against them, and the reception of each 
is a matter not of principle, but of choice and convenience. 

(B) In this spirit we may meet the approaches of Arith 
metic, 4 the claim of which I will bring in indirectly. An in 
troduction is certainly not required, but it may serve to make 
the change less startling. 

We saw long ago that, when spatial relations with points 
of identity were forced on our attention, we could put them 
together and find a new relation. We have lately seen that, 
instead of a relation, these premises could supply us with an 
unknown quality. Given lines A B, B C, C A, we can 

construct -p/\r an< ^ f rom that construction get the quality 

-D~ ^ 

possessed by a certain triangle. In this case the conclusion is 
categorical and necessary. 

But there was something else which we hardly glanced at. 
We may have three lines such as A B, C D, E F. 


In these, as they are given us, there are no points marked 
identical, and we have no given reason for putting them to 
gether. But we may do so if we choose ; if their lengths do 
not forbid it, we may arrange them ideally, combining them 
into the form of a triangle, and thus endowing them with a 
certain quality. We have here an intuition which follows on a 
synthesis, and the doubt which arises is, Have we an inference ? 

If we have one what is it? It is not " AB, CD, EF have 
x." That would be false, since they are not combined, and 
since they have not together any quality at all. And again 
the inference can not run thus, " AB, CD, EF, when their ter 
minal points are identified, have x." That certainly is true, 
but then it is not an inference. For, though the quality is 
perceived in an ideal arrangement, it has not been got by it. 5 
The combination in this case would not be such a construction 
as was tnade to get the judgment, and therefore connects the 
judgment with the original data. The judgment is passed on 
a whole that is found, and it says nothing about the ideal com 
position of that whole. And for this reason it can not be a 

The real conclusion is " AB, CD, EF may be combined, 
and when combined they have a quality x," or " If AB, CD, 
EF are manipulated in a certain way, they give rise to x." 
The lines plus my arranging activity are the premises, and the 
construction with its quality follows. 

This has all the marks of inference, but it obviously differs 
from the inference we got from A B, B C, C A. In 
this case the construction follows from the data themselves, 6 
but in the other example it does not follow, unless an arbi 
trary arrangement of my own is added. My free manipu 
lation has taken the place of the compulsory synthesis through 
identity of the terminal points B, C, A. The lines need not 
have any point that is identical, and I am not obliged to put 
them together. The premises are hypothetical, and the con 
clusion is thus arbitrary. 7 But it still is an inference, for if 
the lines are combined, then the quality must come because 
they are combined. 

7. This foregoing section has been no digression, for we 
may consider both addition and subtraction as cases of the 
process we have just sketched. Let us clear our ideas by 


asking what we mean by the simple proposition " Twice one 
is two." Do we mean to assert that one unit and another unit 
are the integer two ? Such a statement would be false, for the 
integer is more than one unit considered along with another 
unit. There is a quality in the whole, which belongs to the 
units first when combined and made into an integer. It is 
false then that " one and one are two." They make two, but 
do not make it unless I put them together; and I need not do 
so unless I happen to choose. The result is thus hypothetical 
and arbitrary. 

8. There is a mistake we must correct before we proceed. 
The reader may (or may not) be aware, that the logical and 
temporal relation which exists between degree and quantity is 
a difficult subject. 8 It is a question that could not be fully 
discussed in a narrow compass, and on which we can offer but 
a brief observation. You may use " degree " in more than 
one sense. You may understand by the term a scale of quali 
ties which are related explicitly to a scale of quantities, and 
which depend on this scale. Or again you may mean a scale 
of differences, which are simply felt as more or less of a cer 
tain thing, but which are not referred to any scale of numbers 
of units. If we adopt the former sense of degree, then both 
in time and logically the knowledge of number, or the power 
of counting, precedes the knowledge of that scale of intensi 
ties which stands in explicit relation to the varying units. 
Quantity here will precede degree. But, if we use the latter 
meaning and understand by degree the mere vague sense of a 
more and a less, of a rise and a fall, a swelling and a shrink 
ing, then without any doubt degree comes first and quantity 

The mistake we referred to springs partly from the neglect 
of these metaphysical abstractions, and partly from blindness 
to palpable facts. It is assumed, that the perception of dif 
ferences in quantity implies the power of counting units. 
There is a well-known tale, not worth repeating, of the experi 
ment which proves that a magpie can count up to two or 
three, but not any further. 9 Thus if three men go in and but 
two come out, the bird knows that all have not been accounted 
for, and therefore it counts. But if so, and if the power to 
perceive the difference of more food and less food, a larger 


beast and a smaller beast, demonstrate counting, few animals 
will not count. If again the ability to distinguish part from 
the whole, and, when but part appears, to expect the rest, 
shows the practice of arithmetic then the higher animals are 
all arithmeticians, and all habitually add and subtract. This 
perhaps may not seem a reductio ad absurdum, but then this 
is not all. Though the higher (and even lower) animals can 
all count, there are races of men who can hardly count at all, 
and are only beginning in the rudest way. But these very 
savages, who are staggered by the difference between three 
and four, and are thus led into errors which would never occur 
to an average dog on the other hand count much better than 
we could. Take one from a flock of forty sheep, and in a 
moment they perceive the difference. They have finished 
counting before we could have begun. And on this view 
of the subject I think it is clear that there is something 

The mistake lies in the failure to see that number, in the 
proper sense, is a late product of abstraction, and that, long 
before this could come into the world, the perception of more 
and less, of the whole and the parts, already existed. They 
existed in an unanalyzed qualitative form. 

9. Now this observation has important consequences, for 
it points to the conclusion that, in considering number, we 
have no right to strike out the qualitative side. If the con 
fused feeling of difference in degree between wholes came first, 
and these wholes were then afterwards analyzed into parts, 
and these parts were then once again reduced to equivalent 
units if this was the psychological process, as I think we 
may agree it clearly must have been then I venture to argue 
that this shows we are wrong, if we take quantities to consist 
in nothing but units, somehow taken together and barely co 
existing. Even when we get down to abstract number, each 
integer must be more than units and units. As an integer it 
will have an additional quality which results from addition 
and disappears on subtraction. One and one are not the same 
as two, two and two are not the same as four, nor are they 
the same as three and one. For integers are individuals; each 
has an unity which makes it a whole, and joins together its 
units by a higher bond than mere co-existence before the atten- 


tion. If that bond is a residuum of spatial perception or 
comes from elsewhere, we need not here consider. Enough 
that it exists, that each integer is one whole, with qualitative 
relations of higher and lower persisting between it and other 
integers. Hence we may say that mere counting is not the 
integers ; it does but make them. It progressively produces 
and destroys them as it goes up and down the scale. 

The integer then is different from its units. To say of 
the units that they are the integer, is not a tautology but a 
downright false statement. That they become the integer, on 
the other hand is true and is not a tautology. 

10. Addition and subtraction produce new results ; they 
are ideal operations which give conclusions, and justify what 
they give ; they are palpable inferences. The reasoning which 
they employ no doubt may be very simple in its nature and 
very easy to disparage. " It is the work of a machine," we 
may hear the reproach, " and not of a brain." But if, starting 
from certain data, it is a brain that by means of ideal experi 
ment procures a fresh judgment, we must call this reasoning ; 
for we do not know what else we can call it. And the re 
proach, we must add, betrays a prejudice that is not philo 

The operation is the analogue of that arbitrary arrange 
ment in ideal space which we mentioned above (6). We 
start with the units one and one, we freely rearrange them, 
and we end with the result of integer two. But the result is 
hypothetical, for we can not say, one and one must give two. 
They may be arranged in such a way that two must appear, 
or, if I choose to manipulate one and one, then two comes out. 
Hence there is nothing categorical. One and one, if I leave 
them alone, are one and one. I may handle them or not at 
my private pleasure, and when I handle them, I need not add 
them. They do not necessitate their own addition, it is only 
when I add them that necessity appears. But then they must 
become two, and I have made an inference. 

This is still more patent if we consider subtraction. We 
might say " Three is one," or " The integer three is one of its 
units ; " and of course such a proposition would be false. But 
the integer turns of necessity to one unit, when I first break 
it up and then set aside two of its component parts. Three, 


if two be subtracted, is obviously one ; but this result is hypo 
thetical. We are not obliged to analyze the dattmi and to set 
part on one side; and we are in no way compelled to get the 
conclusion unless we have taken this arbitrary step. 10 

ii. These inferences, it is clear, will not come under the 
formula we set up. They suit it no better than did that ideal 
arrangement of wholes in space, which gave a new quality. 
But we need not dwell on this point, for there is something 
which presses for more serious attention. " The above ac 
count," it may fairly be said, " is not a right view of addition 
and subtraction, for these give a conclusion which is true 
categorically. Arithmetical judgments are in no sense arbi 
trary, nor, given the data, is the inference conditional. Bricks 
and mortar, if the builder choose, may make a house; but 
one and one are equal to two, whether we choose or do not 
choose to have it so." I admit the distinction and desire to 
endorse it, but it is in no sense contrary to the statement we 
have made; for, up to this time, we have never said a word 
about equality. What we wanted was to emphasize a side 
of arithmetical processes, which, if neglected, makes them ob 
scure or tautologous ; and, whatever else is right, it still re 
mains true that addition is an inference of the kind we de 
scribed. It does prove hypothetically that, if units are added, 
they become something different; and for the right under 
standing of the subject this truth is all important. 

Having made this clear, we may now proceed to regard the 
process from a different side, and to consider it as a cate 
gorical proof of equality in difference. 

12. What is equality? It is certainly not the same as 
mere identity, nor would it be safe for any one except a 
" powerful thinker " to be guilty of such elementary confusion. 
Because things are the same they need not be equal; and 
when they are equal, they need not be the same in more than 
one aspect. Equality is sameness in respect of quantity, it is 
a relation between things that may otherwise be different, but 
are identical in regard to their number of units. Or, more 
accurately, we may call it the identity of the units, as units, in 
two different things. This definition certainly gives rise to 
problems which in another place I should be glad to discuss ; 
but for present purposes it will be found sufficient. One and 


one are equal to two because the mere units in both are the 
same, and three minus two is equal to one because on both 
sides the unit is identical. 

This result is true, and it seems categorical, and we there 
fore are led to ask once more how we reach the result. If 
the conclusion is not hypothetical, were we right in taking the 
operation to be arbitrary? Yet, on the other hand, how do I 
know that one and one are equal to two? I know it because 
when I add the units, they become two, and when I analyze 
two it becomes the units. I thus see the identity of the units 
throughout, but I see it in consequence of a free manipulation 
which I might have omitted. So again in subtraction I infer 
that 3 2= I. But how do I reach this? I break up the 
three into three separate units ; I break up the two in the 
self-same manner, and, removing it, I perceive that two units 
of the three have been removed. One is left, and that as an 
unit is precisely the same as any other one. The conclusion is 
necessary, but the operation is optional, for there was nothing 
which demanded my analysis and comparison. The result has 
thus depended on my arbitrary choice. 

13. We seem left with this difficulty the result is uncon 
ditional, though the process on which it depends is arbitrary. 
And this difficulty for the present must be simply accepted. 
We are indeed only too ready to accept it or ignore it. The 
operation in arithmetic, which gives the result, is supposed to 
have no influence upon it ; there is a postulate that, so long as 
you do not alter the number of the units, you may do what 
you please with them, and whatever you bring out is uncon 
ditionally true. The process is a mere preparation of the 
data, and it demonstrates an element which already was there. 
It is not an arbitrary alteration of my own, since it does not 
alter the element at all ; it constructs no artificial and novel 
spectacle, it does but remove an obstacle to my vision. 11 

In other words the relation of equality between any quan 
tities is supposed to exist, and the judgment which expresses 
it is supposed to have independent validity. Whether I see 
it or not, it is taken to be true, and the way in which I get 
to it affects it in no way. Thus my inferring is optional and 
entirely arbitrary but the inference itself is eternal truth. 
It is my process from a datum which enables me to see what 


is true of that datum, yet it is only my insight, and it is not 
the truth, which depends on that process. One and one 
two, not because I add them, but because they are equal. 

14. The general relation of the ground of knowledge 12 to 
the ground of reality will vex us hereafter, and we will not 
anticipate; for our present task is simply to find the process 
which is used. It consists, as we have seen, in a free re 
arrangement, resulting in a perception of quantitative identity, 
which is taken as true independent of the process. The new 
result, which is got by experiment with the units, is held valid 
of those units apart from the experiment. And we do not 
propose in the present chapter to question this result ; but, the 
process being such, our wish is to know if it really is an 
inference, and again if it will come under the formula which 
we first accepted but now hold suspect. 

That it really is inference w r e can not long doubt. We 
might indeed dispute for ever about " twice one is two " ; for, 
when a product has been learnt before it was understood, and 
now comes to the mind as so ready-made, self -apparent, and 
obvious, it is hard to see that it ever has been a painful infer 
ence, a slow result of time for which ages had to wait. But 
more complex instances soon convict us of our error. The 
moment we desert the table we have learnt, we find there is 
a process which proves the result, and in which mistakes are 
only too easy. And this process is the movement of an ideal 
experiment which gives a judgment we had not got before. 
But, unless we have somehow apart from the facts decided in 
our minds what reasoning is to be, then this must be reason 
ing and its result must be an inference. 

But is it an inference according to our formula ? That at 
least it can not be, for it establishes no relation between the 
terms of the premises. On the contrary the relation, which 
appears in the conclusion, has one terminal point which never 
appeared in the data at all. Our poor formula at this rate 
will hardly be able to claim respectful treatment in the future, 
and what presumption there is seems against its virtue. 

15. Spaces and times admit of treatment by a similar 
process. If an optional arrangement of superposition, division 
into parts, or construction into a whole by arbitrary additions, 
results in relations of equality or inequality, this result is taken 


as a categorical conclusion. The alterations which we intro 
duce do not alter the fact as long as they do not alter the 
magnitude ; and it is a postulate that no change of place or 
context, no analysis or synthesis, can make any difference to 
the relations of quantity. The operations (we assume) are 
external to the data themselves ; the work done upon them is 
really work that falls outside them, and that but renders them 
apparent as they were before. The truth is shown to us by 
a process which does not give the reason why the thing ac 
tually is so. The demonstration removes a barrier from our 
sight, or provides us with artificial vision, but it does not pro 
duce the fact from its elements. 

Yet we can not doubt that here once more we have an 
inference ; an inference again which we have failed to provide 
for, since it can not be reduced to interrelation. When I show, 
for instance, by superposition that one triangle is equal to 
another, what third term is it that connects the couple, or 
what syllogism will express the actual process? I know that 
an application of reckless torture will reduce anything you 
please to any possible form; but the fact remains otherwise. 
We have here an intuition of comparison, taking place by 
means of free ideal rearrangement. This is an inference, and 
it is a new kind of inference. 

16. (C) And new itself it suggests fresh innovation, for 
it leads us to ask if comparison 13 is reasoning, and if, when 
ever we compare, we may be said to infer. The suggestion is 
contrary to our established ideas, but how can we repulse it? 
We start from data, we subject these data to an ideal process, 
and we get a new truth about these data. The new truth, so 
far as our knowing it is concerned, depends on the operation, 
is because of it, and would not be unless for that reason; 
but, if so, we surely must call it a conclusion. 

Take an instance; we have ABC, DBF, and we may not 
know that they are the same in any point. We then inspect 
them with a desire to discover sameness, general or special; 
that is we attend to them from a certain point of view. We 
compare them in respect of identity, either in quality or quan 
tity or again in some more special development. No doubt it 
is not easy to lay down the precise character of the process 
employed, but there certainly is some process. There is an 


ideal operation on ABC, DBF, and that operation presents us 
with a judgment. We did not know that ABC, DBF were 
alike ; now we know that they possess the point B in common, 
and this intuition depends on the operation. The conclusion 
runs " If ABC, DBF are compared they are alike in B ; " and, 
since the operation is assumed to make no difference to the 
fact, we may say categorically, " The two are alike." No 
doubt we may question the validity of this inference, but I 
do not see how we can deny its existence. On the other hand 
it is not a relation between two given terms that is seen in a 
construction through identity. 

We shall perhaps not be wrong to place under this head 
the copulative process. 14 " A is C, B is C, and therefore both 
are C." So far as this connects, and does not barely conjoin, 
it concludes to an identity between A and B. 

17. And what holds of the comparison which establishes 
identity, must hold too of the process which brings out differ 
ence. If distinction is an ideal operation which demonstrates 
new truth, that is truth new to its, then so far it must be reason 
ing. 15 We may illustrate simply; what is really B 1 B 2 B 3 has 
been taken throughout as simply B. We subject this datum 
B to an ideal process, the nature of which we do not at present 
discuss, and the result is B 1 B 2 B 3 . Now since the operation 
is arbitrary the product is hypothetical, but because once 
again the operation is assumed not to alter the datum, as it 
really is we take the product as categorical. The marks have 
been found, and therefore they are. True there is no distinc 
tion unless things are first different ; but for us there can be no 
difference which does not follow on distinction. It becomes 
apparent and is shown to exist by virtue of a process, which 
must therefore be taken as a demonstration and a genuine 

A difficulty, we admit, besets the operations of distinction 
and identification ; for they do not, it may be said, give the 
actual reason of the real truth in which we are finally landed. 
Nay, they do not even profess to give it, and we may say that 
they even protest above all things that they demonstrate noth 
ing that was not there without them. This difficulty, which 
has bearings we perhaps do not suspect, will engage us here 
after. But for our present purpose we must insist on the 


other side of the process. We have reached a result by ideal 
experiment ; and of this we can say, Though it be not made 
true by our operation, yet we know it for that reason, and it is 
for us because of our activity. 16 But, if so, then once again 
we have reasoned. 

1 8. (D) It would seem that we may reason, though we 
do not give the reason of the fact itself, and when our demon 
stration less establishes than recognizes. Mere consistency 
now prompts us to raise the doubt if recognition 1T is not 
always reasoning. And perhaps to our surprise we discover 
that this is really the case, for to find that AB is C, and to 
recognize it as such, implies a process of ideal redintegration. 
I start with AB, and the function of ideal synthesis BC sup 
plies the construction from which I proceed. Even where I 
merely recall the name, or where I can but say that somewhere 
I must have seen that face before, there is still a conclusion. 
The connection may be dim and the element that is added may 
be trifling or obscure ; but whatever it is, we get it by a syn 
thetic process of restoration, and this is reasoning. 

" Yes, reasoning," I may be told, " but normal reasoning 
and with the usual three terms. First AB and BC, then a 
whole ABC, and an elision leaving the result A C." But, I 
answer, in what sense is BC a premise? It is by no means 
an original datum. Indeed it is not a datum at all; for it is 
a function which does not come before the mind, but which 
presents the result of its action on the only datum that we 
possess. If BC is a premise, it is a premise in no usual 
sense of the term. We have at any rate found a case that 
has not been yet provided for, and a case where the inference 
seems quite indisputable. 

We may add to this section a remark on the hypothetical 
judgment. 18 This is always an inference. I do not simply 
mean that it is an inference, when we first say, " If anything 
is B it is C, but here A is B, and therefore it is C." The 
inference I mean is one which dispenses with the explicit 
statement of the general principle. A is merely supposed ; 
it is offered in experiment as an attribute of reality, and from 
this we go on to arrive at C without any other premise which 
comes before the mind. This process is, I think, an infer 
ence of a kind we did not anticipate; but it hardly can claim 


an independent position. Where it does not fall under the 
foregoing head of Recognition, it will find its place in the 
ensuing section. 

19. (E) The subject of this section is forced upon us. 
I should be very glad in a work of this kind to say nothing 
about the Dialectic Method, but I can find no excuse for 
passing it over, for it is irresistibly suggested by the inference 
which we had to notice last. I am far from implying that 
the Method falls under the previous section, and that it is a 
mere process of recognition. Such a view, if adopted, would 
annihilate its claims, and my object is here not to criticize or 
to advocate. I wish simply to consider what sort of operation 
is performed by Dialectic, assuming that it has a real way of its 

If we make that assumption, we pass naturally from the 
process of Recognition on to the Dialectic movement. Like 
recognition this starts from a single datum, and without the 
help of any other premise it brings out a fresh result. Yet 
the result is not got by mere analysis of the starting-point, 
but is got by the action of a mental function which extends 
the datum through an ideal synthesis. So far the method of 
Dialectic is precisely the same as the common recognition 
which works by means of redintegration. But now comes a 
difference ; the ideal synthesis, which in Dialectic meets and 
supplements the starting-point, is not reproduction from past 
perception; or rather, and to speak more correctly, it is not 
merely such ideal reproduction. Even though the synthesis 
which it brings into play does repeat a connection we have 
got from presentation, there still is more than bare repetition. 
The function is felt not as what the mind does because it has 
thus been trained to perform it ; the naturalness seems more 
than the ease of habit, and the necessity above any vis inertia. 
And the cause of the difference we find is this ; the message 
in the one case seems external tidings which are so believed, 
since thus received ; but in the other it seems like a revelation 
of ourselves, which is true because we have the witness in 
our own experience. The content in one case, itself irrational, 
seems to come to our reason from a world without, while in 
the other it appears as that natural outcome of our inmost 
constitution, which satisfies us because it is our own selves. 


This internal necessity, of the function and of its product, is 
the characteristic of the Dialectical Method and constitutes 
its claim and title to existence. 

20. I do not propose to criticize that title, and prefer to 
attempt the removal of misunderstandings. One of these we 
have already noticed ; you make no answer to the claim of 
Dialectic, if you establish the fact that external experience has 
already given it what it professes to evolve, and that no syn 
thesis comes out but what before has gone in. All this may 
be admitted, for the question at issue is not, What can appear 
and How comes it to appear? The question is as to the 
manner of its -appearing, when it is induced to appear, and 
as to the special mode in which the mind recasts and regards 
the matter it may have otherwise acquired. To use two tech 
nical terms which I confess I regard with some aversion 
the point in dispute is not whether the product is a posteriori, 
but whether, being a posteriori, it is not a priori also and as 
well. And misunderstanding on this head has caused some 
waste of time. 

The second misunderstanding is of a different nature. An 
idea prevails that the Dialectic Method is a sort of experiment 
with conceptions in vacua. We are supposed to have nothing 
but one single isolated abstract idea, and this solitary monad 
then proceeds to multiply by gemmation from or by fission of 
its private substance, or by fetching matter from the impal 
pable void. But this is a mere caricature, and it comes from 
confusion between that which the mind has got before it and 
that which it has within itself. Before the mind there is a 
single conception, but the whole mind itself, which does not 
appear, engages in the process, operates on the datum, and 
produces the result. The opposition between the real, in that 
fragmentary character in which the mind possesses it, and the 
true reality felt within the mind, is the moving cause of that 
unrest which sets up the dialectical process. 

21. We may understand that process in two different 
ways. On one view the method advances on the strength of 
negation ; the synthesis, which unites and adds a fresh element, 
comes always from denial, and from the contradiction of the 
starting-point. Every truth is taken to have two sides, and to 
consist in the assertion of a pair of correlatives, each of which 


is the logical negation of the other. Each of these by conse 
quence, to assert itself, denies the other ; but at the same time 
each depends on what it denies, and so reasserts it. Affirming 
itself, it thus on the other hand is driven to affirm its own 
negation, and so becomes its own opposite by a self-seeking 
self-denial. Or, more correctly, the whole, which is both sides 
of this process, rejects the claim of a one-sided datum, and 
supplements it by that other and opposite side which really 
is implied so begetting by negation a balanced unity. This 
path once entered on, the process starts afresh with the whole 
just reached. But this also is seen to be the one-sided expres 
sion of a higher synthesis ; and it gives birth to an opposite 
which co-unites with it into a second whole, a whole which in 
its turn is degraded into a fragment of truth. So the process 
goes on till the mind, therein implicit, finds a product which 
answers its unconscious idea; and here, having become in its 
own entirety a datum to itself, it rests in the activity which is 
self-conscious in its object. This great ideal of self-develop 
ment and natural evolution led in Hegel s hands to most 
fruitful results, and in the main these will stand when the 
principle of negativity is rejected as an error. 

For the Dialectic Method does not necessarily involve the 
identity of opposites, in the sense that one element in its own 
assertion supplements itself by self-denial; and it is possible 
to take a simpler view which keeps clear of this difficulty. 
We may suppose, as before, that the reality has before it and 
contemplates itself in an isolated datum. What comes next 
is that the datum is felt insufficient, and as such is denied. 
But in and through this denial the reality produces that sup 
plement which was required to complete the datum, and which 
very supplement, forefelt in the mind, was the active base of 
the dissatisfaction and the consequent negation. The im 
portant point is that, on this second view, both sides of the 
correlation are positive, and one is not the mere denial of the 
other. The presence of either is inconsistent with the absence 
of the other, and it is inconsistent with the solitary presence of 
the other. Thus either by itself is denied, not by, but from 
the ground of its positive counterpart, which in that denial 
makes itself conscious and so comes to light. I am perfectly 
aware that this doctrine is a heresy ; 10 but it is a heresy which, 


I think, will be found to save the real substance of the ortho 
dox doctrine. 

22. We are not concerned here with the truth of this 
heresy, and we turn to the question which is really in hand ; In 
what sense is Dialectic an inference ? 20 It certainly is reason 
ing, which by an ideal operation gets a fresh result. Take a 
datum a, and by your operation you get a- ft with a further 
result y. The conclusion here is, that a must be /3 t and there 
fore it is Y- And because the operation is not arbitrary, be 
cause throughout it keeps to reality, you have no hypothesis. 
For your middle is not something you have chosen to make; 
it is wholly necessary, and hence you may end in the conclu 
sion a is y. We need hardly ask if our original formula 
provided for this inference. 

23. (F) We next may take the process of abstraction. , 21 
In recognition we used a function of synthesis which was 
clearly universal, and it is natural to ask how this function is 
acquired. If it comes from an operation of analysis and 
abstraction, we are thence led to ask whether such an opera 
tion must not be an inference. For it is an ideal experiment 
which procures a new result. We start here with a given 
whole abed; we operate on this by the neglect of or by the 
removal of be, and ad is left ; and we then predicate this ad of 
the reality. The real was abed, and in consequence of our 
action we know now it is ad. The nature of the process by 
which we remove what seems unessential, need not at present 
be discussed, but it is certain that there is some process, and 
that the result of this process is accepted as truth for no other 
reason. And once again it is true that the experiment is 
arbitrary, 22 for we need not perform it, and it is not supposed 
to make a difference to the fact itself. Still it makes a differ 
ence to our knowledge and judgment, it supplies the because 
of a new perception, and it has therefore the mark of reason 
ing and inference. 

24. We have first analysis, then elimination or elision of 
part of the content, followed in the end by a positive attri 
bution of the remaining content to the original subject. The 
operation is familiar and is largely employed, but its validity 
is open to grave objection. We shall consider this hereafter, 
but may remark at present that the doubt is whether by your 


elimination you have not fatally altered the subject. By 
removing one element you may destroy the condition which 
made the rest predicable. Our old friend, J. S. Mill s so- 
called Method of Difference, fell into this blunder, and may 
serve us as a warning (Book II. Part II. Chap. III.). Reality 
was first ABC dcf, then BC ef, and we assumed that, if 
we elided BC ef, we should leave A d standing good of 
reality. But here (we may repeat) were two errors. Suppose 
first that our data are pure universals, 23 still you have not ex 
perimented with that very BC which goes with A. You have 
worked with a second and an other BC, and you can not be sure 
that there is not a difference in the way in which they operate. 
The first BC may give something to A, and get something in 
exchange, so that A may be concerned in the first ef, and BC 
be partly concerned in d. This unconsidered possibility 
wrecks your proof ; and your Method of Difference is self- 
condemned, since it is not a method of the only difference. 

And your error is not single ; for you have withal ignored 
the fundamental difficulty. How can you procure your pure 
universal ABC def without using to get it a process of eli 
sion, a " method of difference," which is still more precarious? 
Your premises, " Reality is ABC def and BC ef," are the 
products of an abstraction which has separated these ele 
ments from a mass of detail in which they appeared. This 
original process, what justifies that? What tells you that the 
detail, which you cut away, is wholly irrelevant, and that, with 
out it, the reality is still just as much ABC def and BC ef 
as it was before? This objection is as fatal to the founda 
tion of the Method as the former was to its superstructure. 
It points to the result that a product of elision is always to be 
received with the gravest suspicion ; and with this result we 
must at present be satisfied. 

But, valid or invalid, abstraction is reasoning; and it does 
not appear to come under the head of any foregoing process. 

25. (G) We have not yet reached the end. In the 
account, which in our First Book we gave of the Disjunctive 
judgment, we observed that it contained a latent inference; 
and the time has now come to draw this to the light. 24 We 
might indeed be tempted to dispose of the enquiry by reducing 
the process to a three-term inference. " A is b or c f A is not 


c, and therefore it is b " the reasoning here, we might say, is 
syllogistic, and falls under the type, " A not-c is b, A is A 
not-c, and therefore A is b." But this attempt would be 
futile, 25 since the reduction presupposes that the alternatives 
are stated explicitly, in the character of exclusive alternatives. 
But the question as to how we become possessed of this 
explicit statement, remains thus unanswered, and we shall find 
that it comes to us by way of an inference that is not syllo 
gistic. The syllogism is not the soul and principle of dis 
junctive reasoning; it is an artificial way of expressing the 
product and result of that reasoning (Chap. IV. 6, 7). 

26. Before it in time and before it in idea comes the 
actual process, and we must see what this is. We know that 
A may be b, and again may be c, and once more may be d; 
we know that it is nothing which excludes all three; and we 
may call this our starting-point. We then go on to learn that 
A is not b, and we conclude that therefore it falls within cd. 
Once more we find that A is not c, and on this we conclude, 
therefore A is d. We have here an obvious and palpable 
inference, but in what does it consist? It consists in removing 
the possible predicates of a given subject until the residue is 
self-consistent, 26 and in then passing at once from this residual 
possibility to an assertion of its reality. One possibility is 
left, and therefore that is fact. 

Our inference is not got by arguing from the major " What 
is not b or c must be d" and that major does not give the proof 
of our conclusion. On the contrary our process is the ideal 
experiment which proves this major. We know that A, which 
is not b and not c, must be d, only because we have tried and 
have seen that d comes out as the result. Thus our major, if 
we had one, would be the principle that a sole possibility must 
be actual fact. But then this again is not given as a premise, 
and we do not argue because we know that this is true. We 
know it is true because we have argued, and itself is the result 
of ideal experiment. 

27. And even this principle is not quite fundamental. 
For it presupposes a judgment that we have before us an 
explicit exhaustion of the possibilities of A. One step of our 
reasoning consisted in the statement, that b, c, and d are the 
whole sphere of A, and that A must fall (if anywhere) within 


this sphere. But the earliest form of disjunctive reasoning 
dispenses with such a preliminary statement. 27 Incompatible 
suggestions with respect to A come before the mind, and the 
suggestion which survives in that ideal struggle is accepted 
as fact. Thus we go direct to the assertion without any 
declaration that our previous denial has exhausted the subject. 
We shall return to this process when we begin to sketch the 
beginnings of inference in the lower stages of mind, and at 
present we must content ourselves with saying a few words on 
the principle which underlies this early operation. 

There is an axiom 28 which we can not fail to use, how 
ever little we may be aware of its nature or existence. All 
suggested ideas, we assume, are real, unless they are excluded. 
If an ideal content is discrepant with reality, then it is not 
fact. If again it is discrepant with another content, then 
both are, at present, not yet real. The suggested idea is 
so far possible ; but if nothing is found incompatible with it, 
the idea is held actual. Thus all suggestions are true unless 
they are opposed, and the suggestion, which maintains itself 
in ideal experiment, and abolishes incompatible ideas, has 
demonstrated its own validity. The survivor from the struggle 
of competing ideas has shown itself fittest, and it therefore is 
the truth. This ominous dictum, which contains the soul of 
disjunctive reasoning, awakens our scruples, and when we 
discuss the validity of the process it gives rise to, we shall 
have to weigh these scruples in the balance. In this place it 
is enough to have shown that once more we have found an 
operation, which is not three-term reasoning, and which yet 
lays claim to the title of inference. 

28. It is worth our while to pause for a moment, and to 
see the extent over which this principle operates. Any judg 
ment whatever may be turned into reasoning by a simple 
change. For we have merely to suggest the idea of the oppo 
site we have only to suppose that the truth is otherwise, and 
at once the predicate, which we already possess, excludes that 
suggestion and returns to itself as what must be true. It now 
is real because it must be so ; and it is a necessary truth, for it 
has entered the field of ideal experiment and has returned 
victorious. The process seems frivolous, since it turns in a 
circle; we return to the place from which we set out, and 


the predicate of necessity but adds the idle form of " It is 
because it is " (cf. Book I. Chap. V. 29). We first degrade 
our judgment to a mere idea, and then assert the idea on the 
strength of the judgment. But this process, circular when we 
apply it to judgments, is very different when used on mere 
ideas. Take any idea, no matter what it is, suggest it of the 
real and find it compatible ; bring it into collision with the 
other ideas which are discrepant with itself, see that it defeats 
them in open competition, and then go on at once to assert its 
truth this alarming process appears to have no limit. Yet 
valid or invalid, it certainly is inference. Whether we ex 
plicitly state the possibilities as exhausted, or simply ignore 
their possible enlargement, we have in both cases reasoning of a 
type that does not fall under any other head. 

29. We may add the remark that apagogic inferences 
belong to this class, for, whatever intermediate steps they may 
employ, they in the end must turn on a disjunction. They 
make a transition from the denial of one predicate to the 
assertion of another. And that transition assumes that no 
other possible predicate exists. The large amount of vicious 
reasoning which attends the use of the indirect method, is 
mainly due to forgetfulness of this fact. The bad logic which 
abounds in philosophical discussions consists in great part of 
conclusions based upon hasty disjunctions. 29 And perhaps no 
writer can hope entirely to escape from this error, for the 
process, in which we are most likely to slip, is at times un 

30. (H) We have nothing now left but our old friends 
the so-called Immediate Inferences. 30 And these have given 
cause for scruple ; doubt extends not only to the nature and 
principle of their procedure, but even attaches itself to their 
actual existence. If they are mere tautologies, rearrange 
ments of words without alteration of ideas, they can not be 
inferences. And some of them appear to be little else. To 
argue from " A is B " to " Some B is A " gives rise to sus 
picion, and that suspicion is deepened if we infer that B is equal 
to A because A is equal to B, or that A must be to the left of 
B, since B is certainly to the right of A. We may ask in these 
cases what new conclusion comes from the process. On the 
other hand if, given that A is B, we are offered the assertion 


" Not-A is not B," we decline to receive this erroneous addi 
tion. 31 We should call it a bad inference, and should hence 
be compromised when invited to deny that the legitimate " Not- 
B is not A " is an inference at all. 

We need not enter on the thankless task of enquiring in 
each case if the inference is real or is simply circular. For no 
logical principle is involved in this controversy, and it will be 
enough to show that, given the validity of the immediate 
inferences, we have already laid down those types of argument 
under which they will fall. In any case they will make no 
addition to those classes of reasoning which we have already 

31. Where the so-called inference repeats the assertion 
from which it started, there is nothing to be said. From A = B 
to proceed by proof to B = A is an impossible process. In 
each case you possess the same relation of A to B, and the 
order in which you take those terms is perfectly irrelevant. 
Hence the alteration which is made is psychological, not logi 
cal, and is concerned with nothing but the verbal expression. 

Let us take another case where the process seems doubtful. 
It is not easy to answer off-hand the question, if " No B is A " 
is a mere repetition of " No A is B," or if " Some B is A " is 
a real advance on " A is B." But suppose that these are 
inferences, they both fall under heads which we know already. 
If, given one truth, you perceive another implied or contained 
in it, this process is analysis followed by abstraction. And 
what falls outside this is an inference from disjunction. If 
to perceive for instance that Not-B is not-A, an experiment is 
required which goes beyond the inspection of " A is B," the 
process in that case will be indirect and the reasoning apagogic. 
I will illustrate these general observations by some remarks 
on the detail of Immediate Inferences. 

32. If we consider first the immediate conclusions from 
affirmative judgments, we shall find a good deal which excites 
our wonder. The ambiguity which besets the word " some " 
brings disgrace on this part of the traditional logic ; and 
behind this ambiguity there is something hidden which will 
hardly bear the light. Let us take the judgment as assertorical, 
"All A is B." What is it, we may ask, that the inference 
gives us, save this same relation over again? Take the judg- 


ment first in extension as " All the A s are all the B s ; " is it 
any news to be told that also " All the B s are all the A s "? 
Is it not the old relation once more? Or if you know that the 
A s are a part of the B s, are you further advised when you 
learn that a part of the B s are the A s? If again from " All 
the A s are all the B s " I am ordered to conclude, that they 
are at least a part of the B s, I must ask for information. To 
what am I committed by this doubtful formula? If it means 
that a collection, being taken distributively, is taken distribu- 
tively, that, if I have seen a, and have also seen b, and also 
seen c, I must therefore have seen each then where is the 
inference? But if it means that what is true of a lot is true 
of some or each component part of that lot then the infer 
ence is vicious, and the lot again is perhaps hardly taken in its 
extension. And if I am invited finally to argue that, since I 
am certain of each, I therefore am certain at least of some, 
since that may be true even though I can not be sure of each, 
then I must answer that you seem to be suggesting that I 
should doubt my premise upon the ground of its certainty. 

If again you do not take the predicate in extension if you 
argue Because all the A s have a quality B, therefore some 
things which have the quality are all the A s I can not see 
how you have advanced one step. You know already that 
there are things which have a quality B with a quality A, and 
what more do you learn? Your " at least some B s are A s " 
is not a positive conclusion at all. If it is neither tautologous 
nor downright false, it is a caution to yourself not to make an 
inference of a certain kind. It says, " I have a certain relation 
which I must not go beyond ; to dispense with the some 
would be wanton temerity, and to say at most would be 
unauthorized despair. The right state of mind is a doubtful 
hope, or an expectant ignorance." But this is not to infer, or, 
if this is inferring, it is an inference which in the same breath 
concludes that we must not make an inference. 

And if, while we keep its assertorical character, we try to 
read the whole judgment according to intension, we fare no 
better. It is a fact that the attribute B attends upon the 
subject or attribute A. Can we proceed from this to anything 
more than a vain repetition ? To bring in our " at least " is a 
futile expedient, for it merely reminds us of what we did not 


say, and of what we must not say, viz. that B is never to be 
found without A. But this is not making a good inference : 
it is forestalling a bad one. 

And if you reply, " To forestall a bad inference is to infer. 
For how else should I know that my inference was bad, unless 
after making it I compared it with my datum in an ideal 
experiment? My "at least some B is A " does mean that be 
sides there is a mere possibility. And the knowledge of this 
possibility, which to me is not more and must not be thought 
more, how else should I get it but by an inference ? " then 
I answer that I am ready to accept your contention, for you 
now have yourself admitted that your conclusion is not asser- 
torical, but is problematic. 

33. The truth is that, if you keep to categorical affirma 
tives, your conversion or opposition is not rational, but is simply 
grammatical. The one conversion which is real inference is a 
modal conversion, and that presupposes a hypothetical char 
acter in the original judgment. I will not labour to prove 
this last observation, but will proceed to show that a hypotheti 
cal judgment can be converted modally. 

It can not be converted in any other way. In " given A 
then B " you experiment with A, and your result is B. But 
you can not, by simply taking B, experiment with that, and so 
get as a result its relation to A. This I think is obvious, and 
if in despair we fall back on our old device and bring in 
" some at least," we shall get no further. We shall succeed in 
saying " Given B you have A, if you suppose the case where 
A has given B." This is barren tautology. 

The real conclusion is " B may be A," but this once again 
may be reduced to mere words. If you start with " Arsenic 
creates such symptoms," and conclude " The symptoms pos 
sibly have come from arsenic;" or if you begin with "Any 
dog is a mammal," and go on to infer "A mammal may be 
a dog " it is possible that still you are drifting between the 
Scylla of false inference and the Charybdis of verbiage. It is 
assumed that you mean to go beyond the truth you started 
with, and that you are not content with the impotent result, 
that the symptoms are arsenical upon the condition that arsenic 
has caused them. You really mean that they may or may not 
be arsenical, but tliat you have some reason to judge that they 


are so. And this is the point; for you do not judge directly 
of the real facts; you do not conclude by a vicious extension 
that, given some other drug, you might have the same symp 
toms; nor again, by an orthodox but imbecile process, that, 
since arsenic must be mortal, its administration at least may be 
the cause of death. This is not your meaning, and you would 
be sorry to be understood as conveying such frivolity. Your 
real judgment is about your own grounds of belief and dis 
belief, and is only indirectly an assertion about facts. That 
the death may have come from arsenic can mean, that, among 
the possibilities of death which are otherwise unknown, we can 
specify this one. And you perhaps meant to say this ; but it 
is more likely that you meant to say something else. For you 
knew nothing before about arsenic as a possible cause of the 
death, except that you had no more reason to believe in it than 
in anything else. But now, from the knowledge that it does 
produce death with certain symptoms, you can make an infer 
ence. You have that reason in favour of its chance when you 
seek the most probable cause of the death. Among all the pos 
sibilities this alone has extra weight, and the weight turns the 
scale. The symptoms may or may not be arsenical ; but in 
favour of the former we have at least the consideration that 
arsenic certainly would produce them. There is so much more 
probability in favour of arsenic than there is in favour of any 
other cause. And this, I think, was what you really intended 
to convey. 

And if the conversion has this modal character, it then 
will imply an inference based upon the disjunction of possible 

34. This argument from certainty to probability is, I 
think, the real sense which underlies the conversion of affirma 
tive judgments. We may be told, in answer to our charge of 
frivolity, that such conversion and opposition are a valuable 
agent in education, and that therefore the orthodox logic in 
this point can not be wholly absurd. Most absurd, I reply, in 
the doctrine that it inculcates, but possibly useful because mis 
understood into something rational. It can not, I should say, 
much profit a pupil to be taught that, if " every dog is a 
mammal," he may argue that " some mammals are therefore 
dogs," and from this make his way to the triumphant con- 


elusion "Some dogs are mammals" (cf. Lotze, Logik, 81). 
I should have thought that it might have been better to tell 
him that, unless he has special information before him, he can 
not reason straight from the attribute to the subject or from 
the consequence to the ground. He might be told, I should 
have fancied, that the presence of the former was a sign to his 
mind, which so far certainly increased the probability of the 
latter, but still could not prove its actual presence. This is 
what he must learn, if he really learns anything else than 
folly, and this he has to learn in spite of his teaching. It is 
here as elsewhere with the uneducated professional. He is 
pledged to the creed that truth can not be imparted until lost 
in a medium of superstition and nonsense. 

35. If we pass to the conversion of negative judgments 
and to conversion by way of contraposition, we must modify 
these charges. It can hardly be maintained that in this new 
sphere we have no frivolity ; but on the other hand it can not 
be said that we have nothing else. From " A is not B " there 
seems really a passage to " B is not A." This no doubt may 
be questioned; we may be told that we knew before that A 
and B were incompatible, and that now we but know that B 
is incompatible with A ; we thus have the same relation with 
a grammatical difference. But this view I take to be incor 
rect. It is true no doubt that in negation we may be said to 
experiment with both our terms, while in affirmative judgment 
we have but the first. Still the result, arrived at by the nega 
tive experiment, is not the incompatibility of A and B. We 
find that, given A, B can not be there ; but as to what will 
happen when B is supposed, we have no information. Hence 
the relation arrived at is so far one-sided. 

How then do we gain the other side of this truth? Most 
certainly not by any general principle, for that principle itself 
must first be got by the process in question. The process 
must consist in another experiment, which takes B as real 
and, suggesting A, again finds exclusion. The essence of the 
inference is open to doubt. It might be treated as the ex 
plicit perception of a new relation, got by abstraction from an 
implicit whole ; but I should prefer to take it as apagogic. 
Suppose B, then A is excluded or is possible. First let it be 
possible, and then A may be B ; or again B may be not-B, for 


B can be A and A is not B. Thus we prove indirectly that B 
excludes A and that the two are incompatible. It is by 
virtue of the same apagogic process, that we are able to 
reason from the absence of the consequent to the absence of 
the ground. 

36. This brings us to contraposition, and here without 
doubt we have real inference. Given " A is B," we can be 
sure that not-B is not-A ; yet we can not be supposed to see 
this immediately. The process is indirect, and rests upon 
disjunction. Not-B must either be A or not-A, but A is im 
possible, because, given A, we must have B ; and by conse 
quence B might exclude itself, or, if absent, must be there. 
This conclusion removes the alternative " Not-B is A ; " and, 
since but one possibility remains, that is therefore actual, and 
hence not-B is not-A. We might desire something better than 
such an indirect reasoning, which depends on the mere ex 
haustion of alternatives ; but the desire would not easily find 
its satisfaction. 

37. I may end by mentioning the so-called Inference 
through added Determinants. If we are sure that a negro is 
a fellow creature, we may go on to argue, A negro who is 
in suffering is a suffering fellow creature. Modern prejudice 
takes the truth as a tautology, and would deny the very exist 
ence of the inference ; but against this we may set the moral 
prejudice, which, admitting the existence of the reasoning 
process, practically refuses the conclusion. The process is 
certainly vicious in form, for the addition may, so to speak, 
chemically unite with the terms it is applied to, and may form 
two components which are incompatible. A lie is a bad 
action, but it is only in rhetoric that a virtuous lie is a virtuous 
crime. So " friends are welcome," but " friends in adversity " 
may find their added determinant makes a change. The form 
of this inference, it is clear, will not stand, and it is better 
to reduce it to two main types. In one of these we say " A 
under any condition is B, C is A conditioned, and therefore C 
is B." In the other we betake ourselves to the Third Figure, 
and abstain in the conclusion from elision of the middle. " A 
is B, A is C, therefore CAB is true," or " This negro is a 
fellow creature, and this negro suffers, hence we have in this 
negro a suffering fellow creature." 


The same liberty of leaving the whole construction gives 
the rational solution of another puzzle. " Because a horse is an 
animal, the head of a horse is the head of an animal " (Jevons, 
p. 1 8. If this argument can not be reduced to syllogism, 
is is because the syllogism has first crippled itself. The 
attributes of having a head and being an animal are united in 
a horse, and you conclude, in the third figure, that Under some 
conditions an animal has a head ; or, without elimination, that, 
In the case of a horse an animal has a head. But this differs 
from the result given by Professor Jevons in nothing except 
grammatical form. The whole difficulty has arisen from the 
supposed necessity of eliding the middle. 

I do not know what to say of that inference by way of 
omitting a determinant which Mr. Venn notices (Symbolic 
Logic, pp. 285-6), for I do not think that I understand it. 
" Men are rational mortals ; therefore they are mortals : 
Here we have omitted the term rational from our result, 
that is, we have eliminated it. Or we might have omitted the 
word mortal, by saying that men are rational. " But, if 
we did this, we should surely be proceeding in a way which 
we can not justify. If our conclusion is based on extraneous 
information as to the irrelevance of one term, that informa 
tion should have appeared as a premise. But if we mean to 
rest on the bare statement that we have, then we are cer 
tainly illogical. We may mean that men " before identified 
with rational mortals are now identified with an uncertain 
part of the larger class rational, or mortal : " (ibid. 287) 
but, if so, I must repeat a former criticism ( 32). We shall 
have argued from my certain knowledge to my uncertainty 
and ignorance. We shall in effect say, because I am sure of 
a thing, therefore, and for no other reason, I do not know it. 
And this surely will not do. 

We may object on other grounds. The judgment may 
become false if you remove any part of it. " Religious 
miracles are pretended facts that are necessary illusions ; " try 
elimination here. Or test the process by Mr. Venn s own 
instance. Men would not be rational if they were not 
mortal, nor would they be mortal if they were not rational ; 
for in either case they would cease to be men. Our argument 
has illustrated a well-known type of logical mistake. For 


men simply rational would, metamorphosed by no logical 
change, have risen like the angels ; and simply mortal would 
have lost that foreknowledge which divides them from the 
beasts. Each alternative robs them of their human existence ; 
they perish alike before the nudity of Reason, and la mart 
sans phrase. 

38. The list of the so-called Immediate Inferences has 
not given an additional type of reasoning. They all fall under 
the previous classes, and none of them can strictly be called 
" immediate," for none gives a conclusion without an operation. 
But, if we leave them and ask for the general result of the 
present Chapter, we may state it thus. Apart from these last, 
we have found a number of palpable inferences which can not 
be brought under the formula we laid down in the previous 
Book. The list of such processes may not have been ex 
haustive, but enough has been adduced to show beyond ques 
tion that the general nature of the reasoning process has yet 
to be ascertained. 


1 " Is a fallacy of inference." It would be better to insert "(even 
if it involves)" after "is." 

2 The inference to the new quality depends of course and follows 
on the construction of the whole, and this is a prior conclusion. The 
many terms must have become one. Cf. on Bk. II. I. III. 6. 

3 " Ideal experiment." The distinction drawn here is seriously mis 
taken. See Bosanquet, K & R, pp. 296 foil. We have an inference 
wherever, and so far as, the necessity of a conclusion is seen or felt; 
and we have an inference nowhere else. In all cases alike, where there 
is a " must," there is an " ideal " result. Cf. Note 5, and on Bk. 
II. I. III. And see the Index, s. v. Experiment. 

4 On Arithmetic see the references in the Index, and so again on 
Spatial Construction, s. v. Construction. For the nature of the in 
ference used in each see T. E. I. 

5 " For though the quality . . . got by it." This repeats the error 
shown in Note 3. Whether the arrangement is made ideally or is 
found, is irrelevant. The inference in every case alike is ideal or is 

6 " The construction follows from the data themselves." This it 
never does or could do. Even where the identity of the terminal 


points is given, an ideal whole is necessary for the inference. See 
T. E. I. 

7 " The conclusion is thus arbitrary." Cf. the references in the 
Index, s. v. Inference. And, on the general question as to arbitrari 
ness, see T. E. I. 

8 I can not enter further here into the subject of degree or in 
tensive quantity. But I would venture the remark that any attempt 
to deny this of psychical facts is to my mind quite mistaken and 
plainly indefensible. Cf. Mind, N. S., No. 13. 

With regard to the experiment, on the magpie and on other ani 
mals, it is of course not the facts which I reject but the conclusion 
drawn often too hastily. With regard to the " savages " I regret to 
have lost my reference, and the fact, I admit, is capable of more than 
one interpretation. See Bosanquet, K & R, pp. 87 foil. All that I 
insist on is that, with groups, we in many cases, without in the proper 
sense counting, can and do distinguish between more and less. Cer 
tainly I did not mean that the perception of more or less can be 
merely qualitative. I fully agree with the opposite view urged by 
Dr. Bosanquet (K & R, loc. cit., and Logic, I, Chaps. Ill and IV), 
and I certainly accept in the main his statement as to the nature of 
number, to which statement the reader is here referred. Cf. also once 
more my article in Mind, N. S., No. 13. 

The perception of more and less does, I agree, imply " something 
and another," and so by consequence involves " units " and an 
integral whole. What, however, I doubt is whether we should speak 
of " counting " before we have reached the more abstract stage of 
equivalent units, and the idea of " how much " or " how many " as 
distinct from " much," " more," and " less." But this doubt does 
not affect the main doctrine urged here, namely that units apart from 
an integral and qualitative whole are an abstraction which in the end 
is impossible and unmeaning. 

10 On the question of arbitrariness see Note 7. It does not follow 
that, if the operation is arbitrary, the inference is so also. The 
inference is here not the " operation " itself but is the perception of 
the logical ideal sequence which appears there (13). But as to 
whether, and how, " one and one " not only " make " two but " are " 
two (7), see the discussion in T. E. I. 

11 " It does but remove an obstacle to my vision." Cf. 15, and see 
the Notes on Bk. III. II. III. 5 and 9. It is wrong (I should now 
say) to call any process an inference if it fails both to show and also 
to be the self-development of a real object. See T. E. I. The ideal 
operation which shows an object taken as unmoved, is hence not an 
inference so far as that object in itself is concerned. It may, how 
ever, be a genuine inference, so far as it shows, and is, the necessary 
development of that object in my knowledge. But the real object 
here is the process of the known, which under certain conditions does 
and must develop itself into a certain result, a result which, if there 
before, was not there for me. So in the case of " superposition " 


( !5), imagined or seen, and used to demonstrate coincidence and 
identity. This process is an inference so far as you take it as mean 
ing that the thing must be so, because under certain conditions I 
must otherwise see that it is not so. Cf. Note 24. 

As to how far in Arithmetic and spatial construction the object 
itself must be taken as actually moving, see above, Note 10. 

12 " The ground of knowledge." Cf . Bk. I. VII. 49, and Bk. III. 
II. II. 13. This problem involves the whole question of the relation 
of truth to reality, and no final solution of it was offered in this work. 
What we have seen so far is that in inference the ground of knowledge 
is, and must be always, in some sense a real ground. But the converse 
statement, that the real ground is always a ground of knowledge, does 
not of course follow from this, at least immediately. Our answer here 
will depend on our view as to how far reality is identical (a) with 
truth, and (b) with knowledge knowledge in a sense taken more and 
more widely, until in the end (c) it is the same as experience. But see 
the Index, s. v. Ground. 

13 Comparison and Distinction. See the Index. There are some 
remarks on Comparison by me in Mind, O. S., Nos. 41 and 47, 
and by Dr. Bosanquet in No. 43. I was concerning myself, so far, 
mainly with what may be called processes subsidiary to the actual 
inference. The nature of Comparison as inference, and again of 
Distinction, so far as that falls under Analysis and Abstraction, has 
been dealt with by me in T. E. I. The reader should, however, 
consult Bosanquet s Logic, I, pp. 108 foil., and II, pp. 19 foil. 

14 " The copulative process." This statement seems ambiguous. 
An assertion that the use of " both " always implies comparison could 
hardly, I think, be defended. It would have been better to say " The 
copulative process, so far as this involves comparison, will be an 
inference of the above kind." 

15 " Truth new to us." We have here a serious error. The ques 
tion, as to novelty to m-e, is wholly irrelevant. The real question is as 
to whether the subject developes itself ideally into something different 
or not. See Bosanquet, Logic, II, p. 8. 

16 With regard to Distinction, cf . Notes 13 and 22. " It is for us 
because of our activity." This, however, once again, is not itself the 
main essence of the inference. See Note n. 

17 Recognition (cf. Bosanquet, Logic, II, pp. 22 foil.) is an am 
biguous term, and its proper meaning is a subject calling for discus 
sion which, however, seems here not required. The point here is 
this that, where recognition involves a " because " and a " must be " 
(as at times certainly it does), it there is an inference. And yet, even 
there, we need have no middle in the sense of a " premise " or datum. 

18 Hypothetical Judgment (cf. Bk. III. II. III. 10). The point 
once again is the same that, though in all hypothetical judgments an 
inference is involved, yet there need be no middle which is before us 
as a datum. On the Hypothetical Judgment see T. E. II, and again 
Bk. I. II. Note 40. 


19 " Is a heresy." But on this question the reader is referred to 
Dr. McTaggart s Studies in Hegelian Dial-ectic. 

20 On Dialectic as inference see T. E. I. 

21 Abstraction. For references see the Index. And, on the nature 
of abstraction, see T. E. I and IX; and cf. Bosanquet, Logic, II, pp. 20 
and 144. 

22 The inference itself, here once more, is not " arbitrary " ; and it 
claims, at least, to be a real self -development, though of what object 
is a question. See Notes 10 and n. 

23 " Our data are pure universals." " Pure " here, as in the next 
paragraph, means " free from the mass of detail " which there is 
referred to. If A, B, and C were " pure and freed from all irrelevancy," 
in the sense of " unconditioned " they could not, as such, " appear " 
together merely as ABC. 

24 Disjunctive Reasoning. Cf. Bk. III. II. III. 16, and see the 
Index. The statement in this work as to the nature of disjunctive 
inference is vitiated by errors which must be noticed. Their presence 
was pointed out by Dr. Bosanquet (K & R, pp. 255 foil.), and, so far 
as I returned to the subject in my Appearance (see the Index, s. v. 
Privation), I hope to have stood on firmer ground. But for a satis 
factory treatment of Disjunctive Judgment and Inference I must refer 
the reader to Dr. Bosanquet s Logic. In the present work I have 
already (in the Notes to Bk. I. Chap. IV.) remarked on the above 
judgment, and, in T. E. I, have pointed to the main defect of the 
inference a defect not removable unless we pass beyond the limits of 
mere Disjunction. 

In what follows here I must attempt to distinguish the true Dis 
junctive Inference from processes which fail really to fall under that 
head. And with this object I shall begin by noting the assumption 
which in all genuine disjunction is necessarily made. We have there 
to take for granted, not only that we are dealing with the entire 
Universe for so much we do, in a sense, and must do in all knowledge. 
In genuine disjunction we have to make a further assumption. We 
must, that is, also assume that the special reality (whatever it may 
be) which is the subject of our inference is itself the entire Reality 
in this sense that it is all with which we are here concerned or by 
which we here can be affected. The above assumption may be ex 
plicit, or, again, may be more or less tacit. It may, that is, consist, 
and at first it does consist, in the mere ignoring of all else. But, 
in either case alike, the above assumption is necessary; and, so long 
as it stands, it excludes in principle (as lower down I shall note more 
fully) any appeal to doubt based on Privation and ignorance. 

In a Disjunctive Inference (to proceed) our subject has predicates, 
such as a, b, c, which, though they all of course are real and determine 
their subject (S), are on the other hand "incompatible." If, that is, 
the subject is taken as, here for instance, specified and individualized 
as Sa, it, in that character and so far, excludes itself as Sb or Sc. 
On the other hand a, b and c all qualify S, and so determine the 


contents of S no less positively than negatively. Hence the exclusion 
of a, b, or c according to whatever conditions prevail in a given 
case is ipso -facto the necessary assertion of whatever remains in S. 
The denial of any one specification, Sa, Sb, or Sc, is the positive 
qualification of the whole S as therefore, now and here, necessarily 
expressing and individualizing its entire self in the residue. This 
expression is still of course conditional, if more than one alternative 
is left; but it becomes categorical when but one (whichever it is) 
remains. Disjunction, in other words, assumes a whole which is 
systematic, in the sense that its contents exhaust and complete it 
fully by their character and connections at once positive and negative. 
A disjunctive inference, where genuine, rests (i) on a whole of 
the above kind, and it involves secondly (ii), as given or supposed 
here, the specification of this whole in one part of its full character. 
From this ground the conclusion follows necessarily, and in the above 
lies the real "must" and "because" of disjunctive inference. The 
process is defective so far as that specification of the whole which 
here is given, is not itself the result of known and included con 
ditions. For the ideal self-development of S is thus broken by an 
intruding but necessary x (see T. E. I). But the argument, apart from 
this, is free from logical flaw. The conclusion follows necessarily 
from what is assumed. And, if you suggest that the conclusion depends 
on an appeal to mere Privation, the answer is that anything of this 
kind has been in principle excluded. The very ground of the dis 
junctive inference is the presupposed impossibility of an interfering 
" other " or " otherwise." 

It is not the sequence but the foundation itself of our process 
which is liable to an objection drawn from Privation and human 
ignorance. Can we anywhere (this is the point) start from a basis 
which truly is all-inclusive, and which admits no suggestion that it is, 
or may be, essentially otherwise than as it is known? So far as our 
knowledge is " absolute," we must, I maintain, answer this question 
by Yes (see T. E. I and VIII). We have here no possible idea or 
genuine suggestion of any " other." And, if our knowledge could in 
the full sense be systematic, that knowledge would everywhere and 
throughout be self-complete. There would hence remain no field open 
for the merest suggestion that aught could really be otherwise. But 
since, as things are, we have no such system, and since in concrete 
detail all our knowledge remains but " relative," another answer must 
be given. If we except (as we must) any truths which are absolute, 
the body of our knowledge shows throughout incompleteness and de 
fect, and opens everywhere within itself room for the rational sugges 
tion of an " otherwise." Hence the assumption necessary for a dis 
junctive inference may be said to rest, so far, on ignorance and 
Privation. On the other hand we must not forget that, the more 
our knowledge (though always incomplete) is enlarged and unified, 
the less space and ground remains for legitimate and rational doubt. 

It may be asked finally whether we can still speak of a disjunctive 


inference where the possible " otherwise " is merely ignored. Ob 
viously in this case there is no statement, or any explicit understand 
ing, that in the field of what we have before us the possibilities are 
exhausted. And can we claim to have made here, really though tacitly, 
this required assumption ? We may assert such a claim, perhaps, where 
our ignoring of anything outside is utter, and so is practically com 
plete ; where we proceed, that is, from a positive ground which ex 
cludes all doubt. But, on the ether hand, if the least suggestion of 
an " other " is here present, there is an end, I agree, of genuine 
disjunctive inference. 

With this I pass on further to consider processes which may show 
the appearance of disjunctive inference, but which still may be with 
out a good claim to that title. 

Where, having a subject R qualified as Ra, I attempt to find 
some other determination of R, such as Rb, and then fail to find any 
or, again, where, Rb being suggested, I discover on scrutiny that 
Rb really is no "other" have we in these cases an inference? And, 
if so, to what class does that inference belong? These questions 
deserve, I think, to be considered carefully. 

(a) If, in the first place, we bring nothing with us back from our 
excursion, there is here certainly no inference. We are still left with 
our Ra as it was at the start, and we have not, any more than before, a 
conclusion that R must be a. 

(b) But the case, secondly, may be otherwise. For we may have 
reminded ourselves, as a result, that every judgment is really an 
inference, and have reflected that what Ra should mean is that 
Reality is such that therefore R is a. Here, if we have not actually 
inferred, we have gained the recognition that our Ra is, and was, 
an inference. But we can hardly add that, with so much, the inference 
is specified as disjunctive. 

(c) We may find, thirdly, that the "other" (Rb), which was 
suggested or sought, is in some sense actually an " other." Still it 
does not, as such, qualify our subject, and it hence, so far, leaves 
unaffected our judgment Ra. Our judgment has hence been, so far, 
neither weakened nor strengthened. Our result has been, in other 
words, the discovery that Rb is an error. This error is, in the process 
of our knowledge, something actual, and, taken so, has reality; while, 
on the other hand, logically in the character of Rb, it is not taken 
as real. As to our discovery, if the result of that is the mere dismiss 
ing of an error, we have clearly so far no inference. But on the 
other hand we have a " must," a conclusion and an inference, so far 
as we take the suggestion and removal of the false Rb as a necessary 
step in the process of our knowledge. This inference, further, will 
be disjunctive, so far as our world of knowledge is viewed as a 
system which contains the error, Rb, as an essential element. For 
Rb thus has become something the negation of which establishes 
for us the conclusion Ra. What of course we must not add is that 
Rb, as such, is, or ever was, compatible with our logical subject, 


or is logically a possible " other " than Ra. But for a treatment 
of this problem of Error, I must refer the reader to my Essays. 

(d) We may (lastly) assert that our subject must be Ra and not 
otherwise, on the ground that, if there were an " other," we must 
certainly have found it. And we may have an inference here which 
is genuine and also disjunctive. I may, that is, assume here that 
my knowledge is exhaustive, and that therefore any "other than Ra" 
is, if anything, an error. But in the character of an error this 
" something else " can, we have seen, be taken, in the world of our 
knowledge, as actual. And, taken so, it may be regarded once more 
as a positive element, which by its denial necessitates for us the 
result Ra. And the result will, thus and in this sense, follow as 
the conclusion drawn in a disjunctive inference. 

We never (the reader will observe) do argue directly from priva 
tion, from ignorance, absence or incapacity. No inference of any 
kind can rest immediately upon these, and any idea that it could 
so rest comes from misapprehension. The basis of an inference, if 
and so far as it is a genuine inference, must everywhere be taken 
as positive. The real and vital question is as to how far the positive 
assumption or assumptions, which we must use, are vitiated by our 
ignorance, and how far they are thus open to legitimate doubt about 
the possible presence of an unknown " other." And to this question 
I in this Note have referred already. 

It is better perhaps to add here a few words on what is called 
Elimination. On this process, so far as it appears in Arithmetic 
and again in Abstraction, see Note 21, and, further, T. E. I, IX, 
and the Index. All that need here be remarked is that Elimination 
involves a disjunctive inference only where, and so far as, the removal 
of an element takes place within a whole which itself is truly dis 
junctive. For solely in this case does the element excluded become 
(through the above whole) a positive ground for the assertion of the 
residue as now necessarily real. How far, on the other hand, mere 
Abstraction fails to reach such a result will be found noted elsewhere. 
See the references given above. 

It should be clear, I hope, finally, that the " axiom," given in 27, 
is fundamentally wrong. We have here again that mistake as 
to "mere ideas" which so much injured this work. But no idea, 
if it actually is an idea, can possibly fail to be real somewhere and 
somehow. Further, we have now recognized the genuine principle, 
the place of which was usurped by this spurious " axiom." The 
ultimate Whole, and again any subordinate whole with which 
for our purpose we are concerned, is what we have to take as reality. 
And the more that any determination of a whole contains and ex 
presses that entire universe the more that any totality individualizes 
itself specially in one part of what falls under it and within it the 
more real everywhere does that special embodiment become. The 
exclusion of the incompatible " other " or rather its exclusion as, 
and so far as, incompatible has reinforced by so much what remains. 


The "other" lives and shows itself positively in the greater share 
of the whole which has now appeared as owned by the residue. The 
process here is the real opposite of that abstract struggle where the 
survivor is victorious through its own private and particular force, 
or by the external accident either of designed interference or blind 
irrational chance. 

25 " This attempt would be futile, since &c." After " since " should 
be inserted, " if for no other reason." Cf. 27. 

28 " The residue is self-consistent," i. e. as containing no conflicting 
possibilities. The following statement " One possibility . . . fact " is 
wrong in principle. See Note 24. 

27 " The earliest form, &c." We begin, that is, by, at once or in 
the end, ignoring practically the possibility of an " otherwise." See 

28 " There is an axiom &c." This and what follows is erroneous. 
Section 28 also is largely mistaken. See once more ibid. 

29 If I may state the result which has come to me personally from 
my own experience and errors, I should repeat that False Alternative 
is that fallacy which, beyond all comparison, is most prevalent and 

30 " Immediate Inferences." My treatment of this subject is not 
satisfactory. I would refer the reader to Bosanquet s K & R, 
pp. 188 foil., and Logic, I, Chap. VII, and II, Chap. I. The main 
point to my mind is this, that no inference is or can be really imme 
diate. Unless there is a link of " why " and " because," unless there 
is an ideal whole, and, through that, a necessary self-development, 
there is no inference anywhere or at all. Where we come to perceive 
another aspect of a given matter, that result is not an inference, unless 
we take this second aspect as connected with the first, in, through, 
and because of some whole which is concerned. And in the tradi 
tional Immediate Inferences this essential feature, I should say, is 

31 " On the other hand . . . erroneous addition." With regard to 
this point, and on the conversion of negatives, etc., the teaching of 
this work is mistaken, here and in 311, 35, and 36. Exclusion is 
essentially reciprocal; and the perception of this, I now agree, should 
not be taken as an inference. Further, I now hold, with Dr. Bosanquet 
(Logic, I, Chaps. VI and VII), that, in "A is B" or in " If A, then 
B," the connection of A and B is in principle reciprocal. It is other 
wise only so far as there is irrelevancy, so far as A and B, in other 
words, are not pure, and an x is really implied in our assertion. 
See Index, s. v. Cause, and T. E. X ; and cf . Appearance, p. 362, 

With so much, and with a reference once more to Dr. Bosanquet s 
works, I will now summarily dismiss the subject of Immediate In 
ferences. To study its detail further would (the reader may agree) 
be more wearisome than profitable. 



I. The position we now stand in is briefly this. It is not 
every inference that gets a new relation of the original ele 
ments, by means of a construction that interrelates them. 
This is not the universal type of reasoning, and it obviously 
does not present us with its essence. The ideal operation is 
not always a synthesis based on the identity of given terminal 
points. 2 The place of such a construction may be taken by 
processes, the nature of which we have partly seen, but whose 
general type we have not yet asked for. But we must delay 
that enquiry till we reach another chapter. At present we 
shall not take this diverse array of ideal operations, and try 
to reduce them to common types ; for, before attempting this 
scrutiny, we may pause with advantage and raise some 

2. And the first of these is, Can we not at once say 
something general about the nature of reasoning? Without 
regard to the differences which we have brought to light, is 
there not some account which holds true of all of them? And 
we answer that we can see clearly such a common character. 
No matter what the operation may be, there is always some 
operation. This operation 3 is an ideal experiment upon some 
thing which is given, and the result of this process is invariably 
ascribed to the original datum. We have here an application 
of the Principle of Identity; 4 for what is true of a datum 
within the operation of our ideal experiment, is also in some 
sense true of that datum without regard to the experiment. 
This formula holds good throughout all our instances, and it 
will repay us to consider them awhile from this side and 
aspect of their nature. 

3. In reasoning we have a starting-place that is given, a 
subsequent operation, and a consequent modification of that 
starting-place. In an abstract form we may represent it as 
follows. First A, then A in ideal experiment becoming Ab, and 



last the assertion that Ab is true, unconditionally or condi 
tionally. 5 We have thus (i) Premises or premise, (ii) Opera 
tion, and (iii) Result. 6 The first is A 1 , the second is A z b, the 
last is A 1 ^. For what holds of A once will hold of it always, 
and the quality, which A gets in the context of that process 
which we represent by A 2 , belongs in some sense to A apart 
from the process. Our present task will be to verify this type 
throughout all our examples. 

4. We may preface the enquiry by a reference to causa 
tion. Without discussing the exact relation which exists be 
tween the causal and the reasoning processes, we may refer 
to something which they have in common. In causation you 
first of all start with the elements called the " conditions," the 
next step consists in the process of change which issues in a 
certain result, and the whole is complete when that which has 
resulted is ascribed to the original conditions. It is the same 
with inference. The result of change that issues from the 
process into which the original datum enters, is ascribed to 
that datum. Both causation and reasoning depend upon iden 
tity, sameness in spite of a growth of difference ; 7 sameness 
again which preserves itself, not by refusing but by appropriat 
ing that difference. Both are alterations of a datum which 
is changed, but survives in its changes and makes them its at 
tributes. In a future chapter we shall further discuss the rela 
tion which subsists between the effect of a cause and the con 
clusion of an argument. 

5. Returning to the task we have now in hand, let us 
proceed to the application of our general remark. And let 
us try first those inferences which interrelate three terms, and 
which so bring out a new relation. In these we have first the 
elements of our construction existing apart, then we have the 
construction, and last of all the new relation. Take for in 
stance " A to the right of B, and B of C, and therefore A to 
the right of C." We here have got (i) two spatial relations, 
or rather two sets of terms in relations of space, and we may 
call this starting-place reality qualified as these pairs of rela 
tions. Let us pass to the second step 8 (ii) ; this gives us 
the synthesis of those very same terms which we had at the 
beginning. The contruction certainly is a difference, but it 
does not make such a difference to our terms that they lose 


their identity. We next (iii) perceive a new relation, the result 
of the construction. But since the terms are the same not 
withstanding the construction, they are the same in respect of 
this further result, C A. Hence the real, qualified as C B 
B A, is the real qualified as C B A, and that again is 
the selfsame subject as the real which has the relation C A. 
We have sameness both within and without the construction, 
and we have appropriation of that construction s result. 

Take another argument, " A is equal to B, and B to C, 
and therefore C = A." The whole synthesis of these terms, 
effected through B, is the second stage, on which follows 
thirdly the separate perception A C. The result of the 
construction is taken as its attribute, and is so predicated; 
and the construction itself is in just the same way made an 
attribute of the terms. A, B, and C are the same in the con 
struction and with the result that it developes, as they were 
apart from it. The issue of the operation is simply their own 

And we can verify this type in the common syllogism. In 
" Mammals are warm-blooded, men are mammals, and so men 
are warm-blooded," we find the same elements. 9 First the 
separate judgments are given us as true; we have reality ap 
pearing in the attribute of these two syntheses, " man-mam 
mal " and " mammal-warm-blooded." Then the construction 
follows, and from that the intuition of " man-warm-blooded." 
But the relation which we predicate of these extremes, is not 
a foreign compulsion of their nature. For the issue of the 
process, the result of the change, has not removed their same 
ness. They have remained through alteration, and accept 10 
the difference as their proper attribute and native possession. 

6. Where we go from the construction not to a new in 
ternal relation but to a quality of the whole, our account still 
holds good. The elements, which during our circular voyage 
we received discontinuously each in isolation, first combined 
themselves into a spatial whole, and then took on the qualities 
we understand by " island." But the reality throughout has 
maintained its identity. It moved before our eyes a changing 
show, that came fresh from the unknown and slid back per 
petually into nothingness. To our judgment it appeared as a 
discrete series of spatial arrangements; and it was with this 


series that our reasoning began. That, boldly relying on the 
Identity of Indiscernibles, built up for us an intellectual whole, 
and that whole presented us with certain qualities. We then 
attributed these qualities to that very reality which was mani 
fest in our fragments of successive coast line. The reality has 
certainly both undergone experiments and suffered changes at 
our hands. It is not what it was, and it yet remains the same ; 
for it is itself and more. It is the original subject with addi 
tional attributes, conferred upon it by our ideal operations. 

We find the same when we pass to spatial arrangement. 
Bricks and mortar with the builder are here our premises, the 
compound action and reaction of the two may be called the 
construction, and the conclusion is the appearance of the house. 
It may be doubted how the elements, which we had at the 
start, can survive in the result ; yet we can not but think that 
somehow they have survived. For otherwise it would surely 
be false to say that the house is the effect which has come 
from these causes. I admit the difficulty which attaches to 
identity, but it is still harder to believe in a discontinuous 
existence and in a divided reality. For if in the house you 
have not got the work done by the builder on a certain ma 
terial, you have no right to speak as if you had. And you 
could not even say that the house has appeared, without syn 
thetic judgments which assume an identity. If the reality has 
changed, the same reality must be there still, and if the reality 
has not changed, there has been no change whatever; for a 
sequence of mere differences would have nothing it could alter, 
and could not generate even the show of alteration. 

And in the same way when, not externally but simply in 
my head, I rearrange elements by an arbitrary choice, 11 the 
result, which I get at the end of my process, is true of the 
basis from which I began. That foundation has survived and 
has got a new quality without the loss of its own selfsame- 
ness. The result is hypothetical, since my free action was no 
more than possible. One element of the cause, apart from the 
others, is but the hypothetical producer of the consequence, 
and is no more than what we call a " condition." 

7. We may deal rapidly with the operations of addition 
and subtraction. We have the units arranged in a certain 
manner, and these are our material 12 with which we begin. 


Then follows a rearrangement of these units, and a consequent 
perception of another attribute which also belongs to them. 
Throughout the operation the units are identical, and they 
appropriate the result of the experiment. And since it is 
assumed that to them the experiment can make no difference, 
therefore that difference becomes a categorical predicate. The 
units with a quality of certain integers go into a process, and 
come out in possession of another quality. Thus by virtue of 
this change the identical subject is credited with both contexts, 
or, in other words, the two different arrangements, which we 
began and ended with, are taken as identical. 

And it is clear that the same view holds good of geometry. 
The data are divided or are rearranged or are compounded 
with arbitrary fresh surroundings, and from this manipulation 
comes out a result. But since the experiment adds nothing 
to the data nor takes anything away, since again the data 
remain the same throughout the experiment, the result becomes 
their categorical attribute. 

8. 13 In Comparison it is easy to recognize the same type. 
A and B are first given us apart from their relation. The 
next stage is the process, in which we bring them together, 
and so perceive a relation of likeness. The relation is then 
predicated of A and B apart from our comparing activity. 
They are alike because their change to this relation was no 
alien imposition, and because their identity has remained unim 
paired throughout the alteration. The same remarks apply to 
the inference of Distinction. 

And they apply once more, with slight modification, to Dia 
lectic reasoning, to Recognition, and to the Hypothetic judg 
ment. In all these we have but one premise explicit ; we start 
with AB, and, subjecting this to an ideal experiment, we are 
given ABC. The original datum is met by a function which 
produces a result. But it is assumed once more that the syn 
thesis does not arbitrarily add from the outside ; and hence, 
since the datum is the same in the experiment as it was before 
hand, the result is taken as its quality and attribute. 

Nor in passing to Abstraction do we find any change. We 
start here with reality in the character of abed 1 . This same 
content is subjected to an ideal operation as abed 1 , and then 
presents us with a d. Upon this we conclude that abed 1 is 


also ad, or, more directly, that the reality is ad. But our con 
clusion would be false, did it not presuppose the identity of the 
subject in two different contexts. 

9. In Disjunction lastly we find once again this identity. 
Whether we begin with the alternatives stated as exclusive, 
or with a simple field of possibilities, 14 makes no real differ 
ence. We start with a subject determined inside a certain area 
of possible predicates. This subject then undergoes an opera 
tion which reduces that area, and it ends by seizing on the 
undestroyed remainder as its actual attribute. But it could 
not do this, if it stood outside the process or were dissi 
pated within it. Itself goes there and is active, preserving 
its self, and emerging with a difference which it refuses to 
give up. 

The same character is seen in Apagogic reasoning, and 
again in that qualification through rejected suggestion, which 
(by employing the supposal of an opposite) turns " it is " into 
" it must be." The identity within and without the experi 
ment needs here no indication. And finally the Immediate 
Inferences, which we were last concerned with, are not inde 
pendent. They arrange themselves under the heads we have 
discussed, and our foregoing remarks have already dealt with 

10. Our result so far is that inference is the getting a 
new result from a certain datum. The result is procured by 
an ideal operation upon this datum, and when procured be 
comes its predicate. Reasoning thus depends on the identity of 
a content inside a mental experiment with that content out 
side. And so we find once again in the total process that need 
for individuation, which we before discerned in the middle 
construction. Just as that construction was insufficient to give 
us a new relation of the extremes, unless it joined them in an 
individual whole so here the full process would not get to a 
conclusion, unless it possessed an individuality. And it is made 
individual by the identity of that content which runs right 
through it, and which joins the final result to the initial start 
ing-point. So much at least we are now able to say in reply to 
the question, What is an inference? And this beginning of an 
answer we may go on to make clearer by laying down some 
important distinctions. 


ii. It is not any and every mental activity which can 
properly be called reasoning. This claim could not, I think, 
be seriously maintained, but it may perhaps be worth while to 
examine its nature. We may be asked if our account, so far 
as it has gone, has not tacitly admitted such a sweeping pre 
tension. " Does not every ideal activity," an objector may 
urge, " first begin with a datum, and, performing on that an 
ideal operation, so produce a result? Take for instance judg 
ment. Here we have the reality, and we qualify that subject 
by referring to it a suggested content. That is an ideal action, 
and it is an action again which brings about a change which 
it does not create or manufacture. The result is ascribed to 
the original datum, and ascribed by virtue of an ideal opera 
tion." We must briefly reply to this mistaken claim. 

12. There are two questions we must endeavour not to 
confuse. Each of them asks if judgment is inference, 15 but 
each makes that enquiry in a different sense. 16 The first asks 
if all judgments imply an inference. That is, does judgment 
presuppose and is it the conclusion of a reasoning such as is 
described above ? That is the first question, and the second is 
quite different. For the second enquires if every judgment by 
itself is an inference, independent of and apart from any of 
those processes which we have hitherto called argument. We 
will begin by dealing with this latter claim. 

Suppose for instance that we had an operation, which, 
taking X, simply added on 3; as a mere suggestion that came 
from the outside, and then judged X y. Could we call that 
an inference ? No doubt it may be said to preserve an identity ; 
no doubt again that it ends with a judgment, which may fairly 
be said to predicate something new of the original datum. No 
doubt once more it is an ideal activity. But, notwithstanding 
all this, it is not an inference. The y, which in conclusion it 
attributes to X, is not in any sense got from X by an operation 
thereon. It is stuck on from the outside; and because the 
result, ascribed in the conclusion, is not procured from the 
starting-point, therefore this result is not a real conclusion. 

13. In the arbitrary synthesis of a suggestion 17 with 
reality the predicate does not really come from the datum. It 
thus lacks an essential character of inference, the getting of 
the product on and from the premises. We may try however 


to renew the attempt in an amended form. Judgment, we may 
say, is an inference of this kind; we have (i) Reality together 
with a suggestion, and beside these two we have an arbitrary 
power of junction. These three elements are our premises, 
and we have (ii) the actual union of these elements, which 
gives (iii) the synthesis of the predicate with reality and 
this result is a conclusion. But this amended attempt is as 
futile as the former. For the judgment in the first place will 
not be categorical. In this it will be like free spatial arrange 
ment ; so that the inference, if there is one, does not end in the 
simple assertion X y. It can not go beyond, "If X is 
treated in an arbitrary manner it will turn to X y." And 
perhaps this is senseless. For in the spatial arrangement the 
combination of the data produced a new quality, while here on 
the other hand it produces their combination. We must end 
by writing the result of our process, " X, if X be X y, must 
certainly be X y." And there does not seem to be any in 
ference here. 

14. I offer no apology for pursuing these somewhat dull 
enquiries, since it seems to me that every answer we elicit 
throws some light on our general doctrine. We have seen so 
far that judgment is not inference, and that a process which 
was nothing more than a judgment would never be reasoning. 
We may now approach the second question we asked : Is every 
judgment part of an inference? Does, that is to say, judg 
ment presuppose a process which must be called reasoning? 
May assertion be always taken as conclusion ? This is really a 
somewhat difficult problem, and, as we shall have to recur to 
it afterwards (Chap. VI. 15), we may content ourselves here 
with some brief remarks. 

15. Some judgments, we know, do involve a reasoning. 
We saw that this held of hypotheticals, 18 since the supposition 
that A is real, is itself an ideal operation on this content. 
For, in the union with reality, A is met by a function of syn 
thesis and so developes a new connection. And again if we 
take those common judgments which go beyond presentation 
I mean those extensions of sense which supply us with the 
past or with the unseen present they are all inferential. They 
imply, as we saw, an ideal operation, and it was for that reason 
that we called them " synthetic." Nay, when, leaving these, 


we come down in the end to those judgments which assert 
about present perception the class we thought fit to call 
analytical " even here it may seem we are dependent on 
reasoning. For these assertions are based on a process of 
mutilation. They are all abstractions, and abstraction, we now 
know, is a kind of inference. So that, resting on these grounds, 
we clearly have got some cause to maintain that judgment is 
never separable from reasoning. 

