Philosophy and Living

Olaf Stapledon

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The University of Adelaide Library
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Table of Contents

The Author
  1. What Philosophy is
  2. Example of Discussion: Personal Immortality
    1. i. The Meaning of Immortality
    2. ii. Emotional Influence on Thought About Immortality
    3. iii. Arguments for Immortality
    4. iv. Arguments Against Immortality
    5. v. Practical Upshot of This Chapter
  3. Mind and Body
    1. i. The Problem Stated
    2. ii. Some Implications of the Problem
    3. iii. Interactionism
    4. iv. Epiphenomenalism
    5. v. Psycho-Physical Parallelism
    6. vi. The Double Aspect Theory
    7. vii. The Emergence Theory
    8. viii. Conclusions, and New Questions
  4. The External World and i
    1. i. The Common-Sense Account
    2. ii. Difficulties Arising Out of Science
    3. iii. The Idealist Solution
    4. iv. The Realist Solution
    5. v. The Solution of Logical Positivism
    6. vi. Conclusions
    7. Postscript on Pragmatism
  5. Reasoning
    1. i. The Scope of Two Chapters
    2. ii. What Happens in Reasoning
    3. iii. The Problem of Logic
    4. iv. Universals and Particulars
    5. Postscript on Truth
  6. The Scope and Limitations of Reason
    1. i. Natural Science
    2. ii. Irrational Determinants of Thought
    3. iii. Irrationalism
    4. iv. The Place of Reason
  7. Ethics
    1. i. Fact and Value
    2. ii. Some Distinctions and Problems
    3. iii. Some Traditional Theories
    4. iv. Ethical Scepticism: Ethnology and Psychoanalysis
    5. v. Ethical Scepticism: Logical Positivism
    6. vi. The Practical Upshot
  8. Personality
    1. i. Some Psychological Principle
    2. ii.The Dynamic Individual
    3. iii. The Upper Reaches of Human Personality
    4. iv. Differences Between People
    5. v. What is the Self?
  9. Community
    1. i. Problems of Social Philosophy
    2. ii. Two Theories of the Nature of Society
    3. iii. How Men Behave in Groups
    4. iv. Pre-Requisites of Genuine Community
    5. v. Prospects of Community
  10. Social Change
    1. i. Some Idealist Theories
    2. ii. Economic Determinism
    3. iii. Commentary
  11. Metaphysics
    1. i. Is Metaphysics Possible?
    2. ii. Parity of Mind and Matter
    3. iii. Idealism
    4. iv. Materialism
    5. v. The Influence of Biology
  12. Conclusions
    1. i. Conclusions Thus Far
    2. ii. Time
    3. iii. Mysticism
  13. The Practical Upshot
Appendix: Suggestions for Reading Philosophy

The Author

"My childhood, which lasted some twenty-five years, was moulded chiefly by the Suez Canal, Abbotsholme, and Balliol. Since those days I have attempted several careers, in each case escaping before the otherwise inevitable disaster. First, as a schoolmaster, I swotted up Bible stories on the eve of the scripture lesson. Then, in a Liverpool shipping office, I spoiled bills of lading, and in Port Said I innocently let skippers have more coal than they needed. Next I determined to create an Educated Democracy. Workington miners, Barrow riveters, Crewe railway-men, gave me a better education than I could give them. Since then two experiences have dominated me: philosophy, and the tragic disorder of our whole terrestrial hive. After a belated attack on academic philosophy, I wrote a couple of books on philosophical subjects and several works of fantastic fiction dealing with the career of mankind. One of them, Last and First Men, is in this series."

Mr. Stapledon is also the author of A Modern Theory of Ethics, Last Men in London, Waking World, Odd John, Star Maker.

Chapter 1

What Philosophy is

SHALL I live for ever? What am I? Am I free or a machine? Is there a God? Is the universe such that the good must ultimately prevail? What is good, anyhow? What is the right relation between an individual and society? What ought we to do with our lives? What does "ought " really mean? What is life all about?

A man's first approach to philosophy is often due to the hope of finding clear answers to such questions. A high official of the Indian Government once said to me, " The whole aim of philosophy should be to discover whether human beings live again after death. If they don't, this life itself is not worth living."

I hold that my friend was mistaken both as to the importance of human survival and as to the function of philosophy. Yet he was right in one respect. Philosophy should have some bearing on the actual needs of human beings. It should help us to live, to adjust our behaviour more appropriately to the actual universe in which we find ourselves. My friend was wrong only in believing that the sole function of philosophy was to solve a certain question of fact; he was right in holding that philosophy should have some concrete result.

Philosophy is a way of life. It is not simply an intellectual discipline. Of course a rigorous intellectual discipline is included in philosophy; but no matter how rigorous, no matter how subtle and conscientious, intellectual activity alone is not by itself philosophy, in the fullest sense of that ambiguous but important word. Philosophy is an attitude taken up by the mind in relation to its whole world; a mental tone or temper which should affect the whole of a man’s practical living, giving it a sanity, a coherence, a constancy of direction, which it could not otherwise have. Philosophy, according to the original Greek meaning of the word and its common English usage, is the love or the pursuit of wisdom, and wisdom involves action. A man who knew everything and did nothing about it would be no philosopher. Inevitably philosophical contemplation points beyond itself. It suggests an attitude to life, a mode of behaviour appropriate in beings such as ourselves, faced with a universe such as ours; or as ours is tentatively judged to be when we have learnt to see it from the point of view of the informed and cautious philosophical intelligence.

The sense in which I am using the word "philosophy" is not the only important sense ill which it is used. The very influential modern school of philosophers known as the Logical Positivists give the word a much more restricted sense. They mean by it a purely intellectual discipline, and an intellectual discipline of a very special sort. They divide traditional philosophy into two parts, one of which they call "metaphysics" and the other "philosophy." Their starting-point is the contention that no sentence has any meaning at all unless it can be verified in sense-experience. (Or, if it cannot actually be verified, at least we must know what kind of sense-experience would verify it.) They then argue that most of what is commonly known as philosophy is in this sense meaningless verbiage, which unfortunately seems to have meaning. This they call "metaphysics." In their view the question whether external objects exist when no one is perceiving them is meaningless. All questions about the "reality" of the physical world, or about the "reality" of the mind, all questions about a "hidden reality" behind our experience, all questions about the "objective reality" of good and evil, are meaningless and "metaphysical," since they pretend to refer to something which' cannot be verified in sense-experience. On the other hand, questions of fact which can be verified in sense-experience are questions not for philosophy but for science, and must be settled by careful observation and experiment. Philosophy, according to the Logical Positivists, is concerned solely with the logical analysis of thinking, or rather of correct thinking. It is not concerned with any matter of fact, but solely with the correct form and scope and limitations of thinking about any kind of facts whatever. Readers who wish at once to gain an understanding of the point of view of the Logical Positivists should study the following three small books: A. J, Ayer's Language, Truth and Logic, Rudolph Carnap's The Unity of Science, and his Philosophy and Logical Syntax.

In this book I shall not use the word "philosophy" in this restricted sense, but in the traditional sense. In the course of my survey I shall often refer to the theories of Logical Positivism, which constitutes one of the main growing-points of modern thought; but for reasons which I shall later explain I do not accept without qualification the fundamental contention about the difference between sense and nonsense. Consequently I shall not begin by throwing overboard almost the whole of traditional philosophy. But in dealing with each of the traditional subjects I shall try to consider the matter in the light of the arguments which the Logical Positivists have brought to bear on it.

Philosophy, then, for the purpose of this book, is the pursuit of wisdom. The philosophical motive is the will to understand one's experience as a whole, and to act accordingly. Sheer intellectual inquisitiveness is not the sole motive of philosophy. No doubt it does playa very important part in philosophical exploration. It affords the hand-to-mouth interest and relish. It turns intellectual toil into an adventure. But behind it must lie the genuine philosophical spirit itself, the will for sane and enlightened action in relation to the actual world.

Even if a man happens to be by profession an academic philosopher, who has to devote his main energy to minute logical analysis, he must do so, if he is to be a genuine philosopher, not for curiosity alone, nor yet for bread and butter alone, but because this course seems, when all is taken into account, to be demanded by his experience as a whole. That is, for him with his special powers, it seems. the wise course to undertake, not merely for self-interest but as a member of the human community.

Though philosophy does not' end with intellectual activity, absolute intellectual integrity must be the philosopher's working ideal. It is true that intellect is in origin the handmaid of practical need. It is true, and immensely important, that all but the simplest intellectual activity is swayed unwittingly by personal needs and social needs, which determine what must seem plausible and what not. But however difficult the enterprise, intellect must strive to bring such needs fully into consciousness; and, when they are irrelevant, must try to discount their influence. While the mind is seeking intellectual truth, it must so far as possible avoid being swayed by any desire other than the desire for truth, It must beware of accepting theories merely for their pleasantness, or merely for their unpleasantness. In this sense at least, whatever the precise meaning of troth, it must seek truth for truth's sake alone. But since truth is infinitely complex, and life is brief, a man must perforce choose which regions of truth he will explore, and which he will merely note from afar. And if his aim is genuinely philosophical, his choice will be controlled not merely by intellectual curiosity but by the will to discover and practise the way of life which is most reasonable when everything relevant is taken into account.

In some circles which claim to be progressive it is fashionable to despise philosophy as mere hair-splitting, without any reference to practical life. The charge is not wholly without foundation. The fault, however, has lain not with philosophy but with certain philosophers. For my part I am convinced that philosophy at its best really can provide something of very great importance to the individual and to society. It can in a sense tell us what life is about. I do not of course mean that it can say what the universe as a whole is about. In that connection it can make only tentative guesses, and suggest an appropriate humility. But it really can help a man to discover what, if the world and human nature are what they seem to be, is the most satisfactory aim for the individual and for the race.

But though philosophy can and should help us toward wisdom, it cannot do so if our minds are in any serious way damaged or warped. The will for wise action is very strictly conditioned by the circumstances of a man's life. And the extent to which that will can take effect on any whole society is also very strictly conditioned by circumstances.

There is some ground for saying that modern civilisation is peculiarly lacking in philosophy. It certainly has urgent need of it. Natural science has given us prodigious mechanical power. We have the physical means to make a happier and more vital world, yet we use our wealth and our skill largely for purposes that are trivial or actually destructive. Though we have power, we have not wisdom. But why have we not wisdom? No doubt as a race we lack it because as a species we have only half emerged from the brute. Very few of us, indeed, are capable of more than rare and precarious gleams of it. But there can be little doubt that, even with such limited powers as we have, we might in more favourable circumstances have been much saner and wiser than we are. The conditions of most men's lives are not favourable to philosophical contemplation and dispassionate judgment. Most of us have been brought up to prize only trivial ends; and most of us as adults have little energy to spare from the struggle for a living. Moreover, because our whole social order is insecure and haphazard, so that we are always dreading an economic crisis or a world war, it is difficult for us to see things with philosophical detachment.

Before we can begin, as a race, to practise wisdom, the widespread economic causes of anxiety, prejudice, and vindictiveness must be abolished. Not till the masses of the world's workers are freed from poverty and oppression and fear and the sense of futility will they be seriously influenced by the philosophical spirit. Where there is grave mental frustration philosophy cannot flourish. Courage and revolutionary fervour may occur, but not the philosophical will to see things whole and act appropriately. And in the last resort it is the masses that count. So long as the masses are incapable of the philosophical spirit, governments themselves, whether democratic or dictatorial, will also prove incapable of it.

If the philosophical spirit had been in control after the European War and during the two following decades, if Germany had been treated decently, if the League had been worked sincerely, the present breakdown of civilisation would never have happened. And to-day, though perhaps our most urgent need is for a radical and world-wide social change, and though it may be that this great change can be achieved only by revolutionary ardour; yet, even so, if the dispassionate philosophical spirit fails to play its tempering and enlightening part, revolution will after all give us only a new and more ruthless barbarism. No doubt the main crisis of our age is the social and political struggle between "Property" and the forces making for a more vital social order. No doubt this struggle mostly takes the form of a struggle between Fascism and Socialism. But underlying this conflict, and cutting right across it in a most bewildering fashion, there is a still deeper conflict which is difficult to name. Briefly it is the conflict between on the one side charity and reason, and on the other side morbid hate and unreason. So seductive, is this spirit that it often leads astray even those who believe themselves to be champions of charity and reason.

This book is written, then, in the conviction that for the founding of a civilised world we need not only revolutionary fervour but also philosophical breadth and depth of vision; and also in the belief that, besides the few who have time and aptitude for a detailed study of philosophy, many are now feeling the need to clarify their experience of the world as a whole, not merely for idle curiosity but for better orientation and action. Opposed to them are the hosts who fear thought as they fear poison, and are doing their best to destroy such power as the civilised intelligence still retains in the world.

I shall consider a number of great philosophical problems, but I shall do so with a special aim in view, namely to show their bearing on the philosophical spirit. I shall try to deal with each of these subjects with full academic conscientiousness, but necessarily I shall fall far short of academic thoroughness or completeness. Though I cannot explore every avenue that the discussion opens up, I shall at least attempt to point out problems that I have not time to investigate. In respect of each subject my aim will be not merely to reach a tentative conclusion, but more particularly to draw from the discussion some positive gain for the understanding of the philosophical spirit.

At the end of the book the reader will find, as an Appendix, a Guide to Reading Philosophy. This is meant to be read after the main body of the book, but some readers may choose to refer to the relevant part of the Appendix after reading each chapter.

I shall begin my survey of philosophy with the subject which my Anglo-Indian friend regarded as the supreme purpose of philosophy. The question of personal immortality is of interest to most human beings, and it is one which opens up many questions of a more distinctively philosophical type. I introduce it at this early stage not in the hope of reaching definite conclusions but to illustrate the philosophical method and the philosophical spirit.

Chapter 2

Example of Discussion: Personal Immortality

i. The Meaning of Immortality

BEFORE discussing our subject, let us be sure that we know what it is. First, let us distinguish between immortality and mere survival, whether for a short or a long period. Most of those who believe in survival probably also believe in immortality, or "eternal life"; but proof of survival is not necessarily proof of immortality in this sense, since survival of earthly death might conceivably be followed by a second and final death. On the other hand, proof of survival would certainly suggest immortality; since on the face of it, if we survive one death, we might reasonably expect to survive others.

But perhaps we are being too hasty. Perhaps we are using words which have really no intelligible meaning at all. The Logical Positivists roundly assert that this is so. The statement "A mind survives the death of its body" is one which, they say, cannot conceivably be verified in sense-experience; therefore it is strictly meaningless. In their view, as we have seen, no statement can have meaning unless it can at least in principle be verified in sense-experience. This is not the place to consider this claim in its general application. For the moment let us ask merely whether it makes nonsense of personal immortality.

Let us distinguish between conceiving merely that some sort of after-life occurs and conceiving what the content of that life really is. If its content is entirely non-sensory, all that we can conceive of it is that it consists of some kind of mental process, such as thinking, desiring, fearing, and so on. And it is not inconceivable that we should find evidence here and now, of an ordinary sensory type, suggesting that a particular mind, of known history and temperament, whose body is known to be dead, is communicating with us. The fact that we cannot conceive what kind of life he is leading "over there" does not detract from the significance of the statement that he, an identifiable mind, is now communicating with us.

What the plain man wants to know is whether, when he dies, he will "wake up" to find himself embarking on a new career, either with a new and lovely body or as a "disembodied spirit" What is the essential meaning of this last phrase? To be a disembodied spirit, a man would have to find himself still being aware, aware of something or other; though presumably not aware of the familiar world, and certainly not aware of the physical body which is central to all his experience in this world.

Some champions of modern science, more zealous than intelligent, affirm that this is inconceivable, not, indeed, for purely logical reasons but because it violates the laws of contemporary science. For awareness of every kind, they say, is dependent on a physical body, and the perception of any kind of world whatever involves sense organs. The answer to this is simple and final. Even though I may not believe in the existence of disembodied spirits, I can certainly conceive what it would be like to be a disembodied spirit, at any rate in this world. For instance, I might, as a disembodied spirit, simply perceive all that I now perceive of this world except my body, except the mass of visible and touchable characters which now constitute my body. I can even conceive myself to have the power of moving objects in the physical world although had no body. There is nothing inconceivable in my causing my pen to write though I had no hand to hold it. Or rather, if this is properly to be called inconceivable, so is the familiar act of causing my hand itself to write. In neither case can I conceive why such an event should happen, but in both I can quite well conceive the happening.