16. But there is ground on the other side from which we 
might deny this thesis. " Admitted," we might say, " that 
every judgment can be turned into a kind of inference by a 
suggestion of the opposite, 19 yet all judgments do not undergo 
this operation. In the first place the operation may be wholly 
circular (cf. Chap. II. 28), and hence illusory; and then, 
apart from this objection, in very many cases it does not exist 
at all. These cases so far will be free from all reasoning. 
And now, passing from this point, let us take in hand a more 
real difficulty. We admit that all judgments, though they may 
not combine, at least must mutilate ; but it does not follow that 
they therefore infer. Mutilation is ambiguous, for you may 
perform the operation or may simply accept it. A judgment, 
that is, may either start with something given, and by working 
on this may extract an isolated and abstract product, and this 
would clearly be inference; or on the other hand, instead of 
selecting, the judgment may receive. If the original whole has 
never been given to the judgment, if the judgment takes up a 
foreign suggestion which itself is mutilated, then, although in 
conclusion we affirm an abstraction, yet we have not abstracted, 
and the result for us will not be a conclusion." 

i/. 20 " For," we might continue, " you should consider it 
so. You can not reason categorically unless you start with a 
given, 21 and unless this given premise contains a judgment.* 
If therefore all judgment depended on inference, you never 
would get to an ordinary judgment. And the only way in 
which to escape this circle, is to begin with judgments that 
imply no reasoning. Nor is this impossible, for you may have 
a result which involves selection, 22 and yet you may never your 
self have selected. An abstracted content can be conveyed to 

* This statement must be taken subject to the explanation given in 
Chap VI. 15. 


your mind, though you have not worked on the raw material. 
The testimony received from others is an instance; and then, 
apart from the reasoning of other men s intellects, you have 
your own senses. Judgment rests in the end on suggestions 23 
of sense, and these suggestions are never uniform. For we 
do not feel one equable and steady flow, we are not in con 
tact with a level surface; the judgment does not come down 
unsolicited, and compose at random its spontaneous junctions. 
This, if it were possible, would be to reason without reason. 
But it is not possible. Before judgment appears there are 
prominent points in the suggestions of the senses. A stands 
above the level and with it stands B. Together they knock 
at the door of judgment, which admits them together and 
keeps back the rest. The result may thus present an ideal 
synthesis, an intelligible abstraction; but the process is no 
selection of the reason. It is bare natural selection, where 
the fittest have survived and where the strongest are most fit. 
And hence the conclusion, for the intellect, is the work of 
chance. The mind has not embraced the persuasion of argu 
ment, but has yielded to the insistence and the emphasis of 

1 8. Such is the answer we might make to the claim of 
all judgment to stand as inference; and in another Chapter 
we shall have to weigh the worth of this denial. But we can 
not pause to consider it here, and must be content with a 
partial answer to our questions. All judgment is not infer 
ence, if m-ere judgment claims a position as inference. So 
much is certain. But when asked if judgment does not pre 
suppose inference, if in short the two activities are not diverse 
stages of a single function, we can not yet give an answer. 
We have however shown some reason for considering them as 
separate, at least for the present. 

Judgment then is not inference, and reasoning is not the 
same as intellectual activity. 24 We must now go on to con 
sider a narrower claim. Has all Redintegration a right to 
assume the title of inference ? 

ig. 25 Every reproduction is clearly a function which 
starts from a basis and gets a new result. And some repro 
duction of course is inference. Where, AB being given, C is 


supplied and then attributed as a predicate to AB, we have a 
kind of reasoning with which we are now familiar. An ideal 
whole is produced by a process, and a judgment follows from 
this ideal construction. 26 And if redintegration always had 
this character, the question if it always might call itself in 
ference, could be answered at once and answered affirma 

But there are other reproductions which are far from ap 
pearing to possess this character. Redintegration does not 
always seem to result in judgment. An object may excite 
vague feelings of pleasure or a dim sense of pain, but these 
feelings need not be attributed to that object. Their content 
is not always taken apart from their existence, and applied to 
the thing as one of its adjectives. They may remain my feel 
ings, mere psychical phenomena, which are together with the 
object but form no part of it. Hence the process has no right 
to call itself inference. For it does not end in a judgment ; the 
starting-point does not survive in the process, maintaining its 
identity and appropriating the difference. We simply pass 
from it to another existence which is taken as existing on a 
level with the first. This process is on the one hand ideal, 27 in 
the sense that it advances on the strength of a connection be 
tween universals. But on the other hand it is not logical, since 
the universal, brought in by the ideal connection, is not used as 
a content which is bestowed upon the original object and par 
ticularized by that reference. The universal on the contrary is 
allowed to become an independent fact, in which the content 
is one with the existence, and where the particular character 
is supplied psychologically from my whole state of mind. 
There is hence no logical individuation. What unity there is 
does not fall within a development of the datum through one 
process of change. It falls simply within my feeling self; and 
the result is a conjunction which is no connection. 28 

It is useless to object that the result in the end may be a 
judgment which affirms the existence of this mere conjunction 
in my soul. For that result will be no inference from the 
original datum. You may say that we certainly have got our 
conjunction from the datum, but after all that datum does not 
survive in it. And so we have not got a content, we have not 
got a predicate, our result is not ideal, nor is it a conclusion. 


And when starting again from this mere psychical fact you go 
on to a judgment, then, let that be an inference, it has not been 
inferred from the content we began with. It has come from 
a fact whose existence has supervened. 

20. This discussion, I fear, may prove hard to follow ; 
and the reader who finds more than moderate difficulties, had 
better pass on to the following chapter. For we are now 
about to raise another question, both important and relevant, 
but not essential to the understanding of the sequel. 29 

There is an answer we might give to the foregoing section. 
Admitted, we might say, that some redintegration exists, the 
final result of which is not logical, yet the process itself, with 
its immediate product, is still an intellectual inference. All 
reproduction will in that case be reasoning. 

We objected, in our Chapter on Association, to the formula 
we found laid down by Wolff, on the ground that reproduction 
went beyond perceptions. And on this very ground we have 
just objected to taking the process everywhere in the char 
acter of inference. The unity of the process we found might 
be other than the individuality of cognition. But a doubt may 
now be raised as to whether this result is after all not mis 
taken, and it may be urged that, at bottom, the recall and recon 
struction are purely intellectual. 

Let us try to state this possible contention. It is admitted 
on both sides that an object, once accompanied by certain 
feelings, may, when it is either reinstated ideally or once again 
presented to sense, bring in those feelings. The issue is this 
Are the feelings, as such, reproduced or produced ? We have 
assumed so far that the former is true, but our assumption 
admits of being traversed thus. Feelings, it might be urged, 
can not be recalled unless made universals ; and this uncon 
scious abstraction suggests the presence of intellectual work. 
For suppose that when the object was presented, it, together 
with the feeling, engaged our attention. This mere attention 
will be apprehension, it will imply selection 30 and rudimentary 
judgment, and this alone and by itself will set up between the 
elements a logical connection. It will make the whole per 
ceptive, so that now, given one part, the rest will follow. 
Hence the feelings are recalled as they are for perception, and 
that process is inference. They certainly come to us as psy- 


chical facts, but this final result falls outside the inference, and 
is a mere psychological addition. 

21. Let us further explain. We must remember that 
every psychical phenomenon is complex ; for on the one hand 
no perception is without some tone of feeling, and every feel 
ing on the other hand is partly perceptive, and has a content, 
a character, a quality that we recognize. 31 Now suppose that 
this perceptive side of the feelings was attended to together 
with the object, in that case the object will recall it by reason 
ing, and will supplement itself by this inferred content. This 
is inference, but it still falls short of what is wanted, for it 
does not account for the side of mere feeling. How, it may 
be objected, do you get back to that? If you do it by redin 
tegration, then, after all and in the end, you have been forced 
to admit the reality of what you denied, a reproduction that 
was not logical. 

And this is the issue. The view, which we are here attempt 
ing to work out, would admit that such reproduction would 
not be logical, but then it would deny that such reproduction 
exists. It would urge in opposition that it is the perceptive 
side of the feeling which is reinstated, and that this produces 
actual feeling directly and not through reproduction. The per 
ceptive side may be particularized first by the psychical con 
text into which it is brought, but this is not the point. The 
point is that it works directly on the soul, and by that working 
causes an actual feeling which is like the original. Thus the 
old feeling, as feeling, is in no sense reinstated; but the real 
fact is that the soul is such, or has become such, that, without 
restoration or redintegration, and by nothing at all but simple 
reaction, it responds to the idea with an outcome of feeling. 
And, if this account is true, a restriction has saved us. The 
feeling is not the conclusion of an inference, but falls wholly 
without it as a mere psychical effect. And, if so, the actual 
reproduction is purified from feeling, and remains in the char 
acter of intellectual connection. 

22. I think that this view deserves careful attention, but 
I must not be understood as adopting it wholly. It is not that 
I doubt the reality of the psychical process which it describes ; 
for I am sure that in some cases that process exists, and its 
existence has somewhat important bearings. The confusion 


for instance which in English Moral Philosophy besets the 
word " motive," arises mainly from a false assumption on this 
very point. And that confusion disappears when we dis 
tinguish between the idea itself and its psychical effect (cf. 
Ethical Studies, Essay VII.). 

But it is one thing to hold that a process exists, and it is 
another thing to deny the existence of any other possible 
process ; and here I hesitate. We might explain perhaps every 
phenomenon offered, on the view that reproduction is always 
logical. This view in the hands of those who espouse the 
cause of the intellect and are champions of its primacy, would 
be a weapon perhaps not easy to withstand, and which 
would make short work of many difficulties. But then in 
some cases the explanation might force the facts. And 
again any inference from the universal character of what is 
reproduced to the logical nature of the reproductive process, 
would appear to me to Ke questionable. The logical is 
universal, but I am far from sure that the universal must be 

And I doubt on another point. This simplification might 
be premature; for suppose we got down to an ultimate true 
doctrine of the relation between the elements of our nature, 
and suppose we saw clearly how the intellect stands to the 
emotions and the will (if there really is a will) are we 
sure that this weapon would any longer be wanted, and that 
the difficulties would keep the form that they now wear? To 
this doubt 32 I can only allude in passing. 

But however we settle the questions just raised, we are 
certain of one thing in respect to inference. The mere result 
of feeling, not attributed to an object, is never a conclusion. 
Whether produced by reinstatement, or not so produced, in 
neither case will it come straight from reasoning. For in the 
latter case it will fall outside the process, while in the former 
case the process is no inference. And with this we may 
proceed to another enquiry. 

23. A result of mere feeling we saw could not be an in 
ference, since it was not ideal. But the result of imagination, 
it may now be urged, is often ideal. It may keep itself dis 
tinct from mere emotion and desire, and may present us with 


a pure perceptional series. 33 In such a case as this can imagina 
tion be called inference ? 

We must deal briefly with this question, for it tends to 
divert us to matters of great interest which may here be neg 
lected. And we may answer at once, No result of mere 
imagination can be an inference. It can not be a conclusion, 
because it is not a judgment. The production of imagery 
may no doubt follow strictly the logical sequence to a certain 
point; but there it breaks off. For instance Ab may proceed 
to a result of fancy through logical functions b c, c d; but 
the result when obtained is now not integrated logically with 
A. On the contrary it appears as an individual image D, 
and that image is not a predicate of Ab. It certainly stands 
in relation with Ab, but it falls into that relation through psy 
chical co-existence; 34 and so once more we have conjunction 
without connection. 

We have no judgment, since the result is mere fact which 
exists in the mind, and since it is not a symbolic content 
referred away from its own existence. It exists and it stands 
in certain relations, but it is not taken as an adjective which is 
either true or false. And then the given A, with which we 
started, does not survive in the result ; it does not appropriate 
the content and use it as its attribute. That content breaks 
its logical bond, and, wandering off into the psychical space, 
begets by contact with beings external to A an independent 
substantive D ; which, itself autonomous, has now a substan 
tival relation to A. Hence we have no logical unity in the 
object, no ideal individuation. 

24. Imagination is certainly not free from logical pro 
cesses. Its trains, no doubt, throughout a great part of their 
length may consist of the strictest intellectual sequences. They 
may contain few images, and but little save the purest sym 
bolic ideas. Yet somewhere we find a solution of continuity ; 
somewhere the identity of the datum is lost; at some point 
we pass from the adjectival content attributed to our basis, 
and slide into an image which is not its predicate. And with 
this break, wherever it comes, we have left judgment for fancy, 
and are not concerned with truth but with psychical fact. 35 

It would no doubt be interesting to pursue this enquiry; 
but the interest would, I think, in the main not be logical. It 


would in the first place be psychological, and then perhaps 
aesthetic. But the broad distinction, that what is merely 
imagined is not held to be true, removes imagination from the 
province of logic. We shall however be forced to touch again 
on this point when we deal with the early development of 
reasoning (Chap. VII.). 

25. Inference then, so far as we have seen, is an ideal 
experiment which procures a result from a given basis. This 
result is a judgment in which the new product is predicated 
of the given. And in this whole operation we have found that 
identity which our Second Book perceived to be essential to 
the middle construction. But our enquiry so far has stopped 
short of the goal. We are naturally still curious about this 
middle process. We still ask Is there not some central iden 
tity to be found in this? And we shall take up this question 
in Chapter V. ; but, before we can answer it, it is necessary 
to inspect our types of inference and to reduce them, if we 
can, to some more general form. 


1 Chap. III. The reader is referred here throughout to T. E. I 
for what, I hope, is a more correct view of the subject. 

2 " Given terminal points " should have been " terminal points that 
are given." 

3 " This operation." The aspect of "operation" and "ideal experi 
ment " certainly belongs to inference, but the essence lies always in 
the ideal self-development. Cf. the Notes on the last Chapter, and 
see T. E. I. 

* " Principle of Identity." Cf. Bk. I. V. and Index. This principle 
(the reader should note) is positive. It asserts that any given con 
nection of content may be taken as a " law." Hence where (under 
change) you infer or assume that the "law" is not counteracted the 
old connection still holds under the new conditions. 

B " Unconditionally or conditionally." The distinction, I presume, 
is between what follows and does not follow from A essentially. 

6 "(i) Premises, (ii) Operation." This separation is quite unten 
able, unless the " premises " are confined wrongly to the datum, taken 
in a narrow sense. See the Index, s. v. Premises, and T. E. I. As to 
the Operation, this is not, itself, the " because." Cf. Note 5. 

7 " Sameness in spite of a growth of difference." The whole thing, 


I would once more repeat, depends, in a word, on self-development. 

8 " The second step." But an ideal whole, containing (in some 
sense) all schemata and this schema, is here a necessary "premise." 
See on Bk. III. I. II. 6. 

9 " Mammals . . . warm-blooded." The subject here is "Man," 
which, in and through an ideal whole, necessarily developes itself as 
"warm-blooded." What the subject of an inference really is, does 
not of course always appear from the formal statement. See Index, 
s. v. Subject. 

10 In " accept the difference," " accept " should be " claim." 

11 " Simply in my head . . . choice." For " in my head " see on 
Bk. III. I. II. 5, and for " arbitrary choice " see ibid. 6. For spatial 
construction and Arithmetic, see again ibid. 

12 " Our material," i.e. so far as given. Further it is hardly true 
to say, in the next paragraph, that " the experiment adds nothing." 
But, once more, the real subject of the inference and, on the other 
side, the data can not be assumed to be simply the same. And (in 
8, paragraph i) it might be well perhaps to insert "mere" before 
" alien imposition." 

13 For all these processes see the Notes on the preceding Chapter. 

14 The " simple field of possibilities " ought to include an ignoring 
of anything outside (see on Bk. III. I. II. 25). In the present Section 
the question as to what really is the subject, is again neglected. On 
Disjunctive Inference, including "rejected suggestion," see again ibid. 

15 Judgment and Inference. On this difficult question the reader 
is referred to T. E. II. Its treatment here is not satisfactory. Cf. 
Bk. III. I. VI. II foil. 

What I should have said here is (i) that a judgment certainly need 
not be mediated in form; and that (ii), so far as it involves mediation, 
this mediation, to make it an inference, must be a necessary self- 
development under one of our heads. The mediation otherwise is 
psychological, and is not logical. But see on Bk. III. I. VI. 15. 

16 The first question put here is, " If you take inference as it has 
been taken so far, is it implied in all judgment?" The second ques 
tion is, " Can you take inference otherwise, so as to say that in all 
judgment it is present?" To this the reply given here is No. For 
(a) an " operation " is not an inference, if that operation remains 
external and the subject is not self-developed. And (b) you can not 
avoid that result by trying to include, within the subject itself, an 
external operation. 

17 For " suggestion," see the Index, s. v. Suggestion. 

18 For the Hypothetical Judgment see on Bk. III. I. II. 18. 

19 " Suggestion of the opposite." Cf. ibid. 27, and see ibid., 
Note 24. 

20 On the whole subject of 17 see the references given above in 
Note 15. 

21 " Unless you start with a given." See on Bk. III. I. IV. 15, and 
the Index, s. v. Premises. 


22 " Selection." See Index, s. v. Judgment, and Selection. 

23 It is certainly an error to speak of a mere suggestion, whether 
from another mind or from one s own senses. No mere suggestion 
is possible in fact. Any suggestion is really such because of the 
mental world which receives and appropriates it. And the issuing 
judgment, depending thus necessarily on an implied whole, is so far 
always an inference. Certainly, so far as the particular conclusion 
is due to force, the judgment becomes, so far, more impure. It con 
tains and is based on a greater amount of external and unknown 
conditions. But the aspect of mediation remains unfailingly, and the 
"mere judgment" (of 18) is no more than an erroneous abstraction. 
On the whole subject see T. E. II. 

24 " Judgment then . . . activity." I should have inserted after 
" then," and, again, after " reasoning," the qualification " so far." 
" Intellectual " is used here in the sense of " logical." See Note 27, 
and the Index, s. v. Logical. 

25 Sections 19-24 possess, I think, a real importance, such as to 
deserve the close attention of the reader. On the subject of them I 
would venture to refer him to Mind, O. S., No. 47, and to Essays, 
Index, s. v. Inference. 

26 " This ideal construction." Add " as is stated more accurately 
lower down in this Section." 

27 For " ideal " and " universal " see the Index, s. v. Association and 
Universal. For " logical " cf . 22. A process is logical where it has 
an object which, as a subject, is therein and thereby self -developed 

28 The connection is always ideal and through universals, but, none 
the less, the process at its end may re-particularize itself not as truth 
but as fact. Hence in the result not only may the logical identity 
be broken, but this result may even cease altogether to be before 
us as "objective." The process, that is, where still "objective," may 
in the end present us, not with a truth about our first object, but with 
another objective fact. Or, again, the process may even result in 
something which, wholly or partly, is not any object before us at all, 
but is, on the contrary, felt as our mere emotional state. We have 
here neither (a) a truth about our original object, nor (b) have we 
a mere change of object, with a consequent breach of logical identity. 
We have ended (c) in what may, in this connection, be called a bare 
psychical fact. 

29 The interesting question, noticed here (in 20-22) hardly tends, 
I think, however it is answered, to affect the general conclusion. I 
have touched on the subject again in Mind, O. S., No. 47, and N. S., 
No. 33 (in the last few pages of that article). 

30 For " selection " see Note 22. 

31 " A quality that we recognize." Add " or may recognize." 
32 " To this doubt." The meaning is that the intellect is only one 
specification and result of our general nature and its laws. The in 
tellect therefore can not in the end be taken as something apart. I 
returned to this point in Mind, O. S., No. 47. 


33 " A pure perceptional series," i.e. a series that is before us 
and in this sense is genuinely " objective." 

34 " Through psychical co-existence." Add " or at least through 
some connection which is not logical." 

35 1 have treated Imagination here only from the negative side 
and as mere wandering fancy. Of this we certainly can say that the 
result is not the ideal predicate of a subject which developes itself 
throughout. You can therefore for logical purposes treat the process 
as a simple failure and as merely psychical. And so much is all that 
needed here to be said. This " solution of continuity " which I 
noted is of course always possible, and is the main reason for that 
general fallibility to which in a later context I called attention 
(Bk. III. II. III. 24). 

We may, however, remark that even " uncontrolled " fancy brings 
an object before us, and so far is "objective." And imagination, 
when " controlled " in a certain way, becomes at once strictly logical 
and is itself the same as "thought." (See Mind, O. S., No. 47, and 
Essays, pp. 362-5.) Imagination, again, otherwise controlled, be 
comes what we may call " aesthetic." Here again we have an ideal 
development which must be called " objective," though on the other 
hand it is not in the proper sense logical. In none of the above 
cases can the process (when we speak strictly) be regarded as merely 
psychical. Any implication or statement, made to the contrary in 
this work, is certainly wrong, and is connected with the more general 
error as to the existence of " mere ideas " that in no sense claim to be 
real (see on Bk. I. I. 10). But aesthetic "imagination" (to take that 
instance), like logical "thought," abstracts and must abstract always 
from the psychical aspect of its process. Every process is necessary ; 
but the necessity of the psychical series is other than that which is 
aesthetic or logical or again ethical, all of which (by virtue of what 
controls them and constitutes them) must be called superior. 

The result of aesthetic imagination (we must remember) is not in 
the narrow sense true. That result is not the adjective and predicate 
of a subject which has developed itself in a merely ideal form. The 
aesthetic product is true only in the wider sense of an idea which is 
also a real object. But, because the aesthetic object must be called 
self-existent and real, it therefore, though ideal, is not true. It has 
more than belongs to any truth when truth is taken logically. But 
on this subject see further T. E. II. 




I. In our Second Chapter we detailed a number of intel 
lectual processes, all claiming to be inferences. These pro 
cesses present us with many varieties of that middle operation, 
which we have seen is one essential part of reasoning. In the 
present Chapter we are to neglect many questions. We are not, 
for instance, to say anything about the validity of these 
processes, nor to attempt to reach their ultimate nature. We 
shall be content, if we can show throughout their detail two 
or three main types of ideal experiment. 

There are two general classes x we can at once point out. 
The operations we mentioned seem to fall under the heads 
of synthetical construction and analytic elimination. We may 
at least say of these, that we find no inference which does not 
contain one of them. 

2. In that form of reasoning which is most familiar we 
verify the presence of both these activities. Thus from A B 
B C we go by a synthesis to A B C, and then use 
elimination to bring out A C. The preparation which pre 
cedes the final intuition, has thus two aspects. But on the 
other hand this does not seem 2 to hold good with all types of 
inference. When for instance we argue without elision to a 
new quality of the whole (as was the case when we discovered 
our island), we seem to employ construction alone; and in 
abstraction again we do not seem to use construction at all. 
There is no apparent synthesis when we analyze the given, and 
eliding one part then predicate the residue. Yet this is not 
the point we are at present concerned with. To ask whether, 
and in what sense, the isolated employment of one function 
is possible, would here be premature, and at present we may 
be satisfied if one of these processes can be discovered every 
where. We shall proceed to assign our list of operations each 
to one head, but must not be understood to exclude it from the 



other. Thus we shall call an inference synthesis or analysis, 
according as each type appears more prominent in each case. 

3. (A) Let us begin with construction and see what 
processes will fall naturally under this, (i) Those syntheses 
of relations which group themselves round an identical centre, 
will take the first place. Whether they end in a new internal 
relation, or remain joined in one whole, or proceed to a new 
quality, in each case their most prominent aspect is synthesis. 
The first class of constructions are those which are based on 
an explicit identity, which so to speak forces the extremes 

As compared with these all the rest seem arbitrary. For 
we have in none the bond of a given centre, while in some it 
is doubtful if any kind of centre exists. The ideal unity is not 
anywhere prescribed to us beforehand. In some cases it looks 
as if the operation were capricious; and it is a question, to 
which we must hereafter return, how far the conclusion can 
stand either with or without this operation. Since at present 
these constructions seem not necessary like the first, since their 
middle term, if they have one, appears our mere choice, we 
may distinguish them here as arbitrary syntheses. 3 

4. As such (ii) we recognize addition in Arithmetic, and 
the geometrical extension of figures. 4 In each, under differ 
ences, we find the same process of free rearrangement. I 
obtain a result by composition of elements, and that result is 
held true of the elements themselves. The same holds with 
Comparison. There I bring the terms together, I unite them 
under a certain aspect, and I then see a quality which I pro 
ceed at once to predicate of these terms. In the process of 
Recognition I may seem less at liberty, and still less free in 
Dialectic reasoning; but in both cases the main feature is the 
construction of a whole a construction round a centre, which 
is not given, into an unity not prescribed by the premises. 

5. Our material so far has arranged itself under the head 
of Construction ; and the synthesis seemed in some cases to 
be necessary and in others arbitrary. We pass next to the 
consideration of that other main type which is the counterpart 
of the first. 

(B) The essence of analysis consists in the division of a 
given totality, and in the predication of either the whole or 


part of the discrete result. In the latter case the presence of 
Elision is manifest, but even in the former it is to be recog 
nized. When reality first appears as a whole and then as a 
number of divided units, something certainly is gained but 
something else is eliminated. For the aspect of continuity or 
unity is left out ; and thus mere analysis always involves and 
must involve some elision. 

The first example of this class may be found in Abstrac 
tion. We are burnt, and proceed from this experience to the 
result, Fire burns. We have first reality as giving the whole 
complex, we have next the elimination of all content, save two 
elements in connection, we have thirdly the predication of this 
residue; Fire burning is real. The validity of the process is 
open to grave doubt, but it consists in analysis followed by 

Arithmetical subtraction shows the same features. Reality 
gives us an integer five. We then divide this into units, and, 
removing two of them, get an integer three, which we predi 
cate of reality. And we assume here once more that the units 
are not altered by the disruption of their context. This as 
sumption may be false, but the process is clearly one of 

In Distinction we seem to have a new variety, but we still 
may find the same general outline. We are presented with 
elements which are taken as one. Altogether, or with refer 
ence to a part of their content, they come before us as a whole, 
obscure no doubt but still unbroken. In the result of the 
operation this whole has vanished. A and B fall apart and 
appear as divided, entirely or in respect of one or more attri 
butes ; and then this result is attributed to the original reality. 
We shall once more neglect the suspicion which such an as 
sumption excites. Confining ourselves to the general char 
acter of the operation employed, we are able again to verify 
our type. A totality is divided by a function of analysis, and 
ignored in the product by an act of elimination. 

6. We have seen so far that all our examples fall under 
two heads. Can we advance to the conclusion that inference 
consists in two main processes, construction and elision? Our 
way is barred by an unforeseen obstacle ; for we have not yet 
dealt with Disjunctive reasoning. 5 And it is impossible to 


reduce this wholly to either process or to a mixture of both. 
Both indeed are concerned in it, but they do not exhaust it. 

If the alternatives are given us with an explicit statement 
of their reciprocal exclusion, and of the sequence of each from 
the absence of the other, in that case we do not find a new 
principle of reasoning. For one of our data removes a pos 
sibility, and that removal does, by virtue of another datum, 
assert the remaining possibility as fact. In " A is b or c " and 
" A is not-c/ by combining our premises we bring in not-c, 
and so banish c; and, this affirmation of not-c being elided, 
we can then join b directly to A. Thus where the " or " is 
explicit, we have nothing which falls outside our two prin 

But suppose we start with possibilities not given as strict 
alternatives. If, for instance, A may be b, and again may be 
c, and can be nothing else; and if we further suppose that A 
is not c, what conclusion can we draw ? Can we go to There 
fore A must be b? We do indeed make this advance, but the 
advance is made on the strength of the fresh assumption that 
any unopposed possibility is real. And this means a new 
principle. 6 For here what we predicate is not the residue of 
truth, but the remainder of chance. We attribute to the real, 
not something first given and then worked upon by our act, 
but an issue from premises which afford nothing positive. We 
do not go simply from the mutilation of a whole to the accept 
ance of a part, but we also leap from the possibility of that part 
to its unconditional existence. This principle, which we before 
had need to mention (Chap. II. 26), and which will engage 
us hereafter, will not fall under the head of either analysis or 

7. Disjunctive reasoning may employ all three processes, 
but it certainly need not do this. Where alternatives are 
explicit, we have seen that it is content with the use of two. 
And there is another instance 7 where two are enough. For 
where the process is ponendo tollens where from " A may be 
b, and A may be c (though not both), but A is c" we advance 
on the strength of an ideal synthesis to " A excludes b " we 
are not forced to cross from the possible to the actual. We 
remain in the latter, and the exclusion of the possible is, as 
such, no real quality of A (vid. Book I. Chap. III.). 8 


But in other cases three movements may be seen. The 
argument constructs and then eliminates ; and in the end the 
residue is predicated with a vital change in its character. 
Under this general type, which calls in the third movement, 
we may point out several varieties. 

In the first of these (6) the possibilities are given, not as 
explicit alternatives, and yet as together exhausting the subject ; 
and also along with these possibilities may be given the actual 
exclusion of one. This is the first variety. In another we 
are left to make a complete exhaustion for ourselves; and 
again in another we may have no possibilities given us, and 
may even have no statement of exclusion. In this last extreme 
case we are reduced to operate with mere suggestions. 9 Thus 
if on trial b is found possible, and A excludes the suggested 
c, d, and e, and if in the end we can find nothing else which 
we are able to suggest then we advance to the conclusion, A 
must be b. We have conjoined b with A, have eliminated the 
rest, and have boldly leapt from " may be " to " must be." 
Here the exhaustion was not guaranteed, nor the exclusion 
given. Our datum was A ; and it was we ourselves who con- 
.structed the whole, assumed its completeness, elided one part, 
and then sprang to the actuality of our product. 

In all these latter varieties of disjunctive reasoning, we 
have first synthesis and then elimination, the whole consum 
mated thirdly by a transition to fact from mere possibility. 

8. In this last section we have already provided for 
Apagogic inferences (Chap. II. 29), and have finished our 
rapid survey of the principal classes of reasoning. We may 
now present the result in a tabular form, asking the reader to 
bear in mind one thing. He must remember that, when a 
process is referred to one head, he is not to assume that the 
other type is absent. We are to class each operation by its 
more prominent feature, and to neglect for the moment our 
additional step from the possible to the actual. 

A. Construction. 

(i) Where the whole is made] (a) necessarily. 1 

out of the datum ( (/?) arbitrarily. 2 

(ii) Where the whole is made ) () necessarily. 31 

beyond the datum j ( /5 ) arbitrarily. 4 


B. Eliminative analysis. 

Where, the whole being given, ) (a) necessary. 5 
the elision is f ( /? ) arbitrary. 6 

We may enumerate the processes here presented. We have 
in No. i the three-term inference which we first discussed. In 
No. 2 we find addition and comparison. No. 3 gives us recog 
nition and dialectic movement. With No. 4 we reach deter 
mination (positive or negative) by means of a suggested pos 
sible synthesis. Thence we come in No. 5 to that disjunctive 
reasoning where the possibilities are independent and one is 
excluded. Then No. 6 closes the rear with abstraction, dis 
tinction, and arithmetical subtraction. 

We may append three remarks. The first of these is that 
the Hypothetic judgment 10 may be assigned to No. 3. It may 
be said, no doubt, that we are at liberty not to suppose; but 
then on the other hand we also elsewhere are free not to think. 
The premise is a datum not given as real ; I treat it logically, 
and thus get a result which I conditionally predicate. But 
nothing here is my choice, save the resolve to suppose and 
then to see what logically comes. But so much choice as this 
seems to exist in all reasoning, since everywhere it lies with 
ourselves at least to think or not to think. 

In the second place addition and subtraction will be neces 
sary where the quantities are given marked with plus or minus. 
But their result in this case is hypothetical. The signs do 
not belong to the nature of the quantities (Chap. II. 6 and 
10). And the reader must remember that free spatial re 
arrangement falls under the heads of 2 and 6. 

And the third remark we have to make is this. The 
process of suggesting possible predicates, and of then proving 
one by excluding the others, may be regarded as a mixture 
of Nos. 4 and 5 ; it is not worth while to place it in a class 
by itself. 

We may end by stating briefly the conclusion of this 
Chapter. The middle operation of every inference consists of 
analysis or synthesis, or both; and in certain cases it invokes 
besides an additional principle. 



1 " Two general classes." See further in Chap. VI. 

?< " Does not seem " should be " does not at least seem." 

3 " Arbitrary syntheses." Cf . the next Chapter, i and 2. The 
syntheses are arbitrary in the sense that the points of connection, from 
which the particular construction follows, are not given. On the other 
hand we must remember that the ideal whole on which any and every 
inference depends is never itself given completely. See on Bk. III. I. 
II. 6. 

4 For the processes mentioned, in 4 and 5, see the Index. And, 
for Elision and Elimination, see further on Bk. III. I. II, Notes 21 
and 22. 

5 Disjunctive Reasoning. The account given here (in 6 and 7) 
is to a considerable extent wrong. For correction in the main, see 
Bk. III. I. II, Note 24. 

6 "A new principle." See the Index, s. v. Possible; and, for the 
error here, see the reference given in Note 5. The reader will note that, 
for anything to be possible, it must be connected with the Real by 
some ground. Hence, if all counter-grounds are removed, it is con 
nected forthwith as actual to say nothing of any fresh positive support 
that it has now gained. See, once more, ibid. And cf. T. E. XL 

7 " And there is another instance, etc." But is the inference here 
really disjunctive? To make it so strictly, would you not have, at least 
practically, to include all possibilities, other than c, under &? 

8 " No real quality of A." But see on Bk. I. III. 13. 

9 " In this last . . . suggestions." For this error, see Bk. I. I. II, 
Note 24. 

10 " The Hypothetic judgment." The inference itself here is neces 
sary, though not the whole process. From "A(x)b, b-c," you can not, 
that is, reach " A is c," unless you have been able to remove the x. 
For the Hypothetic Judgment see T. E. II, and on the nature o 
Supposal see Bk. I. II, Note 40. 



I. We must search into the nature of these general 
processes, but there is a question which presses for immediate 
answer in the present Chapter. We supposed first of all that 
every inference was a construction round an identical centre. 
We have since then discovered that reasoning demands a self 
same subject, that appropriates the difference got by the ex 
periment. But we must return to examine the middle opera 
tion, the experiment itself. We now know that our first sup 
position needs correction, since the experiment is not always 
a construction through a given identity. But this result does 
not satisfy us. We want to know if our middle process 
can ever dispense with all identity. There clearly is not 
always an explicit common term ; and when this fails shall we 
say that everything has failed? Or can we still say, there is 
an implicit centre, unavowed but active ? Our instinct leads us 
to embrace this latter suggestion. 

2. But how shall we support it ? There is obviously 
some unity in the operation, but it is doubtful if this will give 
us what we want. Mere togetherness (so to speak) before the 
mind is clearly insufficient ; and we must hence take the mind 
itself as a centre, not given but used, and see if on this line 
we can make an advance. We may say, " In all relations, 
where the terms are able to be separated in idea, the relation 
may be considered as an interrelation. 2 The result is an infer 
ence, a putting together of elements which before that infer 
ence existed apart. And since those elements were all related 
to one mind, and because of that unity now come together, the 
mind may be taken as a common centre of interrelation." Is 
this what we want? We must answer in the negative; for 
though I believe it to be true, and a truth whose importance 
can hardly be exaggerated, yet in its abstract form it is simply 
irrelevant. It tells us that some relation of some kind exists 



between all objects of thought, and that they are all inter 
related. But then this knowledge must fall outside of any 
special inference. Thus A and B are called equal 3 because I 
have compared them; but, before I compared them, I might 
have known that some relation must exist between them ; and 
this knowledge is therefore not the reason why I now know 
that they are equal. 

3. From mere interrelation you can make no passage to 
a special relation. It does not matter how actively the mind 
may work; you may suppose an intense appreciation of the 
fact that we have a common term in the mind ; you may postu 
late any degree of attention, or the preferential application 
of the intellect to this fact yet from these general premises 
you never will get to the particular conclusion. For the centre 
of the operation, if we are to find it at all, must be found in 
the unity of that special operation. We can not settle such 
a point by abstract reflections, which at the most serve to raise 
a vague presumption in our favour. If we wish to exhibit the 
identity in our processes, we must be prepared to show the 
central point in each particular case. 

4. Let us start with what we called Recognition and 
Dialectic. The given here is Ay, and the mind meets this 
with a function y-S, which extends A to 8. The central point 
is here obviously y ; and round this point, and by virtue of its 
identity, A and 8 are brought together. We must notice how 
ever that y-8 is not given, and further that y-S may never be 
explicit. Our consciousness may pass straight from Ay to 8. 
It may never suspect the presence of that common middle 
term on which everything depends. Hence we might say that 
we have subsumed the original datum under a function of syn 
thesis, which never appears except in its effects ; but this 
statement would be incorrect, since the process is not a sub- 
sumption at all. It is a construction by means of a hidden 

This seems tolerably clear, and it gives us a principle to 
which we must hold. But in its further application the truth 
becomes much more difficult to see. 

5. If we consider the operations of Comparison and 
Distinction,* we are at first unable to perceive any middle. 
The mind, we may say, is the point which compares, and the 


centre which separates ; but such a mere generality, how 
ever important, we agreed was not the answer that is 
wanted. The question is whether in the process itself we can 
find a special interrelation; and we shall now make this 

Both the processes exhibit a double aspect of unity and 
diversity. In Comparison this fact is at once apparent. In 
" A = B " we have of course the differences of A and B. 
These differences are held together in relation, and are com 
bined on the strength of a common point, since the quantity of 
A and B is the same. Thus the relation of each difference, 
A and B, to an identical quantity is the very ground of their 
interrelation. Take that third term away, and the connection 
vanishes ; reproduce it, and the mind requires nothing else in 
order once more to construct the relation. 

But is it so too with Distinction ? Take for instance, " A 
is not equal to B," and where is the third term? I answer, 
It is there, though we do not perceive it. For consider the case 
thus; A and B, it is certain, are still related, since they are 
taken as different ; and their difference is not abstract but 
specific and definite. It is as quantities that we fail to find 
them identical. But, this being grasped, observe what follows. 
Just as the general perception of difference implies a mind 
which distinguishes, and which serves in some vague character 
as the base which supports that general relation 5 so it is with 
every special difference. What is true in general will prove 
true in particular. All objects of our thought in the first 
place must have some relation because, as our objects, they are 
all identical ; and again every distinction of special qualities, 
such as sounds or colours, takes place on the basis of a special 
community. For instance, the separation of red from blue 
must imply the unconscious taking of each as a colour ; and that 
felt common quality is the basis upon which the separation is 
effected. It is thus too with quantities. A and B are per 
ceived to be unequal, but inequality presupposes that both have 
quantity. In this they are the same, and it is because of this 
point that they can be seen as unequal. Thus identity in 
regard to the possession of quantity is here the third term that 
was required, and it is relation to this centre which inter 
relates the quantitative differences. In short distinction can 


never be effected except within an area of sameness; and, 
once outside this area and common meeting-ground, the rela 
tion would vanish. 

6. Perception of identity and perception of difference 
are two modes of one function or two functions of one process. 
The result in both cases depends on a synthesis of diversity 
with unity, but with this likeness there goes a striking con 
trast. Take first Comparison. Here we start with the dif 
ference, and at the end this difference has been partially lost, 
and the identity of the terms has become explicit. 6 It is other 
wise with Distinction. We begin here with a vague and undis 
criminated unity, but in the conclusion the differences appear, 
and the identity has passed away from our sight. In both 
processes alike the sameness of the terms is the middle point 
from which everything hangs; but that centre is used in two 
diverse ways. In the case of Comparison it is the receptive 
identity which, standing opposite to external differences, takes 
them into itself. Content with a partial recognition of its 
power, satisfied with a declaration made by the differents that 
in some point they are the same, the unity slurs the remainder 
of diversity, and becomes the mere relation of similars. But 
the process of Distinction shows a contrast to this. The iden 
tity here turns against its own unseen differences, and makes 
them explicit. It pronounces the relation which sunders them 
apart, and is led, by the emphasis of this its own activity, to 
forget its own being. Thus the differents appear as indepen 
dent varieties, which subsist and form relations in a passive 
atmosphere. 7 The identity which has generated them, which 
separates and supports them, is slurred even more than in the 
former case diversity was slurred by Comparison. We might 
say that one tends to think less of the relatives and more of 
the relation; while the other quite sinks the active relation, 
and keeps its eye on the terms related. 

7. In the ensuing Chapter we shall return to this point, 
but at present we may try to develope our meaning. In Com 
parison and in Distinction we employ certain functions, and 
you might say incorrectly that these processes consist in 
subsuming the given under certain activities. What are these 
activities? In a clumsy fashion we may represent them as 
follows. 8 In Comparison we apply to the original datum, 



A and B, a function of synthesis, /\ . Through the pos- 

a b 

session by A and B of the qualities a and b, we unite them in 
relation to our common point X. The result may be depicted 

as /\ ; but, since the unity is degraded and becomes a 

A B 
relation, the conclusion which appears is simply A B. 

For Distinction we must bring in another formula. We 

may be said to start with a vague totality, in which is latent 

an internal diversity; and we may represent this datum as 

X x 

/\ . To this unity we apply a function of analysis /\ . 

a b A B 

Then on the one hand X, now identified with x, becomes less 

visible ; while, as this fades away, the other side appears, and 

a and b, developed by the application of the function, appear 

as A and B. The immediate result is /\^ , but, since x is 

A B 

wholly slurred, A and B fall apart as separate facts which 
show a distinction. 

8. It would be interesting to enter into the finer meta 
physical detail of these processes; but we can afford no more 
than a mere passing remark in protest against an obstinate 
prejudice. In answer to the doctrine that sameness and di 
versity imply one another, at least -when perceived, we shall 
be told that Difference is independent, and derives its origin 
from the shock of change. And for the apprehension of this 
shock, it will be added, no activity is required. Thus we have 
no ideal operation at all, and may so dispense with the illusion 
of an ideal unity. But this objection, I must reply, depends 
upon a complete mistake. It partly confuses feeling with per 
ception, and partly is wholly wrong about feeling. I will 
take the second of these points first. 

If a shock is intended to be felt as a shock (and I suppose 
it must be so intended), then the feeling must be compound. 
There must be some feeling to start with, in collision with 
which the inrush of new feeling disturbs the mind. For if the 


place were quite empty the new arrival might appear, but 
could hardly make a striking sensation. Thus the shock pre 
supposes another element, and it implies the felt relation 
of both. 9 But, if so, once more we have found in this relation 
a point of identity, a common sameness not of perception but 
of feeling. In other words it will be the continuity of the 
feeling which makes us sensible of the change and the shock ; 
and this is our first point. 

But we have not yet reached the perception of change, and 
the failure to see this is the second point of error. Think 
what you like about the felt shock, you are yet a long way 
from the consciousness of difference, and you can not advance 
without calling in an ideal identity. Take a sensation A, and 
let it change to a wholly different C. This will give you the 
succession of two psychical events, but not the perceived rela 
tion of change, and the question is how this relation can be 
given. It can not be given without retention, 10 and retention 
is not possible unless what precedes and what follows possess 
some point in common. But let AB (for example) be followed 
by BC, and the problem is solved. Here the identical B 
redintegrates A; or (if you prefer to say so) the retention of 
AB gives us A with a point in common with C ; and, in either 

case, we have a result which we may write /\ . No change 

A C 
can be perceived unless by means of an ideal continuity. 

9. This ideal identity is a necessary element in the per 
ception of difference. Without such a centre the extremes 
would never be held together, and their relation would never 

come before the mind. We may represent as follows the mode 

in which this unity operates. In a whole , , as it passes 

before us, the difference be is not at first noticed. Hence we 
do not perceive b and c to be discrepant, till we try to identify 
them. 11 But, in going from A& on to Ac, the self-same A 
reproduces b, which, thus forced upon us in identity with c, is 
rejected by it ; and then, A retiring from view, we perceive the 
difference as B against C. 

How then do we become aware of identity? We must 
have differences Ba and Da, and we must feel, when we pass 


from one to the other, that they are not all different. This 
feeling comes from the presence of a, which is not yet explicit. 
It rises to explicitness, through the reproduction of B, and 
the consequent collision of B with D. By means of the alter 
nate rejection of these discrepants, the common identity a is 
set free; and the relation of similarity between B and D is 
brought clearly before the mind. We may be said to begin 
with an implicit sameness, then, by working with that, to make 
our implicit difference visible, and from this visible difference 
to return back to sameness, bringing out in our movement a 
relation of similarity, and perhaps in addition a seen and ex 
plicit point of identity. 

We can not further pursue these enquiries. For our object 
is attained if we have succeeded in showing that, alike in 
Distinction and in Comparison, we obtain our result by an 
active centre which stands in relation with both the extremes. 

10. After leaving the perceptions of sameness and dif 
ference, we come next to the processes which depend on these 
perceptions. There are a number of remaining inferences which 
consist in re-arrangement, in the new grouping of elements 
within a whole. And here we may make a broad distinction. 
If our fresh distribution starts from analysis, then the process 
falls throughout within that whole which is given us at the 
start, 12 and this whole will be the unity, relation to which 
interrelates the elements. But if on the other hand our re 
arrangement demands a construction outside the original datum 
if, that is, we must first extend what is given by addition of 
fresh elements, before we are able to find our conclusion in 
this case our datum is not the whole required. 13 The entire 
ultimate construction implies a fixed ideal centre of its own, 
and the extension and re-arrangement will therefore take place 
within a whole which includes our datum, a whole which, 
though invisible, still is active. We must apply this general 
truth to our detail. 

ii. If we consider the free construction of elements in 
space, we find at once that this movement implies a centre of 
identity. Unless the extended parts that we deal with came 
into one whole, our process would be nugatory. We should 
begin and end with mere isolated fragments, indifferent to each 
other, neither united nor yet sundered by spatial relations. 


Our conclusion implies that the elements, we begin with, are 
members of one space. But, if they belong to one extended 
whole, they either must have identical points, or must all be 
connected with some common centre. So much is clear, and 
will perhaps be admitted. On the other hand a serious dif 
ference of opinion would at once arise, if we asked where the 
middle of space can be found. Is all motion merely relative? 
Is there again an actual existing centre by which all else 
is determined? Or is not this point of reference n^rely ideal, 
something that does not and indeed can not exist? But we 
need not answer these questions here. It is enough if we agree 
that all spatial grouping, perceived or imagined, implies some 
kind of common focus, whether that focus be before us 
explicitly, or whether it be a mere unconscious implication. 
But, if so, it is clear that our new relation springs from 
interrelation, and depends upon a point of identity. 

12. And the same thing holds when we come to Arith 
metic. When an integer is divided the analysis takes place 
within the limits of that unity, and the elements are separated 
from that centre of dispersion. The point of interrelation 
no doubt disappears in the product which we see. It becomes 
invisible; but if you removed it wholly, you would find that 
your discrete units had vanished. They would in this case have 
lost the common relation which keeps them apart, and gives 
them their show of independence. But just as here con 
tinuity is active in the production of discretion, so again, when 
the discrete returns once more to explicit oneness, an implicit 
continuum is presupposed. If the units had no relation to a 
common centre, they never could be added. Let us consider 
this last statement. 

Even if we adopt an erroneous view, the truth of our 
statement will still be plain. Let us suppose that the units 
have no relation amongst themselves, but are simply pushed 
together by the action of the mind, or fall together in the 
mental space. But, in the latter case, how could they all fall 
towards one point, if they were not co-partners of one spatial 
world? And how once more could that world be single, if 
it had not got some kind of centre? And, in the former case, 
where we suppose that the mind is an external agent which 
forces the unity, it surely could not act upon all the units 


unless each single unit were related to this one operator. Nor 
again would this one special operation be performed, were it 
not that the agent stood in one special attitude to all the pieces 
of material. So that, even if we accept such mistaken views 
about addition, we are still compelled to believe in an inter 

But in reality the units are not independent, nor need we 
invoke external violence to crush them together. For they 
arise and they consist in the suppression of an integer, and 
would not be many if they were not thus one. Their relation 
to each other is the degraded form in which their ideal con 
tinuity is manifest ; and, when we think out this onesided ap 
pearance, we are forced to advance. The discretion of the 
units implies a connection of each with an unseen centre of 
repulsion ; but that means on the other hand their common 
interrelation by virtue of this unity, which so reappears as the 
integral whole in which they subsist. We can see this even 
when we take at haphazard a number of units and increase it 
at our pleasure. I will not ask how we are able to do this, 
though the answer to that question might help us forward. 
Suppose that somehow the new unit is got. Yet, before it is 
added, it must have a relation to the units that exist ; and this 
relation implies a common world of number, 1 * and a central 
point. If this were not present the mind could not add; and 
therefore the addition makes explicit an ideal unity which was 
active though latent. It is on the strength of this idea that 
the mind can work and can make the idea visible. Con 
tinuity is no ghost, that is laid in the units and conjured up to 
surprise us in the integer; it is the soul which unseen is felt 
in the limbs, and returns to the centre with a fuller life. 

I3. 15 Abstraction is the process which next claims our 
attention. It first involves a function of analysis. In A we 
distinguish b, c, and d, and we may say that we start from a 

datum x\ and then proceed to a result /fX - This, we 

b c d 

know already, has been got by means of an identical centre 
and still implies it, for the unity A has been sunk but 

Let us proceed to the next step. We take b-c-d, and re- 


arrange these elements, and so get, by fresh grouping, b-c on 
one hand and d on the other; thus, b-c \ d. Now identify 

the b-c and the d in / \ with the last-gained result, and 



we reach the conclusion x( > where each relation to * 


seems independent of the other. One or more of the elements, 
which analysis showed within the whole, are identified with 
elements that appear outside the whole, or are independent of 
it. We have here Subtraction or the Method of Difference. 

But our process still implies a centre of identity, since the 
grouping, whether it conjoins or separates, must be carried 
on from one common point of attraction or repulsion. That 
point however will, according to the case, be manifest or in 

14. And coming in the end to Disjunctive Reasoning, 
under which head falls the Apagogic Method, we may verify 
once more our general law. Where the possibilities are given 
us within the unity of the given subject A, it is solely because 
they are identified in this, that b, c, and d are found to be dis 
crepant. 16 Their relation to this centre thus interrelates them. 
And, in the further operation of removing one part so as to 
predicate the residue, our construction and subsequent elimina 
tion must rest on the basis of an ideal mid-point. We have 
discussed this already by anticipation, and it is not worth 
while to repeat the argument. 

When once more the possibilities of A are not given us, 
and when we make them ourselves by a free suggestion, 17 then 
so far the process is constructive synthesis. We should not 
think of c or d in connection with A, if there were no reason 
for their appearance. And the reason lies in common points 
of sameness y and 8. It is on the strength of these that c and 
d are connected with A, and when we find that the suggested 
connection will not hold, we can discover that it was a mis 
taken inference upon the ground of identity. 

15. The result of this perhaps too brief survey may be 
summed up thus. Not only does inference preserve an iden 
tity throughout the whole process, but in the actual experiment 
itself we rest upon a central sameness. There is a point of 


unity in every operation, and each special operation has a 
special point of unity. We have thus recovered that earliest 
view with respect to inference, which seemed torn away from 
us. But it does not return intact. We cari not call the con 
clusion in all respects the necessary outcome, and we have not 
got a given point in two given relations, which thus inter 
relates them to form our conclusion. That conclusion in some 
cases, we have seen, is not made unless we choose to make it ; 18 
and the arbitrary character inherent in these processes gives 
rise to doubt and to grave suspicion. In the Second Part of 
this present Book these doubts will be considered; but we 
must first endeavour more exactly to apprehend the operations 
we have just been passing in review. 


1 The main point insisted on in this Chapter is that all inference 
depends on a whole, which not only is ideal, but is also individual 
and special ; and that by this alone is secured that identity of the 
middle without which is no inference. And, so far, the Chapter seems 
satisfactory. On the other hand we must remind ourselves that the 
required ideal whole is not anywhere (even in Analysis) given in the 
stated premises. In inference we can not in one sense pass beyond 
our datum, since we must keep to self-development. But, on the 
other hand, if there is to be development at all, the datum must in a 
sense be transcended. We, in other words, require, for a conclusion, 
something in addition, while, if that something is merely added, 
the whole inference is destroyed. But to leave this main principle 
the question as to how much is contained, in each case, within 
the premises given, and how much, in each case, must be supplied 
from elsewhere, is a matter of detail. The whole problem is dealt 
with in T. E. I ; also cf. the Notes on the last three Chapters, as also 
the Index, s. v. Premise. The reader will notice that the formulas 
used in this Chapter are subject, in accordance with the above, to 
correction throughout. 

2 " In all relations . . . interrelation." It would be better to have 
said " In the case of any relation, where you can start with the 
terms as separate, the resulting relation can be taken as an inter 

3 " Thus A and B are called, etc." For " called " here substitute 
" are inferred to be, etc." 

4 For Comparison and Distinction see Bk. III. I. II, Notes 13-15. 
The discussion, which follows here (5-9), is, I venture to think, 


important and in the main correct, though ft certainly is insufficient. 
See, once more, T. E. I. 

6 "Just as the general perception, etc." "General" does not mean 
that there really is in fact such a thing as mere difference. It means 
that our actual perception (as distinct from feeling) may not go be 
yond that result. 

6 " At the end this difference . . . explicit " should be, " At the end 
this mere difference has been lost to view, and the identity of the 
terms (together perhaps with their specified differences) has become 

7 "A passive atmosphere." See Essays, Index, s. v. And, and cf. 
Appearance, Chap. II. I ought perhaps to remind the reader that the 
nature of " And " has been most elaborately discussed by Hegel under 
the head of " Auch." 

8 In 7 the formulas used should be amended in accordance with 
T. E. I. I still think that the matter of 7 and 8 is right in the 
main, though the detail, I agree, is more or less open to objection. 
The reader may compare here the treatment in Mind, O. S., No. 47, 
and I would refer also to Appearance, Index, s. v. Change, Succes 
sion, Time. 

8 " The felt relation of both." But this is, so far, not experienced 
as a relation. We have, so far, a feeling which is altered, but still 
remains one, and remains even the same feeling. Its diversity, to be 
felt, implies its identity. But, with such mere felt difference, we 
have not yet got before us a "one and another" or a "one and then 
another," for these are relational perceptions. It is such perception 
which is meant lower down by " the consciousness of difference." 
On the nature of the Present, see Bk. I. II. n foil. And for Feeling, 
as Immediate Experience, see Essays, Index, s. v. Feeling and Imme 

10 Retention. The immediate experience of change and difference, 
or a succession of such mere feelings, could not by itself generate 
the relational perception which follows. But it leaves behind it what 
we may call a tendency in the mind to move hereafter, under certain 
conditions, in a certain way. See Mind, O. S., No. 47, and the Index, 
s. v. Reproduction. However, I once more agree, the detail of the 
process by which we pass from Feeling to relational consciousness 
is open to question. In any case mere " after-sensation " (Appearance, 
p. 99) could not possibly by itself account for this passage. 

11 " Discrepant." This dependence of incompatibility (see the 
Index) on an attempt to identify, is further explained in Appearance, 
Appendix, Note A. 

12 " The process falls . . . within that whole &c." But it never 
does so entirely. See on i. 

13 " The whole required." On the whole which contains the possi 
bility, and in a sense the reality, both of this or that schema and of 
all schemata, see T. E. I. 


14 On Arithmetic generally, and specially as to the nature of the 
" common world of number," see ibid. 

15 On the processes mentioned in 13 and 14, and on the ideal 
whole everywhere required, see, again ibid.; and cf. the Note on 
Bk. III. I. II. 25. 

16 " It is solely because &c." See Note 11. 

17 "A free suggestion." "Free" (if it does not simply repeat 
"not given") means, I presume, "proceeding from A itself, and not 
from that which is external to A." And certainly this process is 
mediated ; while a suggestion, so far as it comes to us otherwise, is 
no inference. On Suggestion see the Index, and cf. Notes on Bk. III. 
I. II. 25, and III. 17. 

18 " We choose to make it." On this " arbitrary character " see 
Bk. III. I. II, Notes 7 and 10. 



I. If, considering once more the processes we have sur 
veyed, we ask for the principles which underlie them, we dis 
cover first of all the Axiom of Identity. 1 What is true in 
one context is true in another, and what holds of a subject 
within an experiment is valid also beyond that experiment. 
And when, advancing from this, we approach our array of 
ideal operations, we see that they fall under analysis and 
synthesis. These, if we take in that other principle of move 
ment, by which we go from the possible to the actual, seem 
to cover the ground of all our material. On the Axiom of 
Identity we propose to say nothing more at present, but there 
is much in the rest which remains unexplained. Let us for 
the moment dismiss the principle of transition from a sur 
viving possibility, and let us turn our attention to analysis and 
synthesis. Although at the cost of a partial repetition we 
must try to penetrate their more hidden nature. 

2. We may begin by asking an obvious question, Are 
these two operations really two, and, if so, in what sense? 
Are they unconnected, that is, and two alien species of a 
single genus, or have they something in common beyond the 
universal type of inference ? 2 The answer to this question 
leads straight to the conclusion which we are to reach. We 
shall try to show that analysis and synthesis have so much in 
common that they are actually identical. They are two dif 
ferent sides of one single operation, and you never can have 
one without having the other. Hence though different they 
are the same. 

3. And they are the same in this way. Take an act of 
analysis in which A becomes (A) bed. The elements in the 
result come to us as separate, but this very separation involves 
a relation. They are distinguished by virtue of a central iden 
tity, and they stand thereby in some kind of relation with one 
another. But this relation is synthetical. It did not exist 



before the operation, and has resulted from it. Thus the 
analysis, whilst analyzing, has shown itself synthesis. 

Now take an act of synthesis. We have A B, B C, 
and from this we go on to produce A B C. We have got 
to a relation which before was absent ; but our process is also 
an act of analysis. For A, B, and C are now related within 
a whole ; 3 these terms and their relations are the constituent 
elements of the whole A B C. And yet, as these mem 
bers, they did not exist and could not exist till that whole 
was realized. Thus the synthesis has analyzed while it seemed 
but to conjoin. 

Summing up the above we may state it so. Analysis is 
the synthesis of the whole which it divides, and synthesis the 
analysis of the whole which it constructs. The two processes 
are one. 

4. But with all their unity they are still very different, 
for they are opposite aspects and sides of one movement, and 
are held apart by three special diversities. In the first place 
(i) the given material is different. In the second place (ii) 
the product is not the same. And finally (iii) the operation 
of which we are conscious differs in each case. Let us take 
these in order. 

(i) In analysis, first, we do not go beyond the area which 
is supplied at the beginning. 4 The whole is given, and we work 
upon that whole to produce a synthesis of elements within it. 
We do not travel outside our explicit starting-place, and hence 
we may say that analysis is the internal synthesis of a datum. 
But in synthesis we find that the opposite holds good, for the 
whole is not given any longer, but is made. Our act is the 
analysis, not of our visible starting-place, but of something 
implied, unseen, and ideal. In other words the totality emerges 
for us in the product. Thus in analysis we operate upon an 
explicit whole, and proceed to its invisible inside. In syn 
thesis we begin with an organic element, or elements, not seen 
to be such; and passing beyond each to w r hat is outside, so 
bring out the invisible totality which comprehends them. This 
difference of start is the first point of diversity. 

5. And it leads to the second (ii). As the material sup 
plied is in each case different, so again the product is not the 
same. In one case the whole precedes and is followed by its 


internal relations ; but in the other case external relations 5 
come first and so produce the whole. Where the result ap 
pears as the further determination of a given element by some 
thing outside it, the process is synthetical. Where the result 
gives a view of something that lay hid within the given, the 
process is analytical. Thus it is analysis where your con 
clusion falls within the boundary of your original premise ; but 
it is synthesis where the conclusion falls beyond each premise 
and transcends its limits. Analysis is the inward synthesis 
of a datum, in which its unseen internal elements become 
explicit. Synthesis is the analysis of a latent whole beyond 
the datum, in which the datum becomes explicit as a con 
stituent element, bound by interrelation to one or more ele 
ments likewise constituent. This is the second diversity. 

6. And the third is implied (iii). For with each we are 
conscious of a different side in our one operation. In analysis 
we do not keep sight of the synthesis, and in synthesis we 
forget the act of analysis. In the former case we start with 
an unity, we break this up by a function of diversity, and 
ignore in the result both the unity that was given and the 
function that was applied. The product presents us with 
separate elements ; but these elements were got by ideal dis 
cretion operating upon an original continuity. This given con 
tinuity, and this ideal discretion, are not visible in our con 
clusion ; though implied they are latent. But in synthesis the 
unity, latent at first, becomes explicit in the end, and what we 
ignore is its previous activity. The construction, that was 
wrought on the original discretion, was the ideal function of 
the final unity. 6 But this we forget, and at last are unaware 
that the elements, which seem to have made the whole, can 
more truly be said to have been found within it. Let us try 
to state this otherwise. 

We may say that in analysis the given becomes the con 
tinuity of fresh discretes, while in synthesis it becomes one 
single discrete in a new seen continuity. But our conscious 
ness of this process is in each case fragmentary. For in one 
we ignore the continuity of the product, and in the other we 
forget its once helpless discretion. In analysis we employ a 
function 7 of plurality in unity, in synthesis we use a function 
of unity in plurality ; and we do not see either. In the result 


of the first we throw away the continuity on which we worked; 
and emphasize only that hidden discretion which before was 
latent. In the result of the last we reject the original hopeless 
discretion, and emphasize that continuity which, with its ideal 
activity, we before ignored. In both analysis and synthesis 
what is used is not seen. An unseen discretion is the agent 
which procures for us known discretes, and an implicit con 
tinuity makes behind our backs an explicit continuum. But, 
if so, in these processes we have found difference with identity, 
identity with difference. 

7. If we do not object to clumsy forms, 8 \ve may sym 
bolize our general doctrine thus. In analysis the given A, 

plus a function / \ , gives a conclusion b c. But in the 

J8 V 

result we forget that ft and y have no validity except within 
x; and that hence b c must imply the whole A. In syn 
thesis again we start with A B, B C ; and this datum, 

plus a function NJ/ , produces A B C. But here we 


forget that, without our function, A B and B C stand 
sundered by a gulf ; and that in our result, where they appear 

A B C 

in unity, they are really the analysis of a whole 
which before was latent. x 

It is, I think, scarcely worth while to enlarge on this head. 
We perhaps have said enough to show how synthesis and 
analysis are essentially connected. With all their diversity they 
are but different sides of one radical principle. 

8. If this is true when we apply the principle uncon 
sciously, it continues to be true at a later stage. We may de 
liberately adopt the so-called Analytic or Synthetic Method, 
and there is of course a real difference between them. But the 
result is always a two-sided product. In the Synthetic Method 
we begin with first principles, which are stated explicitly, and 
work our way down to the individual facts. We thus con 
structively build up a whole ; but all the while we are uncon 
sciously analyzing. In carrying our principles out into the 
detail, and in showing the detail as a consequence of those 


principles, we are really breaking up the vague general idea 
with which we started, and our whole development may be 
taken as setting forth the particulars of this implicit whole. 
The same twofold character exhibits itself when we apply 
what is called the Analytic Method. Starting here with the 
confused appearance of the whole, we break up and pierce 
into its sensuous concretion. Thus we make our way to the 
relations of elements more and more abstract, what in short are 
termed Laws. But these Laws are syntheses ; and thus the 
analysis which, if fully carried out, would be the entire de 
struction of the first confused whole, 9 reconstructs that whole 
as a world of abstract connections. It is everyday experience 
that the analysis of a subject shows its internal unity. 

This reflection may prevent our staggering at the truth of 
a weighty paradox ; " Knowledge advances from the abstract 
to the concrete." The confused whole, that is, which comes 
before our senses and pours out its riches, goes bankrupt when 
we refuse to accept such payment and insist on receiving uni 
versal truth. Or, we may say, the felt concrete, when distilled 
by thought, yields at first but a thin and scanty result. The 
intellectual product, which first comes over, is a connection 
whose actual truth holds only of a fraction of the subject. 10 
It is not till we have gone further down to principles, that our 
intellectual results spread over the whole field and serve to 
unite the mass of detail. In becoming more abstract, we 
gradually reach a wider realm of ideas ; which is thus not sen 
sibly but intellectually concrete. What is abstract for one 
world is concrete in the other. 

9. At this point, when we remember some too hard say 
ings on the comparative worth of these different currencies, 
we feel tempted to digress and humbly to protest. But we must 
hasten onwards, for we have now to make another remark on 
the reciprocal implication of these two Methods. Induction is 
of course considered to be " analytical " ; but, if we understand 
induction in its primitive sense, and use it for that collecting of 
instances which gives an universal, the synthesis is obvious. 
For we not only get internal connections in our given material, 
but, travelling far beyond it, we take it as one member in a 
group of instances. Beginning with the individual case we are 
investigating, we go on to others of the self-same nature. We 


subsume under the universal which we have implicit in our 
original datum. Thus unawares we are using a synthetic con 
struction from an identical point; and, by the actual employ 
ment of this latent universal, we make it in the end explicit 
and visible. 

We may find the same unconscious substitution of process 
in our use of the Synthetic Method. When facts are explained 
by the Synthetic Method, they are actually analyzed. We 
reconstruct the phenomenon which we have under enquiry, and 
build it up ideally by an union of elements, and thus show it 
as the intersection-point of our Laws. And this is not all. 
Our synthesis never quite exhausts the fact ; there is left an 
unessential, sensuous element, which is put on one side as 
irrelevant matter. And this residual product, left by the 
analysis which dissects the fact, may be highly important. In 
comparing it with our ideal reconstruction, we may find a vital 
discrepancy, before unseen. In this way our rebuilding, with 
its subsequent contrast, may disclose a feature in the case which 
otherwise would have escaped perception. Our synthesis has 
once more, and in this additional respect, turned out analytical. 

10. It is not in principle alone that analysis and synthesis 
are essentially one, but in practice also their unity tends to 
show itself in the product. Performing one operation we find 
that we have also accomplished the other; and we may err 
in our estimate of the relative importance and prominence of 
their aspects. As an instance of this blindness, I should like 
once more to bring on the stage the so-called Analytical Psy 
chology. 11 There is no doubt that this possesses a right to its 
name; for its object is to resolve the phenomena of the soul 
into groupings and blendings of simple elements. But it is 
blind not to see that its procedure is just as much synthetical, 
since, starting with certain elements and their laws, it attempts 
to reconstruct and build up ideally the complex facts that are 
actually experienced. And this process is of course the Syn 
thetical Method. 

This criticism holds even if we admit every claim put forth 
by our English school. Even if the original elements and their 
laws have been got by means of a preliminary analysis, it may 
yet be true that in subsequent practice the analytical reduction 
of particular phenomena is effected a priori by a constructive 


synthesis. The " analysis " for instance of visual extension 
does not proceed by anatomy of what is given, but rather 
by the selection of factors which together might have formed 
it. Thus when the claim of the school is fully admitted, we 
must still point to blindness ; and it is possible to take a more 
unfavourable view. The elements, it may be said, if reached 
by analysis, are reached by an analysis which ignores im 
portant tracts of the subject. And again in part they are 
not reached by psychological analysis at all. On the contrary 
they are importations of coarse physical ideas, unacknowledged 
borrowings from crude metaphysics, preconceptions introduced 
without any warrant. The analysis is in short accused of rest 
ing on a vicious construction a priori. 

ii. We first saw that all inferences could be reduced 
to the acts of synthesis and analysis, plus another function. 
We have now seen that analysis and synthesis are branches 
from a single stem. And it is time that we turned to search 
for the nature of this other element. But we are tempted to 
make first a fresh enquiry in connection with the processes 
which we have just discussed. If analysis and synthesis are 
thus entangled at the root of reasoning, what bearing has this 
on another question which we asked before (Chap. III. n). 
There was a doubt if every judgment was not an inference, 
and the doubt seems now to have gathered strength. For it 
may be asked, Does not every judgment involve a synthesis 
and analysis, and, if so, is not each one therefore an argu 
ment? We will begin with the first question, and then take 
the second. 

12. Let us imagine a judgment before any reproduction 
has taken place. 12 Certainly no such judgment could exist, 
since judgment proper appears long after redintegration has 
been used, and is a consequence of that use but for argument s 
sake let us suppose such a judgment which comes straight from 

Even such a supposed judgment would still exhibit both 
analysis and synthesis. It would in the first place analyze for 
this reason: the whole sensuous datum, the totality which 
appears, never can be ideally mastered by thought so as to 
be intellectually referred to reality. For apart from a native 


tendency of the mind in an opposite direction, 13 we have a 
sufficient cause in impotence. Do what we will, we can not 
take up every single detail of the sensuous mass. We must 
neglect something; but the dropping of part is the forced 
selection 14 of the part which remains. Hence we have used 
compulsory and unwilling abstraction, and that means analysis. 

But this judgment is on the other side synthetical. The 
content which it has selected is complex; it involves ele 
ments in relation, which the joint selection binds together in 
our minds ; and this is synthesis. Nor will it avail to object 
that some predicates of the reality seem to be simple, and that 
here at all events we have no synthesis within the ideal con 
tent. For in all such cases an element of content would 
be found in the reality which stands as the subject. The real 
subject will appear in union with a certain general or special 
appearance, and this appearance is implicitly a part of that 
which we mean to say of the ultimate reality (cf. p. 114). 
This is still true where we predicate of the whole given fact 
(p. 56) ; for we connect some character of that whole with our 
adjective, and take both as qualities of the real subject; 15 and 
thus in effect, though not ostensibly, both fall within the 
predicate. We can not have the given either as simple being 
or as a sensuous felt mass without character or feature ; * and 
hence, in referring to the real, we attend to and we mean the 
real as qualified in a certain way. This quality can not be 
said to become an idea, yet it is unconsciously united with the 
ideal content. We may therefore say that, if we go back far 
enough, all judgment does informally predicate a connection 
which is synthetical, and which is the analysis of that real of 
which it is predicated. 

13. It would be no answer to reply that in many judg 
ments we seem quite passive. For in all these judgments we 
can show a selection and again a conjunction, and we may 
argue that hence there can be no judgment in which we are 

* In metaphysics it is necessary to keep this in view. 16 When, for 
example, we argue that without a Permanent no change could be ex 
perienced, we should remember that on the other side it may be urged 
that, unless this Permanent were itself phenomenal, it could not be 
effective, and that the fact of there being something stable in phe 
nomena seems deducible from no principle. 


not active. True, I admit, that we do not actively go about 
to join and select. True again in some cases that we never 
selected, nor should have dreamt of joining, and that the act 
is little but the formal acceptance of a conjunction forced 
upon us from without. I fully admit this, but it seems in no 
way to shake my assertion. 

Assume, as we must, that our intellect is not answerable 
wholly for the matter which it perceives in our sensible judg 
ments. 17 Assume that it has no intelligible ground for many 
of the events which it is forced to register. Recognize the 
fact that mere chance strength of stimulus, blind emphasis of 
sense, is the reason why our perception was thus and was not 
otherwise. Acknowledge, in the end, that whatever intellectual 
assimilation by affinity you may fairly suppose to have worked 
unconsciously yet at last the effective condition of the judg 
ment is found in mere sensuous depression and relief ; that 
it was by this that a part of the presentation was sunk, and 
the rest left standing in a prominent conjunction. But, I re 
peat, all this is nothing to the purpose; we here have got the 
sine qua non, ls but we have got nothing else. 

The intellect in judgment may be guided and led by irra 
tional suggestions, and yet that judgment after all may be an 
intellectual act. For the sensuous emphasis which prompts 
and directs disappears in the result, and, however the mind 
has come to its judgment, after all it has judged. The selec 
tion and relation, which appears in the product, is not the 
mere blurring and accentuation of sense. It may have been 
influenced by it, and arisen from it, but its essence is now 
diverse. Bare difference is one thing and distinction is an 
other; solicitation and tempting prominence are still not recog 
nition; and we may be forced to notice, but after all we 
notice. Judgment is our act ; and the separation and integra 
tion, which appear in its content, are the work of our own 
analysis and synthesis, compelled, if you will, but none the less 

14. From mere strength and weakness of feeling on one 
side, you can not cross to the other side by degrees, 19 and reach 
without a break a relation of content referred to reality. The 
distinction and separation, which appear first in judgment, 
imply, as we have seen, both analysis and synthesis. The 


perceived exclusion of one element by another involves their 
relation, and hence their unity in an embracing whole. And 
the existence of this central unity is obvious in every con 
junction. Let that be ever so external, it still presupposes a 
point of identity; and it is synthesis within a whole which is 
so differentiated and therefore analyzed. 

We may thus state our result. All judgment necessarily 
contains a relation; but every relation, beside its pair of 
related elements, presupposes an unity in which they subsist. 20 
Hence the judgment, in so far as it is the synthesis of the 
elements, is just so far the analysis of that whole to which 
they belong. And, since the experience into which our sen 
suous suggestions have to be translated, bears this character 
a character not in the same way possessed by those sug 
gestions themselves we may say that all judgment, however 
near to sense, is essentially an act of analysis and synthesis. 

15. Our first question has thus been answered affirma 
tively. Let us now come to the second. If judgment is an 
act of analysis and synthesis, is it true that therefore judgment 
is an inference? 21 

The answer which before (Chap. III. 12-18) we gave 
in the negative, seems now threatened with reversal. In 
ference so far has been found reducible to a double process 
of synthesis and analysis ; and it seems that such a process 
exists also in judgment. Must we not then say that, as reason 
ing implies judgment, so judgment implies reasoning? We 
can not say this, and a distinction remains which it is impos 
sible to break down. Inference is an experiment performed 
on a datum, which datum appropriates the result of the ex 
periment. But in those judgments of perception, which we 
have been just discussing, there is properly no datum. I do 
not mean that, like the Deity of our childhood, they create 
their world from nothing at all, and exert their activity on a 
void externality or their own inner emptiness. What I mean 
is, that the basis, from which they start, and on which they act, 
is for the intellect nothing. It is a sensuous whole which is 
merely felt and which is not idealized. It is not anything 
which, as it is, could come before an understanding; and 
hence we can not take it as the starting-point of inference, un 
less we are ready to use that term in a somewhat loose sense. 


We needs must begin our voyage of reasoning by working 
on something which is felt and not thought. The alteration 
of this original material, which makes it first an object for 
the intellect, is thus not yet inference, because the start has 
not been made from an ideal content. Before reasoning exists, 
there must come an operation which serves to transform this 
crude material ; and this operation is both analytical and 
synthetical. But it is not inference; for, though its result is 
intellectual, its premise, so to speak, is merely sensuous. 

Thus our primitive judgment falls short of inference in two 
main points. 22 It is doubtful first (i) if the operation per 
formed is not purely capricious. Psychologically, of course, it 
does not come by accident ; but regarded logically it looks like 
chance. We have no rational ground we can produce, in order 
to justify our result. This is the first point; and secondly (ii) 
the stuff, upon which the act is directed, is not intellectual. 

16. Thus judgment is not inference. But though the 
answer we have given is so far satisfactory, it ignores a 
question which must now be raised. Both judgment and 
inference are terms that can be used in more senses than one. 
They may stand for these acts at the highest stage of their 
most conscious development, or may point to the undeveloped 
and early rudiment of their unconscious beginning. And the 
question is whether this doubtful meaning has not seduced us 
into a common fallacy. 

The evolution of the mind and of its various powers 
through different stages, and the survival and co-existence of 
nearly all these stages, lead us everywhere into difficulty, and 
threaten us with illusion. And the danger lies in the risk of 
turning through a vicious circle. For two so-called faculties 
stand to each other in such a way that each one, if you take it 
at a higher stage, presupposes the other in a less advanced 
form of development. Each therefore in some sense does 
start from the other; and, if you forget that sense, you are 
tempted to make the dependence absolute. While both are 
co-equal, you may falsely place one in front of the other. This 
is as common a mistake as can be found in psychology, and 
we may seem to have given it a fresh illustration. 

For we argued that judgment could not be inference, since 
inference starts from an intellectual base, while early judgment 


must begin with sense. And the doubt is whether a similar 
proof would not show that inference must precede judgment. 
Suppose both coeval, and progressing through stages, then 
rudimentary inference will come before explicit judgment, just 
as primitive judgment was required as a base for explicit 
inference. And in this case we surely should have fallen 
into error, for reasoning of some kind would be implied in 
the very beginnings of judgment. 

17. We did not make this mistake. When we said that 
some judgment was free from inference, we knew the sense in 
which our terms were used. What we spoke of was explicit 
judgment and inference, acts both of which end in an asserted 
truth, and one of which starts with a truth laid down as the 
foundation of its process. And in this sense it is true that we 
judge before we reason, since we become possessed of an 
affirmation, when we can not produce any other affirmation 
upon which this stands. Thus the distinction which we made 
remains unshaken. Explicit judgment comes before explicit 
inference. And supposing that both are really and in the end 
two sides of one act, then the above conclusion is what we 
might have expected. Here as everywhere the product comes 
to consciousness first, and the process afterwards. 

18. Explicit judgment is assuredly distinct from explicit 
inference ; but if we like to go back to the origin of each, and 
ask if the rudiment and beginning of one comes before or 
after the rudiment of the other then, I think, we must give a 
different answer. The earliest judgment will imply an opera 
tion, which, though it is not inference, is something like it; 
and the earliest reasoning will begin with a datum, which 
though kin to judgment, is not intellectual. And from the 
first these two functions imply one another. You can not 
say that in development either comes first; they emerge to 
gether as two sides and elements, implicit within one primitive 

If we begin our enquiry from the physiological side, we 
find there a process which consists of two parts, an action and a 
reaction. We may agree to say that experience starts with 
a stimulation coming in from the periphery; but then this is 
but one side, for the stimulation must be met by a central re 
sponse. I do not mean that experience first begins with a 


motor discharge ensuing upon an incoming shock. That may 
be true, but something else and more general is to be con 
sidered here. Unless the nerve-centre answered to the afferent 
impulse by some kind of reaction, whatever it may be, could 
we say that there existed a physiological sensation ? 23 It 
seems clear we should be wrong if we ventured on this. 

And, if we consider the same thing from its psychical 
aspect, we shall reach the same result. No doubt our inherited 
superstitions have used us to the idea of sensations, which 
simply walk into a mind which is nothing but empty space. 
But is this idea true? Is it not being slowly but surely 
exploded by the doctrine which sees in every sensation the 
product of an active mental reaction? We may say then that 
our senses give us sensations; but their gift contains traces 
of something like thought. 

19. I am aware of the difficulties which beset this sub 
ject, and it is impossible here to enter into them. I may per 
haps briefly state the question thus. At a certain stage we 
should all admit that our presentations show marks of intel 
lectual activity. Well, as you follow backward these presenta 
tions to the earliest rudiment which you can say is given, at 
what point will you draw your dividing line? Where will you 
say, We have here the crude material, which would be exactly 
what it is now, though there were nothing like comparison, 
reproduction, or abstraction ? 2 * And non-success in finding 
the proper place for this line, may lead to the belief that no 
place is proper, and that no known material is wholly crude. 
First experience is not intellectual, in the sense that we get 
elements conjoined and parted by relations which explicitly 
appear. It does not give us an ideal content marked off from 
the mass of confused reality, and internally defined as quali 
ties in relation. On the contrary it comes as a vague totality 
which has nothing outside it, and which internally is felt as 
an indiscriminate effect, in which the constituents are lost to 
view. But it is intellectual in the sense that, when we come to 
reflect on its datum, we find marks of activities, which, if they 
had been conscious, and if they had not stopped at feeling, we 
must have called intellect. And I regret to say that I must 
leave the matter so. 

20. But, assuming that the first thing, which we feel or 


know, results from a reaction upon a stimulus, we must deny 
two things. 25 We must refuse to allow that experience comes 
from an operation on a datum, or yet is a datum without an 
operation and so independent. Both assertions would suppose 
that something is given, where nothing is yet given. The 
beginning of experience is the resultant of two factors, a 
stimulus and a response. And here we see how the rudiments 
of judgment and reasoning are intertangled. The mere stimu 
lus is not given, and so reasoning has nothing from which it 
could start. But, on the other hand, a mental activity can not 
be directed upon simple zero. We have two factors, the re 
action and the stimulus, and in a certain and improper sense 
these two factors may be taken as the premises of a judgment. 
And the result again may be taken as a conclusion, not indeed 
from data, but from an indefinite ground to a definite datum. 

21. Nor can we fairly object that this conclusion is 
capricious, that the activity is either an arbitrary handling 
which makes its result, 26 or a formal registration which merely 
accepts it. Irrational indeed the conclusion must be, in the 
sense that the mind can give no reason for the sensation it is 
forced to. But capricious or formal it certainly is not. It fol 
lows from its premises with the strictest necessity, and com 
bines in its result the character of both. 27 And again it is no 
mere formal acceptance. For the organism, and with it the 
empirical subject, has its peculiar nature which is impressed on 
the product. We might say that our premises are the centre 
and the incoming change, that the middle operation is the 
synthesis of both, and that our result is the conclusion. And 
in such a loose and incorrect sense of the term this operation 
is inference. 

Or let us take the same thing at a higher remove. Let us 
pass beyond those factors which first produce feeling, and let 
us say that the feeling has been produced and qualifies the 
subject. But one feeling is, as we are told, no feeling; and 
the subject, merely determined as a, is so far nothing. Then 
while a remains, let ft supervene, and the result may now be 
a sensation A, which is neither ft nor a, but is the consequence 
of their union. This result is clearly no inference proper, yet 
it possesses much in common with reasoning. We may be 
said to have premises a and ft, then comes their synthesis, 


and a sensation A is the new result. Nor is it easy to object 
that at all events for consciousness a result must come first, 
and then afterwards be used. For if one feeling is no feeling, 
perhaps consciousness first wakens with a complex presenta 
tion, and gets by a circular process the result together with its 
premise. The first feeling, which is the reason why we ex 
perience the second, itself becomes explicit in the product, and 
is thus both starting-point and goal. 

22. It is clearly unsafe, when we go back beyond ex 
plicit judgment, to give priority to either function. It is better 
to treat their rudimentary forms as two parts of one whole; 
and it is this point of view from which it would be right to 
consider the nature of our early experience. We should in 
this case be led to ask some interesting and important ques 
tions. 28 If in knowledge the subject and the object are 
premises, is not every assertion, which confines itself to the 
object, an illogical conclusion? No physiologist would believe 
that colours or sounds were the properties of those stimuli 
which act on the centres of vision or hearing. But, if so, by 
what process are we to remove the influence of the subject in 
knowledge ? 

And there is another question, the importance of which 
could not well be exaggerated. If in knowledge the subject 
and the object may be called premises, then what are we 
to say of the middle operation? We have seen that this 
demands a central identity, and where is the central identity 
here? But, without it, what becomes of the relation of the 
premises and of the ensuing result ? This question would lead 
to problems in metaphysics which we can not even glance at 
in passing. 

23. If we tried to pursue this line of enquiry, we should 
soon be carried beyond the scope of our volume. But, if we 
return to the immediate object of our scrutiny, the relation 
existing between judgment and inference, we may show how 
the circle, which we lately noticed, comes up in the process 
of reproduction. Every judgment on the one hand seems to 
imply redintegration, which itself on the other hand seems to 
presuppose judgment. The explanation is that reproduction 
implies a rudiment of judgment, but that this does not be 
come explicit and show itself as judgment, until it has been 


used as a basis of inference. The unconscious synthetical 
activity brings its own principle or premise before our eyes, 
and in a sense makes that actual. And we have here no 
miracle. We are given ebf, which, by redintegration from 
abed, turns to ebfd; and from ebfd an abstraction may supply 
us with the judgment b d. But this b d, which is 
thus the conclusion, was also the basis of our reproduction. 

It will be objected no doubt that in abed there perhaps 
may be no rudiment of judgment; that there may exist in this 
foundation no intellectual act, no unconscious selection, or 
notice, or preferential attention to b d; and that in short 
there may be nothing but sensuous strength and prominence 
of b and d. But in the end, as we have seen, this will make 
no difference. For it is admitted that, out of the past abed, 
b d is employed to qualify ebf. But, if so, we ask, In what 
shape is this b d made use of ? 29 Can it, if you take it as it 
comes to sense, be so employed at all? This would be quite 
impossible. Beside its entanglement with the whole abed, it 
has in itself a particular character, a special colouring, which 
does not suit ebf, and which does not appear in the conclusion 
ebfd. And thus the purification of b d is an intellectual act, 
performed as part of the reproduction. It shows clearly that 
function of selective analysis 30 which belongs to judgment 
and to inference alike. 

24. It is interesting to see how, when we qualify a per 
ception through reproduction, our act is one common process 
of analysis and synthesis. Let abed be given, and then ebf, 
and let b redintegrate its complement d, with a final result 
b d. The movement is synthetical, and yet it has analyzed, 
since it has divided two wholes. In the first place, since b d 
has never been given us, its use and explicit realization breaks 
up abed, and is thus abstraction. In the second place, now 
that we are aware of & d and have ebf presented, the dif 
ferent contexts of b are a means for splitting up ebf. The 
analysis of both these compounds emerges in the act of con 

I will work out more in detail one part of the process we 
have just observed. Let abc be presented, and then let b be 
fixed upon and considered by itself. This of course is analysis, 
and what I want to show is that construction can effect it. 


For suppose that, on the strength of former experience, b is 
now an element in other connections. Then here in abc the 
b may redintegrate other elements, and may try to appear as 
h p or b q or b r, all discrepant with one another and 
with abc. A collision must follow between p, q, r and ac, with 
the result that p, q and r are rejected. But this rejection may 
have led to a distinction. The identity of b amid these 
struggling differences may have caused the attention to be 
centred upon it. In the process, so to speak, it may thus have 
become free, and hence the synthesis will have been a condi 
tion of analysis. 

We are invited to pursue this subject further, but we have 
done enough if we have shown the interconnection of both our 
functions. We must return from our digression (if it really be 
such), and must take up the thread we broke off before in 

25. Beside the functions of analysis and synthesis we 
found that reasoning employed a third principle. The leap 
of transition from the possible to the real did not seem to fall 
under either of these heads. We must try to see this third 
principle more clearly ; and, if the reader will permit, will 
approach it indirectly. We will try to show how the defects 
of analysis and synthesis lead the mind beyond the limit of 
these functions. 

We have seen that they both are two sides of one process. 

And it follows from this that the increase of one must add to 

the other. The more deeply you analyze a given whole, the 

wider and larger you make its unity; and the more elements 

you join in a synthetic construction, so much greater is the 

detail and more full the differentiation of that totality. We 

have here the antipodes of that false relation of extension to 

intent which we criticized before (Book I. Chap. VI.). 31 That 

preposterous article of orthodox logic turned the course of our 

reason into senseless miracle. The less a thing became the 

further it went, and the more it contained the narrower it 

became. Such a total reversement of our rational instinct 

could spring from nothing but a fundamental error. And it 

arose from our use of the abstract universal. That can not be 

real, and in consequence our thoughts were all built on un- 


reality and ended in falsehood. But in the concrete universal, 
which has guided our steps, and which has appeared as the 
identity of analysis and synthesis, we have returned to truth 
and made our peace with reality. 

26. If for metaphysics what is individual is real and 
what is real individual, for logic too the rational is individual 
and individuality is truth. And this is no paradox. Our prac 
tical criterion s2 in every enquiry is the gaining all the facts and 
the getting them consistent. But this simple test unconsciously 
affirms that the individual is true and the truth individual. 
For a fragment of the whole broken off abruptly, or a whole 
that internally was at issue with itself, would alike fall short of 
individuality. Unawares then we strive to realize a com 
pletion, single and self-contained, where difference and iden 
tity are two aspects of one process in a self-same substance, 
and where construction is self-diremption and analysis self- 
synthesis. This idea of system is the goal of our thoughts, 
and to sight of this perfection we have been conducted. 

27. But we have not reached nor entered. Our analysis 
and synthesis have fatal defects, and their unity is poor and 
but superficial. Our analysis has to begin with a datum, and 
to divide its singleness into single components. But in the 
first place this origin is not single. For the datum, with 
which it begins, is limited, and is therefore defined by exter 
nal relations. 33 These alien connections go to make it what it 
is, and it hence involves them within its own being. But, if 
so, its unity comes to an end. In its attempt at self-develop 
ment it depends on the external; and therefore, even if its 
analysis is successful, 34 it has not analyzed itself. And in the 
second place the result of its analysis remains defective. It 
fails not only to analyze itself, but it also fails to carry out the 
analysis. For the components it produces are themselves 
unstable. Characterized as they are by their external rela 
tions and so impregnated with a foreign principle, their 
own unity falls apart internally into relations of other in 
cluded units; and hence we never reach anything which we 
could rightly call single. Want of individuality in the datum 
that we began with, absence of self-movement and impossi 
bility of self-development, this is the first defect. Want of 
individuality in the result attained, and endless dissipation into 


foreign relations, this is the second defect of our analysis. 
It is ruined throughout by externality. The elements are 
inwardly alien to themselves, and from without they each are 
alien to the other and to their common origin. The analysis 
in the end is hence not synthesis, if that means self-relation. 

28. And our synthesis is no less defective. 35 We start 
with one element and go on to another, and find them both as 
constituents in a whole. But we can not say that we advance 
from our datum by the analysis of that. The opposite is the 
case, for our fresh constituent is dragged up and chained on 
from the outside. To the original element this stranger does 
not seem a part of itself, but a foreign arrival and importation. 
The synthesis is thus not self-determination. And this same 
fault has another side. For the whole, which you have 
reached, is no system of differences; it is not an individual. 
The differences are an aggregate, found conjoined together, 
and no self-analysis of a single unity. The elements certainly 
are united by a central point, and are thus interrelated; but 
their relations remain external and forced. Instead of moving 
freely from one to the rest, you are compelled to pass through 
a machinery of steps, which seem to have no vital connection 
with the elements you bring together. Thus the union is in 
the end no inward bond, but a foreign coupling; and you can 
not pass from the centre to the system of differences. It is 
no living point that withdraws into itself the life of its 
members, and flows forth into a body which it feels as its 
own. It is the axle of a wheel where spokes are driven in, 
and where the number of holes and spokes is indifferent. 

This first fault of our synthesis implies a second and 
counterpart. For the whole, which we make, is never com 
pleted. It is determined from outside; and its unity is com 
pelled to assimilate in relations to foreign bodies the seed of 
dissolution. These bodies fall outside that whole whose 
analysis we from time to time have procured by our synthesis. 
The synthesis turns out therefore not to be the analysis of 
the whole which we assigned to it, since that whole does not 
include the foreign matter, which intrudes in the result. And 
the perpetual effort to go on and to find the completion of 
our synthesis, and to realize the unity which we demand in 
our construction, proves a self-delusion. It leads to that chase 


of the spurious infinite, where fruition, ever instant, is 
baulked perpetually. Our synthesis is therefore no self- 

29. We have seen the defects in both sides of our opera 
tion, and we naturally ask, Is there any remedy? Or, since 
the sin lies so deep that to remedy the process would be to 
change its nature, we may ask, What is it that we really 
do want? What was it that guided our half-conscious 
thoughts, and forced us to see failure where we desired suc 
cess? To perceive imperfection is to judge by the perfect, 
and we wish to become aware of this idea which has served us 
as a canon and touchstone of reason. If we realized our 
ideal, what then should we get? 

We should get a way of thinking in which the whole of 
reality was a system of its differences immanent in each dif 
ference. In this whole the analysis of any one element would, 
by nothing but the self-development of that element, produce 
the totality. The internal unfolding of any one portion would 
be the blossoming of that other side of its being, without 
which itself is not consummate. The inward growth of the 
member would be its natural synthesis with the complement 
of its essence. And synthesis again would be the movement 
of the whole within its own body. It would not force its parts 
into violent conjunctions, but, itself in each, by the loss of 
self-constraint would embrace its own fulfilment. And the 
fresh product so gained would renew this process, where 
self-fission turns to coition with an opposite and the merging 
of both in a higher organism. Nor would the process cease 
till, the whole being embraced, it had nought left against it 
but its conscious system. Then, the elements knowing them 
selves in the whole and so self-conscious in one another, and 
the whole so finding in its recognized self-development the 
unmixed enjoyment of its completed nature, nothing alien 
or foreign would trouble the harmony. It would all have 
vanished in that perfected activity which is the rest of the 
absolute. 36 

30. This crown of our wishes may never be grasped. We 
may find that in practice it is not attainable, and is impos 
sible for us to realize in detail. I will not say this is not so. 
Nay, I will not deny that this ideal may itself be a thing 


beyond the compass of intellect, an attempt to think something 
to which thought is not equal, and which logic in part refuses 
to justify. I will not pass this sentence, nor will I gainsay it. 
But one thing I will say. The idea may be a dream, or even 
a mistake, but it is not a mere delusion. For it does not 
wholly deceive us. It does set before us that which, if it 
were actual, would satisfy us as thinking beings. It does 
represent that which, because it is absent, serves to show 
imperfection in all other achievements, takes away our rest 
in all lesser productions, and stirs our reason to a longing 
disquiet. There has come in to us here, shut up within these 
poor logical confines, and pondering on the union of two ab 
stract functions, a vision of absolute consummation. In 
this identity of analysis and synthesis we recognize an ap 
pearance of our soul s ideal, which in other shapes and in 
other spheres has perplexed and gladdened us; but which, 
however it appear, in Metaphysics or Ethics or Religion or 
Esthetic, is at bottom the notion of a perfected individuality. 

31. We may seem to have wandered away from our sub 
ject, but in reality, I think, we have come straight upon it. We 
desired to understand that remaining function, 37 which fell 
outside our analysis and synthesis, and we began by seeing 
how far these principles stopped short of and fell outside 
completion. Their defect was, in a word, the lack of self- 
development. Is it an idle fancy, if we see in the element 
which we desired to understand, and which passed without 
help from idea to fact, a trace of self-developing perfection? 
Or is it actually true that in our every-day arguments we 
must use an incomplete form of this principle? 

We must, I think, in the first place admit this, that the 
act of thought by which we assume that, given one possibility, 
that one is real, can not be reduced to analysis or synthesis. 
And this act exists as a normal function. It is a law that, 
when we have a subject A, and with this a possible predicate b, 
and when (either because other predicates are absent, or be 
cause they have been suggested and excluded) this predi 
cate b is left alone that then the subject appropriates this 
predicate, and openly attributes it to itself as a possession. We 
may not recognize this law, we might even like to repudiate 
its claim, but we can not help obeying it. Where a sug- 


gestion has been made,^ 8 if that suggestion is not rejected 
by the fact which we start with, or again by some other sug 
gested quality, if in short we are left, not with discrepant 
possibles, but with one uncombated may-be that suggestion 
must always be taken as fact. This is a process of thought, 
and it does not seem to fall under any previous process, but on 
the contrary to lie at the root of all our reasoning. On its 
negative side you may give it the form of " I must because I 
can not otherwise," and you may reduce every function of 
inference to this form. But on its positive side, and that 
is the truest, you may state it as " I must so because I will 
somehow." The striving for perfection, the desire of the 
mind for an infinite totality, is indeed the impulse which 
moves our intellect to appropriate everything from which it is 
not forced off. 

32. And, if I may guess, it was this principle which, 
falling from the sky, appeared disguised as Primitive Credu 
lity (Book II. II. Chap. I. 23). Among the many services 
which Professor Bain has done to our philosophy, we have to 
thank him for this, that he is incapable of suppressing what 
looks like a fact. 39 Here in the middle of the rest of his 
theory, without any reasoned connection with his principles, he 
points out this seeming irrational readiness to take ideas as 
facts, so long at least as this process is possible. And with 
this, if indeed it is not the same impulse, goes " the tendency of 
an idea to become the reality " (Senses, p. 341). These primi 
tive weaknesses, according to our author, should be counter 
acted by experience and reason, and are a thing which perhaps 
we may say should not be, and ought not to exist. From this 
conclusion I dissent,* but I gratefully acknowledge the frank 
acceptance of the mental tendency. For I seem to find in 
these early superstitions a normal activity of the developed 
soul, the increase of which does but add to its progress. This 
double effort of the mind to enlarge by all means its domain, 

* I must dissent again from the formula of Credulity, as given by 
Professor Bain, and which I have italicized. " We begin by believing 
everything ; -whatever is, is tru-e." This at all events we can not be 
lieve, unless we are idealists of an extreme type. I must suppose that 
Professor Bain means " Whatever appears, is r-eal," or " Whatever 
seems, is true." 


to widen in every way both the world of knowledge and the 
realm of practice, 40 shows us merely two sides of that single 
impulse to self-realization, which most of us are agreed to 
find so mystical. But, mystical or intelligible, we must bow to 
its sway, for escape is impossible. 

33- We shall hereafter discuss the validity of this with 
other forms of reasoning, and we may here recapitulate our 
present results. 41 Inference is an experiment, an ideal experi 
ment which gains fresh truth. It employs divers modes of 
synthesis and analysis; and, underlying all and in one case 
apparent, is that aim of the intellect after perfect fulness 
which leads it to appropriate all suggested ideas which are 
not torn away. And reasoning depends on the identity of 
indiscernibles ; for the middle operation must turn on a cen 
tral point of sameness, and again the datum, with which we 
begin, must survive through the process. It must go into the 
experiment, and must appropriate the result which that ex 
periment obtains. We have seen all this, and there is some 
thing else which now becomes visible. The identity, which 
we find in the middle operation, and the self-preservation of 
the basis we start with, have been set side by side. But in a 
sense they really are one and the same; and it will repay us 
to see this. It shows that at bottom, and in a struggling way, 
reasoning is really a self-development. Throughout the 
process one subject is developed, and again to some extent 
it developes itself. 

34. I will begin with the first of these assertions, but will 
not weary the reader with a repetition of detail. 42 For the 
presumption is now so strong in favour of its truth, that we 
may content ourselves with the removal of obstacles. All 
depends on our looking in a proper way at the premises we 
begin with. If for instance we have certain spaces and com 
bine them, or two subjects and compare them, then in the 
middle operation, it may be said, the unity is imported from 
the outside. And so it is, if you take the spaces or the 
subjects as they wrongly appear in complete independence. 
But in that case you would never by any machinery force 
them together. The true starting-point is the total space 43 
as qualified by these points in relation, the common reality 


which appears in both subjects, the one ideal integer in which 
any given numbers exist as fractions, the underlying whole 
which presents itself as complex, and by abstraction is shown 
with a simpler predicate. This implicit subject is what sup 
ports the change brought in by our process. And it also 
serves as a centre of activity in the process itself. 

With spaces and numbers this second truth is clear. But 
in other cases, such as comparison, 44 we may still verify the 
same rule. We begin with A and B, and we compare them to 
find the relation between them. But the centre of this synthesis 
must be a felt basis of quality common to both, and this com 
mon basis was implicit in our starting-point. You may indeed 
determine to compare two terms before you know the special 
point in which they are comparable; but you can not perform 
the actual comparison, until the terms have been unconsciously 
apprehended under one aspect. Thus reality appears, not sim 
ply as two terms, but as possessing an attribute or group of 
attributes, which is given with two separate sets of qualities. 
And in the result this basis through its own activity becomes 
explicit. We may say here as everywhere, that the real sub 
ject, implicit at the start, and active in the middle, shows itself 
at the end by a development of some latent relation or quality 
which it claims as an attribute. 

35. And thus, in a certain sense, the movement of the 
subject has been self-development. We have seen by how 
much it falls short of true freedom. We have seen how 
the capricious changes which we effect, 45 and the external 
constructions which we introduce, stamp the character of our 
reasoning with an arbitrary print, and raise painful suspicions 
of its invalidity. But there yet remains something, which we 
must examine later. It is assumed that, whatever in our rea 
soning may be arbitrary, yet at least the conclusion follows 
from the premises naturally and necessarily, without altering 
or straining or even addition. If we can be shown of our own 
free choice to have forged one link in the chain of inference, 
then the connexion snaps and the ends fall apart. The as 
sumption will trouble us enough in the discussion which ends 
this work. But, if there is any truth in it, it points to our 
belief that the conclusion must naturally grow from the 
premises, and can not in any way be dragged or forced out of 


them. Our apparatus of proof has been compared to a scaf 
folding, which is removed when the edifice of reason has 
been built; yet, if we have but placed the parts in conjunction, 
there is nothing which will hold when the scaffolding is gone. 
If our process is not to end in a ruin, the apparatus we have 
used must be simply a prop, supported on which the argument 
has grown up, till strong enough at last to support its own 
fruit and to stand by itself. Or if this, as I fear, is too high 
a comparison, we may say that our constructions must be 
plasters or threads or splints or bandages, which hold together 
for a while our broken perceptions, till we see them unite and 
come together. Every inference we could make would prove 
unstable, unless, at least to this poor extent, it were self- 


1 " Axiom of Identity." See on Bk. III. I. III. 2. And, for " that 
other principle," see on Bk. III. I. II. 25. 

2 " Are they unconnected . . . inference." In this alternative 
"alien" is objectionable. It should perhaps be "disparate." And, 
after " beyond the," I should prefer to read " mere fact that each is 
an inference." 

3 " Within a whole." Before " whole " insert " visible " ; and 
(two lines below) for "as" read "as." 

4 "We do not go beyond" i.e. in our mere result. And (lower 
down), in "the whole is not . . . made," insert, after "given," the 
words "as a datum," and, for "is made," read "itself depends on the 
inference." The text, as it stands, is really erroneous. See the fore 
going Chapter, Note 15. 

6 " External relations." " External " means here " not falling 
within our datum" The relations can not of course be " external " 

6 " The final unity." Add " which from the first, was, in a sense, 

7 " We employ a function." The " function " everywhere rests on 
and implies an assumption. See T. E. I. 

8 For the formulas used in 7 see once more T. E. I. In the second 
of those given p-y-6 seems written by a mere mistake, for o-/3-y 

9 " The first confused whole, reconstructs that whole as ... con 
nections." After "confused whole" add "as such"; and, for "as," 
read " as and in." 

10 " The intellectual product . . . ideas." It may serve to make 


these words perhaps clearer and more correct, if, after " connection," 
we read them thus, " whose actual truth covers no more than a frac 
tion of what is contained in our datum. It is not till we have gained 
truths more special truths at the same time less sensuously par 
ticular and general that our intellectual results spread over the whole 
field, and can serve as principles to unite and comprehend the mass 
of detail. In becoming more analytical, and so more abstract, we 
gradually reach a wider realm of connected ideas." 
""Analytical Psychology." Cf. Bk. II. II. I. 6. 

12 " Let us imagine &c." On the priority of Redintegration to Judg 
ment (proper) cf. Mind, O. S., No. 47. 

13 " Apart from a native tendency." This is ambiguous. It should 
be something like " apart from the presence of instinctive reaction 
or apperceptive interest." 

14 On Judgment being always Selective, see the Index, s. v. Judg 

15 On Reality as the Subject being always qualified, and never 
anything like mere Being, see the Index, s. v. Subject. And, on the 
case where the whole Reality is the subject, see Essays, p. 41, note, and 

16 The point here is that, without some stability in the content of 
what comes in Feeling and Sensation, no orderly world would be 
possible. For order could not be simply super-induced by or from 
any mere abstract principle or function. 

17 "Assume, as we must &c." Cf. Bk. III. I. III. 17. And, in the 
next sentence, before " no intelligible ground," insert " for itself." 

18 " The sine qua non." After these words read " but we have 
got, so far, no more." 

19 " You can not cross &c." See, once more, Mind, O. S., No. 47. 
20 " Every relation . . . subsist." Cf. Bk. II. I. II. 10. This 

fundamental doctrine I have done my best to preach, but, I fear, still 
largely in vain. It does not surprise me, even now, to find it assumed, 
in criticism of myself, that relations are ultimately real, and that the 
only question, even with myself, is as to their character as so real. 
Cf. T. E. IX. 

21 Judgment and Inference. Cf. Bk. III. I. III. 12 foil., and 
T. E. I and II. The answer to the question, whether Judgment comes 
before Inference or Inference before Judgment, is that both emerge 
together. Each appears first not by itself but as one aspect of a single 
process. As, however, each may be taken at different stages, and so 
in various senses, either can thus be shown plausibly as prior in time 
to the other. 

But Judgment is mediated from the first and is mediated essen 
tially. Judgment issues from a felt whole, and this felt whole is 
never left behind in the sense of remaining outside. It still is there 
in one with that Reality of and within which the selected synthesis 
of the judgment is affirmed. Hence from the very beginning the 
form of Judgment is R (x) a, or S (x) P. And in this x is 


essentially implied that " R is such that S is P." But, where you 
have " such that," you have obviously a mediation and an inference. 

On the other hand this irremovable aspect is easily ignored. It 
is by a natural abstraction that judgment is taken often as simple or 
mere. And certainly to a greater or less extent we may lack not 
only the wish but the power, in the case of many judgments, to 
show the special inference which is implied. In judging we may 
ignore or may be unaware of the base of our judgment, and of 
that system and ground on which really it rests. But our judgment 
is, none the less, the expression of a system, however latent and 
however imperfect that system may be. 

" Your doctrine," it may, however, be replied, " takes no account 
of an objection, an objection noticed in this volume (Bk. III. I. III. 
17) and really fatal. "We admit," it may thus be urged, "that judg 
ment never is a mere accident which supervenes. It is in every case 
(we agree) a necessary result. It comes from a whole of conditions, 
which, if you please, you may even call a system ; and in this sense 
a judgment is always mediated. But, on the other hand, the necessity 
involved here, may be, in a word, psychological, as is evident when 
we consider a selection due to relative force (ibid.). And you 
can not pass direct from conditioned psychologically to logically 
conditioned. The necessity in the former case is external to the 
logical judgment, when once that judgment has been produced. But 
true logical necessity belongs to that, and solely to that, which is 
contained now within the judgment itself, no matter how the event 
of this judgment has happened. It is mediation in this latter sense 
which you have to show, and which you can not show, as present 
always where judgment exists." 

The above objection is serious, I agree; but, when considered 
more fully, it tends, I think, to confirm our conclusion. And I will 
first notice the error involved in any attempt to separate wholly and 
to divide the psychical from the logical process. For the psychical 
process (we have seen) is implied always and everywhere, though 
logic for its own purpose must abstract from this necessary side of 
things (T. E. I). And this same process (we have seen again), 
when controlled in a certain sense, itself becomes, so far, that which 
we mean by thought (see on Bk. III. I. Ill, 23). And further this 
very control is even itself an effective part of the psychical sequence, 
since it is something which happens and which makes other things 
happen in the mind. Hence an absolute division between what we 
rightly distinguish, as logical and as psychological, must clearly be 
set down as a dangerous error. 

But, so much being premised, the above distinction must be ad 
mitted and emphasized. It does not, however, consist in the separa 
tion of diverse matters. It is based on that difference of interest 
and of object with which the same matter is treated, on the one side 
by psychology and on the other side by logic. The psychologist asks 
how certain events, with such and such characters, occur in the mind. 


And for this purpose he ignores, and he must ignore, all that otherwise 
is implied in these characters. He has not to deal, for instance, 
with the question as to whether and how far judgment and infer 
ence are true. But the question of truth, the problem as to how, 
and how far, the ideas used in judgment and inference hold good 
of Reality, is essential to logic. And hence, aiming at its restricted 
end, logic, if it is to exist, must abstract. It must ignore, in general 
and in detail, that aspect of event which is really inseparable from 
all judgment and from every inference (see T. E. I. And cf. Mind, 
N. S., No. 33). 

Are we then to insist that psychological conditions are excluded 
from logic, and remain in every sense outside? To this enquiry 
our answer must, after all, be No. Or this exclusion, we may again 
reply, holds good rigidly, but only so far as the above conditions 
seek to enter as such. And I will now point out how within logic 
itself they still can appear, though never, whether generally or in 
detail, in their own special character. We may return here to the 
instance where the relative force, say of certain sensations, was the 
cause which brought into existence a certain judgment. 

This force, I repeat, remains, as force, external to the judgment. 
It can not in its own character pass into the content of that judgment 
and there claim recognition. But every judgment (we have con 
vinced ourselves) must, on the other hand, contain and depend 
on an internal x. It is never mere R, but always R (x), that in the 
end we qualify as S P. Within this x falls every aspect that 
belongs to our Reality, and thus, though not given in its special 
character, every aspect is itself included in our judgment. Hence 
every psychical condition, such as, for example, the force of a sensa 
tion, can, in a sense, appear within that judgment which also follows 
as its mere external result a result which claims for itself at the 
same time complete independence. 

This transformed appearance of the non-logical within logic shows 
itself (we may note further) in more than a mere general form. Not 
only does every judgment presuppose and contain an unspecified x, 
which, except for convenience, it has no right to ignore. We have 
also judgments where this x is specially recognized within that sub 
ject which we mean to affirm. In the " This," of what is called 
Designation, the judgment is qualified explicitly by what we take as 
an x which is special and particular. A prevailing force, say of 
sensations, can find here an admitted expression within the judgment, 
and can itself, so far, become logical. But on the other hand, in 
its own psychological character and taken as such, this force, whether 
in general or as particular, remains excluded from logic. (On Des 
ignation see further Essays, the Index.) 

We have now, I think, disposed of the objection which seemed 
to threaten our result. And our conclusion holds that, as there is 
no inference without judgment, so, on the other side, there is no 
possible judgment without inference. In principle the two are no 

2321.2 H 


more than inseparable aspects of one process. Apart from an ab 
straction, at times permissible but in the end illegitimate, there can 
be no mere inference or mere judgment. And the question of priority 
can be admitted only when we limit it to those various stages which 
appear as the development of one two-sided activity. 

22 " Our primitive judgment ... in two main points." But, as 
is pointed out in the following sections, the absence (i) of an ex 
plicit, or even a producible ground, and (ii) the absence of an object, 
in the strict sense, from which we start only show that inference, 
if and so far as taken at a certain stage of development, is not yet 

23 "A physiological sensation." Cf. Bk. III. I. VII. 4. Before 
these words insert " even." I do not know if the terms used here are 
accurate, but the meaning is that, if the "incoming shock" were a 
mere shock, it would not be in any sense a sensation, whatever else it 
might be. The " inherited superstitions," spoken of lower down, refer 
to what still flourished in England, more or less, even in 1883. And 
the opening words of 19 should certainly have been, " I am, I hope, 

It may perhaps assist the reader, if I, somewhat more briefly, 
repeat the foregoing. It is objected that, though there are in every 
judgment special psychological conditions, which do in fact mediate, 
and which so make every judgment to be in fact what it is yet 
these conditions do not appear, at least always, within the judgment 
itself. They therefore may, in whole or in part, remain external 
to the logical judgment. And hence it follows that not all judgments 
are mediated logically. 

In answer to this objection I admit the fact that, as above stated, 
these special conditions do not, in their detail, appear in the judg 
ment. And I agree that the judgment is so far defective. To make 
the judgment perfect logically and complete, all the conditions, in 
cluding those which are psychological, must appear in the judgment 
itself. And, failing this complete mediation, the judgment is not 
what it ought to be. It does not, that is, realize the character to 
which, as a logical judgment, it is bound to lay claim. 

On the other side logic itself marks this incompleteness and this 
defect by insisting, everywhere in judgment, on the necessary inser 
tion of an x. And, in the field of this internal x, it provides space 
for the inclusion of all and of every condition required by the judg 
ment. Hence the judgment contains within itself whatever comple 
ment is needed for its own perfect mediation. And, though actually 
this complement is included not in its particular but only in its 
general character, none the less its inclusion is there. Any objection 
which insists that the required mediation remains but external can 
not, therefore, stand. 

Further, wherever we fall back on Designation, we recognize, 
and set down as present, in the judgment itself, something which is 
there although it can not be specified in detail. 


The conclusion then holds that in principle all judgments are fully 
mediated. But, so far as the special mediation required is not made 
explicit, every judgment fails so far to be complete, and is imperfect 
logically. And it is in this sense only that a judgment can be char 
acterized by that which can also be termed " external." In every 
judgment all its logical conditions are included in principle, but there 
are, on the other hand, particulars, which, as particulars, remain 
outside of the actual judgment. 

24 " Comparison " should certainly have been omitted, and its men 
tion here amounts to a mistake. For Comparison see the Index. Cf. 
Bk. III. I. VII. 2. 

25 On the conclusion advocated in 20 cf. ibid., 3 and 4. 

26 On the question as to how far inference in general is arbitrary, 
see Bk. III. I. II, Note 7, and cf. the Index, s. v. Inference. 

27 " Combines in its result . . . both." If this meant that the 
effective detail of the " premisses " survives, as detail, in the logical 
result, it would be open to objection. But cf. 23, and see Note 
21. Not even in the result taken as psychological can the entire detail 
survive. See Index, s. v. Reproduction. 

28 " Interesting and important questions." Questions (I would 
add) as important now as ever, and needing perhaps still as much 
to be asked. The reader may observe, specially in this section, the influ 
ence of Hegel. 

29 " In what shape made use of." See Note 27. The reader may 
notice that the account of Reproduction given here omits to notice 
the formation of " Dispositions." This necessary feature of the 
process may, however, be taken, I think, as here irrelevant to the 
main argument. 

30 On the selective analysis, present in all judgment and inference, 
see the Index, s. v. Judgment. 

31 " That false relation of extension to intent." But see on Bk. 
I. VI. 6. 

32 " Our practical criterion." For " practical," as applied to theory, 
see Index, s. v. Practical. And for " criterion " see s. v. Criterion. 

33 " External relations," not of course merely external but external 
enough to vitiate the result. Cf. Notes 21 and 34. And see Index, 
s. v. Relation. 

34 Analysis. If the totality implied in the datum were included 
there at the beginning, and, if this totality could, in and by the 
analysis, itself develope itself independently and fully the result would 
be satisfactory. But, as this can not be the case wholly, the result 
is defective. See T. E. I and IX. And, for Data and Premises, see 
Index, s. v. Premise. 

35 Synthesis. Our datum, once more here, is not the entire whole 
which is implied in our process. And, in any case, that whole is not 
developed except in the imperfect form of an aggregate, where, 
though the ends of the bricks (so to speak) are united by identity, 
all the rest of them remains in principle external and but stuck on 


by a foreign x. Hence, inside the whole, there is no binding con 
nection throughout, nor again on the outside is there any real com 
pletion. For there is no one single thing which, of and by itself, has 
developed in the process its own proper self. See T. E. I. The mere 
conjunction (we should note) of identity and difference is not a 
solution of the problem as to how these diversities are able to be at 
one. See Essays, pp. 240, 264, note. 

38 On the Dialectical Method see the Index, and T. E. I. 
In the words " that perfected activity . . . absolute," the reader will 
note the difference between perfected and perfect. He may further 
observe that, even in 1883, I seem to have been clear that " activity " 
is not ultimate, and can not be taken to be real, as such, in the Ab 
solute. See Appearance, the Index. 

3T On the supposed " remaining function " and " law," see on Bk. 
III. I. II. 26, and IV. 6. We have here an error resting on the gen 
eral mistake made in this volume as to " mere " or " floating " ideas 
(see on Bk. I. I. 4 and 10. As to the inference discussed in 31, 
where there really is one, it consists in Elimination. And it will fall 
under the general head of Analysis and Synthesis, since it explicates 
both distinctions and connections in the subject. The statement "can 
not be reduced " is therefore, so far, wrong. It would become right 
only if we passed to the real from that which is sundered from it as 
merely possible. See again the Note on Bk. III. I. II. 26. 

On the other hand the general " impulse to self-realization " is 
really fundamental. And this " striving for perfection " shows itself 
everywhere in the aiming at " an infinite totality." And it appears 
here specially in the desire for and postulation of Reality as an ideal 
system, where all distinctions are related and connected at once posi 
tively and negatively. 

88 In " where a suggestion has been made " it would be better, 
perhaps, to say " has been accepted as possible," and to insert " special " 
before " fact." For " suggestion " see on Bk. III. I. III. 17, and 
V. 14. 

39 As my attitude towards the late Dr. Bain had so often to be 
that of criticism, I should like to add here that it is now only too 
easy to underrate or to ignore his merits and his work in psychology. 
He was a man, I think, who tried to see the actual facts for himself, 
and to recognize at any price anything that struck him as a fact. 
And, wherever we have found that, the reader may agree with me 
that our gratitude is due. 

40 A critic seems literally to have taken me to be recommending 
here a practical trial of every form of vice. I should have thought 
that the distinction between the " infinite totality " and the spurious 
infinite might have stood in the way of so gross a misunderstanding. 
See Ethical Studies (1876), pp. 68 foil. 

41 The importance of this " recapitulation " is such that clearly it 
should have come at the beginning, as the thesis to be developed in 


the account given of Inference. I would now refer the reader to a 
summary treatment given in T. E. I. And on " experiment," opera 
tion," " identity," and " self-development " see the Index, and cf . the 
Notes on Bk. III. I. Chap. III. 

42 On the detail of 34 see T. E., I, and cf. the preceding Notes 
on Book III, I. II. Further on data and premises, see the Index, 
s. v. Premise. And, for the apparent and implicit subject, see T. E. II, 
and the Index, s. v. Subject. 

43 " The total space," i.e. both as general and as in this case indi 

44 On Comparison see the Note on Bk. III. I. II. 16. Here for 
" special point " we might substitute " special or more special point." 
You can hardly compare (we might add) unless it is to compare 

45 On "arbitrariness" in Inference see Notes 7 and 10 on Bk. III. 
I. II. And before " we effect " and " we introduce " insert the words 
" seem to." For a construction, so far as really " external," could not 
even make part of a genuine inference. 



I. We have seen in what explicit 2 inference consists. It 
is a conscious operation, aware that the activity which it 
exerts is ideal, and ending in a judgment. This judgment 
again is accompanied by the reflection, that what went in at 
one end of the process, has come out at the other end. This is 
explicit inference, separated, we shall agree, by an enormous 
interval from the beginning of soul-life. 

It is not the purpose of our volume to trace the growth 
which in the end has bridged this gulf. But we can not fully 
understand the highest form, unless we have at least given a 
glance at the lowest. And we have been compelled already 
in our account of judgment, to say something on the nature of 
the primitive mind (Book I. Chap. I. 18), and to return to 
that theme, when we tried to correct the vagaries of those 
whom Association has victimized (Book II. II. Chap. I.). 
Once again, and in the present Book, the entanglement of in 
ference with judgment brought us face to face with the be 
ginnings of reason. And, as we are nearing the end of our 
labours, it may be well to sum up, and even to repeat, what we 
have to say on the earliest intelligence. 

2. That intelligence is scarcely to be recognized ; for it 
lacks, as we saw, the chief marks of intellect. It can not judge, 
for it has no ideas. 8 It can not distinguish its images from 
fact, and so can not unite them consciously to the world of 
reality. And thus it can not reason; for its inference, if it had 
one, would end in a fact, and not in a truth. It would not be 
aware of an ideal activity, but would blindly accept the trans 
formation of an object. And even to this point it has not 
progressed. As perceived by the dawning reason, the object 
itself is unable to change ; since if the change is to be known, 4 
the original must be retained, and its sameness held fast. 
But such a process is too hard for nascent intelligence. And 



so we must not say that it observes the fluctuation of the 
object, for it does not as yet possess any object. 

I do not mean that in this blurred and confused totality 
there exist no differences, and no dim feelings of self as 
against a not-self ; 5 for these characters, I believe, are there 
from the first and also are felt. And, if it were not so, I do 
not see how we could ever have advanced to the place where 
we stand. But these differences, though felt, are not for con 
sciousness. They are aspects of one feeling, they are not 
two feelings, in the sense of two elements which present them 
selves apart. They do not appear as two realities, for we 
are still a long way from perceiving realities. Hence there 
is change in feeling, not alteration in things. And, having no 
things, to repeat it once more, we have got no ideas. And so 
we have got no ideal processes. Comparison and distinction, 
that bring with them a consciousness of agreement and dif 
ference, are activities we have not yet learnt to recognize. 
We can not even say of two elements that they are like al 
though they still are two. There is no memory 6 or expecta 
tion, since the past and the future are nought but felt colour 
and quality of the present. And there is no world of imagi 
nation nor play of fancy, since these presuppose a knowledge 
that ideas can exist and be unreal ; while in the primitive 
mind no suggestion is retained which does not integrate itself 
with felt reality. Dream and waking again bring no known 
diversity; for dreams are not recalled, and at a ruder stage 
the very difference seems to be absent. We are ever awake, 
or live out our lives in a prenatal dream. 

We may say that at first the whole ideal side of our minds 
is hidden from consciousness. 7 So far as we know it, it is the 
mere dumb feeling of elation and collapse, which marks the 
continuous flow of sensation. 

3. So blind and unintelligent is the childhood of our 
intellect, and we might think that no germ of intellect was 
there. We might fancy that we saw the mere passive recipient 
of external impressions, the sport of sense and of mechanical 
suggestion. We might flatter ourselves that at last we were 
quit of activities and functions, and had bored too low for a 
fictitious reason any longer to trouble us. In this floating tide 
of presentation, 8 where nothing is false and nothing is true, 


and where self-consciousness seems only the felt practical 
relation with its manifestation of pleasure and pain we might 
think that at last we had come upon a soul, which was free 
from even the rudiment of those powers that have been 
ascribed to the developed intelligence. 

But, if we cherished this thought, we should fall into error. 
For in the very lowest stage of psychical existence we still can 
point to a central activity, and verify there a rudiment of 
inference. And a soul, so far as we are able to see, would 
be no soul at all if it had not this centre. It would be an 
abstraction which can flourish in the heads, and can take its 
rest on the shelves of theorists, but which never was actual 
and never could have been actual. 

4. Physiology gives no countenance to this false idea. 9 
It would be presumptuous for a layman to rush in, where 
special education gives the right to speak ; but I will confine 
myself to a guarded statement. Physiology does not reject 
the belief that the beginning of feeling implies the presence 
of two bodily factors, a stimulus coming inward from the 
periphery, and then a reaction on this from within.* But, 
if so, we may be right if we say that the very first glimpse of 
sensation is a result of two activities, is a conclusion, so to 
speak, from two material premises, of which the central re 
sponse makes one. And, if we considered the same question 
by the light of introspection, we might find reason to think that 
the lowest feeling, which we are able to observe, does exhibit 
two aspects, one of which may be conveniently called self- 
feeling. I will not venture to assert here what certainly de 
mands a lengthy discussion, and I admit that this double aspect 
in sensation is a very obscure and difficult point. But I 
thought that in passing I might call attention to the fact, that 
the mere passivity of our first sensations can be controverted 
alike from the ground of psychology and the ground of 

5. It is better to move towards plainer issues. Let us 
suppose, if you will, for the sake of argument, that the first 
sensation is a passive impression. But no sober writer will 

* I have purposely used the vaguest language, as I do not feel at 
liberty to assume that psychical life does not precede the development 
of nerves. 


contend that this by itself is experience. The origin of ex 
perience, we shall probably be agreed, is to be found in what 
is called reflex action. But unfortunately here we are still 
in the region of doubt and controversy. When we desire to 
know how the physical reflex gets a psychical expression, our 
progress is barred. It seems not known, for instance, if the 
efferent side of the circuit is ever represented in consciousness, 
or, if it is represented, how it comes to be so. The so-called 
" muscular sense " appears to be as doubtful an article in 
physiology as it is in psychology, and in these pages we are 
compelled to avoid it wholly. And our only course is, I 
think, to content ourselves with an unfavourable view. 10 Let 
us say that experience begins with a reflex which comes to 
consciousness, and that, on the psychical side, this reflective 
circle starts with a simple passive sensation. Then follows a 
discharge which moves our limbs, and brings forth a change 
in the immediate environment. This alteration is represented 
by another sensation (however produced), which for conscious 
ness simply ensues on the first. From this modest beginning 
we have to see how the activity of the centre begins to develope 
the rudiment of inference. 

6. Let a feeling A somehow cause a reflex action /?, with 
an altered feeling C. This feeling C comes indirectly from 
the reflex, since it arises from the change, in my body and in 
the object, which that reflex produces. Suppose now that a 
modified A recurs, then by mere reproduction it is followed 
again by the action /J; but let us suppose in addition that /? 
fails in its former relation to the environment. Then C will 
not ensue. The sensation from the object, and the enjoyment 
of possessing it, will in this case be absent. But something 
else will be present. For part of C consisted in certain feel 
ings, arising from changes in the muscles, the skin, and the 
organs of secretion. These changes are produced once more by 
the reflex; and therefore, although the object is not there, their 
feelings will come up. And this is important : for, part of C 
coming up, a redintegration will supply us with other parts. 
Hence, though the object is not present, though the full sensa 
tion and pleasure of possession remains untasted, we yet are 
visited by fainter suggestions out of harmony with presenta 
tion, and that do not satisfy. This gives us a collision, a 


contrast between the new presentation and the feelings excited 
by the inappropriate reflex action. And in this contrast there 
lies an undeveloped inference. 11 

We have not yet got anticipation baffled and disappointed 
hope; for the mind has not yet reached the stage of expecta 
tion. It does not know that its suggestions are mere ideas. 
But, for all that, we have already both sides of a process 
which must lead in the end to this great distinction. We have 
first a modification of sensation by ideal suggestion. We have 
next a failure in correspondence and a collision of these 
elements. And the pain of accident or unsatisfied desire will 
force the soul to consider this contrast, and to make explicit 
the difference which it must feel. Both in theory and in 
history, it is mishap and defect on the practical side which 
gives birth to speculation. 12 

7. For the early soul-life (it is a truth we can not repeat 
too often) is immersed in practice. 13 It is wholly directed to 
the satisfaction of its appetite, first for food and then for the 
continuance of its species. The selective attention, with which 
it meets the series of sensations, is guided by these heads, 
and is governed throughout by the dominant ideas of feasting, 
war, love, and social attachment. 14 For the sake of these ideas 
it neglects the main part of the offered suggestions. And the 
intellect is so unfree, that the very first start that is given to 
redintegration may consist, as we saw, in a reflex action which 
seems merely physiological. This rule of the " passions," 
and bondage of the " reason," comes down very late in the 
scale of evolution, and it is hard to say where intellectual free 
dom begins first to show itself. The curiosity shown by the 
lower animals, and their apparent love for beautiful objects, 
are phenomena which I could not venture to interpret. It 
seems probable that pure theoretical curiosity appeared before 
man had been developed ; 15 though it no doubt may be argued 
that the impulse still remained at bottom practical. But, what 
ever we may think on this interesting point, what is certain is 
this, that at the beginning of progress the intellect is sub 
ordinate, and that afterwards it becomes at least partially 
free. And the conclusion I would add is, that the intellect 
would never have appeared on the scene, if it had not been 
present and active from the first. We may start with a reflex 


that follows unfelt upon a sensation; and the feeling that 
ensues may so far be taken as a passive result. But, together 
with this feeling, are recalled by a synthesis other elements 
which co-existed with it. And this recall has no immediate 
practical link. 16 On its psychical side it is assuredly a rudi 
ment of intellect and reasoning. 

From the first it is a function of undeveloped inference 
which enlarges the given by ideal suggestions. The selection 
of these suggestions begins with being practical. There is, 
so to speak, no attention but appetite. But gradually the 
interest becomes more remote. It is held to appetite by a 
longer chain of links. And it possesses at last, not a mere 
activity, but an end of its own. When this is accomplished 
the reason is emancipated ; and the history of the intellect 
would recount the setting free of that ideal function which 
was present from the first. 

8. Such a history would be hindered by many difficulties, 17 
and obstacles would arise upon every side. It would find in 
secure metaphysics, one-sided psychology, a physiology in 
great part unsettled, and a study of the ruder forms of the 
soul not long attempted. It was not our object to trace even 
the barest outline of development, but to call attention to one 
cardinal point. The beginning of intellect, the first rudiment 
of reason, is present at the outset of psychical life. In what 
is called " association " is involved the vital principle of the 
highest logic. 18 For we must repeat once more what we have 
insisted on so often. Universals are what operate in the very 
lowest minds. We may say the line of least resistance is too 
narrow for facts, and that in passing they are stripped and 
thinned down to generals ; or that this line, like our fore 
fathers ghostly bridge, is no way for more than bodiless 
spirits. But, however we phrase it, the result remains that 
from the first what works is the universal. It is never the 
whole object, it is that in the object which corresponds to the 
inherited predisposition, 19 which excites the reflex. It is never 
the whole feeling, which by redintegration calls up those 
sensations which accompanied the past. It is always an ele 
ment particular to neither, but common to both and uncon 
sciously typical. The anticipated image is itself again an 
implicit universal ; for otherwise how could it ever be identi- 


fied with a reality not the same as itself? We need not here 
recall the detailed discussion which we entered on before. 
If there is any result we may be said to have established, it 
is this, that from the first similarity is not a principle which 
works. What operates is identity, and that identity is an 

9. In the view which we take of the primitive mind we 
have to battle with two counterpart mistakes. On the one 
hand we see in the lowest life functions higher than those 
which some assign to the highest. The degradation of the 
soul to an impossible pitch of decentralization is one of the 
prejudices against which we protest. But, on the other side, 
we must take our stand against the undue exaltation of early 
intellect. With the most debased theory of the beginnings of 
the soul go the wildest beliefs in the high capacities of the 
lower animals. Now I do not for one moment profess to be 
able to fix the limit reached by non-human intelligence ; 
but I think some views may safely be rejected. When 
animals, confessedly far inferior to man, are represented as 
inferring in a manner in which no man does reason, save 
when working at his most self-conscious level then, I think, 
we may be sure that this idea is erroneous, and that the fact 
must here have been wrongly interpreted. 20 We may perhaps 
have no real knowledge, but still we have probability. 

10. We may illustrate this tendency to an overhigh 
estimate by the classical instance of disjunctive reasoning. 
The dog, who follows his master s traces, comes to a spot 
where the road divides. He approaches the first of his possi 
bilities in a spirit of doubt; but, when that doubt is ejected 
by disbelief, his mind is made up. He runs confidently down 
the remaining alternative ; for he has reasoned reflectively. 
He is certain of this that, if one has proved false, the other 
must be true. But the instance, I think, is largely fictitious. 
The facts are uncertain and the interpretation vicious. 

With respect to the facts, I venture to assert that the 
ordinary dog does not first examine tentatively one road, and 
then confidently and undoubtingly go down the other. What 
he visibly does (in a case of ignorance) is to approach both 
outlets in much the same way ; or if he hurries to the second, 
he does not, with that hurry, show any sign of confidence or 


elation. And the true interpretation is, I think, very simple. 
When he comes to the division he does not say, " See here 
are two ways and I know one must be wrong, I have therefore 
two exclusive alternatives." He does not, I think, enter on 
these introductory reflections, but the road which is nearest 
suggests the idea of his absent master, and he acts on this 
suggestion. Then he fails, and, seeing the other road, repeats 
the same process, except so far as delay has increased his 
eagerness and hurry. There is nothing to show that he ever 
has before him more than one idea at a single time. One 
suggestion follows and drives out another, but different sug 
gestions are not held together. And we should remember that 
the retention of an idea, which, by being denied, forms the 
basis for a further positive advance, is a very late acquisition 
of the mind. It is hard to believe that, where speech is 
undeveloped, this function can be present. 

And, if I am told that from examination of the first road 
there are dogs who will at once go down the other without 
any examination, and that therefore they must use explicit 
disjunctive reasoning I will not take back one word of the 
foregoing. Admitting the fact, I should consider the interpre 
tation absurd. The fact to be explained is the appearance of 
the last road as the path of the master, and it is gratuitous to 
explain this by the retention of and reflection from the negation 
of the residue. It is, I presume, agreed that each road tends 
to suggest the master; but, if so, provided only that the 
failure of the other roads prevents them from coming before 
the attention, the whole fact is explained. They cease to be 
suggestions, because they are now made one with the feeling 
of failure. They are hence excluded as soon as they are called 
up, and the remaining suggestion must therefore seem fact 
immediate and simple. I have presumed that, in explaining 
the acts of the lower animals, we should not postulate more 
intelligence than is wanted in order to account for the 

ii. It would be interesting, if it were possible, to dis 
cuss in greater detail the intellectual phenomena of the 
primitive soul. But, apart from other reasons, we are forced 
to confine ourselves here to the general, and may sum up 
what we have to say in these words : in the infancy of reason 


there is no necessity. 21 The nascent intelligence goes to its 
result, not because of the premises A and B, but because it 
can go forward in no other direction. And even that is 
incorrect. It advances, not because it can not do otherwise, 
but because it advances. The ideal change takes place be 
fore it and is effected by its act; but it has not reflected on 
the existence of that change, and still less on its ground. 
Thus it sees, not at all because it must see, but simply because 
it happens to see. And for this reason disjunctive inference 
is impossible. 22 There are no possibilities between which to 
choose, since every suggestion is taken as fact or is straight 
way excluded. There can properly be no choice where the 
mind is not conscious of any ideas. Thought follows the 
line of the least resistance ; but it knows nothing of resistance 
and nothing of other lines, and it does not know that it is 
even thinking. The primitive mind has troubles of its own, 
but as yet it has learnt neither its strength nor its weakness. 
And there remains an observation I may be allowed to 
make. It is possible that the upward growth of the mind may 
so have changed or coloured its simplest functions, that we 
can not any longer find in ourselves the psychical phenomena 
of the lower animals. This is possible, and with respect to 
certain special functions it is much more than possible. But, 
if we take it broadly, 23 I confess that I see no ground to 
accept it as probably true. In the disparaging estimate, if it is 
disparaging, I may seem to have formed of animal intelli 
gence, I may say that I have done nothing but estimate my 
self. Without doubting my own title to rationality, I observe 
in myself at my less conscious moments those processes and 
those feelings which, with certain exceptions, seem to explain 
the acts of the lowest creatures. And these processes are 
united to my highest functions by one steady advance of one 
single principle, first unconscious, then reflective, but always 

12. My excuse for these poor yet repeated remarks is 
on one side the great importance of the subject, and on the 
other side the cloud of prejudice which darkens it. It must be 
difficult in any case to study the minds of the lower animals ; 
and it is more than difficult when we come to the task with 
false preconceptions. It will perhaps be no unfitting end to 


this chapter, if we try to signalize the most mischievous of 

I may mention, as a leading cause of error, confusion of 
ideas as to general psychology. An investigator will discuss 
such questions as. Have dogs got " self-consciousness," or 
Have they " the power of abstract reasoning," when the ap 
proximate meaning of these terms is not fixed. Now in our 
selves we can observe a number of stages, beginning with 
the dimmest feeling of self, and ending with reflective intro 
spection. It is idle then to argue about the dog s " self- 
consciousness," when we have not tried to settle, even within 
limits, what the word is to stand for. So again with the 
power of " abstract reasoning." If we begin our enquiry 
without asking in what way, and by what steps of develop 
ment, such reasoning is divided from the inference which 
simply serves to qualify further a present perception how 
can we expect to go right in the end ? One very great obstacle 
to the study of animals is defective psychology propped by 
bad metaphysics. 

This vitiates interpretation, but observation itself is largely 
vitiated. There is a tendency in the lovers of domestic animals 
towards credulity and exaggeration. As we approach the 
facts, we too often find that their stories dwindle, like the 
tales of ghosts. And the tendency, I think, is not hard to 
account for. The mere unlikeness of the other animals to 
ourselves suggests something unknown, and the unknown is 
mysterious. And, besides, there are powers possessed by these 
animals, which we do not possess and find hard to explain. 
This suggests the possibility of marvels without end. And 
another common source of mistake co-operates. The observers 
of animals too often forget to note the occasions where 
stupidity is shown. These they pass without remark and as a 
matter of course ; and thus they escape the difficulty they would 
find in showing how such different grades of intelligence can 
exist in one being.* For, if you interpret the successes of a 

* For some years, while noticing the habits of my dogs, I observed 
the views taken by others of their conduct, and was impressed by the 
general readiness to accept any kind of explanation, provided only it 
supposed a high degree of intellect. In speaking above of powers that 
we do not possess, I mainly allude to what (perhaps not very happily) 


lower animal by direct analogy from the highest functions of 
the human intellect, you should apply the same principle to all 
his failures. The total consequence would be a strange com 

13. The two obstacles, which we have noted so far, are 
a crude basis of theory and then uncritical observation. We 
pass from these to the doctrinal prejudices which rise from 
the idea of evolution. These prejudices show themselves in 
the desire on one side to minimize the difference between man 
and beast, and on the other side in the wish to suppress their 
points of similarity. But, in each attempt, there surely is a 
want of understanding. If we believe that the highest has 
come from the lowest by the operation throughout of a single 
principle, it is surely a derogation from that principle, when 
we are fain to help it by shortening its course. If its triumph 
is to pass from one extreme to the other, then by moving the 
goal you must abridge the triumph. And again, since in any 
case the actual genealogy has not been recovered, I confess I 
do not see the object of hurrying the historical progress, and 
of straining oneself to reduce the chain by some links at one 
end or at the other. We must agree, I think, that in combating 
prejudice, the theory of descent has itself used prejudices. 

But, on the other side, what are we to say of our would-be 
conservators of human dignity? How can those, who are not 
slaves to a childish mythology, persuade themselves that any 
real interest of their souls can be jeopardized by an ape-like 
ancestor? For consider, although you deny this parentage, 
yet the basis of your being is too plainly animal. Though 
more than a beast, yet, however you have come here, you 
assuredly are still a beast among beasts. But you will say, 
" This more, that divides me from the rest, is lost if my first 
beginning is beast-like." Most foolish rejoinder, for what 
do you fancy is your own private history? If the coming 

has been called the " sense of direction." There seems no ground 2 * to 
doubt that some animals are aware of distant objects, in a manner not 
explicable by smell, vision, or hearing. There is obviously no great 
antecedent improbability in the idea that different animals may have 
diverse senses. And, at the cost of a digression, I should like to sug 
gest that this " sense of direction," if properly established, would be a 
ready explanation of most forms of second sight among human beings. 
These phenomena, if we suppose them real, would arise from the sur 
vival and abnormal reappearance of a sense in general aborted. 


together of two miserable microscopical pieces of matter was 
in any case your origin, what worse is left behind to destroy 
or threaten your immortal aspirations? If you do not blush 
to acknowledge the spermatozoon, why scruple to own the 
paternity of the ape? It is a sensitiveness which seems irra 
tional, and which history will mark as a ridiculous prejudice. 

And it is the more ridiculous, since the question of the 
temporal union of each soul with its proper body was a topic 
for dispute long before Mr. Darwin fluttered the Church. 
It is hence not obvious to the mere stander-by how this in 
teresting uncertainty about our ancestors can add much ma 
terial to the former dispute, or how it can have closed that 
pathway of salvation which, I presume, the Church must at 
some time have found. And, until we have some explanation 
on this head, I think we must conclude to one of two things : 
if the present outcry is not ridiculous, the former calm was 
not very creditable. 

But it is absurd, so long as in every man s history the 
transition has been made from the lowest to the highest, to 
think that by exaggerating the differences which exist between 
man and beast, you tend to disprove a transition of the 
race from one to the other. 

14. The prejudices, which up to this point we have re 
viewed, may fairly be classed as intellectual mistakes. But 
there remain at the bottom of the wish to disparage and be 
little our inferiors the threatened hopes of a privileged class. 
What seems threatened is man s heritage of a life after death. 
For, if the beasts are his kin, then, since the beasts perish, he 
may perish with the beasts, and his claim to that after-land of 
pure torture and delight seems greatly shaken. But, on this 
ground once more, I confess that I see no just cause for alarm. 
And I would first recall to the orthodox Christian champion 
of human nature something he may have forgotten. The new 
dispensation knows no natural claim on the part of man to 
anything but unpleasantness. And hence, if we can not hope 
in our own nature, we can certainly have no reason to dread 
that nature s abasement. 

And then from any point of view that is not quite ortho 
dox, and that attempts to be even a little rational, what loss 
is threatened in the other world, if we admit our kinship with 
the lower animals? There are difficulties in the way of their 



immortality. But are there none in our own case? Are 
there much more or less in one case than in the other? You 
will answer perhaps, " I can not draw any line within the 
animal kingdom." Will you draw me then a line in the life 
of a man, and mark one period in his strange development as 
the birthday on which he is given his immortality? When 
such questions as these are once discussed by daylight, the 
answer is certain. Our relationship to the beasts would not 
lessen any hope, save that which comes from superstition or 

15. But, as we set ourselves free from our selfish hopes 
and brutalizing fears, we free ourselves too from the belief in 
our isolated origin and destiny. The same joy in life, the 
same helpless mortality, one common uncertainty as to some 
thing beyond draws us nearer to all the children of earth. 
The frank recognition of a common parentage leaves us still 
the rulers of our poor relations, but breaks down the barrier 
which encourages our cruelty, our disregard for their miseries, 
and contempt for their love. And, when this moral prejudice 
is gone, our intellectual prejudices will not long survive. We 
shall not study the lower animals with the view to make out a 
case or a claim, but for the pleasure of finding our own souls 
again in a different form; and for the sake, I may add, of 
understanding better our own development. If such a study 
would tend on the whole to inspire us with a warranted self- 
confidence, it would call up some feelings of self-reproach and 
pity and shame. 

We must return from this digression. We have described 
the general nature of inference, as it appears in the special 
kinds of reasoning. We have shown how the principle remains 
the same throughout all stages of psychical evolution. And, 
while protesting against the confusion of these stages, we 
have used the occasion to point out some prejudices. I would 
end with the remark that, if we will but keep hold of and 
be in earnest with the idea of development, we shall lose 
all wish to pull down the higher or to exalt the lower. We 
shall ask throughout for identity of principle; and, above all 
things, we shall not try to get that by diminishing the wealth 
of varieties and stages of progress in which the single prin 
ciple has found realization. 



1 1 may perhaps be permitted to call attention to the real importance 
of this Chapter. The reader will not, I trust, regard it, together with 
the criticism of Association (Bk. II. II. I.) as a mere deviation into 
psychology. Certainly psychology for its own sake has always at 
tracted me. And, merely from this side, I should have been forced 
to reject the doctrines which I found most current in my youth. And 
I judged, further, that a philosophy, if wrong fundamentally, must 
also be unsound at its psychological basis. I could not, from the 
other side, accept the idea that a psychology could hold good up to 
a certain point and hold good no higher. And one aim of this book 
was hence to show that a truer logic must imply a diverse view of 
psychical fact. Judgment and Inference in other words, when in 
terpreted rightly by logic, must show their essential nature even at their 
psychical beginning. They must in an undeveloped form be actually 
there, and must be really effective at the earliest stage of mental life. 
This is the conclusion at which the psychological enquiries of this 
volume are aimed and which they endeavour throughout to enforce. 

My interest in psychology led me early to consider Hegel s views 
on this subject. But I have never pretended to be, either here or 
anywhere else, a Hegelian. There is much in Hegel s psychology 
which I do not understand, and there are things in it from which, 
as I understand them, I am forced to dissent. Still it was here that 
I found that help which I needed the most. To learn that Association 
holds only between universals was to pass from darkness into light 
(see Bk. II. II. I, Note i). And Hegel s doctrine of Feeling, as a 
vague continuum below relations, seemed and seems to me to have 
an importance which really is vital. Against an exaggeration of this 
importance Hegel often, and perhaps too sweepingly, protests. But 
his main doctrine here was to myself the formulation of that which 
I had felt to be the fact. The reader must be referred here mainly 
to Hegel s Encyk., 399 foil. And the information in Volkmann s 
Psychologic (Ed. II or III, 127) may perhaps prove useful. My 
knowledge of the history of modern psychology does not, I regret, 
enable me to say how far here Hegel has followed others, as, I pre 
sume, he has followed Aristotle. 

If I am asked why I then did not in this work refer to Hegel s 
psychology, I would refer the reader in general to what he will find 
in the Preface. I did not, and do not, know the limits of my indebted 
ness to Hegel; and, if once I began to acknowledge what I owed, I 
felt that I might be taken to deny or to ignore, wherever such an 
acknowledgment was omitted. I feared to fall into at least a tacit 
claim to originality, a claim which through my whole career I have, 
I hope, everywhere avoided, and with regard to which I entertain a 
feeling of something like contempt. Still I admit that, in the present 
case, another course might perhaps on the whole have been better. 


1 will not try to recall other writers on psychology from whom 
also I got help, but I am now forced to add that Prof. James (much 
as I value his work) was not among them. He himself even credited 
me here with an originality which I had to disclaim (Essays, pp. 152-3). 
Since his death, however, Dr. Schiller has (as I understand him) 
suggested, in Mind, No. 95, pp. 348-9, that the unacknowledged source 
of the following Chapter is to be found in two articles published by 
Prof. James in Mind in the year 1879. He seems to intimate that 
I, as being (according to him) a faithful reader of Mind, must have 
read and used these articles. Now not only would anything at that 
date have found the doctrines of my Chapter already familiar and 
established in my thought, but, in addition, I had never in 1883 so 
much as seen or heard of the articles in question. I did not, at the 
time when they were published, read or see Mind regularly and con 
stantly (as seems intimated), but, on the contrary, seldom and ex 
ceptionally. And I can assure the reader that there is nothing in 
the whole volume of Mind for 1879 with which in 1883 I had any 
acquaintance. As to Dr. Schiller s further assertion or sugges 
tion (ibid., p. 347) that what I say I derived here from Hegel is not 
to be found in his writings, the reader will perhaps permit me to 
take this as at once characteristic and negligible. 

Passing from this point, and in view of the defects of the follow 
ing Chapter, I must ask the reader not to forget the date at which 
it was published. I have left it with almost no attempt in these 
Notes to mention, much less to remedy, its shortcomings. And I 
wish that I could add that, even if space permitted, such a perform 
ance would be within my power. 

2 " Explicit inference." The word " explicit " appears to be used 
here so as to imply not only " consciousness " but even " reflection." 
But to include the latter aspect seems certainly indefensible. 

3 " It has no ideas." Add (here and again lower down) "known 
to be such"; and after "it can not reason" add "consciously." Cf. 
11. Further, after "an ideal activity," add "though that certainly 
is there." For what is called " ideality " see Appearance, the Index. 

4 "If the change is to be known," i.e. in its proper character as 
change, and is to be more than merely felt. See, once more, Appear 
ance, the Index, s. v. Change. 

5 " No differences . . . not-self." Felt differences might of course 
be there at first without the above specific " dim feelings," and this 
is the view which I took later in Mind, O. S., No. 47, and to which 
I still incline. This very difficult question is fortunately for the 
present purpose irrelevant, and may here be ignored. It has, however, 
great importance in its bearing on the nature of our experience of 
Activity. For this see Appearance, Index, and, specially, the references 
to Mind given on p. 607. 

The view which was taken by me in this Chapter may be stated 
as follows. Every change in feeling is an incoming disturbance which 
involves a reaction on the side of that which is changed. This re 
action shows itself within every feeling as an integral and also dis- 


tinguishable aspect. And the felt group which habitually reacts is 
a central core which is later the basis of what we call self. I can not 
now be sure whether, and, if so, how far, the " feeling of elation 
and collapse" (2) and "the felt practical relation" (3) are in these 
pages taken as precisely identical. But see Note 13. 

6 " Memory." See Appearance and Essays, the Indexes. 

7 "The ideal side," which, however, is there and is felt (cf. Note 3), 
though not recognized as such (cf. 7 and n). 

8 " Presentation." By this I meant simply " what presents itself " 
in the sense of " what comes." But this use, I found later, caused 
difficulty, and it would have been better avoided. In the same way 
" Sensation," in 2 and 4, was not used as distinct from " feeling," 
but as one aspect of the felt. For the " felt practical relation " see 
Notes 5 and 13. 

9 Physiology. The reader will content himself, I hope, with taking 
what follows here for anything that he may find it is worth. Cf. 
Bk. III. I. VI. 20 foil, for the above, and for the " two material 

10 " An unfavourable view." What, for the sake of convenience, 
is supposed here is that, in reflex action, a passive sensation comes 
first, and that the final result of the reflex is to show this sensation 
altered. But the reader will note how much in this (I need not point 
out how much) is mere imaginary hypothesis, offered simply to make 
the main argument more plain. 

11 " An undeveloped inference " which in itself is not practical. 
Cf. Notes 13 and 16. 

12 " Mishap and defect." Cf. Bk. I. I. 20, and I. II. 73. 

13 " Immersed in practice" (cf. Bk. I. I. 20). "Practice" and 
"practical" (the reader should know) are terms used too often am 
biguously and blindly (see Essays, Index). The differentia of 
"practice" is alteration of existence (Bk. I. I. 15), and "mainte 
nance " should fall here under the head of " alteration " (Essays, p. 83, 
note). Hence whatever I do is practical, so far as I do it; for so far 
it obviously alters existence. To lose sight of this aspect, and to treat 
ideal activities as lacking a practical side, is a serious error. And it 
may lead to that counter-error, no less serious, for which whatever I 
do is practical mainly or solely. But the question, in every case to be 
asked, is What is here my special aim, and how far does the product, 
when the end is gained, qualify the resulting existence as its adjective? 
Now clearly an affirmed truth is, in its essence, not the adjective 
of its affirmation. As truth, it is true obviously of something else, 
and so far (like beauty) it is ideal and transcendent, and is, so far, 
not practical. And, from the other side, in " practice " everywhere 
is involved mental activity which itself is not practical, except in the 
sense that here it subserves practice. " Practical " and " ideal " activity 
are in short not two things that you can view as existing separate, 
each apart and by itself. An activity is practical or not practical 
according to that aspect of itself which predominates, and which you 
take as here the end and the essence of the matter. And, without 


denying that " practice " offers a difficult problem, I am convinced 
that in the above lies its one possible solution, and that this is the 
only way of escape from one-sidedness and from dangerous error. 

On " practical," as used for the " working " aspect and detail of 
what is theoretical, see the Index, s. v. Practical. And on the whole 
of the foregoing see T. E., No. XII. 

Passing now to " early soul-life," I think that it was right to call 
this practical, as aiming mainly at the conservation and alteration of 
existence, though the existence may, as in sexual activity, be that 
only of the species. On the other hand, even in the earliest psychical 
activity, we find a side which is not itself practical (cf. Note 16). 
And again at what point, in animal life, ends other than practical first 
appear, is a question not to be ignored. 

If we turn now to the doubt, raised above (Note 5), with regard 
to the " feeling of elation and collapse " this feeling will always be 
practical in one aspect; but still that aspect may, in a given case, 
be merely subordinate, while the main essence is ideal. And the same 
thing holds again ( 3) with regard to pleasure and pain and what is 
called " self-feeling." It would be a ruinous mistake to regard these 
as being practical solely, or even, in their main essence, as practical 
always. And I do not think that anywhere in the present work that 
error was made. 

14 The reader will note that I am speaking here of life in general, 
and not merely of human life. Hence such terms as "feasting" and 
" war," &c., used below are in part metaphorical only. 

15 " It seems probable." I should now think it safer to qualify 
this statement by " perhaps." 

16 " Has no immediate practical link." See Note 13. 

17 " Many difficulties." The reader will remember that this refers 
to the year 1883. 

18 For Association and Universals, see Index, s. v. Association. 

19 " The inherited predisposition." This is a point which is not 
essential here, but to which psychology would of course attach a very 
serious importance. 

20 I was thinking, here and lower down, of the vertebrate world. 
To deal with the problem of insect-intelligence was and is beyond me. 

21 " There is no necessity," i.e. conscious necessity. Cf. Note 3. 

22 On Disjunctive inference see on Bk. III. I. II. 25, and on Choice 
see on Bk. I. IV. i. 

23 To insert " enough " after " broadly " would be safer. See 
Note 20. In the " special functions," mentioned above, as in the 
" powers " spoken of in 12, I, no doubt, had in view what is referred 
to later in 12, footnote. 

24 " No ground " may, as to higher animals, be perhaps too strong, 
but the insertion of " great " before " antecedent improbability " was 
not called for. I can not now recall the actual origin of the following 
suggestion with regard to " second sight " ; but it may well have been 
borrowed from what I found in Hegel s psychology. 




i. The words matter and form have an ominous sound. 
They tend to waken echoes from unknown windings of for 
gotten controversy. But we mean to be deaf, and these mur 
murs must not stay us, now our logical voyage approaches 
its end. We must neglect the metaphysical questions in which 
these terms would entangle us, and even their logical bearing 
we shall not try to deal with exhaustively. Nor again do 
we purpose directly to discuss all the claims of the so-called 
Formal Logic. Our object in this chapter is to make such 
remarks, as may tend to clear up what has gone before. 
And we hope in the process to dispose of some prejudices, and 
finally to get rid of some clinging illusions. 

2. If " formal reasoning " meant that we use a bare form, 
and that we work with this, as it were with a tool, on the 
matter of our premises, this assertion might very soon be dis 
missed. For we have no bare forms we can so take in hand. 
The principles of Identity, of Contradiction, and of Excluded 
Middle, are every one material. Matter is implied in their 
very essence. For without a difference, such as that between 
the letters A and B, or again between the A in two several 
positions, you can not state or think of these principles (Book 
I. Chap. V.). And the nature of these differences is clearly 

It is no answer to object that the matter here is not 
special, that the form will work with any material, and that 
the given material in each case does not formally affect the 
result obtained. It will not do to argue that, since with all 
matter the identical form reappears in the end, and in every 


case its action is the same hence the matter is passive. That 
would repeat a fallacy which has wrought havoc in meta 
physics, and which in particular is one main support of 
Materialism. You can not conclude, because a male proves 
fertile with every known female, that he therefore supplies the 
principle of fertility. That would be quite absurd; and it is 
always absurd, when a result appears from a pair of elements, 
to argue, Because the specialty of the element on one side does 
not affect the general type of the result, the other element is the 
sole cause of this type. For something common to all the 
different cases may exist and may work from its material side, 
and hence some matter after all may belong to the essence of 
the formal activity. The " bare " form may be nothing with 
out " bare " matter, though indifferent to the varieties of cloth 
ing and colour. 

3. If formal reasoning means reasoning with a naked 
form, then it has no existence. It is a sheer illusion and 
impossibility. The form, that we use as a principle of ar 
rangement, is not form that can dispense with every matter, 
but that is independent of this or that special matter. 1 The 
material element, which remains indispensable, is a general 
quality which can exist in any number of instances. Thus 
the form is no longer form absolute but relative. 

Now, if we understand form in this relative sense, can 
we say that reasoning has a formal character? Or rather 
let us ask what we should mean by such a statement. We 
might mean, that an inference, if it is to be valid, can be 
shown as an instance of a certain type. We might mean, 
that is, that the relation, which is brought out in the con 
clusion, results from the relations given in the premises, and 
that all these relations in their proper connection can be antici 
pated in theory and reduced to formulas. And we might add 
that, although for actual reasoning you must possess special 
matter, with which to fill up the blank type of these formulas, 
yet this matter which falls outside the blanks is wholly inactive. 
The relation, which unites the terms in the end, is hence not 
specialized by the particular premises. It is simply the old 
relation of the formula which, supporting a load of extraneous 
content, has come out unaltered. Upon this view we may 
say that the type is a vehicle. 


If this is what we mean by reasoning being formal, then I 
will not say outright that we speak of the impossible. 2 For 
by a stretch of fancy we perhaps might conceive a realm in 
which this logic would be adequate. But it does not corre 
spond to real experience. It is not merely that the syllogism 
has broken down, and that it covers at its best but a portion 
of the subject. It is that no possible logic can supply us with 
schemes of inference. You may have classes and kinds and 
examples of reasoning, but you can not have a set of ex 
haustive types. The conclusion refuses simply to fill up the 
blanks you have supplied. It may show a term not given 
in the premises. It may produce a relation not anticipated in 
the scheme, a special connection that arises from the indi 
vidual synthesis of the elements. And the attempt to pro 
vide for these endless varieties is, as we have seen (Book II. 
Chap. IV.), irrational and hopeless. In this other sense of 
formal reasoning we can see no more than another illusion, a 
mistake which is increased if we confine ourselves to the 
figures of the syllogism, and aggravated if we read those 
figures in extension. 

4. Formal reasoning so far has turned out a mere blunder. 
Let us look at its opposite, and see what we can make of 
material inference. If this meant that the conclusion was 
really not got by work on the premises, 3 but required the 
addition of some other matter, then of course it would not be 
reasoning at all. But if material reasoning merely means such 
reasoning as is related to fact and refers to reality, then this 
is an essential quality and mark of every kind of inference. 
That judgment and reasoning could be confined to ideas was 
an error which long ago we got rid of. So that if " material " 
is a name for what transcends mere " concepts " and commits 
itself to truth, then of course all logic must be material. 

But if, leaving such clear truths and such plain mistakes, 
we understand our term in a different sense, we may get 
some fresh light thrown upon the subject. Material reasoning 
might mean such an inference as neglected wholly the form of 
the premises. It might be taken in the sense of a conclusion 
which comes from the data when used in their full particu 
larity. Given certain elements in a particular arrangement, it 
might be urged that we get to a fresh result, though we have 


used our starting-point as this arrangement. The conclusion 
has come from the whole special case, and not by virtue of 
anything it could have in common with another arrangement. 

5. But, if we made this attempt to rehabilitate reasoning 
direct from the particular, we should once more end in failure. 
All arguments, as we saw, fall under certain heads, and to 
this extent must forgo singularity. But this is not all. In 
every inference there must be in the premises something which 
does not co-operate in the work, 4 something which is carried 
by the process into the conclusion, but which itself is not 
active in carrying that conclusion. There must after all be in 
every argument a matter w r hich is not relevant to its form. 

I do not mean to repeat the most evident truth, that to 
reason from mere particulars is impossible. 5 That delusion, if 
not dead, for us is done with. It is palpable that, starting 
from sensuous images, you denude them by an unconscious 
selection and use them as types. It was not this I meant; 
but I wished to assert that, taking your premises in their proper 
character, and reducing them to that logical content which you 
really use, you still everywhere have something which stands 
to the form of the argument as its matter. You have on the 
one side a process which is able to exist with another different 
context. On the other side again you have a concrete detail, 
which appears in the basis and the result, but which does not 
seem to contribute a special character to the process. In this 
sense all reasoning is both material and formal, and in each 
case we can separate the matter from the form. We can find 
in each peculiar arrangement an arranging principle which is 
not peculiar. 

6. We should all admit that an inference which did not 
hold in another example, was not a good inference. We 
should agree that with every argument there must always 
be some imaginable case beyond the present, 8 in which the 
principle of the argument would hold. And we use this as a 
test and trial of our reasonings. We do not merely apply the 
argument itself, as an abstract form, to more concrete in 
stances, with a view so to prove it by detailed results. We 
do more than this. We make variations within the content 
of our argument. Thus we clear the principle from the 
matter that accompanies it; and, by verifying this principle 


in a parallel instance, show that our conclusion was not got 
by making use of irrelevant matter. But this process implies 
a belief that all reasoning has a passive detail, which does not 
co-operate in producing the result. 7 

And the belief is well founded. In " A south of B, and C 
west of B, and therefore C north-west of A," the relation of A 
to C is not got by virtue of the A and the C. These are 
carried by the spatial interrelation, but they contribute noth 
ing special towards it. Their differences fall outside the 
form of the argument. Take another example, " D = E, and 
E = F, therefore F D." Once again the letters, which we 
use, make no difference to their own arrangement. You must 
indeed have some terms or you could have no relations, but 
the specialty of these terms is quite inactive. It is simple 
matter arranged without regard to its private claims and 
peculiar character. If we take even such an abstract instance 
as " one and one = two," still here we can verify the same 
distinction. It may be said rightly that the units are com 
bined to make the integer, that the integer is perceived to have 
a new quality, and that finally the identity of the units 
on both sides is affirmed in an equation. And it may be fur 
ther asked, Is there anything irrelevant in the whole of this 
process? Beside the general principle of addition have we 
not the activity of a special experiment, to which the whole of 
our datum contributes? But, I answer, two units can hardly 
be conceived quite naked and pure. Some shade of quality, 
some lingering touch of exclusive relation in time or space is 
obscurely present, and it makes a difference between these 
units and other possible units. But, if so, such differences 
will be immaterial to the argument, and they will stand out 
side what may be called the form. And in Dialectic reasoning 
(if we do not pass this by) we shall find the same feature. 
I can not believe that the ideas, which we employ, are ever 
quite pure. We may indeed use that element in each which 
is strictly relevant, but I think we shall find that other elements 
are there. And these passive diversities, which vary or might 
vary, can be called once more the matter of the argument. 

If we had an inference in which all the qualities of our 
content were active factors in producing the result, in that 
case the matter and the form would be inseparable, and we 


could no longer distinguish them. The argument would in 
deed belong to a class more general than itself, but its work 
ing principle would be confined within itself. 8 There would 
be nothing that was passively carried into the conclusion ; and 
so, in this sense, there would be no matter. 

But if such reasoning is an ideal 9 which we can never 
realize, then everywhere we may speak of the form of an argu 
ment, as distinct from its matter. 

7. Let us sum up the result. There is no absolute 
divorce of matter from form, but there remains after all a 
relative distinction. All reasoning is formal, and is valid 
solely by virtue of its form. Every inference not merely 
belongs to a class, or a head of synthesis, but each has a 
principle which is, so to speak, its soul. In each we can 
distinguish 10 between passive and active, between the part that 
carries and the part that is carried. 

But, having gone so far, if we please we may go farther. 
Having distinguished we may separate. We may extract the 
active principle of the inference, and may stale it in the form 
of a general axiom, exemplified and instanced in the actual 
argument. We may write it at the top of this actual arrange 
ment, and call it, if we please, the major premise (cf. Book 
II. I. Chap. IV.). 

8. It is not a major premise; it is not any sort or kind of 
premise; for it never has appeared before the mind. It is a 
function, not a datum; nor will any way of treatment trans 
form its character. The major premise, we have seen, is an 
illusion (Book II. Part I.). We have already exposed it, 
and return to it here that we may finally show its root in 
the truth. It is worth while to repeat ourselves, if we only 
in the end can get entirely clear of this obstinate prejudice. 

The defender of the syllogism may wish to take advantage 
of our latest result. If every inference has a matter and form, 
then, by using this form as a major premise, we can show 
every inference in the shape of a syllogism. But this possi 
bility of reduction, he may urge, is a proof that the syllogism 
is the normal type. And I will add a few words on this 
exhausted theme. 

In the first place I may remark that all valid arguments 
may as well be reduced to the shape of equations. If success- 


ful torture is a source of evidence, then torture will disprove, 
as well as substantiate, the claims of the syllogism. 

But this is a mere argumentutn ad hominem; and it is better 
to expose the root of the mistake. 

9. We have proved that there are reasonings without 
any major premise. We have proved that to abstract all the 
principles of these reasonings, and to set up a complete and 
exhaustive collection is quite impossible. We have proved 
again that the principle of an inference, when procured and 
explicitly stated as a major, may be something quite strange 
to us, that we do not recognize, and that we never could have 
used as a premise in argument. I will not do more than allude 
to these points, which I think have been made evident, and I 
will go on to consider the last defence of the syllogism. It 
may be said that, if in the end all reasonings will take this 
form, it must be in some sense a general type. 

Let us consider this claim. It rests on the fact that, having 
used an inference and obtained a result, you can then abstract 
the form of that inference. You did not use this form as a 
premise, since it was not a datum. But you can use it, now 
that it has come into your hands. And, so restated, the 
inference after all will be a syllogism. This, I think, is the 
claim, and we now have to show its utter worthlessness. 

10. It is worthless for this reason, that your major, when 
you get it, may do no work. It may stand above the actual 
process, and contribute nothing to the production of the result. 
What will happen is this, that your minor will contain the 
real operation, and the major will be simply not used at all. 
Let us take the inference, " A precedes B, and B is con 
temporaneous with C, so that C must be later in time than A." 
We have to make this take the shape of a syllogism, and we 
do it by abstracting what we call the form. " What is prior to 
anything is prior to that which co-exists with the latter," or, 
" When two events co-exist, and a third precedes the first, it 
stands also in the same relation with the second ; " this be 
comes the major. In the minor, of course, we have to bring 
the instance under the principle ; and the minor therefore will 
be simply the whole of the former premises. Then what is 
the conclusion? That of course asserts of the instance in the 
minor the predicate given in the major premise. The predi- 


cate is a relation of antecedence and sequence, which, when 
transferred to the instance, is the relation which holds be 
tween A and C. And the result is undeniable; it is certainly 
correct; but then it does not result from the major. It is 
simply the old conclusion from the old premises, which are 
now restated in the minor. The minor unassisted did get out 
the result, and it is natural to suppose that the minor still con 
tinues to get it; while the major remains inactive and but 
idly presides. 