To be a disembodied spirit, then, a man would have to be aware of events of some kind happening. Presumably he would also have to play some part in determining the course of events. Those who demand a life after death would not be content with a completely passive, inactive existence.

In saying that the disembodied spirit must be aware of events we have admitted that its experience must be temporal, must be of events happening "in time." Though the plain man vaguely thinks of his future life as in some sense or other "in eternity," he does not intend a timeless, static eternity, but rather an endless temporal process. He does not expect a changeless existence, but one which is as much alive with movement as his experience in this world. Indeed, a kind of experience which was not thus qualified by time which was not aware of passage, would be quite inconceivable to us, save in the most abstract manner. It may be that beings more developed than ourselves might experience "supratemporally"; but so far as we are concerned experience in its very nature involves temporal passage.

In desiring a future life a man assumes that such a life will be at least in part comprehensible to him. It will not be a completely unintelligible chaos. However different the other world from this world, he must sooner or later find his feet in it. Either it must be sufficiently like this world for him to learn his way about in it without any radical change in his own nature; or, if it is utterly different from the familiar world, he must wake up in it to find himself already equipped with the necessary knowledge and skill to cope with it.

Something else, of great importance, is implied in the idea of immortality or of survival. If a man is to live after death, the other life must be not merely a life but his life. In some sense, when he wakes he must recognise his identity with the self that lived on earth. He must therefore carry over into the new life at least some memories of the old life.

Indeed, if the life after death is to satisfy his present demands .of it, it must allow human beings to carry beyond the grave a good deal of their earthly experience. For amongst a man's chief motives for desiring immortality is the hope of meeting again in the other world human beings whom he has loved in this world.

Clearly this demand not merely for consciousness but for personal identity in the other world involves something more than the carrying over of memory from this life. Personal character also must be preserved. A man and his friends must be able to recognise one another as having essentially the same familiar, well-loved natures that they had on earth. They may of course be greatly changed, and even, in a limited sense, "perfected"; but they must not be improved beyond all recognition. Certainly they must not be so magnified spiritually as to be entirely superhuman. Their temper, their tastes, their whole mode of behaviour, must somehow remain recognisable.

This raises a difficulty. On earth we express ourselves to one another by physical means. We talk and laugh and kiss. A man who demands survival for himself and his friends may be too sophisticated to believe that people in the other world have bodies. He may have sorrowfully resigned all hope of going to bed with his dearest after death. He may perhaps be a bit of a puritan and feel, poor fool, that such behaviour would somehow be improper in heaven. He would as soon think of doing it in church. But even if he resigns all physical intercourse, he must at least be permitted some other medium of communication; otherwise survival must be a mockery. Probably he vaguely postulates some kind of direct contact of mind with mind, some intimate feeling of the other's thoughts, emotions, and desires. But thoughts and desires must have some "content" They must be about something or other. If their subject-matter is not physical it must be something else. Even if this something else is itself mental, even if the thinking is just about thoughts and desires, those thoughts and desires themselves must have some content, must be about something other than themselves; and if this content is not physical, or embodied in physical characters, it must at least be embodied in some characters other than those of mentality itself. If the disembodied spirit is to be more than repetitive memory of earthly experiences, it must have some kind of environment, physical or else non-physical and to us inconceivable.

ii. Emotional Influence on Thought About Immortality

Since I have already referred to some of the desires which determine the concept of immortality, this is perhaps a convenient place to consider the part played by desire in actual beliefs on this subject.

It is well known that desire is apt to distort our reasoning and influence our belief. The fact that a man desires immortality is itself no reason for disbelief, but it should put him specially on his guard against believing with insufficient evidence.

Probably the majority of human beings, when they think about the subject at all, do desire immortality. The prospect of annihilation is an offence to the universally strong motive of self-regard, the desire for the continuance and success of the active personality. And it is an offence to our love of other individuals.

Now clearly a man who is much influenced by these motives should be specially on his guard against a too-ready acceptance of the theory of human immortality. If he is aware of having these motives, it will be comparatively easy for him to counteract their influence. But unfortunately our believing is apt to be swayed much more by motives of which we have no clear cognisance than by those which come readily into the focus of attention. So at least we are told by our psychologists. Against these unconscious motives, it is said, reason is largely impotent. All a man can do, then, is to take note of the kind of motives which are considered to be common sources of unconscious prejudice, and to guard against these.

It is important to realise that, while many strong motives tend to produce an irrational belief in immortality, there are also motives which tend to have the opposite effect, leading to an irrational belief in the finality of death. One such motive is the fear of being irrationally swayed by the strong desire for immortality. Allied to this is the fear of being associated with sentimental, soft, or respectable ideas. This motive is quite as irrelevant to the problem as those on the other side, and a far more subtle snare, particularly for some members of the intelligentsia. For every irrational emotive influence on the one side there is an opposed irrational emotive influence on the other. For every taboo there is an opposite anti-taboo. If we should guard against being swayed by the one set of desires we should equally guard against the effect of the others.

iii. Arguments for Immortality

(a) The Argument from Desire

(b) The Argument from Intuition

(c) Arguments from the Importance of Personality

(d)The Epistemological Argument

(e) The Argument from the Unity of the Unconscious

(f) The Argument from Spiritistic Phenomena

We can now consider the main arguments for and against personal immortality. Let us begin with those that support it.

(a) The Argument from Desire — Some hold that the widespread desire for immortality is itself a valid reason for believing that we are in fact immortal. The champions of this theory point out that many of our desires presuppose the existence of their objects. Thus the desire for food would never have occurred had there not, throughout the evolutionary past, been food available for eating; and similarly the desire for companionship presupposes the existence of other persons in relation with whom the social impulses could gradually evolve. In some such manner, it is suggested, the desire for immortality presupposes the fact that we are immortal. We should never, it is said, have conceived the desire for immortality had we not been fashioned to be immortal, had not immortality been demanded to complete our mortal nature.

To such arguments the answer is simple. If we accept the theory of evolution, we must certainly admit that our desire for food is in part the product of past eatings and past food. But my desire for food does not prove the existence of food now and in the future. It proves, not that a royal banquet is being prepared for me to-morrow, but that some sort of food, probably very unpalatable to my modern taste, was available to my sub-human ancestors. In the same way, though the desire for companionship is certainly in part a product of the relations between individuals in past ages, it constitutes no proof that for all individuals ideal companions are available to-day or will be available in the future. Similarly the desire for immortality, which is but a form of the desire for life, indefinitely prolonged, is simply an expression of the opportunity which permitted our ancestors to live and breed. The analogy between the desire for immortality and the desire for food or for companionship is not exact. A closer analogy would be with the desire for a sumptuous and endless banquet or an ecstatic and eternal sexual embrace. These desires do not imply, each of them, a unique factor, calling for some special explanation. They are merely pathological developments of the cravings for food and sex.

Another argument based on desire is pragmatic. It is first admitted that in the present state of knowledge immortality is not susceptible of logical or scientific proof. But it is argued that the truth of an idea is constituted in the last analysis by its usefulness in the enterprise of living, and that the idea of immortality is extremely useful, and therefore true. Human beings are such, it is said, that they live most fully in this life if they believe in a life to come.

The pragmatic theory of truth must be considered at a later stage. Let us for the moment accept the pragmatist's contention that we ought to mean by "truth" simply the practical serviceableness of ideas, or that the truth of an idea is constituted by its being a means to successful life. Even so, it is far from certain that the belief in immortality is such a salutary idea as it is claimed to be. It is arguable that the belief in another life has on the whole distracted men's attention from this life, has tended to make them less, not more, aware of the potentialities of this life; less, not more, sensitive to the reality of their fellow human beings. In spite of moral exhortation and the belief in reward and punishment in another world, the practical effect of the hope of immortality has often been to make them regard this life as in itself worthless, as something to be got through with as little trouble as is compatible with keeping the traditional moral rules that are supposed to ensure a happy life hereafter. I do not, of course, suggest that this is invariably the effect of the belief in an after life. Sometimes, undoubtedly, faith in immortality has been beneficial.

On the whole, then, so far is the belief in immortality from being plainly a salutary belief, that many have come to regard it as positively harmful to the proper growth of the mind. Only in the phase of mental adolescence, they say, a phase which most people never outgrow, does the persistence of human individuality seem an important matter. With maturity the mind should come to realise that the kind of fulfilment implied in human nature is not personal immortality but a brief participation in the co-operative venture of the race. So far is it from being true that we are "fashioned for immortality," that the desire for immortality is merely a by-product of an imperfectly developed phase of human nature. The belief in immortality, they say, prevents the mind from emancipating itself from values which are essentially puerile. Though on the whole I agree with this opinion, I shall not here defend it. I mention it only to show that the pragmatic argument for immortality is far from convincing. A similar but contrary argument might with at least equal force be used by the opposition.

(b) The Argument from Intuition — Some insist that they know intuitively that they are immortal. A personal being, they say, has only to look intently into its own nature and experience to recognise that such a being is necessarily indestructible, and that no intellectual argument against immortality can shake the certainty of that intuition.

Their position is unassailable, but their truth is in- communicable. If they really have such an experience, if it is as precise and unmistakable as they claim, they are justified in brushing argument aside. Men with sound eyes need not concern themselves with the arguments of blind men to prove that seeing cannot occur. But it is impossible for those who see to tell those who were born blind what seeing is. Only on one condition can the vision of those who "see" their own immortality have any public significance. Let us pursue the analogy of the blind. They would be very foolish if they were to believe that seeing did not occur, for it must be clear to them that those who claim to have sight are in many ways much more capable than those who have it not. Some kind of power, then, they must seem to themselves to lack. And if those who claim intuitive knowledge of immortality show by their conduct that they must have some capacity lacking in the rest of us, we must take their claim seriously. I have already said that I can discover no good evidence that as a class the believers in immortality are more successful or virtuous or even more happy than those who lack this belief.

The analogy of the blind will help us in another way. Even though the born-blind have reason to believe that normal men have a power lacking in themselves, they would be very unwise if they were to believe every account of the world revealed by vision, or every story of a ghostly apparition. Similarly in the case of the supposed intuition of immortality, even if those who claim to have it do have some kind of experience with- held from the rest of us, it by no means follows that their intellectual interpretation of that experience is true. And since these intuitive believers in immortality are generally also ardent desirers of immortality, it is reasonable to suspect that their unverifiable interpretation of their incommunicable experience is influenced by their strong desire.

We must not, however, reject the evidence of the seeming intuition of immortality as simply worthless. It is often held with conviction by persons who are very far from puerile, who are highly developed in sensibility toward the more subtle aspects of human consciousness. Unbiased reading of the literature of mysticism suggests that the great company of the mystics cannot simply have suffered from delusions born of unconscious craving. Rather, they seem to have perceived something of overwhelming majesty and beauty which completely defeated their powers of description. Inevitably they interpreted it in terms of their traditional culture, and believed that it gave assurance of the traditionally most precious things, namely God and personal immortality. It may well be doubted whether, if they had not assumed that these were supremely desirable, the ineffable experience would have seemed to guarantee them. Indeed, many mystics, particularly in the East, refrain from claiming that their experience guarantees personal immortality. Instead they emphasise the necessity of personal annihilation by absorption in the infinite spirit. We may therefore reasonably suspect that the personalistic interpretations of some western mystics need not be taken as true in a literal sense. Perhaps the only inference from the fact of mystical experience should be that, however ephemeral the finite personality, in some sense mind or spirit is basic to the universe. But such a conviction, which is extremely vague and very far from certain, has little bearing on the plain man's desire for everlasting prolongation of his familiar personal self.

(c) Arguments from the Importance of Personality — Some find it incredible that such important things as human persons should be inconsequently and finally snuffed out by merely physical accidents such as disease, old age, or violence.

Believers in immortality often contend that human persons, in spite of all their faults, are essentially, or at any rate potentially, such good things that a universe or God that allowed them to be annihilated at death would be guilty of gross stupidity and wastefulness in the working out of the universal plan. And this they refuse to believe. On the score of injustice also, God or the universe would have to be condemned. In this life, it is said, some of us have much more pleasure than we deserve, others much more distress. Clearly another life is needed to redress the balance. A similar argument may be based on charity. If God is good, it may be said, he must act lovingly toward his creatures. He cannot be good unless the millions of frustrated and tormented persons receive comfort in eternity.

Yet another variety of the argument is based on our experienced need for personal fulfilment. Even the most fortunate of us are imperfect creatures; and all of us, it is said, strive wittingly or unwittingly for perfection, for fulfilment of our mental and spiritual capacities. In this life we never achieve perfection. Therefore we must be given another opportunity hereafter.

This form of the argument could not be fully considered without discussing the meaning of perfection in relation to personality. Such a discussion I shall later undertake. Meanwhile it is enough to note that the idea of personal development toward an ideal limit of perfection is quite intelligible. Such development may be abstractly and summarily described as growth in accuracy of awareness of the universe and the self, in appropriateness of action, and also in creativity of action, a vague phrase which I shall explain in the course of discussing Personality.

All these arguments for immortality assume that the extinction of human persons is for one reason or another incompatible with the goodness of the universe or the moral perfection of God. This is not the place to discuss the question as to whether the universe is in any sense good, or whether there is any reason to believe it to be controlled by a good God, or the more fundamental question as to the meaning of "good" Let us for the present assume that the universe is good, or that a good God controls it, and that the word "good" has a single, essential, and objective meaning. But let us consider whether these assumptions do imply human immortality.

The defenders of this theory seem to overlook two possibilities. The first is that in respect of intrinsic goodness and instrumental importance human persons may be of a very low order in comparison with other things in the universe. It may be that to condemn the universe (or God) for not allowing immortality to men would seem to superhuman beings as foolish as to condemn it for not allowing immortality to fleas. We are able to accept the mortality of fleas because we are not impressed by their intrinsic goodness and their cosmical importance, whereas we are impressed by our own. The assumption that man is of the highest order of importance seems to be based on nothing but lack of imagination. Of course mere physical immensity and subtlety do not themselves constitute intrinsic goodness in the universe. But if we claim intrinsic goodness for human persons we must recognise that the physical immensity and subtlety of the universe do suggest, and do offer scope for, beings incomparably more developed than human persons. The human race is rooted in a very minute fraction of the whole universe, and it is possible, even probable, that the rest contains modes of life which excel us in mental lucidity as man excels the amoeba. In face of this possibility it seems comically foolish to claim that if human minds are annihilated at death the universe cannot be very good, or its creator righteous.

The second possibility which the religious defenders of immortality overlook is that the nature of the human individual should after all not be such as to be capable of fulfilment by personal immortality. It seems probable that everything characteristic of a particular human individual, everything that distinguishes him from other individuals, is in some sense conditioned by his inheritance and his environment. Apart from the effects of inheritance and environment he is nothing but a completely abstract and undifferentiated psychical capacity, a capacity for knowing — feeling — striving in some manner. The actual detailed way in which he does so must depend on his body and his world. It follows that any kind of perfection or fulfilment possible to him must be fulfilment in a world essentially identical with this world. In heaven, in any conceivable heaven, he could no more find fulfilment than a cut flower in a vase can find fruition, or a fish translated into the stratosphere could find happiness.

We have raised a fundamental question about the nature of human individuality, and one which we must consider more carefully at a later stage. Is a man to be thought of more truly as a distinct and self-complete spirit or "ego" which in any environment, in any world, would remain the same identical "thing" or "substance," no matter what accretions of experience were to be added to it? Or is he more truly to be thought of as an expression of and a factor in something bigger than himself? Is his office in the cosmos some- thing like that of a musical phrase, the function of which is not to be prolonged, or even to be developed, for ever, but to fulfil a part in the music and in due season vanish? If this is the true view, then the only perfection possible to him is the perfect fulfilment of his part in the whole, in the " music " of human life. But is there any such music of human life, and if so what is its true style and tenor? Once more we raise, but must not yet discuss, fundamental questions.

If the human individual is essentially an expression of his world, the demand for personal immortality is beside the mark. Whatever the truth about him, it is surely preposterous to argue that if we have not personal immortality the universe, or its creator, stands condemned. I ask myself, " Supposing I am doomed to unfulfilment and annihilation, is the universe therefore less than perfect, or God's nature therefore blemished?" And I answer without hesitation, "Of course not." My brevity and unfulfilment may actually be a factor in a perfection that is achieved, so to speak, over my head. Then I ask myself, "If immortality is denied to those most dear to me, and some are very dear, is the universe, and is God, condemned?" Once more the answer is, "Of course not." And what if no persons are immortal and ultimately perfected? Is the universe therefore one whit less good than it might be? Of course not. It is enough that persons, with all their imperfections, should occur, that they should achieve such dim and ephemeral lucidity as they do achieve. Such wealth and glory of existence as does actually happen before our eyes is enough, and is perhaps also an earnest of glories inconceivable to man.

It may be objected that although this view may satisfy those who are happy in this life, the vast host of the grievously frustrated will reject it with scorn. If they do not receive compensation hereafter, they may well spurn the universe.

Well, I ask myself as sincerely as I can, " Do I really demand that the universe should treat human individuals with charity, or even with justice?" The answer is emphatically "No!" When my mind is in the state which I cannot but recognise as its most lucid state, I do not demand charity or justice even for my friends. I crave them, but I do not demand them as a condition of my approval of the universe. Something I do demand, but this is irrelevant to the present discussion.

The champion of immortality may reply, "You are blind. You are insensitive to the distresses of your fellow human beings, and to the necessity that love should be supreme. If the universe, or the deity that rules it, lacks charity, it is contemptible. And it is not contemptible. In my heart I know that God is good. Therefore we are immortal."

Here we seem to come on a direct conflict of intuitions, of immediate, unreasoned valuations. Each party "in his most lucid state" condemns the valuation of the other. Is there any way of deciding the issue? Not, I think, till we have discussed the whole question of intuition and reason; and not till we have enquired whether there is any means of judging the relative lucidity of minds.

Meanwhile, about the argument for immortality based on the importance of human individuals we may conclude as follows. It depends on two assumptions, namely that the universe is good, or ruled by a good God, and that such goodness necessarily involves human immortality. The first assumption we have not discussed; but even if it is in some sense true, there is at least grave doubt whether the second assumption is justified.

(d) The Epistemological Argument — Some philosophers hold that nothing, other than minds themselves, can exist save as an experience in some mind. Consciousness, they say, is the very stuff of which the universe is made. Matter is but a mode of the experience of personal minds. Matter depends on mind, they say, for its existence. It is simply a form of mind's experience. Mind, they are convinced, does not depend on matter. The destruction of the mere body does not bring destruction to the mind.

The doctrine that matter is just a form of our experience, and that to be is to be perceived, will be discussed in due course. For the present let us suppose it to be true, and let us consider its bearing on immortality.

The doctrine implies only that for the universe to continue after my physical death some mind or minds must survive. It is quite compatible with the theory that henceforth the universe consists of the perceptions of my survivors, and that successive generations of short-lived minds will keep it in being.

On one condition alone has the doctrine any bearing on my immortality, namely that I am the sole mind. According to this theory, called Solipsism, my experience is all there is. Other minds are mere figments of my mind. Solipsism, though very unplausible, seems to be strictly irrefutable. What is its relation to immortality? When, within the universe of my experience, the bodies of other persons cease to exist, their minds also cease to exist, since they no longer play any part in my experience. Indeed, they never really existed at all as centres of experience, for according to the theory I am the sole centre of experience. On the other hand, if my own body were to cease to exist, I, the sole mind, would not therefore cease; for my body (in this theory) is only a figment of my mind.

Clearly the only sort of immortality which Solipsism permits is very far from satisfying the common desire of the plain man who wants to live "hereafter."

(e) The Argument from the Unity of the Unconscious — Some believe that, though consciously we are distinct from one another, "below the threshold of consciousness" we are all one deathless mind. In this view our conscious personalities are all expressions of the common racial mind, or perhaps of the universal mind. They are said to be like islands which, though distinct above the water-level, are united in the sea-bottom. Those who accept this theory claim sometimes that it assures us of immortality. When we die, they say, we are not mentally extinguished. All that is extinguished is our insularity, our separateness from one another.

Without discussing the merits of the theory itself, let us consider its relation to immortality.

According to the theory, when a man dies, he "wakes up" to find that he is the common mind. What a waking it must be! Presumably he comes into possession of all the conscious experience of all individuals, and also of their "unconscious experience" in virtue of which they constitute a single mind, though unwittingly. In fact, when our friend dies he is going to have the shock of his life, for he will find himself being at once himself and everyone else, and something infinitely more than all of them together, namely the common mind of which they are all normally unconscious. It may reasonably be questioned whether there is any sense in saying that he, the lamented human individual, has survived his death. For he has become something fantastically different from what he was. He has become his neighbour and his enemy and all the swarms of Asia, and presumably all past generations also. To give him such immortality is to annihilate him.

(f) The Argument from Spiritistic Phenomena — I have thus far considered arguments that derive personal immortality either from the nature of personality itself or from its relation to an essentially good universe. Not one of these arguments carries much weight. It is now time to consider an argument of a very different kind, one which is rather scientific than philosophical, since it is based on the careful examination of evidence.

From time immemorial some have claimed that they have actually communicated with the spirits of the dead. In our own day many persons whose honesty and intelligence are above question are convinced that we do receive messages from the living dead, either by direct personal intercourse or through the help of some "medium," someone gifted with special sensitivity in relation to "the other world."

Much very skilled and conscientious work has been done in this field by the Society for Psychical Research. As I have had no personal experience of it I shall not attempt to criticise its technique. Some of those who have thorough knowledge of the work are men whose integrity and shrewdness seem to me to guarantee the authenticity of any evidence that passes their scrutiny. I therefore accept the data that they offer. But I do not necessarily accept their interpretations of it.

Let us consider what sort of evidence is necessary to establish the claim that the spirits of the dead sometimes communicate with us. It must be such as we cannot more plausibly explain on any other theory than that of human survival. The established principles of science must be shown to be incapable of explaining it.

Further, the evidence on which we base our belief in survival must have a specially high degree of cogency. Theories which fit naturally into the general system of our knowledge need less cogent evidence than theories which cannot be thus accommodated. For example, less cogent evidence is needed to prove that a man has normal ocular vision than to prove that he can see with his stomach.

To prove human survival, then, we must have very cogent evidence that the minds of persons known before they died are still in some manner having intercourse with us after their death. Events must happen in our experience which very strongly suggest that an intelligent mind is expressing itself through them; and, further, that no mind now alive on earth in the normal manner, but only the mind of the person known to be dead, could have expressed itself in that way.

In passing judgment we must guard against the influence of desire (for and against) in ourselves and others; fraud; ambiguity in the evidence; explanation in terms of inadequate, over-simple concepts.

Professor C. D. Broad has personally examined much of the evidence. In his book, The Mind and its Place in Nature, he discusses its significance, and suggests a very interesting conclusion. I cannot do better than summarise the verdict of this eminent and very clear-headed philosopher.

The most impressive evidence is of the type called "cross correspondence." Imagine a number of mediums or automatic writers in different localities, all working for a long time without communicating with one another. Suppose that their scripts, though individually fragmentary and unintelligible, are found to fit together to make sense. Suppose that the sense is in some unmistakable manner characteristic of a particular mind that has ceased living the normal life. It might, for instance, convey information known only to the dead person, and subsequently verified by carrying out instructions contained in his spiritistic messages themselves. This would be strong evidence of his survival.

A vast amount of work of this kind has been done, but the upshot is far from clear. It is difficult enough to eliminate fraud, but still more difficult to eliminate the possibility that the source of the messages was the unconscious telepathic influence of living minds. By "telepathic" influence is meant any kind of direct influence of mind on mind without the aid of the senses. (In passing we may note that the degree of cogency needed to prove telepathy, though high, is not so high as that needed to prove survival.) On the other hand, as Professor Broad points out, the fact that so many mediumistic messages purport to come from the dead and not from the living is more intelligible if the main source of them is the "other world." But again, the fact that the investigators themselves are chiefly interested in evidence for survival may incline the medium to interpret his experiences in terms of survival.

Unfortunately, the evidence is seldom straightforward. Its significance has generally to be discovered by means of ingenious interpretations of matter which, on its face-value, is worthless. We know very well that with sufficient skill it is possible to discover in any complicated text almost any hidden meaning that we will. The Bacon-Shakespeare controversy and the wilder dream-interpretations of the psychoanalysts should give us pause. When we bear this in mind the empirical evidence for survival is far from convincing.

All the same, to the unprejudiced mind that has tried to take everything relevant into account, it does seem probable that mediumistic phenomena are caused partly by influences of some kind as yet unrecognised by any of our sciences. Such at least is the tentative verdict of Professor Broad. But the most interesting part of his verdict is this. He finds no reliable evidence to suggest that the dead live on as experiencing minds, capable of actual desiring, thinking, and purposefully communicating with us; yet he does find evidence that, when a man has died, some traces of his past experiencing, of his memories, may persist and be picked up by living mediums, much as the letters that the man once wrote may be picked up and read by his survivors. These persistent traces must not be regarded as constituting an actual experiencing mind; for of actual conscious process on the part of the dead there is, in Professor Broad's view, no evidence. But also these traces are seemingly not merely physical, since distance appears to make no difference to the ease with which they are recovered by the medium.

Readers of Mr. A. W. Osborn's recent very interesting book, The Superphysical, may feel that I have grossly under-estimated the evidence for the survival of conscious personalities. In his view the case is abundantly proved, and Professor Broad's theory is unnecessary. Mr. Osborn's evidence is certainly very striking. But to accept it as proof of human survival (in the ordinary simple sense) is in my view hasty. In fact, the upshot of the book in my mind is, not to make me feel that survival is proved, but to confirm my opinion that in "mediumistic phenomena" we touch upon the fringe of a vast area of possible experience for the understanding of which we have as yet no adequate concepts.

Whether Broad's theory of the "psychic factor" is true or not, it is of interest because it attempts to solve the very obscure problem not by a plain yes or no, but by the invention of a new concept to fit the evidence. It is, after all, extremely probable that man's questions about his destiny as an individual are wrongly and far too simply stated, and that in their present form they admit of no true answer, one way or the other. Probably the question, "Do we survive death?" is as misconceived as the question, "Which came first, a hen or an egg?" This, of course, is quite an intelligible question; but those who accept the theory of biological evolution can see that it entirely misses the mark. The same may turn out to be true of survival.

So far as the plain man's plain question about his survival is answerable at all by reference to such phenomena, it must, if Professor Broad is right, be answered in the negative. For the survival of mere memory traces is very different from the kind of survival which is demanded by the plain man who wants to survive.

I have now glanced at all the main arguments for survival and immortality known to me, and they have been shown to open up a large number of philosophical questions, some of which I shall consider in due course. Meanwhile it should be noted that whenever such a question arose I assumed, for argument's sake, that it could be answered in a sense favourable to personal immortality, and proceeded to enquire whether, even so, immortality was credible. The upshot seems to be that, though some of the arguments deserve serious consideration, none of them is at all weighty. It is now time to discuss the arguments against personal immortality.

iv. Arguments Against Immortality

(a) Alleged Overcrowding of the Other World

(b) The Problem of Animal Immortality

(c) The Argument from Man's Insignificance

(d)The Argument from Mind's Dependence on Body

(a) Alleged Overcrowding of the Other World — Most of the arguments against personal immortality are even less convincing than those in favour of it. Some of them can be dismissed in a few words. To begin with the silliest, we are sometimes told that if all human beings who ever lived on earth live for ever in the other world, that world must be scandalously over-populated This argument will appeal only to the very simple whose idea of the other world is closely tied to their idea of this world. There is no reason to restrict the capacity of the other world in anyway, if one can believe in it at all. The relation between this world and the other might be like the relation between the area of the cross-section of a telegraph wire and its total surface. If we like, we may stipulate that the wire shall be very long. Let it stretch from the earth to the most distant star, and back again; and let it cover this distance an infinite number of times. And anyhow, since the other world is presumably not spatial at all, the idea of overcrowding seems to be entirely meaningless in relation to it.

Such force as this argument has is really emotional. By insisting on the multiplicity of human beings, those who disparage human individuality seek to embarrass those who prize it as unique and precious.

(b) The Problem of Animal Immortality — A rather more impressive objection to immortality may be stated as follows. Either human beings alone are immortal, or animals also. The former possibility seems unplausible in view of modem biological knowledge, which suggests that the difference between men and the higher animals, though great, is not fundamental. On the other hand, if some non-human animals are immortal, where is the line to be drawn between the immortal animals and those that perish utterly? One way out of the difficulty is to say that not only men and the higher animals but all living things are immortal, even down to the most ephemeral bugs and bacilli. Many believers in immortality are revolted by this possibility, and find it quite incredible. This is sheer prejudice, derived from man's desire to preserve his aristocratic privileges to himself alone.

(c) The Argument from Man's Insignificance — Another objection to human immortality is based on the petty nature of man himself. In such a vast universe as ours, it is said, there can be no cherishing of so minute and ephemeral a thing as a human individual. The births of men and the lives of men are fortuitous and negligible consequences, we are told, of "mighty forces" which plainly have no concern for them. If any power or god cares for anything at all, he must find plenty to occupy himself, with, and plenty of much greater importance than the trivial spirits of human beings. This argument has no more weight than the,opposite argument, which claims to defend immortality on the score of man's importance. The more trivial man is, the more glory to his creator in providing him with eternal bliss.

We must remind ourselves, too, that physical minuteness in space and brevity in time are entirely irrelevant to the question of man's importance, save in so far as they suggest the possibility that the universe may harbour beings of much loftier mental stature than men. Minute and ephemeral as we are, we have no positive evidence that there are nobler beings than ourselves. If our world should happen to be after all the only mind-inhabited world in the cosmos, we should with some reason claim that the rest of the universe, a waste of mere space and fiery points, was entirely worthless in comparison with ourselves. But the possibility that ours are the sole minds in the cosmos is almost incredible. If there are others, perhaps far more developed than ourselves, it may, of course, be that we are negligible by-products of the cosmical process, and doomed to extinction; but equally it may be that they, and we also, are set in this world of space and time to fit ourselves for eternal life elsewhere.

(d) The Argument from Mind's Dependence on Body — Perhaps the strongest argument against personal immortality is that which is based on the observed relation of mind and body. Minds, it is insisted, are, essentially products of the neural and glandular events of a physical organism. No mind, therefore, can conceivably exist without the particular body that supports it. Now clearly, if minds are essentially body-dependent, immortality is impossible without the resurrection of the body, or its reduplication in another world.

In the next chapter I shall discuss the whole question of the relation of body and mind. Meanwhile I shall assume that the verdict of science favours the theory of the complete body-dependence of our minds. What are the implications of such a hypothetical scientific discovery? All the facts which science studies are derived from our experience of this world. All scientific laws are generalisations of mundane happenings. Have we any justification for believing that they hold good beyond the mundane sphere? So far as I can see, we have none whatever; except the negative reason that we have no reason to believe that they do not. It is conceivable that, though minds in the mundane sphere are dependent both for existence and character upon physical events, they become at death wholly emancipated from the physical. Logically, science might quite well succeed in proving that within the universe studied by science, minds are physically determined through and through; yet science might remain incapable of making any true statements whatever about any other sphere. Consequently, if there were any cogent positive reasons for believing in the existence of the "other world," and the continuance of our lives therein, the scientific argument based on mind's dependence on body in this world could not weaken them to any extent whatever.

v. Practical Upshot of This Chapter

What bearing has the foregoing discussion of personal immortality on philosophy, which we have defined as the love and the pursuit of wisdom?

Clearly, in the present state of human knowledge the problem of immortality cannot be solved. ''It depends on a great number of other problems which would have to be settled before we could affirm that human persons are immortal, or that they are not immortal. The most obvious of these problems is that of the nature of personality. Is a personal mind nothing but a sequence of mental events, or is it an enduring something, a spirit, which has the experiences? And what of the relation between body and mind? Is mind simply a product of body? Behind this lies the problem of the authority of natural science. What kind of authority is it, and how far does it extend? Can science secure any "inside information" about the nature of reality? And what is the status of the external world in relation to the mind that perceives and studies it? Is body, and the physical universe, a product of mind?