Let me further explain. We are offered something in the 
shape of a syllogism, and are supposed to use a function of 
subsumption. Do we use this function? Do we, holding the 
principle, then fill up the blanks with A, B, and C, and so get 
our conclusion? Or is it not rather true that we do precisely 
what we did before, that is make a construction of A, B, and 
C, and so get the relation? But, if so, the major will be 
simply otiose. I do not say that its presence makes no kind of 
difference. For at first our construction was not reflective; it 
was performed unconsciously. And now we, consciously and 
with some foreknowledge of the outcome, apply the same func 
tion. But still we apply it; we do not cease to arrange A, B, 
and C in our minds. We do not pass into the category of 
subject and attribute, 11 and so get a predicate A-C by a mere 

Take another example. We have two pairs of equals, AB 
and BC. By holding these together we perceive that their 
quantity is the same throughout. From this we go to the prin 
ciple, " When two terms are each of them equal to a third, all 
these terms are equal." We then construct a syllogism with 
this axiom as the major, and bring out the old conclusion, 
A = C. But, in getting this result, do we cease to obtain 
the relation of equality by holding A, B, and C together, and 
by perceiving their identity ? Do we say " A and C are equal 
to the same," and then, without any synthesis through B, go on 
to our conclusion by a mere subsumption? Is not the other 
course more natural, and is it not more rational? If we keep 
to those cases where the subsumption is possible, is it not some 
what frivolous? 

ii. It is in most cases possible. If you do not mind 
frivolity, you can torture most inferences into a syllogism of 


the kind which we have just described. Nay, there are some 
cases where no torture is required. For where an operation 
has been repeatedly performed, the connection between end 
and beginning grows familiar. We can dispense at last with 
a lengthy process, and, using the axiom, go at once to the result 
by a mere subsumption. And I will not deny that the axiom 
of equality may be so made use of. But the subsumption in 
these cases will be rarely explicit. Even here what we use will 
not be a syllogism. Still we do here use a function which, 
when stated explicitly, would be syllogistic. 

In these cases the major may be said to do work. The 
function which established the axiom does not operate; and 
the conclusion is reached by an act of recognition, which, 
when you make it explicit, and so gain another premise, will 
fairly take the shape of a syllogism. We admit that (in these 
cases, which still are not syllogisms) the reduction is rational; 
and we admit again that in most other cases the reduction is 
possible, though utterly frivolous. 

12. But for all that the claim of the syllogism is worth 
less, for the reduction is not always even possible. You must 
come to a point where the attempted subsumption proves 
wholly illusory. For consider a regular syllogism itself. This 
contains a function which is not a premise. If I argue, because 
any man is mortal and John is human, that John must die, 
the general form of the synthesis is not given. We must write 
the whole of the argument as minor and conclusion, and for 
major we must take such an axiom as " What falls under the 
condition of the rule falls under the rule." Under this major 
our former inference is subsumed as a special instance. But 
now mark the difficulty. This fresh subsumption is an active 
function, and hence its principle should find expression in a 
major. But what is this major? Suppose we agree that our 
last axiom was ultimate; then once more this same axiom 
must be written at the top, and it thus will figure as the 
principle of itself. 

What I mean is this. If you will reduce to subsumption, 
in the end you must come to something final, and your sub- 
sumption will consist in the use of a principle, in order to 
bring another use of this same principle under itself. You 
have first an argument based on a certain function of syn- 


thesis; you have then the connection of this argument with 
its function, based once more on a function of synthesis; 
and the first and the last of these functions are identical. 
They are absolutely the same. But, if so, I would ask, 
is your reduction not worthless? If you use in the end the 
precise form of synthesis, which you used at the beginning, 
why not be willing to stop at the beginning? Why not openly 
say, I used a function but did not subsume under it; and my 
further reduction has simply made me conscious of what I did 
do? It has not changed the function; it has but given it self- 

Reduction to the shape of a syllogism makes explicit the 
function of the inference, and it does not substitute another 
function. But from this we may proceed to a result unwel 
come to the friends of the syllogism. For if the function we 
begin with is not syllogistic, we deceive ourselves in thinking 
that, by going back far enough, we transmute its character. 
Suppose that A may be b and may be c, but nothing beyond; 
and then we argue from the absence of c to the presence of b. 
This clearly is not syllogism. But you say it is syllogism, 
when you write " Where I can not do otherwise I must," 12 and 
repeat the inference as a case of this major. Entire delusion; 
for how is it that you know that your minor comes under the 
condition of the major? By a function of subsumption. And 
the principle of this subsumption is whatever axiom you agree 
to take as the basis of syllogism. But then that principle itself 
is not so ultimate as the axiom that you must where you 
are unable to do otherwise ; and hence it must stand and be 
based upon this latter axiom. What is the consequence? 
The consequence is that in the syllogism, which you manu 
facture, you really do use the more ultimate principle which 
you used before. But, if your reasoning actually were syllo 
gistic, you would have to use the subordinate principle. This 
would mean that the use of a higher function is taken as the 
use of a lower function, and in the end, if you carry out 
your process, must appear as one case of a subordinate prin 

13. You can not transmute all inferences into syllogisms 
by extracting- their general function of synthesis. For that 
function, when exhibited in its abstract form, continues in 


most cases the very same work which it performed before; 
and in some cases it can not do else than continue. The 
difference, which we have made, has been therefore no differ 
ence to the action itself. It has been a difference to our 
knowledge of the action. We have not changed the nature of 
our function ; we have simply made a reflection on that nature. 
But, if so, we must say that the syllogism, which we have 
constructed, if taken as showing the actual process, is a blun 
der and mistake. It is instructive only if you take it as a 
mere mode of reflection, by which we explicitly state and lay 
down the function which we use apart from that reflection. 13 

This final exposure of an old superstition shows the root 
by which it keeps hold of our minds. There is in our argu 
ments a form more abstract than the arguments themselves. 
And it may be useful to separate this form from its matter, 
and so perform self-consciously the very same act which we 
accomplish unawares. And if this extracted major be under 
stood as the statement of a principle which operates in the 
minor, and if we remember that it is the minor, and the minor 
alone, which in these cases gets the conclusion, there is then no 
harm in our continuing to use a logical tradition. But, since 
we are certain not to remember, and since others (if we re 
member) will forget, my voice, if I have one, is for putting 
under ground this much decayed object of unpleasant war 
fare. 14 

14. Let us cease to pretend that the principle is a premise. 
Let us try to call things by their real names; and, instead of 
applying for the production of a major, simply ask for the 
form and principle of an argument. This is rational and 
useful ; it is good alike for theory and for practice. 15 By find 
ing the functions made use of in our proofs, we can classify 
them with a view to a further understanding. And we may 
thus avoid some mistakes in the actual work of reasoning. 
For by an exhibition of the abstract principle we can dis 
tinguish what is relevant from irrelevant detail. When doubt 
ful of an inference we may desire to know how the conclusion 
is got. We therefore ask for the active function, and we make 
this explicit, by direct abstraction from the inference in hand, 
or indirectly by a previous comparison with other instances. 
In this way we can test the form, either by a simple scrutiny 



of itself, or by seeing how it works in fresh applications 
and further deductions. And this process is useful as well as 

15. There are two parallel mistakes, which we must try 
to avoid. We must not fall into thinking that our actual 
inferences are proved by deduction from a general form. 
And we must shun the idea that this principle itself is proved 
by the collection of working examples. The universal neither 
demonstrates, nor is demonstrated by, its particular applica 

It does not demonstrate them for this reason. It is not 
a statement which is believed when received, but a function 
which must be worked in order to be seen. And it can not 
be worked quite pure in a vacuum. Some matter must be 
used. And hence, when we lay down the abstract principle 
we really are using a concrete instance, though we distinguish 
in that instance the matter from the form. But this shows 
that in the end our criterion must be an individual operation. 

Take for instance the axiom, that things equal to the same 
are equal to each other. The only method of perceiving this 
general truth is to make an experiment in which you distinguish 
the equality from the other attributes of the terms, and observe 
what each element contributes to the result. We must use in 
the end this individual test. 

" But," it will be said, " this criterion in its use is universal, 
and our particular reasonings are proved by subsumption under 
its conditions." This is the old mistake. Our fresh cases, 
as we saw, are themselves proved true by a renewed experi 
ment. Our criterion serves merely to show us the essence of 
the act which we perform, and to give us in the operation 
the distinction between its form and matter. But the con 
sciousness of this distinction, I must repeat, is not the proof 
of the actual conclusion. You might just as well say that the 
fresh use of the function was a proof of the axiom. 

1 6. And this last remark leads us to the parallel mistake. 
No amount of mere instances, where the function is used, 
would demonstrate its principle. Their number and their 
variety are precisely that part of them which is not relevant 
to the principle itself. When operations, that look like analo 
gous instances, all have consequences which square with the 


nature of things, this affords a presumption that some valid 
principle is present though unknown. But the proof of this 
principle comes solely from abstraction ; 10 and the number and 
the differences of our applications help us only so far as they 
help us to this goal. They work not by the support but by 
the destruction of each other. 17 They prove the axiom by dis 
carding themselves, and they all unite to demonstrate each by 
reciprocally discounting their private irrelevancies. 

We may so put the result. A principle will neither demon 
strate its applications nor can it be demonstrated by them. 
The principle is demonstrated when we see it in, and as the 
function of, an individual act. The instance is demonstrated, 
first by the concrete performance of the function ; and secondly 
it is shown to be an instance, when in that performance we 
distinguish the form from the passive matter. 

17. You can not reduce all reasoning to syllogism. Every 
inference is necessary, and the necessity of the process can 
be formulated as an universal truth. This principle is more 
abstract than the inference itself, and more abstract than the 
conclusion which the inference reaches. But then itself is not 
one of the premises. It is that which developes the conclusion 
from the given, but it is not given itself; and the attempt, 
as we saw, to get it into the given, conducts us to a process 
that is simply idle. It is this confusion between principle and 
premise which has served to protect the old age of the 

And on this basis we saw that we might effect an under 
standing. If it were admitted, on one side, that the syllogism 
supplies no general type of the reasoning act, it might be 
allowed, on the other side, that it is a mode of stating the 
principle which is used in that act. It is universal as a form 
for showing the explicit and conscious exercise of a function. 

But, for myself, I must repeat that, friendly as I am to 
the friends of the syllogism, I can not venture to support this 
compromise. When I think of the futile and fatuous per 
formances enjoined upon the student, when I think of the 
nature of too many of his instructors, I feel sure that the 
syllogism, if it continues to be taught, will be taught as a 
form to which we must reduce every valid argument. It would 
never be taught as a form in which we may state our know- 


ledge of an argument s principle. And, then, even if the ortho 
dox logic might be learnt in this heterodox spirit, we should 
cover in the end but a part of our subject. I can not speak 
from experience of the more active side in the educational 
suffering, but still I must venture to offer a suggestion. 18 Most 
humbly I would submit to all teachers who are resolved to 
stand by the syllogism, that they are teaching what is either 
incomplete or false. And if they care not for truth but for 
practical results, then I think for the sake of their much- 
enduring pupils they are bound to make at least some trial of 
the Equational Logic. There is reason to think that it might 
answer better, and I hardly see how it could turn out much 

18. We have now finished all that we desired to say on 
the relation of matter to form in logic. We have seen that 
no reasoning is absolutely formal, but that in logic, as in 
deed in all other sciences, there is a relative distinction of form 
and matter. We then entered a repeated and final protest 
against the idea that action was subsumption under a form of 
activity. And we expressed, not a hope, but a pious wish 
that together with this false notion the syllogism might be 

We may end these inadequate remarks by a warning, that 
both matter and form bear other senses, which we have not 
mentioned. An inference may be good in point of form, when, 
though the substance is incorrect, the conclusion follows from 
the premises given. An argument again is formal, when its 
steps are drawn out in regular detail ; or, possibly, when the 
principle is explicitly stated. Substantial again or material 
may mean much the same as implicit. A process once more 
is merely formal, when it effects an arrangement which is not 
material to the substance of the case. But, where the form is 
the essence, mere material alteration is likewise irrelevant. 
The further question how the form stands to the universal, 
turns upon the categories of relation and quality, and can 
hardly be discussed outside Metaphysic. And with these dis 
jointed statements we must pass to a theme which has long 
been awaiting us. 



1 " But that is independent." Here, and in " is wholly inactive " 
(in the next paragraph), we should substitute, for "is," "can be taken 
as." Cf. on 5 to 7. 

2 " The impossible." I should have said " what is, everywhere in 
Logic, impossible practically." For we have here, certainly, what in 
the end may be called impossible in principle. 

s " By work on the premises " taken, that is, in the very widest 
sense. See on Bk. III. I. III. 3, and the Index, s. v. Premises. 

4 " Something which does not co-operate " and " which itself is not 
active." The " does " and " is " should here be taken as qualified. 
See Note i. Otherwise we push an abstraction, which is necessary 
in Logic, beyond its due limits. Cf. Notes 7, 8, and 9. 

5 " To reason from mere particulars." See Bk. II. II. Chap. II. 

6 " Some imaginable case." Even if in one sense the case is unique 
necessarily and in principle as it may be when we reason about the 
One Universe still in another sense it is never so. The same argu 
ment, used yesterday, to-day and again to-morrow, will also be different 
cases of the same argument. The possibility of a " unique " argu 
ment is, however, ignored in the text, which therefore so far, calls for 

7 The expressions " passive," " does not co-operate," and (in the next 
paragraph) " is quite inactive," must all be taken as subject to quali 
fication. Cf. Notes I and 4. From this qualification, however, Logic 
has the right to abstract, and to treat the unused as if it were inert 

8 " The argument . . . itself." Cf. Notes 2 and 6. 

8 We have here an " ideal," even for Logic, because all truth, to 
he quite and wholly true, must include every aspect of itself. Cf. on 
Bk. III. I. VI. 15, and Bk. III. II. II. 13, and see T. E. I. On the 
other hand the realization of this ideal would carry us beyond truth 
as such. And hence Logic, in order to exist, must more or less ignore 
its own ideal. 

10 " We can distinguish." It would be better to insert " for our 
purpose " before " distinguish." 

11 " We do not pass . . . category." " We do not pass normally 
into the mere category " would certainly be more correct. 

12 " Where I can not . . . must." For the nature and more 
correct form of this principle see the Note on Bk. III. I. II. 25. 

13 On the question as to how far subsumption is everywhere essen 
tial to argument, see Bosanquet, K & R, pp. 274-283. We may agree 
that to reason with a consciousness of the principle actually used is 
both higher and more rational. But it does not follow from this that 
such an awareness is essential and necessary. The recognition that 
one s operation is an instance of a certain principle does not, even 


if the recognition accompanies the operation, transform that so that 
it becomes itself subsumptive. And even if we, while reasoning, 
could perceive the necessary place in the whole system of the Uni 
verse which, with all its connections, is filled by our inference, I 
should still persist in my denial. For neither the rational scheme of 
the world in general, nor every particular consequence falling under 
and within that system, can, I think, be subsumptive in its main 
essence. Hence, while it may be right for certain purposes to apply 
to the Universe the category of Subject and Attribute, it is another 
thing to regard the Universe as a system whose contents are deducible 
throughout under that mere category, and to take that category as 
containing the working principle of every inference. 

14 The expressions used, here and again in 17, are perhaps ex 
aggerated. After all, this question must, I presume, be left to those 
who (unlike myself) possess actual experience as teachers of Logic, 
or who (again unlike myself) make use in their own practice of logi 
cal rules. 

15 " Practice," i.e. theoretical practice. See the Index. 

16 " But the proof . . . abstraction." " Proof " should here be 
" perception " or " apprehension." Abstraction can hardly amount to 
proof (see Bk. III. II. III. 11, and the Note on Bk. III. I. II. 23). 
The criterion must really everywhere consist in system (see the Index, 
s. v. Criterion). This truth has again been too much ignored above 
in 15- 

17 " They work not by the support." This is one-sided, though it 
holds as against the mistake which is being noted. A principle is 
shown to be more true the more widely it holds. The criterion (once 
more) is system. See Appearance, and Essays, Indexes, s. v. Criterion. 

18 I think this suggestion both generally and with regard to Equa- 
tional Logic was too hasty. See Note 14. 



I. We have seen that an inference is an ideal operation 
which gives us a result. The conclusion comes because of the 
process, and it is natural to imagine that the process must 
therefore answer to the cause. If so, we should be led by a 
very short cut to a far-lying goal. In reasoning we should 
always be knowing by causes, and, at least for our knowledge, 
the connection of truths and the course of events would be one 
and the same. But such a rapid success is itself enough to 
awaken suspicion. Great results in metaphysics are not 
reached so easily, and a promise of short ways is almost 
sure to conduct us into error. We should find that enquiry 
would confirm the doubt excited in our mind by this general 

Is the middle in reasoning always the cause? No doubt 
we have some ground for taking this as true. For wherever 
we say " because," there must be an inference. Wherever we 
ask " why," we ask for a reason ; and a reason, when given, is 
once more a because. And so we might conclude, since to 
infer is to reason, and since in reasoning we always make use 
of a reason which gets the result, that the middle in an argu 
ment represents the cause, and that the conclusion stands for 
the effect of the premises. 

2. It would be irrational either to affirm or to deny such 
a general assertion. For we can not say at once what it 
signifies. The word " cause," we know, has a great many 
meanings; and its ambiguity does not lie in mere verbal 
looseness, or rest on the chance obscurities of language. It is 
the cloud that arises round the common source of many great 
problems; and, if we tried to penetrate, we should at once be 
lost in the mist of metaphysics. The " cause " may not be 
distinguished from the " principle," and then every universal 
connection will be a cause. On the other hand " cause " 
tends to pass into " substance." It appears again as " energy," 



" force," and " power," accepted by some as the essence of 
reality, while rejected by others as absolute illusion. 2 The 
controversy, that springs from this radical difference, would be 
fought over the fields alike of metaphysics, psychology, and 
physiology, and would embroil us everywhere in debate and 
uncertainty. We should ask in vain for any harmonious 
finding as to the bodily process which conditions my feeling 
of energy put forth. 3 We should find no answer if we desired 
to know the actual deliverance of consciousness itself, 4 and 
begged for an account of what we feel as will. And lastly, 
when we enquired if Force or Energy is anything conceivable, 
if it is an idea self-consistent and so far possible, or a coarse 
delusion that breaks up before scrutiny we should receive 
once more conflicting responses. 

If we mean to ask here how the grounds of our reasoning 
stand to the causes of our real events, we must begin by 
limiting the meaning of our term. Cause must be confined 
to the antecedent member within a law of the sequence of 
phenomena. 5 I do not mean that the cause is to be the 
unvaried event, that it is something which, throughout a col 
lection of instances, has happened in time before something 
else. We must take it in the sense of the invariable event. 
It is that to which, supposing that it happens, something else 
will succeed. In other words it is the hypothetical datum from 
which there comes a necessary consequence. It is an universal 
element in an ideal law of the sequence of phenomena.* (Cf. 
Book I. Chap. II.) 

3. If by cause we understand the antecedent in a law of 
the succession of phenomena, we can at once proceed to dis 
cuss the question, Are the cause and the reason always the 
same? And we may divide the enquiry into these two parts. 

* The term " unconditional " would merely express this same idea. 
If B comes invariably from A, it must come unconditionally ; 6 for the 
introduction of a condition would modify A, so that B would no longer 
come from it. And again, supposing that we could say no more than 
that " B follows from A, when A is conditioned," I do not see how in 
that case we could assert that B follows invariably from A. We could 
not assume that an alteration of the conditions is impossible, or that 
no possible alteration would affect the sequence. I do not ask if the 
knowledge of the invariable and unconditional is possible in fact. Cf. 
14, and infra, Chap. III. n. 


(i) Is the cause, as we know it, always a because? (ii) Does 
every because appear as a cause ? 

(i) Is causation, in the first place, known by inference? 
Can we say there is a cause, when we do not reason? This 
would surely be impossible; for, in perceiving the cause, we 
must perceive the law, and, possessing the law, we have at 
once in our hands an universal connection. And to judge, 
Here is a cause, is to take the antecedent as an instance of 
this law, and to take the result as a necessary consequence. 
But this process is reasoning. 

It is useless to deny it. It may be said that the actual 
process of causation is a real chain of existing things, and is 
no ideal construction formed by our minds. But this objection, 
if true, would be quite irrelevant ; for we are talking of cause 
and effect as we know them. And without such a reconstruc 
tion it is impossible to know them. 

4. I mdy be told that the cause and the effect are pre 
sented, that they are given to sense. Well, for argument s 
sake let us suppose that the sequence is confined to a single 
sense-perception. It does not follow from this that our senses 
present it to us. We surely never could see that mere B fol 
lows mere A. We see a complex, a tangle of details, from 
which we separate this thread of succession. The so-called 
fact, that mere A comes immediately in time before B, is an 
universal connection, which is reached by a process of intel 
lectual abstraction. Itself is ideal; it is nothing that by any 
possibility could exist. For A is not a phenomenon, nor is 
B a phenomenon, but both are abstractions. Their relation 
again is no phenomenal sequence. It is purified from a mass 
of irrelevant details, it is removed from the flux of actual 
events. It is a truth that is true, not anywhere but in the 
region of universals and the world of hypotheticals. And the 
result of this is that to know the law is to know the product of 
a reasoning by abstraction; to know the instance is to recon 
struct this case as a synthesis of the law with a particular 
element; and to know the so-called particular fact, that A 
comes before B, is either to perceive something which in part 
has no connection with the mere and pure antecedence of A to 
B, or else must be really in a particular instance to apprehend 
the very law itself. (Cf. Book I. Chap. II.) 


For example, if I see a man fire at an animal and say, 
The shot was the cause of death the cause is here clearly a 
because and a reason. For I have isolated this thread from the 
sequence of phenomena, and now unconsciously take the par 
ticular fact as an instance and application. Thus let the 
whole act of firing be A (cdc), and the fall of the animal be 
B (fgh) ; the apprehended connection will be A B, and it is 
because we perceive this that we are able to say, A (cde) and 
therefore B (fgh). The inference is probably not explicit, 
but it certainly is there. For how could I use the observed 
succession in other cases, if it was not universal? And how 
in this case could I speak of causation, as distinct from mere 
succession, if I did not take this sequence as having a 
principle which connects its terms ? But that is reasoning and 

5. Causation is no mere phenomenal sequence. It im 
plies a principle felt in the succession of the elements ; and that 
principle is a connection which can not be presented. Let us 
dwell on this truth. We have seen that it holds with a simple 
succession, but it holds still more with a true process of causa 
tion; for that (if we go on to understand it rightly) can not 
possibly be a simple relation of sequence. It is a change in 
time, and no change would take place unless it arose from 
a meeting of elements. To apprehend causation we must first 
distinguish the elements, before they have come together. And 
thus we get to perceive what may be called the " conditions " 
(p. 210). 7 But these conditions, when asunder, are not yet 
the cause. To make the cause they must come together ; and 
their union must set up that process of change which, when 
fixed artificially, we call the effect. Hence to know causation 
we must (a) first have the elements in ideal separation; we 
must (&) then ideally reconstruct their meeting, and from that 
(c) perceive the issuing change. But such a knowledge surely 
can not come from presentation. 

To repeat you can not properly talk of causation, unless 
you can say first that something was, then that something 
happened to it, and that so something else appeared in time. 
The full " conditions " are not the elements apart, but the 
elements together with the change which unites them, and 
combines itself with them. It is in the moment when this 


nnion is realized, that the process begins ; for otherwise the 
" cause " might exist for ever, and not begin to produce its 
effect. But this process of change is itself the effect, and 
nothing else can in strictness have a right to that name. We 
have first the elements apart, then their union, and lastly the 
product.* You can not even think the law of your instance 
without an ideal synthesis through identity. 

Thus to experience a definite relation of succession de 
mands the separation of irrelevant and relevant. But this is 
abstraction, and therefore inference. And to experience that 
succession as following a change implies a reconstruction by 
identity and a further inference. But the main point is this. 
To recognize a succession as a causal sequence means to per 
ceive the facts as a presented law. And to see the law in the 
facts is to unite the facts by an ideal principle ; and this is to 
reason. In other words to say, This phenomenon B was the 
effect of A, implies the perception of an ideal connection be- 

* Hence we see that a cause demands previous change. It can not 
exist without producing its effect, so that, if the effect is to have a 
beginning, the cause must have a beginning also. To produce the 
effect it becomes the cause ; and that becoming is a change in time, 
which naturally calls for another cause by which to account for it. 
Hence first cause is pure nonsense. 

Again the effect is the change which issues from the union of the 
conditions. It is a passing event, and it is only by a licence that we 
(allow ourselves to treat it as a permanent product. Being a phe 
nomenon in time it can not persist. Once more the effect must follow 
the constitution of the cause; it can not begin until after the moment 
when the synthesis is complete. It is impossible it should ever co-exist 
with its cause, and the belief that it does so arises from confusion. For 
we forget that both cause and effect are events, and we tend to think 
of them as substances maintaining an identity in spite of events. 

But, though the effect succeeds, it succeeds immediately. Causa 
tion is really the ideal reconstruction of a continuous process of change 
in time. Between the coming together of the separate conditions and 
the beginning of the process, is no halt or interval. Cause and effect 
are not divided by time in the sense of duration or lapse or interspace. 
They are separated in time by an ideal line which we draw across the 
indivisible process. For if the cause remained for the fraction of a 
second, it might remain through an indefinite future. Permanent cause, 
unless you take cause in another meaning and treat it as substance, is 
simply nonsensical. I should be glad to discuss some of the difficulties 
which arise in connection with causation, but the questions raised 
would hardly be logical. 8 


tween A and B. But to know by means of an ideal connection 
is to know that the fact is a result of that connection. And 
thjs must be inference. It may be latent and unconscious, yet 
still it is there. The mere conjunction has become a connection, 
felt as such. And this connection is now used with other 
conjunctions. But, if so, the facts are united in my mind be 
cause of an universal. 

6. The thread of causation is nothing visible. It is not 
seen till it is demonstrated; and it is demonstrated solely by 
the ideal decomposition and reconstruction of events. It is an 
ideal unity which we discover and make within the phenomenal 
flux of the given. But it has no actual existence within that 
flux, but lives first within the world of universals. 

And from this we may proceed to draw a consequence 
which serves to transform a worn-out controversy. To ask if 
the belief in cause and effect results from the mere repetition 
of sequences, is to put the question in a form which ensures 
and necessitates an erroneous answer. For, if the definite 
sequence has once been perceived, what need can there be for 
further repetition ? 9 The knowledge that mere B has followed 
on mere A, would itself be the very goal which we desire to 
reach. But on the other hand if this pure sequence is never 
experienced by mere sense-perception, then, with all our 
repetition of innumerable perceptions, we do not ever repeat 
the experience of that sequence. The true point at issue is 
the way in which, from impure presentations, we derive the 
pure intellectual sequence of B from A. And we have seen 
that the process is in principle abstraction, and in its essence 
consists of ideal analysis. The repetition serves merely as a 
help to the abstraction (Chap. I. pp. 530-1). 

7. Since to recognize a case of cause and effect, is to 
apprehend the instance of a law universal, and which can not 
be presented in sense perception, we are safe in saying that, 
in order to know causation, we are forced to reason. And in 
this connection we may perhaps be excused, if we pause to 
consider a radical mistake. Reasoning, we are told, consists 
in a seeing with the eye of the mind, by which we perceive 
" details now unapparent to sense." It is " a mental vision 
reinstating unapparent details." " What is termed the ex 
planation of a phenomenon by the discovery of its cause, is 


simply the completion of its description by the disclosure of 
some intermediate details which had escaped observation." * 
It would be difficult to find any statement more opposed to the 
doctrine which we embrace. 

And it is a statement which collapses before the smallest 
scrutiny. For suppose the whole mass of detail to be 
present, suppose not the smallest element to fail is this huge 
congeries an explanation? Or what is explanation? Does it 
not rather consist in finding within this mass the threads of 
connection? But these threads are no details, 10 and they 
unite no details, apparent or unapparent. For they are made 
by abstraction, by a getting away, from the details of sense 
and their sensuous relations, to universal laws which subsist 
between elements too pure to be presented. The sequences 
of science may be got by observation, and may be given by 
description; but it is an observation which mutilates phe 
nomena, and a description which shears off all those details 
which belong to the very essence of presentation. 

8. To explain a fact you must exhibit it as the instance 
of a general principle or meeting of principles. The mere be 
holding an intermediate something would be by itself no kind 
of explanation. It is an old superstition to look for causality 
in a something coming between the first fact and the second 
one. You can explain without any sort of intermediate, 11 
and, when you have intermediates, you may still have not 

I am far from wishing to write down these platitudes, but 
they may serve to dispel a thoughtless mistake. Suppose 
that I place a glass bottle on the fire and it presently breaks. 
"If you had better eyes," I shall hear the remark, "you 
would see the molecules, and see them irregularly increasing 
their distance the one from the other. Then the bottle would 
separate, and this has been explanation. For you have seen 
the intermediate hidden phenomena." But, I reply, I have 
seen an enormous number of other details, and, if I fail to 
make the right connection, I have not perceived the cause. 
This connection is moreover a preparation of mine, which iso- 

* G. H. Lewes, Aristotle, p. 76. I do not raise the question how far 
Mr. Lewes s later (and, I presume, borrowed) utterances are consistent 
with this view. It is a typical mistake, and as such may be examined. 


lates one thread from the tangled whole. Is it really not 
possible to have, as we say, the cause before our eyes, and then 
fail to perceive it? Is presence of a mass of detail in percep 
tion, and apprehension of the relation between two elements, 
exactly the same thing? If one is left at the end of one s 
devoted labour incapable of making such a simple distinction, I 
almost think it would be better not to talk of having " toiled 
through modern German philosophy" (ibid. p. 80). 12 

Presentation to sense of intermediate detail is in itself 
no explanation; and without an intermediate you may still 
explain. If the case is taken as the instance of a rule, even 
that by itself is some explanation. I know it has been said, 
and by those whom I respect, that we have nothing here but 
bare tautology; that it is frivolous to tell me that this bottle 
breaks because all bottles break. But I confess I never could 
see the bare tautology. For the particular nature of our one 
bottle is in this way connected with a general law. It does 
not break because it is a black bottle, or a quart bottle, or a 
bottle made by an infidel and on a Sunday, but because it 
possesses an unstated quality common to other bottles. And 
this quality is a reason why it breaks. The explanation of 
course does not satisfy our desires, since we want to make the 
quality explicit; but, so far as it goes, it does give us some 
principle, and it can not fairly be condemned as tautologous. 
In just the same way an apple falls down because of gravita 
tion, and this knowledge connects the other qualities of this 
falling body with a general attribute of material things. The 
explanation, I admit, leaves much to be explained; but I can 
not see that it gives us mere words. On the other hand, 
however, I do not perceive that it presents us with any inter 
mediate details. 

9. But what is the truth which underlies this error 
which we have been considering? It is the mediate char 
acter of all explanation. You show that a connection, which 
seemed immediate, is not what it seemed. You point out 
the link which serves to unite the second element with the 
first. And, starting with this truth, the mistake we are 
discussing goes on to turn the link into one constituent part 
of the chain of events. It confuses that which is mediate 
ideally with that which is separate by an interval of time. 


Thus, if Protestants commit suicide more often than Catho 
lics, we explain this fact by showing that suicide is increased 
by civilization, 13 and that in the main Catholics are more 
ignorant and uncivilized. Higher culture is mediate between 
Protestantism and suicide, but it surely is not a detail which 
always intervenes in time. 

No doubt in a very large number of cases, in order to 
find the true immediate connection, you are forced to enlarge 
the presented phenomena. Where analysis fails, you supple 
ment the given by ideal synthesis, and find in that supplement 
the true connection. But this is accidental, and it is not 
essential. The essence of the explanation of phenomena 
consists in getting the relations pure, and by analysis of the 
facts connecting their detail with those pure relations. It does 
not consist, and it could not consist, in the mere unintelligent 
gaze through a microscope. 

10. It is not my object to ask in the end what it is to 
explain, or to discuss the ultimate metaphysical nature of a 
law or principle (Book I. p. 88). But our rational instinct 
prompts us to assume that we explain by offering something 
universal and something real. Now the " laws " of phe 
nomena are assuredly universal; they give not the facts but 
a garbled extract. 14 And their truth is hypothetical; they do 
not even pretend that the elements, which they connect, have 
actual existence. 15 Hence the unfortunate holder to sensuous 
reality is driven to face a desperate alternative. He must 
explain the real by what is not real, or he must assert that 
reasoning and all explanation never go beyond mere sense- 
presentment. He must persist that it makes a mere addition to 
the detail which comes to the senses or the sensuous fancy. 

But we have seen that his alternative is a common-place 
blunder. For causation, as we know it, is never the sequence 
of actual phenomena, or of anything that could exist in the 
phenomenal series. No imaginary detail, added to the given, 
could do more than increase the existing confusion. If the 
history of a thing is ever its explanation, this is true because 
history can never be sensuous. By design, or even against 
its design, it must mutilate the facts, and substitute for them 
a thread of connection which never could have been visible. 
Our reasoning and our knowledge of causal sequence is not 


ideal in the sense of an imaginative resurrection, or a miracu 
lous increase of the sensuous supply. It is ideal because it is 
intellectual, because it demonstrates a connection between 
universal elements, because it substitutes for fact, and con 
nects the facts by, a rational construction. 

II. Even where we explain by assigning the cause, we 
must rise into the world of ideal arrangement. For inference 
is never a mere presentation, and the knowledge of causation, 
we have seen, must be reasoning. The first of those ques 
tions, which we raised at the beginning (3), has been 
answered affirmatively. To know the cause is to know the 
because. But the second enquiry remains unanswered. When 
we know the because, or the reason why, have we learnt the 
cause? Are both one and the same? We must now en 
deavour to find an answer to this question. 

(ii) If cause were understood in the sense of principle, 
then every reasoning would rest upon causation. It would be 
a cause in each argument by virtue of which we proceeded to 
get the result from the premises. But this identity of prin 
ciple and causal law is the very point which is under discussion. 
And if causation is confined to sequence in time, the way to 
put the question is this, Can the principles of reasoning be 
all exhibited as laws of sequences? Must the principle of 
knowledge be a principle of becoming? 

Is the because in reasoning always a cause? Most clearly 
we can not make any such statement. 16 When, from A = B 
and B = C, we conclude to the equality of A and C, it is hard 
to see how any common relation of both with B is the cause 
why A comes to be equal to B. And the enquiry, once opened, 
lets in a torrent of kindred objections. Is the proof in 
geometry the cause of the conclusion ? Does the result turn true 
because of my construction, or does it only turn out true for my 
knowing mind ? Two coins are proved to have similar inscrip 
tions, because they each are like to a third, but the cause is not 
found in this interrelation. The cause is the origin from a 
common die. If a vessel has sailed for London or Liverpool, 
and we know that it has not sailed for the former, we argue 
that its course is shaped for the latter. But is our middle a 
process of actual causation? We can hardly say this, and we 


could give no reply to an endless variety of similar questions. 
So far is the middle from always presenting us with the cause 
of the conclusion, that, given an inference, we can draw no 
presumption in favour of that view. The truth is in general 
perhaps more likely to lie with the other alternative. 

12. The question " Why " is always ambiguous. It asks 
indifferently for the cause of the thing, or for the ground of 
my knowledge. And the answer " because " repeats these two 
senses. It gives us alike the reason of the fact and the reason 
which has led me to believe in its existence. And it offers no 
sign by which we may distinguish these radical differences. 

The presumption, if there is one, is against the identity of 
the cause and the reason. We can not in any case treat them 
as one, if we have not some special ground for our assumption. 
Wherever the premises represent a reality in time, which, 
actually and by its own necessity, goes into a construction 
wherever that construction itself is real, and the quality or rela 
tion, that appears in the conclusion, is its immediate result in 
these cases, and in these cases alone, the because and the cause 
must be identical. Wherever, on the other hand, 17 a division 
or a junction is made by the arbitrary choice of our minds, 
there the reason for knowing and the reason for being fall 
hopelessly asunder. 

13. We shall return to this theme in a following chapter; 
but for the present we may endeavour to close some sources 
of dangerous fallacy. 18 And the first of these rises from an 
obstinate confusion. Every conclusion possesses two char 
acters (p. 226). It is a psychical event and a logical judg 
ment, and what is true of it in one of these aspects, may be 
wholly false if you take it in the other. Now, if you consider 
the judgment as a mental occurrence, the premises are always 
part of its cause. The presence of these elements, together 
with a mind in a certain state, at once sets up that psychical 
change which gives the conclusion. The logical grounds are 
psychological conditions, and as such they do work in bringing 
about the existence of the result. But we turn this truth into 
absolute error, if we go on to say that the premises are the 
cause, or even part cause, of the existence of that which the 
conclusion affirms. For it is not the content of the final judg 
ment which thus has issued from the synthesis of my mind 



with the premises. It is not the relation of A to C which is 
caused by the apprehension of AB together with BC. What 
is caused is nothing but an act of judgment, and that act is 
a genuine psychical result, though the content it affirms may 
have no kind of reality. It is the bare event of assertion, and 
not the truth of the matter asserted, which follows as effect 
from the psychical conditions. The cause in psychology and 
the ground in logic must be carefully distinguished. The two 
series may run parallel, and may partly coincide, but they are 
never identical. 

14. We may notice in passing a possible objection to this 
coincidence of causes and grounds. 19 It might be said that 
a cause must produce its effect, while logical grounds may be 
idle in the mind, and fail to produce a logical result. But the 
objection would rest on a misunderstanding. If we consider 
the logical process from its aspect of a psychical movement, 
then no doubt we may say that the consequence does not follow 
from the premises, unless another condition is presupposed. 
We have to assume a mind, not merely present but specially 
active, and therefore intervening. But, we may urge in reply, 
that the conclusion can still be said to follow, since the func 
tion exerted by the mind is regular. When we say " it 
follows," we mean that it follows given the activity of a normal 
intellect, which abstains from exercising arbitrary choice. 
And our assertion is thus elliptical but is not really incorrect. 
For this same elliptical character, we may add, is found in our 
judgments as to cause and effect. We never exhaust the 
whole mass of conditions which produce the effect. The event 
never comes, and it never could come, from the abstract selec 
tion which we call the cause. We imply the presence of un 
specified conditions, but since these are normal, we omit to 
mention them. Our full statement would run, Given such con 
ditions in relation to the real, and not counteracted, and we 
have the effect. In just the same way, Given certain premises 
in relation to a mind, not blinded or biassed, and you have 
the conclusion. And this answer may for the present be taken 
as sufficient. Logical grounds may be considered as psychical 
causes, as long as you keep out one supposition. But, if you 
suppose the intellect of its own free choice to superadd a 
foreign and irregular factor to the premises before it, then the 
premises cease to cause the psychical conclusion. It was this 
grave suspicion which underlay and gave its strength to the 


objection ; 20 and it will rise again to give us other trouble in 
the following chapters. 

15. And finally we may point to an obvious mistake. 21 
You may suppose that the consequent is more concrete than 
the ground, or the effect more complex than the cause which 
produces it. These are parallel delusions. If you understand 
by " conclusion " the whole construction, this is certainly more 
complex than each of the elements, since it is the union of 
these separate elements. But if " conclusion " stands for one 
part of the construction, then not only is the synthesis of the 
premises more concrete than the consequent, but the premises, 
if taken each by itself, may none be more abstract. So with 
cause and effect. The effect, if you take it without isolation, 
has endless connections with other phenomena, and may be 
said to influence all succeeding history. But then, on the other 
hand, why should you choose to isolate the cause? That also 
exists by virtue of relation to the existing universe, and is just 
as complex as you please to take it. If you were to isolate 
effects and not to isolate causes, you might emulate an achieve 
ment of Mr. Spencer,* by a proof a priori that history must 
needs begin with the complex and advance towards the homo 
geneous. The one demonstration would, logically speaking, 
be as valid as the other. 

16. Let us return from our digressions, and gather the 
result obtained in this chapter. We have seen that, in order 
to perceive causation, you must always use reasoning. The 
cause, as we know it, must be the because. But there we are 
stopped. We can not assume that the reason, where we have 
one, is the cause of the consequence. In some cases, no doubt, 
it does appear as the cause, but in others we can not see how 
this is possible. And we concluded that no general presump 
tion could be raised. But one thing we could see by anticipa 
tion; wherever the mind makes an arbitrary choice, wherever 
it seems to operate at will (as in distinction, comparison, and 
again in abstraction), that capricious operation can hardly 
represent the course of events. And a dire suspicion was then 
whispered within us. If in inference the conclusion is made 
what it is by an arbitrary act, how can any such process be 
true of reality? Our knowledge of the cause will itself be 

* See his Essay on Progress. The remark in the text is a criticism 
of the proof as it appears in that Essay. 


dragged down in the common ruin of all our reasoning, and in 
the end we must doubt if there is such a thing as a valid 


1 In this Chapter the meaning of " cause " is fixed arbitrarily. 
Causation is taken here as holding only among events and as a law 
of their sequence. See Appearance, Index. 

2 " Energy," " force/ " power." See again ibid. 

3 " We should ask in vain." This statement is, I presume, still 

4 " We should find no answer," i.e. no accepted answer. I have 
dealt at length with this difficult problem in the articles referred to 
in Appearance, p. 607. 

5 For the meaning of a " law," see on p. 543 and the Index. 

6 There is an ambiguity which attaches itself to the terms " in 
variably " and " unconditionally." These may be taken not absolutely 
but as qualified by " in fact " as holding, that is, only within the 
limits of a certain area of facts, and as subject therefore to an 
unknown x. This ambiguity attaches itself, however, to both of the 
above terms alike and equally. 

7 " Conditions." See the Index, and cf. Appearance, Index. 

8 For a discussion of the subject of this Footnote see once more 
Appearance, Index. 

9 " For, if repetition." It would be better here to write " had " 
for " has " and " could " for " can." And cf . the Note on the pre 
ceding Chapter, 16. 

10 " No details." Here (as below) " mere perceived details " would 
be better. And (lower down) "all those" should be omitted. 

11 " Without any sort of intermediate," i.e. in this sense. On Ex 
planation and Mediation see further on 9. And cf. Essays, p. 154. 

12 " Toiled through modern German philosophy." I hope that at 
this date there is no need to warn the reader that any such claim 
by the late Mr. Lewes should be ignored. I could say far more than 
this if it were now desirable. 

13 " Civilization," " Higher culture." I much regret not to have 
written here " modern urban life," and not to have simply added 
(what I meant) that a larger proportion of Catholics live outside of 
large towns. The instance otherwise will serve, because, though, in 
the case of an individual, you could say that he was first a member 
of no denomination, and then grew up to become one this is not 
what is meant. And obviously Protestantism can also be taken rightly 
as itself a consequence from a " higher culture," which, far from 
following, precedes it in time. 

On the whole matter the reader should ask himself, first, whether 
he is prepared to limit explanation to what we call the series of 


events which happen. And next, even if he is ready (as I think 
mistakenly) to do this, he should consider whether, even with this, 
he is brought to the conclusion against which I have argued. The 
main question, I think, is What do we mean by a Law ? Can even 
the Laws of Co-existence be all resolved into Laws of Sequence? 
And, generally, is it the pointing to an intervening event in which 
all explanation by a Law consists? Where you have things with a 
certain original nature or even an acquired disposition, and where 
you explain an event by the reaction of this nature or disposition 
on an occurring change how is it possible to take the " law " or 
"tendency," to which your explanation appeals, as itself always an 
intermediate occurrence? The whole enquiry as to Explanation will 
be brought to a point in the answer which we give (or at least are 
called on to give) to the question, What is a Law? 

14 "A garbled extract," i.e. from the point of view of the Phe- 

15 " Have actual existence," i.e. as such, and as themselves facts 
and not mere aspects of fact. 

16 This paragraph contains some inaccuracies. In " of both with 
B is the cause," for " is " read " must be." And lower down I appear 
to have wrongly assumed that the construction is the real proof (see on 
Bk. III. I. II. 5). But this question is fortunately here irrelevant. 
As to the two coins, I should have written " The cause so far is 
unknown. It may, or may not be, the origin from a common die." 
With regard to the vessel the question should have been put thus, Can 
we say that the exclusion of the alternative an exclusion which (as 
we now know) happened in fact was what in fact operated in directing 
the particular voyage? " 

17 " Wherever on the other hand, etc." The alternative here seems 
faulty. We should write " Wherever on the other hand there is no 
question of a temporal process of events, or wherever, again, the 
conclusion comes from something which does not itself make part 
of the self-development of the inference, but is imported from out 
side ( 14) wherever, e.g. a division, etc." 

18 There is some detail in this section which calls more or less 
for amendment, (i) In " wholly false " and in " absolute error," the 
" wholly " and " absolute," though not perhaps indefensible, would 
be far better omitted. (ii) After " that which the conclusion 
affirms " should be added " where, that is, it affirms existence." 
(iii) In "It is not the relation . . . conditions" the division is too 
absolute. It would be better to add " as existing " after " A to C," 
and to omit nothing but," and to substitute, " as such, no existence " 
for " no kind or reality," since the latter statement is false. On the 
other hand (lower down), in "partly coincide," the "partly" should 
remain standing in view of the " grave suspicion " of 14. 

The main point of 13 is as follows. Every conclusion is a 
mental occurrence. As that, it is an event and an effect. And the 
premises, as concerned in producing this event, are therefore, so 
far, themselves part of the psychical cause. But the psychical exist 
ence of the conclusion is not the truth or reality which that conclusion 


asserts. And, from the other side, the truth and reality affirmed in 
and by the inference, taken logically, is not the psychical event of 
the conclusion, which event has been caused in my mind concurrently 
and (we may add) incidentally. And, further, that which may vitiate 
the conclusion, taken as logical, need not impair the sequence of that 
vicious conclusion as a caused occurrence. 

The above distinction, legitimate and necessary in Logic, is, how 
ever, in this Section taken too much as a sheer and absolute separation. 
But the abstraction, which holds good here for the purpose of Logic, 
possesses no more than a relative validity. There is, generally, no 
truth without an aspect of existence, however much for our purpose 
that aspect may be ignored. And, in particular, there is in the end 
no truth which is not true for a mind, and does not enter from this 
side into some process of psychical events. Thus a conclusion as to 
the angles of a triangle is not possible without an aspect of existence 
here and now as a mental occurrence. And, sundered from this ele 
ment of its being, its truth in the end can not even be called true. 

This inseparable aspect, from which Logic must abstract, demands 
recognition in Metaphysics. But for Metaphysics to exhibit its neces 
sity and truth in particular and in detail, is, I think, impossible ; and 
I even doubt if in the end we can get to understand what may be 
called its general " How." The problem of the relation of truth to 
Reality, and again specially to psychical existence, is, however, far 
too difficult for discussion in these Notes. See on Bk. III. I. II. 14, 
and cf. Essays, Index, s. v. Truth, and T. E. I. 

19 " A possible objection." This objection certainly did not come 
merely from my own mind, but I am unable now to specify its source. 

20 " This grave suspicion," i.e. that in certain inferences what we 
call the conclusion really comes from an intervention by my arbitrary 
choice of (cf. 16). Here it is not the premisses, plus the normal 
activity of a normal mind, which can be said to produce the result. 
And, if so, the " logical " sequence here not only fails to be identical 
with the causal process, but can not be said even to coincide with it, 
at least altogether. For in the causal series is nothing that could 
regularly answer to mere mental irregularity. 

The above statement, however, is wanting in clearness, and we 
may express ourselves, I think, more correctly as follows. There is 
no difficulty in principle as to mental irregularity, when viewed as 
psychical ; nor, once more, is there in principle any difficulty as to 
the coincidence of the psychical and the logical, so long as the logical 
sequence is a regular consequence from its beginning to its end. 
But, on the other hand, once admit anything like caprice into the 
logical sequence, and then, as logical, that is destroyed; and hence 
the question of its correspondence, as logical, with anything else dis 
appears. On the subject of arbitrary choice in inference, see the 
Index, s. v. Inference, and T. E. I. 

21 Section 15 seems to be really irrelevant here. I wished, I pre 
sume, to call attention to Spencer s characteristic mistake. 



i. The title of our chapter, welcome though it be, excites 
foreboding. We are glad when we see the harbour so near, 
but the approach brings with it an ultimate risk and a final 
anxiety. We have escaped some perils, but our safety has 
perhaps been dearly purchased. In the course, which we have 
taken, the worst lies at the end, and that end is before us. We 
shall hardly sail in with vessel unscathed, and with colours 
flying ; and, did fortune consent, we would gladly compromise. 
We would change all hope of a triumphant entry for the trust 
that our voyage might not end at sea. We are resigned to 
shipwreck, if only by any means something may be saved. 

The validity of inference has two main senses. When we 
ask if a process of reasoning is correct, we may have in our 
mind two different questions. We might ask if in argument 
we possess a strict counterpart of the nature of things, if our 
mental operation truly represents any actual process. 2 And 
this would be the first question. The second would ignore 
this correspondence with reality. It would content itself with 
asking if the premises do logically prove the result. And this 
latter enquiry is the theme we shall discuss in the present chap 
ter. The first and the more difficult we still keep to the end. 

2. But, when we have confined the question of our reason 
ing s validity to the formal consequence of conclusion from 
premises, we still find ourselves threatened by a double mean 
ing. Our enquiry might be limited to a search for types, or we 
might consider as well our practical necessities. And the 
answer, it is possible, might vary with the question. For 
conceivably our minds are dowered with a form of ideal 
reasoning, pure and impeccable, while in practice our argu 
ments are tainted with vice. And so to the question Is reason 
ing valid? we should have to return a double answer. It 
would be valid so long as you made it to order with condi 
tions that never occur in practice ; while each actual inference 


might be fatally unsound. We intend to lose sight of this 
latter enquiry. We do not mean to ask what sound perform 
ances of reasoning are practicable, but what types of argument 
are flawless in themselves, without regard to the question if 
any one, or no one, can use them in his work. 

But, before we enter on our doubtful search, a word of 
caution must be given to the reader. He must not look for an 
ultimate solution. In the present chapter, and still more in the 
next, we abut upon provinces which we dare not enter. It is 
impossible to free logic from doubt and difficulty, until meta 
physics first has cleared up its own mysteries. And so we 
must come in the end to issues which really lie in the heart of 
first principles, such issues as we can not pretend to deal with. 
Our immediate question will therefore not find an uncondi 
tional answer. Inference, if valid, in the end must be valid on 
a certain hypothesis. The conclusion will follow, given a sup 
position. Thus we can hope for no more than to arrive at 
postulates, 3 assumptions whose truth we can not here scrutin 
ize, but on which our intellects are forced to embark, if they 
mean to serve us in the voyage of life. 

3. Every inference, as we saw, falls into three parts. We 
have first a datum, then comes an operation, and then follows 
the result. And our question really asks how the last of these 
is related to the first. What is given appropriates the result 
of an experiment; and we demand the title on which it 
proceeds. We enquire how it justifies the taking to itself of 
this new possession. 

For consider, we agreed that the result must be new.* If 
we had nothing fresh we should have no inference. But, if 
so, what was given us has suffered a change ; it is altered and 
made different, and made different, we must admit, through 
our mind s operation. And yet in the conclusion this most 
ominous fact is quietly suppressed. We unblushingly assert 
that the consequence follows; but we know that it follows 
since we know who has dragged it. We protest that C is the 
property of A. How else, when our hands first stole it and 
then secretly placed it in his house? And the doubt that 
now rises, and the suspicion that points at us, all start from 
this ground. If it is you, they murmur, who have made the 
conclusion, then it can not be true that you also have found it. 


The new attribute does not truly belong to the subject, if your 
choice and caprice is the bond of their union. 

We must begin with a frank and ready admission. If we 
really did make of our own free will the conclusion which we 
come to, if the result did not " follow " of itself from the 
datum, but were pushed and thrust on by our arbitrary force ; 
if (to use a perhaps still more grateful metaphor) we did not 
" draw " the consequence from the bowels of the premises, but 
inserted a product prepared by ourselves if we even chose so 
to influence our subject, that changed by that influence it modi 
fied its attributes then assuredly the process is invalid and 
vicious. The conclusion in these cases would not come from 
the premises. 5 It would come from the premises under a 
condition, and its truth would depend upon that condition. 
Or, more properly, the premises would be wrongly laid down ; 
for they should have included the action of our minds. And, 
just as failing one condition the others are powerless, and in 
no sense are any a cause of the effect, so, failing the element 
of our arbitrary choice, the premises we assigned are no 
premises at all. The conclusion, if it comes, is merely pre 
carious; it is hypothetical. It must wait upon chance, and 
the result that ensues is given but not claimed. 

4. If this is agreed on, then the question that remains 
seems limited to one issue. Is there reasoning where the 
conclusion really comes from the unhelped premises ? Is there 
any where the truth of the consequence does not rest upon our 
interference? Let us proceed at once to a particular example. 

We will begin with what seems to be the strongest instance. 
In a synthetical construction without elision, we appear to be 
free from arbitrary choice. Given A B B C, then, by 
virtue of the common identity B, we perceive A B C ; and 
the conclusion seems wholly inherent in the data. 

But there comes an objection. The process of inference 
consists in putting the premises together. Of themselves they 
lie idly apart in the mind, and by themselves they would still 
remain asunder. It is surely your mind which supplies them 
with an unity, and which gives them a connection which they 
never possessed. You are held in this dilemma. If you say, 
A B and B C are not really apart, then you falsify your 
premises. But if they are apart, then one of two things ; they 


come together of themselves, or you force them. If you force 
them, the conclusion is admitted to be false. And they do not 
come together, since experience shows that they may continue 
separate, and since their change to union demands something 
effective which falls outside their discontinuous state. But 
this agency must lie in the motion of your mind. 

Our answer to this charge may begin by rebutting a false 
assumption. Did the premises change before our eyes into the 
consequence, it would not follow that therefore we changed 
them. For the premises are held in relation to reality, and 
reality itself might supply the condition which moved them 
into union. 6 But, passing by this, let us address ourselves to 
meet the charge of interference. We may fairly enquire, "If 
we have interfered, what is it we have done ? Have we taken 
A B and B C from the outside and coupled them to 
gether? But where is the thong or the chain that restrains 
them? What glue or what nails have been used to fasten 
them? And, if their attachment is part of their substance, 
what is it that we have done to strengthen it ? 

Our objector might not find an easy rejoinder, and yet we 
have hardly replied to his difficulty. For assuredly we did 
something, and that deed was the addition which brought out 
the consequence. If a change was not made, then we had an 
illusion; and if passively we stood spectators of a process, 
then once more we were cheated. And we are fast in the 
dilemma If nothing was altered, then there was no inference; 
but if we altered aught then the inference is vicious. And we 
admit that we were active. 

5. We must meet the dilemma by a saving distinction. 
We have here nothing to do with the real validity of our 
reasoning process, but solely with its soundness as a logical 
transition. And hence at present we need to regard our reason 
ing as simply a change in our way of knowing. But this 
breaks through the circle which threatened to be fatal ; for it 
shows a possibility which was overlooked. If, by altering 
myself, I so am able to perceive a connection which before was 
not visible, then my act conditions, not the consequence itself, 
but my knowledge of that consequence. 7 It goes to make the 
consequence in my recognition, but stands wholly apart from 
this truth which I recognize. Though the function of con- 


eluding depends upon my intellect, the content concluded may 
be wholly unhelped, untouched, and self-developed. 

And a logical postulate, to which we alluded, assures us 
that this possibility is fact. Whether rightly or wrongly, all 
logic assumes that a mere attention, a simple retaining and 
holding together before the mind s eye, is not an alteration. 
If the logical function does not touch the content, if it leaves 
A B B C untampered with, then no viewing them at 
once or one after the other, nor any attention to one of 
their elements, makes the smallest difference to the truth 
itself. My vision is affected, but the object is left to its own 

Thus, in A B B C, the identity of B is the bond of 
construction. If I made that identity, I should certainly in that 
case have manufactured the consequence. And it may be con 
tended that it lies in my choice to see or to be blind, and that 
hence my recognition does make what it perceives. Against 
such a contention I can here attempt no further answer. I 
must simply fall back on the logical postulate, and leave further 
discussion to metaphysics. 

6. But another objection remains to impede us. Though 
our action is confined to the knowledge of the truth, we are 
summoned to justify the truth of our knowledge. For the 
content, which we know, becomes different in the sequel, and 
it does not appear how truth can thus change. 8 We may say 
that the premises perhaps are not true ; we may confine our 
scrutiny to the soundness of the consequence ; yet the puzzle 
does not vanish. Though the premises are false the conclusion 
may be valid ; but how if the end contradict the beginning ? 
If the premises are true, they surely would not alter; and if 
they do alter their first state must be false. But even then the 
last state will not square with the commencement. It destroys 
the ground in which it is rooted, and, removing its own base, 
must abolish itself. 

Shall we meet this objection by embracing it wholly? Shall 
we say that our reasoning is a process of correction ; that we 
start with an erroneous view of the truth, and that the conse 
quence is a necessary emendation, which arises from the error 
when our reflection illumines it? If so, the conclusion in each 
valid inference contradicts its own premises. It is no extrane- 


ous opposite which removes its contrary, and perishes itself in 
that common ruin. It is the opposite which appears in the 
decease of its parent, and presupposes a contrary which disap 
pears into itself. The conclusion abolishes the truth of the 
premises, since, by internal change, they pass into a product 
which contradicts them. 

This doctrine might stagger the traditional logic, but in 
the main it would not seriously tend to disturb us. Yet we 
can not wholly embrace its conclusion. It is true that all 
inference is a process of correction. It is true that it can not 
ever leave its starting-point quite unmodified. But it is one 
thing to say this, and another thing to admit that every valid 
inference contradicts its own premises. No doubt, if all 
change were itself contradiction, and if knowledge is changed 
in the act of reasoning, we could not infer without self-con 
tradiction. But I venture both to doubt the general p rinciple 
and to discern an error in the special application. I admit that 
in the premises the terms A and C appear separate from each 
other, and that this appearance is removed in the conclusion. 
But I can not see that the premises do assert the actual sepa 
ration of A from C. They fail to affirm their interrelation, 
but they certainly do not go on to deny it. Thus the judg 
ment, " A and C have no connection," would be made by the 
transformation of a privative absence into a positive exclusion 
(p. 117). It would turn a mere psychical matter of fact into 
a logical judgment with respect to content. The appearance 
of A-B without any C is denied in the conclusion which gives 
their union; but the judgment A-B was not that appearance, 
nor is this judgment in any way otherwise denied. It is 
increased but not abolished. There is nothing abolished but 
our own false prejudice, that what does not appear as the 
element in a whole is therefore independent. 

7. In the example, which we have taken, my arbitrary 
choice does not influence the result. I may choose to attend 
or not to attend ; I may retain and consider, or pass by blindly. 
And so much as this is left to my caprice. 9 But suppose that I 
consider, then the premises themselves pass into the result. In 
what sense my mind co-operates in that passage, is a question 
of first principles which we can not discuss. But it is clear 
that my private desire and preference have no part in the issue. 


Once resolved to see, I am powerless to alter the object of 

If we come next to those inferences which use an elision, 
and where the result does not stand as the whole A B C, 
but is lessened to A C, we must speak with more caution. 
The elimination of B depends upon our choice. We must join 
A B C, but to strike out B is by no means compulsory. If 
so the conclusion will in part be arbitrary. Is it therefore 
unsound ? 

It may be unsound. If we ventured or forgot ourselves 
so far as wholly to ignore the middle, if we stepped from the 
construction to the absolute assertion of one part of its 
content, we might make a common and most dangerous mis 
take. If we intend to set up A C by itself, we must avow 
the transition and be ready to justify it. And tacitly to assume 
the independence of A C is a logical mistake. 

But elision does not need to involve this error. It should 
mean no more than the assertion of A C, subject to condi 
tions left unexpressed. Since, A being given, there follows a 
construction in which we are able to perceive A C, we may 
say that A C is the mediate consequence. Or it follows 
hypothetically at once, if B becomes implicit and is thrown 
into the base which underlies the connection (cf. Book I. pp. 
88-90). Our assertion is elliptic, 10 but in this case is not 
vicious. On the other hand it becomes unsound, if we pass 
from the privative, " I perceive mere A C," to the exclusive 
" I can not see anything else, and so nothing else but A C is 

8. We shall return to this point when we come to discuss 
the validity of abstraction. But at present we must mark a 
division in our subject. There are certain reasonings in which, 
as we see, we do nothing but attend or consider logically. 
And it is a postulate that such perception does not alter the 
object. These reasonings may go on to employ elimination, 
and this addition is arbitrary. But the conclusion is still sound 
if the addition is recognized. It becomes to that extent hypo 
thetical, and, though elliptic, it may stand; for it does not 
affirm that mere A C exists, but that A C is known. 11 

But, after escaping this first wave, we are met by a rising 
sea of inferences which all seem arbitrary from first to last. 12 


For I need not compare, and I need not distinguish. Again 
neither in Arithmetic nor in Geometry am I compelled to con 
struct or forced to analyze. I now do more than attend to the 
development of the object. My own hands have interfered, 
and have procured the experiment which gives the result. 
And, if so, the conclusion must surely be capricious, or at 
least must be laid down quite conditionally. 

Let us take the instance of free spatial construction. If I 
move A, B, and C, and arrange them so as to stand in certain 
relations, I can not proceed to predicate this result of A, B, and 
C. Hurdles by themselves will not make a sheep-fold, and 
you can not go straight from the one to the other. The 
activity of the shepherd must be added to the grounds ; it must 
be supposed and then implied in the consequence. For the 
shepherd himself does not follow from the hurdles, and we can 
not regard him as a condition involved in A, B, and C. Hence 
we must transform our experiment either by adding something 
to the original data, or by recognizing a condition when we 
state the result. Otherwise that result is palpably vicious. 
And the doubt may arise if this fatal alternative stops short 
with our instance of free spatial construction. 

9. It threatens to ruin in the first place comparison. For 
that is a process, and the data compared are surely quite 
passive. Can we say that A and B work out their own like 
ness, any more than hurdles work into a sheep-fold ? Are they 
like? Is it they which I see to be similar? Is it not some 
product of my work upon them, and some capricious addition 
which really owns the predicate? And the same with distinc 
tion. Does my process but colour an element which already 
was there in the premises, or have I added an agent which by 
combination has produced a new result? If all I know is that 
something not seen has, by virtue of my act, become plainly 
visible, by what right do I claim to have simply made visible 
and not rather to have made? Nor will arithmetic escape. 
For, as we saw long ago, one and one are not two ; they be 
come the integer, and their becoming seems no change that 
arises in themselves. But, if so, they are not the actual sub 
ject which appropriates the sequel : our hand is responsible and 
can not be disowned. And geometry follows to a common 
doom. Do those wonderful constructions grow out of the data, 


like branches from a tree ? Are those necessary pictures mere 
sketches of the object? Were we not more right when we 
likened them to builder s scaffolding, and should we not think 
here of those diagrams of operations, 13 where we see depicted 
the hand and the knife? The processes of distinction, com 
parison, and construction, all show logical presumptions where 
mistake is ruinous, and where nothing supports the ground 
which we stand on. 

10. And so once more we have to fall back upon a 
postulate. Metaphysics alone can judge if we are right, but 
in logic we are forced to assume that some processes do not 
modify their consequence. We work round the content and do 
nothing upon it. Thus retention and joint notice were sup 
posed not to influence the object of vision. And here once 
again we assume that comparison and distinction and synthesis 
do not touch or alter the content of the given, but simply re 
move an obstacle to our sight, or aid that sight by artificial 
reflection. It is not with these as it was with our sheep-fold. 
The position of the hurdles made the sheep-fold itself, and the 
act of the shepherd did alter that position. But here it is 
something in the hurdles themselves, their quality, or their 
number, or again their magnitude, which appears no doubt 
when the sheep have been folded, but itself can not have been 
made by the shepherd. Apart from correction by the study 
of first principles, the shepherd must predicate the sequel of 
the origin. 14 He would not be right, if he inserted an inter 
mediate condition. Assuredly, without his capricious act, he 
might never have come to see the conclusion ; but, seen or 
unseen, the conclusion was still there. The process has but 
altered an imperfect vision ; 15 his want of perception has been 
changed to plenty. It is he that has chosen to let in the 
light ; but the object, our logical postulate assures us, was 
there from the first and there unconditionally. Where we state 
the mere truth, we are bound to eliminate the middle opera 

And our postulates give us the same right of confidence, 
when we take an idea and suppose it to be real, or when 
suggestion of predicates brings out a response on the part of 
the subject. 16 In these cases once more, though our viewing of 
the sequel is conditioned by our choice and our arbitrary act, 


yet the view, which we perceive, we must take as unconditional. 
The process once more has not modified the content. It has 
placed it in experiment and prepared it for observation, but 
has left its essence unchanged and unbiassed. 

ii. It is different when we come to the process of ab 
straction" Where we separate ideally one element from the 
whole, we not only perform an operation on the given. We 
not only make a leap from the known to the unknown, when 
we attribute to the given the result of the act, but we also make 
this venture on our own responsibility. It is a logical in 
stinct that prompts us to the act; but no logical postulate 
guarantees the outcome. Reasoning by abstraction has a fatal 

For how shall we tell, and what justifies our confidence, 
that our element remains when the rest is removed? We are 
burnt and we go from this to " Fire burns." We strike out 
the mass of accompanying detail, and treat the residue as 
belonging to the real. But who goes surety that the roots are 
not twisted, that, in cutting between the reality and its detail, 
we have not severed some fibres of the selected element? If 
we find that a b is true within x, on what ground do we rest 
for our desperate leap to the assertion that a b is true with 
out condition? It is one thing specially to notice a member. 
It is one thing to say that this member at any rate is certainly 
here. It is quite another thing to take that member apart, 
and to assume that, by itself, it remains what it was when it 
lived in the whole. This fatal confusion between theory and 
fact, this blind assumption that our intellect s work must 
always present us with the nature of things, is a special trait 
of the " Philosophy of Experience." Bad metaphysic supports 
it against logic and the cry of facts. 

12. If we mean to keep clear of a dangerous venture and 
really to prove the conclusion which we reach, then, unless by 
way of an elliptical statement, 18 we can not eliminate where we 
fail to analyze. If you wish to remove one part from a whole, 
and maintain it away from its original context, you must find 
what elements constitute that whole, and you must find exactly 
what each contributes. For you can not tell otherwise what 
it is you are taking, and how much is left. Your cutting may 
not merely loose the string of a bundle. It may have utterly 


destroyed the connection which maintains the parts in exist 
ence. And the result of this is that correct abstraction is 
guaranteed by nothing save actual experiment. In fact, or 
ideally, you must divide the whole into certain elements, and 
you then must make trial with these several factors. You may 
find that the whole falls asunder into parts, you may find that 
this whole can be reproduced, when experiment puts the parts 
together, and that the parts all remain unchanged in the 
process. You may find that with any arrangement the parts 
maintain their character, and that the qualities of the arrange 
ments make no difference to that character. And if you were 
able finally to isolate a, 19 you then would see if indeed the con 
sequence were really b. Wherever this process is taken as 
possible, elision and abstraction will demonstrate truths. But 
elsewhere their result is precarious and doubtful. It suffices to 
suggest, but it can not prove. 

13. If I begin to reason with the integer four, I can divide 
this integer into separate units, and, by combining these units, 
I can once more produce the quality of the whole, while every 
unit remains unchanged. By a number of specific ideal ex 
periments I satisfy myself that the units are indifferent to their 
junction in this integer, and may be freely treated as inde 
pendent elements. For example I can show that, first taking 
one unit and then adding another, I get the integer two, and 
that I am safe in ignoring and abstracting wholly from the 
totality four. All this is quite obvious, and the important point 
is that my abstraction rests on specific experiment. I neglect 
the given whole and eliminate its detail, because, within my 
actual experience, I have destroyed that whole, and have seen 
that the residue will stand without it. If I take two from four, 
I know that two is left, since I have proved that the integer 
does not inter-connect the units in such a way as to qualify 
them. But, failing this experiment, my abstraction might be 
vicious. In removing one half of the integer four, I might 
have sapped and ruined the other half. 

This is not the place, nor am I sure that it belongs to 
logic, to discuss the limits of demonstrative proof in the 
sciences. What logic may hold fast is the assurance that, 
without a priori experiment, arithmetic could not start. And 
it is certain that soon we arrive at provinces where such 

2321.2 M 


experiment is impossible. 20 In dividing the wholes, if we could 
divide them, we should modify the parts; and in summing 
these parts we should not regain the wholes. We are here as 
powerless to construct the facts a priori, as we are to dissect 
them by ideal analysis. And when these regions are reached, 
as they very soon are reached, then our logical abstraction 
becomes a venture, and its result can never amount to 

14. I must return once more here to a fashionable error. 
The idea that, apart from specific experiment external or ideal, 
you can start with the individual and go on to prove an ab 
stract universal, is wholly erroneous. The so-called " Method 
of Difference " involves a downright logical mistake. It is 
subtraction employed where arithmetic is not known to be even 
possible (cf. Book II. p. 365). 

From the given total AB df, by removal of B /, we 
abstract A d, and we argue that A d is true of reality. 
But our reasoning depends on the unwarranted assumption 
that in AB df, we have nothing but units. Take the simple 
example, " 2 -f- 4 i makes the integer five, and two units 
apart from that whole integer are two, therefore 4 i has the 
quality of five, or is at least a part of the cause of that 
quality." 21 This strict application of the boasted method, unless 
you confine its result to the individual instance, brings forth 
what to me appears an absurdity. And the reason is obvious. 
The Method identifies, in the whole and outside it, both B and 
/. And, standing upon the Identity of Indiscernibles, it is so 
far right. But then it goes on to assume the absence of dif 
ference. It takes for granted that A and B make no difference 
to each other. It takes for granted that df is nothing beyond 
a mere sum. It assumes that the threads, from AB to df, 
neither cross nor are twisted, but run side by side. And this 
enormous presumption has no sound base. It could be justi 
fied by nothing but a specific experiment, ideal or external, 
which would show that AB df is this bare addition of 
units. 22 Without this it is precarious, most useful as a tenta 
tive means of enquiry, but unsound and imposturous if you 
take it as proof. We feel tempted to re-christen the Method 
of Difference as " the method which shuts its eyes to dif 


15. Probability is increased with the number of 
examples. 23 If to " AB df, B /" you go on to add 
"AC dg, C g" "AE dh, E h," and "AF di, 
F i" you approximate towards the certainty of A d. But 
you never can demonstrate ; you never can show that d follows 
from A with any condition, and still less that, if A were given 
by itself and unconditioned, the result would be d. For you 
can not presume that, apart from correlatives, A could even 

And I venture, in this connection, to raise a doubt which 
deeply affects some views of first principles. We are some 
times asked, in accents of wonder, how we come to believe 
that Reality is one. That enquiry is quite reasonable, but in 
my turn I sometimes feel inclined to wonder what possible 
ground could assure us of the opposite. For not all of us 
follow the " School of Experience ; " we are not all equipped 
with an a priori principle, which tells us that to every dis 
tinction of the mind a division corresponds in the actual world. 
We some of us still like to start with facts, and still keep up 
some prejudice for regarding them. And, if so, it is difficult 
to see what argument from fact could secure our conclusion. 
For in actual experience we never can find a thing by itself ; 
it is obvious that some context will always be present there. 
And if, with indefinite variations, the thing remained visible in 
all our contexts, that could hardly prove that without any con 
text the thing would exist. If we showed that our changes all 
made no special difference to the element, would that tell us 
that everything contributed nothing whatever and at all ? And 
the doubt that arises is, whether our conclusion does not rest 
on the vicious abstraction we have noticed ; whether, in short, 
supposing that single elements were real by themselves, it 
would be possible to get to know this truth by anything else 
than an unsound reasoning. 

We saw, indeed, that analysis and abstraction were often 
legitimate. But then consider the difference of the cases. 
Quite apart from the fact that arithmetic deals with unreal 
abstractions, 24 what is it that is shown with respect to the 
units? Is it proved, or can it be proved, that units are inde 
pendent of every integer? Did we not, on the contrary, merely 
show their complete indifference to any particular integer? 


But it is one thing to be free from this or that complex, and 
another thing to stand entirely absolute. And, if we tried to 
show that an unit could possibly exist by itself, we should 
pass from arithmetic to bad metaphysics. For the isolation 
implies an ideal integer, an invisible whole; and it implies 
definition by relation to other excluded units. If we recog 
nize these elements our unit is not solitary ; if we ignore them 
we fall into vicious abstraction. 

Where analysis is possible, there always remains an implicit 
condition. 25 And this rises as an obstacle whenever we attempt 
to raise our result to absolute existence. But where analysis 
and construction can not be effected, there abstraction is always 
a hazardous guess, and can never amount to a logical proof. 
And with this last warning we may leave a most dangerous 
source of widespread, insidious, and fatal delusion. 

1 6. We may go on to deal with other difficulties. The 
Disjunctive argument 26 consisted, as we saw, in the passage 
from a single possible predicate to its assertion as actual (p. 
413). This transition depends on a logical postulate, and I 
do not propose to discuss it farther. It would be easy to raise 
metaphysical objections, but they would fall beyond the limits 
of this volume. 

When we have once got to a sole remaining possibility, our 
inference is then to be taken as valid. But how can we be 
sure that we ever have reached this ground of inference ? We 
saw that, in the end, disjunction depended upon our impotence 
to find any other predicate. It seemed to rest on the experi 
ment, " I can not otherwise and therefore I must." And this 
process calls up the gravest suspicion. To state and settle 
the doubts, which it gives rise to, would imply the discus 
sion of some subtle questions that would lead us too far into 
metaphysics. Omitting these,* we must content ourselves with 
trying to consider the problem from its logical side. 

17. In disjunctive reasoning we have a subject A. This 
subject possesses a quality x, and x is determined as one of 
the discrepants a, b, and c. We go from the denial of a and 
b to the assertion of c; and this process assumes that x is 

* In my notes for this chapter 27 I went somewhat more fully into 
this question, but found I should occupy too much space with ques 
tions I was not sure were logical. 


exhausted by a, b, and c, and that any other predicate will fall, 
not outside, but within these areas. But how do we know 
that x is exhausted? How can we tell that no other predi 
cate, such as d, is possible? Our inference is ruined unless 
this condition is fully satisfied. 

Now in subordinate reasonings, where we start from and 
rest upon preconceptions, it is easy to have a complete division. 
The division is complete because we have taken certain things 
for granted. But this postulated omniscience, this factitious 
totality, must come to an end. When we reach those assump 
tions from which we proceed, we have then to face the 
general problem, How can we ever exhaust possibilities, and 
how can we know that they ever are exhausted? 

Suppose that, in the end, we are forced to avow that we 
rest upon impotence, that we are unable to find any other 
suggestion, and that certainly nothing else will appear. Is 
not this the admission that we stand on nought but a privative 
judgment? And is not this foundation hopelessly unsound? 

18. There is one way of escape. The rejection of an 
other and opposite predicate may perhaps after all not be 
based on privation. It may really spring from exclusion by 
means of a positive attribute. For suppose that our subject 
has the quality c, and that this quality is unseen. The experi 
ment by disjunction might succeed in making us apprehend c. 
It might cause what is latent to turn explicit, while the real 
ground we possess for the existence of c might not lie at all in 
the process of exhaustion. 

To explain when a and b are rejected, the base of rejec 
tion may not be any defect in A, but rather the presence 
of c which operates although unseen. And this principle 
goes further. When we ask, Is there anything possible but c, 
it may be once again the presence of c which excludes the 
idea of an opposite alternative. But, if so, our conclusion 
would be fully guaranteed. We are assured that nothing but c 
is possible, since the attempt to find a discrepant suggestion 
has made c explicit. And, if c were not real, we should 
find ourselves left with a conditional judgment, in which the 
predicate would deny the subject. But the consequence is 
that our impotence is not the real cause of the conclusion to 
c. It is c on the other hand which has caused our impotence. 


Its strength does not lie in the weakness of our minds, though 
the experience of our weakness proves its strength. In other 
words our knowledge of its presence depends indeed on our 
failure to banish it, but its covert agency it is which procures 
our open failure. The essence of our reasoning does not 
really consist in tollendo ponere. Ostensibly tollens its ex 
haustion and elision are a useful show provocative of truth. 
From a tacit position it works tollendo, to attain thereby an 
explicit ponere of this latent quality. It is thus a threatened 
contradiction which compels our subject to reveal a hidden but 
virtual pretension. 

It is scarcely worth while to add an illustration. I may 
deny that an actual number can be infinite, not because I am 
unable to form the idea, but because it contradicts a quality of 
the subject " actual number." I may be sure that a " Per 
sonal Devil " is nothing, not merely because of the absence of 
reason for belief in his existence, but because he implies a self- 
contradiction. An immoral agent, who was utterly wicked, 
would fall outside the sphere of morality; for badness, like 
goodness, involves a collision, and ceases to exist when you 
make it absolute. 28 

19. Where this kind of disjunctive inference can be 
practised, the conclusion it procures is logically certain. For 
the predicate, which emerges, is not won by exhausting every 
possible antagonist. The subject has not actually been altered 
by the choice of our ideal experiment. It remains what it 
was. Our own eyes are the real subject which has suffered 
the operative process, 29 but nothing is removed save impedi 
ments to vision. If we keep to the limits already laid down, 
then logic is pledged to bear us unharmed through all logical 

We are open to attack from another quarter ; for we may 
fairly be charged with the sin of desertion. The process, which 
we adopt, may be saved from every assault of the enemy; 
but what, it may be asked, has become of the disjunction? 
For this suggestion of an opposite, which leads to reflection on 
what lay in our minds this going from the experience of " I 
can not otherwise " by an inference to the ground of our 
incapacity (however sound and however ultimate the process 
may be) does not seem a disjunctive argument at all. Since 


the residue is in fact a preconception, since the exhausted 
alternatives were never possible, the conclusion does not de 
pend on exclusion. It is not in effect the mere assertion of 
a residual element, and this show and pretence is a hollow form 
which is simply deceptive. 

There is truth in this objection. The disjunctive argument, 
if you take it seriously, is not the process we have just 
sketched and defended. This process does appear in the form 
of disjunction. An exhaustion is the mode in which we clothe 
it, and the shape which it bears, if you take it as a fashion of 
opening our eyes. But the exhaustion itself is not that which 
demonstrates. The possibilities banished were never possible. 
And the experiment is so far from serving as a ground, that 
the process consists in its total rejection. But the objection 
may perhaps find its answer in a doubt. ao If disjunctive 
reasoning is not willing to take the place which we have offered 
it ; if it aspires to be more than a road to vision, and a way of 
reflection which brings the actual ground into light, is it likely 
to maintain its claim to existence? Is our seeming desertion 
not a counsel to throw off a character assumed, and that leads 
to condemnation? 

20. For, taken in the guise which it prefers to wear, the 
disjunctive argument will not bear a trial. Apart from a 
borrowed assumption of completeness, the ground it stands on 
is wholly rotten. If it really goes from the absence of a and b 
to the presence of c, and if it takes this step because it has 
failed to find other possibilities, then it sins against a cardinal 
logical principle. It treats a mere defect in its knowledge as 
equivalent to a positive quality in the content. The fact that 
A, as it now appears, is wanting in d, is no proof that A d 
is a false proposition. You can not identify the subject, as 
it stands under psychical conditions, with the subject as fully 
determined by content. You can not in short, by any kind of 
handling, make a privative judgment become an exclusion (cf. 
Book I. Chap. III.). 

If my reason, for thinking that A d is false, is simply my 
failure to find d in A, then the subject, which I deal with, is 
the subject as qualified by my mental defects. It is not the 
mere content A which excludes, but it is A taken together 
with that stage of ignorance, at which my psychical history has 


arrived. But this absence of knowledge does not logically 
determine the content A. It is an abstinence which reveals no 
actual quality within the subject ; for there can not be virtue 
where temptation as yet has not happened to assail. 

To put the case otherwise, if d is not impossible, if it is 
simply unreal ; or, more strictly 31 (since everything unreal is 
impossible), if d is not impossible because, if it were, a quality 
of the logical content A would be contradicted if d is im 
possible, because otherwise our knowledge of A would be 
altered, and if this is the only reason we can give for d s non- 
existence then our inference is precarious, its process is un 
sound, and its conclusion but begged. We may be forced to 
put up with it, but we must not try to think that logic guar 
antees it. 

21. We may sum the matter so. If, in saying "I must 
because I can not otherwise," we mean " I must not otherwise 
because I do thus, and I know that I do thus because I can 
not do otherwise," then our inference may not bear the name 
of disjunction, but it is thoroughly sound and faultless in 
principle. But, if, on the other hand, the essence of our argu 
ment is " I must do this, because I do not perceive that I can do 
aught else," then that argument may not reach a false con 
clusion, but, considered as a proof, it is thoroughly vicious. 
And, if this is what we mean by disjunctive reasoning, our 
process in the end is based on a fallacy. 

And this opens the door to a sceptical doubt. Must not 
both these varieties, if we determine to go back, resolve them 
selves into cases of the second? Does our proof depend on 
anything beside the ignoring of another discrepant alternative? 
This doubt does not cease with the province of disjunction; 
it attacks the whole system of our judgments and inferences. 
If all judgment in the end becomes an inference, when reflec 
tion suggests an excluded predicate, and returns to the subject 
from that repulsion if this, as we saw, is the ultimate infer 
ence does not every judgment in this way become a vicious 
inference? For it either is held for no reason except that it 
has not been questioned, or, when attempted, it succeeds in 
keeping its virtue for no other reason than the absence of sug 
gestions fit to corrupt it. And this absence is assuredly the 
chance of privation. We are forced to admit a theoretical 


possibility of our knowledge being otherwise, if our ignorance 
were less. And, if so, with each predicate, we can not deny 
the possible existence of unknown alternatives. To dissent is 
to assume something like omniscience, and to agree is to vitiate 
every inference. 