Behind this problem again lies the more general problem of the nature of knowledge. Is our knowledge ever what we mean it to be, an apprehension of the actual nature of reality? Or is all intellectual enterprise doomed to failure? And is there perhaps some other kind of knowledge, which is not subject to the disabilities of intellect, and which apprehends and enters into its object intuitively? The problem of ethics also was raised in our discussion, for we had to consider the "importance" of personality. Is "good" an objective character which simply belongs or does not belong to things? Or is objective goodness an illusion caused by the pleasurableness of things which favour our activities? And is there any reason to believe that good and bad are in any sense relevant to discussions about the universe as a whole?

These are some of the problems raised by our enquiry. Clearly the discussion of immortality has effectively served to open up the whole subject of philosophy. But short of solving all the questions that have been raised, can we reach any tentative conclusions, or must we preserve a completely open mind?

It seems that the balance of such evidence as we have discussed is on the whole against the survival and immortality of human persons as recognisably identical experiencing minds. There is no clear and cogent evidence that they do survive in any sense relevant to the demand for personal immortality; and there is some not wholly worthless evidence that renders their survival somewhat improbable.

But this almost entirely negative result should not be regarded as the final outcome of our discussion. In conclusion I shall summarise what seems to me the true line of mental advance in respect of the idea of immortality. There is certainly a stage, an early stage, in our development at which the prospect of annihilation for ourselves and our beloveds seems terrible. But the frank acceptance of this prospect should, I believe, turn out to be the way to further growth. It should free the mind from the shackles of egoism. It should lead in the long run to a more secure peace and joy and a greater moral strength than would otherwise have been possible.

Here perhaps a word of caution is needed. The acceptance of human ephemerality can only be the way to growth on one condition, namely that the acceptance is not made an occasion for self-pity, or even for pity of the human race. The masochist, the addict to self-torture, is apt to hug the brevity and futility of personal existence to his breast like a block of ice, narrowing his whole consciousness upon it in such a way that his interest cannot develop. This is always the danger of the tragic view of life, which sometimes turns out to be merely self-pity masquerading as impassioned stoicism. The power of this snare lies in the fact that it is concealed in the direct route of advance. For the genuine tragic view is one which the mind must pass through if it is to leave behind the misconceived optimism of its immaturity. But the genuinely tragic view of life is not warped by self-pity. It is, of course, a painful sacrifice of cherished things, but it includes no gloating upon pain itself. The spirit remains quick and receptive, and objective in its outlook.

Naturally, if a man has been brought up to believe in immortality as a birthright, and to expect eternal reward or punishment for his conduct on earth, the sudden destruction of this faith may have a shattering effect on both his happiness and his morality. He may become so oppressed by the seeming futility of human existence that he will give up all serious effort, and suffer a deep moral disintegration. Something like this did actually happen to European culture as a whole during the first quarter of this century. In hosts of individuals the old moral sanctions were lost, and nothing new took their place. The prolonged effects of industrialism and the relatively sudden effects of war combined with loss of faith to undermine moral stamina. Four distinct mental attitudes emerged. There were typical, disintegrated, unmoral, neurotic, "post-war" minds, very sick at heart. There were seekers after new, yet essentially archaic, comforting faiths. There were intellectually honest, but spiritually blind and self-pitying, stoics. And there were those few who were bewilderingly stimulated to a painful real advance in sensibility.

This advance is not primarily intellectual, though intellectual scepticism made it possible. It is an advance in sensibility, in feeling. It is the discovery that, after all, the loss of the old faith has made the universe more, not less, worth living in; more, not less, fulfilling to the newly awakened spirit. In outgrowing the old needs we discover new needs, which, though less insistent, prove capable in the end of a more far-reaching fulfilment.

In relation to immortality this advance consists intellectually of complete agnosticism. Emotionally it involves detachment from the desire for immortality, through the discovery of more satisfying values. At this stage I shall not attempt to say what, in my view, those values are.

Chapter 3

Mind and Body

i. The Problem Stated

IN the course of our discussion of personal immortality we came upon the seeming dependence of mind on body. Let us consider more closely the relation of these two very different but intimately connected things.

I shall begin by stating the problem as it appears to common sense; or rather to contemporary common sense, for the common sense of one period may be very different from that of another.

When we distinguish between body and mind at all, we normally think of them as two distinct things or substances, each of which takes effect on the other. A human body is thought of as a physical object having shape, solidity, texture, and internal structure. Its parts could quite well exist without the man’s mind; though perhaps they could not be related together in the complex pattern which constitutes a living human body.

By a mind we normally mean one or other of two things. Either we mean simply the continuous but ever-changing sequence of experiences — the thinkings, feelings, imaginings, desirings, and so on, which tumble upon one another's heels throughout our waking hours; or else we mean a vague "something" which is supposed to do or have these experiences.

It seems at first obvious that there are such distinct things as body and mind, and that they do take effect on one another. A physical kick on the physical shin affords the mind a certain experience. Apparently the bruising of the body's tissues takes effect on the course of mental events. Similarly, alcohol sets up changes in the body, and these seemingly produce mental changes. Again, a blow on the head may produce "concussion" and cessation of consciousness.

On the other hand, a mental event, such as the learning of good or bad news, may produce changes in the blood-circulation or general physical vigour. The will to move a limb generally causes the limb to move.

For clarity's sake let us represent the theory of the interaction of body and mind by means of a diagram. Let α, β, γ, δ represent mental events in a certain mind, and let a, b, c, d represent the correlated physical events in the body. The host of physical events which have no observable correlated mental events may be neglected. Let the causal connections be represented by arrows. Then the theory of the interaction of body and mind may be represented thus:

If we accept the general principle of the interaction of body and mind, we are faced with the question whether the two have equal power, or one of them dominates the other. Seemingly the body is greatly influenced by the mind, for voluntary muscular activity is almost continuous. On the other hand, the mind is obviously influenced continuously by the impact of the external world on the body in perception, and less obviously so in changes of mood and intellectual capacity. How far does this influence reach? Is it only an occasional minor factor, or is it at work always? Is it true, as some believe, that the course of mental events is simply an expression of the physical events of the body? Is mind really quite incapable or affecting the physical? Is volition a sheer illusion, an experience caused simply by physical events in the nervous system? Is the movement of the limb (and equally the movement of attention in thinking) really produced by physical, not mental, causes?

ii. Some Implications of the Problem

(a) Substance and Attribute

(b) Causation

(a) Substance and Attribute — The mere statement of the problem of body and mind commonly implies certain assumptions which must be brought into clear consciousness even if they are not yet to be fully discussed.

Common sense, as we have seen, assumes two distinct things or substances, body and mind. Each is thought of as remaining essentially identical from time to time although changes happen to it or in it. Thus, though there are bodily events, such as breathing, eating, digesting, "the body" is thought of as remaining in some sense "the same" body throughout these passing events. Similarly, with the mind there are rapid changes of perception, thought, feeling, and also slow changes of mood, but "the mind" is supposed to remain "the same" mind.

In philosophical language, common sense assumes that body and mind are enduring substances having changeful attributes, and mutually influencing each other.

This mode of thought, in terms of substance and attribute, is open to serious objection. Pressed to say what the enduring substance in each case really is, the plain man would probably be content to reply that the substance is some sort of nucleus which does not change. But it is clear that in the case of the body there is no such constant nucleus. The human body is not much more constant than a candle flame, in which all the material is continually passing in and out of the flame.

Pressed further, common sense would probably say that .the substance is simply that featureless and unknowable something which is "the underlying cause" of all the knowable attributes. But if the substance is unknowable, why introduce it at all? To this, common sense, echoing the thought of the past, might reply that. the unknowable substance is required logically as the unifying and enduring "ground" of the attributes. Some modern philosophers, however, deny that there is any need for such a logical ground. Our craving for it, they say, is due to an accident of our language, which makes use of the grammatical machinery of "subject" and "predicate." We must. outgrow this prejudice, they say, and recognise that (for instance) a body simply is the sum of the events that make up its history, and that a mind simply is the sequence of its mental events.

The subject-predicate way of thinking suggests that behind the whole world as it appears to us, there lies "reality" itself, which is different from its mere appearances, and is in principle unknowable. Opposed to this view is the view that, however little we know of reality, what we do know is all of a piece with, is of the same order as, what we do not know; that the world is not an unknowable substance, having knowable attributes, but that it is a vast system of "happening," analysable into separate "events" which occur in relation to one another.

With regard to the body-mind problem, even if we give up the substance-attribute way of thinking, the problem still remains. It is no longer a problem about the relations of two substances whose attributes are physical characters and mental characters. But it is a problem about the relation between two sequences of events, namely physical and mental. The course of events in the one sequence is obviously related to the course of events in the other. For instance, when we drink alcohol, certain intestinal events are followed by certain changes of mood. Conversely, certain thoughts and desires are followed by certain bodily movements. In each case, we say, the earlier event "causes" the later.

(b) Causation — This raises another assumption implied in the body-mind problem as it appears to common sense. It is assumed that causation does occur, that one event does have some sort of power in virtue of which the succeeding event has certain characters and not certain others. Lightning "causes" thunder, drugs "cause" mental changes.

Here we come upon one of the great philosophical problems. What sort of thing is this "causation"? What reason have we to believe that it happens? Does it really happen?

It was long ago pointed out by David Hume that we cannot see any necessity in the sequences that we call causal. All that we actually observe is the succession of events. Just because we observe certain recognisable successions of events over and over again, we grow to expect the particular kind of initial event always to be followed by the subsequent events, unless some other influence interferes. This expectation leads to a feeling of necessity, and of some hidden efficacy by which the one event produces the other. Impressed by this criticism, modem science no longer claims to be discovering necessary laws, but merely to be making generalisations from observed sequences, generalisations on which we may base our expectations. Thus stones dropped from high places do not necessarily fall with an acceleration of thirty-two feet per second every second. But experiment discovers that, when irrelevant influences are excluded, they do approximate very closely to this "law." Further, observation reveals that this " law" can be related to other "laws," derived from observation of the movements of the planets. But so far as science is concerned these "laws" might cease to operate to-morrow. Stones might start leaping from the ground. If they did so, scientists would be very surprised, but they would not say that necessity had been violated. They would merely set about re-describing the sequences of events and forming new generalisations, new physical "laws."

In discussing the body-mind problem, then, we are assuming causation, either in the full sense of efficacy or in the modified sense of invariable sequence. We are assuming, that is, that if certain events happen, certain other events will also happen, unless some contrary cause prevents them.

iii. Interactionism

(a) Inconceivability

(b) The Conservation of Energy

We can now consider some of the difficulties in the theory of the interaction of body and mind.

(a) Inconceivability — It is sometimes said that the interaction of two such different things as body and mind is inconceivable. The causal relation between one bodily event and another is felt to be intelligible in principle, because in this case cause and effect are of the same order. But some regard it as inconceivable that a volition should cause a muscle to contract, that a drug should cause a change of mood, that a physical change in the brain should cause an experience.

This objection seems to be based on the illusion that causal relations between physical events themselves, or between mental events themselves, are conceivable. Actually they are nothing of the sort. That a moving billiard-ball should push another out of its way instead of passing through it or annihilating it or turning it into a fairy coach and six is, after all, an impenetrable mystery.

The objection, however, may be put in a more subtle and plausible manner. Physical causation, it may be said, is credible because all physical events are changes within a single physical system of events. Mental events also are events within a single whole, a single mind, united in virtue of unity of experience. But bodily events and mental events, it may be said, form no such single system together, and so their causal connection is inconceivable.

There is some force in this argument. But we must not be deceived by it. The billiard ball's efficacy within the physical system is really no more intelligible than a drug's effect on the mind. On the other hand, it may well be that if we knew more about body and mind we should see that they are not really two distinct systems but one. In this case, however, we might have to abandon the theory of interaction simply because mind and body no longer appeared as two distinct things interacting, but rather as two aspects of one and the same thing.

(b) The Conservation of Energy — Against Interactionism it is often argued that if mind interferes with the course of physical events in the body, the physical Law of the Conservation of energy must be violated. Energy may be roughly defined as the capacity for doing work. This capacity can be measured according to recognised standards. And though the measurement of one form of work against another introduces serious difficulties, we may take it as fairly well established that, within a closed physical system, the sum of the potential and the kinetic energy, or of the possible and the actual work, is the same at every moment.

The living body is a physical system. Therefore, we are told, it must keep the Law of Conservation. Of course, the body cannot be completely isolated so as to become a closed physical system, since if it were it would die. But the amount of energy entering and; leaving it can be fairly accurately measured and; accounted for. On the whole, the evidence suggests that a living body does function according to established physical laws. Experiment and observation have led to a steady advance in our knowledge of the physiological mechanisms of the body, and have made it seem to some scientists increasingly probable that in time we shall have a complete account of the body's behaviour in terms of biochemical laws. Such an account would refer to nerve-tracks and glandular secretions, and would allow no room for any influence of mind on body. For, in this view, the purely automatic behaviour of the system could not be interfered with by the mind without either introducing additional energy into the system from some occult source, or by withdrawing energy from the system. The body is like a moving motor-car. To alter its purely mechanical course the driver must at least apply energy to the steering-wheel or the accelerator pedal.

It is sometimes argued in defence of Interactionism that the mind might alter the direction or the timing of energy-changes in the body without infringing the Law of Conservation. This is clearly a mistake; for, according to the law, the direction and timing of energy-changes is quite strictly determined by the preceding physical conditions. There is no room for interference of any kind without adding to or subtracting from the sum of energy.

All the same the theory of Interactionism need not necessarily be false. In the first place, the physical observations on which the Law of Conservation is based are far from accurate enough to justify a confident assertion that the law applies to the living body as a system closed against mind's interference. It may be, for all we yet know, that the mind, or that the course of mental events, does actually create or annihilate very minute quantities of physical energy at critical points of the nervous system, and so control the course of the nerve current, and therefore determine behaviour. Some believe that it does this in raising or lowering the resistance of the "synapses," the junctions of the nerve fibres, and so directing or blocking the nerve current. This is not inconceivable. But the Law of Conservation within the physical sphere has become so familiar and useful that this possibility has come to seem very unplausible.

Some scientific workers, however, and some philosophers, have been forced to the conviction that purely physical laws cannot possibly give a complete account of the body's working. So intricately purposeful, they say, is the structure and function of the body, so subtly self-regulative, that some purposive or teleological principle must be supposed to control the physical functioning of the body's organs. They have not been able to tell us anything at all clear about this non- physical influence.

A more radical defence of Interactionism may be derived from recent criticisms of the Law of Conservation itself. It has been pointed out that the Law works just because we have so stated it that it must work. We have affirmed that so much energy in one form shall be equivalent to so much energy in another form, so that we may produce a workable Law of Conservation. I am, not competent to criticise this contention. But it is necessary to point out that these established equivalences do hold good systematically in the physical world, and that they leave (apparently) no room for interference on the part of mind.

On the whole, then, the difficulty over Conservation remains a serious one. But if strong reasons were forthcoming to make us believe in Interactionism, this difficulty should not stand in the way. For, after all, we cannot yet be sure that the Law of Conservation really does apply to living bodies.

Let us, however, suppose for the moment that Conservation is true of the human body, and that human behaviour can be fully described in terms of physical laws. The relation of mind and body has then to be stated in terms of the theory of Epiphenomenalism.

iv. Epiphenomenalism

According to this theory causation occurs only in the physical sphere. There is no causal relation between one mental event and another, or between a mental event and a succeeding physical event. The desire to solve an intellectual problem does not cause the subsequent mental operations. The desire to move a limb does not cause muscle fibres to contract. In both cases the real cause is a physiological event in the body. All experiencing is a sort of by-product of physiological machinery, like the noise of a factory. Mind is only an epiphenomenon, an ineffective "appearance upon" the physical causal sequence.

Epiphenomenalism may be represented diagrammatically. As before, let α, β, γ, δ represent mental events, and a, b, c, d physical events, and let the causal relations be represented by arrows.

It is sometimes objected against Epiphenomenalism that in volition we have actual experience of the necessary causal efficacy of mind on body. Volition certainly does feel as though it caused the desired action. In this respect it is different from the experience of a mere reflex act, such as hiccoughing, which we do not feel to be mentally caused at all. But the feeling of causal efficacy in volition is easily explained by Epiphenomenalism. The volition, it may be said, consists of a desire followed by a muscular movement. Both are physically caused. But the often repeated experience of the sequence "desire-movement" generates a strong expectation that desire will again be followed by movement. Or rather, putting the matter more accurately from the Epiphenomenalist's point of view, the physiological events corresponding to the experience of desire-followed-by-movement cause the physiological events corresponding to the expectation desire-will-be-followed-by-movement.