22. We might reply that, even if we did not merely as 
sume, but really possessed, entire omniscience, we should still 
by the argument be compelled to doubt and to disbelieve. And 
this consequence, the legitimate offspring of scepticism, shows 
features distressingly like credulity. But it is better to at 
tempt a direct refutation. The sceptical doubt, here as else 
where, will at bottom be discovered not to be sceptical. It 
assumes a foundation on which it stands to batter down its 
dogmatic antagonists, and that foundation itself is always un 
critical though covert dogmatism. We can see this at once in 
the present case. We found (Book I. Chap. VII.) that the 
possible must rest on the real. Possibilities exist in hypothetic 
judgments, and consist in the assertion that, given some condi 
tions, a subject would certainly possess some attribute. This 
simple reflection has important results. For if you say that, 
with every piece of our knowledge, we are bound to admit that 
it might be otherwise, you assume that with every subject you 
can frame a valid conditional judgment in which it acquires a 
discrepant predicate. Thus, given A b, you assume the 
existence of a possible c; and since the pair, A and b, are 
coupled not by virtue of any special attraction, but solely 
because b happened to be there when A was unoccupied, hence 
the relation A & is itself but possible. 

Now the answer is this, 32 that, if your conclusion is true, 
you either have failed altogether to prove it, or have proved it 
by means of a false assumption. For you yourself have ig 
nored a possibility. Suppose that your effort, everywhere to 
find a discrepant suggestion, were somewhere unsuccessful. 
Suppose that, attempting to make a judgment in which the sub 
ject developed a predicate inconsistent with the character al 
ready possessed, you somewhere found your impotence and 
the limits of your thought. If you wish to be sceptical, you 
must cease to ignore this fatal alternative. For seeking a pos 
sible quality c, incompatible with the present judgment A b, 
you may end for ever in a blank defect, or for ever arrive at a 


c, which seems to be discrepant with b, but which falls on 
scrutiny within its area. And, if this is the case, then to doubt 
A & is presumptuous dogmatism. You can not assert that 
its opposite is possible, until you are able mentally to represent 
that opposite. 33 

To doubt where you have but a single idea, to balance op- 
posites where one opposite is lacking, to suppose that the 
inconceivable is true, would be surely mere forms of one self- 
delusion. The question at issue turns on the fact of there 
being these opposites. The real existence of these ultimate 
doubts, the very possibility of these possibilities is the point 
where you are met by a flat denial. You can not escape a 
metaphysical discussion by metaphysical dogmatism in the 
garb of scepticism. And, whichever way we may decide this 
question, we certainly can not decide it off-hand by a simple, 
argument a priori. We must meet the sceptic by a deeper 
scepticism. His conclusion, if true, has been merely assumed. 
Whether right or wrong in the ultimate result, his process has 
consisted in begging the question at issue between himself and 
those who dissent from him. 

23. The actual question belongs to metaphysics, and we 
can not attempt to consider it here. A logical enquiry must 
remain content with a simpler result. If the subject of priva 
tion be identified with the true and real subject, then, on that 
assumption, disjunction is valid. The formal consequence of 
conclusion from premises is then unimpeachable. But the 
premise which maintains complete exhaustion is merely pre 
carious. 34 If, on the other hand, we wish for a process which 
is free from doubt, then, while it assumes the form of dis 
junction, it must really proceed by exclusive assertion. It 
must argue from presence and not from defect. 

And, with this, the remarks which we are able to offer, 
may come to an end ; and we shall say no more on the formal 
validity of our types of inference. Dialectical reasoning has 
not been discussed, but would not present us with new con 
clusions. Our main result may be so summed up. Argu 
ments, so far as they amount to demonstration, have been 
found to depend upon logical postulates. It is assumed 
throughout that some operations do but change our power 
of perceiving the subject, and leave the subject itself un- 


altered. And this holds even where our wilful and arbitrary 
choice selects the process and procures the result. The 
gain which the subject appropriates in the end, is here its 
original and rightful possession; while the loss and the 
struggle from defect to growth is the lot which falls to our 
finite intelligence. But these postulates in the end we left 

24. We have still before us a very grave question. In 
our final chapter we must ask whether inference is really 
valid; if, that is, beside making good the conclusion, its process 
has a claim to be true of facts. We may here, and in passing, 
allude very briefly to another difficulty. 35 We saw that, 
though our types might all be flawless and formally accurate, 
we might still be quite unable to use them. The conditions 
required for a demonstration might never occur in actual 
practice. Our types might be ideals, visible in heaven, but too 
far and too pure for human attainment. 

We may indicate the principal source of our corruption. 
What we use in logic is ideal content, and that content, we 
have seen, can have by itself no mental existence. It must 
always appear under psychical conditions, and hence comes a 
continual tendency to error. If we confuse the context with 
the actual content, we are sure to vitiate the whole logical 
process. For since we do not know exactly what we have in 
our hands, what we actually use and what we neglect, we 
turn a judgment, that should be categorical, into a judgment 
that depends on a latent condition. The form, in which the 
conclusion comes out, will depend on the presence of impurity 
in the agents. Take for instance A B and B C as prem 
ises, with a result A C. The construction here depends on 
the identity of B in both these premises. But suppose that, 
in the second premise, C is not really connected with B ; 
suppose that it really belongs to B;r, and that we have neg 
lected to notice x. The relation with C will then depend upon 
the context, while we have assigned it to the bare and simple 
content B. Thus a condition has crept in and has destroyed 
our reasoning. And hence to reason rightly demands a purity 
which is based throughout on elimination. Since we must 
have identity, and can not but have difference, we depend for 
our success on preserving the material, while eliding the 


irrelevant elements of our premises ; and this process is sub 
jected to the risk of error. 

25. We can not any further pursue this theme, but may 
end our chapter with another word against the sceptic. We 
are bound to admit some degree of probability in favour of 
the badness of any one inference ; 3G and the sceptic once more 
may urge his objection, If every argument is probably false, 
how can any argument be certainly true? But the answer is 
simple. Considering my reasoning as a number of acts, I con 
clude that I am fallible throughout the series. But this chance 
is mere antecedent probability. It may become unmeaning 
when the instance is present and actually before us ; as un 
meaning as the chances against a die giving six, when the 
actual throw has been observed. And, if so, the presumption 
of our fallibility may warrant a general feeling of diffidence ; 
but it can not affect any actual inference which has once been 
seen to exhibit the type required for demonstration. If in the 
present instance you can show me no ground which justifies 
doubt, your mere general probability is quite irrelevant.* 
Whether it is true that in every case we have actual cause 
for hesitation, is a question of fact to be settled by itself. 
This question of fact, which perhaps underlay the objection, 
and which has appeared in the answer, can not here be dis 
cussed. We must concentrate our thoughts, since we are 
summoned to encounter our ultimate problem. 

* There is a somewhat similar fallacy in Mr. Spencer s Psychology, 
vol. ii. p. 430. You can not argue from the general probability, that a 
longer argument has more chances of mistake, direct to the conclusion 
that a short argument must be more trustworthy than a longer one. 
In order to do this, you must assume besides, that arguments differ in 
nothing material except their length. 


1 " Validity." For the meaning of this ambiguous term see Ap 
pearance, Index. We have to distinguish three senses here. See 
Note 2. 

2 " Actual process." " Actual " should be " real," or (if we keep 
to the view more generally recognized in this work) " existing." 
Further, the terms, " represents " and " correspondence," are am- 


biguous. They are taken here as implying identity, together with its 
appearance in another region or embodiment. And this will be the 
first of our three senses of Validity. The second will be " good 
formally " ; and " good practically " will be the third sense. " Prac 
tical " (see the Index) means here " for working purposes in reason 
ing." This third sense in spite of the words " We intend . . . 
enquiry " comes up again in 24. 

3 " Postulates," see the Index. The question as to how far and 
in what sense Metaphysics also depends upon postulates is not raised 
here. See Essays, pp. 2, 16, 311. 

4 " The result must be new." See on Bk. III. I. II. 17. 

5 " The premises would be wrongly laid down." This is certainly 
the case. For (i) a whole beyond the premises is always implied. 
And (ii) so, again, is our agency. But, on the other hand, this agency is 
not merely ours, nor does it in its sequence involve necessarily our mere 
choice or arbitrary caprice. See Bk. III. I. II, Notes 7 and 10. Hence, 
if the subject of the inference is taken in its full sense, i.e. together 
with its implications, its self-development is intact. See T. E. I, and 
Index, s. v. Premises, and Inference. 

6 " Reality itself might supply, etc." This is what it does do, 
for it is itself an agency in union with mine. 

7 " If by altering myself, etc." The objection to this view is that 
it destroys the inference. There is now no process of aelf-develop- 
ment, and hence no real " therefore " or " must." A mere correction 
of an unaccountable mistake is hardly an inference. See on Bk. III. 
I. II. 13, and below, Note 15. 

Apart from this, the argument is as follows. If attention does 
not alter its object (as we postulate), so, more generally, other 
mental activities need not do this. On Attention see Essays, the 
Index. The reply to the above argument is " If no alteration, then 
no self-development, and hence no inference." On the " logical 
postulate " see further Note 15. 

8 In inference does the conclusion necessarily contradict the prem 
ises? This result is to my mind in the end unavoidable, (i) If 
the " premises " are really all that is there at the start, then that is 
altered in the result ; and by the result it is, I should say, contradicted. 
And (ii) if it is urged that the beginning is denied, not as it is but 
as it appears (cf. on Bk. III. I. II. 13), a dilemma awaits us. For (a) 
the process will still be a self-contradiction, though what contradicts 
itself will now be no more than an appearance; or (b) there will now 
be no real process and hence no inference at all. Further (iii), if 
the " premises " are widened so as to take in all that really is im 
plied at the start, then (as before) either (a) you have included 
so much that the process, and therefore the inference, disappears; 
or (b) the end, as I think, still contradicts the beginning. The ques 
tion in the end is whether the idea of self-development, though neces 
sary for Logic, is, when you insist on a final answer, a consistent 
idea. Does it, or does it not, depend on an x, which dependence, 


so far as we can see, implies that, as such and as itself, the above 
idea is not real? Cf. T. E. I., and (below) Notes 15 and 32. In this 
work (the reader is reminded in 7) I was not attempting to deal with 
first principles (cf. 10). 

9 " Is left to my caprice." The real solution of the difficulty here is, 
while accepting " agency," to distinguish that from " caprice." See 
Note 5. 

10 " Our assertion is elliptic " as is all judgment more or less. 
See T. E. II. 

11 " But that A C is known." The word " known " is ambiguous. 
It should mean that mere A C can be taken as true subject to an 
unexpressed condition. 

12 " A rising sea of inferences." For these see Book III. I. Chap. II, 
and the added Notes. Cf. also T. E. I. There are two main 
questions here, (i) How far in each case is the process arbitrary? 
(ii) How far, and in what sense, is this process the movement of 
what really is the subject of the inference, and can so deserve to be 
called self -development? 

13 " Those diagrams, etc.," i.e. in some old books on surgery. 

14 " The shepherd must predicate the sequel." The qualification 
" here " should be inserted before " must." 

15 " The process vision." The difficulty which arises here has been 
noticed already (see Notes 7 and 8). So far as the process is not 
a necessary development, and hence an alteration, it can not be an 
inference, though doubtless it may serve as a help in inferring. Every 
inference is the necessary self-development of a real subject. You 
may take that subject (i) as real simply, or (ii) as real in the sense 
of known so far by me, or again (iii) as real in the sense of a mere 
psychological fact. Hence (iii) your conclusion may be as to some 
thing that must happen necessarily in me under certain conditions. 
I may conclude, for instance, that under such and such conditions 
I shall perceive a certain result. But here, though we have a genuine 
inference, we have, so far, no inference with regard to the object 
itself which I perceive. On the other hand we may go on to arrive 
at that result by a further process. For we may proceed to reason 
from what happens in me to what in consequence must be true of the 
object itself. 

Having, for instance, attended to an object I may conclude that 
the object, as I now perceive it, is and was the real object itself; 
and my inference here is as follows. The development effected by 
me is assumed to have made no change in the object. And hence 
either that object has remained unchanged; or, if altered from out 
side, has been altered by something other than my process. But we 
can (we think) assume the absence here of any such latter alteration; 
and therefore, finally, my object is either now what it was, or it has 
developed itself. 

The above assumption is (i) negative, so far as it excludes altera 
tion from outside either by my process or by anything else. It is 


on the other hand (ii) positive, so far as it asserts the persistence 
or development of the object, and takes its stand on what I have 
called the Law of Identity (see Index, and Appearance, p. 602, and 
Essays, the Index). And on the negative side (to speak only of 
that here) the character of the inference so far as we have a 
genuine inference will be disjunctive (see on Bk. III. I. II. 25). 

With regard to the truth of the postulates given in the text I 
can not in any case admit that it is ultimate. These postulates are 
true only, I should say, in the sense that for certain purposes they 
can be taken to hold. And we have here (I should further add) really 
no more than one postulate, though that can be used in various applica 

16 On Supposition and Suggestion see the Index. 

" Abstraction." Cf . Bk. III. I. II. 23, and see T. E. I and IX. 

18 " Elliptical," and so also " conditional." And after " where we 
fail to analyze " is to be understood " completely, which is not possible 

19 " If you were able finally to isolate," which (we should add) 
is impossible. No analysis it does not matter whether the experi 
ment is " ideal " or otherwise is in the end conclusive if taken as un 
conditional. All that can thus be shown is that for a certain purpose 
you may find that you can ignore that whole which everywhere, in 
some sense, remains still vitally concerned. As for getting units 
apart from some integer, this is clearly impossible ; though for the 
purpose in hand the integer may of course be put out of sight. Cf. 
15, and see T. E. I and IX. In the following sentence, " Wherever 
. . . truths," the word " taken " should be emphasized. " Taken as " 
should be understood here in the sense of " assumed to be." 

20 We arrive . . . impossible." But it would be an error to take 
the "a priori experiment" as holding good except on the strength 
of an assumption, and so as subject to conditions. With one excep 
tion no possible experiment can give truth which in the end is more 
than relative. This exception is found in any case where the contrary 
of the result is inconceivable. And by " inconceivable " I mean that 
the " other " not only in fact is not found, but that you have no right 
to regard it as even possible. For, if you know of no field in which 
this "other " can be taken to fall, and, if you fail to give to it any 
positive meaning, it is clearly nothing that can be called possible. 
With the above exception no experiment can give more than relative 
truth, and the criterion here, as everywhere else, must be found in the 
idea of system. On the above see further T. E. VII and VIII. 

With regard to isolation (cf. 15) I would repeat that this never 
exists as the mere positive presence of one single element. There is 
always present without exception a many in one, felt at least in the 
mind if not also an object before the mind. Hence isolation must 
imply the negation of an " other " which actually is also there. And 
this relation of exclusion must (on my view) take place within and 
depend on a whole. It is a common fault in Realism and Pluralism 


to fail to recognize the above doctrine, even as a view which exists 
( 15). But as to the nature and justification of the particular 
assumptions used in experiments of various kinds, this is not a topic 
to be discussed here. 

21 " Is at least a part, etc." This conclusion is correct, if you 
make certain assumptions, which, for a certain purpose, may be 
justifiable. See T. E. I. But, as the "Method of Difference" leaves 
out these assumptions, and tries to be absolute and unconditional, it 
hence falls into grave error. For this Method, cf. Bk. II. II. III. 13. 

82 " A specific experiment" which (once more) is impossible, if 
taken as unconditional, and which is valid or not, according to the 
conditions which can or can not properly be assumed, in a case of 
this or of that character. 

23 " Probability, etc." The greater the number of instances in 
which accompaniments of A are shown with a consequence other than 
d and the greater the diversity of these instances the less becomes 
the chance of an accompaniment of A which is relevant to the pro 
duction of d. This, I presume, is here the formal principle. 

24 " Unreal abstractions." By " unreal " I meant here, I presume, 
" not existing as such." On Arithmetic see Bk. III. I. II, Note 4. 

25 " Where analysis . . . condition." Cf. Notes 19 and 20. 

26 " Disjunctive Argument." The difficulties connected with this 
have in the main been dealt with already in the Note on Bk. III. I. II. 
25. Cf . Bk. III. I. IV. 6. And see T. E. I. 

The condemnation of the Disjunctive judgment and inference which 
follows here is (I may remark at once) conditional on their being 
taken and used as self-supporting and self-sufficient. It is consistent 
with the view that a Disjunctive Whole is the form into which our 
knowledge should (so far as is possible) be brought however un 
attainable is this end, and however imperfect must remain the system 
which has to contain and support our disjunctions. 

27 These notes, I believe, are lost. But it is not likely that they 
contained anything which has not been used in my later writings. 

28 " Badness like goodness." Goodness is taken here in the nar 
rowed sense of moral goodness. Further, badness and goodness (taken 
in any sense) were certainly not intended here to be put on the 
same level. See my Ethical Studies. 

29 " Our own eyes, etc." See above, Notes 7 and 15. 

30 " But the objection, etc." Yes, but the question still remains 
whether the process, now described, is an inference at all. See the 
references in Note 26, and cf. the Notes which follow here. 

31 " Since everything . . . impossible." It would have been better 
to have inserted, after " everything unreal," the words " can be taken 
as in a sense impossible" (instead of "is"), or to have omitted this 
parenthesis. See T. E. VII. And after "impossible" it would be 
well to substitute " in the sense that " for " because." 

32 Obviously there is no disjunction where the supposed other 
possibility is not possible, but is on the other hand self-contradictory 


or quite meaningless. For the difference (so far as there is one) 
between the self-contradictory and the unmeaning, see T. E. VII. 

Given A, the claim of a possibility other than A may be excluded 
in two ways, (i) We may, first, have in our knowledge a field outside 
of A; and the idea of a something, other than A, which falls within 
this area of reality, is, so far, a sound idea. Hence an assertion 
of its exclusion and absence must either in the end rest on an as 
sumption, and will thus be admitted to be, so far, subject to doubt, 
or else will be grounded in the end on mere privation. But (ii) we 
may be without the knowledge of any such area outside of A. And 
in this case the idea of an "other than A " is in the end senseless 
and is wholly inadmissible. Hence there can be no disjunction here, 
nor, again, is there any privation, since privation itself depends on a 
known positive field of reality. What, however, may have been 
gained here, in and through our futile attempt, is a better perception 
of A s character This improved recognition is, however, the result 
of an increased attention to A, and it involves, in itself, no inference. 

I will go on to deal next with the question (raised in the last para 
graph of 20) as to the difference between alteration and contradic 
tion. If a suggestion that A is otherwise does not alter A as we 
know it, then this suggested " otherwise " is in the end nothing. But, 
if on the other hand we have an actual idea of an " otherwise," then 
this must, so far, contradict A, since it is contrary to A, as itself and 
A stand. But again, further, this idea need not be contrary, but may 
be accepted as a change of A, if A is taken more widely, or if A and 
itself are regarded as together qualifying (under some condition) a 
wider reality. And in this case an " otherwise " that alters is an 
admissible idea. For " Contrary " and " Contradictory " see the Index. 

But obviously, where our A is taken as ultimate Reality, the sug 
gestion of an "otherwise" becomes quite untenable. An "otherwise 
than A," whether as a contrary or as an alteration, is here, alike in 
either case, no idea at all, but is wholly senseless. Cf. Notes 8 and 15. 

33 " Mentally to represent that opposite." The term " represent " 
is used here in the widest possible sense. 

34 " Is merely precarious." It is precarious (if I may repeat this) 
so far as it rests merely on the fact that I do not find something 
else, something else which on the other hand I can not refuse to call 
possible. The more, however, our knowledge becomes systematic, 
the less becomes the area within which this idea of an " otherwise " 
holds good. But the question as to how large this region of the 
Universe still remains, is in the end, I think, unanswerable. Absolute 
knowledge is assured only by the nothingness of anything other than 
its own positive and, in a sense, " exclusive " self-assertion. Cf. the 
foregoing Notes, and see T. E. VIII. 

35 The doctrine of 24, with regard to the risk of error in inference, 
has been anticipated in Bk. III. I. III. 23, 24, to which a reference 
should have been given. On this doctrine cf. Mind, O. S., No. 47, and 

2321.2 N 


Essays, pp. 362 foil. The main point is that logical thinking is the 
result of and consists in the exercise of a certain control, and in the 
subordination of that which, apart from this or some other control, 
would be mere wandering. And, since any control is naturally liable 
to lapses, the identity of the subject is thus itself liable to be de 
stroyed and the inference to be broken. The above view belongs, 
I presume, to that general mode of thought which I adopted. And, 
as for claiming originality here, such an idea (I may be permitted to 
add) never so much as occurred to me. 

I regret to be forced in this connection to call attention to a 
statement made by Dr. Schiller (in Mind, No. 95, p. 350 note). 
He allows himself (referring to my Essays, p. 368, note) to speak 
of my " claim to have anticipated Mr. Sidgwick s difficulty about the 
ambiguity of the middle term," i.e. in the present 24 of this Chapter. 
Now, if the reader will turn to the passage in my Essays, p. 368, note, 
he will find no reference made to any writer but myself. And I may 
add that, as I have almost no acquaintance with Mr. A. Sidgwick s 
writings, I could not pretend even to know in what his particular 
difficulty or discovery consists. I will now ask the reader to refer 
also to the Note on Bk. III. I. VII. i of the present work, and will 
leave it to him to judge as to the amount of credit to be given to any 
assertion or suggestion proceeding from Dr. Schiller. 

36 So far as you take an inference simply as this or that inference, 
there is certainly some probability against it as so taken. But this 
antecedent probability itself rests on the assumed certainty of that 
doctrine on which it is based where, however, we have again, so far, 
the same general chance of error. On the other hand, when you 
take an inference not merely as this or that, but as a concrete in 
dividual case, the above abstract probability may be in various degrees 
reduced or may wholly disappear. Obviously, if there is any case 
where doubt is not possible, the above probability vanishes, since its 
foundation is incomparably less secure than is that position which it 
attacks. And you can not (to speak in general) take some particular 
assertion by itself, and then argue a priori about its degree of prob 
ability. Its real probability depends on the amount of its connection 
with the whole body of your knowledge. See Bosanquet, K & R, 
p. 266; and, on the whole subject of Probability, cf. T. E. VIII. 

The reader will notice that in "another word against the sceptic" 
the reference is not to 24 but to preceding Sections. 



I. In the foregoing chapter we limited the question of 
our reasoning s validity. We discussed the possibility of get 
ting an inference which amounts to demonstration. We asked 
whether any conclusion does follow, when the premises are 
assumed. To this limited question we were able to return 
an affirmative reply. If we admit certain postulates, then 
there assuredly are types of necessary reasoning. It may be 
difficult to practise the rules which they enjoin, but we may 
say at least that, given the conditions, the consequence must 
follow. And so far, though relying on the strength of postu 
lates, we have succeeded in holding the position which we 

But we now must await a more dangerous attack. Our 
inference may be valid, if valid is to bear the sense of con 
clusive; the consequence may follow and be true, if the 
premises are not false. But what shall we answer, when asked 
if our reasoning is true in reality, and valid of fact throughout 
all its process ? It is not enough to reply that surely it comes 
out true in the end. For the outset and the journey might 
both lie in a region of convenient falsehood ; and the question, 
which is pushed and which can no longer be fenced with, 
directs itself to this fatal weakness. If truth is the ideal 
counterpart of fact, 2 can we say that the process of our 
reasoning is truth ? Can we venture to assert that our mental 
operations are the same with any actual process in things? 
Is the intellectual experiment the parallel of a movement in 
the real universe? Our reasoning, we know, does answer to 
the facts,* but that is not enough. Can we call it the literal 
expression of those facts? Is reflection the double of an out 
ward change, that shows feature for feature in an answering 
element? Or is it an indirect process, which results in a 
* Cf. Lotze, Logik, Buch III. Kap. 4. 


picture, but which, taken in the middle, could not be recog 
nized? We may doubt if the end, when we get it, is a copy; 
and we may doubt still more if the means is a copying, or in 
any sense a counterpart. 

2. We can not dwell on this question in its ultimate form. 
We can not decide if an activity, which appears in our reason 
ing, is one with a force that alters reality. 4 It is not that I 
think the question improper, but that in this volume it could 
not be discussed. For the very existence of any force or 
activity is itself a point which we are not able to assume ; and 
without this assumption, the question we have mentioned would 
of course have no meaning. 

But, if we lay no stress on the question of activity, 5 and 
confine ourselves mainly to the actual change, the problem in 
hand may thus be stated. In our reasoning a datum suffers 
alteration; undergoing a change it appropriates the whole, or 
at least some part of the new result. And does the reality 
transform itself in unison? Do the facts themselves exhibit 
alterations parallel with the series that appears in our argu 
ment? Is this aways the case, and again, if not always, is it 
ever the case in any possible argument? 

3. The result, we have reached, forbids us to accept the 
first of these alternatives. Where the middle of our process 
does not answer to the cause, where it is not the reason of the 
conclusion s existence, but merely the ground which we have 
for belief in it, in every such case our mental experiment does 
not even pretend to reproduce fact. The equality of A and 
of C to B is our cause for the judgment " C is equal to A," 
but we can not suppose that this change in our knowledge 6 
has an answering birth in rerum natura. The last relation does 
not spring from the original pair. The result in our minds is 
no actual result, 7 the change in our minds is no change in 
things, the mental experiment, if you compare it with the fact, 
has no existing counterpart at all. If the real world is not far 
other than it seems, then the course of our ideas, at least in 
this case, can not possibly be true. 

The conclusion does not really result from the function; 
for if it were not there before, we admit it would be false. 8 
On the other hand it can not be given, already and at the start, 
for in that case we should have no inference at all. But, if 


so, then both movement and issuing change are false appear 
ances; they belong to our minds, and are not true of things. 
This fatal consequence affects all inferences, where the middle 
does not represent the cause. And then the middle, we may 
go on to urge, can be wholly capricious. It may arise from 
nothing but our arbitrary act. 

For consider the processes of distinction, comparison, and 
again abstraction. I need not perform these ; I experiment or 
not, as it happens to please me. But is it possible that when 
ever I happen to be pleased, the things have somehow changed 
themselves harmoniously? How frivolous an idea, but how 
inevitable ; and yet once more how wholly indefensible. We 
have hitherto concluded from our logical postulate (which 
assured us that our change did not alter fact) that the con 
clusion was there and came out to be seen. But now we seem 
confronted with three alternatives. 9 Our actual process may 
be foreign to reality, and falls outside it in our mental world. 
Or an actual and answering change has taken place, and the 
facts are transformed by our caprice. Or lastly the course of 
things runs parallel by an overruling harmony. Any one of 
these alternatives seems attended with ruin. 

4. (a) Suppose first that our arbitrary choice has modi 
fied the facts themselves, that no quantities are equal 10 until we 
have compared them, nor anything different before we have 
distinguished, and that these functions make the object which 
they contemplate. If so we of course must surrender our 
postulate, and allow the result to become conditional. The 
things, if you leave them alone, are not equal, since equality 
depends upon your caprice. But, with this result, we not only 
give up what before seemed true, but we can not accommo 
date our view to the facts. Unless the world is quite different 
from our common beliefs, unless we turn upside down our 
ideas about reality, we therefore can not accept this first 
alternative. And if (&) we next make trial of the har 
mony, 11 we find ourselves still immersed in difficulty. For 
suppose that, when I argue, the world is changed, and a process 
takes place conformable to my movement, then, unless we 
think that the world goes by chance, there must be some kind 
of reason for that change. But the conclusion, as we have it, 
is then incorrect; for the condition of the process is com- 


pletely ignored. We must therefore set down, not A by itself, 
but A -|- x as equal to C. But what is this x? If it is other 
than our act, then once more the things diverge from the course 
which is taken by our thoughts. 

5. " But the x" I shall be told, " though it is not the 
act of our intelligence, is still the function of an under 
standing. Phenomena are ruled by a reason not mine, and 
my argument, capricious in regard to its existence, is com 
pelled and subject in respect of its content. If I make it, I 
must make it on a certain model, and this model is the work, 
long done or now doing, of an inference precisely the same 
as mine. This double process of a two-fold mind unlocks 
the puzzles by which we are enclosed." 

I should be sorry to seem to persist in unbelief, but I am 
compelled once more to repeat the dilemma : If the reality in 
this way corresponds to logic, then reality itself has been 
wholly transformed. One may perhaps accustom oneself to 
regard events as the reasoning sequence of the divine under 
standing, but it is not so easy to bring under this head any 
sameness and difference that is thought to exist. We are 
forced to wonder, if things by themselves are really not alike, 
how God himself can find them the same; or how even God 
goes on to distinguish them, if they themselves are not really 
different. It is indeed possible here that a distinction might 
save us, that a sensuous ground, which is not different, when 
taken together with a function of the intellect, produces alike 
both distinction and difference. And yet this solution is 
partial, and leaves a worse puzzle behind. 

We might perhaps agree that reality is the work of a 
reasoning mind, but how can we submit to the belief that my 
reasoning must represent reality? How can we suppose that 
each trivial argument, 12 every wretched illustration that we 
may have used in these discussions, provided only it be free 
from flaw, must have its direct counterpart in the nature of 
things. You may suppose that, whenever we reason, we 
retrace the solidified logic that is organic in the world; you 
may believe that a mind, in union with our own, brings out 
by one process, that to us seems double, the separate sides of 
existence and truth. But, on either view, we are troubled with 


this consequence; every possible piece of mere formal argu 
ment, every hypothetical deduction from an idle fancy, all 
disjunctive and negative modes of demonstration, must each 
have its parallel counterpart in reality. This consequence may 
be true, and I will not deny it. But, if true, to me at least it 
is portentous. Our logic will have secured correspondence 
with fact, 13 but the facts themselves have been strangely 

6. If we mean to keep to a view of reality which is any 
thing like our common ideas (and apart from a system of 
metaphysics we can not, I think, do anything else) we must 
come in the end to our third alternative (c). We must admit 
that, although a valid inference in some way must answer to 
the nature of things, yet at least some reasoning does not 
show that nature. It exhibits a process essentially different 
from the actual course of real eixstence. Even if you believe 
that it comes right in the end, yet throughout its movement, 
it diverges from the truth. Unless you revolutionize your 
belief about reality 14 (and perhaps you ought to revolutionize 
that belief), you can not maintain the strict correspondence 
of thoughts and of things. 

We have seen so far 15 that, at least sometimes, our move 
ment does not answer to the course of reality. But we are not 
allowed to get off with this compromise. We must prepare for 
a still more fatal sentence. We shall have to see that our 
mental experiment can never represent the actual event. And 
our conclusions also are threatened with falsehood; for our 
arguments can not even finish with a truth. Both process 
and result diverge from given reality. They no doubt may 
be valid in the sense of serving, they may go near enough to 
convey the meaning, but neither can be called correct trans 

7. If the result seems strange, it is strange because we 
have not remembered our account of judgment. It is in a 
judgment that our reasoning must end; and our natural im 
pulse is to think that ideas are divided and joined like the 
things which we know. But we saw that this notion could not 
be verified. Our hypothetical, disjunctive, and negative judg 
ments were none of them found to represent facts. There was 


nothing left which, if truth is a copy, could possibly be true, 
save only the class of categoric judgments. And, seeking for 
these, we failed wholly to find them, so long as we kept to the 
series of phenomena. All our ordinary truths, every single 
affirmation we were able to make about the course of events, 
turned out in the end to be hypothetical. We tried in vain 
to get right down to the facts ; we were always left with an 
artificial extract and a fragment got by mutilating things. 
And this product failed of truth in two ways. It left out 
details which it ought to have copied, and it depended on de 
tails which did not exist. However you took it, it turned out 
hypothetical, and the elements which it connected lacked actual 

8. And this failure was a symptom of our logical disease, 
a weakness not passing, nor local in its area, but deep-rooted 
in the system. For judgment and inference, if we are to have 
them at all, must both be discursive; they must work with ideas. 
But ideas do not exist, 16 and they can not exist, if existence 
means presence in the series of phenomena. I do not mean 
merely to press the obvious consequence that a thing can not 
be in two places at once. I do not mean that ideas, being 
inside my head, can not also and at once be found outside it. 
I mean much more than this. Neither outside my head, nor 
yet inside it, can ideas have existence; for the idea is a con 
tent, which, being universal, is no phenomenon. The image 
in my head exists psychologically, and outside it the fact has 
particular existence, for they both are events. But the idea 
does not happen, and it can not possess a place in the series. 
It is a mutilated content which, as such, can not claim to be 
more than an adjective. And the functions, that work with 
these unrealities, can not possibly reproduce the flow of 

9. This discursive nature of judgment and reasoning is 
fatal to their claim of copying existence. The process of the 
inference can never be true, and the result can never represent 
the fact. We will not waste time on less mortal objections 
that destroy weaker forms of logical thought, but will at 
once proceed to the strongest instance. Even where the middle 
seems to answer to the cause, and the conclusion to exhibit the 
actual effect, yet even here the movement in the mind is not 


the same thing as the movement of facts ; the premises can not 
exhibit the conditions, and the conclusion is very different from 
the consequence in time. 

In our inference we have first the elements apart, then 
follows their union, with the issuing result. But the elements 
that occur in the course of phenomena do none of them pos 
sess an isolated being. They can not exist every one by itself. 
Apart from one another they indeed may be found, but none 
separate and divorced from all other existence. Yet this con 
text, which makes them real as events, and without which they 
could not appear in the series, is ruthlessly stripped off in our 
mental experiment. And so, what we use in that ideal syn 
thesis, is nothing but an artificial preparation. We operate 
with content and not with existence. Our elements are noth 
ing in the world but adjectives, and adjectives whose sub 
stantives we fail to state. We indeed treat them as actual, 
we attribute them all to the ultimate reality; but reality, in 
the sense in which we have chosen at present to take it (the 
sense of a being that exists within the series of phenomena), 
refuses to maintain the existence of our elements. It sup 
ports them hypothetically, and on the strength of conditions 
which we are powerless to fulfil. 

10. And as the separation of the elements is not true, so 
also their union and construction is fictitious. I will not raise 
again a former objection, though it weighs, I admit, in the 
adverse scale. If our minds did not work by way of con 
struction, the premises would hardly come together of them 
selves ; and can we say that, in the outward movement, there 
is anything like an answering activity? We will suppose that 
this question has been answered in a way which favours the 
claim of our inference to truth. But, be this as it may, the 
movement in our mind remains discursive, symbolic, and ab 
stract. If the facts come together on just the same principle 
on which we unite our ideal elements, yet they can not come 
together in just the same way. The real is divided from the 
mental union by an insuperable difference. The synthesis of 
facts may be partly the same as our mental construction ; but 
in the end it diverges, for it always has much that we are not 
able to represent. We can not exhibit in any experiment that 
enormous detail of sensuous context, that cloud of particulars 


which enfolds the meeting of actual events. We may say 
indeed that we have the essential ; but that plea reiterates the 
charge brought against us. It is just because we have merely 
the essence, that we have not got a copy of the facts. The 
essence does not live in the series of events; it is not one 
thing that exists among others. If reality is the chain of facts 
that happen, then the essence is a creature which lives only in 
the thought which has begotten it. It could not be real, and 
it can not be true. Our construction is as false as our sepa 
rate premises. 

And our conclusion can hardly fare much better. Be 
gotten of falsehood it can not so far be misbegotten, as to 
show us in the end the features of fact. The parental disease 
still vitiates its substance. Abstract and symbolic it mutilates 
phenomena ; it can never give us that tissue of relations, it can 
not portray those entangled fibres, which give life to the 
presentations of sense. It offers instead an unshaded outline 
without a background, a remote and colourless extract of ideas, 
a preparation which everywhere rests on dissection and recalls 
the knife, a result which can not, if events are reality, be 
aught but unreal. 

II. And no possible logic is exempted from this sentence. 
If we recur to that type, which we found or fancied, where 
the real and the logical seemed wholly one, if we come in the 
end to the Dialectic process, 17 we can not escape the point of 
the objection. For, if the starting-place we leave were real by 
itself, if it were actual so as it first comes before us, what 
sufficient excuse can we plead for leaving it? Why do we 
correct and supplement it, if it is true ? You may say that a 
parallel alteration and amendment is the actual course of the 
genuine reality, but I confess to my mind that solution is a 
failure. If you think that the element, with which you began, 
was apart by itself in the field of reality and within that 
vacuum began to develope, then to me the whole question is 
lost in darkness. But if you admit that a movement took place 
by virtue of the action of the total system, then surely we must 
add that, apart and by itself, our element was not real. Both 
its isolation and its subsequent evolution took place within a 
completed universe, 18 and without that universe would have 
been nonentities. And, if so, our process is but partially true. 


It depends on conditions which it fails to state. It does not 
answer to the working reality. 

Both our starting-place and our process of advance and the 
provisional goal at which we arrive, are none of them true of 
the actual world. If you take them by themselves, they can 
hardly be more than our way of thinking. Our knowledge and 
reality would never be one, until in our minds the self-con 
scious Universe were to follow itself throughout all its pro 
ductions, and comprehend itself in the whole of its detail. 
And, if that pass were reached and that hope consummated, 
it is doubtful if then our knowledge would be logical, and if it 
could still bear the form of a discursive process. 19 

12. It seems hardly worth while to follow any further 
this line of objection. We may however recall a further point, 
with which we will bring the discussion to a close. Even if the 
process of our logical movement seemed ideally to counterfeit 
the course of phenomena, and to present us with the actual 
changes of events, yet, if this by any means could be believed, 
we still fall at the end into hopeless confusion. For if it were 
not for our inferring, we never should have had this series of 
phenomena. It is not merely the separate strands and fibres of 
causation, but it is the whole continuity of the total series 
which is absolutely based on ideal reconstruction. By means of 
this function, and this function alone, we have connected the 
past in one line with the present. It is by this alone that we 
have acquired our knowledge of phenomenal changes ; and it is 
this creation we approach with that series of inferences which 
attempts to exhibit the threads of causation. But if reality is 
not to be the work of our reasoning, if it is to lie within mere 
presentation, then the train of events are themselves not real. 
They themselves are nothing but a false construction; and a 
mental sequence that portrayed them truly, as we believe them 
to exist, would itself be therefore untrue to given reality. 20 

For unless we think that phenomena can be real, though 
they appear to no one, we must hold that the past, at least as 
we know it, has no existence outside reproduction. But we 
know what is past by synthetical judgments, and they are a 
function which depends on a ground. This ground is the prin 
ciple of the Identity of Indiscernibles ; it is because the ideal 
content seems the same, that we therefore assume it to be 


really identical, and identical in spite of change and diversity, 
despite the difference of its two presentations. But how shall 
we dare, on the strength of this principle, to treat the ideal as 
if it were real? What help could we expect from the School 
of Experience, if our only way to rehabilitate their fact is 
to violate their most sacred and continuous tradition? Can 
we safely go from the appearance of sameness, within the 
mind which compares, to a real identity that connects events? 
Can we pass from ideal redintegration to actual continuity of 
fact? If we can not, then forthwith the series of phenomena 
becomes unreal, and our reasoning which follows the chain is 
illusory. But, if we can, then at once our idea of reality is 
quite transformed. Our reasoning will be true because the 
facts are themselves inferential. We thus either have relin 
quished the presumption that reality lies in what is given to 
sense, or are compelled to admit that a serial reality is itself 
a bad inference. On either alternative we have ended in con 

13. To sum up the result if reality consists in an actual 
sequence of sensuous phenomena, then our reasonings are all 
false because none of them are sensuous. And still more if 
reality is wholly confined to the given in presentation, then the 
inferences which try most thoroughly to follow the facts, are 
therefore and on that account the most false. And reality, it 
would seem, must be thus confined, since its prolongation is 
merely ideal. It is lengthened on the strength of the Identity 
of Indiscernible Content, and it ends in a link which is ideal 
also. The past can not be restored in its sensuous fulness ; the 
detail is not literally present to the mind. It is judged to be 
there; but such judgment is nothing but a general indication, a 
symbolic reference to a context, whose main character and 
import still survives, but whose complex particulars have 
perished irrecoverably. And in the end we are forced to hold 
to one of these conclusions ; our reality is not that which ap 
pears to our senses, or else, if truth is to present us with facts, 
our reasonings are every one of them false. 

14. It is idle to urge the argument from success. It is 
useless to reply that the mass of our results is enough to prove 
the truth of our presumption, and to show that our reason 
ings are identical with fact. You can not plead that, because 


logic works, logic can not be wrong. For the answer is simple. 
If logic succeeds, then logic is not wrong to work as it does 
work. It is practically right beyond all suspicion, but for all 
that it may rest on theoretical error. It must answer to facts 
so far indeed as to answer our purpose, but withal its assump 
tions may be downright false, and its principle may turn on 
unblushing fictions. You can not assert that, if a science goes 
right, that science is unable to start from false premises. Have 
not brilliant results in the study of nature been obtained by the 
help of such working hypotheses as hardly pretended to be 
more than fictions? And why should not logic, if it shares the 
success, share also in the falsehood? We should surely be 
satisfied if discursive necessity, though itself nothing real and 
not strictly true, runs parallel with reality, and is throughout 
corresponding to our practical needs. 21 

15. For this seems the dilemma to which we are brought. 
If we keep to the ordinary belief as to fact, or to anything that 
is like that ordinary view, then either our account of the nature 
both of judgment and reasoning must be radically wrong, 
or else these processes are no proper counterpart of the ac 
cepted reality. 22 We can not at the end of these toilsome 
marches accept the failure of our whole expedition ; and we are 
led to seek for a place of provisional rest in the second alterna 
tive. And perhaps it is not our reasoning that will suffer a 
loss of dignity. Why should not that view, which finds reality 
within the series of temporal events, be itself degraded to the 
rank of an illusion ? Why should not the result of the deepest 
philosophies after all be the truth, and our sensuous present 
ment 23 be misrepresentation that can not give fact ? In this 
case, if our logic diverged from the given, it perhaps after all 
has been wiser than it knew of. Unawares it has followed the 
hidden reality, and against itself has throughout been true. 

Possibly this may be, and, if so, an old dream would gain 
fulfilment. But too probably, again at this final moment, a 
rival alternative 24 might shatter our hopes. Although the 
reality is, for certain and assuredly, no series of phenomena, 
may it not still be something other than thought, or contain 
at the least an alien element? Then, if so, this genuine fact, 
when we found it, would remain out of oneness 25 with dis 
cursive intelligence, or intelligence altogether. Our logic after 


all may turn out to be false, if truth means complete identity 
with the real, or implies an accurate unfalsified copy. 

1 6. But what is it guarantees this presumed identity of 
truth and fact? We have an instinct, no doubt, that leads 
us to believe in it, but our instincts, if they can not be in error, 
may at least be mistranslated and misunderstood. And here 
we seem placed between rival promptings, that contend for 
mastery over our reason. It is an old preconception that reality 
and truth must contain the same movement of a single content 
that, by itself not intellectual, then doubles itself in the glass of 
reflection. On the other hand it is a certain result that our 
intellect and the movement of our intellect s content is ab 
stract and discursive, a mere essence distilled from our senses 
abundance. And this certainty has inspired an opposite con 
clusion. Since the rational and the real in truth must be one, 
and since these vital essences are the life of our reason, then, 
despite of seeming, the reality too must consist and must live 
in them. If the real becomes truth, then so without doubt the 
truth must be real. 

In the face of these promptings, I must venture to doubt 
whether both have not branched from one stem of deceit, 
whether truth, if that stands for the work of the intellect, is 
ever precisely identical 2G with fact, or claims in the end to 
possess such identity. To the arguments urged by the reason, 
and which demonstrate that an element which is not intelligible 
is nothing, I possibly might not find an intelligible reply. But 
I comfort my mind with the thought that if myself, when most 
truly myself, were pure intelligence, I at least am not likely to 
survive the discovery, or be myself when I wake from a pleasant 
delusion. And perhaps it may stand with the philosopher s 
reason, as it stood with the sculptor who moulded the lion. 
When in the reason s philosophy the rational appears dominant 
and sole possessor of the world, we can only wonder what 
place would be left to it, if the element excluded might break 
through the charm of the magic circle, and, without growing 
rational, could find expression. Such an idea may be senseless, 
and such a thought may contradict itself, but it serves to give 
voice to an obstinate instinct. Unless thought stands for some 
thing that falls beyond mere intelligence, if " thinking " is not 
used with some strange implication that never was part of the 


meaning of the word, a lingering scruple still forbids us to 
believe that reality can ever be purely rational. 27 It may come 
from a failure in my metaphysics, or from a weakness of the 
flesh which continues to blind me, but the notion that exist 
ence 28 could be the same as understanding strikes as cold and 
ghost-like as the dreariest materialism. That the glory of this 
world in the end is appearance leaves the world more glorious, 
if we feel it is a show of some fuller splendour ; but the sen 
suous curtain is a deception and a cheat, if it hides some colour 
less movement of atoms, some spectral woof of impalpable ab 
stractions, or unearthly ballet of bloodless categories. Though 
dragged to such conclusions, we can not embrace them. Our 
principles may be true, but they are not reality. They no more 
make that Whole which commands our devotion, than some 
shredded dissection of human tatters is that warm and breath 
ing beauty of flesh which our hearts found delightful. 

17. But be this as it may, one result is most certain. 
If these pages have not erred from beginning to end, there is 
at least one thing which we are safe in rejecting. No cheap 
and easy Monism can stand before an enquiry into logic. The 
parallel series of sense and of thought, phenomena presented by 
simple observation and reasoning that retraces the chain of 
presentations, may both be banished to the region of illusions. 
If the string of appearances could possibly appear, if conceiv 
ably their sequence could be given as fact, yet assuredly logic 
could never reproduce them, or supply us with a truthful 
counterpart and copy. The desire to comprehend our Universe 
as the double outgrowth and revelation of a single principle, 
depends on a genuine impulse of philosophy. It will hardly be 
fufilled without patience and criticism, and never if we start 
with a blind acquiescence in the coarsest prejudices of popular 


1 The attempt, made at times in this work for the sake of con 
venience (see on Bk. I. II. 4), to identify reality with the series of 
facts, and truth with copying was, I think, misjudged. It arose from 
my wish to limit the subject, and to avoid metaphysics, since, as is 
stated in the Preface, I was not prepared there to give a final answer. 
But the result of this half-hearted attempt was an inconsistency, which 


in this Chapter is admitted. The real world," as the series of facts 
in time and space, is neither a given presented fact, nor is it a con 
sistent construction. And obviously it can not be taken as ultimate 
Reality. Hence the " actual process in things," as identified with 
what is real, depends on an assumption which more or less is arbitrary. 

On the other hand the reader was warned, as I thought, sufficiently, 
that this view of reality, as the "real world " of Common Sense 
which is copied in truth, was not accepted by myself. And I will now 
point to warnings in this Chapter which some critics appear to have 
overlooked. The reader is referred to 3, " If . . . seems," 4, " Un 
less . . . reality," 6, " If . . . ideas," and (ibid.) "Unless . . . 
reality," 9, " But reality . . . take it," 10, " If reality . . . happen," 
and 15, " If . . . fact." 

2 " Truth the ideal counterpart of fact." I think that (notwith 
standing the last words of this Section) " counterpart " is used here 
throughout in the sense of " copy " or facsimile, and not anywhere 
in the sense of " complement." It seems to signify here " the same 
process and result, present in another piece of reality, and differing 
only as an exact copy may differ from its original." On the doctrine 
of truth as copying see Essays, Chap. V. 

3 " Does answer to the facts," i.e. does in a sense correspond. 
" Correspondence " is of course an ambiguous term, but it may be 
taken as the keeping, as to sameness with the original, near enough 
to work or " serve," and so at once to answer our purpose while 
answering to the facts (6). See Index, s. v. Truth. Everywhere, 
in order to exist and to reach its end, correspondence must imply 
some identity, though how much is a question not discussed here. 
For "correspondence" see further Essays, pp. 118-20. 

* " Is one with a force." The expression " one with " is ambiguous 
(cf. Note 25). Two things can be in one, and so have an identity, 
while at the same time they may differ greatly. But far more than 
that was meant here. 

B " But if we lay no stress, etc." As, however, there is verifiable 
activity on our side, we can hardly get rid of the problem by leaving 
the presence of activity on the other side doubtful. The true answer 
is that there is one joint activity on both sides. See T. E. I. 

6 " That this change in our knowledge has, etc." The word 
" always " should here be added after " has," and, again, after " does 

7 " Actual result." " Actual " means here " in the series of events," 
and for "things" we should substitute "the things that are its object." 

8 " We admit it would be false." After " admit " insert " that, at 
least in some cases." The argument here is as follows. If the infer 
ence is not true of reality, it is not true at all. But, if it is true of 
reality, then its change and its whole process belongs to the reality, 
and this if reality is the world of Common Sense is, at least in some 
cases, false. 

Then, further, the fact of the inference depends on my caprice. 


And, though you may reply that this fact (whatever its origin) can 
be, and is (according to a postulate), taken as making, at least in 
some cases, no difference to the real things yet this answer is not 
enough. For it lies open to the fatal objection that, if and so far 
as there is no change, there is no inference at all. Cf. the Notes on 
Bk. III. II. III. 6 and 10. And for the question as to arbitrariness 
and caprice, see on Bk. III. I. II. 6. For the " postulate " see Index, 
s. v. Postulate. 

" Three alternatives." The reader will note that these are dis 
cussed in a different order, the first being taken last. 

10 " Suppose, etc." It would be better to write here " that the 
quantities need not be equal, etc." ; and, for "nor any thing," to write 
" nor the things." 

11 " The Harmony." The argument here may be put as follows. 
On the above hypothesis the causation on the real side must include 
a condition answering to the condition of the change on the mental 
side. But the real world of Common Sense either does not include 
such a condition, and so the parallel breaks down. Or, if such 
a condition is included in the " real world," it threatens now to be 
left out on the mental side, because it must, as present in such a 
" real world," be taken as something which diverges from your act. 
Further, if you suppose at the back of the " real world" a Mind, that 
will not help you, unless you credit this Mind with any and every 
movement of your own mind so long only as that is logical. But, 
with this, you have not only perhaps upset your view of the Mind, 
but are also now in conflict with the Common Sense view as to the 
course of the " real world." 

The words (at the end of 4), "If it is other than our act," were, 
I think, meant to offer the following dilemma. Either, to make part 
of the "real world" (as we are taking that), the x must be so other 
than our act as to diverge from it ; or else we have to accept a para 
dox which is too monstrous to be entertained, at least in Logic. 

12 " Each trivial argument, etc." The view which we are discuss 
ing might reply that the triviality falls merely in the fact of my selec 
tion, and not in the arguments themselves. But the difficulty remains 
that, if the Mind does not reason throughout as I reason, the parallel 
is broken; and, if it does so reason, then, at least in certain cases, 
its movement diverges from that of our "real world." And, if you 
modify your view of the Mind, then, though it may be now the 
Reality of each side of your parallel Harmony, neither of these sides 
will now, as such, any longer be finally real. On the point as to 
triviality, see T. E. I and VI. 

13 " Correspondence with fact." " Correspondence " is not to be 
taken here merely in the widest sense. See Note 3. 

14 " Unless you revolutionize." See Note i. 

is " We have seen so far, etc." The argument here makes a fresh 
start and becomes general, as follows. Not only where the middle 
does not answer to a cause, but everywhere else inference diverges 



from " fact." And inference must in principle so diverge, because 
it is discursive and consists in an ideal process. Now an idea, as an 
idea, is not an event, and an ideal process of content is not itself 
a sequence of events though on its psychical side it may, or rather 
must, imply such a sequence. Thus, as ideal, an inference leaves 
out the detail which makes facts what they are, and again it depends 
on conditions which it can not say exist actually in the facts. Hence, 
as a process, it is not the same as any process which is " real." 

The reader may notice here the absence of any direct reference 
to inference so far as its character is intuitive. Certainly at this time 
I was well acquainted with the claim of the "intuitive understanding " 
or " intellectual perception," having been some years before struck 
by what Schopenhauer, especially, has urged on this head. I should 
perhaps have contented myself with the remark that, so far as we 
fail here to end in a judgment, such intuition falls outside Logic; 
and that, otherwise, in its conclusion it must diverge from fact as 
given (see the last sentence of n). And for the purpose in hand 
this remark perhaps is enough. The subject in any case is too 
large for me to attempt here to deal with it in passing. 

16 " Ideas do not exist," and (lower down) "the idea does not 
happen." " Ideas " and " idea " should be here qualified by " as such." 

17 See the Index, s. v. Dialectical. 

The argument, in n, is as follows. No process which starts 
with isolated elements and developes itself from that basis, can answer 
to reality. For it ignores the Whole, apart from which its elements 
and their process are unreal and untrue. The above argument, 
however valid, appears no longer to concern itself with what is " real " 
for Common Sense. 

18 " Completed universe." If "completed" is to be pressed, then 
no process could be true. But I doubt as to more than " complete " 
being meant here. 

19 " And if that pass . . . process." The reader will see that what 
was already here in my mind as Reality, was some form of ex 
perience higher than and beyond any discursive process, or even any- 
process which can be called merely intellectual. See Note 24. 

20 The view of reality as the course of phenomena is here no 
longer, even for the sake of argument, taken as true. It is now, 
on the contrary, argued to be false. If the real is what is "given," 
then the phenomenal series, being not given, is therefore unreal. 
And hence, if our logic did copy it, that would prove our logic to 
be false. And, as to our logic copying the "given" itself, that is 
obviously impossible. 

21 " Practical," " practically." These terms are of course ambiguous. 
See the Index, and the Note on Bk. III. I. VII. 7. I should say that 
in this Section they refer merely to theorizing as put into practice, and 
recall the "convenient falsehood," of i, and the "valid in the sense 
of serving," of 6. 

22 " Accepted reality," i.e. the " real world " of Common Sense. 


23 " Sensuous presentment, and (in the next sentence) "the given," 
are used here to cover both what is actually given and also the " real 
world " of Common Sense. 

2 * " A rival alternative." This would consist in the fact that 
Reality is still other than thought, at least so far as to involve a 
difference between the two not reducible to mere appearance in diverse 
media. We might have, therefore, a fundamental identity, underlying 
both sides, and a demand on each side for the complete and explicit 
realization of this identity. And yet, notwithstanding this demand, 
enough difference might be left to make truth, even at its best, not 
wholly true, because still in part unreal. The ideal of truth might 
thus still be left unrealized and unrealizable. 

25 " Out of oneness " is ambiguous. Cf. Note 4. It means here 
identity, either as absence of difference, or as the presence of only 
so much difference as is involved in the existence and appearance 
in two diverse media or regions. The above is also what " complete 
identity " seems to stand for here. Cf. Note 26. 

The solution of the above problem I did not attempt in the present 
work. But later, in my Appearance and Essays, I tried to deal with 
the whole matter. The answer which I gave is briefly this, that, 
while Reality is Experience, thought and truth are merely one aspect 
of the whole Universe. This one-sided being like all other partial 
appearances is dimly aware of its own one-sidedness, so as not to 
be content with itself so long as it remains but partial ; while, on the 
other side, unless partial, this one-sided being must disappear, as itself 
and as such. But, on the other hand, any " reality " which excludes 
thought is no less one-sided, and, offered as such, is itself no more 
than an unreal abstraction. For further explanation the reader must 
be referred to the two volumes just mentioned. 

26 " Precisely identical with fact." "Precisely" is here emphatic. 
It means the presence of " complete identity " as defined above in 
Note 25. 

27 " Purely rational." " Purely " is here emphatic. 

28 " Existence " is taken here widely in the sense of " reality." 




In treating of inference, judgment and ideas, whatever 
order we adopt has its own disadvantage (p. 641). If some 
thing like inference is everywhere the concrete fact, then sim 
ple judgment, and still more again mere ideas, are unreal 
abstractions. And hence, when we start from these distin 
guished aspects, and go on to build on them as fundamental 
and independent elements, our error seldom fails to have dan 
gerous results. On the other hand, if we attempt to enter 
first on the one actual and entire fact, another trouble awaits 
us. In order to understand this whole we are led to make use 
of distinctions, the sense of which seems to depend on a 
previous enquiry. Hence in logic no one order of discussion 
is either necessary or excluded. But, however that may be, I 
am about to begin here with some remarks on inference. 

Inference being a process, I will state at once what I take 
as its essential nature. This may be set down as the ideal 
self-developement of an object. And, starting with this, I will 
go on to show how the one main type appears in various kinds 
of reasoning. Further with each of these kinds I will point 
out the failure and the shortcoming that is involved in each. 
Everywhere inference, I shall argue, must be more or less 
defective, and, since logic must be abstract, the defect, I shall 
go on to urge, is in principle irremovable. I must dwell on 
our inability in logic to take account of the psychical aspect 
inseparable from all thinking, and, in connection with this, 
will remark on the relation of logic to psychology. Passing 
on I will deal next with the question as to how far all infer 
ence is arbitrary, and again how far it is unreal. Its reality, 
I shall contend, is genuine, but on the other hand that reality 
is relative only. Every inference, I shall further point out, is 



in principle fallible, and there is no remedy to be found in 
any search for Forms of reasoning. The Criterion, it follows, 
is to be found not here but elsewhere, and I will conclude by 
remarking on the true aim and purpose of logic. 

I. In attempting here to state briefly what I take to be the 
nature of Inference I am forced to assert dogmatically what 
I myself have been led to accept, (a) Every inference is the 
ideal self-development of a given object taken as real. The 
inference is " necessary " in the sense that the real object, and 
not something else, throughout developes its proper self, and 
so compels or repels whatever extraneous matter is hostile or 
irrelevant. And the inference is " universal," not because it 
has got to be made by more than one person or to occur more 
than once. It is universal in the sense that it has an essence as 
opposed to a particular accompaniment of more or less ir 
relevant detail. Every inference is, in other words, something 
beyond its " this," " here," and " now." It contains a " reason 
why," a " principle," a " because," and a " must." As against 
the resistance of the irrelevant or hostile, we have seen that its 
self-development may entail and may show the character of 

(b) The given object is an ideal content before us, taken 
to be real as being in one with Reality, the real Universe. And 
our inference, to retain its unity and so in short to be an in 
ference, must, further, remain throughout within the limits of 
its special object. But what in any particular case this object 
is, and how its limits really are defined, cannot be taken as 
appearing in those forms of language which serve as its ex 
pression. The above question (to which I shall return) can 
be answered only by an examination of the inference itself, 
in and with its individual meaning and purpose. 

(c) The inference, if it is to remain an inference, must 
not cease to be ideal. Its goal and the conclusion in which 
it ends must still offer itself as a truth and as a judgment 
about its object. Where in inferring we have been led to 
perceive a new fact, or where our conclusion appears as or 
in what may be called an intuition, we have, so far here, 
something less or more than the inference itself. We may 
have an object which, though itself more than an idea, is used 


as the vehicle of an idea which expresses and subserves our 
judgment. Or, again, we may have a process terminating in 
a result which, if on the one side it contains a judgment and 
inference, is itself on the other side something more concrete 
and beyond their mere truth. But on this point I will enlarge 
later when dealing with Judgment (pp. 626-7). 

(d) I have now to lay stress on what perhaps may be called 
the essential puzzle of inference. I refer to the problem in 
volved when, here or anywhere, we speak of self-development. 
If, on the one hand, the object does not advance beyond its 
beginning, there clearly is no inference. But, on the other 
hand, if the object passes beyond what is itself, the inference 
is destroyed. Its progress and every step in its advance is 
necessary, since apart from a continuous " must " and an 
unfailing " because " we have failed to infer. And yet the 
inference is ruined if anywhere we pass beyond the limits of 
our given object. There is, I urge, no way by which to avoid 
this difficulty, when once we have recognized the fact of 
self-development or evolution. 

To my mind this problem cannot in the end be fully 
resolved. I can not, that is, take self -development to be quite 
real, as such, nor again do I see how in detail it can be trans 
formed and made good in the whole. But this ultimate 
question is a matter with which, on my view, logic is not con 
cerned. Logic, like other special sciences, neither can strug 
gle, nor should it attempt to struggle with final difficulties. 
It has a right on the other side to use whatever ideas it may 
find that its purpose requires, and to use these ideas without 
any show of further justification. And indubitably, I would 
add, logic must accept and must even emphasize the above 
idea of self-development. And, frankly identifying itself with 
this idea, it must make explicit, and must develope some as 
sumptions involved in its use. Logic, I repeat, is powerless 
to justify these assumptions, and the ultimate difficulties which 
they entail it ought not even to consider. But how far, even 
while ignoring these, logic can solve its own inevitable puzzle 
is a question here to be asked. 

(e) The general solution of the problem raised by the 
essence of inference is found, I think, so far as logic is con 
cerned, in the double nature of the object. Every inference, 


we saw, both starts with and is confined to a special object. 
Now this object, like all objects, is taken, we may say, as 
referred to Reality, the real Universe; or, to speak more cor 
rectly, the object is taken as in one with this Reality. Hence 
the object not only is itself, but is also contained as an ele 
ment in a whole ; and it is itself, we must add, only as being 
so contained.* And the difference of the object from, and 
its essential identity with a whole beyond itself a whole 
which logic takes as a system both ideal and real is the key 
(so far as logic is concerned) to this puzzle of self-develop 
ment. On the one side the special object advances to a result 
beyond the beginning, and yet its progress throughout is noth 
ing beyond the intrinsic development of its proper being. For 
that which mediates and necessitates its advance is implied 
within its own self. 

(f) Logic in a word assumes that Implication exists, and 
that implication, where genuine, is also real. It assumes the 
reality of an ideal Universe, and of subordinate wholes and 
systems within this Universe. In such unities the elements 
are not conjoined by external chance or fate, but each be 
longs to its whole intrinsically, that is, each because of itself. 
We have here no mere juxtaposition, due to and because of 
something else, where the elements themselves are left unaf 
fected. In any such fictitious world, nothing in the end makes 
or could make, a difference to anything. And whatever is 
asserted, so far as asserted, never itself is or belongs to 
anything, but, so far, remains confined to something else. The 
opposite of a scheme so fantastic, if in its own place perhaps 
useful, is assumed by logic, wherever and so far as in infer 
ence logic demands self-development, and recognizes the 
reality of implication. 

Hence (to proceed), where you have a system, you can, 
starting at a given point within the system, develope this by 
a necessity which is the real intrinsic nature of your begin 
ning. The necessity belongs to your special object itself, not 
although but because it is at the same time beyond your object, 
and because it qualifies at once that object and the whole 
system in which the object has its place. And, while the above 
assumption is, perhaps, in the end indefensible, it is here, 

* This point is further dealt with hereafter. Cf. also Essay X. 


I submit, that logic has to find an answer to its inherent puzzle 
of self-development. 

(g) But even on the above assumption an answer is not 
easily found. For what precisely, with each particular in 
ference, are we to call "given" in the selected object? And 
how much precisely, though implied in the inference as neces 
sary, is not stated and given? The conclusion (this seems 
certain) everywhere depends on the individual whole, but that 
special whole seems in varying degrees to be used uncon 
sciously. And the doubt is whether the whole can, every 
where or anywhere, be made visible, or has, at times or even 
always, to remain more or less implicit. The so-called " prem 
ises " by themselves certainly never are all that is really re 
quired for the conclusion. And the question is whether in 
logic what is really presupposed for each inference, always, 
or even ever, admits of a complete statement, and so avoids 
the implication of an unknown condition. And with this arises 
a grounded doubt as to how far in logic the claim of logic is 
made good. Can any conclusion in the end fulfil its essen 
tial destiny, and realize its own ideal of genuine self-develop 
ment? We shall perceive this great difficulty perhaps more 
clearly when we have examined in detail some various types 
of inference. I cannot, I regret, offer a collection which is 

II. I will take first (a) the inference used in what has been 
called the Dialectical Method. Without asking the reader to 
admit that such reasoning is really possible, it may be in 
structive to ask how nearly it comes to realizing the ideal of 
all inference. The only explicit premise which we have here, 
is the object, some distinguished content set before us. What, 
on the other hand, is implied is the entire Reality, as an ideal 
systematic Whole. Every member in this system is united 
positively and negatively with all the rest, both of itself and 
through the Whole ; and all the elements are inter-connected 
in such a way that, given any one as your object, this one 
developes itself through a series of more and more inclusive 
totalities until it becomes and contains the entire system. The 
inference here may be called arbitrary, so far as the point 
where you happen to begin, and so far again as the result 


where, short of the whole, you are pleased to stop are taken 
to depend on your choice. And further (it is perhaps the 
same thing) the inference is defective, in so far as, like all 
inference, it is abstract, and fails to include all that is involved 
in its own existence. But, subject to these reservations, and 
given the reality of an ideal system such as is described above, 
together with the reality of the internal process that moves 
within it, we have, I think, attained in Dialectic to the ideal of 
inference as self-development. 

(b) We may go on to consider next the claim of Dis 
junctive reasoning.* We have here a whole, Ra Rb, and, from 
the removal or assertion of one part of this whole, we arrive 
at the assertion or exclusion of the other. The whole, R, is 
understood as being set completely out in its members, and the 
members are taken as interrelated through the whole in a cer 
tain manner. And, with this, it may be said that the ideal of 
inference has been realized, since the premises before us 
imply and themselves have moved to the conclusion. The con 
nected whole on one side, and our own beginning with one 
part of that whole, are both (it may be urged) contained in 
the premises. And here, since all that is arbitrary has been 
already included, the premises, as our object, do really and 
truly develope themselves into the conclusion. 

We must however not forget that the process of the infer 
ence must somehow, itself also, be taken as real. And we 
must recall that here again, as with every other inference, we 
are abstracting from the aspect of psychical fact. But, even 
apart from this, there is a defect in Disjunction which seems 
fatal to its claim, a defect which appears to be irremovable. 
The Disjunctive inference in short involves a breach of con 
tinuity. It surely cannot be true that mere R divides itself 
for no reason into Ra and Rb, and that for no reason a and b 
are connected disjunctively within R. Surely the assertion 
that mere R is a, or again that R by itself is b, would be self- 
contradictory. Hence in our inference is implied an unknown 
condition, an x. It is not mere Ra, but it is really R(x)a 
which excludes b, and again it really is R(x) which, ex 
cluding a, is b. And this x, essential to our premises, has not 
been included in them. And, being unknown, it, for anything 
* For this see further the Notes on pp. 121 foil, and 128. 


that we know, falls outside R itself. But, if so, our inference 
is broken, and, taken as self-development, has been ruined by 
the intrusion of an external and foreign body. 

(c) Coming next to Syllogistic inference I will simplify 
the question by confining myself here to an ordinary positive 
syllogism. In this we assume, as real, a world of attributes 
arranged so, that, when one of them is taken in or as a special 
subject, that subject interconnects whatever we can take it to 
own. Hence the inference depends on a whole, and that whole, 
as a whole, is not given in the mere " premises," nor again, on 
the other hand, is it merely made by us. The point from which 
we choose to start, and the selection of the special universe 
involved, may no doubt be called arbitrary. But the advance 
to the conclusion, and the being of the totality in and through 
which the advance takes place, are at once necessary and real. 
On the other hand, even when this assumption is made, the 
inference still will be defective. Like all other inferences it 
will fall short of reality so far as it is abstract. And again 
further it will be defective, so far as what should be its 
implications are merely external. Sokrates (for example) is a 
man, and, because a man, is therefore mortal. Sokrates, that 
is, developes himself into mortal because he is in one with a 
whole which owns certain connections. But, so far as his 
unity with this whole, and, so far as any other of the required 
connections is not really intrinsic so far, that is, as any 
where externality, and an unknown x, comes in the connec 
tion is lowered to a mere conjunction. And, wherever this 
takes place, the inference has failed. It has fallen short of the 
essential type of self-development. 

(d) For the sake of brevity I will omit the question as 
to the nature of the inferences used in Equational Logic and 
again in Recognition, and will go on at once to consider Arith 
metic. The subject of mathematical reasoning as a whole I 
am, most unwillingly, forced to neglect; and even what fol 
lows here may perhaps be set on one side as the blind intru 
sion of a barbarian. I will offer it, however, for what it may be 

In the first place, if the processes and conclusions of 
Arithmetic were merely made by me, there would be no 
self-development and no inference. But, dismissing this, we 


seem forced to assume that the operation on the data, and 
the consequent result, are possible only because of a real 
whole a system in which these data are real, and on the 
nature of which they and the operation vitally depend. It is 
only the unity of the given object or objects with a universe 
of this kind which can allow the process to be a genuine self- 
development and so an inference. We have therefore, in the 
first place, a whole which is real; but, in the second place, 
we must ask if this whole really and actually moves. Such 
a question apparently has to be answered by both No and 

On the one side Arithmetic seems to assume a real system 
in which the relations of every possible unit and integer are. 
We have here a whole which is the actual complete arrange 
ment of all possible units and integers, so that, in and by this, 
their identities and differences are visible and grounded. Now, 
can we reconcile with such a system the idea of a changing 
world of number which moves by certain ways of its own 
to certain results but which world, on the other hand, itself 
is not these processes or results except where and when they 
occur? And, if we cannot reconcile these conflicting aspects, 
what escape is left? It is idle here (as elsewhere) to seek to 
confine the operation to myself, to urge that, apart from my 
self, nothing happens, and that all the change is in and to the 
mere visibility of the unchanging. For, with this, the object 
itself (it is clear) does not itself move at all; and hence there 
here can be no inference because no self-development of the 

Our best course, therefore, is, perhaps, to assume as real 
for Arithmetic a world of number which both does and does 
not move. It combines both these features, that is, in a man 
ner which, at least in Arithmetic, we do not understand, and 
which, at least, as we have it there, seems self-contradictory. 

Arithmetic appears to require the following postulates. 
Every unit can be taken as the integer of an indefinite number 
of units. Every integer can be taken as one among an indefi 
nite number of units in a larger integer. Hence every integer 
is actually contained in a larger integer, and actually contains 
all its own smaller integers. And every unit can be taken as 
a unit, and actually is a unit, in a special integer, and also in 


every other possible special integer larger than itself. But 
such a world and its processes can not possibly, to my mind, 
have more than a relative truth and reality. They hold good, 
and can be used, that is, only for certain purposes and under 
certain conditions ; and these conditions, or some of them, we 
throughout, as suits our purpose, ignore. 

Inference in arithmetic, as everywhere, claims as its own 
essence the character of self-development; but that ideal it 
fails here to reach and is hence found wanting. The selection 
of the particular starting-place and movement may indeed, once 
again, be disregarded; for, though arbitrary, this does not 
affect the inference itself. But there remain defects which are 
internal. The inferences here, as everywhere else, will be im 
perfect, so far as they are abstract, and so fail to take account 
of one aspect of their own nature. Further they depend (as 
we saw) in every case on a whole which appears to combine 
contradictory characters. The movements of this whole, even 
if we assume them to be real, seem again to be throughout 
" external." The steps of its processes, that is, are made 
subject to unknown conditions, and its connections, no longer 
intrinsic, appear in truth to be mere conjunctions. No in 
ference with such shortcomings can make good its claim to be a 
genuine self-developement. 

(e) Our next kind of inference will be that involved in 
spatial and temporal construction. Here, once again admitting 
my ignorance of a great part of the subject, I must still at 
tempt to deal briefly with what seems essential. Every con 
struction presupposes a relative whole, of space or of time 
or of both, in which whole it takes place and on which whole 
it depends, though this whole (we must observe) is not given 
in the " premises." We have therefore, once more so far, an 
object developing itself ideally by virtue of that which is both 
itself and is also beyond itself. And hence in construction 
our main type of inference holds good. With regard to the 
" premises " we may, in passing, notice that, like all premises, 
they will, even merely as plural, imply an And, and must 
therefore, even so far, be contained in a whole. But, on the 
other hand, such a mere collective totality is not that indi 
vidual spatial or temporal unity which is required for the 
inference, and which, itself again, is beyond what are called 


the " premises." And (to pass to another point) there are 
two reasons why I have spoken above of the required whole 
as " relative." Not only is anything like an absolute whole of 
space or time to my mind an unreality, but further it could 
hardly serve the purpose of our inference. On the contrary 
what works is that relative whole which for our purpose we 
take as absolute. 

Construction then claims to realize the essential type of 
inference as genuine self-development, but our admission of 
this claim is once more barred by difficulties. There is (we 
saw) a whole (spatial or temporal or both) which in every 
case is presupposed. Are we to say then that this whole al 
ready contains every possible arrangement and succession of 
arrangements, so that the conclusion of our inference both 
is and was ? Shall we on the contrary, denying this, hold that 
space and time alter, so that, when our construction in fact 
happens and is there, our conclusion, then and on this, becomes 
true and real ? Or shall we, thirdly, attempt to maintain both 
theses at once, though how to bring them together without 
contradiction we do not know? Apart from a solution of 
these puzzles the process involved in our inference appears in 
the end to be defective. 

The fault does not lie in the mere fact of a selection made 
by us. However arbitrary our choice of a special starting- 
point and movement, that, once again, may be taken as falling 
outside the actual inference itself, and may thus be dismissed 
as irrelevant. But it is otherwise with the process essential to 
the very being of the inference. And, unless in this each step 
follows intelligibly from the character of the object concerned, 
the sequence is vitiated. With the introduction anywhere of 
a condition, not seen to be involved in the nature of our 
object and its implied temporal and spatial whole, the logical 
continuity has vanished. And hence, if the difficulties stated 
above cannot be resolved, the inference has turned out to be 

Construction therefore, as a realization of our essential 
type, must be called defective. It fails, first, because, like every 
other inference, it is merely abstract. And it fails, further, so 
far as its process involves the intrusion into its object of a 
condition not contained in the known nature of space and 


time and therefore external. I may add that to any one who, 
like myself, holds that the nature of both space and time, 
as such, involves self-contradiction, the above conclusion is 
even obvious. An inference built on such a foundation must, 
however much it is required, in the end be faulty. 

(f) From this I pass to the inference used in Analysis 
and Abstraction, for I assume that in each of these an infer 
ence really is involved. Both processes exhibit, in however 
imperfect a form, our essential type. Their result (so far 
as they are inferences) is a conclusion, made necessary by a 
mediation which itself is the self-development of the object 
given at the start. I will show this first with Analysis (cf. 
Essay IX), and will then go on to deal with Abstraction. 

The object in Analysis is taken as a member in an ideal 
whole which is not given, and it is this whole and its char 
acter which once more mediates, and so produces the result. 
And, because of the identity of the object with itself, both 
as given and also as contained in the above unity, the process 
claims to qualify the object by a genuine self-development. 
What then here is this necessary whole? It is the Universe, 
or some special region of reality, taken in the form of a dis 
sected relational totality in which the elements contained are 
disjoined and independent. Thus, if we write the given object 

as Ro(abc), the conclusion will appear as /JN^ And this 

a b c 

result follows because of the identity of o, and because we 
have assumed that, whatever else R is, it is everywhere, or 
at least here, a totality which is disjoined and more or less 

Now, apart from the obvious and grave difficulty with re 
gard to the main assumption, the above inference shows a 
very serious defect. Its essential process contains a step 
which, not being made intelligible, is therefore external. The 
difference between the first and the second appearance of Ro, 
and the passage of Ro from one of these stages to the next, 
obviously must depend on some condition other than the mere 
identity of o ; and this condition is omitted. But with any such 
omission (we have noted before), the vital connection is 
broken. The process rests at a certain point on mere external 


conjunction. And the inference therefore has failed to realize 
its type, and to make good its claim to be throughout a genuine 

It is idle to plead here that the real process is the mere 
correction of an initial error, and that the true reality, re- 


maining unchanged, both was and is what we write as/l^. 

a b c 

For, with this, it is clear that the inference itself has been 
destroyed. We have no longer a self-development of the 
object from the beginning to the end. What has taken its 
place is our perception that the beginning was unreal, that 
there has been no process save the removal of an obstacle to 
our vision, and that the whole " development " in short falls 
outside the real object. If there is an inference here, it there 
fore belongs to another enquiry, and is concerned with the 
course of our mental history. But, if so, we have passed 
away from that inference from which we set out and the 
nature of which we still profess to examine. 

Turning now to consider Abstraction, so far as this is 
inference, we discover once more the same process that ap 
peared in Analysis. But the principle here is carried out to a 
further result. From the same given object, Ro(abc), we 
reach the conclusion R a, or the conclusion R b, or again 
R c. And what may be called our middle is the idea of R 
as a world in which the connection of the elements is rela 
tional and every relation is external. Hence, since in Ro(abc) 
the elements, a, b, and c, are identical with the a, b, and c 
as they appear in this other world, our object Ro(abc) de- 
velopes itself through this identity. It transforms itself into 
R a and R b and R c ; and from this, by elimination of 
the and as external, it passes on into any one of the three taken 
singly and by itself. For in that real world, which here we 
have assumed as our principle, no connection of the elements 
within R is real. 

Thus our inference still can claim to be the self-develop 
ment of our object, but we have seen the assumption on which 
that claim must rest. And the essential principle here implied 
may well cause us to hesitate. But, even apart from this, we 
are met by a further doubt. In what sense and how is the 
result here a continuous self-development throughout from 


the start? If we insist that the conclusion follows really, then 
how, and by virtue of what omitted condition, does the be 
ginning wear one character and the end show itself in an 
other? The alteration is undeniable, but is it the real object 
which itself actually changes? To affirm this seems difficult, 
and yet, if we cannot, then, together with the process, our 
inference has become unreal. Or at least our question now 
seems, once more, to be concerned merely with our mental 
events and with the necessary origin and removal of our errone 
ous start. Or, finally, if we urge that Abstraction really is no 
more than an arbitrary selection made by us, the whole enquiry 
as to the inference which it implies seems, with this, to be dis 
missed. But what follows is that the result which in fact 
Abstraction gains, will be left unjustified. 

(g) I will deal last with the inference which I take to be 
contained in Comparison. Once more here we shall verify 
our account of inference as self-development through a 
whole. But I confine myself here (the reader will note) to 
Comparison so far as really that is inference. Whatever sub 
sidiary operations it sometimes or always may involve, must 
here be left undiscussed.* 

What is the ideal whole, the totality, within which, and 
by means of which, Comparison goes to its end? It is an 
assumed world which, whatever else it is, is intelligible through 
out, and is joined and divided by relations of identity and 
difference. We may call it perhaps a universe and system of 
classes. And because and so far as the terms of our given 
object are really in one with such a sphere, the conclusion 
which we seek is found and is justified. f 

* On this point see the Additional Note on p. 405. 

f In view of the difficulty of what follows I will venture to add 
an illustration. Let us take two bank-notes, and in the first case 
(i) an English and a foreign note, which, though obviously diverse, 
still strike us being somehow alike. A comparison may bring out 
the exact point in which the notes are the same, and this point may, 
e.g., be the character of the type employed. This common feature 
is the b (ft), and we say "because of this feature the two notes 
are each an instance of ft." 

In the second case (ii) let us take two English notes, of which 
one (we know) is genuine and the other is suspected. Here, search 
ing for difference, we pass, generally and in detail, from one note to 

2321.2 p 


(i) If we consider first the case where Comparison brings 
out identity, we may state the process as follows. Two in 
stances of R, one R x abc and the other R 2 dbf, lead to the con- 

elusion R ( ft )/ . In each, that is, there is a common point 


b, and this, through its identity with an assumed ft , makes our 
two data into instances, no longer of mere R but now of R (ft}. 
The middle is here an ideal whole, assumed as real, in which 
the character ft is a class set out in all its diverse cases. And 
(as I have said) the identity (in R x abc and R 2 dbf) of b with 
this /3 is what moves in the process and developes the result. 

(ii) Again, where Comparison is used to bring out dif 
ference, the principle is still the same. We start here with 
two instances, Rb*a and Rb 2 d. The conclusion at which we 
arrive is that these two instances differ in respect of a and d; 
and the question is as to the middle which here operates and 
serves as a bond. I am not enquiring (I may remind the 
reader) as to the whole nature of the psychical process, but 
am asking simply as to its essence when the process is taken 
as an inference. And here, so far as the result is inferred, 
the middle is the identity of our given a with an a and of our d 
with a d. There are elements, a and d, assumed in an ideal 
whole which includes our two given instances, and these ele 
ments are universals and classes containing, and specified in, 
Rb*a and Rb 2 d. Hence these latter prove to be different in 
so far as and because they really are diverse cases of a and 8. 

the other, until (if we are successful) we feel a jar somewhere, and 
then go on to locate this jar in some one point, say a variation in the 
water-mark. On this we set down the two notes as different, because 
of these two diverse features which they exhibit and of which they 
now are instances. The a and d have shown themselves as a and 6, 

and the Rb j a Rb 2 d have come under an ideal scheme RXj- 

it is this scheme which carries the conclusion, so far as the com 
parison is an inference. 

I recognize the difficulty of distinguishing here between actual 
inference and " subsidiary operation " itself " inferential " more or 
less. And, if the reader differs from the conclusion reached in the 
text, or even if he denies that Comparison is properly an inference, 
there is no great quarrel between us, so long as he recognizes that 
Comparison offers a problem, which, both in psychology and logic, 
demands careful treatment. 


The assumption of such an ideal universe seems essential 
to Comparison when viewed as an inference. And how far 
this assumption is true ultimately, may of course be questioned. 
Again (whatever we may think on this point) we have once 
more the difficulty of reconciling the reality of our process 
with that of its result. If the conclusion reached by 
Comparison was there already and beforehand, in what sense 
has it been produced by the process? But, if our operation 
has merely led us and has enabled us to see what was there, 
the inference seems no longer itself concerned with the real 
object. If, on the other hand, we have made the conclusion, 
the beginning has not developed itself into the end, and the 
inference clearly is destroyed: while to maintain in the world 
an actual development into identity and diversity, a real move 
ment of which our Comparison is one aspect, brings the same 
trouble from another side. For now we may have denied that 
what we find at the end was at the beginning really there. But 
with difficulties like the above the reader at this point will 
have become familiar. 