But though we must reject the view that in volition we actually experience a necessary causal connection between a mental event and a physical event, we may reasonably hold that the conviction of the efficacy of volition should not be abandoned unless Epiphenomenalism is supported by very strong evidence. And no such strong evidence has yet appeared.

Another objection to Epiphenomenalism is based on the nature of rational thinking. When we think, the sequence of our thoughts is apparently determined by the logical implications of our thoughts. To argue that the sequence is really controlled not in this manner but by mere physiological events in the brain is to undermine thought itself, and therewith even the theory of Epiphenomenalism. Any theory which denies the validity of thinking cuts the ground from under its own feet.

To this the Epiphenomenalist may perhaps reasonably reply that the neural tracks in the brain are themselves in the first instance determined by the impact of the environment, and that the experience of logical implication in thinking, though only an epiphenomenon, is none the less a true reflection of the logical structure of the objective world. Thus, though the intuition of logical implication does not actually cause the sequence of thoughts, it is the conscious aspect of the physiological connections which do cause the sequence of thoughts, and which, moreover, are themselves determined in the first instance by the logic of the objective world.

But once more we must suspend judgment. Though reasoning can thus be accounted for by Epiphenomenalism, we should not lightly pretend to abandon the belief, inescapable in practice, that in reasoning the course of thought is directly controlled by intuitions of logical implication. Nothing short of overwhelming evidence should destroy this conviction. And the evidence for Epiphenomenalism is far from overwhelming.

It is sometimes said that Epiphenomenalism is incredible because, if consciousness were ineffective, its occurrence would be inexplicable. It is affirmed that consciousness must be explained in terms of survival-value. It occurs and has reached a high stage of development just because it has proved biologically useful, because it has made for survival. Now this may be true. But perhaps what had survival-value was not actually consciousness but a highly integrated nervous system; and perhaps a highly developed consciousness is just the mental epiphenomenon of this.

A more general objection to Epiphenomenalism is this. If consciousness throughout the universe is ineffective,. the universe is meaningless, futile, unintelligible. To this we must answer that, after all, the universe is very far from intelligible anyhow, and we have no right to expect it to be intelligible.

A moral argument is sometimes brought against Epiphenomenalism. If men come to believe that volition is ineffective, all moral striving will cease. To this the answer is that the moral consequences of a belief in the theory are irrelevant to the question of the theory's truth.

There is some tentative physiological evidence against all theories based on an exact correspondence of a physical and a mental series of events. I refer to the supposed "vicarious functioning" of brain-tracts. It is admittedly true that damage to specific brain-tracts is often followed by specific mental disabilities, such as disorders of speech or sensation. But we are told that after a while a neighbouring tract can take over the office of the damaged tract. If this is the case, it makes nonsense of Epiphenomenalism, since, if Epiphenomenalism is true, each tract should have its inalienable function. However, the evidence for vicarious functioning is far from conclusive, and is seriously obscured by the probability that neighbouring undamaged tracts which were temporarily thrown out of gear by the lesion may subsequently recover their powers. When they begin to function again we may be tempted to suppose that they are recovering not merely their own powers but the powers of the damaged tract.

However this may be, there can be no doubt that a good deal of correspondence does exist between brain areas and mental functions. And it is certainly possible, some would say probable, that the correspondence is, in fact, exact. Many kinds of experience which formerly seemed independent of physical causation are now known to be physiologically determined. But Epiphenomenalism cannot be established till such physical dependence is shown to be universal, so that there is no room for mental causation to insert itself anywhere, and also no general "looseness" in the physical causal system, such that mental causation might be enabled to insert itself unobtrusively everywhere. In fact, a strong objection to the theory is the intellectual objection that it is based on insufficient evidence. It is a case of the all-too-common "fallacy of the specialist," who is so impressed with the success of his particular technique that he assumes it to be universally valid.

We may reasonably hold that the theory treats the physical much too seriously, or uncritically. It is too credulous that, while the objects studied by natural science, the drugs, molecules, atoms, electrons, are substantial, the events which we call mental are merely phantasmal. But this criticism we cannot develop till we have raised the question of the status of the external world.

v. Psycho-Physical Parallelism

Some philosophers, impressed by the importance of treating the mental as seriously as the physical, and anxious at the same time to do full justice to the claims of physiology, have adopted a theory known as Psychophysical Parallelism. According to this theory there are in the living brain two entirely independent causal sequences, the one physical, the other mental (or, as some say, "psychical"); yet the two sequences run parallel, in the sense that for every event in the one sequence there is a corresponding event in the other. For example, in writing these lines I experience certain mental events which are causally connected with each other in a purely mental manner; but at the same time a series of physical events occurs in my brain, and these are causally connected in a physical manner. The total mental state at any moment and the total physical state at the same moment are very complex, and, of course, qualitatively different. But the elements that make up the mental state are related together in a pattern which I corresponds, point by point, with the pattern of the physical state.

We may represent the theory diagrammatically, using the same symbols as in the other cases, thus:

One objection can be brought against both Parallelism and Epiphenomenalism. Both, it may be said, render consciousness useless in evolution. This argument, as I have already said, has some force, but it could not carry weight against any strong positive reason for believing in Parallelism. However, there do not seem to be any strong reasons for Parallelism; and there are strong reasons against it.

Perhaps the chief reason against it is the extreme improbability that two complex causal sequences should continue indefinitely with strict correspondence and no connection with each other. This improbability is vastly increased by the fact that the bodily sequence is being constantly influenced by contact with the external physical world, while the mental sequence, by hypothesis, is not so influenced, and is presumably wholly insulated.

This difficulty is particularly obvious in the case of sudden violent collisions between the body and other physical objects. A man is knocked over by a motor-car, and his brain is damaged. Henceforth, perhaps, he suffers from specific disorders of speech, or perhaps he goes blind. Such cases overwhelmingly suggest that physical events take effect on the course of mental events. If the man's aphasia or blindness was not caused by the physical damage to his brain but by some purely mental cause, what was it? And how strange that a catastrophic change in the one sequence of events should occur just when a similarly catastrophic change occurs in the other!

It may reasonably be objected against Parallelism that it implies the theory that every physical event, whether in a living brain or not, has a mental correlate. In this view there is a mental universe, no less complex than the physical universe, and correlated with it in every detail. Certainly this supposition would help the Parallelist out of the difficulty about the motor accident; for he could say that the patient's catastrophic mental change was due to the mental influences of the mental events correlated with the physical events of the on-coming car.

Now it is not wholly inconceivable that every physical unit (say, every electron and proton) is the body of a very simple mind. But if this is so, where does the mind of a man come in? For in this view his body is a host of bodies of very simple electronic and protonic minds. Perhaps we shall be told that his mind is in some strange manner just all these simple minds merged into one complex mind. It is easy to use such language, but what does it really mean? I am not a host of atomic minds. I am a single mind.

The truth is that the theory of a parallel mental universe is too cumbersome a support for the Parallelism of human body and mind. There may be such a universe, but we have no evidence for it.

It would seem, then, that there are no cogent reasons for accepting Parallelism, and some strong objections to it.

vi. The Double Aspect Theory

An attempt has been made to overcome the difficulties of Interactionism by supposing that body and mind are complementary aspects of one and the same substance, like the inside and outside surfaces of a sphere. The mind-process and the body-process, it is said, are really one and the same process of events; but in the one case the process is observed externally, and in the other it is lived through internally. Events in this psycho-physical sequence cause succeeding psychophysical events. They also causally influence and are influenced by the environment, which, of course, we know only externally, as physical. Whether the physical environment also has an internal, mental aspect need not be decided.

The theory may be roughly represented thus:

As before, the mental is represented by Greek letters, the bodily by Roman. Arrows of causation connect successive states of the body-mind. Other arrows of causation impinge upon the body-mind from the external physical world, and in turn issue from the body-mind to the external physical world. In both cases the body-aspect is the medium of intercourse with the external world; but internal causation is as truly mental as physical.

It may turn out that this way of stating the mind-body relation is more accurate than any which regards body and mind as two distinct substances, or, on the other hand; regards one as substantial and the other,as a mere phantasm. But in so far as the Double Aspect theory depends on the substance-attribute distinction it is to be suspected. According to the theory, body and mind are two attributes of one substance. What is the relation between these attributes, or between each of them and the substance which comprises both? Clearly, in the present state of our knowledge the theory is not very helpful, because, instead of solving the difficulties, it merely conceals them. For it is not self-evident that the body and mind imply one another, as do the inside and the outside of a sphere. Consequently we must still enquire how it is that their changes correspond. And in particular we must still enquire which of the two aspects of the psycho-physical substance is the significant one for understanding the causal sequence. Inevitably the theory resolves itself into either a disguised Interactionism or a disguised Epiphenomenalism.

vii. The Emergence Theory

Some philosophers, impressed with the seeming purposefulness of much in the behaviour and structure of living things, have adopted a far-reaching theory of the "Emergence" of life and consciousness from the physical. When physical units are organised in certain very complex patterns, it is said, new capacities emerge in the wholes thus formed. The most striking of these capacities are the capacity for purposeful, or teleological, behaviour, directed toward the survival of the individual organism or the species, and (on a still higher plane of organisation) consciousness. In passing we may note that the concept of teleological behaviour does not necessarily involve consciousness. Behaviour is said to be teleological, whether conscious or not, if it cannot be adequately described without reference to an end or goal, if it observably infringes mechanical laws in order to reach a goal.

The behaviour of a purely physical system can always at least in theory be predicted in terms of purely physical laws. This is said by some philosophers to be impossible, even in theory, in the case of the living organism. However thoroughly we study the behaviour of physical units in purely physical situations, we cannot (it is said) conceivably discover solely by such physical study all the laws of their behaviour in the essentially different biological kind of situation. The behaviour of the emergent whole is not accountable simply in terms of the laws descriptive of the behaviour of the parts as revealed in non-organic situations. Merged in the unified whole of the organism they are able to manifest potentialities which elsewhere they cannot manifest at all. From the physical point of view there is nothing in the organism but electrons, protons, electromagnetic undulations, etc. But in the organism these together produce the teleological and conscious behaviour of the organism. Of course, much that goes on in the organism is purely physical. And there is constant conflict between the purely physical and the emergent behaviour, which is always teleological and in some respects conscious.

Let us consider the bearing of this theory on the body-mind problem. Mind is regarded as emergent. Its behaviour cannot be fully described (even in theory) in terms of the laws of physical science. In some respects, of course, mental events are controlled by the physical events of the body; but in other respects these physical events are controlled by emergent mental events. For the understanding of the relation between mind and body, then, although we must, of course, study the effects of drugs and nerve currents on mental events, we must also study psychology on its own emergent plane. Fundamentally, however, the relation between body and mind must, in this view, necessarily remain unintelligible.

It is difficult to reach any clear conclusions about the value of the Emergence theory itself. There is obviously a sense in which mental events, such as thinkings and perceivings and desirings, cannot be described or accounted for in terms of the laws of any purely physical science. Those laws simply have no direct bearing on the mental. All the same it might turn out that (as the mechanists claim) the sequence of mental events was strictly related to physical events in the body, in such a manner that with nothing more than a full knowledge of the physical events we could predict the mental events. In the present state of our knowledge we cannot say whether this is so or not. Similarly, if it is true that all seemingly teleological behaviour studied by biologists can be explained away in terms of non-teleological physical laws, then biology can be reduced to physics. But if this cannot be done, if the concept of teleology is finally needed for the understanding of some biological facts, biology cannot even in theory be reduced to physics, which has no room for teleology. These are questions which cannot yet be answered. We must remember, however, that bio-chemistry, which claims to be a purely physical science, has recently made great progress. Very much that has seemed mysterious in growth and in behaviour has been shown to depend on chemical factors in the body. On the other hand, perhaps our biochemical knowledge of the relation between chemical reactions and mental states may turn out to be concerned, not solely with physical causal laws, but partly with the systematic reactions of the emergent whole itself to purely physical stimuli.

viii. Conclusions, and New Questions

We started by considering the problem of the relation of body and mind from the point of view of common sense. We assumed that a body and a mind were different things or substances, or made of different "stuffs," the one physical, the other mental. The problem was to explain the relationship between them. We have examined several different theories, but we have found none that is satisfactory. Nevertheless we may, I think, draw certain important conclusions, and raise certain further questions.

In the first place we must beware of the substance-attribute way of thinking, which distinguishes between a "thing" and its characters. All that we can profitably think about is the actually observed, or at least in principle observable, characters that make up the tissue of our experience. Of "substances" behind these characters we know nothing.

We have also seen that in respect of causation all that we can hope to discover is, not an inner necessity uniting cause and effect, but regular sequences of events.

The mind-body problem, then, consists in the need to state clearly the relation between the sequences of the physical characters that make up a human body and the sequences of mental characters that make up a human mind.

We have seen that it is not yet possible to describe this relationship at all satisfactorily. Throughout this discussion we have assumed that we do at any rate know what we mean by "body" and what by "mind." It is now time to recognise that this assumption is unjustifiable. Let us try to form a clearer view of what, in a man's actual experience, constitutes his body, and what his mind.

A man's body, as we perceive it, is a system of sensory characters, such as colour, shape, softness. This system, in spite of large fluctuations due to the voluntary movement of limbs, remains on the whole constant in form, and lies permanently at the centre of his perceived world. In fact, his body is made up of visual appearances, tactual "appearances" (as when he strokes or pushes his head with his hand), sensations of warmth, cold, pressure, pain, on the surface of his perceived body's shape or within its interior. The changeful three-dimensional shape of his body is really an abstraction, a formula derived from the spatial relations of this host of sensory characters, which constitute his body, and the relations of this sensory system to the other host of sensory characters, which constitute external physical objects.

Now all these sensory characters, both those of his body and those of the external world (such as the coloured shape of a tree or a house that he is seeing) are also, in some sense, characters of his mind. They are all bits of his experience. In some way the physical world and the mind overlap. Of course, there is much in the physical world that is not in any sense part of his mind; for instance, all the objects that he is not perceiving or even thinking about. And there is apparently much "in" his mind that is not part of the physical world; for instance, his admiration or dislike of the perceived tree or house. His thinking, desiring, fearing, and his actual perceiving (as distinct from what he perceives) belong only to his mind. The phrase "in the mind" is misleading. Things are not in the mind as marbles may be in a box. There is, of course, a sense in which all that I experience is "in" my mind, within my mental horizon; but, more accurately, I reach out to, apprehend, have mental contact with, the objects of my experience. When John knows Jane, Jane herself does not become part of John's mind.

Evidently we have opened up some new and very obscure problems, which we may express in the following questions: What precisely do we mean by "a physical object"? What precisely do we mean by "a mind"? When a mind perceives a physical object, what precisely perceives what? And how should this relationship of perceiving be described?

These questions lead at once into a very formidable philosophical jungle. An immense amount of careful, subtle, hair-splitting work has been done upon them; and yet the upshot is far from conclusive. In a book like this it is impossible to attempt a detailed discussion. But we cannot leave the subject untouched. Some realisation of the problems, and some grasp of the possible tentative conclusions are necessary before we can go on to explore fields which have a more direct bearing on our central theme.

Chapter 4

The External World and i

i. The Common-Sense Account

FROM childhood onwards we ordinarily assume that when anyone looks at a chair or at his own hand the object which he perceives really has approximately the shape and colour that he sees, and that it existed before and will exist after his perceiving it. In the naive view a rose really is red, a penny round, a stone hard.

Difficulties soon confront this theory. Is the rose red by night? Naive common sense would probably say, "Yes, but its redness cannot then be seen." Redness needs light to manifest it. If we point out that its manifested colour depends on the colour of the light thrown upon it, common sense will reply that to manifest its "true" or "real" colour it must be bathed in normal, neutral, white light. Then what of the green hills which in the distance look blue? The reply might be that they "really" are green, but that the green light from them is modified by the intervening atmosphere. Another difficulty lies in the fact that some people are colour-blind. What right have normal people to believe that their coloured view is more true, more objective, than that of the colour-blind man? Is he not entitled to say that they "project" upon the external world qualities that are caused by their own sense-organs?