III. We have now passed in review various types of in 
ference. We have seen that (with the doubtful exception of 
Dialectic) each of these implies and is based upon one or more 
assumptions, assumptions which it does not, and perhaps could 
not, justify. Every inference, we have therefore argued, must 
be called in principle defective. But how far such a result, if 
accepted, will strike the reader as a paradox I am unable to 
say. That will depend, I presume, on his general view as 
to the relation of truth to reality. This result certainly will 
surprise no one who shares with me that general conclusion 
for a defence of which I must refer elsewhere.* On the 
contrary, falling short of ultimate reality, truth and logic may 
even be expected to fail in attaining perfectly their own ob 
ject. And hence, in pursuit of its end, logic naturally and 
justifiably may make use of assumptions and even of fictions. 

I will enlarge further on one failing irremovable, as I 
think, from logic, a defect to which I have more than once 
had to refer. This attaches itself to the connection in judg 
ment and inference between their logical and psychical aspects. 

* See my Appearance and Essays. 


Like every other special science, logic in principle is forced to 
abstract. It has, on my view, to deal always with that which 
is ideal, and it remains in the end concerned only with and 
about an object or objects. And, since whatever is an object, 
is, so far, in the end an abstraction, logic has perforce to omit 
and to ignore one inseparable side of truth. 

Truth necessarily (if I am right) implies an aspect of 
psychical existence.* In order to be, truth itself must happen 
and occur, and must exist as what we call a mental event. 
Hence, to completely realize itself as truth, truth would have 
to include this essential aspect of its own being. And yet from 
this aspect logic, if it means to exist, is compelled to abstract. 

But we have not a conjunction here which can be dismissed 
as merely external. We can not maintain that logical processes 
and results are in the end independent and unaffected. It is 
not merely in order to show themselves here or there, that 
these processes have to depend upon psychical conditions. No 
such doctrine of simple conjunction is, at least to my mind, 
defensible. And hence the ideal truths of logic can not in the 
end hold good merely in their own right. If, that is, we could 
have a view of the world which was wholly intelligible, then 
the logical and the psychical side of any truth would not only 
be necessary, each in its own way, but the connection of 
both would follow also as a result from intelligible premises. 
The two sides would appear as the connected aspects of one 
implicated whole. But, as things are, while logic can not deny 
this connection, it remains by its own nature debarred from 
even attempting to take it into actual account. To suit its own 
special end it is therefore forced to ignore a necessary part 
of the concrete fact. 

Psychology, again, on its side is correspondingly defective 
and abstract. It is concerned merely with psychical events, 
their nature and the laws of their happening, and it can pay 
no regard otherwise to their importance and value. This other 
aspect of value can not of course be denied by any sane psy 
chology. That can not (any more than can logic) reject 
the connection between, e.g. logical truth and the mental course 
of events, and the influence and the dependence of these sides, 
each on the other. But such a concrete unity psychology, if 
* See Essays, Index, s. v. Truth. 


true to itself, is unable to consider. It can not, that is, deal 
with the reality and truth of its psychical event. It has to ask 
merely how that event appears, how it comes to happen as a 
fact in me, and how it affects the character of my mental 
history. If we take as an instance the phenomena of the 
religious consciousness, the psychologist must not neglect them. 
But he studies their nature taken merely as a kind of occurrence 
in the soul, with their influence on the course of psychical 
events. And as to the reality otherwise and as to the worth 
of these phenomena psychology is silent. With the ques 
tion whether, and how far really, its mental fact is also 
the vital presence of an eternal God, it can have no concern.* 
A special science is lost if it forgets its limited scope, and 
attempts to tell the whole and entire truth about its subject. 
And hence every special science remains in a sense defective. 
Thus psychology and logic, considering in part the same 
matter, are forced to take up that matter each one-sidedly and 
in the end untruly. These sciences of course should throw 
light one on the other, but neither deals with the entire fact, 
and the reduction of one to the other is impossible. Their 
real connection is a problem to be discussed, if it can not 
be solved, nowhere outside metaphysics. You may argue, if 
you please, that a science of logic is an unprofitable illu 
sion, and you may of course urge the same conclusion about 
psychology if taken as a science. But, with this, though you 
may have destroyed in theory one or both of these sciences, 
you will most assuredly have failed to bring one under the 
other. Both logic and psychology, if they are to exist at all, 
must remain each in principle independent. The undis 
tinguished use of both at once must, even where instructive, 
remain in principle confusion. And the subordination of one 
to the other, whenever seriously attempted, will never, I think, 
fail to make manifest in its result the absurdity of its leading 

* On this subject see Mind, N. S. No. 33, pp. 26-27, and Essays, 
the Index. 

tThe reader will not, I trust, understand me here to be objecting 
to the psychological study of logical processes. I desire on the con 
trary to emphasize the importance of that study. What I object 
to is the failure to realize exactly what is, and is not, aimed at, and 
to the muddle which to my mind inevitably results from that failure. 


IV. We have seen that Logic is abstract and one-sided, 
and that it is hence forced to stand on assumptions which are 
perhaps unjustifiable in the end, and which at least it can 
not justify. And, since inference fails to realize perfectly its 
own essential type of self-development, it must, in strictness, 
be called defective. I will pass from this result to deal with 
the charge of a further shortcoming. " Is not logic," I may 
be asked, " beside being abstract and faulty, even arbitrary 
and unreal? If inference comes from and depends on my 
selection, as in a sense evidently it does, this origin and de 
pendence appear to be ruinous. For, with this, a psychical 
and so a foreign condition has become part of the process 
a process which logic claimed as the self-development of the 
object." This difficulty, noticed long ago in the present work,* 
seems to be founded on an error. 

My selection, however necessary and however foreign, re 
mains (we may say) on the outside. It makes no part of that 
process in which the actual inference itself consists. For sup 
pose that you have an ideal system, connected and real, in 
which a movement can bear the character of a self-develop 
ment. Then the point in that system from which you start 
may depend on your choice, and may be set down, so far, as 
arbitrary. But this starting-place by itself is, so far, not the 
inference. The real inference consists in what follows from 
this point; and here your discretion is at an end. The ad 
mitted arbitrariness of the beginning is hence irrelevant to the 
consequence, and leaves the inference untouched. That re 
mains still in itself a necessary self -development, however 
much its beginning and its special occurrence depend on your 

The same account holds when, passing on, we consider 
those other operations and processes which may be called 
subsidiary. Every ideal experiment, or tentative arrangement 
or suggestion, may be taken here as casual or arbitrary. These 
processes can all be said to depend on my choice or upon acci 
dent. But, once again here, all that is accidental or arbitrary 
falls outside of the inference. For the inference itself is 
confined to the logical sequence, and in that mere sequence it 
consists. Those operations which prepare or which assist, if 
* See the Index, s. v. Inference. 


taken merely in this character, remain therefore irrelevant. 
They fail to carry their nature as casual or arbitrary into the 
logical development and conclusion.* 

These objections have added in principle nothing to that 
which already has been noticed. Inference is abstract, and is 
hence defective, and it is forced to remedy or help its weak 
ness by assumptions which it can not itself seek to justify. 
On the other hand, whatever charge falls outside of its es 
sential character leaves its claim untouched. And if it is 
objected further that logic after all depends on an activity 
which is mine, our answer is ready. There is here an evident 
assumption that whatever is mine, is mine only; and that 
hence inference, because it is only mine, is vitiated. The con 
clusion, I should agree, has been rightly drawn, but its founda 
tion, on the other hand, is false, since " mine " and " mine 
merely " are certainly not the same. Since the real whole 
works in and through myself, its activity and mine are thus 
one. And hence to take the personal aspect as implying con 
finement to a particular person is a fundamental error. The 
action and the process in inference becomes what we call 
" subjective " and " merely mine," only so far as it deviates 
from the " objective " sequence. But, so far as deviating, the 
process has ceased to be inference. f 

It is the ideal connection in the inference which (as we 
have seen) is the inference; and this sequence itself is not 
subject to my choice nor does it belong merely to me. And 
its ideal development, I insist, not only is true but is real. 
Inference everywhere (we have found) presupposes and rests 
upon wholes within which, and by virtue of which, its move 
ment is valid. And logic takes these wholes, and is forced 
to take them, as at once intelligible and real. Reality in the 
sense of " existence," as particular facts in our " real " order 
of space and time these logical ideas do not possess and do 
not require. And, again and on the other side, they have not 
ultimate reality. You can not maintain, that is, that in the 
final Whole, if we could know that in detail, these ideas would 

* The reader may be referred here to Dr. Bosanquet s Knowledge 
and Reality, Chap. VI. 

t Cf . Appearance, pp. 237-8, Essays, Index, s. v. Subjective, and the 
Index of this work. 


keep their characters as such, and remain simply themselves 
without supplement and transformation. The realm of in 
ference and the sphere of logic will therefore belong in this 
sense to the region of appearance. And, in this sense, not only 
the world of truth but every other special aspect of the one 
Universe in the end all are appearances. But on the other 
hand and none the less, these appearances everywhere are real, 
real each in and with the life of the one vital Reality, and 
according as each in its relative kind and degree is a special 
mode in which that absolute Whole shows itself and is real. 

There is no force in the appeal to the triviality of much 
that is permitted by logic.* The detail of illustration and 
of argument may at times be foolish, and (it may be urged) 
to claim reality for such rubbish is perverse. But in this 
objection the issue has once again been confused. Admit the 
triviality and there is a question, first, as to its relevance. 
Does the detail which we condemn belong to the inference it 
self, or does it, on the other hand, fall itself outside the logical 
sequence? In the latter case this detail, being not essential, 
is merely irrelevant, and to enquire further with regard to it 
is not the business of logic. Logic, being abstract, has, in 
order to exist, to take place in a world of psychical irrelevancy, 
an element with which, except to use it while never including it 
as such, logic is not concerned. And wherever there is a 
special science there is, with this necessarily, an irrelevant 
matter the presence of which is assumed and not explained. 
But the general difficulty, as to the existence anywhere of 
irrelevancy, belongs to metaphysics. f 

Still, when we exclude the irrelevant and confine ourselves 
to what seems essential, there are even then (it may be said) 
inferences which, though logical, are childish; and how can 
these have reality ? We have here, I reply, not an alternative 
between Yes and No, but a question of How much. You 
can not, because this or that detail is relatively unimportant 
and even trifling, go on to conclude that it absolutely does not 
matter and so is unreal utterly. The world of logic and of 
truth, and the whole region of what we may call the " ob 
jective " province, is (if I may repeat this) not ultimately 

* See on p. 583. 
t See Essays, Index, s. v. Irrelevant. 



real. It throughout depends on conditions which it is unable 
to fill in, though it can not deny their vital necessity. But, 
though thus abstract, and though, taken simply as itself, not 
fully real, this world has, none the less, its relative reality. 
Further, within its special realm there again obviously are in 
definite degrees of what contributes more to the whole, and 
so accordingly counts there and there is real. And on the 
other hand there is of course a corresponding scale of unim 
portance, and so of unreality. But as long as, and so far as, 
any detail, however trifling, essentially belongs to logic, that 
detail, so far, is justified. It is real with the reality of that 
kingdom in which it owns a place, however mean that place 
may be, and although we fail satisfactorily to explain its 
presence and precisely assign its function and standing. 

V. Every inference (we have found), if true to itself, is 
neither arbitrary nor unreal. In its own world, and so far as 
it succeeds in maintaining its proper character, it has genuine 
reality. On the other hand, so far as its process comes short 
of an ideal self-development, it fails to be inference. And, 
since in practice our attempts are for various reasons all liable 
to this failure, no inference is infallible. 

(i) Every logical process, we saw, is, viewed from the 
other side, a psychical happening, and this aspect of mental 
event is throughout involved inseparably. Every attempt at 
inference, therefore, in a sense depends upon psychical con 
ditions, and the attempt may fail to control sufficiently and to 
subdue these conditions to its logical end. And from hence 
must arise a constant danger. For in the actual process some 
connection, which, though necessary here as a psychological 
event, is, taken as a logical development, irrelevant and false, 
may succeed in intruding; and its intrusion may break that 
ideal continuity in which the inference consists. In the present 
volume I noticed and explained, I still think satisfactorily, 
this irremovable source of deviation and failure.* 

(ii) And the very types of inference, even themselves, 
rest (we saw) on assumptions. And, with a doubtful excep 
tion, these assumptions (we found) have no absolute truth. 
They imply, that is, and they everywhere depend on condi- 
* See pp. 445 and 571, and cf. Essays, p. 368. 


tions which they fail to include, conditions the inclusion of 
which must to an unknown extent modify and transform their 
nature. And hence, even in our general types, the realization 
by each of its own idea and essence remains imperfect. 

(iii) Further, as in this volume I urged,* there neither is 
nor could be a collection of any logical types such as to serve 
everywhere as prescriptions. The idea of a complete body of 
models of reasoning, to be followed as patterns and faithfully 
reproduced to make and guarantee the individual inference, I 
set down as a superstition. No such code of rules and ex 
amples could, as we have seen, warrant its own infallible appli 
cation; and, in the second place, no collection of models could 
conceivably be complete, and so anticipate and prescribe be 
forehand the special essence of every inference. For the 
truth and reality of our reasoning does not lie merely in its 
belonging to a certain sort. It consists in the development of 
an unbroken individual identity to a result which is its own 
and which meets its particular requirement. 

With inference (I forbear to ask if any exception is pos 
sible f) the process and conclusion is in one sense everywhere 
typical. Everywhere there is a something which must be 
called irrelevant and beyond the principle of the inference. 
The inference, when made, can thus be regarded as one in 
stance of a possible class, and hence as the realization of a 
type. But the knowledge of the type and class is not pre 
requisite for the actual inference, and, before the actual case 
has happened, such knowledge may be downright impossible. 

Inference (if I may repeat this) is self -development, and 
the self to be developed is individual. The main question then 
is as to that essential bond of identity in difference through 
which the process is one. The answer is given only by a per 
ception of the special purport of each inference, and by a dis 
cernment of that which, through its individual unbroken 
development, unites the end to the beginning. The mere gram 
matical form, I have pointed out,$ is very apt to mislead us. 

*Pp. 266 foil., 519 foil. 

t There may be, it could be urged, an inference (with regard 
e.g. to the Absolute) which is in principle unique. But even here, 
since the inference is capable of indefinite repetition, it must still be, 
so far, a case and instance. 

J See the Index, s. v. Subject. 


The real subject of our process can not be assumed to lie 
in that which makes the subject of our sentence. And what 
in the particular case is, and is not, the subject which we 
mean what, in the end and really, are our " premises," how 
much here actually is given, and how much has here to be 
implied are questions where no ready-made formula can find 
an answer and prescribe a result. Our inference, once made, 
may, I repeat, be recognized as the instance of a known class ; 
or, again, it may be noted as embodying a principle to appear 
in other possible cases. But there is no exhaustive collection 
of forms waiting stored up in the machine, ready on demand 
to give out the infallible formula, and everywhere to prescribe 
our action and its issue. On the other hand, as to how far 
with our reasonings it is desirable in practice to reflect, and 
to recognize the vital principle of each particular case, I wish 
to offer here no opinion. 

In the above I have urged once more against " Formal 
Logic " the criticism which, nearly forty years ago, appeared 
in this volume. But how far the position taken by Dr. 
Bosanquet and myself, has since been destroyed by the de 
fenders of Formal Logic, or again perhaps strengthened or 
even superseded by logical discoveries due to later innovators, 
I do not attempt to discuss.* 

There is no inference then (we have learnt) which is not 
fallible. There are no types which can prescribe everywhere 
our individual end or action ; and, even if that were otherwise, 
the application of the type remains fallible. For, wandering 
from its controlled essence, the actual process may lapse into 
psychological deviation. It may accept, through the intru 
sion of some irrelevant element, a breach in its vital identity. 

VI. Every inference is fallible, and no logic can provide 
an individual guarantee. The idea of personal guidance by 
the impersonal is everywhere, as I have pointed out (pp. 266 
foil.), at best illusory. And, "if this is so," the reader may 
object, " what becomes of Logic? And are we really to be left 
without any criterion of logical truth and error"? 

If the criterion is to be a touchstone which, applied to 
any and every statement or inference taken isolated and by 

* See the Preface. 


itself, can test that statement or inference, then I agree that 
no criterion is possible. The criterion, taken in such a sense, 
may be dismissed as a mere superstition. But the true and real 
criterion is the idea of reality and truth as a system. There 
are difficulties, no doubt, in the application of this principle; 
but there are none which, so far as I can judge, even tend to 
make it doubtful.* Our actual criterion is the body of our 
knowledge, made both as wide and as coherent as is possible, 
and so expressing more and more the genuine nature of 
reality. And the measure of the truth and importance of any 
one judgment or conclusion lies in its contribution to, and its 
place in, our intelligible system. This is the doctrine which, 
though in the present volume I failed to insist on it, I in 
herited and have always held. For its consistent and invalu 
able advocacy the reader is referred to Dr. Bosanquet s 

But, if logic can supply no touchstone which will directly 
test the particular case, what (the objection will recur) is the 
use and object of Logic? 

Its direct and primary purpose is, I reply, to set out the 
general essence and the main types of inference and judgment, 
and, with regard to each of these, to explain its nature and 
special merits and defects. The measure here to be applied is 
the idea of perfect truth in the sense just explained. Truth 
is reality taken as ideal, and that must mean reality taken as 
an intelligible system ; and every judgment and inference there 
fore must be understood as directed and aimed at such reality. 
The degree in which the various types each succeed and fail in 
reaching their common end, gives to each of them its respective 
place and its rank in the whole body. Such an exposition is in 
my view the main purpose of Logic, but for an attempt to 
realize this object I can not refer to the present volume. 
The reader must be directed once more to the works of Dr. 

How far the study of Logic, in any sense, is likely to 
aid us in practice, I must leave undiscussed. I am without 
that experience, whether in others or in myself, which alone 
could justify an opinion. In my actual reasonings I myself 

* On the connection between System and Contradiction, and on 
other points, see my Essays, Chap. VII, and Index, s. v. Criterion. 


certainly have never troubled myself about any logic; but I 
do not know the conclusion which should follow from this, 
or whether (whatever it may be) it would apply universally. 
Still, any usefulness in practice falls, I must insist, outside of 
the main end and purpose of a true Logic. 

In the foregoing pages we (however imperfectly) have 
noted the main character of Inference, and have verified this by 
an examination of some types of reasoning. We have seen that 
Inference everywhere requires assumptions, and is everywhere 
in various ways defective. We have emphasized the abstract- 
ness of Logic, and have called attention to what follows from 
its inseparable union with a psychical aspect. We have asked 
how far all inference is arbitrary and unreal, and have urged 
that, in any case, every particular reasoning is fallible. Finally 
we have remarked briefly on the genuine end and purpose of 



In leaving Inference for Judgment we become aware of a 
difference, but this difference, it is clear, is not a gulf which 
sunders two worlds. For, whatever else, and however much 
else, an inference may be, an inference still is a judgment. It 
not only ends in a judgment, but it remains one throughout 
its whole course ; and, otherwise, no inference could keep its 
character of ideal self -development. An inference (if our 
account was right) is a judgment mediated and self-mediated ; 
and this its essential nature, further, is not merely implicit 
but is shown ostensibly. The form, by which we express this, 
is " S(M) P," or " S is P because it must be P." Though 
we may not know exactly what M is, yet what we assert in 
inference is that S, implying M, implies P. And thus infer 
ence is clearly assertion and judgment, if judgment only of a 
certain kind. 

But, on the other hand, can it be said that all judgment is 
inference? This (the reader may object) does not follow, 
and is even contrary to plain fact. And we have no right 
(he will add) to confuse here the real issue. Undoubtedly 
judgment to a great, to a very great extent, may involve in 
ference. But, granting this, and even if we went on further to 
admit that there is inference in every judgment, yet even from 
such an extreme admission (the reader will urge) the required 
conclusion does not follow. For we have still to show, and 
we can not show, that the judgment itself is an inference. 

In the way of such a contention (we shall be reminded) 
stands undeniable fact. It may be doubted if in judgment we 
must always start with an object which is ideal; as we always 
must, on the other hand, whenever we infer. And, even if 
such a doubt is dismissed, what remains certain Is this that 
we do not in every judgment so much as profess to develope our 
object ideally. There is in short (the reader may insist) no 
" must " in a judgment, so long as you keep to the mere judg- 



ment. That, if you keep to it, gives you no ideal and necessary 
self-development. On the contrary, as simple judgment, it 
confines itself to mere matter of fact. " S in fact and as a fact 
is P " so far goes the mere judgment. " S for a reason must 
be P " with this, admittedly, you have inference ; but with this 
you have been carried away and beyond judgment proper. 

The objection which I have just stated, can not lightly be 
dismissed. It is far more, I am clear, than a mere plausible ar 
gument. And the difference between judgment and inference, 
on which it insists, can not fairly be denied. This apparent dif 
ference is there in fact, and so much, I agree, is certain. But 
then the real question, I go on to urge, is as to the true nature 
of this fact. Judgment, I fully agree, if taken as a mere 
judgment, is not ostensibly mediated. So far, that is, as you 
confine yourself to bare " S is P," there is no " must " which 
appears. You neither mean to infer nor, so far as the form 
goes, have you actually inferred. But, on the other hand, with 
this, I repeat, we have not reached the true issue. The vital 
question is whether judgment, though distinct from inference 
in form, is not everywhere inference really though not ex 
plicitly? The difference between the two would, if this were 
so, have ceased to be essential. The avowed " must " of the 
inference would, in other words, only show what was there, 
though ignored, in the judgment. And every judgment in its 
own nature would involve a necessary sequence, however much 
we may fail to state this sequence and even to perceive it. 
The mere judgment, if so, would be nothing which actually 
exists. It is never anything but our abstraction mistaken for 
fact; while inference, on its side, adds no more than the 
development and explication of an aspect which in judgment, 
however hidden, is always essential. 

The above conclusion, I understand, is that advocated by 
Dr. Bosanquet and developed by him in his admirable Logic, 
to which the reader is referred. My own acceptance and de 
fence of it is to be found in my Appearance and Essays, and 
I can here do little more than set down the general result. 

Not only (this is our doctrine) does all judgment affirm 
of Reality, but in every judgment we have the assertion that 
" Reality is such that S is P." Now, if you recognize this 


" such " and attempt to state it, and make it ostensibly the 
bond of union by which S, passing beyond itself, itself is P 
with that you have an avowed inference. The inference is 
of course more or less undeveloped and imperfect, according 
as, less or more, it succeeds in bringing out and in particulariz 
ing the actual " such." It may fail more or less (we may put it 
so) to get inside its S the necessary condition of its judgment 
" S is P." For, wherever a condition, external to S, is the 
cause of the movement of S to SP there is so far (we have 
seen) no genuine inference. Thus an inference which leaves 
out less or more that real world of conditions in which and 
through which S is taken to develope itself into P, comes 
short in proportion and is untrue to its own ideal. Still, 
wherever the bond between S and P is recognized in any judg 
ment, you have formally an inference. 

Wherever on the other hand in " S is P " you ignore the 
implication "S(R) P," or " R is such that S is P," you 
have here " a mere judgment." Having closed your eyes to the 
ideal bond, you have now before you the form of simple matter 
of fact. There remains indeed a reference to Reality, for you 
certainly still mean that S really is P but here, in your state 
ment, you stop. You do not mean to deny that there is " some 
thing " in Reality, and that, this being so, S is P, although the 
" something " is ignored. And you do not even ask whether it 
is not really this " something " which turns S into SP. Not 
only do you leave out the condition on and by which S is P, but 
you omit even to entertain the idea of there being any con 
dition to leave out. And hence, so far as your form goes, you 
have excluded, actually though not explicitly, the inference 
which is there. On the other side, what you have gained, 
when you thus insist upon the simplicity of your judgment, 
is no real matter of fact but in effect and truth a sheer 
abstraction. Hence, if this is so, every judgment will imply 
an inference essentially. Judgment comes short of inference 
only so far as it omits to mark or specify a condition funda 
mental to its own being. Inference on the other side makes 
ostensible this condition involved in all judgment. It is hence 
(we must say) judgment developed; though, so long as the 
condition is not fully specified, the development remains im 
perfect. But a mere judgment, we have seen, is no more than 


an abstraction, which lives solely in and through our one-sided 
emphasis and our failure to observe. 

It may assist us here to notice an objection which, though 
it contains truth, seems in the end to be invalid (cf. p. 439). 
"If we admit " (it may be urged) " that the Reality qualified 
by the judgment is always a special reality, it does not follow 
that what mediates the content asserted is in fact this reality. 
The real because and its necessity may on the contrary fall 
elsewhere. For suppose that two things, A and B, are per 
ceived together in fact, the reason for their conjunction need 
not lie in the scene which is before me. It may on the con 
trary consist in physical and psychical conditions, which are 
(so to speak) behind my back. The conjunction, therefore, as 
serted in my judgment, though mediated, is mediated outside 
the judgment and elsewhere." To this objection I reply that, 
starting from a truth, it has gone on to a mistaken consequence. 
When I judge that A is to the right of B, the reason why my 
particular fact is so perceived, need not, I agree, be given in 
the special situation as I know it. From the object of my 
judgment, as that comes to me, the required mediation may, I 
admit, be absent. So much is true, but what is false is the 
conclusion that the unknown conditions of body and mind do 
not belong to the special object which my judgment asserts. 
For no such denial is true or will follow here logically. There 
is, in general, no division and no solution of continuity be 
tween the real Universe and the reality special to my judg 
ment. And, in particular, even the bodily aspect and condi 
tions of any truth are (we have already seen, p. 612) implied 
in that truth intrinsically. If, that is, my object, however 
special, were known to the full, these conditions would be 
developed from it visibly as a part of its nature. Hence, when 
I judge that " Reality here is such that A stands to the right of 
B," the whole of the conditions, the entire " because," are, I 
agree, not given in the " such " as that appears in my judg 
ment. But you can not conclude from this that any part of the 
" because " is really extrinsic, and so falls outside of what is 
contained in the nature of my special assertion. On the con 
trary, the internal defect of my judgment lies in this that its 
own claim is not made good. It fails to specify in detail that 

2321.2 Q 


very mediation which its own " such " has implied and has 
really asserted in general. 

I will, before proceeding, remark on a source of possible 
misunderstanding. Judgment and idea though, like inference, 
the same always in essence, may be taken, like inference, 
at various levels. And, so taken, they may differ in form and 
may bear a varying sense. They may be explicit and offer 
themselves as judgment and idea; or again, while it is there 
in substance, they may fail to make this character ostensible. 
Thus, wherever you have an object, you can speak of judg 
ment and idea as being present essentially, since you have 
here an idea referred to reality, and in a sense affirmed as 
true. For an object, as an object, implies and means a con 
tent at once distinguished from and taken as belonging to the 
whole remaining Universe. And, since with the selection of 
such a content its existence otherwise is ignored, the object 
already is ideal, and, with this, you have at once idea and 

In the foregoing volume, however, I used " Judgment " 
in a restricted sense. I have applied the term only where, 
having an object, you also more or less knowingly go beyond 
this object and extend it ideally. I have taken judgment as 
the more or less conscious enlargement of an object, not in 
fact but as truth. The object is thus not altered in existence, 
but qualified in idea. An object S, when you judge, goes on 
to take to itself P, which, though about S and of it, is yet 
distinguished from any addition which S would gain by 
becoming itself altered in existence and fact. Thus, while 
every object, and, markedly, every continuing object, may, if 
you please, be called a judgment and an inference, yet in a 
stricter sense inference and judgment may not yet be there. 
For the object, merely as perceived, is not, as such, qualified as 
true. An object, as perceived, must (we may say) always in 
one sense be less than true, while in another sense it 
transcends and possesses more than mere truth. 

* Even where the Universe itself is an object this statement holds 
good ; for here the Universe is taken in a character and not merely 
as a given mass. On this point, and on the whole of the above, see 
my Essays, pp. 32, 41, note. 


If I may so far digress as to make use here of the example 
of a musical air, to take this as itself essentially a judgment 
and inference would not, I think, be defensible. For an 
aesthetic object, left merely as such, does not come to me as 
true, nor does it offer itself as mediated by any link of inter 
nal necessity. Such an object, I fully agree, is never a mere 
fact. It is always ideal in the sense of something set free from 
mere existence. But on the other hand the aesthetic object, no 
less, is an individual reality. Though ideal, and because ideal, 
it is self-contained and self-existent, however little bound to 
the context of that world in which it appears. Hence, because 
it is something more, this object is not an ideal adjective of 
reality; and, in the narrow and special sense of truth, the 
aesthetic object, as such, is not true.* When you reflect and 
analyze, then I agree that the case is altered. The aesthetic 
unity may then be seen to be mediated ideally, to contain 
inference and judgment, and, taken so, to be true. But 
here, in becoming discursive, the whole has so far been 
broken up, and so far, as aesthetic, it has ceased to be 

On the one hand, therefore, used as an example of infer- 

* Poetry, it might seem, is an exception, since here the matter (it 
may be said) consists in statement, which obviously bears the form 
of truth. While agreeing that this in the main is so, on the other 
hand I insist that the statement is not the poetry. And, to become 
an aesthetic object, the statement must be transformed by further 
elements so that in the result the statement has, as such, ceased to 
be there. The ideas, in becoming poetry, have become something 
more, if, on the other side, something less than mere truth. We have 
not to apply here as a touchstone the question "Is this true?" The 
satisfaction found or sought here is, we feel, something different. 
And, if we insist on our question, we have for better or worse left 
behind the real poetry. But there are those, I admit, who can not 
rest content until every song has been translated into a theorem or 
a mare s-nest. 

An aesthetic result, I agree, is "true," if you take "truth" widely, 
in the sense of that which is at once ideal and real. But our enquiry 
is restricted here to logical truth, and the question to be answered here 
is the following. " Does the result belong to the starting-point as 
its ideal and adjectival qualification, not taken as otherwise real; or 
is the result, while ideal, regarded as having and as qualifying a reality 
of its own?" In the latter case we have gone beyond truth in the 
narrower and stricter sense of that word. Cf. the Note on p. 445. 


ence or judgment, the aesthetic object comes short. It serves 
well, on the other hand, to illustrate our type of self-contained 
self-development; for it can realize that type in a way denied 
to any mere object of sense, however continuous that may be. 
Self-contained self-development, we have seen, is the aim 
of truth always, though it seeks, as truth, to realize this end 
only in the form of ideas. To pass beyond ideality and to 
find, or seek to gain, individual self-existence, is in principle 
to leave, for better or worse, the region of truth. 

I have pointed out that the word Judgment is, apart from 
some special context, to be taken as used in a limited sense. 
Returning from this digression I will now go on to develope 
a consequence implied in the nature of Judgment. Judgment 
is on the one side selective, ideal and abstract, while on the 
other side it is conditioned by that reality which in a sense 
it fails to include. Hence all judgment is mediated, essentially 
though not explicitly; and in the end all judgment, I shall 
further urge, is irremediably conditional. 

There is an error against which in this book I failed to 
warn the reader, though I do not think that I myself really 
went astray.* All judgment is of Reality, and that means that 
it makes its idea the adjective of the real Universe. Now 
it is possible to take the reality, so referred to, as being 
Reality merely at large and without distinction. The result 
which follows is that the whole ideal content affirmed tends 
to fall outside the Reality, which on its side tends in con 
sequence to fade into an empty abstraction. The reference 
of the predicate, thus having become general and formal, 
misses its own special mark; while the subject reality, in the 
absence of any distinctive character recognized as falling 
within itself, becomes naturally the prey of some false alterna 
tive. We are ridden by the assumption of a narrowed Reality, 
together with a world or worlds which fall somewhere out 
side, and, though unreal, somehow are. And with this enters 
an inevitable train of hopeless puzzles as to the actual nature 
of the abstract and negative, the hypothetical, the possible, and 
the imaginary. On this foundation of sand have been piled, 
and in it (it is not too much to add) have been engulfed, 
* See the Notes, p. 591 foil. 


superfluous mountains of wasted labour and perverse in 

In Judgment the Reality to which in fact we refer is al 
ways something distinguished. It is Reality, as our whole 
world, but, at the same time and none the less, it is also this 
reality. It is a limited aspect and portion of the Universe, 
it is some special and emphasized feature in the total mass. 
And yet on the other side this selected content, whatever it 
becomes also for our distinction however much it may (so 
to speak) loosen itself from the subject and take the form of 
an ideal predicate never on the other side fails to inhere in 
the undivided totality. What we have distinguished remains 
also inseparably in one with our whole Universe and qualifies 
that immediately. 

Reality (to repeat this) as the subject of our judgment, 
is always a selected reality. And yet, on the other hand, 
however much content passes over, as an idea, into what we 
may call the predicate this content still, as an immediate 
qualification, makes part of the entire subject. However much 
emphasized it remains still in one with the unbroken Reality. 
Hence if you ask as to the content of some judgment, whether 
this does or does not belong to the idea which is asserted as 
true your question is misleading. There is no defensible 
answer which can bear the form of a mere " Yes " or " No," 
and fail to imply " both at once." That content which still 
characterizes immediately our selected reality, does itself also 
more or less pass into the " idea " which is predicated as true. 
Hence the matter of our separated predicate is continuous with 
and in one with the presented Universe which is our ultimate 
subject. And our assertion therefore (it follows) is qualified 
and conditioned by the entire Reality, however little that con 
dition is recognized by our judgment. 

This two-fold nature of Reality, by which it slides away 
from itself into our distinction, so as there to become a predi 
cate while all the time it retains in itself, as an ultimate 
subject, every quality which we loosen from and relate to it 
is, if you please, inexplicable. But none the less, I must in 
sist, it is a fundamental fact, the ignoring of which brings 
certain ruin to any theory of judgment. 

All judgment then implies and depends on a selection made 


in Reality a selection which, passing into the judgment, 
conditions that essentially. This selection further (I have to 
add) is assumed, and is not justified in our judgment; and 
it never in any judgment can be fully justified or even recog 
nized completely. In the end we assert something of a reality 
qualified by the whole Universe, but exactly how qualified we 
do not know. And thus our assertion is made always under 
and subject to a condition, which we never in our judgment 
can fully explicate and entirely there justify. Our " S is P " 
affirms really that Reality is such that S is P. But our judg 
ment does not show how Reality either is or can be " such," 
nor does it inquire as to the exact nature of this " such " which 
governs it. Our judgment therefore ignores an issue on which 
its life must depend. It turns its back on a question which 
by its own nature it is in the end debarred from answering. 
All judgment thus is in principle mediated, not ostensibly 
but really. Though not in form yet in substance it contains 
and rests on a " because." Our S is P can not stand unless we 
write it as S(R) P, and that, we have seen, means in the 
end that S is P because R is such. But, if so, inference, we 
have found, is no more than developed judgment. 

I will, before proceeding, allow myself, at the cost even of 
some repetition, to enlarge on this head. I will once more 
point out how judgment depends on abstraction, an abstrac 
tion which it ignores, and in the end could not justify, and 
how therefore, by what it has ignored, every judgment really 
is mediated and conditioned. The reader who has already 
been satisfied may prefer to pass on. 

(a) In the first place evidently a judgment is about an 
object. Now an object is not the whole of Reality as that at 
some moment is experienced immediately. The object omits 
and ignores whatever in that total experience falls outside its 
selection. And what that selection includes is therefore ideal, 
for it implies a loosened unity of the " what " and " that." 
The object thus fails to embrace the rest of the experienced 
Universe, while, on the other hand, in that residual and entire 
reality its own existence is contained. On the one side the 
content of the distinguished object is ideal, and is hence an 
idea though not as such explicit (p. 626) ; while on the other 


side it still remains integrally in one with the whole Universe, 
and inheres and is still comprised in that totality. But this 
vital connection is neither recognized nor is its precise char 
acter known. The object therefore remains conditioned by 
that which is unknown, and, only on and subject to this un 
known condition, is the judgment true. 

The above conclusion, I may add, still holds in principle, 
even when you limit your Reality to what may be called the 
world of objects. Any one object will still depend on a selec 
tion from the " objective " Universe. And it is once more 
incumbent on you to show how, removed or loosened from its 
whole context, your object retains a right to its own qualifica 
tion. This burden is, however, ignored by your judgment, 
which hence asserts subject to a condition not specified or 

(b) The same radical defect becomes more apparent when 
we pass to a higher level, and when we enter the realm of 
explicit ideas and of truth and judgment proper. Here the 
ideal content asserted no longer comes to us as directly quali 
fying an object perceived, and the problem takes a new form 
and is forced on our notice. For, if our real and ideal worlds 
no longer simply coincide, we are driven to enquire, as to our 
" real world," how much in the end it includes. We are forced 
to ask how this world stands to the province of non-perceived 
fact, and, again and further, to the whole region which we 
mark off as " imaginary." Since all these spheres undeniably 
are, and since all of them somehow are together, there may or 
must, presumably, be some connection between them. But, 
if this is so, how can the truth about any one of them be 
wholly true, if it chooses to isolate itself and to take literally 
no account of the rest? Hence, since judgment stands, at 
least in form, on this unwarranted isolation, it makes its asser 
tion really subject to an unstated condition and an unknown 
" because." 

Further, ideas and judgments, when I reflect, are known 
and recognized by me as things which exist in my head. 
Whatever truth and reality they possess otherwise, this aspect 
also at least appears as part of their nature. Judgments all exist 
psychically as events in me ; and they seem to depend, at least 
to some extent, upon my activity. But, once again here, our 


judgment is blind to an aspect of its being, and hence fails 
once more to include an apparent condition of its own life. 
I do not, of course, mean that this psychical existence is merely 
mine, or that my activity is not essentially also the activity of 
the Universe. And, at least in abstaining from any such impli 
cation, judgment is free from a fundamental error.* But on 
the other side it is defective clearly, in that it ignores, and that 
it has here to ignore, a necessary aspect of itself. Judgment 
thus involves here a condition and a " because " which it neg 
lects to recognize and state. 

On one side judgment (if our view is right) asserts really 
of the whole Universe. Its claim to truth amounts in the end 
to that, and nothing less than that in the end is contained and is 
meant in its assertion. On the other side a total affirmation 
of the mere whole would itself be nothing. And so judgment, 
being forced to distinguish and select, is compelled to leave 
out that which in reality it must include. Hence, unless the 
Universe itself is a disconnected conjunction, separable at 
pleasure, and itself really grouping itself into limited conjunc 
tions at our will judgment fails to take in connections and 
conditions apart from which its truth is not true. While 
perforce unconditioned ostensibly, it is thus actually condi 
tioned by the ignored and unknown. Its S is only P because 
that S essentially involves an Rm p ; and the judgment 
therefore is an implicit and undeveloped inference. 

We have seen so far that, as every inference is a mediated 
judgment, so all judgment, being mediated really, is an infer 
ence. There is no difference between the two except that 
judgment, as such, is not mediated ostensibly. In what we 
call a mere simple judgment there is no appearance of a 
" must " or " because." But the " because " (we have seen) is 
there essentially, however much it is slurred or ignored. Our 
simple judgment in short is an abstraction, the mere creature 
of false theory, which only by an error can be accepted and 
be set up as an actual fact. 

We have now to take a step further. Not only is all judg 
ment conditioned, not only does it involve a " because," but, 
in addition, every judgment is conditioner/ and implies and 

*On the above see p. 615, and Essays, Index, s. v. Judgment. 


depends on an " if." This apparent paradox was advocated in 
the present volume, and I must endeavour, once more here, to 
justify and explain it. We are brought face to face with the 
enquiry into the ultimate difference between " because " and 
" if." But my space here limits me to an answer which I fear 
the reader may find too brief and dogmatic. 

The question "What is because?" asks (I understand) 
about the nature of a " ground." And the " ground " of a 
thing I take as that, both within the thing and beyond it, which 
makes it to be what it is. Hence on one side (at least on my 
view) there can not conceivably be a ground and " because " 
which is merely external. If the ground is not implied and so 
intrinsic, it, as a ground, has no meaning. On the other side, 
unless the ground is beyond, it, once more and no less, is mean 
ingless. And for anything to imply merely itself is, to my 
mind, nonsense. 

The result of the above (to advance rapidly) is that the 
ground is a whole, in which the thing to be grounded must be 
included. It is a whole pervaded essentially by connection 
and implication, and is, in some sense, a system which through 
out justifies its contents. Such at least is the view which I 
have been compelled to adopt; and both objections and dis 
tinctions must perforce be passed by here unnoticed. 

If this is the " ground," what then (we have next to en 
quire) is a "condition"? A condition appears (we must 
reply) to be a partial ground. Where anything is included in 
a whole which is its ground, there any other part of the 
ground, beyond this thing itself, is called its condition. And 
this element will be one among our thing s many conditions, 
unless at least we can assume or show that no further element 
is contained in the ground. 

Hence the " because " of anything may be called that by 
which it is conditioned. Its full " because " implies the pres 
ence of the entire whole of its conditions, and includes in this 
whole the thing s own nature, so far as grounded. This, and 
no less than this, is the true and real " because." But we can 
use " because " again in a less complete sense where we take 
the thing as conditioned partly. Here we single out and refer 
merely to one selected element, one part of the whole of those 
connections which are involved in the ground. Such an im- 


perfect use of " because " is unavoidable and necessary in 
practice, but, indefensible in the end, it is even in practice a 
constant source of grave and insidious error. 

In proceeding from the above to ask next for the meaning 
of " if," we may be said, leaving the condition^, to pass on 
to that which is merely conditiona/. The first of these gave 
us a judgment which actually is mediated. S here is P be 
cause of M. We had, in other words (we saw), a whole 
which includes and supports and guarantees at once S and P 
and also their actual junction. This is what is implied, and 
this is what we should mean when we call a judgment con 

Now, where we employ " if," and where our judgment be 
comes conditioner/, we still always must have a necessary medi 
ation and a " because." In " S, if M, is P " the actual connec 
tion M P * is positively asserted, and M P is taken as 
grounded and as unconditional. And, if we are unable to say 
that much, the entire judgment is ruined. Hence, wherever 
we use " if," we must necessarily imply a " because " on which 
our judgment depends. And our judgment " S, if M, is P," 
no matter how conditioner/, must also so far be condition^. 

Thus, so far as " M P " is concerned, the above judgment 
is conditioned; but it is otherwise when we take the connec 
tion of S with M. Here we do not assert or assume condi 
tions which to our knowledge connect S with M and so guar 
antee their union. On the contrary, our " if " admits that the 
connection S M remains in part unknown. We have hence 
asserted S P subject to, and at the risk and mercy of, an un 
known condition; and our judgment therefore, as a whole, is 
merely conditional. 

It may be objected that this difference is in the end super 
ficial, and the objection may be based perhaps on the following 
argument. Since S, M, and P are (you must admit) all ac 
tually together in some whole, and, further, in a whole which 
connects its contents it follows that S really does and must 
somehow imply M. The only difference, therefore, when we 
pass from " because " to " if," is this, that we can not specify 

* Or (S)M P. See below, pp. 635 foil. In order to simplify 
here this qualification is omitted. 


all those conditions which unite S to M. Part of these condi 
tions, admittedly, we know; and, as to the rest, we both may 
and must assume their existence. Hence, even when we say 
" if," the judgment still really is conditioned. The " because," 
however much its nature is proclaimed by " if "to be partly 
unknown, is none the less known to be there. It is a fallacy 
to treat the presence of a connection, so far as unknown, as 
being nothing for our knowledge. Thus perhaps may run the 

What has been urged here, I reply, has failed to perceive 
the real distinction which separates " if " from " because." 
We assume (the reader may recall) that " because " refers 
to a " ground," and we have taken the ground to support and 
guarantee whatever it includes. But, ground being so under 
stood, the connection S M, where you say " if," is clearly, 
thus far, not grounded, nor, thus far, taken to be so. Cer 
tainly (at least to me) S is somehow connected with M and so 
therefore with P, and as far as this goes, there is no doubt. 
The real doubt, to which " if " points, is whether S is connected 
with M in such a way that, taken so, S remains itself. If our 
judgment " S, if M, is P " implies that S and M are united 
somehow, that judgment still does not assume that they are 
connected either simply or anyhow. To gain the required 
union with M, S (for anything our judgment knows) has to 
become something more and something else. It must be al 
tered (for all we know) so that, as such and as S, it is really 
no longer there. And the admission of this doubt surely is 
not compatible with the assertion that S is P because it is M. 
If that assertion is to stand it must be based on a ground 
assumed or known actually (we need not know how} to guar 
antee the connection S M. Such a ground clearly, I repeat, 
is not involved in our judgment that S, if M, is P. And the 
replacement of this ground by an uncertain condition, the 
effect of which upon S is unknown, is, I urge, precisely that 
meaning of " if " which separates " if " from " because." 

To put the same thing otherwise, every judgment depends 
on a selection. It asserts, not merely of the Universe at large 
but of a limited reality. The foundation, therefore, on 
which a judgment stands is not barely the connection of all 
things, but is also a ground special and individual. Now in 


" S, because M, is P " the special ground of my judgment is 
taken to guarantee the connection S M P. But substitute 
" if " for " because," and I have at once the admission that, 
for all I know, I have passed, so far, outside the boundary 
of the above special ground. I am therefore, so far, without 
any guarantee for the connection S M ; and I employ the 
word " if " in order to express and to mark my failure. And 
that failure can not be made good by any appeal to some other 
ground, unless, to my knowledge, this other ground actually 
guarantees S M, and guarantees it (we may add) without 
detriment to the connection M P., 

The Universe can not (we may remind ourselves) be in 
the end understood as a Whole of ground and conditions. If 
" conditions " imply that a thing remains itself when condi 
tioned fully, then clearly the use of ground and conditions 
(in the sense which we have given to these terms) is limited 
and relative. Taken as more it becomes untenable and con 
ducts us to insoluble difficulties. But, while we retain the 
above use (as for our present purpose, I think, we must), the 
following result seems evident. Our judgment, S M P, 
when we qualify it by " if," does not claim to be grounded ex 
cept in part. And in that judgment we do not assume that there 
are any actual " conditions " which actually do connect S with 
M. If so, in the conditional judgment we shall have passed 
in part beyond the sphere of " ground " and " conditions " 
proper. For, though we certainly do assert that M must be P, 
we, on the other hand, set it down as doubtful whether, in 
S M, S, as such, does not disappear. We profess our ignor 
ance as to whether, in the issuing S M P, we still have 
kept an S which through change and development preserves 
its required identity. 

What I have been urging here may perhaps become clearer 
to the reader if he will view what is really the same thing 
from another side. When we take a judgment, S M P, 
and qualify this judgment by the introduction of " if " into 
S M, the result is as follows. We now no longer know how 
far, in and by our altered S M, M itself has been affected ; 
how far, that is, it has now ceased to be properly M, and so by 
consequence has ceased to imply P. The special ground, in 


other words, which guaranteed the connection M P, has, for 
all we know, been vitiated and broken up by the intrusion of 
our qualified and discrepant S M. 

But the simplest way perhaps of stating the difference 
between " if " and " because " is as follows. When in 
S M P we qualify our judgment by an " if," we do not 
mean that S under all conditions, and therefore uncondi 
tionally, is M ; whereas in " S, because M, is P " this is most 
certainly our proper meaning. For in the latter case all the 
conditions (all, that is, which we need consider) are taken 
and assumed to be guaranteed by our ground. 

" If," where it retains its proper meaning, must express 
that uncertainty which belongs to its essence. On the othef 
hand, there are judgments conditional in form, where, never 
theless, all doubt seems to be excluded.* Thus, in si -vales 
bene est, S is viewed as P, because it is M ; and, in si tacuisses 
philosophies esses, we mean to deny that S is P, because cer 
tainly S is npt M. Again in " If he had been honest he would 
be poor " we obviously are not doubting, but are really denying 
honesty. In the above judgments an uncertain possibility is 
stated or implied, but at the same time has been taken as ex 
cluded by fact either directly or through its consequence ; and 
from this exclusion (which is certain) I arrive at my result. 
The doubt contained in the " if," the possibility of something 
being otherwise, is entertained here only for the sake of its ex 
clusion. And hence the judgment, while conditional in form, is 
in substance not governed by " if." The essential meaning 
of " if " (we must, I think, so far agree) really can not in any 
case be certainty .f 

I have now pointed out the difference between a con 
ditioned and a conditional judgment, and have discussed the 
question merely in its logical aspect. The conclusion reached 
would, I think, be fully confirmed from another side, if we 
examined the psychological nature of Supposal. I must, how- 

* Cf. Essays, pp. 37-40. 

t In the above instances we are really entering the sphere of the 
Disjunctive Judgment, for the treatment of which I refer the reader 
to Dr. Bosanquet s Logic. 


ever, content myself here with a passing remark. As to the 
main origin and nature of this mental state I have been unable 
to find any difficulty or mystery. When we have rid ourselves 
of the superstition of a mere floating idea, and have under 
stood how every idea, however imaginary, still qualifies a 
real world since the worlds contained for each of us in our 
Universe are various and many the road in principle is clear. 
On the other hand, approached from any other ground but 
this, the problem of Supposal must, I think, remain insoluble 
in Psychology as in Logic, and the effort to deal with it can 
hardly fail, once again, to generate error.* 

Leaving this digression, I must go on to enquire whether 
every judgment is not ultimately, and in the end, conditional. 
But, before proceeding, I will touch briefly on a minor issue. 
Is there any difference between a conditional and a hypotheti 
cal judgment? I am unable myself to perceive here any dif 
ference which is logical. Wherever you say " if," you for 
logical purposes can substitute " supposing that," and " sup 
posing that" means logically (so far as I see) neither more 
nor less than " if." Certainly the use of the word " suppos 
ing " calls attention to the presence of a mental attitude; and 
hence an emphasis, greater than in the case of " if," is laid 
on this psychical aspect with all that it entails. But I can 
discover here no more than a variation of emphasis which 
leaves unaltered the essence of the logical judgment. The 
judgment, alike in the case of " suppose " and of " if," deserts 
at least to some extent the ground of the " real " fact, and up 
to a certain point is arbitrary, to say nothing of being also 
" in my head." But in these respects I can find no genuine 
difference between " hypothetical " and "conditional." The 
question as to how far either of these is really arbitrary and 
but " subjective " and mental, has been, I hope, in preceding 
pages sufficiently discussed (p. 614). 

A judgment then (we have so far seen) is always condi 
tioned. It is in every case mediated, though not mediated 
always explicitly and formally. Everywhere its genuine af 
firmation is that " Reality is such that S is P," and certainly 
in this " such " we have a real " because." Hence inference 
* Cf. Essays, 375-7. 


is no more than developed and explicated judgment, while 
judgment already on its side is inference, substantially, though 
not in actual form. 

We are ready, now at length, to ask whether all judgments 
are not only conditioned but also in the end conditional; and 
this question has perhaps by now been answered already. 
With every judgment we fail more or less to include its con 
ditions within itself, and, with every judgment in the end, we 
do not and we can not completely know what the entire con 
ditions are. The " such," in our " Reality is such that," re 
mains in the end and in detail not wholly knowable. Hence 
in our result we are unaware of the extent to which our S 
has really been modified. We can not tell how far it has been 
or may have been altered, or how far that alteration affects 
itself and M. There is a question therefore as to whether 
the necessary identity of S throughout the judgment has been 
maintained. And, since this question remains in the end un 
answered, every judgment in the end is no more than condi 

The growth of our knowledge consists in a widening and 
in an increase of systematic mediation. The more the con 
ditions of the judgment are, or can be, included in the judg 
ment, the truer and more real, the less conditioned and more 
condition^ does that judgment become. And the judgment 
that seeks to be at once true and at the same time a mere 
simple and unconditioned assertion of fact, implies the wor 
ship and the pursuit of an illusory abstraction. It involves 
the assumption of a false and perverted ideal of knowledge. 
Such a judgment, the more it attempts to assert itself as abso 
lute, succeeds only the more in emphasizing itself as depend 
ent on and subject to the unknown. On the other hand, a 
system of knowledge where all judgment and inference would 
at once each be the other and be perfect, is in detail unattain 
able. It remains an ideal, genuine and to be realized actually 
more and more, but never completely. 

Such ultimate issues must, of course, to a greater or less 
extent be ignored, not merely in life but in theory and the 

* I am of course assuming here once more (p. 632) that the Universe 
is not a mere conjunction, and that a mere conjunction is in the end 
an inconsistent and unreal abstraction. 


special sciences. We are forced everywhere more or less to 
take up and to use facts in the shape of fixed realities, and 
more or less we are obliged to stand on unconditional and 
absolute truths. But since our real purpose here is not to aim 
at systematic consistency, we are permitted everywhere tacitly, 
at the demand of our varying needs, to shift our ground. And 
thus in practice we succeed, how completely I will not ask, in 
escaping by inconsistency from necessary ruin. But to follow 
such a course, at least knowingly and aware, is not permitted 
in philosophy.* 

We have now seen that in principle and essence all judg 
ment implies inference. The judgment which offers itself 
as simple affirmation is really, we found, an abstraction from 
the concrete fact. A similar result holds (we may further 
add) in the case of ideas. There is not and there can not be 
any such thing as a mere idea, an idea outside any judgment 
and standing or floating by itself. We have here again not 
an actual fact but an unreal abstraction. The essence of an 
idea consists always in the loosening of " what " from " that." 
But, apart from some transference, some reference elsewhere 
of the " what," no such loosening is possible. And, wherever 
you have this transference, you have (at once and with that) 
judgment. This truth is obscured by two causes, first by the 
diversity of the senses in which " reality " is used, and next 
by the difference between the various stages at which ideas, 
judgment and inference, exist. For the second of these rea 
sons (to confine ourselves here to that) any one of the three, 
judgment, inference and ideas, can be plausibly shown as pre 
ceding the others. But really, here as elsewhere, what in every 
sense comes first is the concrete whole, and no mere aspect, 
abstracted from that whole, can in the end exist by itself. If 
we find it convenient to begin our study or our exposition 
with simple ideas or with mere judgment, that course is per 
missible so long as we remember that things, in fact and 
principle alike, are not and can not so be divided. But the 
adoption, however legitimate, of an unreal order, entails (we 

* On the above head the reader may compare my Essays, and I 
would further refer him on all the foregoing points to Dr. Bosanquet s 
great work on Logic. 


may tend to forget) the ever-present risk of a real lapse into 

* On the above, cf. p. 597. And I would once more refer to my 
Essays, and further to the Notes which I have appended to the early 
part of this work. 




In the following pages I propose to add to the discussion 
in this volume (Bk. I, Chap. VI, and Bk. II. Pt. II, Chap. 
IV) some further remarks on the extensional reading of judg 
ments. All judgments assert an identity in diversity and a 
diversity in identity; and either of these aspects can be spe 
cially emphasized. This fundamental point I shall here con 
sider to have been established, and shall stand on it in dealing 
with the questions which follow. 

Can we (I ask this first) take every judgment as asserting 
a connection of ideal content in an individual subject? Cer 
tainly we can do this, I reply, since the Reality of which all is 
affirmed is a concrete individual. Hence it is clear that every 
judgment can be read intensionally ; but does this mean that 
every judgment can be read merely in intension? In the end 
such a view is, I answer, not tenable. For the Reality, of which 
you affirm, can not be extruded and fall outside of that which 
the judgment asserts; and, further, this Reality can not in the 
end be taken as a mere system of ideal content. Such at least 
is the conclusion which I accept, and, if this conclusion holds, 
a reading simply in intension can not in the end be called pos 

Can then, on the other side, every judgment be taken 
merely in extension? Such a view to my mind is in principle 
vicious. For a judgment (we may so put it) says something 
" about," and this essential " about " seems obviously inten- 
sional. In the very denial of difference the denial is mean 
ingless as long as it is bare, and unless it really also asserts 
ideal identity and so intension. And, again, the judgment 
that rejects the sameness of two things has a sense only so 
far as on the other side it affirms identity. For (not to 
speak of anything else) it implies the oneness of that whole in 



and by which the things are together and are two. To ban 
ish intension from judgment is everywhere to reduce judgment 
to nothing. 

There is hence no judgment which is barely intensional or, 
again, read merely in extension. And, so much being pre 
mised, I will go on to consider a further question. Can judg 
ment be taken everywhere as asserting or denying about (i) 
an individual or (ii) individuals? 

(i) If " an individual " is understood in the ordinary 
sense of this or that particular subject, the first of these ques 
tions may soon be dismissed. Quite obviously not all judg 
ments affirm a synthesis of diversity within such a subject; 
and assertion plainly does not, in this sense, always fall within 
the category of subject and attribute. " A is equal to B," or 
" B is to the right of A," I have shown in this work go be 
yond either A or B singly.* And with universal assertions 
the same conclusion becomes perhaps even more evident. 
Judgment plainly is not always about this or that finite indi 

If individuality is otherwise understood, of course, our 
answer must be different. Every judgment and every infer 
ence depends (we have seen) on an ultimate whole, and, 
further, on a whole which is special. The inference or judg 
ment is true only within and because of this individual totality, 
and it holds only so long as its individuality is unbroken. f 
But to find this individuality everywhere in the shape of what 
we call this or that individual would be to violate plain fact. 

(ii) Are we then, leaving the single "individual," to fall 
back on a plurality of individuals or particulars? Can we, 
generally, understand every judgment as concerned with these 
particulars? And, further and specially, can we everywhere 
take judgment (where it is positive) as consisting in an asser 
tion of their " numerical " identity or a denial of their dif 
ference? This would be the doctrine which, though not in 
vented, was popularized by Jevons, and for myself I must 
associate this view with his name, though he failed, as I have 
shown, to apprehend its principle clearly. And I will go on 

* See Index, s. v. Subject. 
t See Index, s. v. Identity. 


here to supplement the criticism already offered in this 
volume (pp. 370-88).* 

Certainly there are judgments in which the above type is 
present. If you say " the voters are the shareholders," you 
obviously may mean to deny that, for a certain purpose and in 
a certain respect, there is any difference between the two col 
lections. There is a synthesis of attributes, but in each case 
it falls in only one man and you deny the plurality. And, 
again, with a single individual the same thing may hold. The 
Pole-Star," we may say (again after Jevons), " is the slowest 
moving star" (p. 346). And here doubtless we may mean 
that, notwithstanding the duality of these differences, there is 
but one star. 

But, when we consider judgments of another kind, such an 
interpretation seems excluded. There are surely judgments 
which make no assertion as to particular individuals ; and we 
may take as an instance those which are at once universal and 
hypothetical. Here we must, I think, agree with Dr. Bosanquet 
that the above interpretation is untenable and is in principle 
absurd. f The idea that all judgments are concerned with indi 
vidual particulars, to my mind also, is ridiculous, and any 
plausibility that it seems to possess depends on mere torture. 
On the other hand if torture, and unlimited torture, is ad 
mitted, I agree that the above and, I suppose, any other con 
clusion can be procured. And every judgment can even be 
forced into the form of denying the difference between indi 
viduals. It is worth while to consider how, in this case, such 
a perversion is possible. 

The fundamental principle here at work is fortunately 
simple. Wherever you can make a distinction (no matter what 
that distinction is), you can (if you choose) take whatever is 
distinguished as being a distinct individual and a particular 
existence. For clearly, in your head and as a mental occur 
rence, every distinction has this character, and, however much 
else it is, it can be viewed as a psychical fact. It can be re 
garded as this event, and so again further, if you please, as 
this case or instance. Probability, for example, can be every 
where stated (as I have shown) by manufacturing a series of 

* See Index, s. v. Equation. 

f See his Logic, Ed. II, Preface, p. xi, and, further, Aristotelian 
Proceedings, 1914-15, No. XIII. 


events and by turning reasons for belief into fractions of 
this series. Our logical grounds are taken here as psychical 
occurrences. But, though this method is possible, we surely 
must add that, as an expression of the general truth, it is but 
error and mere artifice (see pp. 224-6). However, on the 
same principle and by an artifice no more rational, all judg 
ments everywhere can be tortured into the form of an asserted 
" numerical " sameness between particulars. 

Where we have " if " we can always, if we please, sub 
stitute " in the case of," or even perhaps, by a stretch, can 
write " in the event of." We mean here " if it is so that," 
or " upon the assumption that." And yet because of " this 
being so," and because this assumption is involved, we may 
take ourselves as landed in the world of particular events. 
For whatever I attend to, so far as I attend to it, is (we saw) 
this particular fact, and every idea of mine is one occurrence 
among others. Nay, to emphasize this aspect may even be 
right that depends on your purpose. But, on the other side, 
because so much is true, to treat it as the whole or main truth 
to conclude that what your idea means is always a particu 
lar fact, and that judgment always is concerned with and 
refers to such events would surely be monstrous. It is as if 
you argued from " Every true judgment is one occurrence " 
to " Every judgment is therefore about particular fact ; " and 
then perhaps went on to aggravate your fallacy by adding that, 
though the judgment is one, its real meaning lies in its being 
two, and in its denying that this is so. And, if you choose to 
take the truth of a judgment as one particular event or case, 
you can just as easily show, I suppose, that your two different 
facts are really nothing but diverse attributes of that single 
particular subject. With torture anything is possible. Con 
sider, for instance, " if justice is an absolute good the Universe 
is evil." Here there are two particular events, two cases of 
Reality and we mean to deny that they are two. Or we have 
one particular fact, the truth of our judgment, and we take its 
singleness as the union of its internal attributes. But in 
either process we, I submit, employ torture to gain a mere 
travesty of the truth.* 

*To illustrate further (if that is necessary), in "A is to the right 
of B " we are to mean, I presume, " The case of a spatial A (or of 


Returning from this we may resume briefly our main con 
clusion. Every judgment is a whole which unites inseparably 
the two aspects of diversity and identity. Through various 
judgments this indivisible union appears in different forms, 
but it remains always essential. To suit a particular purpose 
we may lay a special emphasis on one of these aspects, but 
to seek really to separate them brings everywhere the destruc 
tion of our judgment. Indubitably there are judgments which 
deal with finite individuals and with facts that are particular. 
And, further, there are judgments whose meaning lies in as 
serting or denying of these particulars what is called " numeri 
cal " sameness or difference. But the attempt to verify this 
latter type in all judgments, or even to show that judgments 
everywhere are really concerned with " individuals " and with 
particular facts seems misguided and futile. There is (I have 
pointed out) a necessary aspect of judgment and ideas which 
lends itself naturally to misunderstanding and to misuse. And 
by virtue of such misuse the above attempt, however perverse, 
may gain a moment s plausibility. That is dispelled when on 
one side we insist on the genuine and essential meaning, and 
when on the other side we contemplate those processes of tor 
ture which its rejection may entail. Such distortions can nor 
serve to elicit and express the living truth. The outcome of 
their violence is but convulsion and in the end dismemberment 
and death. 

this spatial A) is the case of its standing to the right of B." And 
"A is not to the right of B," I suppose, really says "The case of A 
is a case of the absence (or exclusion) of A standing to the right 
of B." 

It is on the same principle and in much the same way that we 
can everywhere use or misuse the idea of " class." In this connection 
I noticed (Essays, pp. 285-6) the instance of " being," or, we may 
say here, " reality." Since, in all that is, we can distinguish " what " 
and " that," we can turn these distinct aspects into particular facts ; 
or, again, we can take them as separate headings, and so, further, as 
classes in the shape of collections. But on the results which may 
follow from this latter course I have here no space to remark. 



In what follows I shall attempt to deal briefly with the sub 
ject of Uniqueness.* The questions involved are however so 
wide that, in order to be brief, I am compelled to be more or 
less dogmatic. 

Uniqueness has two aspects, one negative and the other 
positive ; and I will take these in order. 

(a) With regard to the negative aspect there is perhaps 
no doubt. When one calls a thing unique, one denies that 
this thing, as far as it is unique, is one of a kind, sort, or 
description, so as to be or become an instance or example. The 
thing may be " such " in certain respects, but it cannot be 
such so far as it is unique, and hence it does not admit of 
another such. On this, its negative side, the meaning of 
unique is perhaps fairly clear. 

(b) But negation, here as elsewhere, implies and rests on 
a positive ground. And it is the affirmative aspect of unique 
ness which we must now seek to understand. This aspect is, 
in my judgment, the same as individuality or self-containedness. 
It is the positive inseparable oneness of " what " and " that." 
These aspects are taken as being in the thing so that neither, as 
far as the thing is unique, can for any purpose leave the other. 
Hence the " what " can not be loosed from the " that " so as 
to slide away from it and be applied beyond it. There is hence 
in the unique no ideality or self-transcendence, except so far 
as this is still contained within the limits of the individual. 
Its character, however much developed, can never overpass it 
self ; and the unique can never itself fall under a class or ever 
have " another such as itself." This indissoluble union of be 
ing and quality I take to be the positive aspect of uniqueness, 
and it is solely upon and by virtue of this ground that the 
denial, and the entire negative aspect, is possible. 

* The account given in my Essays (see the Index) requires some 
revision, and perhaps correction, in the light of what follows. 



Certainly for uniqueness it may be said that both these 
aspects are required. An individual, it may be contended, is 
not properly unique until the suggestion that it is one of a 
sort has been offered and repelled. And, apart from an em 
phasis on this denial, the mere affirmative foundation, it will 
be urged, has no right to the name unique. The question thus 
raised I do not propose to discuss, and in what follows I shall 
consider mainly the positive basis of uniqueness. Whether 
apart from negation this basis is strictly to be called unique, 
the reader may decide as he pleases. 

Before proceeding I will however deal with a minor diffi 
culty. There are cases of uniqueness, I may be told, where 
the negative aspect is impossible. The Universe, for example, 
is doubtless unique, and yet the suggestion that the Universe 
is one of a kind is not only false but impracticable. The nega 
tion, therefore, being here absent, may cause a doubt as to 
the uniqueness. This objection would rest on a mistake. We 
have already possessed ourselves of the distinct aspects of 
" what " and " that," and of the general idea of a kind or class 
where this distinction is further developed. Hence we have 
an idea applicable, we may say, prima facie everywhere, and 
our attempt to apply this idea to the Universe is possible and 
natural. We certainly find here that our suggestion is repelled 
and that in the end it is meaningless. On the other side its 
repulsion is an actual fact, and hence, here as everywhere, 
the negative aspect of uniqueness is possible, even if we hesi 
tate to add that it is everywhere essential. 

Passing from this digression I will ask the reader to notice 
two important distinctions. A thing may be unique (a) either 
absolutely or relatively; and it may be unique again (b) either 
in its essence or merely in fact. These two distinctions we 
shall find to be at bottom identical. 

(a) Anything is unique relatively when it is so because 
within a limited region or sphere. There is some part of the 
Universe which for a certain purpose we regard as unique; 
and, as belonging to this part and not otherwise, the thing 
itself is taken as in consequence unique and exclusive. Its 
uniqueness, therefore, is not its own but depends on a condi 
tion outside itself, which condition, again, is not viewed as the 


entire nature of the whole world. We rest here on an assump 
tion, more or less grounded or arbitrary, or, again, on some 
region of the world which, being found as unique, bestows that 
character on its contents. The uniqueness here does not belong 
to the nature of our thing by itself, and is not possessed by 
that thing in its own right. On the contrary the uniqueness is 
borrowed and conditional, and so merely relative. If indeed we 
could show that our thing itself possessed its own character 
by virtue of its individual place in the one Universe, this 
separation of relative from absolute uniqueness (the reader 
will observe) would be valid no longer. 

(b) I pass from this to the distinction between the unique 
ness which holds in principle and that which merely exists 
in fact. A thing is dc facto unique so far as we merely find 
the absence of any other such thing, and where we can not 
say that the thing by its own nature excludes this other. Ob 
viously to my mind we have here a form of relative unique 
ness, and hence the second of our two distinctions is included 
in the first. The mere fact that, in my world of thought or 
perception, a thing is found to be thus, means that the thing, 
so far, has this character conditionally and relatively. For 
mere " matter of fact " reduces itself everywhere to an un 
known condition by virtue of which the thing comes to us as 
being so and not otherwise.* And uniqueness de facto is 
merely relative because you can not take it as contained or 
implied in the individual s own essence. It attaches itself to 
the thing only as borrowed from, and as relative to, an external 

We have seen now that uniqueness has aspects both nega 
tive and positive, and we have asked in what the positive 
aspect consists. It consists, we found, in the indissoluble union 
of " what " and " that." A thing which is self-contained is 
unique. And we went on from this to point out the distinction 
between uniqueness understood relatively and absolutely. In 
what follows I shall confine myself to uniqueness taken as both 
absolute and positive. And I shall proceed to ask where, if 
anywhere, such a character can be found. Some claims that 

* On " matter of fact " cf. my Essays, Index, s. v. Fact. 


have been made to positive and absolute uniqueness will be 
taken in order. 

(1) The case of the Universe (to take that first) seems 
free from doubt. Any distinction, or any loosening of " what " 
and " that," can take place only within the Universe. Hence, 
as applied to the Universe itself, the idea of " another such " 
is self-contradictory, since the " other " can fall nowhere but 
in the Universe itself. The idea (we saw) is possible in the 
sense that the suggestion can be made; but, as soon as made, 
it turns out to be self-inconsistent and really meaningless. The 
Universe is in principle self-contained and is absolutely unique. 

(2) Let us consider next the case of a quality taken by 
itself, not perhaps as simple but without any reference to 
anything beyond, and free from all separation of its " what " 
from its " that." Such a being we must, I think, call abso 
lutely unique, since the idea of " another such " has been by 
our definition excluded. The quality has been assumed to be 
by itself a self-contained world. On the other hand we may 
doubt if such a being should be termed a " quality," and we 
must decline in any case to accept it as more than an unreal 
abstraction. But, if these objections are ignored, we can, I 
think, agree that, taken as defined, the above quality must be 

(3) I pass from this to the case of a plurality of qualities, 
or (let us say) a number of self-contained individual beings. 
Where you have a Many, each of which is somewhat, each (it 
may be urged) is unique. For each one of the Many, it would 
seem, must have a character particular to itself. We should, 
however, begin here by laying down an important dis 

Each of the Many may, first, be taken as dependent on a 
Whole, and as possessing its own nature so far as it fills a 
special place in which it realizes that Whole. Or, secondly, 
each single being may be viewed as owing nothing to any 
world beyond itself. The Many will here be a number of self- 
contained self-existent particulars. I shall for the present con 
fine the enquiry to this second alternative, and shall ask if each 
of such many particular beings is unique? 

If we accept them as offered, we must, I think, agree that 
our answer is Yes. Since each particular is taken as self- 


contained, there is no possible reference beyond self, nor any 
loosening of the " what " from its union with the " that." The 
suggestion anywhere of " another such " seems excluded in 
principle, and there is nothing in the whole world (as we have 
taken it) which fails to have absolute uniqueness. So far per 
haps we may answer without hesitation. 

But when we enquire if beings or qualities, as above de 
fined, are really possible, or whether on the contrary they 
are no more than self -contradictory abstractions our reply 
must be different. We must insist that such beings are not 
unique, but on the contrary, are impossible; and I will briefly 
state the well-known difficulties in the way of a different con 

By the definition we are obliged to take our beings as 
many, and we are ordered to confine the nature of each abso 
lutely within its private self. But these two characters, though 
both necessary, seem one to exclude the other. Diversity, dis 
tinction, plurality, all seem to have a meaning only within a 
whole, and, apart from a whole, seem all abstractions in the 
end meaningless and unreal. The natures of the Many are 
therefore not each merely self-contained, because, if you ex 
tirpate from each every reference beyond itself, you have no 
maniness left. " And " * has no signification except as the 
expression of a containing whole, and diversity apart from 
identity has lost its sense. The required particulars therefore 
are self-contradictory. And you can not escape by drawing 
a distinction within each of separate aspects ; for such a road 
leads to a division into fresh particulars, with regard to each 
of which the same dilemma results. If the Many are not each 
itself beyond itself, they have ceased to be many ; and, on the 
other hand, whatever fails to be self-contained is not individual 
and unique. Hence the particular beings which, if they were 
possible, would each be unique, prove to be mere abstractions. 
And these, because in principle self-discrepant, are unreal, and 
in the end are senseless. 

And if, leaving such arguments, we appeal to fact, and 
attempt to find uniqueness there in the shape (let us say) of 
some found quality, we are baffled persistently. What is given 

*On the whole of the above, and specially on the meaning of 
" And," see my Essays, Index, s. v. And. 


to us is, for instance, not " blue ", but is always " a blue " ; and 
it is a blue, we may go on to see, of a certain sort. And in 
our " blue " we are able to produce and show neither the 
universal by itself, nor again that specification which makes the 
particular blue. Further, what is given has degree, extensive 
or intensive or both ; and it is tinged again by " feeling " 
in various senses of that term. And we can neither exhibit 
these differences each by itself, nor understand how in a given 
case they unite to make our unique particular. Nor, even with 
so much, have we reached the end. For the diverse appear 
ances of our quality in space and time seem, I may say, even 
obviously to belong to it. And since we can neither take these 
apart from our quality, nor understand the difference which 
each makes to it, we discover that in the end we are ignorant 
as to what it is which we are calling unique. 

Returning to our main point let us ask in what way the 
objection raised in principle to a plurality of self-contained 
particulars can find an answer. There are two roads, so far 
as I see, by which we may endeavour to escape. We may 
either (a) deny the truth of the arguments used, or (b), 
abandoning argument, may fall back on what is called " desig 

(a) The objections raised above against the reality of mere 
particulars, are (it may be said) founded on error. If every 
distinction means something diverse, on the other hand diver 
sity (it will be urged) involves in principle no aspect of iden 
tity, and plurality implies no unity or whole. Whatever is 
distinguishable is everywhere a separate reality, a being dif 
ferent from all others, self-contained and unique. What is 
beyond these unique reals beings which, each and all, to one 
another are nothing is merely relations. But these relations, 
themselves again particular beings, are, once more, external, 
each to all else. And hence they make no possible difference 
in reality, any one of them, to anything whatever beyond itself. 
Here therefore we have uniqueness, and in the world there is 
nothing, actual or possible, which fails to be unique. The 
question anywhere as to " another such " is even devoid of 
meaning, since (to go no further) the word " such " is abso 
lutely senseless. 

No one, if I rightly understand, ventures openly and con- 


sistently to adopt the position just stated. And all that I pro 
pose to add in the way of criticism is to point out an obvious 
consequence. Every appearance of " togetherness ", of totality, 
of unity or identity, is, so far as I see, on this view a mere 
illusion. And the fact of the illusion, on the other side, is not 
only inexplicable, but also, on this view, has become a thing 
inconceivable and impossible in fact. 

(b) In the second place, abandoning a road which (as we 
have seen) leads logically to nothing, we may agree that in a 
sense unique particulars are indefensible. We may recognize 
that we can neither deny within each particular an aspect 
which goes beyond its private limits, nor show how this ad 
mitted aspect leaves its privacy unbroken. But on the other 
hand we may urge that, if in a sense unintelligible, unique 
particulars still are given facts. And facts will stand without 
support from or even counter to logical demonstrations. We 
hence, while unable consistently to define " thisness ", are, in 
despite of all arguments, not robbed of our " this." An 
appeal, in other words, is made to that which has been called 
" designation," and the real question raised is as to unique 
ness as claimed by the " this." And I must attempt to deal 
briefly with this difficult problem.* 

(4) Whatever comes as " this " offers itself, I agree, as 
positive and as self-contained, and so as unique. But it does 
not follow from the above that the character of the " this " is 
self-consistent, or that the " this " fails even to offer itself 
as also passing beyond its own limits. Uniqueness however, I 
agree, is claimed by the " this." And, when we take the 
" this " so, its negative reference to " that " seems secondary 
and not essential. Internally the " this " may contain an in 
definite diversity, but all plurality within it is (so far) sub 
ject to its immediate oneness. It is thus (so far) unique be 
cause admitting no transcendence, no disruption (that is) and 
separation of " what " from " that." 

But for us to remain everywhere within the stage and the 
limits of feeling is of course impossible. If we are to know, we 
must understand. We must use ideas and accept relations 

* On the nature of the "this" see my Appearance; and on "des 
ignation " compare my Essays. See the Index. 


such as enter into and yet transcend and, so far, break up our 
" this." And, committed to such a course, what can we answer 
if the claim of feeling still to be unique seems inconsistent 
or unintelligible? The Paradise to which one returns, unless 
one s self could come back unchanged, is Paradise no longer. 
And, here or anywhere, an escape by " intellectual intuition " 
is a deception now long ago noted and beaconed. 

And, even if we confine ourselves within feeling and keep 
to the " this," how far, really and throughout, is its character 
self-consistent? We have not only its movement to expand be 
yond itself through continuity of content, but we have also the 
tendency of its internal aspects to become each a " this " 
against " that," and so to rupture its given unity. Still, so far 
as we fix this instability by an effort, however unnatural, such 
difficulties, I agree, though not solved, may perhaps be sup 
pressed. It is otherwise, I think, when we are confronted with 
the experience of change. Change offers us, at once and in 
one, both what is and what was, and we seem presented here 
with a jarring conjunction of Yes and No. And if in change 
we find also a " not-yet," we have, with this, a feature which, 
even apparently, is ideal and transcendent; while to add an 
experience of anything like activity does but heighten our 
trouble.* We must meet this difficulty, I presume, by insisting 
that externally the " this " has fixed limits, and that internally 
it somehow holds its diversities together without collision. 

But how if the assumption on which we rest proves in fact 
to be false, and if externally the boundary of the " this " is 
wavering? With such a doubt the claim of the "this" to 
be self-contained is untenable, and can the doubt be removed? 
On the side of the past, or of the future, or of both at once, 
we have the question as to whether in fact the given " this " 
has fixed limits, or whether in fact it is at once actually within 
and outside its own boundary. In the seen flight of an arrow, 
have we one " this " or many? If there are many, then how, 
if each is self-confined, is the seen flight one? And, if the 
flight (however short or however long) is to be one given 
" this," then what are we to say when we go on to observe the 
slow descent of a balloon? In the face of these familiar ob 
jections it is no light task to insist on fixed limits for the 

* On this point see my Appearance, the Index, s. v. Activity. 


given " this ". But, if we fail here, the " this " has forthwith 
ceased to be really self-contained and particular to itself. 

So far as I can judge from observation, this last result is 
certainly the given fact. At least on the side of the past the 
" now s " limit is wavering, and we experience in change a 
" now " at once both within and without itself as something 
which at once is and was.* And here without remedy the 
claim made for the " this " seems ruined. However it may 
offer itself otherwise, its character actually is not self-confined 
and unique. 

If we are asked then if the " this " is unique as being some 
thing positive and self -comprised, we must reply by a distinc 
tion. Certainly on one side (we may say) the " this " offers 
itself as being so ; but then its internal character, on the other 
side, when we consider that, seems not consistent or self- 
contained. And further we are forced on inspection even to 
admit that, while the " this " comes to us as unique, it also 
comes to us as otherwise, and offers itself also as passing be 
yond itself. In any case to take the " this " as a mere par 
ticular was a position (we saw) in which we can not and 
ought not to remain. So far therefore we are unable to justify 
a claim made on behalf of the " this " to absolute uniqueness. 
On the other hand we may agree that about the " this," as 
again about the diversity of qualities, there really is something 
unique. We have something here at once positive and yet not 
resolvable wholly into an aspect of " such ". But what in the 
end this " something " is we are unable to say ; and, attempting 
here to advance, we do but turn in a maze of repeated 
dilemmas. The aspect which we claim to have found we are 
unable to produce, nor can we show that, if produced, it would 
not more or less belie a character due to our partial appre 

(5) Leaving the attempt to discover uniqueness in mere 
self-confined particulars, let us ask if the individual, and so 
the unique, can be taken otherwise. As regards the one Uni 
verse we have already (p. 650) disposed of this question. We 

* See my Appearance, pp. 40-41 (in any edition). With regard 
to the limit of the " this " on the side of the future, I find myself now 
(I may add) far less inclined to admit its fixity. 


must now deal with the case of individuals that are finite, 
as being less than the Whole. How then, and in what sense, 
can such a finite individual be really unique? 

Let us suppose that the Universe is a perfect system, at 
once determined by and determining its contents. In such a 
Whole each member would be characterized completely by 
its own place and function in the system. And clearly, taken 
so, each member would, if still finite, be none the less indi 
vidual and unique. It would belong to a sort in respect of any 
of its attributes, but of itself there could not possibly be ever 
more than one, and itself could never be made an instance, 
or could appear as a member of and in a kind or class. And 
such a being further would be self-contained, since none of 
its content would pass beyond its own proper area. The self 
of its self-transcendence would be that which for ever flowing 
back would but fill and define its individual limits. Hence 
such a finite individual would be unique, unique relatively, and 
also, and at the same time, absolutely. And itself would be 
perfect, and yet, again, in degree still more perfect and still 
more unique, the more it contained of the total Universe the 
more of the Whole (we may say) that was made, and that it 
made, into itself. Here at last we find the true idea of 
individuality and of uniqueness ; and here, cleared at a higher 
level, we can look back on those problems which, -forced upon 
us by the " this," were left behind unresolved.* 

For myself I accept in principle the doctrine just stated. 
It not only to me is true, but it possesses a bearing and im 
portance which, I think, it would be hard to exaggerate. On 
the other hand the actual presence of such unique individuals 
can not (I have to add) by our observation or thought be 
verified in detail. Or, though certainly that presence is veri 
fied, we cannot exhibit the principle anywhere in any indi 
vidual as realized perfectly in fact. Its full and assured 
reality lies in a region in and through which all intelligence 
lives and to which it all points, but which is, on the other hand, 
beyond that which can be actually observed or throughout 

* See here Dr. Bosanquet s Logic, II, 260-1 ; and compare also 
other works by the same author. The reader (by the way) will not 
fail to note that, so far as there is more than one thing unique, these 
things will be classable in respect of uniqueness. 


understood. Every finite individual is hence on one side im 
perfect in a varying degree. It never is quite harmonious with 
itself, nor is it ever fully self-contained; and its existence and 
its content fall for our vision always more or less apart. 
Perfect uniqueness and individuality remain therefore in one 
sense an ideal. That ideal is realized beyond doubt, and is 
realized everywhere in a greater or less degree; but visibly 
it is nowhere realized in complete perfection. 