We may feel some doubt about colour, but we confidently assume that, at any rate, things really have the shapes and sizes that we see. But what of the straight walking-stick that looks bent when we dip it into a stream? The visual bentness, we are told, is mere "illusion," produced by the intervening water. The stick still feels straight, though it looks bent. Touch is reliable, though vision sometimes misleads. Then what of the single nose which, between crossed fingers, feels like two noses? Evidently touch itself can mislead. Ah! But, says common sense, the fingers are crossed. The situation is abnormal.

In all these examples one particular appearance, in each case, is taken as the "true" or "real " appearance, and the rest are said to be rendered " illusory " by special conditions. Yet all the appearances are equally good appearances. If some of them do not really belong to the objects, how can we be sure that any of them do? What special power has white light to reveal the object's real colour, or uncrossed fingers to reveal the real nose?

Let us consider the classical example of a penny's appearances. We say that it is round, though in certain views it appears or seems oval. By what right is the circular appearance alone assigned reality?

Of course the flat surfaces of the penny can be geometrically defined as circular. Each contains a point that is equidistant from every point on the circumference, equidistant, that is, if we look perpendicularly at the surface, but not otherwise. However, if we test vision by touch, we find that the penny can be smoothly rotated between the finger and thumb. This would not happen if it were not circular. Once more, then, we refer the inconsistencies of sight to the judgment of touch. But we have seen that touch itself, though more constant, is not really infallible. Moreover, whatever the verdict of touch, so far. as vision itself is concerned the oval appearances are just as good appearances of the geometrical circle as the circular appearances. Why should the appearance from one particular angle be "real" and the others not? Common sense would perhaps say that to secure a true visual appearance of the penny it is necessary to eliminate all distorting factors, all that lies "between" the object and us. We must get as "near" to it as possible. The hills (we are told) are not really blue, as they seem from a distance, but green, as they appear when we walk on them. The tilting of the penny, too, must be regarded as a distorting factor. But why, after all, should the angle of ninety degrees be less of a distorting factor than any other?

This principle of the distorting medium is certainly important, but its application is often arbitrary, and if it is pushed too far it leads to nonsense. It is arbitrary to choose one visual appearance and call it "real" merely because it happens to be the most convenient one to take as a symbol or a counter to represent the whole system of the object's appearances, as in the case of the circular view of the penny. On the other hand, the attempt to penetrate behind intervening media so as to grasp the very object itself may be pressed so far as to lead to results most bewildering to common sense. This is what happens when we consider perception from the point of view of natural science.

ii. Difficulties Arising Out of Science

Science raises two distinct types of problem for the common-sense theory of perception, namely, those problems that spring from physiology and those that spring from physics.

It is fairly well established that sense-perception involves sense-organs and is intimately associated with certain tracts of the cerebral cortex. In seeing, light from the object is focused by the lens of the eye so as to form an image on the retina. In the minute light- sensitive rods and cones of the retina the light sets up chemical changes which in turn set up changes in the nerve fibres. Waves of chemical change pass along the fibres into the brain tract at the back of the head, which is the seat of vision. Clearly, what actually reaches this visual cortex must be very different from the stimulus which originally affected the retina. If the object really has the colours and shapes which we perceive, how do they manage to be transported by the chemical nerve current?

A further difficulty is raised by the fact that though we perceive such different qualities as colour, sound, pressure, taste, scent, warmth, cold, pain, the nerve current is probably of one and the same quality in every case. How does an identical nerve current transmit such different qualities?

It seems that all our efforts to secure a true appearance of the object, undistorted by intervening media, are bound to be frustrated by the necessary intervention of the nerve current and the sense-organs.

So much for physiology. Physics has other difficulties to raise. In its own way it has tried to "get at" the object itself, and has even claimed, in its nineteenth-century phase of optimism, to tell us what the object "really" is. The object, we have been told, is really a system of molecules, which are groups of atoms, which are electro-magnetic systems, wherein (it now seems) there is a ceaseless movement of excessively minute somethings that are not exactly particles and not exactly trains of waves, but rather like both. Particles. of what? Waves of what? Seemingly of the potentiality of doing work, or (as some say) of sheer probability that something will happen.

Where now is the smooth, hard, coloured surface of the object? Where is sound? Where scent, taste, warmth, cold? It begins to look as though they were mere figments of the mind; and as though the object itself were qualitatively unknowable, and in form at once grains and ripples of the unknowable quality.

Other difficulties raised by science are connected with the nature of light. Light is not instantaneous. It takes time to travel. When we look at a star, we look at something which may have actually ceased to exist thousands of years ago. In what sense, then, can we be said to perceive the star itself? Strictly, all physical objects perceived by sight have already ceased to exist as present objects at least a fraction of a second before we see them. In a sense we see into the past.

In yet another manner light raises a difficulty. Colour, it seems, involves time. Things cannot have colour at an instant. The sensations of colour depend on rhythms of electro-magnetic vibrations. If the redness of the rose is a quality of the object itself, it must somehow be a quality which inheres in a rhythmically changing sequence of events. This seems very odd.

iii. The Idealist Solution

(a) Dualism of Matter and Mind

(b) Subjective Idealism

(c) Phenomenalism

(d) Kant's Criticism of Phenomenalism

Bearing in mind all these difficulties, both those of common sense and those raised by science, let us examine some typical solutions offered by philosophers. We will begin by considering the Idealist solution, which was the first to be formulated.

The word Idealism has many meanings. In ordinary speech it refers to ideals, or goals of action or of hope. In philosophy it seldom has this meaning. Broadly, it may be taken to apply to any theory in which "idea" is regarded as a more significant concept than "matter," or "mental" than "material."

Even so there are two very different kinds of philosophical Idealism. In epistemology (the study of the nature of knowing) "Idealism" is the theory that the objects of knowledge (including objects of perception) have no existence apart from the mental states or acts which know them. The contrary view, in which objects exist independently of our knowing them, is "Realism."

On the other hand, in metaphysics (the study of the fundamental nature of reality) "Idealism" is the theory that, even if the object of knowledge exists independently of our knowing it, its nature is nevertheless in some sense mental. In this chapter we are concerned only with Idealism of the epistemological kind.

Though the method of this book is not historical, it will be useful at this stage to summarise the growth of epistemological Idealism. This famous theme in the history of modem European thought is necessary for the understanding of more recent thought about the external world and the knowing mind.

(a) Dualism of Matter and Mind — Starting with the common-sense distinction between matter and mind, John Locke formulated a theory according to which "ideas" in the mind represent, or fail to represent, "things", in the external world. Some of these "ideas" have qualities which are actually like the qualities of things. Others have qualities which are unlike any qualities in things; though apart from quality the ideas may yet for practical purposes represent the things. Thus arose the distinction between "primary" and "secondary" qualities. Shape, size, number, motion, and solidity were said to be primary qualities belonging to objects themselves, as well as to our ideas. Colour, sound, odour, etc. were said to be secondary qualities belonging only to our ideas, but corresponding to powers which a body possesses in virtue of its primary qualities. Roughly, the qualities perceived by touch were regarded as primary, because they seemed to be constant. The rest, because variable, were secondary.

Accepting the traditional way of thinking, Locke regarded things as "substances," and the primary qualities as the "attributes" which inhered in these substances. Minds also he regarded as substances, having, among their attributes, ideas corresponding to the primary and secondary qualities of things.

(b) Subjective Idealism — Bishop Berkeley showed that the distinction between primary and secondary qualities was unsound, that the theory of ideas as mental representatives of things was very confused, and also that the notion of material substances behind the perceived qualities of things was unnecessary.

Our "ideas" of primary qualities are in principle variable, like our "ideas" of secondary qualities. The size and shape of the penny, even its tactual size and shape (perceived by touch), vary with the condition of the observer's body. If his fingers are swollen the penny will seem bigger than usual. Size and shape vary also in relation to his previous experience. After handling farthings, pennies seem very large. Movement also is relative. When two trains are running abreast at different speeds, the slower seems to passengers in the faster to be moving backwards.

The theory that ideas "represent" material substances distinct from themselves is open to the objection that if we have no direct experience of things, if we never experience them save through the medium of ideas, we have no reason to believe in their existence. Also, if things do exist "behind the veil of ideas," we have no means of comparing the ideas with the things, and deciding that some ideas truly represent things and others do not.

Berkeley's main positive contribution to philosophy consists in the famous principle that "to be is to be perceived." It seemed to him incredible that any material thing should be able to exist unperceived. Accepting the principle, formulated by Locke, that all, knowledge was derived from experience, he enquired if anyone ever had experience of any material thing that was not a perceived thing. The obvious answer was, No. Therefore we had no right to postulate unperceived things. He held that there were no "material substances" but only "spiritual substances," namely, ourselves and God.

He did not, however, believe that when a thing was not being perceived by any human mind it ceased to exist. He did not, for instance, hold that the foundations of a house ceased to exist as soon as they were buried and out of sight. The humanly unperceived things, he said, were perceived by God, in whose mind they continued to exist.

(c) Phenomenalism — The theories of Berkeley were favourable to Christian orthodoxy, but they contained the seed of heresy. David Hume carried Berkeley's own principles to their logical and devastating conclusion. He agreed with Berkeley's criticisms of Locke, but he pointed out that they must be applied not only to the external world but equally to the self and to God., If we had no evidence of the existence of material substances beyond or behind appearances, neither had we evidence of a soul or spiritual substance at the centre of them. What was actually experienced or given in experience was simply a flux of "impressions" and "ideas," or, in more modern language, sensations and mental images. Though Hume distinguished between "impressions" and "ideas" (sensations and images), he did not suppose that sensations were caused by an external world, and images not. He distinguished between them merely by the greater intensity or vividness of sensations. Seeking to discover his "self," Hume found that he always came upon some particular experience, never upon that which had the experiences. Therefore, he argued, since all knowledge is derived from experience, we have no reason to believe either in physical substances or in the spiritual substance which the self is supposed to be. And if a man has no reason to believe in his own self as a spiritual substance, neither has he reason to believe in other selves, or in God. For intellect unaided by faith there is nothing but the stream of experience.

With Hume the philosophical movement initiated by Locke seemed to reach its logical conclusion. Starting with the dualism of the perceiving mind and the perceived thing, it developed by way of Subjective Idealism into Phenomenalism, the theory that there is nothing whatever but the sequence of experiences, or phenomena.

(d) Kant's Criticism of Phenomenalism — Idealist philosophers often seek to retain the essentials of Berkeley's doctrine while rejecting the unpleasant consequences suggested by Hume.

Kant agreed with Berkeley at least in believing that the whole knowable form or structure of the perceived world was a product of human experience. But he rejected Hume's contention that this world of phenomena was the sole reality. There was for Kant another reality behind appearances. With regard to the nature of the mind, he accepted Hume's criticism of Berkeley's belief in the individual self, but he protested that the concept of a stream of mere "impressions" and "ideas," wholly disconnected with one another, was false. An outstanding characteristic of experience is its unity. All the sensory elements of the present mental state are intimately related in a single experience. They are known together. And the actual character of each is largely determined by its relation to others. The present mental state, moreover, contains within itself knowledge of preceding states. It is what it is in virtue of past experience. To see an apple as an apple, we must have had previous experience of coloured shapes, and of touch and scent. In experience everything penetrates everything else.

To Kant it seemed evident also that in perception we were actually affected by something other than ourselves, for our perceptions come to us whether we desire them or not. Something, he said, forces them upon us. But the manner or form in which the reality appears to us, he said, is wholly an expression of our own nature. Reality is entirely unknown to us save in terms of our own sensibility. The "thing in itself" we can never perceive as it really is. All we can perceive is appearances of it, and the form and quality of these is our own creation.

Kant was not thinking merely of the physiology of sensation. He pointed out that everything perceived by us was perceived by means of, or in terms of, our own past experience, and in terms of certain fundamental categories, or fundamental potentialities of experiencing. These, he said, were inherent in mind itself. Not only sensory qualities and shapes but space itself, time itself, and causation, he believed to be creatures of our minds, not characters of reality itself. No character whatever, knowable to man, could be assigned to reality, which, in Kant's view, was simply the unknowable external cause of our conceiving phenomena.

Our experience of ourselves as finite centres of consciousness, as selves, Kant regarded as equally false. He agreed with Hume that we could not discover in experience anything which might be regarded as distinctively "the self." In criticising Hume's theory of the stream of impressions and ideas, Kant did not rehabilitate the self, save as an abstract principle of the unity of experience, and the equally abstract principle of subjectivity.

According to Kant there were two distinct worlds or spheres of being, one the "noumenal" world, the world of reality, which was wholly unknowable, the other the "phenomenal" world, the world of appearance, the sphere to which our knowledge applied, but in essence a world of illusion. For both physical appearance and the deliverance of introspection were given character by the mind itself.

Briefly, the main criticism of Kant's theory of perception and knowledge in general seems to be this. His unknowable "thing in itself" is unnecessary. The mere feeling that perception is forced on us by something other than ourselves is as likely to be a product of our own minds as anything else in our experience. Consequently we have no reason at all for believing in a "thing in itself," which is different in kind from the actual objects of our experience. And so we are once more back in Phenomenalism. All the same, Kant's protest against the sheer subjectivity of Phenomenalism was a step in the right direction. His mistake lay in setting a gulf between the known phenomena and the unknowable reality, for thus he re-introduced subjectivism. It is incredible that our experience should be all there is; but, further, there is no need to believe that the unexperienced is in principle unknowable.

iv. The Realist Solution

(a) Criticism of Idealism

(b) The Essence of Realism

(c) Difficulties in Realism

(d) What we Perceive

(e) An Analysis of Experience

(f) Some Types of Realist Theory

(a) Criticism of Idealism — "Realism " like "Idealism" has many senses. We are here concerned with Realism as a theory of knowledge, and in particular of perception. In this sense Realism starts with a denial of the first principle of Idealism, namely, that to be is to be perceived.

The defence of Idealism's central principle, it will be remembered, runs as follows. We never perceive anything that is not a perceived thing. Therefore we have no reason to suppose that unperceived things exist.

This argument, says the Realist, must be made more precise. I never experience anything that is not experienced by me. From this it might be argued that I have no reason to believe that anything exists that is not experienced by me. This theory, that my experience is all there is, is called Solipsism, and is very different from Berkeley's theory. Berkeley's argument points further than he was prepared to go. He clung to the belief in many things other than his own perceptions. He believed in things unperceived by him, though perceived by other selves, or by God. This was irrational. In effect Berkeley said: "Everything that I experience is a thing experienced by me. Therefore everything must be experienced by someone." The argument is illogical.

There is another fallacy in Berkeley's argument. Even if in my experience two things, namely, "what is perceived" and "my perceiving," always do, as a matter of fact, occur together, it does not follow that they are necessarily connected and could not occur apart. In my experience, of course, the perceived objects themselves and my activity of perceiving do always occur together. It does not follow that the objects involve the perceivings. Of course, this argument does not prove that the objects do not involve the perceivings, or that they can exist apart. But if for other reasons we incline to believe that they exist apart, this argument enables us to do so in spite of Berkeley. And we have other reasons, as Berkeley himself might have realised. Otherwise he would not have needed to bring in God to support the things that no man perceived.

The world of immediate experience, of sounds, smells, coloured shapes, tactual shapes, and so on is most intelligibly conceived as part of a much greater world with which. it is all. of a piece. Suppose that I plant a seed in my garden. It is no longer to be seen. According to the account of the Phenomenalist or the Solipsist, the whole truth is that certain events have occurred in the world constituted by my immediate experiences, my phenomenal world. After some days there follow the experiences known as "the appearance of a seedling." This may be followed at intervals (whenever I go and look) by a series of experiences known as "the growth of a cabbage." So far as immediate experience is concerned there is no reason whatever for these fragmentary and disconnected experiences. But if we correlate them with the whole system of other people's experiences, comprising agriculture and botanical research, and if we conceive that in my absence unseen events were happening which might have been experienced, though actually they were not, we arrive at the concept of a germinating seed and a growing cabbage. Thus, though we do not prove the existence of a world independent of experience, we do give a rather more intelligible account of my fragmentary experience than the Phenomenalist's or the Solipsist's account.

It is important to realise that what we are postulating is not an unexperienceable substance which has experienceable attributes, or an unknowable "thing in itself" upon which the mind mysteriously "projects" characters created by itself. We are postulating simply a sequence or tissue of objective events of the same kind as those which we do actually experience. We are not even postulating any sort of causation more inward or necessary than the observable regularity of the sequences of events. We are merely completing the fragmentary observed sequence by means of an unobserved but coherent system of events of the same order.