Every individual is in some sense perfect, we may be 
assured, in its own rank and place ; and, in its very striving 
for perfection, it is already, beyond our vision, itself unique 
and complete. But, when you ask to be shown exactly what 
each individual itself is that detailed understanding remains 
in the end unattainable. For religious faith doubtless the case 
here is otherwise, but even for such faith the detail is, again, 
at a certain point unknown. How much of each individual self 
is the realization of its own perfect and unique being, and how 
much in any case must fall somewhere outside, we are 
unable to see. And no true religion, we may add, will seek to 
justify, whether in this world or in any other world, the 
perfection of the individual, if taken by himself ; nor will it 
anywhere think to escape from the grace of God and from the 
life gained only through constant dying. 

We have found then that that which is absolutely unique 
is, first, the Universe itself, and, next, the finite individual 
made self-contained by its special place and function in that 
Whole and in subordinate systems. We have here a self, made 
singular in and by its own passage beyond itself as one mem 
ber of an organism. And uniqueness in this sense is even to be 
found in fact, and as realized in varying degrees of existence. 
On the other side we saw that, because nowhere visible in 
perfect detail, this principle remains for our intelligence an 
ideal beyond fact. 

In these pages I have pointed out the negative and again 
the positive aspects of uniqueness, and have shown in what 
the latter must be taken to consist. I have distinguished the 
uniqueness which is relative and borrowed from that which is 
absolute. I have asked, then, where absolute uniqueness can 
be found. The Universe, first, is unique ; and, next, the finite 

2321.2 S 


individual, determined and characterized specially as one mem 
ber in that system, attains absolute uniqueness. Though such 
a self-contained individual (like the System itself) remains in 
a sense an ideal, yet here alone (we saw) we have arrived 
at our end an end sought blindly by the self-existent par 
ticular, whether as being or quality an end again ambiguously 
and inconsistently offered by the " this ". The puzzles and 
the contradictions, left unresolved, can be remedied (we 
found) but in one way, and solely by the principle of an 
individual that gains by a special self-transcendence its own 
singular reality. 



The nature of the " This " has been discussed in my Ap* 
pearance, and I have returned to the subject in my Essays and 
in preceding pages of this volume. There are two points 
however which call here for some further notice. 

(1 ) In the present work I clearly gave an undue importance 
to the " this " of external perception. Even if there is 
no actual error, there certainly has been here an undue em 
phasis. For the " this " is present just as much in mere in 
ternal fancy, since it belongs everywhere to that which is 
immediately experienced. An act of attention, for instance, is 
" this," " mine," and " now," even if we hesitate to add " here." 
" This," " my," "now," and "here " have their special character 
because, in a word, they all are felt. They are each an aspect 
of immediate, or (if you please) of personal experience. 
Feeling may be either used of the whole mass felt at any one 
time, or it may again be applied to some element in that whole, 
so far as that element is emphasized, and felt, as we say, more 
intimately. But, whatever shade of exclusion or contrast may 
colour its meaning, that meaning remains unchanged. It rests 
everywhere on positive unbroken oneness with the feeling 
centre, though that centre may be taken (we noticed) in a 
narrowed sense. " Now," " my," and " here " must (in short) 
be regarded each as a special aspect of " this " ; and " this," 
belonging essentially to the felt, can not be confined merely 
to that which comes as an external perception. 

(2) On another point the reader will find an overstate 
ment which amounts, I think, to actual error. There is a 
question raised as to how far the " this," as an idea, can be 
predicated beyond the limits of the actual "this" (pp. 63-9). 
And, without discussing directly what in these pages was 
laid down, I will point out how the problem, in my opinion, is 



It is in the first place, I think, clear that we have ideas 
alike of " this," " now," " my," and " here " ; and it seems 
evident further that these ideas are used of that which itself is 
not experienced immediately. We may take for instance our 
imaginary worlds, each with its own unique " real " series ; 
and then, within each of these, we may suppose other worlds 
pictured, each in the same way by its imaginary inhabitants, 
and so on indefinitely. Now everywhere here we certainly 
use throughout ideas of " this," " now," and " my," and no 
less certainly we apply these ideas beyond our own immedi 
ate experience. We thus appear undeniably to transcend our 
present " this," while on the other side our whole universe of 
worlds, real and imaginary, actual and possible, seems in the 
end to be based on our one given point. And the question is 
how these truths, which apparently conflict, can be reconciled. 

Everything, to be in any sense real, must hold of the one 
Reality. And the felt " this " is therefore, so far, the real 
Universe. On the other side, while the Universe is the " this," 
it also is more and beyond, and it contains within itself other 
" thises " innumerable. Hence my " this " is at once the whole 
Universe and itself also less; and, as less, it is but one 
appearance of the Reality. The idea of another " this " can 
accordingly be predicated beyond my " this now," since it is 
predicated of the Reality which, appearing in the " this now," 
at the same time is beyond that limited appearance. And, so 
understood, the transcendence of the felt " this ", by other 
cases and ideas of it, seems justified. 

But this transcendence, taken in a different sense, remains 
impracticable. You can not in the end with truth abstract 
wholly from the " this now," and indeed there is nothing in 
the Universe from which in the end you can so abstract. For 
suppose your " now this " abolished, the predication of any 
idea, whether of " this " or of anything else, becomes forthwith 
impossible. The entire real Universe, inseparably one with 
your " this," would itself have followed its removal. And 
hence every idea (you may say) is affirmed of your " this," 
since every idea is true only of that Reality from which your 
" this " is indivisible. At the same time the Reality, including 
more than any one of its elements, can naturally accept ideas 

V THE "THIS" 66 1 

which hold beyond the limits of your " this ". We have found 
here in principle, I think, the solution of our problem. 

It is plain from experience that on the one hand we pos 
sess ideas of " this," and that we apply such ideas beyond the 
limits of our given present. On the other hand it seems clear 
that we not only start from the given " this," but remain rest 
ing in a sense on that foundation throughout. Our whole 
ordered Universe we may call a construction based on immedi 
ate experience.* Hence we never leave our " this," since we 
keep perforce to a Universe indissolubly one with it. On the 
other side that Universe, immensely wider than any special 
" this," carries us and our ideas, with itself, beyond the bounds 
of the felt present. From the above ground we may, I hope, 
correct what in this book is erroneous. But if the reader asks 
how in the end the one Reality has such a character as to 
appear in various special diversities I would once more repeat 
that to my mind no explanation is possible. 

* There must again of course be some stability in the character 
of that which is felt and given, or no construction would be possible. 
This is, however, a further point on which I am not engaged here. 
See on p. 477, note. 



On this subject there are serious mistakes in my book, 
and its treatment of certain points is perhaps superficial. I 
might plead in excuse my desire to remain, so far as I could, 
on the ground of Common Sense, and not in logic to enter on 
ultimate questions. The result in any case was partial failure. 
But I have since adopted in principle the doctrine put for 
ward by Dr. Bosanquet, and what follows is, I think, in the 
main due to him. I must however be allowed to state more 
or less in my own way the view which I now accept. 

Every judgment has two aspects. On one side it holds of 
the ultimate Reality or the whole World. On the other side 
it judges of that world as appearing in one emphasized 
feature.* Every judgment therefore is selective, and marks a 
distinction (we may say) singled out from the Universe. We 
everywhere refer specially to this or that, and " specially " 
means that we do not refer to the rest at least in the same 

Hence in all judgment you have a whole in which you 
take one feature ("this"), and distinguish it really, though 
not always formally, from another feature ("that"). For 
the reader will observe that, through your selecting one point 
in a whole, the residue becomes ipso facto another point, it 
self also now contained in the whole. Hence, in asserting 
" this," you in effect deny that it is " that," and you thus 
affirm a universe in which are two differences, each one of 
which, you find, excludes the other. Thus every judgment is 
in essence, though not explicitly, both negative and disjunctive. 
And disjunction within a whole is the one way in and by 
which in the end negation becomes intelligible. 

Judgments are of course not all negative and disjunctive 
explicitly and consciously. And no one, I think, could main 
tain such a thesis, unless he confined himself to judgment 

* See Essay II, p. 629. 


as it exists at a high reflective level, where we not only do 
but at the same time are aware precisely of what we are doing. 
But ideas and judgment exist (we know) really at a variety 
of stages,* and that which is implied in principle need not be 
before our minds at the start. Hence you do not show that 
judgment fails to possess a certain character essentially, when 
you point to the fact that this character is not everywhere 
noticed and recognized. 

When in an early judgment I say " Here is this," and so 
select one feature from the universal mass, I do not of course 
explicitly deny that which my judgment neglects. I do not, 
that is, in putting " this " on one side of my world, con 
sciously place any " that " on the other and excluded side. 
On the contrary I emphasize one element in my whole while 
disregarding the residue. But this residual mass, none the 
less, is there, and is actually experienced. And hence, even 
at this stage, I am in some sense positively aware of a totality 
which includes in itself both an aspect emphasized and an 
aspect ignored. 

Selection, however involuntary and unconscious, is present 
in judgment from the first, and this selection involves (we 
may even add) Choice. It contains, that is, not the developed 
act but the underlying principle of choosing. Its distinction 
implies the affirmation of a whole which is, and offers, both 
" this " and " that," while it (at the same time and no less) 
is the one and is not the other. Our " universe," as the con 
ditions vary, brings forward or puts back now this feature 
and now that, and, according to the conditions, it hence shows 
itself as " either/ and it is itself one or the other alternative. 
A long road, I agree, separates our first distinction from such 
a conscious result, and from our acceptance of the world as an 
ordered system, a scheme of distinctions where each at once 
excludes and affirmatively qualifies the rest. But the way is 
traceable, and its course would show how the ultimate end is 
present in a sense at the start, and does but throughout de- 
velope and come to a knowledge of its own active principle. 

Referring the reader here in the main to Dr. Bosanquet s 
Logic, I will now further enlarge on the result we have 
* See p. 626 and the Index. 


reached. Negation everywhere has a ground, not on one side 
merely but on both sides. There is a reason, a positive char 
acter, on account of which " this " excludes " that," and " that " 
again on its side is opposite to " this." There is no such thing 
as a distinction which, merely adventitious, supervenes wan 
tonly, or is superimposed in the absence of a ground. And thus 
distinction and negation determine and qualify, even if in the 
end we can not everywhere show how precisely they do so. And 
it is useless to urge that, where we start with the mere ignoring 
of a residue, or where we are confined to a bare exclusion, the 
selection upon a ground, in at least such a case, is obviously 
not there. Such objections mistake, I would repeat, a mere 
abstraction for given fact. For where we distinguish in effect, 
and where we in any sense experience some element as at once 
present and ignored, we are already above the stage of bare 
exclusion, if indeed anywhere that could exist. And a dis 
tinction grounded on no difference may certainly be called a 
monster incapable of life except within a one-sided theory. 

I can not offer here to show in passing how all dis 
tinction and analysis takes place only within and by virtue of 
an active whole, and how again contrary opposition is based 
on identity. We have in " opposition " the movement of differ 
ences to occupy, through their partial identity, simply the same 
point, and so to qualify at once both that point and each other.* 
Diversity as experienced implies partial sameness, identity, not 
only general and in the Whole, but specially in and of sub 
ordinate groups. And hence exclusion rests everywhere on 
the tendency of " this " through partial sameness to qualify 
" that." It is the above attempt and its frustration that, after 
we have reflected, turn our rejection into conscious denial. 
But from their first beginning distinction and negation are 
grounded. They come to being only within a Universe per 
vaded and ruled throughout by identity and difference, a king 
dom which through these alone can separate and re-unite and 
order its elements. 

My world contains everywhere a reason why " that " seeks 
directly to make one with " this," and why it fails to succeed, 
and why in consequence I am led to hold both of these, dis- 

* The reader is referred to the Indexes of this volume and Ap 
pearance, s. v. Contrary. 


tinct each from the other. There is a ground which on each 
side must qualify whatever I distinguish, and, in order to 
understand my world, I must seek everywhere to bring this 
ground to light. Hence I have to turn my experience into a 
disjunctive totality of elements which, according to the con 
ditions, explicitly imply and negate one another. It is through 
their reciprocity that I, however unconsciously, aim at a sys 
tem, which thus determines its contents by one another and 
itself in and by them all. This task, I agree, can never be 
accomplished in full. But we have seen how in principle it is 
laid on us from the first, and how negation aids and is essen 
tially implied in all positive construction. 

I pass from this to ask how far negation is " unreal " and 
" subjective." My book is faulty here owing to its acceptance 
of " floating ideas," and through its failure to recognize that 
in its own sphere every idea has reality.* Discarding this 
error we may say at once that all negation is real, and that 
it is real just because it is relative. The content which it 
denies is never excluded absolutely. Far from falling no 
where, that content qualifies elsewhere the Universe. In this 
other region it owns positive truth and reality whatever may 
be the amount and final character of these, and whatever the 
conditions under which, however much transformed, the de 
nied content finds its goal. Unless you have a meaning and 
an idea (we may remind ourselves), you deny nothing; since 
an idea is needed for denial, and since a meaningless idea is 
none. And on the other side, wherever you have an idea, that 
idea (we have seen) has reality. And its negative relations 
to other things real (we further saw) belong to and qualify 
our Universe, even where we fail in the end to perceive how in 
detail this result is verified. 

Hence, again, negation is not " subjective." You may, 
when it is compared with affirmation, call it, if you please, 
more " reflective ", in the sense that we, perhaps generally, 
know that we assert, before we know that we deny. But such 
prior or greater awareness is irrelevant to the point here at 
issue. The distinctions in our " objective " world do not be 
come merely " subjective," because we can be said to make 

* See the Index. In the whole of what follows I am much indebted 
to Dr. Bosanquet s Knowledge, etc., pp. 214 foil. 


them or again because we know that we make them. On the 
contrary they form the essential structure of that world. The 
attempted suggestion which our denial repels rests (we saw 
above) on a real identity in that which has proved incom 
patible; and a real difference under that identity is asserted 
in our rejection. Negation in short implies at its base a dis 
junction which is real, and its goal is to set before us reality 
as a systematic and explicit totality of complementary dif 
ferences. To such an ideal world (I would repeat) we can 
not wholly attain, and even in principle any such world falls 
short of ultimate truth and reality.* But on the other side 
our result approaches and embodies that perfect end with a 
fulness and actuality far beyond that gained by any mere 
affirmation. For the simple positive is no more than a one 
sided abstraction, that, like mere " matter of fact," lies at the 
furthest remove from final reality and truth. 

If you confine your real world to one asserted position 
and identify this one position with the Universe, then, with 
this (if it were possible), negation, I admit, has become barely 
" subjective." What is rejected falls nowhere, since now it has 
not anywhere else to fall; and on the other side even its 
exclusion has by consequence become unreal. The process 
now is nothing except so far as it can be taken as happening 
in me, and is thus regarded in the character of a mere psychical 
event. So viewed it becomes " subjective," just as again the 
" imaginary," if my " real world " is identified with the Uni 
verse, is called " subjective." But a mere one-sided exclusion 
(we have seen) is no real negation. It is, like pure nothing, 
an abstraction from the relative turned into absolute fact. 
And in the end it is self -contradictory, if not quite meaningless. 

The objections urged in my book (p. 120) Dr. Bosanquet 
has shown to be invalid. f It is true that, in saying " No," 
we may turn away from an idea without considering or car 
ing where it falls, and that here our emphasis lies on a re 
jection which seems to leave our positive ground unaffected. 
But in such a negation, made, as we say, for no reason, we 
may fail to realize the extent to which we are accepting 
a mere abstraction as fact. Real assertions and denials (as 

* See Appearance, Index, s. v. Truth. 
t See his Knowledge, etc., pp. 226 foil. 


Dr. Bosanquet has so well insisted) are made always with some 
intention, and never apart from a certain interest. We have 
a reason always why we make them, and this " reason why " 
is a ground which never fails to qualify our original position. 
On the other hand, where we do not know why we deny, we 
naturally in consequence can not say exactly what we mean by 
our denial, and how that qualifies our positive basis by a special 

In the instances given (p. 121) our denial affirms through 
out an identity and a difference between the soul and a variety 
of objects, and it in each case emphasizes only the mere fact 
of an unspecified difference. But none the less it has asserted 
all these objects as members of one Universe along with the 
soul. And these specific objects, if so, are all related to the 
soul, and, so far as they are different, are all related diversely. 
This diversity affects throughout, in my view, the relation, and 
it certainly also must qualify the soul. We may not know, and 
in the end may be unable to discover, in what everywhere the 
different qualification consists. But, if at least we view the 
Universe as a whole which is reciprocally determined through 
out, such a qualification must be there. Since however, for 
our present purpose, we are quite indifferent as to what it is, 
provided only that it excludes, we can take this qualification as 
being everywhere the same. But, except from an abstract 
and one-sided point of view, such a conclusion is false. 

Dr. Bosanquet (ibid.) has here rightly adduced the case of 
purposeless affirmations, which equally appear not to qualify 
their subjects. Fresh truths, for instance, that I have learnt 
about the number three, may seem to assert really nothing 
new about Cerberus. But, as far as a judgment is purpose 
less and useless theoretically, it so far, we may say, is not 
any real judgment. It is either meaningless, and, if so, as a 
judgment it is nothing, or else its meaning and consequence 
fall somewhere beyond that knowledge which at the moment 
we possess. We must hold on to this truth in the case of 
affirmative judgments, and apply it, certainly with not less 
strictness, when we deal with negation. But, for further 
discussion on the nature of the negative judgment, I would 
end by referring the reader once more to the works of Dr. 




A few remarks on the above terms may perhaps be useful 
to the reader. They cover so much ground that a full discussion 
of their meaning would involve most of the main problems 
that trouble philosophy. And I can offer here but a summary 
statement of some views, which I myself accept and think it 
may be well to submit to the reader. 

I have noticed (p. 213) the error which takes "possible" 
and " impossible " as contradictories. And, to make this error 
more clear, I will begin by setting down once more what I 
understand by the Possible.* The Possible is (a) that which 
is partially grounded. It must hence have a meaning, and it 
must not be inconsistent internally with itself. So much as 
this is implied in its being grounded by and in the real world. 
But, beside possessing what we may call this general and ab 
stract ground, the Possible may have grounds that are further 
and more special. And these grounds may vary indefinitely in 
amount and so also in importance. There are hence degrees 
of possibility up to the point where the grounds cease to be 
incomplete. As soon as that point is reached, the possible has 
forthwith become real, and we have no longer to do with mere 
possibility. Further (b), beside its own positive character, we 
must note a negative aspect implied in the Possible. There 
must not, whether in our knowledge or in our assumption, be 
in the world anything which is unconditionally incompatible 
with the Possible s reality. This is essential, but it is essential 
also that the above negation should be taken as failure and 
defect, as the absence, in and from our present knowledge, of 
anything actually incompatible. To mistake this failure for a 
positive knowledge that incompatibility is really absent, would 
be an error entailing consequences that ruin the Possible. 

The Possible (we have seen) is so far real. And the 
Real on its side is also possible. For anything that is positive 

* See the Indexes of Appearance and Essays, and of this work. 


in the Possible is owned by the Real, while that which is nega 
tive, so long as we confine it to mere absence and failure, does 
not touch the reality. The Real becomes not-possible only 
when you qualify " possible " by the addition of at most, and 
so pass beyond the truth that the Real at least is possible. 
But to understand " possible " in the sense everywhere of 
" possible at most " is to fall into that mistake which we have 
noticed above. It is in effect to limit your object by that which 
you can not say holds good of the object itself. And hence 
a lapse into ambiguity or dangerous error. 

If and so far as you assert the reality of what is incom 
patible, the possible is not even possible; while, on the other 
hand, if you deny the above reality, the possible has at once 
become real. What the possible demands is thus the absence 
from your knowledge of anything really incompatible, together 
with a partial but positive grounding of the possible. And 
for me to take mere failure, in what I know, as a real absence 
of what is incompatible, or again, on the other side, as a denial 
of complete compatibility, is in each case erroneous. In " pos 
sible at least " the emphasis falls on that which is positive 
though partial. But in " possible at most " the whole assertion 
is qualified, perhaps ruinously, by an emphasis which tends to 
become a positive reliance on mere ignorance. " Possible at 
most " is indefensible except when understood as " known to 
be possible while not known to be more." 

The true contradictory of the possible is to be found in 
" whatever fails to be possible." And obviously that can not 
include anything real. It amounts in the end to no more than 
" not anything at all." The distinction (to pass to another 
point) of " possible simply " from " conditionally or relatively 
possible " seems to require no more than a passing notice. And, 
ending these introductory remarks on the Possible, I will now 
proceed to discuss the Impossible and the Unreal. 

The Impossible is not that which is merely not-possible, 
and it certainly contains more than the absence of possibility. 
It would be hardly defensible to insist that, for anything to be 
impossible, it must first be entertained as possible. But, with 
out exaggeration, it is true that the Impossible, while not- 
possible, must always be more. For it involves necessarily the 


idea of rejection from a positive and real basis. This basis 
may vary greatly in extent and importance, but unless it is 
taken as there and as positive, we have no impossibility (cf. 
Appearance, Index). Impossibility (to repeat this) never 
consists in mere absence, and to be impossible means to be 
qualified essentially by the above rejection and excludedness. 
But the mere failure of such rejection, on the other hand, does 
not make a thing-possible, for, with but so much, the positive 
side of possibility is lacking. 

If we go on to ask for the difference between the Impos 
sible and the Unreal, the answer is that, of the two, the Unreal 
is the more abstract. The Impossible, while unreal, must also 
be more. If you begin from " nothing," then, in comparison 
with that, the Unreal is more concrete; for it adds explicitly 
the feature of excludedness by or from Reality, absolute or 
relative. And the Impossible is, similarly, more concrete still ; 
since, not Reality, but Reality in a certain character, is now 
implied as the positive basis of exclusion. A thing becomes 
impossible when, because of this or that feature of the Real, 
the thing can not be. The latent inference, with its tendency 
to suggest the question " why," has thus in the Imposible be 
come well-nigh explicit. 

It may repay us, even at the cost of some digression, to 
remind ourselves here of what we mean by " nothing." 
" Nothing," we saw, is more abstract than what is unreal or 
impossible, and in a sense it underlies them. The exclusion by 
the Real, or again by a special reality, is dropped while we 
keep to " nothing." Mere nothing is perhaps best described as 
the idea of a " that " which excludes, and is excluded by, any 
and every " what." It differs from the idea of mere " being," 
since, with this latter, the emphasis falls on the positive side. 
Thus, in the case of " being," the " somewhat " is merely ab 
sent, and is not rejected unless you go on to qualify " being " 
by " mere." With " nothing," on the contrary, the stress falls 
on the aspect of exclusion, and we have not a mere defect but 
a denial of positive qualification. But each of these ideas (we 
may add) is inconsistent. " Being " offers us the abstraction 
of an empty object, which yet is no positive object, if empty. 
On the other side with " nothing " we have gone beyond a 


mere emptiness and absence. We have now the abstraction of 
an object which, rejecting all qualification, is forced so, by 
consequence, to exclude itself. 

We must pass on to enquire as to the sense which we give 
to the Meaningless. The Meaningless, I should reply, is 
some object which, first (a), taken as itself, is positive, but 
which further (b) offers a meaning an idea which it con 
tains though this meaning and idea is really none. The 
Meaningless is the absence of meaning from that which is 
before us as an object which owns meaning and offers 
it. We have thus a thinking which is empty and is no 
real thought, not because it excludes its object, but because 
the object fails. That which is offered as contained in the 
object, and deprived of which thought is helpless, proves on 
trial to be lacking. 

Of the ideas which we were to examine there remains 
the Self-contradictory. And clearly all that have gone before 
can fall under this last head. Though different from one an 
other, these ideas are alike in being all self-discrepant. The 
object which is itself, so far as it has a meaning which is 
none, the thinking, where every " what " is excluded by or 
from the object that is thought, the excludedness, where there 
is nothing real to be shut out or to shut out such ideas, with 
all their possible variations, are each in conflict with itself. 
And, the greater our effort to hold together in one object these 
struggling aspects, each in unnatural independence, the more 
certain the failure in which we everywhere end. Our 
legitimate result is an alternation between suicide and new 
birth, with an inevitable return to self-dissolution. 

It is this character of self-discrepancy and internal strife 
which, when we abstract it, is held as our idea of the Self- 
contradictory. It consists in a conjunction of jarring elements, 
that everywhere tends to dissolve itself on scrutiny, except so 
far as it remains fixed externally by error or artifice. For, 
merely as and by itself, and apart from a conjunction which 
superadds a unity from without, the Self-contradictory is 
unthinkable. But, like the other negative ideas which we have 
discussed, the Self-contradictory has everywhere in experience 


a positive side. And it is held together and maintained in 
existence by this foreign bond, from which, in order to become 
truly itself, it must abstract, but, apart from which, it could 
not even appear as a fact in experience. The genuine nature 
of this unity, necessary though external, has been discussed in 
my Essays (pp. 41, 269, 274, 302), and on the whole sub 
ject I may refer to my Appearance, Appendix, Note A. The 
result is that, to realize the nature of the Self-contradictory, 
taken as such, we have to emphasize and abstract an aspect 
which, by and as itself, we never could find. There is nowhere, 
in short, such a fact as the merely Self-contradictory. 

The ideas taken as the subject of this Essay can, for most 
purposes perhaps, be used without distinction. But none the 
less they differ, and their differences may in varying degrees 
be material. As against the merely Unreal, the Impossible in 
vites our attention to a feature of Reality, perhaps overlooked, 
which makes and may be called on to justify the exclusion. 
And, in distinction again from that which is merely unreal, the 
Meaningless points to the positive existence and character of 
that which seeks to offer a meaning. And still more in the 
Self-contradictory may we even be bound to note and dwell 
on this aspect of positive fact. It may be disastrous here 
simply to ignore, or to dismiss as not mattering, the special 
nature of that being which supports and which makes possible 
the conflict, and finds perhaps in that discord the moving im 
pulse to vital issues. To insist merely on the contradictoriness 
and final unreality of some region or element of our world 
may be hence for ourselves practically to miss the difference 
between insight and blindness. Any attempt, however, to 
specify the cases where, in the use of all the above terms, dis 
crimination is required, is not possible here. 

If finally the reader asks as to the place assigned by meta 
physics to the ideas just discussed, the answer briefly is as 
follows. Such reality as these ideas possess, is, in the first 
place, not ultimate. We must deny, that is, that, taken as they 
are in themselves, these ideas can be real. For their being 
consists in and only stands by an abstraction which breaks 
up, and which, if maintained, must destroy the living Reality. 
But the further question as to how abstraction, being such, can 




itself be possible, and can appear as fact is in the end unan 
swerable. It is but one aspect of the ultimate enquiry as 
to how there can come to be such a thing as finite existence. 
Here, in my opinion, it is useless to seek for what is called an 
explanation. But, on the other hand, the question how, in the 
Whole and in the end, all abstract one-sidednesses are made 
good, can, I think in principle be answered. Nothing in any 
appearance, so far as that something is in any sense positive, 
can conceivably be lost; and so much as this seems certain. 
On the other side, by addition, by resolution, and by reunion 
in a more concrete totality, the divisions and the conflict of 
appearances can everywhere be harmonized. And all one- 
sidednesses, thus transformed, can contribute each its full 
content to the unbroken and self-complete Reality. But, for 
a further examination of this great problem, the reader must 
be referred to my Appearance and Essays. 



The reader possibly, in connection with the issues raised 
in this volume, may expect me to deal fully here with the 
problem of Privation, together with the attempt made at times 
really, if unconsciously, to found knowledge on ignorance. 
But not only would the subject require perhaps too much 
space, but I should be repeating, for the most part, doctrines 
which I have advocated in my Appearance (Chapter XXVII). 
The main point is this, that logically mere ignorance is sheer 
nothing. Ignorance as a ground for belief or for disbelief 
must always be knowledge, knowledge partial but positive. 
The suggestion of an unknown " other " or " otherwise " is 
self-contradictory it is in the end nonsense and logically 
nothing unless we have a known field of Reality within 
which it falls, and unless, so far, its unknown " otherwise " is a 
matter of actual knowledge. Now in the case of " absolute 
truth " I have contended that, since no such field is present, 
we can not even entertain the idea of an " otherwise." In 
the sphere of " relative truth," on the other hand, such a field 
can everywhere exist. 

But absolute and relative truths are of course both true of 
the Absolute Reality, since so much is contained in the very 
meaning of truth. The former, however, hold good of the 
entire Universe as a whole, in the sense that they are above, 
and not within and under, the disjunctions which are made in 
it. Relative truths on the contrary are subordinate, as falling 
under and within some distinction to which they are subject. 
Thus with relative truths we have in principle always that 
place for an " other " which in absolute truth is wanting. 
Prior to disjunction we may say that there is no line drawn 
between truth absolute and relative, just as again, if knowledge 
could become perfect, this difference would disappear. In a 
complete system no field for an unknown " otherwise " would 



be left. Mere disjunction would there be taken up into a 
higher form of knowledge ; and every truth, showing itself as 
the detailed and connected self-development of one undivided 
life, would at once be relative and absolute. But no such sys 
tem exists, and, so far as I see, no such system is possible. 
Hence we have a world of relative truth, and yet no less cer 
tainly (I have urged) we have truth which is absolute. 

And I must here recall that view of the relation of truth 
to reality for which I have argued elsewhere. This view 
reconciles, I submit, with the existence of absolute truth the 
necessary imperfection of all truths. I have shown how the 
dilemma which threatened us here is resolved. A truth may 
be imperfect, as failing to realize its own ideal of truth; and 
yet, if not corrigible intellectually, because no intelligible 
" otherwise " is there such a truth none the less is absolute. I 
am satisfied with this solution, for the explanation of which I 
must once more refer to my Appearance and Essays. I even 
venture (however much this is improbable) to think that my 
result includes beforehand whatever is true in any opposite 

There are certain questions to which however I will allow 
myself to return. There are difficulties which I desire once 
more to discuss; and, again, on some points I may perhaps 
lessen the repugnance of the reader against conclusions which 
I myself have been led to embrace. If I can do no more, I 
may at least hope to remove some misunderstanding. And 
I will begin by noticing a class of objections based on 

There is a natural temptation on the ground of what is 
probable to deny absolute truth. If you take a judgment as a 
psychical event, there is always, it may be said, a chance that 
it has no meaning ; * in which case obviously there is no ques 
tion of its falsehood or truth. And, even when we restrict 
ourselves to real judgments, there must be everywhere (ex 
perience seems to show) a possibility of error. And this chance 
(it may be added) seems not diminished but on the contrary 
increased, if we confine ourselves to the field of metaphysical 
speculation. Further, even within this field, it may be urged 
* See the Note on p. 155. 


that the highest and most fundamental doctrines seem open, 
most of all, to uncertainty and doubt. And is it not (I may 
be asked), with all this weight of probability against me, 
something like insanity for me to insist in metaphysics upon 
absolute truth? 

The old counter-objection, on the other hand, remains to 
my mind unanswerable.* The above arguments all assume 
and all rest on the conclusion which they deny. If you can 
not take as free from all doubt at least those truths on which 
your knowledge as to probable error is based, surely your 
arguments disappear, and in the end you have said nothing. 
Or, on the other side, if and so far as your arguments hold, 
they hold not absolutely and universally, but are valid merely 
in the abstract and only for the most part. Hence your true 
conclusion is to the fallibility of judgment in general, or in 
general to the greater fallibility of one kind of judgment. But 
evidently with so much you have not disproved the absolute 
truth and certainty of this or that judgment or set of judg 
ments. Your probability, in other words, is at most antecedent ; 
and, so far as you attempt to make it more, it destroys its 
own basis. Thus, in all that you have urged above against 
absolute truth, there is no vestige of a valid argument based 
on probability. There is a mere appeal perhaps to the dis 
cord and apparent failure which prevails in metaphysics. Or 
there is a reminder, perhaps superfluous or perhaps most 
needed by yourself, that everything human is assuredly in 
some way imperfect. 

The above question, I venture to think, is really so far 
settled. It is in the end ridiculous to offer by any argument 
to prove that fallibility is universal, and there can be no ex 
ception here in favour of any conclusion which appeals to 
probability. Still it may throw light on what precedes and 
on that which is to follow, if we remind ourselves of what 
we mean when we speak of the Probable. The reader who is 
already satisfied can pass on at once to what perhaps he may 
find more interesting. 

I am to touch here on Probability taken in its right and 
proper meaning, and I assume the reader s acquaintance with 
the view set out in this volume (Bk. I. Chap. VII.). What I 
^Appearance, p. 620. 


will notice here first is a looser use of the term which may result 
in grave error. We must not confound probability with a men 
tal force of whatever kind which may lead us to act or believe ; 
and certainly not all that comes under the head of approval or 
assent is probable. To speak of Probability as the actual 
" guide of life " may hence be misleading, and it would be less 
one-sided perhaps to confer that title on Faith. In any case 
the mere feeling or apprehension of greater inward prevalence 
or weight, on one side as against another, is not probability. 
For the preponderance here need not be theoretical. It 
may be merely the vague sense that more of myself, or more 
of something that I value, is somehow concerned on one side. 
But in genuine probability I must begin with ideas before my 
mind, and the result which I accept must be a judgment as to 
fact. And what is required is not only the feeling that my 
mental balance inclines towards a certain decision, but I must 
have a further perception, however dim, that on one side there 
is more of what carries, and should carry, a conclusion and 
consequence. Arrived at this point we have reached what may 
be called reasonable probability ; and this grows more rational 
the more we realize how much of the whole ground for a 
certain consequence we have before us. But probability is not 
fully developed until all partial grounds, for or against, are 
or can be reduced to fractions of one denomination. And 
let us now (passing from this) go on to ask as to the assump 
tions contained in Probability. 

Probability assumes, first, that the world with which it is 
concerned is grounded throughout. It deals with a Universe 
which, taken at any moment, is the result and consequence of 
a ground, so that the entire ground gives you (I need not ask 
in what precise sense) this individual whole as a result. It 
assumes further, within this whole, the reality of limited 
grounds and consequences. And it assumes that everywhere, 
whether in the Universe or in a limited case, partial grounds 
are true and real in proportion as they contribute to the whole 
individual result. And, above all, we presuppose that in 
probability the object is self-contained, with the exclusion of 
anything like chance in the shape of external interference or 
inward failure. Our entire world must, here again, be taken 
as rational, so that we refuse to speak of preponderance unless 


within a quantity which is fixed.* Within the field of my 
operations we may say in brief that absolute knowledge is 
assumed, and that ignorance, like chance, is barred out. Cer 
tainly I may know that here or there I have more or less of 
my required ground, and may be sure of so much, though I can 
not specify exactly the whole ground, and am able still less 
to set out the precise fractions. But unless I assume that 
what I am engaged with is a grounded totality, and that about 
this whole I know enough to be sure that my partial grounds 
contribute to and are contained in it, there is an end to any 
thing that can rightly be called probability. 

Probability therefore, with every argument based on it, 
stands and falls with the assumption that its world is self- 
contained and rational. Its universe is grounded throughout, 
and admits of no self-contradiction; and, so far at least, this 
universe must be a system. If there is another world, that 
world has been in principle excluded, and of so much as 
this I have a knowledge which may be called infallible. There 
can be no probability of an opposite, where to admit an oppo 
site as possible destroys probability. And the above result 
can, I submit, be rejected only so far as the word " probable " 
is taken in some sense which is really erroneous. 

Leaving now the subject of Probability I will return to 
that which I have taken here as my main topic. With regard 
to " absolute truths " I shall go on to contend that all the truth 
is on my side. Not only do I find an " otherwise " in this 
case inconceivable, but even views opposed to my own seem 
to urge nothing positive that I can not include and admit. 
I hold (the reader may recall) that the Universe is such as 
not to contradict itself, and further I hold that, even in a fuller 
sense, Reality is One, and is throughout nothing but Experi 
ence. These results appear at first sight to be irreconcileable 
with opposite doctrines, and yet I hope to show how this 
apparent antagonism may be largely fallacious. And I will 
begin with those views which may perhaps be grouped under 
the head of Irrationalism, a term the meaning of which I 
propose to leave more or less undefined. 

* The reader will bear in mind that we are not concerned here with 
what mathematics for its own purposes may or may not require. 


(i) On what positive assertion, I prefer to ask, does Ir- 
rationalism desire to insist, which assertion I on my side am 
unable to accept? Do I hold, for instance, that Reality and 
Thought are both just the same thing? Do I even say or 
suggest that the Universe is intelligible in the sense of being 
explicable throughout? Do I try to resolve emotion and will 
into ideas and understanding, or leave no place in the world 
for their proper and different reality? Is it I, in a word, 
who set up abstractions and bow down before them? Such 
questions, I think, can all be answered assuredly by No. And 
if I am told that I deny Freedom, not only is such a statement 
contrary to fact, but (what is of more importance) I ask the 
Irrationalist to produce any positive aspect he connects with 
that word, which I have failed already to include in my own 
account* What more does the Irrationalist ask than that 
every volition should be able to be taken as a new creation 
from the individual self? Certainly I do deny that mere 
Chance is anything positive ; but I deny also that any one who 
wants Freedom, and who understands what he is saying, really 
can desire to have chance. 

Further, if it is the fact of disorder and unreason for 
which the Irrationalist contends, then, with every one else, I 
accept this fact as undeniable and obvious. On the other hand 
I refuse to take the fact as absolute and as real by itself, or 
as anything more than one subordinate aspect of the 
Universe. And what is the positive result, I ask, that is 
gained by turning one s back on all else but this " fact ", and 
by worshipping one s own work in the shape of such a sorry 
abstraction ? 

Now I do not suggest that the Irrationalist and I merely 
say one and the same thing in different words. What I urge 
is that, where the Irrationalist denies and opposes himself to 
my doctrine, he really has nothing positive to set against it. 
And, if everything positive on his side is already included in 
my result, surely I am right in refusing to admit here the 
existence of an " other." A one-sided and blind emphasis on 
certain aspects, and the mistaking of some relative truth or 
fact for an absolute principle or reality, is to me the essence 

* See my Ethical Studies, and cf. Essays, pp. 131-2, and, on the 
other side, James, Pragmatism, pp. 115 foil. 


of what I call Irrationalism. And everything in this that is 
positive, falls under that head of Abstractionism for which 
in my doctrine a place has been found. See the end of the 
foregoing Essay, and Essays, Index. 

(2) I will pass from this to consider something which to 
me is more important and difficult. In holding that the Uni 
verse is One and is Experience, I am met by those who, not 
denying that the Universe in a sense is one and that it can 
not contradict itself, on the other hand insist upon Realism or 
Pluralism. Now how can I maintain that there is no more 
here than what has been included in my own view? Can I 
once again insist that what opposes me, so far as it opposes 
me, is in effect nothing positive? On the other hand, if such 
a conclusion seems indefensible, the " other " (which, I de 
cided, was nothing) appears after all as real, and so wrecks my 
absolute truths. For to treat the verdict of writers, no less 
competent than myself, as error inexplicable and negligible, is 
not a possible alternative. 

We have a difficulty here which I will ask leave to ap 
proach indirectly. I will remind the reader once more that I 
make no pretence to the possession of a perfect system (Ap 
pearance, p. 541). I can not show how the world of relative 
truth is connected throughout, or even how its various groups 
can everywhere be taken as more than co-ordinate. I can 
not deduce the relative from the absolute, and exhibit in de 
tail how this or that relative truth, and only this or that, is 
possible. If I had a perfect system, I could point out how, 
given an " otherwise " to my principles, the world disappears. 
But, as I stand, I can not so prove that, given Realism or 
Pluralism as true, the world of our knowledge is as to its 
detail destroyed. I do not admit, I am far from admitting, 
that the fact of the experienced world, together with its 
sciences, agrees with Realism or Pluralism as well as it agrees 
with my doctrine. I am convinced on the contrary that, 
though here or there the advantage may lie with them, the 
advantage on the whole is out of all proportion on my side. 
Still I must admit that the empirical known world, the province 
of relative truth, can not in its detail be shown to agree 
exclusively either with the doctrines that I hold or with those 


that I reject. And we seem in consequence left here with an 
opposition which is irreducible and vital. 

We might argue that, with so much agreement on each 
side in detail, it is impossible that the rival principles can 
radically diverge. And the difference therefore, which parts 
them, can not (we might insist) be actually that for which we 
have taken it. So much unity in result must come surely from 
a common ground. And, unless that ground could lie outside 
both the opposed principles, their opposition, one may contend, 
can only be partial. Now, for myself, while I agree that there 
is great weight in this argument, the question remains as to 
the sense in which I can possibly accept it. And it is this 
question that I shall now go on to consider. 

It is idle, in the first place, to suggest that both parties 
mean much the same thing, and that they differ in nothing 
except the way in which each formulates the common sub 
stance. The real problem is, on the contrary, to find that 
material difference which underlies and produces the divergence 
of the formulas. 

We can not escape here by a reduction of all truth to what 
is no more than relative. For on both sides we are in effect 
agreed that this course is not tenable. There is on each side 
an assertion, at least implicit, of the absolute truth that Reality 
must not contradict itself, and must, at least so far, be one. 
And on each side the idea of system is used and accepted, at 
least tacitly, as the test of truth. For whatever view suc 
ceeds best in embracing all the facts, comprehensively and in 
connection, is taken on all sides to come nearest to the Reality. 
Hence on neither side can every truth be consistently allowed 
to be merely relative. 

But, while rational Pluralism and Monism, and rational 
Realism and its contrary, seem agreed up to this point, can 
they not (the question now arises) all agree, beyond this point, 
to accept Relativism as true? Can they not, while sharing 
a common conclusion as to absolute truth, unite in drawing 
a line below which this conclusion becomes inapplicable? The 
conflicting views, as to the further nature and further unity 
of the Real, might all, if so, become a matter of mere relative 
truth ? 


Now, if this were possible, I for myself am still confident 
as to the result. I am sure, if I may say so, that on this 
ground the doctrine which I advocate would still maintain its 
general superiority.* But how can I accept such a solution, 
as long as I find both Realism and Pluralism to be in the end 
unthinkable? I surely can not take the opposite of these to 
be less than absolute truth, when, so far as I can see, in 
each case the supposed contrary of my view is, as such, really 
nothing, f 

Hence I seem driven to conclude that whatever positive 
assertion is contained in Realism and Pluralism must, even 
against appearance, be embraced and included in my doctrine. 
And I must now try to show that such a solution is valid. If 
I have misinterpreted the views which I oppose, that is only 
because against this defect I know of no remedy. 

How then (this is the question) can I understand Realism 
and Pluralism so as to include even their hostility within my 
own result? Can I suppose the Realist merely to insist that 
no experience that we actually have, or can even expect, is 
quite the same as Reality, or even co-extensive with the entire 
Universe? And can I take him merely to add that, if Realism 
is denied, certain aspects of the world such as physical Nature, 
and, generally, the diversity of finite centres, become inex 
plicable and hence to urge against me that a positive side 
of the Universe, though undeniable in fact, is not covered by 
my doctrine? Can I, once more, view the Pluralist as stand 
ing on much the same ground, and as in short contending 
that the fact of finite existence, with all its diversity, be 
comes a thing which, if you embrace Monism, is quite inex 
plicable? And may I suppose both to add that, if I will but 
attend to these points, I shall soon conceive of an " other " 
an other which is a genuine contrary, and is a positive some 
thing, even if I know little more of it than that it makes good 

* Cf. here Essays, pp. 291-2. 

1 1 can not argue the point here, but to me Realism and Pluralism 
(so far as denying what I hold) each essentially consists in an 
abstraction an abstraction which is not only untenable but is down 
right illusory. The assertion of the Pluralist vitally depends on that 
unity which he rejects, and the doctrine of the Realist is thinkable 
only so long as it still involves that experience from which it claims 
to be free. 


the above defects in my own doctrine? If so, and if our main 
differences can be put rightly in this way, the solution which 
I have offered above can, I think, be shown to hold. There 
will now be nothing positive in Realism or Pluralism which 
falls really outside the view which I oppose to both. 

When I speak of absolute truth, I do not, of course, mean 
that any man can know everything. I admit and I insist 
on the necessary incompleteness and imperfection of all truth. 
Again I agree that no experience of mine, as I either have it, 
or could possibly have it, is just the same as the Reality. 
Nature and finite existence, I further allow, are in the end 
inexplicable. And yet, on the other hand and with all this, 
I can not think that my account leaves out any aspect of the 

From such imperfect experience as I possess, I not only 
can but I must conclude to an Experience perfect and com 
plete, which, though still Experience, includes and is all that 
is real. And however much and we are not to forget this 
remains inexplicable, there is nothing whatever which, so far 
as I see, stands out as impossible. This is the view which 
I have advocated in my Appearance and my Essays, and it is 
to these works that I must refer the reader for a discussion 
in detail. But if this main conclusion will hold, it contains and 
offers, I submit, the desired solution of our problem. 

There is something positive in what Realism and Pluralism 
oppose to my doctrine. And this something is on my view 
both positive and inexplicable. And if I could include it, as it 
is in its perfect reality, my ideas, I agree, would be super 
seded, and would be merged in what is higher and, by any 
mere ideas, is unattainable. But, on the other hand, I urge 
that this result beyond truth is nothing but the complete 
development of my truth. Hence in its abstract character this 
" otherwise " has already been taken up by and embraced in 
my conclusion. And I contend that, in and for theory, such an 
abstract and general inclusion is enough. It at least excludes 
the theoretical presence of any genuine contrary, and it even 
accounts for that contrary s deceptive appearance. And there 
fore nothing, I submit, can be shown either by Realism or 
Pluralism to stand out as an " other " against me : while I, 
on my side, find, not only that Realism and Pluralism maintain 


what is self-contradictory and in the end unthinkable, but, 
again and also, that they leave unexplained not a less but a far 
greater part of the undeniable facts. 

Further the actual existence of these views, in the char 
acter of partial emphasis and false abstraction, is, I fully 
agree, itself something positive. But even this aspect, I submit, 
has been considered and included in what I may call my view 
of the Universe. 

I have now remarked generally on the problem raised 
everywhere by Privation, and on the distinction, again, be 
tween absolute and relative truth. I have briefly considered 
the above questions in connection with Probability. And I 
have further added a discussion of the difficulty which 
arises from the existence in actual fact of views opposed to 
my own. I have ventured here to conclude that, against first 
appearances, nothing really other than my own main principle 
is or can be maintained. I will now pass on to deal with a 
question more or less connected with the previous enquiry, 
and which deserves, perhaps, more notice than it has generally 

We most of us, perhaps, have been troubled by a difficulty, 
in the claim to superior truth offered at times by that which 
admittedly is subordinate. There are cases where we are led 
to doubt whether after all, as against a higher truth, we are 
not more certain of a lower. I am not speaking here of the 
general opposition of fact to truth, and I am excluding the 
assurance anywhere due to violent impression or sweeping 
passion. And I put on one side, again, the claim to absolute 
or eminent truth made by or for the particular facts of sense, 
whether that claim is or is not based on what is called Designa 
tion. What I have in mind here are those cases where on 
each side the truth may be called theoretical, and where yet 
we seem inclined to prefer the subordinate truth to that which 
evidently is higher. 

If our knowledge, we may once more remind ourselves, 
were a perfect system, no such problem could arise. Of 
higher and lower alike, we, I suppose, should then be equally 
certain. And, at the same time, though secured absolutely 


in and by the whole, the share in reality held by a subordinate 
truth would appear as less and so lower. Hence, even where, 
as in our knowledge, no such system exists, a claim of sub 
ordinate truth to superiority, if at first sight plausible, may 
well surprise us. There are, however, cases where such a claim 
appears at first sight hard to resist. 

Suppose a metaphysician asked to choose between, on the 
one hand, some principle or absolute truth, and, on the other 
hand, the knowledge that England was conquered by the Nor 
mans or Belgium invaded by the Germans. And imagine again 
a like choice offered to a mathematician or physicist with 
regard to something which he regards as an axiom or principle. 
The decision on each side is to be taken (I would repeat) as 
merely theoretical. There is to be no question on either side 
of putting (as we say) the assertion into practice. There is 
further no doubt, I suppose, as to the historical truth being 
lower theoretically, in the sense of being less general and more 
subordinate. And yet what would be the reply of, let us say, 
a metaphysician, if he were pressed to declare honestly as to 
which assertion he felt the less doubt? In his perplexity he 
might take refuge perhaps himself in a question, and ask to be 
told if he was to speak as a metaphysician or as a man. But, 
for myself, though I could not everywhere reject this dis 
tinction, an attempt here to stand on it would amount to an 
admission of defeat. 

Before, however, I state how I should deal with the choice 
that has just been offered me, I will venture to digress and 
notice some points which, though not decisive here, would call 
elsewhere for consideration. There is, I contend, no criterion 
save the idea of system. But in an imperfect body of know 
ledge, like ours, harmony and comprehensiveness, the two 
aspects of system, must diverge more or less, and this diver 
gence may lead to various doubts and uncertainties. And, in 
particular, with regard to what is subordinate we may briefly 
recall two difficulties, (i) Not only does our known world 
divide itself into groups which seem more or less disconnected 
and merely co-ordinate, but, further, the amounts of reality 
contained within these several groups may be far from equal. 
And, secondly, (2) within each group that which seems con- 


tained in it as lower truth may really fail to be subordinate 
except in one partial aspect. We may be standing, in short, 
here on a faulty division. And hence, though falling under a 
certain class, and being, so far, subordinate and lower, a truth 
may be a consequence in the main from another principle. 
And this principle, though disregarded or unknown, may be 
fuller and higher. And thus everywhere, where we compare 
the values of competing truths, we are liable to be misled by 
various sources of confusion and error.* 

With an apology for this hurried digression I will now go 
on to deal directly with the choice offered me above. I have 
to decide, say, between the claims of a great historical fact 
and of a high abstract principle. And without doubt or hesi 
tation, if things are rightly understood, I take my stand with 
the latter. The question (here as everywhere) is, How much 
of my world is contained and involved on either hand, and 
how much comparatively, in accepting or rejecting either, do I 
on the whole gain or lose? This issue I must decide in 
favour of the principle and of the higher truth. And my 
main task here is to show how, and by what misunderstanding, 
we are led to suppose that the superiority can lie anywhere 
with what is lower and subordinate. 

Our mistake comes here mainly, I should say, from a com 
mon but false assumption. The world which I construct in 
space and time, the sphere of empirical facts and of mere 
events, I am prone to take, however inconsistently and per 
haps unconsciously, as the one real world. And this wrong 
assumption may further lead to a mistaken application. I 
may go on to place within this world, and so by the side of 
what belongs to it or at least seems near it, some doctrine or 
principle which, because general, bears in consequence the 
necessary mark of remoteness and unreality. And I compel 
the higher truth to measure itself, in these my arbitrary and 
fallacious lists, against that which, if lower, seems all the more 
to stand upon solid ground. Now certainly a truth, so far as 
it is abstract, offers itself thus far as incomplete, and, if in 
complete, then, so far, unreal, and deficient at once in fact 

* For the two aspects of system see Appearance, Index, s. v. Stand 
ard, and Essays, Index, s. v. System. And for what follows cf. this 
volume, I. VI. 8-io. 


and in truth. And, further, a higher truth, because higher, 
may even appear to us as less clear. For what I call my " real 
world " is the home of distinct alternatives, and of plain and 
clean-cut divisions between Yes and No. And we not only 
shut our eyes to the discrepancies of this " real world," but 
we are blind to the fact that its foundations are everywhere 
unsound. But its clearness is a result gained by untenable dis 
junctions and throughout is factitious, however much its truths 
may come to us as evident in themselves and even palpable. 
On the other hand, our higher and more general truths (as we 
have seen) not only offer themselves as remote from fact, and 
so in a sense ungrounded, but, in addition, their recognized in 
completeness may appear to us as inner vagueness and ob 
scurity. Though my principles, I am convinced, are true, they 
are a long way from my reality ; and, though they are certain, 
yet on the other side I may be at a loss to define them rigidly. 
I become puzzled when you ask me to state distinctly how one 
stands to the other, and exactly how much is and how much 
is not contained in each one. And, when brought down and 
placed artificially, we may say, on the ground by the side of 
lower truths, my higher truth may show itself, in this un 
natural position, as at once more unreal and more obscure. 

Such, I think, is in principle the error which lies unper- 
ceived at the base of our faulty comparison; and it may help 
us to recognize this, if we consider a form which that com 
parison may take. As a test between competing truths we 
may be offered a wager. On which side, we are asked, if you 
had to bet, would you prefer to stake your fortune? Now so 
long as we are clear that we are here assuming an available 
Referee, who is in every sense omniscient and will confine 
the issue to mere comparative truth, I raise in principle no 
objection. But I object to such a wager, not only because an 
award may be impossible in fact, but because the alternative, 
the very terms of the wager, may probably be confused. We 
naturally assume an " event " with which the judgment of the 
Stakeholder is concerned. And, since what we call our " real 
world " is the home and the proper sphere of events, we are 
thus easily led astray. We are tempted to place falsely the 
truths compared, both side by side, in this region. Though 
we may not consciously take each alternative to be such that 


it could happen and still less take it as something that could 
actually happen to me, or that I, again, could act on directly 
this false conclusion still may come. For the imagined wager 
helps our tendency to regard each competing truth as alike 
belonging to the world of events. 

But substitute for your wager what (as I have shown) is 
here the genuine issue. Do not think about some " event " 
or about some alternative ended by a plain Yes or No, but 
ask yourself as to how much of your whole world is on each 
side at stake. I do not of course suggest that the known Uni 
verse is really separable, but I beg you to imagine it deprived 
of that which on either side your rival truths represent. When 
you view things as a whole, what is the comparative amount 
of gain or loss? Does or does not (to speak in the main) the 
higher truth, as compared with the lower truth, cover more 
ground, and really stand for more and mean more ? And is or 
is not the knowledge and reality, involved and concerned in it, 
superior and greater? This is to my mind the real question, 
and this question, I should say, admits but of one answer. 
And I will add, if you please, that the above is here the prac 
tical issue, so long as I am not taken to admit that, in the 
more ordinary sense, the issue need be practical at all. 

It may lead the reader, perhaps, to realize better the 
whole problem and its solution, if I end by offering an illus 
tration not merely fanciful. Suppose (let us say) a man con 
vinced of the truth of Christianity, and rightly or wrongly 
to understand Christianity as the unity of God with finite 
souls, a reality at once consummated and eternal and yet 
temporal and progressive. Christianity is to such a man a 
main aspect of the Universe, conscious of itself above time, 
and yet revealing itself in the historical growth of spiritual 
experience. And imagine the same man asked to compare with 
this principle the truth about some happening in time. I 
will not instance such events as the virgin birth and bodily 
ascension of Jesus of Nazareth, but I will take the historical 
assertion that Jesus actually at a certain time lived and taught 
in Galilee and actually died at Jerusalem on the cross. And 
by " actually " I mean so that, if we had been there, we 
should have seen these things happen. 


" All such events," our supposed man might reply, " are, 
if you view them as occurrences, of little importance. Enquire 
by all means whether and how far there is good evidence for 
their happening. But do not imagine that Christianity is 
vitally concerned with the result of your enquiry. Christianity, 
as I conceive it, covers so much ground, fills such a space in 
the Universe, and makes such a difference to the world, that, 
without it, the world would be not so much changed as de 
stroyed. And it counts for much that this eternal truth should 
have appeared on our planet (as presumably elsewhere), and 
should here (we hope) be developing itself more and more 
fully. But the rest, if you will take it as mere event and oc 
currence, is an affair so small a matter grounded by the very 
nature of its world on so little that between the two things 
there can be hardly a comparison." 

The principle applied here is that on which I have based 
myself throughout. The attempt to decide off-hand between 
truths, however different their orders, leads naturally to the 
assumption that these truths are to be placed much on the 
same level. And hence the one may be raised and the other 
degraded, in each case without warrant, and with a result 
inevitably mistaken and often disastrous. If truths are to be 
compared there must be first an enquiry into the respective 
nature of each. And the truths which at first may seem near 
est to us and most palpable and least obscure, may turn out 
to be in reality the most wavering and ambiguous, and most 
abstract and remote, and dependent, more than all others, upon 
false alternatives and one-sided assumptions. 

Still, even if it is here unnecessary, I am led to recall another 
aspect of this matter; and I will venture once more to speak 
through the mouth of my supposed Christian. Imagine him 
asked whether, thinking as he does, he cares nothing for " the 
historical truth " of Christianity, any more than for the detail 
of Christian creeds and symbols and possibly his answer 
might surprise us. " I understood you to be speaking," he 
might reply, " about mere temporal events and happenings, 
just as you might speak again about mere material things 
such as this crucifix or that flag. These by themselves are 
all abstractions, mistaken for realities by what too often is 


called Common Sense; and these most assuredly are not the 
genuine facts and beliefs of religion. Religious events and 
symbols, though on one side things and happenings in your 
" real world," are something on the other side whose essence 
and life is elsewhere. Identified with what is beyond, they are 
no mere occurrences in time or things in space. They repre 
sent, and they are the actual incarnation of, eternal reality, 
and for the least of them a man might feel called on to die." 
And, whether we can quite accept this answer or not, the main 
principle at least is certain. What we sometimes call our 
" real world," our constructed order of facts and events in 
space and time, is in truth an abstraction. We live really only 
so far as we live in the concrete, and use events and things, 
however confusedly, as the appearances of that larger life 
which transcends mere space and time. And, when we per 
ceive this, we comprehend how something may at once offer 
itself as in comparison fuller and more true, and yet in reality 
cover and contain less of what works and what counts in the 
whole of things. On the other hand, failing to perceive this, 
we everywhere may fall into mistake, and noticeably here when 
we seek reflectively to measure one truth against another. But 
the theme on which I have now entered is too large, by far, 
for any brief discussion.* 

* The reader may compare here my Essays, Chapter XVI, not 
forgetting that its doctrines are based on my Appearance throughout. 



Since the foregoing Essays were written I have had the 
advantage of consulting Prof. E. G. Spaulding s elaborate 
" Defense of Analysis " in The New Realism, 1912. And in 
consequence I have been led to believe that some further re 
marks may here be useful. For Prof. Spaulding s defence, 
which I take to be largely representative, seems to me to fail 
in knowledge of that which it is called on to meet. 

The issue, would, I think, be simplified if the defender of 
Analysis would deal with a question which is, I presume, both 
familiar and fundamental. Is every result of distinction to be 
taken as an independent reality or not? And, if our answer is 
affirmative but subject to exceptions, then what are these ex 
ceptions, and upon what principle are they made ? The modern 
Realist, so far as I know, has left these questions unanswered. 

Passing this by I will remark on some of the points which 
Prof. Spaulding has raised. And in the first place (I) I 
notice that he offers me a dilemma. The man who objects 
to analysis does (Prof. Spaulding says) stand upon that very 
ground which he himself denies. For certainly this man ac 
cepts terms and internal relations as ultimate realities. And 
yet, since he can not get to these except by way of analysis, 
his objection is suicidal. Now how far and in what sense 
the foregoing dilemma may hold against this or that writer, I 
am not called on to discuss. The important point is its tacit 
assumption that ultimate reality is and must be relational in 
one of two ways. The view for which reality is not relational, 
either ultimately or as first given, and for which relational 
truth, though necessary, is not true in the end, seems, if not 
unknown to Prof. Spaulding, to be ignored by him as neg 
ligible. And hence his dilemma, if satisfactory to him, may 
be called, I suppose, no less satisfactory to myself. Why 
Prof. Spaulding, and those with whom he agrees, do not under 
stand that for a person like myself all relational truth (and 



that means without exception every possible form of predica 
tion) is in part irrational and untrue, I am unable to see. But, 
if the fact is so, I at least submit that the responsibility is not 

(II) In the second place I can not think that an argu 
ment, used by various writers against the ultimate truth of 
any relational view, has been understood by Prof Spaulding. 
This argument urges that what has been called " the fact of 
relatedness " falls outside of both the relation and the terms 
when these are taken merely as themselves. Now to deny the 
existence of this fact of relatedness would seem plainly ruin 
ous. The fact therefore must be shown to be in harmony with 
the relational view. But, while this view (the argument pro 
ceeds) is bound to account for the fact of relatedness, it is 
unable to do so. It is, on the contrary, where it is not satisfied 
with blind ambiguity or open bankruptcy, condemned to an 
illusory search for a relation between the relation and the 
terms. The above argument, to my mind, is both unanswer 
able and fatal, and I hence was curious to see how it would 
be met in a Defence of Analysis. But my curiosity has ended, 
once more, in disappointment. The terms and relations are, 
each by its own nature, external one to the other, and yet on 
the other hand we are confronted by the fact of their unity. 
And surely here is a problem which can not be solved by the 
repetition of phrases like "stand in relation" (p. 175), or 
again by a reference to what is called the " organizing rela 
tion " (p. 162). This latter I am even forced to regard as a 
monster which, though convenient, is merely factitious. On 
one side it appears as a relation external to all terms, while on 
the other side it seems to reduce to an actual unity such terms 
as, by some unaccountable dispensation, it has come to stand in 
with and to embrace. Or, being in truth no mere single rela 
tion but, on the contrary, a formal arrangement or scheme, it 
imposes itself (wherever this comes to happen) on an exter 
nal material, and so informs that with its own unity. The 
above device seems old, and, for a makeshift, is perhaps 
venerable, but it hardly will serve. For, even if we can think 
that a relation or an arrangement, by itself and apart from 
terms, has any meaning at all and even if we claim to identify 
at pleasure a relation with a whole relational arrangement we 


have on our hands, still unsolved, a familiar problem. We 
have not yet faced the vexed issue of the connection in fact 
of an external form with an independent matter. 

(Ill) I come next to the apparent statement by Prof. 
Spaulding that " the empirical evidence " (p. 169) is all in 
favour of his view. While he does not venture to deny that 
analysis makes a difference to what is empirically given, he 
scarcely seems aware of the objection to analysis which has 
been based upon this very ground. But, apart from " dialec 
tics," there surely exists an objection which is at once 
"empirical" and familiar: "Since what I start with in fact 
is this, and what analysis leaves to me instead is that I there 
fore can not but reject, at least in part, the result of analysis." 
Here is a mode of objecting to analysis which no one (I should 
have thought) could ignore. But, as this seems otherwise, I 
will go on to insist on what really should be superfluous. 

Any defender of analysis has to meet the view, not only that 
his doctrine of external terms and relations is a self-contra 
dictory abstraction, but also that its opposite is that which in 
experience is actually given. I, for example, if I may take 
myself as an instance, have maintained the following positions. 

(i) Everything, that in any sense is experienced, is felt, 
and what in particular is felt is always in feeling. It 
falls, that is, within an immediate experienced whole, which 
whole itself is not relational, and is not subject to any strict 
application of the category of Whole and Parts. Attempting 
here in predication to apply that category, you are forced to 
recognize that something in the end has been left outside. You 
have omitted, that is, the aspect of immediate inclusive one 

(2) There is, and there can be, no such given thing as a 
mere object, of whatever kind. There is experienced always 
with the object a content not included in the object, a content 
which is positively felt. An object therefore, as an object, is 
never more than an abstraction. And no feeling, emotion, 
desire, or volition, can ever by any device be resolved into 
objects or terms in relation. 

(3) And, apart from this, even within our "objective" 
world, we find experienced wholes, objects lower and higher, 
which (taken either internally as wholes, or, again, taken in 


parts of themselves) plainly and palpably do not consist of 
terms and relations, and whose character is therefore, in 
consequence, more or less destroyed by analysis. To tell me 
that, when I perceive a round green object, what I actually 
experience is a mere correlation of round and green, with 
each other or with some further term is to ask me to treat 
with contempt at once my senses and my intelligence. Inside 
the object, as, at least so far, it comes to me, are neither terms 
nor any relation; and, if in any theory there must be such, I 
know what to think of that theory. And the above result to 
my mind is less a matter for argument than of willingness to 
see and to accept plain facts. I have pointed out elsewhere 
(Essays, Index, s. v. Occupation) how Mr. Russell (attempt 
ing to save his theory) is driven to invent and to postulate rela 
tions where visibly there are none. And the same criticism, so 
far as I see, would in principle once more hold against Prof. 

(IV) But, little as I can accept Prof. Spaulding s main 
conclusion, there is much in his essay which to my mind has 
great interest and value. Recognizing that the truth of analysis 
depends on the universal and ultimate validity of the idea of 
Whole and Parts, he examines in detail the progressive appli 
cation of this principle to matters increasingly concrete. And 
the reader who follows him can hardly, I think, fail to profit 
by the enquiry, even if the result is to strengthen in his mind 
an opposite conclusion. The idea of Whole and Parts (long 
ago shown to be self-contradictory in principle) breaks down 
in practice more and more evidently with every fresh 
stage of its attempted application. And Prof. Spaulding him 
self (as I understand him) is finally led (p. 241) to make 
an appeal, in defence of analysis, to a " non-rational element 
in nature," which " so far as our present knowledge goes " 
refuses to accept his main principle. That the principle itself 
is in fault and was itself more or less irrational from the first, 
will be the conclusion that others, now long since, have accepted 
and urged. 



We may perhaps agree that it is right, at least in 
philosophy, to try to call things by fitting names. And to 
employ the term " implication " where you assume that there 
is no more than an external conjunction, is to my mind a case 
of indefensible misnomer. It is surely misleading to speak 
of B as implied in A, if A cannot be said in some sense to 
contain B. And, if there is to be genuine implication, this 
" containing " (we shall further find) must in a sense be in 
direct. It will hold good (that is) only through and by virtue 
of a whole, a unity which can be distinguished from A, and 
in which A and also B are both comprised. Thus A and B, 
and their whole, can be said each of them to imply and in 
directly to include the others.* And it is thus, and only thus, 
that a proper and true meaning can, I submit, be given to 
the word implication. 

This meaning comes from and, we must add, rests on that 
which is called immediate experience or feeling a stage of 
mind which remains present not only with, but even to some 
extent still within, the ordinary perception of an object. In 
the sensuous inherence of qualities in a subject you have given 

* Where and so far as the qualification of a whole is taken as 
immediate, we can not, I think, merely with this, speak at all of im 
plication. On the other hand, where you distinguish A and B as 
different, and as each of them distinct from the whole, the whole 
itself, as so taken, is not a whole qualified simply and immediately 
by its contents, any more than A or B is one simply the other. Thus, 
while we now have implication, that implication is indirect, because 
we depend throughout on a further whole, which includes at once 
A and B and that whole which we have distinguished from and 
opposed to A and B. But this further inclusive whole, on which 
implication depends, is taken itself as immediate, and so not as itself 
qualified by way of implication. The above of course involves a 
contradiction, which (I would, however, once more urge) must be 
accepted as being in its own place legitimate and necessary. 



to you, without any relation, " parts " which both are the whole 
and one another, and yet (as taken separately) are not either. 
And it is an appeal, however unconscious or denied, to an 
experience of this kind on which depends the entire sense 
given, when any sense actually is given, to predication and 
judgment. Thus we are forced, I think, to the conclusion, 
that, since all predication is relational, all predication (no 
matter under what category) is in the end self -contradictory 
or unmeaning, unless it is made subject to a condition which 
it involves and yet can not express. To assert simply that one 
thing is another is to fall into nonsense; while to qualify the 
above assertion by " also," or " and," or " together with," or 
" related to," is to offer a remedy which merely in a more per 
plexed form repeats what in the end is still irrational. As 
regards " also," Hegel (as I understand him) has shown how 
this term has no sense apart from that immediate unity of 
which it is a survival at once sublimated and degraded. Far 
from solving rationally the problem raised by " is," the " also," 
" and " or " together," has merely involved itself and its vic 
tim more deeply in that self-same process by which immediate 
fact is developed into logical discrepancy. And, speaking for 
myself, I must add that, while I can not doubt that the rela 
tional and discursive use of intelligence is unavoidable and 
requisite, I do not see how on this road, at any stage of it, and 
however much we seek to better or transform the process 
we arrive at a real solution of our original problem. As at the 
beginning so at the end we have, I think, to appeal to the fact 
and principle of our immediate experience. But, to gain its 
final realization, that principle must be taken as utterly all- 
embracing, and as not only below but as also above and beyond 
the relational form. We must regard it, not merely as an 
underlying base, but as also a sphere which from above in 
cludes and transforms all relations a world which from 
every side of life (feeling, emotion and will, intuition and 
thought) is fully developed and perfect, though in detail not 
throughout verifiable by the finite mind. 

Implication then (it has been my purpose here to urge) has 
no real meaning apart from the internal evolution of an in 
clusive totality. And the notion that one single self-contained 
entity (whether a term or a relation) could by any possibility 


imply another, ought, I think, to strike the mind as at once 
in conflict with language and in the end devoid of all sense. 

And, partly as a consequence following from this radical 
mistake, we have the false doctrine that implication can In 
truth be one-sided. But both the principle here and its applica 
tion to fact depend to my mind on a vicious abstraction. In 
the case of change and succession we may, for instance, hear it 
said that, where A precedes and implies B, B on its side, far 
from implying A, may even occur as itself sequent on some 
thing else. Death, to recur to a well-worn instance, follows 
(we are told) from the taking of so much arsenic, while on 
its side death need imply arsenic no more than it implies a 
variety of other possible causes. But this assertion of one- 
sidedness forgets that the fact of succession can be experi 
enced only within a whole which is " present," and, if removed 
from that inclusive unity, has ceased to be any actual or pos 
sible occurrence. And the belief that, starting with such an 
experience, of A before B and B after A, you can mutilate 
this concrete whole at your discretion, and then proclaim, as 
a result, that from one side it has been defective from the first 
may be called even surprising. The given fact, if you 
will look at it, contains the aspect of " A before B " and of 
" B after A " each at once and in one. And the presence here 
of but a single " asymmetrical " relation is an assumption which 
to me is monstrous. This is an epithet which I have also 
to apply to various other supposed discoveries of single rela 
tions, where the one single relation is a mere abstraction, not 
agreeing with and even ruining the genuine fact which is before 
us. Certainly, if, breaking up your actual experience of suc 
cession, you withdraw B from the ruined fact, and take this 
abstraction as a naked entity, or, again, qualify it surrepti 
tiously by concrete conditions other than those in which you 
found it then of course B, if you treat it so, may cease to 
imply A. And, of course also, A, if treated in the same way, 
would cease, exactly in the same manner and to the same ex 
tent, any longer to imply B. And the reason why and how a 
man can imagine that the taking in the abstract of arsenic im 
plies factual and concrete death, while he rightly insists that 
more than mere death is needed to show the antecedent taking 


in fact of arsenic seems to myself to be a matter more for 
psychology than for logic.* 

If we are not to abandon logic and seek to rest in mere 
Irrationalism, there is an assumption (I should have thought) 
that we are all forced to make. We must assume that B, if 
unconditioned or under conditions that are not altered, can not 
be " after A " and be also " not after A." Whether it is or 
is not possible to find in fact anywhere a pure case of causa 
tion, I need not here discuss. But I insist that, if anywhere we 
have B with a preceding A, then, given B, the precedence of 
A is, unless the conditions have been changed, an immutable 
truth. The sequence of B on A, and the antecedence of A to 
B, are, each alike and equally, an inseparable aspect of what 
we have accepted, and what (though always under an unex 
pressed condition) remains true, so long as it is allowed to 
remain itself. But mutilate this truth by abstraction, or distort 
it by the tacit introduction of discrepant conditions, and the 
truth has been changed and falsified. Such falsification re- 
results either when (to repeat this) you seek to transform A or 
B into a self-subsistent entity, or when again you, knowingly 
or blindly, substitute for the original conditions an altered set. 

And we may add that an assertion of incompatibility in 
fact, between " A before B " and " B before A," is not 
true unless it is made conditionally. The qualification of 
Reality by both is excluded only where Reality itself has been 
taken (tacitly or explicitly) in a certain way, and, very prob 
ably, as " designated " under some form of " This." See my 
Appearance and Essays. 

In any case the idea that, given one or more self-subsistent 
and self-contained terms or relations, anything can be really 
implied or could logically follow cannot fail, I think, to issue 
everywhere in a train of errors. 

* We have to do here, I should say, with an unconscious identifica 
tion of logical consequence with the sequence given in volition. And 
we have further a common but serious mistake as to the extent to 
which, in volition, the result as deed is separable from, and so may 
cease to imply, its own beginning and process. There is of course a 
counter-mistake as to the incoming process from, and product of, 
that outer world which is given in perception. But I have no space 
here in which to develope these matters. On the question of " Non- 
reciprocating Causal Relations " the reader may with advantage consult 
Mr. Joseph s Introduction to Logic, Chap. XXII. 



I am not to enquire here generally into the ultimate na 
ture of the Actual and the Possible. That enquiry would 
open the question as to what in the end is meant by Reality, 
and would tend to include the whole field of metaphysics. 
My purpose in what follows is, standing on what I have else 
where laid down, to state my own opinion as to the opposition 
of Possible and Actual, and further to call attention to certain 
problems which, though vital, appear to myself to be often 

The possible I take to be the partly grounded and real, and 
this is opposed, I think, to the actual in three senses. What 
is actual may, that is, be real (i) as not grounded, or as (ii) 
fully grounded, or (iii) as both of these at once. But of the 
above three senses it is the second which I take, everywhere 
perhaps, to be essential. The actual as, and so far as, it enters 
into contrast with the possible, will bear always, I think, the 
meaning of fully grounded. 

Passing on from this anticipation of what will follow here 
after I will proceed to give examples of the above-noticed three 
senses of " actual." 

(I) We find the first of these everywhere where we have 
something in the form of an immediate experience. Here 
internally the " what " and the " that " are taken, so far, as 
inseparably in one, and there is no reference nor any relation 
to anything beyond or elsewhere. And there is hence no 
" because " nor any grounding, nor is there any sense here in 
which the idea of the possible can be applied. What you have 
so far is a " real " which (if you please) may be said to lie 
below possibility. If then you insist on raising here the ques 
tion of " actual or possible," you have tended, with this alterna 
tive, to transform the original fact. Contrary to what you 

* Cf. Essay VII. And see Essays, Index, s. v. Possible, and again 
Appearance, as also the present volume, the Indexes. 



presupposed, you are by implication asking whether your im 
mediate real is indeed, after all, self-contained and self-suffi 
cient ; and how far, not being immediate but grounded, it fails 
to be more than grounded incompletely. 

Under this first sense of actual would fall (we may in 
passing note) such things as self-subsistent and independent 
truths or entities. But for a further consideration of this 
point see below, p. 708. 

(II) We come next to the actual in the sense of that 
which is grounded fully ; and I shall take as an instance here 
the sphere of things as happening and enduring in time the 
region, that is, which often is called the " real world " of 
Common Sense, and which is better termed " existence." To 
this world of actual " fact " the possible is opposed, I think, 
for a double reason. In the first place, though such a world 
is not and can not itself be given as immediate, nevertheless 
resting upon immediate experience and lying, in a sense, close 
to that, it implies it (we may say) intimately. And, in the 
second place, this " real world " is in practice assumed 
(rightly or wrongly) to be grounded throughout. It is hence 
opposed to the merely possible, which, as but partly grounded, 
necessarily fails to be actual. This latter of our two 
meanings tends, I think, unconsciously to dominate our minds 
when the possible is viewed as that which fails actually to 

(III) Coming now to the third sense in which the actual 
is opposed to the possible, my example must be the Universe 
or the absolute Reality. For a justification, however, of what 
follows, and which here there is no space to explain, the 
reader must be referred to my Appearance and Essays. In 
what I call the Absolute we find the two characters, of imme 
diate experience and of grounding, both at once and both per 
fect. Each of these aspects is there realized in something 
which, though it is beyond each, includes both. And yet the 
possible, while falling in a sense within this actual Reality, 
must, as applied to the Absolute or the Universe as a whole, 
be rejected as meaningless. The Universe contains and it 
exhausts within itself all possibility and all actuality, but 
the Universe itself is neither merely actual nor again merely 
possible. And even to enquire here whether some " other 


world " is or was possible, is to deviate probably into nonsense. 
Such ideas and questions can be rightly entertained, only so 
long as we perceive that, at least in their offered characters, 
they in the end come to nothing. 

And (before proceeding) I would recall a consequence 
which, on my view, must here follow. Where you have a 
genuine individual one, I mean, which is really self-contained 
its possibility and partial reality must be taken as falling 
wholly within itself. And to speak of " another " beside 
it as even possible, is ipso facto to pass and, in that passage, 
to carry the being of the given individual into a world beyond 
itself, and so to destroy its self-containedness. You have 
treated it in effect not as self-real, but as itself one among 
other appearances of a wider Reality, and, with and like the 
others, as itself a " case," and as the instance of a " class." 
But obviously, therefore, on a view like mine, there can be no 
individual which in the end is perfect, save the one Reality. 

We have seen that the Possible, as what is partly grounded 
and so is real but in part, can be contrasted with the actual 
in three ways. As against the possible the actual may (i) be 
that which is itself not grounded, or it may be, again (ii), the 
fully grounded. And, thirdly (iii), the actual may be a real 
individual above and superior to all grounding, while yet 
containing within itself and completing that aspect of things. 
And, further, the actual, so far as it enters into a contrast 
with that possible which it rejects, tends (I have suggested) 
to characterize itself always, for this purpose, as the fully 

I will pass on to deal next with a variety of questions, 
mainly in connection with the second of the foregoing heads. 
I mentioned " existence," or the " real world " of what is 
called Common Sense, as an example of what is taken as 
actual in the sense of " fully grounded." And it may be in 
structive to consider some views on which objections to 
such an instance can be based. Existence, I may hear, is 
so far from being merely one example of what is actual, that 
on the contrary " existence " covers and exhausts the whole 
field of actuality. Or I may be told that, even if the above 
conclusion is too wide, yet at least the actual, as the fully 


grounded, rests entirely on " real existence " as at once its sole 
foundation and one perfect example. And it may repay us 
to examine this contention at some length. 

I have insisted elsewhere (see my Appearance and Essays) 
that the sphere of " existence," the " real world " of Common 
Sense, is no more than a construction, which, however indis 
pensable, is in the end precarious. And, if this conclusion 
holds, the idea that only in " existence " can anything actual 
be found seems clearly untenable. Nor, even if we pass this 
by, are our difficulties ended. For we have on our hands the 
whole region which may be called " imaginary." Far from 
having but one world we all, I presume, live in worlds many 
and of diverse kinds. And even to conclude that but one of 
these worlds is " real " will hardly warrant the result that no 
other can be actual.* On the contrary this distinction of 
" actual " and " possible " is used habitually within those very 
worlds which, taken as imaginary, we oppose to " existence." 
We speak, for example, of actual and possible occurrences in 
a novel ; and how could this be, if such events were, all alike, 
merely possible? 

To this objection, I agree, a partial answer can be found. 
There is a valid distinction between that which is absolutely 
possible and that which, on the other hand, is but possible 
relatively or possibly (see the Index). The possible always is 
partly real, but that reality, which it involves and on which it 
stands, may either be real absolutely, or, again, may be some 
thing less which we take for our purpose as real. Hence the 
imaginary existence, though merely conditional as against that 
existence which is absolute and actual, may, by a legitimate 
abstraction from its conditional character, be used as actual 
and real. And, by a permissible artifice, this secondary exist 
ence may further be taken to serve as itself the " actual " 
basis of possibilities within itself, and so on indefinitely. 
Hence in any possible world we can have possibilities to which 
this world is opposed as actual. But the meaning of 
" actual " here (it may be urged) is no more than relative and 
borrowed. It is lent to us for our convenience (we shall hear) 

* With regard to the possibility of the " imaginary," the case of 
the impossible offers really no difficulty. See Essays and this work, 
the Indexes, s. v. Impossible. 


by that one world of existence and of actuality which alone 
in the end is genuine and real. 

This reply to our foregoing objection may, I think, so far 
hold, if, that is, we admit the untenable assumption on which 
it depends. And yet, with merely so much, we have not 
done with the " imaginary." For suppose that in some 
thing imaginary we recognize what we call an " ideal." This 
ideal, on the one hand, does not, as such, exist, and yet, on 
the other hand, undeniably somewhere it is present and 
" there." And certainly it may compel us to regard our 
" real world " as its possibility, and so to look on earth after 
all as but a possible heaven. Are we here to insist that such 
an ideal, except as a psychical occurrence, is not actual? Or 
have we now to admit the reality of two worlds, each of them 
actual, and yet, each alike with regard to the other, no more 
than possible? The one complete reality would be, if so, 
that our world of " existence " should become itself an 
actual heaven, while our heaven, to actualize itself, would 
descend and itself pass into one thing with our trans 
formed earth. But neither region, taken so, will own apart 
from the other an exclusive actuality, nor, as against the 
other, could either claim for itself to be more than real in part 
and so possible. 

We have seen that, if by " existence " we mean the " real 
world "of fact and event, an attempt to find here alone that 
mark which distinguishes actual from possible ends, so far, in 
failure. And the prospect will grow darker when, leaving the 
" imaginary," we go on to take into account the nature of what 
we call " truth." 

We may begin by noting that (as we found in the case of 
the imaginary) the distinction of actual and possible holds 
within the world of truth itself. We speak of that which is 
true possibly, and of that which is more or less possibly true. 
And we mean here that, though we have ground not sufficient 
for the assertion of a truth as actual, yet we have nevertheless 
some ground ; and that hence we have reason, less or more, for 
maintaining the same truth as in various degrees possible. 
Now I take " actuality " to stand here for complete against 
incomplete grounding. It neither means nor, to my mind at 


least, is it based upon presence, as such, within the world of 
" existence." 

The ultimate connection of truth with Reality, and again 
with that which " exists," can not be discussed in this Essay. 
It opens problems for the solution of which I am com 
pelled to refer elsewhere. * I must assume here that truth s 
meaning that meaning in which truth consists is never its 
existence. And, even where the truth is about existence, the 
above denial still holds; for our meaning here is still other 
than the fact of even its own existence as it is now asserted 
by us. But in affirming actual as against possible truth we 
have no need, everywhere or anywhere, to appeal to something 
that lies outside truth s own kingdom. We have, on the con 
trary, an appeal always to that which, within truth s world as 
a whole, has a more or less complete as against a more or less 
partial foundation. The idea that actuality is here a mere 
loan, and that its real owner everywhere is that which 
" exists," is in short indefensible. 