At this point it is perhaps well to mention an argument against Realism which has been derived from modem physics. It is said to be impossible, in principle, to discover both the position and the momentum of an electron in its orbit. For in trying to observe the electron's momentum the observer inevitably alters its position, and vice versa. The answer to this argument is that it is not his observing that affects the situation, but simply the impact of the "light-waves" to which it must be subjected if it is to be observed at all.

(b) The Essence of Realism is the conviction that the objects of perception are not created or altered simply by being perceived. In the Realist view experience is essentially a relation between the experiencer and something other than the experiencer; though, as we shall see, the special difficulties of Realism have often, forced Realists to give very strange accounts both of the relation and of its terms. This central principle of Realism agrees with the common-sense theory of perception, and is therefore subject to many of the criticisms that we have already encountered in the common-sense theory. Somehow it must meet these criticisms more effectively than common sense can do.

(c) Difficulties in Realism — The central difficulty of all Realist theories is this. If it is true that the object of experience is not created by, or even changed by, being experienced, how comes it that apparently we sometimes experience things that do not exist?

The walking-stick dipped in the stream "looks" bent and "is" straight. Where is the bent stick? In a dark lane we see a shadowy cow, which presently turns out to be no cow at all but a bush. The toper sees pink snakes that "do not exist." Dreams are "sheer figments of the mind." Imagination creates purely mythical beasts, like the centaur. We cannot escape the difficulty by saying that these objects are simply "ideas," which do not "correspond" with anything in the physical world. To do so would be to deny the essential principle of Realism. We should be setting up a veil of mental stuff between the perceiver and the world. If we postulate purely mental objects in illusion, we must allow them also in true perception, since there is no discoverable inherent difference between the objects of illusion and the objects of perception. But to allow that the objects of perception are mental is to be forced, step by step, through the positions of Locke and Berkeley into Hume's sheer Phenomenalism.

(d) What we Perceive — Before trying to deal with this grave difficulty of error and illusion let us seek a clearer view of what we perceive when we suppose ourselves to be perceiving truly. We must also relate our findings to our scientific knowledge of physical objects.

I perceive a pear. I see it not merely as an area in my visual field, a pattern mottled in green, yellow, and red. I see it as a smooth-surfaced three-dimensional volume of a certain shape and at a certain distance. I vaguely perceive it also as fragrant and as internally wet and sweet. I can, if I will, distinguish between the characters which are given in sensation and those which are "imagery" recovered from my past experience.

If I approach the pear it appears larger. If I move round it, its perceived shape changes. Evidently, if we cling to the principle of Realism, we must believe that the perceivable shape of the pear itself consists of an infinite number of possible views from an infinite number of possible view-points. This is true equally of the pear's visual and of its tactual shape, save that for "views" we must substitute "touchings" and "graspings." No one of these visual and tactual " appearances" can logically have priority over the others. Of course we ordinarily say that the pear itself has one particular geometrical shape in the physical world; but what is this shape really? It is an abstraction, a mathematical formula, derived from the actually perceived host of visual and tactual "views." It is a formula by means of which other such "views," perceivable from other view-points, can be calculated.

The world presented to my sight and touch is thus a world of "views," or (in Bertrand Russell's phrase) of "perspectives." The actual views that I perceive can be correlated to form a vast but fragmentary system of views all centred on my particular view-point, which can be located in the abstract geometrical space. This fragmentary system I can complete by correlating it with a host of views which I am not having, but which could be had from an infinite number of possible viewpoints.

The physical world, according to this theory, is an immense system of these views or aspects, which exist whether anyone is perceiving them or not. In this world a physical object, say a pear, is a particular sub-system of aspects which are all correlated with a certain volume in the abstract geometrical space. This abstract volume is that which common sense regards as the location of "the object itself." But strictly, what is concrete is not the geometrical volume but the aspects. The geometrical volume is an abstraction. We must certainly avoid the theory that the sensory characters which make up the object are simply on the surface of its geometrical volume. The blue of a distant mountain is not on its surface. Neither is the greenness that appears in a closer view. Even its hardness is not strictly confined to its volume, for hardness is simply resistance to pressure, and presupposes something other than the unpenetrated volume itself. As Professor Whitehead has said (but many Realists reject his theory), sensory characters are not "simply located." They do not simply inhere in a particular place. They are essentially "in a place from a place." Not only the mountain's distant blue, but also its nearer green, and even the touched hardness of its rock, are essentially "there from here." This being so, the more we press forward to reach the very object itself, located in its geometrical volume, the more of the object we lose on the way, until at last we find we have nothing whatever but abstract volume.

If we penetrate within the volume all that we find is more views, more aspects, more appearances, not of the object as a whole but of its parts. And these, in the last analysis possible to us, are such ghostly appearances as electrons, protons, positrons, neutrons, and electromagnetic vibrations. Such abstruse objects we cannot adequately conceive in terms of our ordinary experience. In trying to conceive them we hopelessly misconceive them. As we have seen, they are thought of as neither particles nor wave-trains, yet something like both. But particles or wave-trains of what? We may try to conceive them as somehow consisting of sheer "pushfulness." Nothing else is discoverable in them. Indeed, even pushfulness ought not to be attributed to them. They are just movement. But movement of what? Of something altogether inconceivable. They are completely abstract, mere factors in a complex mathematical formula. Then what of the actual, concrete, characterful objects of experience? What of the mountain, the pear, the rose? And what of the limbs and heart and brain of the beloved? How can these be mere factors in a mathematical formula?

Clearly, in our attempt to strip off all that does not belong actually to the object itself, we have completely missed all that is actual in the object. It seems as though the object were everywhere but in the volume where it is said to exist. Take, for instance, one of the ultimate physical units studied by science, say an electron in one atom of the pear. It is not a minute thing in a particular region of the atom. It is a determination or influence pervading the whole atom. It is a factor in, and an expression of, a system. And what is the atom itself without its environment? It is essentially a member in a larger system. Without an environment it can neither express itself nor even be itself. The case of the whole pear or mountain or beloved is the same. Each is a factor in the world, a colourfulness pervading the world, and in turn a particular effect of, or expression of, the world's complex nature.

In case it is still thought that we are really misconceiving the whole matter, and that all these mysteries can be explained in terms of the substance confined within a certain concrete volume, and radiating effects into other such "located" substances, let us consider space itself. The very volume that the object is said to occupy, and from which it is said to scatter its effects, is something pervading the whole of space, is a system of possible views from every possible view-point, inside and outside the abstract volume. Even a volume is "in a place from a place." It is a hole in space. And you cannot have a hole without an environment that is not the hole. Space itself is nothing but the abstract system of all possible volumes, and each volume is a determination of the whole system.

(e) An Analysis of Experience — Such, very roughly, is the world as it is perceived and scientifically studied. What is to be said of its relation to the perceiving and studying mind? Let us first catalogue the various factors which philosophers have sometimes supposed to be involved in experience. Some of these factors are denied by some philosophers, but let us begin by enumerating all the factors that have been suggested. We may summarise them as follows:

  1. The experiencer, or experient, or subject. That which does or has or suffers experience, or enters into the relation of experience.
  1. The experiencing, or act of experience, or relationship of experience, occurring between the experient and the object, whether in sense-perception or memory or thought or desire or enjoyment or what not.
  1. The actually-experienced. The mind's actual contents in experience. The "mental content." That of which the experient is aware. The "truly" perceived cold, hard, wet slab, when a man is looking at a block of ice; and the "falsely" perceived pink snakes of the toper; and the cow that was "really" a bush; and the dream objects; and the creatures of imagination. In fact, the experienced object simply as a system of characters in experience. Some of these characters are sensed, some imagined. In the case of the bush-cow experience, a bush-like, but also cow-like, shape is given in sensation, and this is filled out with other, purely cow-like characters recovered from past experience.
  1. The experienced as it "really" is, apart from the mind's true or false perception of it, the experienced as a factor in the universe beyond the experiencing mind. The block of ice as a physical thing. The physical bush that looked like a cow; not the cow that was an illusion.

According to Locke, the experient experiences only the mental content, not the material world. The mental content is composed of mental stuff, of "ideas"; and these "represent" the real objects. For Subjective Idealism there are no material objects; and the content is again mental. For Phenomenalism also there is no physical thing behind phenomena; but also there is no experient and no experiencing. There is only mental content, or the stream of experience, which is not to be analysed into subject, act, and object.

(f) Some Types of Realist Theory — The only contention common to all forms of Realism seems to be that, although mental content is not all there is, there must be no fundamental distinction between mental content and the "real" object that is experienced. Content, however false, must be part of the objective world, not simply a creature of the mind.

The most radical type of Realism is that which has been advocated by the American New Realists and by Bertrand Russell. It is in many ways akin to Phenomenalism, but it allows that there is more in the universe than experience. Theories of this kind, which Russell calls "Neutral Monism," describe the whole universe in terms of fleeting sensory elements (particular coloured shapes, noises, touches, and so on), called sense data, sensa (singular sensum), sensibilia (singular sensibile) or sensibles. These are said to be the only constituents both of the physical world and of the mind. These " neutral" elements or sensibles are said to be capable of being related together as two -distinct kinds of system, namely physical objects and minds. Thus when I perceive a pear, a certain coloured shape enters into the system which is my mind; but it is also a member of the physical system which constitutes the pear. Someone else, perceiving the same pear, picks up certain other visual components of the physical system of sensibles which constitutes the physical pear.

My perception of the pear includes much more than the characters now present to my senses. Though I am not touching the pear, I perceive it as smooth, cool, softish. These characters I have sensed on other occasions, in association with other visual appearances of pears. On this occasion those past objects of experience are brought into mental relation with the present sensibles which I receive from this particular pear. I vaguely apprehend those past "cools," "smooths," "softs" again now, without noticing their location in the past.

But we must beware of the word "I." In this type of theory the perceiver, the "experient," is simply the whole system of " my" past experience, which. in perceiving this pear now, is assimilating new material to itself. "Experiencing" is the relation between the whole system of "my" experienced objects and this newly-assimilated object.

In this type of theory, in spite of much that is of permanent importance, there are many serious difficulties. We are left wondering how a mere system of sensibles can, so to speak, "know itself together" as a single mind; and further, how this very strange sort of mind, which is entirely composed of objects and has no subjectivity, is capable of striving and feeling. I shall not here describe the ingenious ways in which supporters of theories of this type meet these difficulties. Instead, I shall try to show that the theory, in its extreme form, breaks down over the central Realist problem, namely error and illusion.

Let us take the case of the bush which in the dark lane appears as a cow. The vaguely cow-like and bush-like shape reinstates in my present consciousness certain past sensibles belonging not to bushes but to cows. Metaphorically, I see the past sensibles now, and fail to note their pastness. My error consists in ignorance. To believe in the illusory cow is to fail to see that the cow-like shape is not a complete cow.

This account of illusion is certainly correct up to a point, but is it the whole truth? Is error simply ignorance, or is it something positive, based on ignorance? Does not the error consist, not merely in failing to distinguish between the present and past sensibles, but in jumping to an unjustifiable conclusion? For the deluded observer does not merely say to himself (in effect), " Here are certain cow-like characters, along with certain bush-like characters." He says, "That is a cow." If the mind is entirely passive, is simply a "cross-section of the universe" (as some say), and nothing but a fragmentary bit of the world, how can it commit error at all? A mind that was purely receptive would be simply a faithful recorder, a camera. And a camera, we are told, cannot lie. Of course, in a sense a camera often does lie, and flagrantly; but the lying is really the work of the observer's mind when he falsely interprets the photograph. Similarly in the bush-cow incident, the mind does, of course, passively receive a sort of "composite photograph" of past and present; but this photograph itself does not lie. Nor does the error consist in passively accepting the photograph. The error consists in actively misinterpreting the data to mean much more than is actually given, namely to mean a present cow.

Impressed by these considerations, some Realist philosophers, for instance the Critical Realists of America, have reintroduced in one form or another the concept of mental activity. For them, experiencing is not simply a passive relationship but a positive act of assertion or judgment, which may fall into positive error. In doing this, they have also to reintroduce, though in a would-be realist manner, the distinction between the mental content and the physical thing.

In this view the bush-cow illusion must be described somewhat as follows. The mind passively receives certain vague bush-like but also cow-like shapes, and these recall past experience of cows. The mind thereupon actively asserts this physical object to be a whole cow. The mental content, then, consists of the universal character "cow," which is asserted to belong to this present physical object.

This account raises the whole question of the status of universal characters, such as redness, cowishness, justice. Are there any such things? Or are they sheer figments? Let us for the present assume that there are such things as universal characters. Then according to the theory under discussion, error consists in asserting that a certain system of universal characters belongs to a certain object when in fact it does not. The theory is clearly in danger of falling into the old dualism of ideas and things, and thence into Phenomenalism. If in the case of illusion we distinguish between mental content and the thing, we must also do so in the case of true perception. This looks like abandoning Realism. Can this defeat be avoided?

Let us begin by temporarily agreeing that the mind does first apprehend universal characters only in particular events; but let us allow it the power of reverting to past instances of such universals. We must not suppose that it detaches the universal from the particular situations in the past and turns it somehow into "idea." We must conceive that the mind somehow reverts to the past situation, and apprehends again the character of that situation, or rather the character common to many situations of a certain type. But in saying this we raise very serious questions about the nature of "the mind" and about the status of universals. Granting that there are such entities as universals, and that particular instances of them are somehow discoverable in particular situations, what sort of being have they? How can a universal character be common to, or identical in, a number of instances? Further, if the mind apprehends patterns of universals, which may be either true of the "thing " or false, are we not once more putting a veil between the mind and the actual world?

Evidently this less radical kind of Realism, though it avoids the difficulties of the more radical kind, has difficulties of its own, and is in danger of collapsing into Dualism and Phenomenalism. Evidently, also, we cannot properly judge it till we have formed a clear opinion about universals. This in due course we shall attempt. But first we must consider another kind of theory of the External World, a theory which is in some respect akin to Realism, but is said by its advocates to avoid Realism's pitfalls, along with all other pitfalls of epistemology. This it does by the simple denial that any kind of epistemology is possible.

v. The Solution of Logical Positivism

The theory of Logical Positivism is one which I discuss with great diffidence, for I came upon it late in life, and have not the equipment to judge it authoritatively. This, perhaps, is enough to account for my deep, though perhaps ill-founded, conviction that it is one of those many brilliant achievements of specialism which, though immensely fertile, are weakened by inadequate basic assumptions.

As we have seen, the theory accepts actual sense-experience, and refuses to accept any entities that cannot in theory be verified in sense-experience. Like Phenomenalism, it regards sensations as simple events not analysable into a knower, a mental act, and a known. It agrees with Berkeley and Hume in holding that sensations (or "sense-contents," as it sometimes calls them) cannot exist unperceived. Or rather, it says that the proposition "Sense-contents exist unperceived" is meaningless, since it can never be verified in sense-experience. Thus Logical Positivism denies one of the principles of Realism. On the other hand, and surprisingly, Logical Positivism agrees in a manner with Locke, since it allows that material things do (in a very peculiar sense) exist unperceived. Material things, it says, are not composed of sensory characters, or of sense-contents; they are said to be "logical constructions out of" sense-contents. This does not mean that they. are mere mental figments. They are what they are, independently of any particular mind's perceiving. And so, in a sense, they exist unperceived. But what they are is of the nature not of actualities but of possibilities. The Logical Positivist agrees with John Stuart Mill's dictum that physical objects are "permanent possibilities of sensation." In calling a thing a pear we name a complex and systematic possibility of sensations, past and future. The word " pear" is a symbol definable in terms of all the possible sensations commonly said to be sensations "of a pear." This possibility exists whether anyone sees the pear or not. But it is not to be interpreted as a hidden "something" behind the sensations. It is simply the systematic manner in which sensations of a certain class have occurred and may be expected to recur. The definition of "a pear" is a formula which is true of this class of sensations.

In exactly the same way the definitions of the objects of science, such as atoms and electrons, are formulae descriptive of possible sensations, namely the sensations resulting from the hosts of experiments on which atomic and electronic theory is based. The status of atoms and of pears is identical. Both are objective possibilities of sensation. They are not hidden causes of sensation.