Certainly the world of truth is on my view pervaded by 
inconsistency. It claims on the one hand to be itself actually 
a grounded system, where every element is there and each is 
actual. And in such a world the " more or less actual or pos 
sible " can hold only with regard to differences in amount of 
reality. Truths will be more or less dependent, as reigning 
over and as standing on a less or greater area of the common 
ground, and as containing, each within itself, less or more of 
the total system. And yet, on the other hand and no less, the 
world of truth must be " discursive." It must be a region 
where not only implication and connection between truths 
is actual throughout, but where also actually, within this whole, 

* See my Appearance and Essays. Truth, as truth, must, on my 
view, fail to satisfy its own claim, and must remain imperfect, even 
as truth, so long as it falls short of the entire Reality. Further, I 
agree that truth in the end is not truth unless it is thought, and so 
is actually thought by this or that mind, and therefore is thought at 
some one time. But, for our logical purpose, we are compelled to 
abstract from this aspect, as again we must ignore the final union of 
truth, existence, and reality. We must in logic assume that truth, 
as truth, is itself out of time, and that, as truth, it does not and 
can not exist; though on the other side (to repeat a distinction em 
ployed in Appearance, p. 488) all truth must " have " existence. 


there is movement from one point to another. And, since, to 
move, you must start and must have a point from which to 
begin, and since this point of departure is not itself, as such, 
involved in and grounded by the system, your necessary move 
ment must hence in a sense be called arbitrary (cf. Essay I, 
614). And thus your conclusion and consequence can, 
viewed so, be termed so far conditional and merely possible. 

Hence, though truth claims to be a system where nothing 
is changed and where all at once is actual, it claims no less 
to be a world in which development holds good, and where 
partial knowledge and ignorance and possibility must in con 
sequence be found. Nor within logic is there any remedy but 
to admit and to affirm both sides of this total claim, however 
inconsistent and however discrepant the one with the other. 
Their final reconciliation, in principle only and still not in 
detail, can be reached only when the boundaries of logic are 

But, inconsistent otherwise, logic can without hesitation re 
ject any claim made by " existence " to contain and to exhaust 
the whole sense of " actuality." We have shown, on the other 
side, that " actual," unless its meaning is specially confined, 
need have no reference to occupation of any place within the 
sphere of what " exists." Every truth is something taken out 
of time, and yet, notwithstanding this, can itself, as against 
another truth, (we have seen) be less or more actual. Our 
knowledge has, without doubt, always its date in existence, can 
come and go, can begin and can cease to exist; but these 
expressions, when you pass from knowledge to truth itself, 
become really senseless. Nor can you dispute this by an 
appeal to the process admitted within logic, and by insisting 
on the necessary inclusion there of beginning and end and of 
sequence and movement. For if the starting-point in an in 
ference may be called arbitrary, the suggestion that, as the 
beginning of a logical development, it itself with its ensuing 
process is dated in time, seems contrary to plain fact. 

And it is useless further to object that, though itself un 
dated, this point of departure borrows, however unawares, 
from the world of temporal events its essential character. The 
mind s presence, at and in a certain point of truth s world, is, 
I agree, inexplicable by logic. On the other hand this pres- 


ence is, I insist, no loan from that secondary construction to 
which the world of existence owes its origin and being. It 
consists, on the contrary, in immediate feeling such as under 
lies and in every sense is prior to all that " exists," and itself 
is the foundation on and from which our real world of events 
is developed. This primary experience shows itself again 
within logic, when, as applied to existence, it is termed Desig 
nation or pointing.* Employed, as above, to mark and dis 
tinguish a point of departure within the world of truth, this 
felt presence (I would repeat) is no temporal event, nor is it 
borrowed from what we call Time. Inexplicable by logic, it 
enters logic and the realm of truth only in the sense that for 
a logical purpose it serves to place us at a particular point in 
truth s world, while for every other purpose it remains out 
side and elsewhere. Hence, so far as we verify here a genuine 
case of actuality, that will fall under the first of our three 
meanings of " actual." For it consists in the fact of feeling 
not yet developed by construction into what we call " real 
existence." And this fact, while manifest in and necessary 
to the world of truth, still remains itself an alien, and never 
itself appears as a member in any grounded whole. 

We have seen that to identify everywhere the actual with 
the " existing " is an error, and to take the meaning of actuality 
as in the end borrowed from existence is not defensible. The 
actual, as against the possible, is found (we noted) in three 
cases, (i) In the first of these actuality lies below the plane 
of inference and grounding. It belongs to feeling or immedi 
ate fact, and in a secondary sense attaches itself to anything 
viewed as in unbroken unity with the felt. But (ii) the 
" actual " may be taken as what makes part of our " real 
world of existence," or, again, as what inhabits the " worlds " 
of imagination or of thought so far, that is, as the above 
worlds, or some part of their contents, are for our purpose here 

* On Designation see Appearance, Index, s. v. This, and Essays 
s. v. Designation. What may be called the puzzle of Designation 
consists (we may remind ourselves) in the following that, while 
founded essentially on that which is below " existence," it on the 
other side, as issuing in a selective judgment, transcends (willingly 
or unwillingly) the existing fact, and passes as truth into a realm 
v/hich has no choice but to be above and out of time. 


regarded as a grounded whole. And, thirdly, (iii) we saw that 
actuality is the mark of an individual, an individual that is at 
once above mere immediacy and, again, superior to any mere 
grounding. In such an individual, as a complete totality, both 
the first and second of these aspects appear as at once com 
prised and transcended. But we noted also that, taken as 
against the possible and as itself entering into that opposition, 
the actual in every case tends to show the second of our three 
meanings. It bears the sense of that, which, in contrast with 
what is partly grounded and but partly real, claims to be itself 
real fully since grounded completely. And we must add that 
the " possible," when taken in its one proper meaning, is to 
be found nowhere but in the region of ideas and truth. 

Wherever you have a whole which is viewed as grounded 
internally and throughout there anything, within that whole 
while yet short of it, may be considered as either actual or 
as only possible. It will, because of the whole, be the real pos 
sibility of anything else in the whole, and will thus, and so 
far, be, even itself, real and actual. Or again, as apart from 
all the rest, it will be itself but merely possible, because, as 
thus apart, it is no more than imperfectly grounded. Viewed 
as grounded in and warranted by the complete whole, each of 
the contents of that whole is actual, while, on the other hand, 
so far as anything shows a lack of that full guarantee, it will 
remain merely possible. And, wherever and so far as we do 
not take our stand upon a grounded totality, there is left to 
us no genuine meaning or sense in the word " possibility." 
Further, with regard to the Universe or the ultimate Reality, 
we saw (p. 700) that, while this contains and in a sense has 
and must have possibility, the assertion or the supposition 
of itself as possible is really nonsense, while we must even 
be careful as to what we mean if we go on to add that the 
Universe itself is actual. 

It may, I hope, throw light on the result we have reached, 
if I end by contrasting it with an opposite view. But the 
reader will note that I can attempt to state this view simply 
in general, and more or less (I should add) in my own way. 

If we adopt such a view, then in the world of truth there 
is no such thing as possibility. A truth, if it is to be true, 


must be so, and must be actual. And, since it is actual as 
itself, and not as something else, every truth must hence con 
tain nothing but itself and must fall wholly within itself, and 
so can in no sense be dependent. But, being thus neither beyond 
itself nor short of itself, a truth can not be possible. And, 
since no truth is dependent, none can therefore be consequent, 
nor, as applied to truth, can there be any meaning in " im 
plication." A truth (to repeat this) is itself and neither more 
nor less than itself, and every truth is actual always, and in no 
case can be consequent or possible. 

As for the world of truth (if on such a view we are to 
speak of any "world"), this world, unless it is to be limited 
to one single truth, must consist in a plurality of independent 
truths. But this plurality can be no system to which each 
truth can be said to contribute something of itself. It is, on 
the contrary, no more than an external " Together " or " And," 
in which, or in respect of which, the several truths stand (we 
have to say) conjoined. But, since anything that we can 
predicate of this whole falls outside of each truth, and so 
(it would seem) of truth altogether, we can hardly speak of 
our " world " as if it really made, or indeed could make in the 
end, any difference to truth. 

In such a world at any rate it seems clear that there is 
nothing like implication or dependence, either of one part 
in or on another part, or between any or all of the parts and 
their aggregate or whole. And still less, perhaps, can there 
be a process or sequence whether temporal or even ideal. 
Nothing in the world of truth is or can be anything but actu 
ally and simply what it is itself, and, if possibility is to bear 
a meaning anywhere, that meaning must hence fall some 
where outside of all truth. 

I will not remark on the contradiction inherent in any 
" world " or " whole " which is such that, though itself undeni 
able, it seems forced by its own nature to destroy the essence 
of whatever beings can enter it while again and on the other 
side, apart from these beings, itself is nothing.* I prefer to 

* The reader is referred here to my Essays, Index, s. v. And and 
Relations, and to Appearance, Index, s. v. Relations imply a whole. 
I may add that by bringing in " external relations " whether these 
are, or again are not, themselves taken to be truths no difference is 
really made to the above problem of the " world " of truth. 


insist here that, on anything like the above view, the entirety 
of what we call the discursive side of thought must lie outside 
of truth s world, and, together with " implication," " process," 
and * " consequence," must be all swept away into some alien 
region. There is hence a complete breach between, on one 
side, truth and, on the other side, the movement of inference 
and knowledge. We have a sheer dualism in which knowledge 
and truth are fixed one apart from the other, and are sundered 
by an impassable gulf. And even if, in freeing truth from 
possibility, the world of truth has itself in any sense been 
left standing, the price that we have had to pay threatens 
something like ruin. 

Possibility, if, keeping still to the above view, we seek to 
follow it, has now to be discovered somewhere outside of 
truth, and even (we seem forced to add) outside of all 
knowledge, so far as knowledge is true. And, for the view 
which we are considering (I do not attempt to deal here with 
every other view that could be offered), there seems to remain 
but one place left. The " possible," falling outside truth, 
must lie in the " other world " of what " exists." It is hence 
in the realm of " existence," if anywhere, that we must look 
for possibility. 

But what we find is that " existence," itself so far like 
truth, seems actual throughout and essentially. If anything 
exists it is " there," and, what is not there as existing, cer 
tainly does not exist. And the " possible," if so, will neither 
exist nor be true. To say that a truth " has " possible exist 
ence, or that something that exists " has " possible truth, is 
meaningless if there is no such truth or existence to " have." 
And, if we reply that what we meant was that some truths 
do actually exist, and that some existences are actually true, 
we have still failed to reach the possible. For to predicate 
existence of truths, or to qualify existences as true, seems not 
only in each case to entail a contradiction, but, in both cases 
alike, seems, even at that cost, to remain still imprisoned in 
actual fact. Hence we must add that, while (however inex 
plicably) this conjunction of truth and existence does occur, 
we do not know how, or in how many, or in what cases it 
happens or not. So we merely insist that it may happen ; and 


this, and no more, is really all that we mean by " possibility." 
But, with only so much, the possible seems left without anv 
positive sense at all, and must consist simply in our ignorance. 

And, since the possible has thus vanished, we, renewing our 
search, are driven to look for it, now at last, in neither of our 
two worlds. The possible must be something that can float, 
however ambiguously, between both spheres, and, while be 
longing to neither, can in some sense partake of both. Some 
such middle region we have then to take as the final home of 

Truths, in themselves actual, may be possible also, in so 
far as they show themselves and somehow appear in the world 
of existence. And what exists may be also possible in so far as 
it refers beyond itself as fact, and thus (we may say) at 
least moves or points in the direction of truth. Things that 
exist may thus illustrate and furnish instances of truths ; and 
truths, as therein reflected, may so far be perceived in exist 
ence. But whatever images and phrases we may employ, 
prove, on examination, to be all devoid of sense, unless we 
allow them to suggest the very thing which they have been for 
bidden to signify. For, to mean anything, they must, in effect, 
deny that the worlds of truth and of existence are really apart ; 
and they must in effect assume that truth s being extends, itself 
beyond itself, into existence, while existence itself contains 
and so in part rises itself into truth. In short, unless truth 
and existence are neither of them real independently, each in 
and by itself unless they are not things merely somehow col 
located or muddled mechanically from the outside unless, 
on the contrary, as members in and of one common world they 
are themselves connected in their own natures, and included 
each as an element in some grounded whole there is no real 
sense or meaning in which possibility can be used. The pos 
sible is left on our hands as something that we are indeed 
compelled to recognize, although, even perhaps as an illusion, 
it remains in the end inexplicable.* 

* I may perhaps remind the reader that we can not get rid of the 
problem of the " possible," or indeed get rid of any other problem, 
by pleading that we are concerned here with merely one of our own 
" ways of taking the world." For our " way with the world " seems 
undeniably a part of the world itself. Hence we are bound to under- 


The above criticism, however tedious, of a one-sided view 
a view stated, I would repeat, in my own way, if not to suit 
my own purpose has succeeded, I hope, in throwing light on 
the special subject of these pages. I will allow myself, in 
what now follows, to insist on some more general results, 
which I have advocated elsewhere and can perhaps hardly 
urge too often. Unless, from the first and throughout, we 
admit the claim of truth, I do not myself see how it is pos 
sible to speculate at all about truth ; and, if we admit that 
claim, then, whatever it is, we must admit it without reserve 
and completely. But this, as I think, we can not do, if we 
attempt to make truth stop short of knowledge, or even to 
limit its world so that " the true " fails in the end to include 
the total reality.* On the other side, if we take courage thus 
to endorse truth s claim to the full, we can not reach a view 
of truth in which truth is really consistent with itself any 
more than by limiting truth s claim we can succeed in the end 
in maintaining self-consistency, by no matter what artifice. 
And our sole remedy, I have urged, is to take truth as one of 
those inseparable aspects of the Whole, which, to be realized 
in finite minds, must in a sense fall apart, and must assert 
themselves each as more or less distinct, if not even as inde 
pendent each of the rest. But since each aspect, on the 
other hand, implies the Whole each, in the very assertion of 
itself, must contain and claim that which carries it beyond 
its own being as apart from the rest. The Whole, to be real, 
must appear in what seem separate provinces, none of which, 
on the other hand, divided from the rest is truly real, and 
each of which naturally is led to arrogate more to itself 
than can be held consistently within its o\vn limits. None the 
less in the Universe or the Absolute Reality, though how in 
detail we can not understand, the entire mass of the above 
claims is positively made good, without abridgement and in the 

stand the world so that it will intelligibly contain, and itself own, 
what we call " our way with it." Or else, failing that, we should 
admit that we do not make any pretence of understanding eithef 
the world or our own way, so as to justify the assertion involved 
above in our " merely." With regard to the whole problem of Ap 
pearance, Error and Truth, I would refer the reader specially to my 

* See my Appearance and Essays. 


end with perfect harmony. If there is reason to think that 
such a conclusion is impossible, I at least have found no such 
reason; and for affirming this result as true and actual I 
possess ground which at least to my mind is sufficient. And 
I would add that this view, taken merely as a working 
hypothesis, if only it is applied not one-sidedly but all round, 
will exhibit, even as thus employed, such a general superiority 
as, at least to myself, is evidence of its truth, 



The distinction between theory and practice can never, I 
presume, lose its theoretical importance. And, though I have 
little to add to what I have already written on this subject, 
a brief consideration of it here may perhaps be of service. 
And the main conclusion, which I have to advocate, may be 
stated as follows. There is no such thing as a mental activity 
which is merely practical, any more than there is one which 
is simply theoretical. We may indeed descend to a level 
where as yet we can speak properly of neither, but to have 
either by itself as an experienced fact is downright impos 
sible. Theory and practice are equally and alike abstractions 
from concrete fact, where everywhere, with one of these 
aspects, you find its counterpart present and implied. A men 
tal activity may be called " practical " because the side of 
doing is for our purpose here important and eminent. And, 
on the other hand, where the aspect of knowing is our imme 
diate and main concern, we may call an activity " theoretical," 
because that side of it here is what claims our attention. But 
to set up either of these aspects as that which can exist in 
given fact without the other is to embrace a dangerous error. 
It is an instance of that tendency to take the relative as abso 
lute which, more or less everywhere, leads us astray in specu 
lation as in life, and on every hand lures us into imprison 
ment within some false alternative. For there is in the end no 
region or province of mere theory or again of bare practice. 
And it is not true merely that one of these sides of experi 
ence has influence on the other side. The further and fuller 
truth is this that neither side without the other is in fact 
actual or even possible. All theory or contemplation has, as a 
part of its own being, a practical aspect ; and every practical 
activity contains, involved in its own existence, a feature which 
is theoretical. Hence we can term a mental state, or a realm 
or province of our experienced world, theoretical or practical 


never because it is merely one of these two, but only be 
cause one of the above aspects is emphasized here as pre 
dominant, and, for the purpose in hand, is singled out as 

I will now proceed first to show that all theory involves 
practice, and next to explain how in all practical activity an 
aspect of theory is contained. The doctrine that in " doing " 
the stress is laid on alteration of existence, and that in this 
change the distinctive meaning of " practice " is to be found, 
will be taken, once more here, as the foundation of what 

(I) The thesis that all activity which is theoretical, or 
in any sense contemplative, must also be practical, calls, I 
think, for no long defence. For, where I am active, I must do 
something, and, where anything is done, something happens 
and a change is made in existence. And by existence I under 
stand our " real world " of " things " and of events in time. 
Certainly in some thinking and perception my state may be 
predominantly passive, and it is a tenable view that the ex 
perience of myself as active may in some cases be wanting. 
But, putting on one side a contention which I am unable here 
to discuss, we may with confidence insist on our general con 
clusion. If I am active, I must do something, and hence, 
however theoretical may be my activity, it must involve a 
result that is made and done. And, since this result implies 
a sequence in time and a change made at least in my existence, 
it must therefore be practical. And want, desire, and will, 
must be recognized in fact as necessary aspects of truth. This 
to me is as clear as it is evident again that no truth is pos 
sible in the end except for a mind which thinks. f And hence 
without further discussion I shall go on to assume that with 
out exception all activity is and must be practical. 

On the other hand I can no less confidently reject any 
view which identifies with its practical aspect the main es j 
sence of thought and theory. An alteration made in existence, 

* See p. 506 of this work. Maintenance (see also pp. 19 and 517, Note 
13) of existence against change, the reader should note, will fall under 
the head of alteration. See Essays, p. 83 ; and, for the meaning of 
" practice " generally, see the Index of that volume. 

fSee Essays, pp. 334 foil. 


I agree, is necessary for thought ; but still this aspect, how 
ever necessary, is not that in which theory and truth consist, 
but on the contrary must in comparison be termed incidental. 
The real essence of truth, as also of beauty, in a word is ideal, 
and it is impossible that it should itself lie in an altered fact. 
The end aimed at and gained in theory is the qualification of 
Reality by that, which, as such, is taken out of the flow of 
time, and does not, as such, happen or exist. We have an 
abstraction here, I agree, but an abstraction of that which 
is so essential that apart from it there is and can be in fact 
no theory or thinking. To deny so much as this on the ground 
that also more is implied would to my mind be senseless. 
And, on the other hand, any attempt to argue that less than 
this will serve, and that in the bare aspect of practice the dis 
tinctive essence of theory can be found, is compelled, so far as 
I have seen, to ignore or to conflict with the plainest fact. 

We have concluded so far that all theory has a practical 
aspect, and that, apart from that aspect, it (like practice) 
remains a mere abstraction. But I have contended, on the 
other side, that such an abstraction is necessary. I have urged 
that there is a difference between theoretical and practical 
activity, and that only in this difference is to be found, as 
against practice, the essence of truth.* 

(II) From the above I proceed to insist on a comple 
mentary result. If theory involves practice, practical activity 
on its side contains an element which is theoretical, and, shorn 
of that necessary aspect, is in fact reduced to nothing. Taken 
merely as practical, practice becomes a bare abstraction which 
never actually could exist. This conclusion I regard as cer 
tain, but I am forced by want of space to content myself here 
with a brief statement, and to refer the reader to that which 
I have argued elsewhere. I will however first note, in pass 
ing, that by " activity " is to be here understood only that 
activity which is in fact experienced as such. 

* Where we take truth as knowledge, and view knowledge as my 
state, the reader will note that the above statement needs qualifica 
tion. A greater emphasis must now be laid on the aspect of my 
psychical existence, maintained and otherwise altered. On the whole 
matter discussed in the text, I would once more refer to my Essays; 
see the Index. 


(a) Practical activity, in the first place, can not consist 
in a mere sequence of events and in a consequence which 
simply happens. An alteration of existence is, by itself, clearly 
not an activity. And practice in the proper sense involves, on 
my view, an idea which carries itself out into the changed 
fact, and, by and in that issuing change, so realizes itself. 
And, apart from the self-realization of an idea, there is nor } 
I contend, any such thing as an experienced activity.* 

(b) And, in the second place, if there is an idea there is 
also a judgment; for an idea apart from a judgment, as I 
have argued elsewhere, is no more than an abstraction.! But 
since obviously, as I think, a judgment can not fail to be 
theoretical, we have thus involved in the essence and in the 
heart of practice an element of theory, and, without this 
aspect, activity as practical has ceased to be itself. The 
reader will note that the above conclusion depends on two 
steps, neither of which can I here attempt to justify at length. 
I assume, first, the presence of an idea in all experienced 
activity; and next I assume, with every idea, the necessity 
of a subject, which, however little we may notice it, is qualified 
by that idea. But, if this is so, the result will hold that all 
practical activity contains, as one of its features, a judgment, 
and thus, in and of itself, implies theory.^ 

(c) And further, since in practice the idea is felt as in 
opposition to the existing fact, the subject, which the idea 
qualifies and to which it belongs, must itself be at once over 
against the mere fact, and yet actually real. A real world, 
other than what merely exists, is hence involved in the essence 
of all practical activity, and something belonging to such a 
world is, in practice everywhere, judged to be real. But, if 

* Beside what I have written in my Appearance and Essays, I 
have considered this question at length in Mind, N. S., Nos. 40, 41, 
44 and 46. I am naturally aware that the conclusion which I advocate 
has been, and still would be, denied, or otherwise rejected. But I am 
forced here to restrict myself to the above reference to previous 
discussions. I have, I may add, failed to understand the apparent 
denial by Prof. James of the existence of any real difference of 
opinion on the main question. See his Essays in Radical Empiricism, 
p. 165. 

t Essays, Chap. III. 

$ See Essays, Index, s. v. Ideas. 


so, the whole conclusion which I advocate appears to be 
proved. Theory involves practice no more than, on the other 
side, practice implies theory each alike being an aspect ab 
stracted from the given concrete fact. And if you reply that, 
taken merely as practice, practice keeps to its own business, 
and thus at least ignores the presence of any judgment such 
as has just been described you have, I think, confirmed my 
result. For you seem yourself now to have agreed in effect 
that mere practice is in actual fact no more than an ab 

It may assist us to remark on some errors which tend 
to obscure what I take as the one defensible view. And 
(i) I will begin by noticing a mistake on which here I do not 
propose to dwell. In speaking of the judgment involved al 
ways in practice I do not of course assert the presence there 
of a conscious and formal predication. To say that, in every 
experience of a something " not there " and " yet to be," I 
realize to myself that there is a world other than and opposed 
to the actual fact, and that in this world I knowingly place my 
idea as real would to my mind be ridiculous. For no such 
consciousness as the above belongs necessarily to all judgment, 
nor can it belong to any judgment if that is taken as below a 
certain level of reflection. On the other hand judgment actual 
in its full essence, though not as yet reflective, is a fact which 
to me is familiar and constant; and it is in this sense of judg 
ment that I have insisted on its necessary presence in prac 
tice.* And a failure here to keep the right path may in two 
opposite ways bring disaster. We may deny the implication 
of any judgment, and perhaps of any idea, in practical activity. 
Or, on the other side, we may insist on the unfailing presence 
there of one or both in a form which collides ruinously with 
the actual fact.f 

(ii) Passing from this point I will now deal briefly with 
a second mistake. In this it is admitted that idea and judg 
ment are present in all practical activity, but judgment and 
idea are taken to refer merely to a future event. Their com 
pleted issue and result in a consequent fact is that which (ac- 

* See above, p. 626. And cf. Appearance, pp. 366 foil., and Essays, 
PP. 32-3- 

f See M-ind, N. S., No. 44, pp. 21 foil. 


cording to this view) is affirmed by the judgment. Hence (it 
may be added) there is no world other than that mere sequence 
of events in which existence consists. The facts, as they hap 
pen, are everywhere the one sole reality, and it is nothing (in 
any case) but the future fact which is anticipated in prac 
tice and so judged to be real. 

How far, and in what sense, there must be in practice 
always a reference to the future is a difficult question, and 
for a discussion of it here there is hardly space. $ But, apart 

$ I do not myself admit that in all practical activity the idea must 
contain a reference to the future. Certainly the " something," which 
the idea asserts as real, must always be discrepant with existing fact. 
And in every case of practice I agree that this discrepancy must be 
felt. The idea is felt, that is, as in conflict with existence, and as 
striving (you may add) towards a change and an altered future. But 
whether this aspect of a modified hereafter must in every case itself 
enter into the idea s content, appears to me doubtful. The idea moves 
towards the future, and so far I agree ; but is this movement always 
asserted in and by the idea? How far (a) must that which in practice 
I feel as a " not-here," be also even felt as a " not-yet," and a " to be 
hereafter"? It is when this question is answered that we arrive at 
the further problem " How far (b) does and must all that I feel in 
practical activity, itself enter into that which the idea affirms?" And, 
in particular, is a future change in what exists always itself contained 
in the idea, so that this feature may be called essential to our ex 
perience of practical activity? 

But, passing from these questions which, I admit, are not easily 
answered, I would insist on what follows. The aspect of alteration, 
and of the change in existing fact to be made by the idea, if not always 
present, tends at least to be developed ; and, where it is developed, it 
will naturally pass into and make a part of that which is asserted 
by the idea. And, where and so far as this happens, I agree that 
in practice the idea refers to that which is to come and is coming, and 
so itself looks to the future. But, while maintaining this, we must 
go wrong if we fail to add that something else is here also essential. 
While asserting a changed " hereafter," the idea on the other side 
can not cease to affirm this its content as actually real. What we 
have gained is that the reality which the idea asserts, and which 
conflicts with existing fact, is qualified now additionally as that which 
is to alter the fact, and so to realize itself in the coming change. 
And both of these aspects at once will now be essential in and to 
practical activity. Hence, without the affirmed reality of that which, 
none the less, is to realize itself in the coming "hereafter," and which 
yet itself is so qualified actually and now, the essence of our experience 
as practical will have been missed. 

It is idle to obiect that such a conjunction of aspects contradicts 


from this doubt, the view stated above can, I think, be shown 
to be untenable. For, even if there is nothing real but the 
course of events, a future event can not be real now, either in 
itself or for us, unless it ceases so far to be future. And a 
present anticipation of it, unless the qualification of " in idea " 
is added, would appear to be senseless. Hence, if judgment 
affirms of what is real, it can not, so far as I see, refer to that 
which is merely future. The subject which in judgment is 
qualified by the idea must be actual and now, and unless 
this subject is taken as the mere present fact, it must inevitably 
be something which is more than and is beyond events. But, 
if so, we have, in judgment and in all practical activity, a 
world other than bare events and above mere existence 
however much this " other world " realizes itself in the lapses 
and happenings of time. 

And you can not escape by falling back here on a more 
primitive experience in and for which the present, past, and 
future are given (you may contend) all in one, and come as 
the mere aspects of an immediate whole in which they are all 
now and all at once. For there is here as yet no reality taken 
to consist in a succession of facts which occur. At such a 

itself, if some such contradiction is contained in the actual fact. 
And, however little we can show how the contradiction implied in 
concrete experience is in detail brought to harmony, to seek peace by 
the mere denial of either element is mutilation and ruin. For the 
very meaning of practice is that something, real in another world, 
is to realize itself in the world of existing events. If by denial, or 
even by counter-emphasis, you become blind to the aspect of change, 
you are left with an ideal that you can but contemplate as standing 
fixed above you in Heaven. And fasten your eyes on time s process, 
and regard the future as something which is merely to come about or 
to become done and you have shut out that ideal, emptied of which 
the future event or action has become worthless, since it now realizes 
nothing. Remove in short the contradiction, and you have abolished 
that which makes practice to be itself, as a fact and as a human 
value : while to fall back on Time as something which throughout 
its process has standing reality, even where we dare not add that, as 
past and future, it actually still or already exists will hardly assist 
us. Such an idea does but offer us the old problem at once unsolved 
and aggravated, because fixed in a form which, so far as I see, pre 
cludes all possible solution. On the subject of this footnote the 
reader may be referred further to Mind, N. S., No. 44, and specially 
to pp. 21 foil. 


stage of development no world of serial existence has been 
constructed, nor is any idea of it as yet possible. And we are 
still left with the question whether and how far that world, 
when it appears in our experience, does not imply and depend 
on a one-sided abstraction from the entire concrete fact. 

We must then reject any view for which the reference in 
judgment is to what simply is future. Reality as a bare suc 
cession of passing events is itself self-contradictory ; for, taken 
as one process, it involves obviously more than any mere event 
or events which severally pass. And the idea of a future fact, 
which is to happen and which does not now exist, is itself in 
fact possible, only when and so far as it qualifies, openly or 
covertly, a reality which is something beyond and something 
more than mere events. 

(iii) " But your conclusion," it may finally be objected, 
" will not hold, since that view of judgment on which it 
stands is fundamentally wrong. If indeed the judgment about 
what happens were itself more than what happens, the case 
might be altered. But any such assumption as to judgment is 
wholly untenable. There is not only in judgment no reference 
to anything more than the course of successive events, but 
there is (to speak strictly) no reference even to so much as 
the events themselves. For the essence of a practical judg 
ment, if not of every possible judgment, does not lie in a 
reference. It on the contrary consists itself in the very fact 
of a sequence that happens. A judgment therefore is not 
(if you will) about the future, but this is because the judg 
ment itself is the passage to the future; and the issuing event, 
and nothing but the event, is the truth or falsity of the judg 
ment. And, since the sequence (it must be added) is here 
not one of mere happening, but issues from and is itself 
behaviour, it will therefore be false to say that theory and 
practice alike are one-sided abstractions from the concrete fact. 
For the genuine and entire concrete fact is to be found, and it 
consists, in our behaviour which surely is practical." 

On this third erroneous view I do not propose here to 
dwell. I have stated it, and I have had to state it, as I have 
been able myself to understand it; and I can hardly suppose 
that this statement is adequate. For, whether viewed from the 
ground of psychology or of logic, any such view is to my mind 


in palpable and gross conflict with the evident facts. A criti 
cism of the idea that knowledge consists in a mere sequence of 
events will be found in my Essays, pp. 153 foil. But with 
regard to the doctrine advocated by Prof. Dewey,* that doc 
trine involves to me so much confusion, both psychological and 
logical, that I can hardly suppose myself to have apprehended 
it rightly. Still I am bound to add that the difference and 
the real issue, between Prof. Dewey and persons like myself, 
never seems to me to have been understood by him, or, at the 
least, seems never to be set forth intelligibly. And with this I 
must leave the consideration of objections likely to be raised 
against my view as to the judgment which is involved in all 
practical activity. 

The failure to recognize that mere practice, like mere 
theory, is an inconsistent abstraction, and the attempt to take 
it as a superior if not as the sole and ultimate reality, brings 
collision with fact. And the gospel of " Practice for practice 
sake, and everything else for the sake of practice " leads, if 
followed strictly, to a result which in practice is ruinous. For 
if the end is " doing " in abstraction from that which is carried 
out and done, and if there is to be no ideal world which claims 
reality above the course of events, we seem in the end left 
without a criterion of better and worse. Hence we have to 
fall back, I presume, on quantity, and must insist that, without 
regard to what is done, the more done is the better. And with 
this we embrace the " Neo-Darwinian " creed of modern Ger 
many, and set up and worship, in the place of good and right, 
the inhuman idol of abstract force. Or we may think to save 
ourselves by some stupid gospel as to human progress in gen 
eral, or by the blind superstition that at least any new mental 
creation must, we can not say why, turn out well. But again, 
first assuming falsely that whatever satisfies is merely prac 
tical, we may deviate into an inconsistent result, and may 
in effect conclude that in general human satisfaction lies the 
test of all ultimate worth. Value will thus, however illogically, 
have now become our criterion, and this not only to 
judge in the more narrow sense, between " better " and 
" worse," but as a touchstone also to decide universally be- 

* In his Essays in Experimental Logic, No. XIV. 
2321.2 Y 


tween false and true, and to separate the unreal from reality. 
Here, whether we fall back, ruinously once more, on an ab 
stract Hedonism, or, again, admit real differences of intrinsic 
worth within the concrete nature of our various kinds of ex 
perience we shall in either case have abandoned our prin 
ciple of practice for practice sake. Developed in short from 
any side, and applied in no matter what direction, an ideal of 
mere practice can not fail to condemn itself as indefensible.* 

We have seen that, just as theory or contemplation in 
volves practical activity, so on its side practice contains an in 
separable aspect of theory. Neither of these distinctions can 
stand for a concrete given fact, but each, apart from the 
other and taken by itself, remains no more than an abstraction 
always in part unreal and at times dangerously false. And 
the reader may ask whether, if so, the use of such terms and 
ideas can anywhere be justified, since, with each of them, we 
are forced to admit that it is in the end untenable. 

The answer to such an objection must depend on our 
general view as to truth and error. For myself abstraction, 
inconsistency, and one-sidedness, belong necessarily to the path 
of knowledge, and entirely to avoid such errors would be to 
forgo the attempt to understand. A wholesale apprehen 
sion of things is (to speak in general) not possible; while, 
on the other hand, to learn piecemeal implies analysis, arti 
ficial sundering, and limitation. Hence, in the case of no 
matter what constructed result, we shall be left with some 
external conjunction and ultimate inconsistency. And every 
where the question is whether and how far, for the purpose 
in hand, this aspect of error is justified by what on the whole 
we gain by its use by its success, that is, in solving problems 
theoretical or practical or both together and in one. If any 
distinction is thus useful, then certainly so far we have truth. 
And it is only where, in life or in art or science, we ignore 
the " so far," that our license forfeits its right and begins 
to harden itself into sheer error. We have then imprisoned 
ourselves in some one-sidedness, good perhaps, so long as it is 
but relative, and we seek, thus walled in, to shut ourselves out 

* On the matter of the above paragraph see Appearance, Index, 
s. v. Hedonism, and Essays, pp. 317-23, and Index, s. v. Practice. 


from the movement and life of that world which only as the 
complete Universe is in the end true and good and absolutely 

The above .distinction, then, between theoretical and prac 
tical activity I take to be useful and necessary; and it holds 
true, therefore, so long as it is not fixed as a hard division. 
For no activity (we have seen) is merely one of these things 
without the other. An activity may be rightly distinguished as 
practical or theoretical so far as either aspect is taken to be 
eminent ; so far as one aspect, that is, (though never alone) 
predominates and is emphasized, so that, for our purpose, the 
presence in fact of the other can here be ignored. 

For the essence of this distinction I may once more refer 
to my Essays (pp. 101 foil.), and the main conclusion there 
reached is, I think, correct. In practical and theoretical activ 
ity alike, an idea realizes itself, and the two so far do not 
differ. But we have " practice " where the aim, end, and result 
of the process is taken to qualify the existence which is altered, 
and so is predicated of that fact. On the other hand, where 
and so far as the result does not consist in any change made in 
fact, but is taken, on the contrary, to belong to and to qualify 
a world above and beyond the mere course of events, the 
activity so far is called theoretical or contemplative. But a 
fuller discussion of this point will be found in the pages to 
which a reference has just been given. 

Any such distinction, I would repeat, becomes erroneous 
if taken as a division which sunders life into separate spheres, 
or hardens the aspects of an unbroken experience into inde 
pendent facts. Thus we need not leave the life called theo 
retical in order to verify the existence of practical struggle. 
And, apart from this, we have already noticed that knowledge 
itself, where taken as a possession and as something acquired, 
has in itself so far become practical (p. 715 note). For in this 
aspect it qualifies the existence of its owner, just as, on the 
other hand, when viewed as truth, it belongs to and is the 
adjective of a world beyond the mere course of events. And 
hence to the question whether a man is or is not what he 
knows, there is no answer save through distinction. Again, 
from the other side, when we consider moral conduct, which 
undeniably is " practice," a similar result is visible. That 

232L2 Y 2 


formed character or single deed which, always or but for a 
moment, makes the man what he is, so far qualifies existence. 
But none the less that deed or that character may strike us 
as the manifestation of an ideal inhabiting a realm beyond 
events, and lifting whatever reveals it above the mortal sphere 
of chance and change. 

A one-sided emphasis on what in the widest sense is theo 
retical or contemplative, with a one-sided ignoring of its neces 
sary aspect of life and will, may, even from the theoretical 
side, entail disaster. For more or less it may result in the 
starvation of our ideal into secluded emptiness : while, if, 
revolting here, we deviate into a counter-emphasis on practice, 
we have taken a road that may lead through an opposite one- 
sidedness to equal ruin. An existing world of mere events, 
with an activity that means no more than their change, is 
surely itself an abstraction, most paltry and unreal. And if 
practice is to bring nothing from a higher world into this 
region of what happens, then, however much it may do, its 
activity and its result will have no practical sense or value. 
And the higher the level, and the greater anywhere the 
achieved gain of our practice, by so much the more will it have 
risen above and have left below itself the naked falsity of a 
practice for practice sake. Everything that is worth our 
having is (you may say) our own doing, and exists only so 
far as produced by ourselves. But you must add that, in the 
whole region of human value, there is nothing that has not 
come down to us from another world nothing which fails 
still to owe its proper being and reality to that which lives and 
works beyond the level of mere time and existence. 

It is only, I think, in religion, and in whatever, if but for 
a moment, rises into religion, that our one-sidedness disappears. 
The separation between existence and the ideal world is here 
broken down finally, and the abstracted elements of theory 
and practice become the inseparable aspects of a concrete and 
all-inclusive unity. The existing world is, here in the end, no 
more than the ideal experienced as fact the ideal that, as 
itself the will for Good, carries itself out into the course of 
events, and so from every side is real. But this consumma 
tion, while in a sense it is beyond all else in life, yet even in 
religion must remain in part imperfect. The harmonious re- 


moval of every discord is still for us something which can 
neither anywhere, as such, be perceived nor in detail under 
stood. It contains inconsistencies which, refusing to be 
theoretically solved, are made good only by faith. 

It may bring, perhaps, this Essay to a fitting end if I 
deal briefly with some points raised or suggested by the writ 
ers in Creative Intelligence. This volume (published in 1917) 
describes itself on its cover as " the first considered pronun- 
ciamento of the pragmatists as a school." And, though ven 
turing no judgment on such a point, I have found the book 
interesting, on account, partly, of the false issues which seem 
to swarm in its pages, and of its amazing ideas as to that 
which it takes as the one alternative to its own doctrine. And 
I will allow myself to use this work as an invitation to myself 
to set down briefly some views, which I, who, I suppose, am 
hardly a pragmatist, maintain as true. 

(1) Experience is not mere knowing. It also is feeling, 
doing, enjoying, and suffering. The mirror-theory of truth, 
as mere contemplation, is an idea long ago exploded and is 
quite contrary to fact. On the other hand it is false that all 
experience falls under the head of psychical activity, if this 
means (a) that such activity is everywhere its main essence, 
or even means (b) that in all experience there is an activity of 
which we actually are aware. 

(2) All activity without exception is practical, in the sense 
explained in this Essay, but not all activity is practical either 
simply or even mainly. And in the end no possible activity can 
in fact be only practical, since mere practice is really no more 
than an abstraction. 

(3) By an activity which we call practical we should mean 
that which for our purpose is so emphasized, and which is 
practical (we may say) predominantly and eminently. And, 
on the other side, by an activity which is theoretical or con 
templative we should understand that which is so, once again, 
in a sense which is eminent. We mean an activity taken so 
far as it serves to reveal something ideal something which, 
though not as such making part of the course of events, is 
still none the less real. 


(4) Theory begins with a conflict which can be rightly 
emphasized as practical ; but merely in such a conflict and its 
solution theory does not anywhere consist and still less could 
it so end. For we advance to an interest which itself is 
theoretical, and to collisions and to efforts which essentially be 
long to theory. Thus again we develope an interest which is 
in itself aesthetic, and which, however it may begin, in the end 
is itself not practical. Our aim in life and our " plan of 
action " is never practical simply, and to take our sole object 
as mere doing seems plainly absurd. And we saw above how 
confusion and blindness on this head may lead to practical 
error. It may result in the immoral formalism by which the 
idol of naked force is (however unconsciously) set up and 
adored (see above, p. 721). 

(5) The world is experience in which "object" and 
" subject," the activity of the Universe and of each sentient 
being, are throughout in one and are indivisible. Truth, for 
instance, implies at once the activity of myself and of the 
Universe in me. And, as my knowledge, so my conduct is in 
separable from the process of the world which wills and 
realizes itself in me. And to sunder the aspect of conduct 
from the other aspects of experience, that experience which 
belongs to the world and myself in one, is to mistake mere 
abstraction for reality. 

(6) All truth is, if you please, an anticipation and predic- 
tien. But it is so only because truth, being all essentially 
" out of time," holds good therefore, on the other hand, of any 
and of all times. Hence we can anticipate and can predict 
that in some one, or again in any future situation, such or 
such a truth will still hold, and may hence perhaps be verified 
hereafter in existing fact. Even the understanding that from 
the same premisses (whenever I come again to think of them) 
the same conclusion will follow, may thus (if you insist) be 
regarded as a prophecy of the future. But to assert that in 
any further sense every truth is essentially the foretelling of 
a future event, is to collide with fact in a way which to me is 
obvious and grotesque. 

(7) All theory is an experiment made on given Reality. 
It is thus all also, if you please, a hypothesis which is verified 
in practice. A truth is held as true only because on trial it 


comes as an expression of Reality, as that expression which we 
discover to be the only one which works, or to be at least the 
one which works best. And, since we come into contact with 
Reality in a succession of events, our theory may hence be 
taken as a trial and as a verification which is repeated con 
stantly and renewed. But this does not mean that a theory 
either consists in mere events, or must even refer to them. 
The real Universe is something larger than a mere course of 
temporal facts. And we may remind ourselves here that, so 
far as our world is taken to include possible events, it has, at 
once and thereby, become something that has passed beyond 
the region of actual existence. 

It is by an assumption that we judge that whatever is true 
will be true always, and will be always verifiable, though 
perhaps in fact never verified in the future. And we assume 
this to be true because this belongs to the meaning of truth, 
because, if in the proper sense we are to think at all, we have 
to act on the above assumption, and are forced so to act be 
cause there is literally nothing else for us to do. The idea of 
anything opposite can not, in other words, be here so much as 
entertained; since any supposed opposite turns out to be 
either something not really opposed, or to be something which, 
as itself, fails to be any actual idea. 

The above verification may itself in a sense be called prac 
tical. For certainly it is active, and it implies certainly an 
alteration of my existence. And, directly and indirectly, it 
must of course involve some further issue in change of fact. 
But, when you take this activity as itself and in its dis 
tinctive essence, then (as we have seen above) this activity 
is not practical merely, nor, when you keep strictly to its 
proper sense, is it practical at all. 

(8) The task of philosophy is not to reconstruct the world 
in detail. Philosophy can attain, I think, to no more than 
what we may call the general and abstract character of the 
Real. This character, however, is enough to serve as a 
criterion of reality and of truth and goodness, though it re 
mains a criterion which by its nature must (to repeat this) be 
called not particular but general. But to urge that therefore 
it holds of no more than an unreal world of mere concepts 
seems to me quite ridiculous. The result of philosophy must 


of course be expressed in concepts, but that result is, none the 
less, the issue of experiment made on the concrete Reality. 
It holds therefore not of some world apart, but, so far as it 
goes, of our one actual and living Universe. And hence we 
have a real knowledge, so far as it goes, of that Universe, and 
we possess a criterion which, once again so far as it goes, is 

If philosophy in something like the above sense is not pos 
sible, I think myself that there is, and that there can be, no 
philosophy. A " program for action," unless so far as based 
upon a knowledge of the real world, is a thing which, except 
by an illusion, no one surely could call philosophy. I would 
not assert without qualification that it is impossible to base 
a philosophy on what may be called practical value.* But the 
condition to be implied in any such attempt is that value is to 
be taken throughout as the sole criterion of truth and reality, 
and that the results (whatever they may be) which follow, 
are to be worked out and accepted. But I regret to add that 
(to judge from what I have seen) no attempt so radical is to 
be expected from anything which calls itself Pragmatism. 

* But see my Appearance, pp. 373-4, and Essays, Index, s. v. 


Absence : sec Privation. 

Absolute, The, 700. 
truth, 427 ; not corrigible intel 
lectually, 675. 

Abstract: see Universal, Particu 

and concrete : sec Concrete, 
and general, 81-2. 

Abstraction (cf. Elimination, 
Analysis), 94 foil., 392, 411 
foil., 426 (note 21 ), 435, 439- 
40, 452, 465-6, 531, 534 (note 
16), 548, 560 foil., 581, 607-9, 
672, 682 note, 689. 

Abstractionism, 680. 

Act, 39. 

Action, 108 (note 5). 

Activity, 500 (note 36), 592 (note 

. 5). 

idea realized in, 716. 
in inference : sec Inference, 
practical, 713 foil. 
real ultimately? 580 foil, 
theoretical, 713 foil. 
Actual (see Possible), 82, 162, 168, 
186, 193 (note 2), 201, 206, 
551, 703.. 

.^Esthetic object, does not give the 
type of Judgment and Infer 
ence, 627. 
All : see Universal, Collective, 


Alternative : see Or. 
and fact, 207. 
fallacy of, 132, 415-16. 
Analysis, 95 foil., 261 (note n), 
302, 347, 356, 411, 450 foil., 
466, 470 foil., 485-8, 499 (note 
34), 560 foil., 575 (note 19), 
607-8, 664, 691-4. 
and Synthesis, defects of, 486-9. 
inference in, 258-9. And sec 


Analytic Judgment, 49, 57 foil., 
70, 93 foil., 97 foil., 106, 142, 

Analytic Method, 473 foil. 
And (see Or, Conjunction), 200, 
460, 465, 468 (note 7), 605, 
nature of, 651. 

Animals, lower, 31 foil., 562 foil. 
Any, 82, 168, 356, 365, 369 (note 

Appearance (cf. Phenomena), and 

fact, 30 foil. 

Arbitrariness, 424 (notes 7, 10). 
Arbitrary, 456 (note 3). 

inference : see Inference. 
Arithmetic, 391, 397 foil., 423 
(note 4), 434-5, 4Si, 464 foil., 

postulate in, 559, 604. 
Arithmetical reasoning and its de 
fects, 603 foil. 

Association (cf. Contiguity, Simi 
larity, Reproduction, Uni 
versal), 35 foil., 299 foil., 322, 
323, 507, 515. 

and judgment: see Judgment, 
chemical, 344-5. 

holds only between universals, 
35 foil., 306 foil., 346-7, 441, 
507 foil. 

indissoluble, 343-4. 
logical? Sec Logical. 
Assumption, 494 (note 7). 
Asymmetrical relations, as single, 

are not facts, 697. 
Atomism, psychological, 302 foil. 
Atoms, 188-9. Cf. Units. 
Attention, 67, 109 (note 19), 442, 
505-6, 555- 

Beauty, 506. 

Because (cf. Necessary), 199 foil., 
206, 237 (notes 8, 9), 394-5, 

and Cause, 544 foil. 

couples only universals, 235. 

merely ideal, 206 foil., 583 foil. 
Belief : 

and judgment, 17 foil., 115, 222. 

and lively idea, 16. 

degrees of, 20. 

practical? 17 foil. 

Case (cf. Instance), 83, 182-3, 185, 

351, 357, 359- 537-8, 54O-3- 
Casuistry, 269 foil. 




Categories : 

of subject and attribute, 250, 
264, 271-2, 296, 492, 644. 

various in reasoning, 262 foil. 
Causation ever pure? 698. 
Cause, 239 (note 24), 240 (note 

39). . 

ambiguity of, 535 foil, 
and conditions, 210-11, 432, 538, 

and effect reciprocal? 221-2, 357, 

430, 697. 

and rational consequence, 546. 
as hypothetical antecedent, 536. 
is an abstraction and universal, 

536-40, 542. 

is self-development, 432. 
plurality of causes, 369. 
Chance what, 240-1, 300, 679. 
Change, 108 (note 10), 293-4, 432, 

461-2, 477. 

Change-experience, 655, 718-19. 
Chemistry of ideas, 347. 
Choice (see Disjunction), 128, 
137-8 (note i), 510. 
principle of, 663. 
Christianity, 688-9. 
Class (cf. Collection), 21, 27, 174 

foil., 186, 254 (note 2). 
idea of, 646 note. 
Collection, Collective (cf. Class), 
21, 27, 47, 82, no (no-te 37), 
174 foil., 185-6, 191, 248-9, 254 
(note 2), 355-6, 368-9. 
Common Sense, 108 (note 4), 690, 
701, 702. See also " Real 

Comparison, 392, 405, 425 (note 
13), 435, 458-63, 482, 493, 501 
(note 44), 503, 558, 581. 
as inference and as psychical 

process, 609-11. 
Compulsion, 45, 87-8. 
Concrete, 188, 100, 474. 

universal : see Universal. 
Condition, 99, 143, 202, 208 foil., 
237 foil., 297 (note 5), 432, 
538, 546, 633-6. 
elliptical, 546. 
" ground and conditions " can 

only be used relatively, 636. 
Conditional (see Judgment), 50, 

108 (note 8). 
and Conditioned, 99-100, 632-4; 

differences of, 634-7. 
and Hypothetical, 638. 
how far it always implies doubt, 


Conjunction, 146-7, 164-5, 3o-i, 
343 foil., 478-9, 540. 

Connection: see Conjunction. 

Connections are reciprocal, 430 
(note 31). 

Connotation (cf. Intension), 59, 
169 foil., 193 (note 5). 

Consent, 40 (note 22). 

Consequence (see Ground, Condi 
tion, Judgment), 
and antecedent, 235. 

Construction, ideal, 29 foil., 62 

foil., 72, 256 foil., 285 foil., 

396, 432, 450 foil., 553 foil., 

585, 5?7 foil, 605 foil. 

merely ideal? 257, 259, 397, 404, 


merely "real"? 396. 
spatial, 397-9, 404, 434, 464, 492, 

539; free spatial, 558. 
through a centre not given, 451, 

454-5, 458 foil., 464. 
Content, 108 (note 16), 168. 
Contiguity, law of, 303 foil., 311 

Continuity, 72, 149, 293, 462, 465, 


and change, 298 (note 9). 
is ideal, 293. 

of space and time, 45, 51 foil. 
Contradiction, Law of, 145 foil. 
Contradictory (cf. Excluded Mid 
dle, Impossible), 116, 123, 145 

foil., 151 foil., 156-7, 158 foil., 

161 foil., 671-2. 
Contraposition, 420. 
Contrary (cf. Incompatible), 116- 

17, 123, 145 foil., 158 foil., 163, 


Contrast, 118 note. 
Conversion, modal, 418. 
Copula in judgment, 21, 40 (note 

24), 50, 56 foil., 117. 
Copying, 580. 
Correspondence (cf. Truth), 579, 

592 (note 3)- 

Counterpart, 579-80, 592 (note 2). 
Counting, 356, 368-9, 399-4OO, 424 

(note 9). 
Credulity, Primitive, 324-5, 346 

(note 9), 491. 
Criterion, 487, 530, 534 (notes 16, 

17), 575 (note 20), 619-20. 
system as, 487. 
Curiosity, 506. 

Data and premises : see Premises. 
Degree and quantity, 266, 399, 424 

(note 8). 
Demonstration, 256 foil., 260 (note 

Denial, mere, 127 (note 18). 



Denotation : sec Extension. 

Designation (sec This), 60, 89, 112 
(note 46), 194 (note 14), 239 
(note 27), 296, 298 (note 13), 
497 (note 21), 652 foil., 684, 

Development : sec Self-Develop 

Dialectical method, 121, 127 (note 
14), 148 foil., 153, 165 (note 
9), 189, 391, 408 foil., 426 
(note 20), 435, 458, 489, Soo 
(note 36), 570, 586, 601-2. 
its defects, 601-2. 

Difference (cf. Identity), 406, 412, 

461-2, 467 (notes 5, 6), 582. 
in judgment, 25 foil., 373 foil. 
Method of, 575 (note 21). 
perception of, 462-3. 

Discrepant : see Contrary, Incom 

Discrete : see Continuity. 

Disjunction (cf. Or), 46, 128 foil., 

137 foil., 140, 146, 157, 165-6, 

217, 379, 412, 435, 452 foil., 

466, 508-9, 564 foil, 570. 

how far categorical, Bk. I. ch. 

iv, 154, 157, 217. 
in negation : see Negative, 
ultimate ground of, 136, 412 
foil., 564 foil., 570. 

Disjunctive reasoning, 426 foil., 
452 foil., 466, 564-71. And see 

Disorder in world, 679. 

Dispositions, psychical, 75, 87, 109 
(note 25), in (note 41), 328, 
346 (note 5), 351. 

Distinction (cf. Analysis, Abstrac 
tion), 94-6, 392, 406, 425 (note 
13), 435, 452, 459 foil., 559, 
58i, 582. 

are distinctions all realities? 
645, 691. 

Double Negation, 167 (note 25). 

Duration : see Present. 

Effect : see Cause. 

Elimination (cf. Abstraction, 

Analysis), 363, 389, 396, 411- 

12, 422, 450 foil., 557 foil. 
Elision, in inference, 283, 395, 411- 

12, 423 (note i). 
Emotions, analysis of, 347. 
Enumeration : see Counting. 
Equality (cf. Identity), 24, 40 

(note 27), 402. 
Equation, in judgment, 23 foil., 27 

foil., 371 foil. 

Equational Logic (Jevons ), 370 

foil., 603. 

Error (sec Appearance), 
a sign of inference? 395. 
general probability of, 344, 


Events, 686-90. Cf. Existence. 
Excluded Middle (cf. Contradic 
tory, Disjunction), 151 foil., 
165-6, 381. 

Exclusion, mere, 666. 
Existence (cf. Fact, Reality), 42, 
45, 103, no (note 33), "3 
(note 61), 130, 155, 157, 187, 
202-3, 205, 591. 
and actuality, 701-3. 
of different kinds and orders, 


psychical, 2 foil., 550, 617. 
stricter sense of, 42, 107 (note 


Existential judgment: see Judg 

Experience, 725. 
development of, 480 foil, 
immediate : see Immediate Ex 
Philosophy of, 34 foil., 299 foil., 


Experiment, 106, 575 (note 20). 
ideal, 86, no (note 40), 112 
(note 42), 120, 397, 404, 407, 
416, 418, 420, 423 (note 3), 
431 foil., 530, 561 foil., 567, 

Explanation, 548-9. 
and mediation, 540 foil, 
ever tautologous? 542. 
limits of, 88, 112 (note 45). 
Explicit, 502. 
and implicit, 626, 630, 662. See 

Extension (cf. Intension), 59, 83 

note, 168 foil., 194-5. 
and intension both variable, 184. 
inversely related to intension? 

170 foil., 486. 
judgments read in, 174 foil., 249- 

5i, 373 foil., 642 foil. 
External relations : see Relation. 
Externality, 605, 612. 
as want of truth and reality, 

Fact, Facts fcf. Existence, Real 
ity, Phenomena), 41 foil., 74, 
T2i, 129, 168, 199-202, 205-6, 
215, 579 foil. 

as reality, 579, 580, 582, 583, 585, 



Fact, Facts : 
given what, 98. 
matter of : see Matter of fact. 
Faith, 725. 

False alternative, fallacy of, 139 
(note 8), 166 (note 17), 430 
(note 29). 

Feeling (cf. Immediate Experi 
ence), 478, 482, 515. 
and reality, 101-2. 
and relational consciousness, 

468 (notes 9, 10). 
and self-feeling, 504. 
stage of mere, 562 foil., 653. 
Finite Individual : 
perfect, but not visibly, 657. 
unique as member and function, 

655, 658. 

Form and matter, 519 foil. 
Formal and material, 519 foil., 532. 
opp. to " material " as irrelevant, 

522 foil. 

Formal Logic, 619. 
Formal reasoning, 520 foil. 
Free arrangement, 398. 
Freedom, 679. 
Function, 494 (note 7). 
Fusion, law of, 347 (note 15). 

Generic Judgment, no (note 37). 

Given, 289-90. 

Grammatical form misleading, 

Ground (see Possible), 633, 636. 

and cause, 226, 544. 

and conditions : see Condition. 

and consequence reversible ? 

135, 415. 

elliptical, 546. 

in Negation is present on both 
sides, 664. 

grounds of knowledge and real 
ity (cf. Construction, and In 
ference), 404 foil., 407, 411, 
425 (note 12), 544 foil. 

Harmony of truth and fact unten 
able, 593 (note 11). 

" Have relations," to, 187. 

Hegel s psychology, 515. 

Here (cf. This, Now, Mine), 51 
foil., 659, 660. 

Hypotheses, working (cf. Valid 
ity, Practical), 329, 340 foil. 

Hypothetical : see Judgment. 

Idea, Ideas what, 2 foil., 30 foil., 


and fact, 29 foil., 45 foil., 581 

Idea, Ideas what: 

and image, 7 note, 8, 33, 67, 76, 
108 (note 6). 

and meaning, 3 foil., 67, 168, 215. 

and psychical event, 2, 6 foil., 45, 
583 foil. 

and sensation, 30. 

and symbol, 2 foil., 30 foil., 68, 
168 foil. 

different levels of, 626 (cf. 663), 
640, 717. 

everything distinguishable in 
idea can be taken also as one 
particular fact, 644-5. 

"floating," 39 (note 13), 109 
(note 27), 665 (cf. 640). 

is universal, 27, 49 foil., 69. 

mere (cf. Possible), 2, n, 21, 
31 foil., 201, 237 (note 9), 640 
(cf. 665). 

present in activity, 716. 

the same in doubt, &c., and judg 
ment? II, 21. 

used as idea, 2, 9, 10, 29 foil. 
Ideal, 441, 502, 626, 630, 702. 

experiment: see Experiment. 
Identity (cf. Similarity, Equality, 
Continuity, Difference), 20, 
45, 61, 72, 78, 109 (note 23), 
141-4, 164-5, 285 foil., 433-4, 
500 (note 35), 508. 

and continuity, 293. 

in inference, 431 foil., 436, 440 
foil., 444 foil., 457 foil., 553 
foil.; must be special, 458, 571. 
See Inference, Self-develop 

in judgment, 22 foil., 27 foil., 
141 foil., 177 foil., 1 86, 254, 
371 foil. Cf. Individuality. 

in reproduction, 308. Cf. Re 

is ideal, 293. 

necessary for inference, 285 
foil., 432, 457 foil. 

of Indiscernibles, 72, 107, 144, 
288 foil., 293-4, 297-8, 431 
foil., 470, 492, 562, 587-8. 

perception of, 462-3. 

Principle of, 141 foil., 288-9, 367, 
431, 446 (note 4), 470, 492, 
562, 587-8. 

synthesis of, 265. 

underlies relations, 253, 289, 479. 
If and Because, 86, 99-100, 107, 
in (note 40), 633-7, 645. See 
also Because. 
Images : see Idea. 
Imaginary, the : 

as an ideal, 703. 



Imaginary world, 31 foil., 75, 631, 

Imagination, 75-6, 85, 109 (note 

26), 444, 449 (note 35). 
and fact, 75. 
and memory, 75. 
and thought, 444-5, 57 1- 
Immediacy, 695-6. 
Immediate : sec This. 
Experience (cf. Feeling), 109 
(note 19), 297 (note 4) ; all 
predication and judgment gets 
its meaning from, 695-6. 
inference : see Inference. 
Imperative, 32, 40 (note 32). 
Implication, 600, 601, 695 foil, 
no implication where only self- 

subsistent entities, 696-8. 
one-sided? 697. 

Impossible (ci. Possible, Priva 
tion, Unmeaning), 162, 203, 
213 foil., 239 (notes 29, 31), 
568, 669, 670. 

Incompatible, Incompatibility (see 
Contrary, Contradictory), 117, 
124, 126 (note 8), 145 foil., 
164-5, 213, 463, 466, 468. (note 
incompatibility as conditional, 

Inconsistency permitted in life 

and special sciences, 640. 
Indiscernibles, identity of : sec 


Individual (cf. Universal, Par 
ticular, This, Unique), 45, 48 
foil., 63, 71, 77, 145, 147, 188, 
330, 487- 

and Particular, 643. 
ideas of, 173. 
only one, in the end, 701. 
Reality as : see Reality. 
Individuality : 

of subject as principle of infer 
ence, 431 foil., 491-3. 
of synthesis as principle of in 
ference, 263, 267, 285, 436, 440 
^foll., 466. 
Individuation, logical, 309, 436, 

440 foil., 445- 
Induction, 369 (note 7), 474. 

complete, 355-7- 
Inductive Methods (Mill s), 355 

foil., 412-13, 562. 
Inexplicable, 112 (note 45). 
Inference, 73, 243-6, 256 foil., 285 
foil., 394 foil., 43i foil., 597 

agency in, 554, 580 foil., 585. 
and judgment: see Judgment. 

Inference : 
and psychical process intrusion 

of the latter, 617, 619. 
and reproduction : see Repro 

apagogic, 415, 420, 436, 466. 
arbitrary? 112 (note 43), 398, 

403, 426 (note 22), 434, 451 

foil., 455, 467, 483, 493, 547, 

550, 553 foil., 556-9, 571-3, 

581 foil., 592-3. 
as an operation only on my 

vision, 403 foil., 411, 424, 555, 

559, 566, 571, 581 ; validity of 

subjective? 424 (note 11). 
as psychical event as well as 

logical (cf. Logical), 226, 

495-6 (note 21), 545. 
as self-development, 599-601, 

and sec Self-development, 
by added or omitted Determi 
nants, 421-2. 

conditional, 407, 434, 455. 
defined, 598. 
depends on a whole, 492-3. Cf. 

development of, 504 foil. ; stages 

of, 626. 
disjunctive (cf. Disjunction), 

379 foil., 391, 412 foil., 456 

(note 7), 466, 490-1, 508-9, 

564 foil., 576 (note 26) ; its 

claims and defects, 602. 
elision in : see Elision, 
ends always in a judgment, 

explicit and implicit, 481 foil., 

503 foil, 
fallibility of, 578 (note 36), 617- 


form and matter of, 533. 
" immediate," 390, 415 foil., 430 

(note 30). 

intuitive, 594 (note 15). 
is necessary and universal, 598, 

is special and individual, 466-7, 


marks of, 395. 
must have identical middle, 444, 

457 foil., 571. 
must transcend its datum, 467 

(note i). 

my activity in, 615, 632. 
negative, 283-4. 
no complete collection of types 

possible, 618, 619. 
no models of, 267 foil., 519 foil., 

principles of, 247 foil. 



Inference : 

reality of, 579 foil., 615-16. 
selection in : see Selection, 
to something other than new re 
lation between given terms, 
390, 395 foil., 434. 
true principle of, 263, 431 foil. 
types of, are imperfect, 617-18. 
unique, 533 (note 6). 
without given middle, 405 foil., 

435, 458 foil. 

Infinite, the spurious, 71, 99, 124, 
228, 232-4, 489, 500 (note 40), 

Instance (see Case) : instances 
and principle how they prove 
one another, 530-1. 
Intellectual : see Logical. 
Intension (cf. Extension), 59, 67, 

1 68 foil., 194-5, 486. 
judgments read in, 174 foil., 249, 

642 foil, 
variable, 184. 
Interrelation, 457-8. 
Introspection, 65-6 note. 
Intuition, 256, 261 (note 10), 270, 


Invariably, 548 (note 6). 
Irrationalism, 678-9. 
Irrelevant, 7 note, 38, 412, 475, 540, 

Judgment, I foil., 10-11, 16 foil., 
21 foil., 28 foil., 39 (note 10), 
41 foil., 56 foil., 477-8. 

abstract (cf. Universal), 104 
foil., 190. 

all judgments are universal, 106, 
143-4, 181 foil. 

all judgment is conditional, 630-9. 

all judgment is inference, 632, 

all judgment is selective, 167 
(note 25), 629-30 (cf. 635 

analytic : see Analytic. 

and Association, 14, 26, 477. 

and belief : see Belief. 

and equality: see Equality. 

and identity : see Identity. 

and inference, 414-15, 437-40, 
447 (note 15), 479, 568; dif 
ference between what, 495-8 
(note 21 ), 622-3, 632; various 
senses of, 626-41. 

and Reality, 582 foil. 

and Reproduction, 476, 484-5. 

and will : see Will. 

as mental event, 225, 545, 583 
foil. Cf. Inference. 


as mere psychical sequence, 720-1. 

assertorical, 199. 

can be turned into inference 
how, 4 I 4~ I 5, 438-9, 568-9. 

categorical, 44 foil, 48 foil., 82 
foil., 91 foil., 98 foil., 107, 181, 
192-3, 199, 209, 301, 584. 

collective : see Collection. 

conditional : see hypothetical, be 

development of, 28 foil., 477 
foil.; stages of, 626, 663. 

different levels of, 640, 717 (cf. 

disjunctive: see Disjunction. 

does it always anticipate or even 
refer to the future? 718. 

existential, 22, 43, 57, 78, 80, 
107, no (note 33), 120, 129, 
154, 157-8, 162, 191. 

explicit and implicit, 481 foil., 
502 foil. 

generic : see Generic. 

how far practical, 17 foil., 26, 
30 foil., 713 foil. 

hypothetical, conditional, 44 foil., 
82 foil., 89-90, 98 foil., 107, 
no-ii (note 40), 143, 161 foil., 
181 foil., 192-3, 199, 206 foil., 
212, 301, 392, 407, 455, 456 
(note 10), 632 foil. 

includes physiological condi 
tions? 498. 

limited sense of, in this volume, 

necessary, 87 (51). 

negative (cf. Negation), 22, 46, 
78, 114 foil., 120, 161 foil, 
662 foil. 

no bare or purposeless judg 
ment, 667. 

one idea in? II, 21, 26-7, 49 foil., 
56 foil. 

quantity in : see Quantity. 

selection in, n, 28, 94 foil., 108 
(note 11), 114, 356, 439-43, 
485, 585-6, 629, 635. And cf. 

singular or individual, 48 foil., 
83, 91 foil., 103 foil., 107, 120, 

subject in, 13. See Subject. 

synthetic : see Synthetic. 

three classes of? 108 (note 7). 

universal, 47 foil., 83 foil., 92, 
103 foil., 143-4. 

Knowledge : 

as my practical state, 723 (cf. 
715 note). 

Knowledge : 
ideal of, 639. 

process of, has three senses, 574 
(note 15). 

Law (cf. Universal), 92, 474, 536 
foil., 543 foil., 549 (note 13). 
Likeness : see Similarity. 
Logic : 

and psychology, 496-7, 616. 

assumptions in, 599-600, 611, 614. 

mathematical : see Mathematical. 

may use fictions, 611. 

order in, 597, 640. 

scope of, 611-13, 620-1. 

use of, 619-21. 

Logical (sec Individuality, Indi- 
viduation), 309, 346 (note 6), 

440, 445- 

and psychical process, 198, 448 
(note 28), 449 (note 35), 
496-7. Cf. Inference, Judg 
ment, Psychical, Reproduc 

and universal, 444. 

machine, 382 foil. 

Man and beast, 509 foil. 
Mark, 59, 177. 
Material reasoning, 521. 
Mathematical Logic, 387 note, 388 

(note 9). 
Matter : see Form. 

of fact, 113 (note 63), 649, 666. 
Meaning (sec Idea, Intension), 3, 

168 foil. 

Meaningless, the (cf. Possible, 
Impossible), 155, 214 foil., 566 

idea is none, 665. 
Memory, 62, 72 foil., 325, 351, 


and inference, 63, 108 (note 13). 
double, 73. 
Mental states, survival of all? 346 

(note 4). 
Metaphysics : 

and psychology, 340 foil, 
and the sciences, 340 foil. 
Mind, early, 29 foil., 40 (note 

31), 299 foil., 502 foil., 506. 
Mine (cf. This, Now, Here), 49, 

659, 660. 
Modality : 

logical and psychological, 198. 
of judgments, 197 foil. 
Monism : see Pluralism. 
Mythology (cf. Working hypo 

how far necessary, 342, 347 
(note 13). 

INDEX 735 

Names (cf. Nominalism). 

proper, 59, 108 (note 12), 184. 
Necessary (cf. Possible), 198 

foil., 205 foil., 236. 
truth, 41, 235-6, 394-5, 414 (cf. 


Necessity, 199 foil., 235. 
internal, 199. 

none present in infancy of rea 
son, 509-10. 
Negative, Negation (cf. Privation, 

Incompatible, Ground), Bk. I. 

chaps, iii, iv, v, and Essay VI. 
all negation qualifies, 667. 
bare negation, 122, 157, 215, 279 

foil., 283-4. 
conversion of negatives, 430 

(note 31). 

double, 158 foil., 167 (note 25). 
is disjunctive, Bk. I. chap, iii, 

158 foil., 662 foil, 
is but "subjective"? 120 foil., 

124, 666. 

judgment: see Judgment, 
reality of negation, 666. 
reasoning, 274 foil. 
Nominalism (cf. Names), 59, 


Nothing, 118, 123, 156-7, 670. 

Now, 659, 660. See Present ; cf. 
This, Here. 

Number (cf. Arithmetic, Count 
ing. Quantity, Degree), 182-3, 
399 foil, 
does not give uniqueness, 182-3. 

Object an abstraction, 626, 630. 
means judgment, 626-8. 

Objectivity, 41, 107 (note 2). 

Obliviscence, Law of, 310 foil., 
324 foil. 

"One with," 592 (note 4), 595 
(note 25). 

Only, 125. 

Opposite, 117. And cf. Contrary, 
Incompatible, Negation, Pri 

Or (cf. Disjunction), 128, 131 
foil., 140 (note 8). 

"Organizing relation," 692. 

Particular (see Universal. Individ 
ual), 45, 77, 120, 182 foil., 186 
foil., 212. 294, 330, 361. 
Argument from particulars, 348 

foil., 522. 

mere particulars are mere ab 
stractions, 119-20, 188, 650. 



Phenomena, series of (cf. Exist 
ence), 71, 74, loo foil. 

ideal and not in the end real, 587 

foil., 591- 

Philosophy, task of, 727-8. 
Pluralism, 680-3. 

Positive, mere, 666. Cf. Negation. 
Possibility : 

absolute and relative (or possi 
ble possibility), in (note 40), 

bare possibility, 203, 208, 238 
(note 22), 500 (note 37). 

degrees of, 202-5, 668. 

" real possibility," 209. 

remaining, or sole, is real, 152, 
163, 385, 4M, 453 foil., 456 
(note 6), 490, 560, 564 foil., 
569 foil. 

Possible (cf. Actual, Ground, Im 
possible, Necessary), 83 note, 
in (note 40), 157, 161-4, 168 
note, 179, 185, 186, 198, 202 
foil., 206, 237 foil., 384 foil., 
564 foil., 569 foil., 668-9, 699 
foil., 700, 707. 

actual and possible, no-n, 699 
foil., 703. 

and impossible not contradic 
tory, 668. 
Postulates : 

logical, 552, 555, 559, 57O, 573-5, 
579, 58i. 

postulate that attention, &c., 

does not alter, 555, 581. 
Potential, 209 foil., 239 (note 23). 
Practical, Practice, 17, 19, 26, 39 
(note 19), 506, 517 (note 13), 
534 (note 15), 573 (note 2), 
589, 594 (note 21), 714. 

applied to theory, 487, 489, 506, 
529, 551-2, 579, 583, 589. Cf. 

" Practice for Practice sake " as 

a gospel, 721. 
Practicality of early mind, 26, 30 

foil., 504, 506. 
Prediction, 726. 

Premise, Premises, 407, 446-7, 
545-7, 553, 556, 601-6. 

and data, 257, 398, 401, 407, 431 
foil., Bk. III. i. chaps, iv and 
v, 463, 470 foil., 482 foil., 488, 
492, 524 foil., 553 foil., 601-3. 

does conclusion contradict 
them? 555-6. 

major, 247 foil., 524 foil. 

number of, 257, 260. 

principle not a premise, 525. 

ultimate, 237 (note 9). 

Preparation, 257. 

Present, Presence (cf. Now, 

This), 50 foil., 57 foil., 66, 70, 

loo foil., 108 (note 10), 718-19. 

reality as, 588. 

Presentation, 69, 109 (note 19), 

517 (note 8). 
Principle : see Premise, Law, 


and instances, 530-1, 542. 
Privation (cf. Negation), 117 
foil., 126-7 (note 9), 140 (note 
ii ), 239-40, 356-7, 427 foil., 
556, 565 foil., 577 (note 32), 
as ground of knowledge, 136, 

203, 208, 214, 556, 565-9. 
Probability : 

and absolute truth, 675 foil, 
and belief, 222-3. 
and fact, 217, 223-4. 
and inverse reasoning, 220 foil. 
and " long run," 228 foil, 
and number of examples, 563. 
and series, 224 foil, 
equality of, 218. 
general, against truth of any 

judgment, 572, 675-6. 
how far "subjective," 223. 
improper sense of, 677. 
none antecedent to reality, 218. 
theory of, 217 foil., 674 foil. 
Problematic Judgment, 212. 
Psychical : 
aspects of Truth, 611-13, 617, 


process and logical conditions, 
226, 445, 406-7 (note 21), 545, 
550, 567, 571, 574- Cf. Infer 
ence, Logical. 
Psychology : 

"analytical," 95 foil., 302, 475-6. 
and metaphysics, 340 foil, 
nature and limits of, 612-13. 

Quality, 309. 

and relation, 289 note. Cf. Re 

latent, 87, 88, 103, 112 (note 41). 
120, 158-61, 192, 205, 208 foil. 
Quantity, 399 foil. Cf. Degree, 
of judgments, 168 foil, 
perception of, 424. 

"Real world," my (cf. Existence), 
592 (note i), 593 (note n), 
686-8, 690, 700-2, 714. 
an abstraction, 631, 690. 

Realism and Pluralism, 563, 680-3; 
in the end unthinkable, 682. 



Reality what (cf. Fact, Exist 
ence), 45, 51 foil., 71 foil., 
108 (note 4), 187 foil., 586 
foil., 615-16, 623-4, 628-31, 

and events : see Phenomena, 
and feeling : see Feeling, 
and knowledge their unity not 

merely logical, 587, 590-1. 
and truth, 41, 43 foil., 49, 102, 
579 foil., 581 foil., 586 foil., 
590-1, 595, 704, 710-11. 
as higher form of Immediate 

Experience, 695-6. 
as individual, 71, 187 foil., 487- 


as logical, 582 foil., 587 foil, 
as One, 563. 
as subject: see Subject, 
as unique, 71. 
how far possible, 668-9. Cf. 


present : see Present, This. 
Recognition, 391, 407-8, 425 (note 

.17), 435, 458, 603. 
Redintegration : see Reproduction, 
prior to judgment, 495 (note 


" Relatedness," fact of, 692. 
Relation, 28, 96, 253-4, 289-90, 

457-8. See Relations, 
in judgment, 10-11, 22 foil, 
rests on underlying identity, 96, 
112 (note 50), 253-4, 4/8-9, 
495 (note 20). 
Relational view, 691-2. 
Relations : 
and terms, 112 (note 50), 253-4, 

289-90, 297 (note 3). 
external (cf. Conjunction, And, 
Externality), 187, 290, 472, 
487, 494 (note 5), 499 (note 
33), 652, 708 note, 
internal, 127 (note 14). 
terms must be more than their, 

254, 289-90, 692. 
Relativism, 681. 
Relativity, Law of, 158. 
Religion, 724-5. 

Reproduction, 34 foil., 304 foil., 
323 foil., 331 foil., 462-3, 476, 
485, 495, 505, 508. 
all "logical"? 309, 440 foil, 
not all inference, 441 foil. 
Retention, 462. 

Scepticism, 568-72. 

Selection (see Judgment), 261 

(note 9), 356-7, 442, 477, 


Selection : 
in inference, 258, 439, 442, 477, 

485, 614-15. 
Self, feeling of, 516 (note 5). Cf. 


Self-consciousness, 511. 
Self-contradictory, 671-2. 
Self-development, 273 (note 7), 

432 foil., 437 foil., 486 foil., 

492, 555-6, 580 foil., 598-601, 

603-8, 618, 628. 
can it be real? 580, 586, 599- 

Self-realization, 492, 500 (note 

Series, 64, 71, 79-80, 109 (note 

22), no (note 32). 
and probability : see Probability, 
infinite, 228-9. 
of phenomena, 71. 
Sign, Symbol (cf. Idea), 2 foil., 

49, 59-6o, 69. 

Similarity (cf. Ideality, Equality), 
23-4, 286-7, 317, 320, 338, 377 
Law of, 303 foil., 311 foil., 316 


Some (cf. Particular), 182, 416. 
S P, form of, 42. 
Space. 45, 51 foil., 63, 98, 188, 266, 


spatial construction : see Con 

Stage of feeling: see Feeling. 

and attribute, 21-2, 40 (note 28), 
250-1, 262 foil., 274 foil., 374, 
492 foil., 533-4. 
and object and their identity, 


as implicit, 493. 

grammatical and real, apparent 
and ultimate, 22, 27-$, 42 foil., 

50, 56 foil., 108 (note 9), 114, 
120, 129, 154, 160, 181, 192-3, 
296, 477, 628 foil., 632. 

identity of one, in inference, 
206, 377, 431 foil., 440 foil., 
444 foil., 447 (note 9), 492-3. 
of judgment, 22, 26-8, 40 (note 
14), 41, 50 foil., 56 foil., 114, 
I20 ; 373 foil., 387, 628 foil. 

Subjective (see Objectivity), 120, 
124, 127 (note 12), 223, 240, 
(note 42), 666. Cf. Irrelevant. 

Subsidiary operations in inference, 

Substitution in inference, 374 foil. 

Subsumption (cf. Syllogism, Pre 
mise), limits of, 526 foil. 

738 INDEX 

Suggestion, 391, 407, 414, 437-4O, 
454-5, 466, 468 (note 17), 
490-1, 559. 

Supposal (cf. Judgment), nature 
of, 85 foil., in (note 40), 112 
(note 46), 393, 407, 438, 455, 


Syllogism (cf. Inference), 247 
foil., 263, 266 foil., 285 foil., 
376 foil., 385, 433, 524 foil, 
its claims and defects, 603. 
Symbol : sec Sign. 
Synthesis (cf. Construction, Anal 
ysis), 450 foil., 470 foil., 
485-6, 499 (note 35). 
and analysis, defects of, 486-9. 
syntheses various, 263 foil. 
Synthetic judgment, 49, 51, 62 
foil., 70 foil., 106-7, 142, 185. 
all judgment is synthetic, 142. 
method 473. 
System : 

as criterion, 487 (cf. Criterion), 
no system in detail is possible, 

Tautology, 141. 372. 
Terms : 

and relations : see Relations, 
number of, 261 (note 14), 306. 
Theory as an experiment, 726. 
Things in themselves, 148, 155. 
This (cf. Designation, Here, Now, 
Mine, Unique), 49, 51 foil., 58 
foil., 63 foil., 90, 94, 183, 
497-8, 653, 659. 
and Reality, 70 foil. 
idea of "this," &c., how far 
predicated beyond the actual 
"this," &c., 109 (note 28), 659. 
limits of given " this," 654 foil. 
" this," " my," " now," " here," 
all aspects of immediate ex 
perience, 659. 
Thisness, 64 foil. 
Time (cf. Present, Change), 44-5, 

51 foil., 63, 08, 266. 
past and future (cf. Existence, 

Phenomena), 62, 74-5, 587-9. 
Together (cf. And), 109, 708. 
Torture will show anything, 23, 


Triviality in Logic, 616. 
Truth : 

absolute : see Absolute. 
actual and possible : see Pos 

and fact : see Idea, 
and probability : see Probability. 


and Reality: see Reality. 

and working, 579, 583, 588. Cf. 

as copying : see Reality. 

as my Knowledge : see Knowl 

degrees of, 197, 236 foil. 

higher and lower, 685-9. 

necessary : see Necessary. 

once true is always true, 143. 
See Identity, Principle of. 

parallelism of, and Reality, 579- 

"Unconditionally," 548 (note 6); 
as = " under all conditions," 


Unique, Uniqueness (see This), 
63 foil., 70, 77, 108 (note 16), 
109 (note 21 ), 183, 533, 647 
Units, reality of? 563-4. Cf. 


Universal (cf. Idea, Judgment, 
Individual, Particular, Ab 
stract, Law). 

abstract, 82, 103 foil., 119, 173, 
188 foil., 192, 214, 330. 

and collective : see Collective. 

and necessary : see Necessary. 

and particular, 45, 186 foil., 361. 

as principle of identity in im 
ages, 327, 351. 

degrees of universality, 192-3. 

real, or concrete, 44, 173, 186 
foil., 192, 293, 486-7. 

universals from the first, 34 
foil., 309 foil., 326 foil., 35C-I, 
507 foil. 
Universe, the : 

as object, 626 note. 

as actual and possible, 700, 707. 

as subject, 632. See Subject. 

unique, both negatively and posi 
tively, 648, 657. 

" Unmeaning " : see Meaningless. 
Unreal, 212 foil. Cf. Impossible. 

Validity : 

logical, 551-72, 579-9.1. 
of inference meanings of (cf. 
Practical), 551-2, 573 (note 
2), 583- 
Verification, 369 (note 7), 726-7. 

What and That, 3, 646 note. Cf. 

INDEX 739 

Whole: Will and judgment, 17, 26. See 

and parts, 95, 693, 694. Practical, 

implied in all analysis and syn- Working hypotheses, 329, 340 foil., 

thesis, 470 foil. Cf. Analysis. 579, 589. Cf. Truth, 

latent opp. "given," 471-2. W r orld (see Universe): 

Why, ambiguity of, 545. Cf. Be- our "way with the world" 

cause, Cause. what, 710. 

real : see " Real world." 











BC 71 .B8 1922a v.2 SMC 

Bradley, F. H. 

The principles of logic