The Logical Positivists refuse to tell us what causes these possibilities. Causation is for them simply the observed invariable regularity of sense-experience. About any reality behind sense-experience it is impossible, in their view, to say anything that is not nonsense. Our knowledge is strictly confined to the world of sense-experience. To have any genuine meaning at all, a statement must refer to this world. Questions and statements about non-sensible causes of sensation are mere verbiage.

In considering any theory we must seek clear consciousness of its particular emotional bias. In this case the bias is in favour of what may be called "intellectual puritanism," or the longing to be independent of all irrational beliefs. Intellectual puritanism is horrifying to the mind that craves metaphysical illumination, but it is seductive to the intellectual puritan himself. Indeed the passion for scepticism may sometimes induce an irrational conviction that a theory must be true simply because it is intellectually puritanical. We must try to avoid this prejudice no less than its opposite. The only relevant question is this. Is the theory that perceived objects and scientific objects are merely "logical constructions" really an adequate account of our experience of them?

Before accepting the theory we should have to be given a precise idea as to what a "logical construction " really is. But I shall not pursue that question. It is sufficient that a "logical construction" is a formula derived from experience, and useful for the prediction of future experience of the same type. If this is correct, certain very awkward consequences seem to me to follow from the theory that physical objects are logical constructions.

If physical objects are logical constructions out of sense-experience, so are minds. The logical defence of my belief in other minds must be derived from sense-experience of their bodies. Logical Positivism unhesitatingly agrees that minds are logical constructions, not only "other minds" but "my mind." From certain factors in sense-experience I logically construct "physical objects," from other factors I construct "other minds," and from yet other factors I construct "my mind." Those parts of sense-experience which are the ground of the logical construction of "my mind" are those (whatever they be) in virtue of which I talk about my feelings, my desiring, my thinking, and so on. Now according to the Logical Positivist I have precisely the same kind of sensory ground for the logical construction of "other minds" as for the logical construction of" my mind." According to him "other minds" are logically constructed solely out of my perception of the behaviour of other human bodies, and "my mind" is constructed solely out of my perception of the behaviour of my own body. But is this ingenious theory strictly true? I do not "construct" "my mind" out of public data available both to me and to other people observing my behaviour. I "construct" it out of a very special kind of data. My knowing-feeling-striving is matter of immediate acquaintance, for me, but not for others. They may infer it from my observable behaviour; but they do so only by analogy, from acquaintance with their own knowing-feeling-striving. Similarly I, for my part, may infer "other minds" from observation of the behaviour of other bodies and the analogy with my own behaviour and my own knowing-feeling-striving. But from observation alone I cannot construct other minds, but only robots. "Other minds," in fact, cannot conceivably be verified in sense-experience. The proposition that there are "other minds" is therefore meaningless. "Other minds" are mere "metaphysical entities," or pseudo-entities. In fact, the logical outcome of Logical Positivism is Solipsism. I am aware that Logical Positivists deny this; but I cannot see that they do so with reason. They claim that "the only distinction between a conscious man and an unconscious machine resolves itself into a distinction between different types of perceptible behaviour" (Ayer). But this is not true. By saying that another person is conscious I do not mean merely that he observably behaves purposefully. I mean that he experiences, that he, like myself, knows-feels-strives. I have no access to his experience; my own is constantly with me. No doubt it is very difficult to say precisely what this introspective "awareness of my awareness " really is, but to deny its existence, and to say that I know my own experiencing in the same manner as I know the experiencing of others is not to clarify. but to confuse thought.

If it is true that " other minds " are something more than logical constructions out of sense-experience, more than formulae, then physical objects may also be so. The fact that we have no idea what character they have apart from sense-experience is no logical ground for asserting that they are merely possibilities of sense-experience. They are complexes of experienceable characters lying both within and without our experience. This, so far as I can see, is the core of the matter. In some sense, which we do not pretend to be able to state clearly, physical objects are to be thought of as actualities (not mere possibilities) extending beyond the system of human experience. This being so, the Realist account of them seems to me on the whole the most plausible.

The same argument applies to scientific objects, such as electrons. But since the scope for error is immensely greater in respect of these than in respect of perceivable objects, we can never (in the present state of science) be sure that the official account of scientific objects is more true than false. Moreover, scientific objects cannot be conceived in terms of the characters of sense-experience. They have not colour, sound, smell, taste. Even shape and hardness belong to them, if at all, in a very metaphorical sense. Consequently, though they are actualities, we are almost wholly ignorant of their nature.

vi. Conclusions

This is not the place to pursue the problem of perception into all its ramifications. Here we are concerned only with the bearing of philosophy on life, and we must be content merely to gain some realisation of the confusion of our thought about the nature of perception, and to note certain tentative conclusions which seem to be justified.

The upshot of this chapter seems to be briefly as follows. In the first place we may, and indeed we must, cling to the central principle of Realism, and believe that there is a world that exists whether anyone perceives it or not. This world is not in principle unknowable, though, of course, all that we know of it is very fragmentary and slight. When we perceive, we really do perceive something of this objective world. This something turns out to be very different from the common-sense account of it, and even more different from the scientific account of it. But we have reason to believe that, whatever the precise logical status of the perceived world, it is not sheer illusion. It is all of a piece with the vast unknown, not a veil between us and reality. We may be confident that reality is not the quality-less abstraction, the fog of mere numbers, the haze of probabilities, that is the upshot of physics. It is at least as rich and colourful as the shreds of it that we perceive. And it contains, amongst other things, the living and sometimes lovely forms of our fellow human beings. No doubt, the perceivable aspects of physical objects in the external world are inextricably tangled up with our own sense-organs and nervous systems. No doubt, what we perceive is partly an expression of our particular dispositions and past experience. But what we perceive is not simply fictitious. Moreover, our own sense-organs and brains are themselves physical objects, part of the great tissue of physical existence. And though in our simplicity we may perceive things all jumbled together that are in important manners distinct, so that we form a very grotesque view of reality, still when, for instance, a man perceives his beloved, the form that he perceives really is a character of the objective world, though its relations to other factors in the world may be very difficult and perhaps impossible to state clearly. Similarly, though he himself, the perceiving mind, is not the simple thing that he seemed, and is in fact inextricably tangled up with the rest of the world, he is not a mere phantom, or a mere abstraction from the unity of his experience. At a much later stage of our enquiry we shall try to discover in more detail what kind of a thing he is.

Postscript on Pragmatism

Had space permitted, this chapter would have included a discussion of the Pragmatists' account of sense-perception. I append a note as a starting-point for study.

The Pragmatists' main contention is that knowledge affords, not insight into the objective world, but merely formulae useful for action. Thus the atomic theory is true simply in that it leads to successful practical operations. In respect of perception, Pragmatists seem to divide into two camps. Professor F. C. S. Schiller holds that a perception is true or false simply as a sign-post leading to success or failure in our enterprises. It does not reveal the actual character of the objective world. This view leads to Subjective Idealism and, I believe, to Solipsism. William James, on the other hand, admits that perception begins with the reception of something which is objective to the perceiving mind. His position is therefore at bottom Realist.

Chapter 5


i. The Scope of Two Chapters

BEFORE we can pass on to the subjects through which philosophy bears most closely on human life, namely, the subjects connected with personality and community, we must face a problem which has been growing more urgent throughout the preceding chapters. It is a problem on which the whole value of philosophy depends, and it is logically the most fundamental of all intellectual problems. It is the problem of the scope and limitations of intellect.

We have been enquiring into the status of the external world. We have seen that in perception, if there is any independent object at all, it must be very different from the "physical thing" of naive perception, and that scientific objects also must be very different from the view of them offered by science in its less philosophical mood. If perception and science turn out to be superficial and deceptive methods of viewing objective reality, what of intellect itself? All along we have assumed that intellectual enquiry really is in principle valid, that it can in principle yield truth about the subject of study, that there really is an objective difference between true and false.

We shall first examine the actual process of reasoning. This will lead us to discuss the problem of universal characters and their particular instances, a problem which became urgent in the preceding chapter. We shall then try to form a clear idea of the meaning of truth and the nature of verification. In the next chapter we shall discuss the actual scope and limitations of human reasoning. We shall then at last be able to explore more luxuriant country.

ii. What Happens in Reasoning

The nature of all intelligent behaviour is clearly seen in Professor Kohler's experiments with chimpanzees. For instance, he put some packing-cases into their cage so that in their play the apes might become familiar with the potentialities of these man-made articles. Some days later, having starved his apes to give them a hearty appetite, he hung some fruit from the roof of the cage, just too high for the apes to capture it by jumping. After many futile antics, a bright member of the group deliberately brought a packing-case to the scene of action, set it under the fruit, mounted, and secured the prize. On another occasion, when the fruit was hung much higher, some of the animals even discovered how to build a clumsy tower of cases on which to stand.

Let us analyse this simple example of intelligence. The successful ape had already discovered in play the fact that packing-cases could be climbed. Hungry, he recognised the suspended fruit as a means for hunger's satisfaction. The height of the fruit frustrated normal fruit-getting actions, such as stretching and jumping. Intelligence consisted in apprehending the problem as one to be mastered by climbing, and in relating this "climb-needing" situation with the recently experienced "climbability" of packing-cases. The mental process in the ape's mind might be very roughly expressed thus: "Fruit! Can't reach. Must climb. Can't. Packing-cases can be climbed, and shifted. Better bring packing-case and climb."

This bit of behaviour is typical of all genuinely intelligent behaviour, even the most abstract intellectual operation. Always there is: (1) a desire (in this case for food); (2) a situation in which no familiar or instinctive act will fulfil the desire (fruit out of reach); (3) analysis of the situation and attention to its relevant factors (climb-needing); (4) recall of means to cope with such situations (climbability of packing-cases); (5) appropriate action (fetching the case and climbing).

Einstein, in inventing the theory of Relativity, behaved as the chimpanzees behaved, though with greater subtlety and in relation to a more complex problem. Schematically we, may describe his great achievement as follows: (1) His motive was the desire to construct a comprehensive physical theory. (2) Owing to certain awkward .facts, no familiar theory was adequate. (3) He analysed out the essential characters of the problem. (4) With these essential characters in mind, he recalled a hitherto unused mathematical system which seemed to bear on his problem. (5) By means of this mathematical system he worked out the theory of Relativity.

iii. The Problem of Logic

(a) Contingency and Necessity

(b) What is Logical Necessity?

(c) Logical Positivism and Necessity

(d) Criticism of Logical Positivism

(a) Contingency and Necessity — In both the preceding examples the mind was confronted with certain "brute facts," in the one case, unreachable fruit, and in the other, recalcitrant "data" of astronomical observation. It also saw certain connections between these facts and others. Reasoning is always "about" something given, something other than the actual operation of reasoning. It works on "data" which, so far as this particular act of reasoning is concerned, are simply accepted, not proved. And though some- times its data may themselves be partly products of past reasonings, those past reasonings themselves must have operated on merely given and unprovable facts. In the last analysis reason deals with data that are simply "given," and are not susceptible of proof. All the immediate data of sense-experience (and therefore the whole superstructure of theory that natural science builds thereon) are of this unprovable kind. We can see no logical necessity in the events of the external world. They just happen. In technical language, they are "contingent," not "necessary." It is true, of course, that they happen in a more or less systematic manner, and that we expect them to continue doing so, and that, on the assumption that they will continue to happen as before, we can construct very complicated formulae by means of which we can predict how in detail they will "probably" happen. But we can see no necessity that they should do so. Stones might all leap from the ground to-morrow. Heated water might freeze. Pigs might sprout wings. If these things happened we should not, if we were wise, simply adopt the attitude of the man who said of the ostrich, "There's no such bird." We should laboriously begin to collect the data for a whole new natural science.

Contingent facts, then, are simply given, and must be accepted, after due scrutiny to determine precisely what is given, and what its actual relation is to other given facts. Logical necessity itself is also in a sense simply given, and must be accepted after due scrutiny; but what is given in the case of logical necessity is of a different order, and it is given in a different manner. What we grasp when we seize upon a logical connection is always some fact of the type, "If A is true, then B must be true also." Thus "if the law of gravity is true, then this stone, if I let it go, will fall." Or again, " If a definable law of 'anti-gravity' were true, then so-and-so,would happen." Or again, "Given certain fundamental arithmetical postulates and axioms, then 7 x 42 = 7 x 2 x 8." Or "Given the postulates and axioms of Euclidean geometry, then the internal angles of a plane triangle are equal to two right angles."

Neither of these last two truths is self-evident to average human intelligence, but in each case the premise can be shown to involve the conclusion by means of a process of reasoning. The steps of this process consist of intuitive advances from one "self-evident" truth to another. This principle of implication by linked self-evidences, or logical necessity, is essential to all reasoning.

There is a perennial dispute between the champions of intellect and the champions of intuition. Let us never forget that intellect itself is intuitive through and through. Not only does it work upon data which must be intuitively apprehended; its actual operations also are intuitive. Each apprehension of self-evidence is a flash of logical intuition. Let us now consider in more detail the nature of self-evident logical necessity.

(b) What is Logical Necessity? — Logic is generally regarded as the science of true thinking. Is logical necessity, the essential "therefore" of our thinking, simply a necessity in our thinking itself; or is it a necessity in the things about which we think?

There are serious difficulties in the theory that when we experience logical necessity or self-evidence we are simply observing a necessary connection between objective facts. If this is the case, how is it that people sometimes disagree about self-evidence? Is it possible to have an illusory logical necessity? If so, how are we to distinguish between true and false logical necessity? All we can do is to check each fresh bit of seeming necessity by reference to other parts of the system of rational thought. Does it fit into the system or not? If not, we must look very carefully at it again to see if it still seems a logical necessity; and at the system, to see if there is any way by which it can accommodate the awkward intuition. And if the intuition does still seem self-evident, and the system still recalcitrant to it, we must choose between .the isolated intuition and the system. And since the total system of our thought is overwhelmingly better established, we shall provisionally reject the isolated experience.

One thing we need not do. We need not roundly deny the validity of logical thinking in those spheres in which it does prove effective.

Nor need we suppose that because we cannot prove the validity of the principle of logical thinking, therefore it is unsound. In a hot bath I feel warm. I cannot prove that warmth is happening. It just happens. Proof is not needed. Similarly with logical thinking. In principle its validity needs no proof. We cannot logically use reason itself to prove reason's, validity; nor to disprove it. For the principle itself would have to be used to construct the very argument that seeks to defend or destroy it. Only in particular instances, when our logical intuitions seem to conflict with one another, need we doubt and seek proof; and then, of the particular instance, not of reason in general.

Logic certainly is the science of true thinking. It does in some sense study a necessity in our thinking. But this is not the whole story. When we use reason upon the external world (as the chimpanzee and Einstein did) it very often proves effective. Whether the world is systematic through and through or not, it certainly contains a good deal of system. Things do with great accuracy behave in a regular and logical manner. It does seem as though there were, for instance, some kind of necessary connection between the falling of stones and the mass of the earth and the movements of planets and stars. In fact, it seems, at least on the level of common sense, reasonable to hold that logical necessity does actually in some sense hold good not merely of thoughts but of things. We have no obvious reason to deny it, and some reason to believe it, since action based on the belief is often successful.

Further, it seems at least plausible that the mental disposition toward logical thought should have been evoked in us through the impact of a world whose structure was itself logical; a world in which a thing cannot-both be and not be, and in which two and two must make four, not five.

(c) Logical Positivism and Necessity — The tentative account of logical necessity which I gave in the preceding section was in principle Realist. We must now consider the radical criticism brought against this kind of theory by the Logical Positivists. According to them the mysterious thing, "logical necessity," is not a characteristic of the objective world but is simply the consequence of the definitions which we ourselves formulate to describe the various subjects of our thinking. Thus 2 + 2 = 4 just because we have so defined the symbol 2 + 2 and the symbol 4 that they have identical meaning.

The Logical Positivist begins by distinguishing in an orthodox manner between two kinds of statements, or propositions, namely, those which are statements of fact, and are not logically necessary, and those which are purely logical, and necessary. The former are generally called empirical propositions, the latter "a priori"propositions. Examples of "empirical" propositions are: "Water flows down hill," and "Your behaviour annoys me." Examples of a priori propositions are: "Twice two is four," and "A man's father is his son's grandfather." Empirical propositions are statements of observed fact. They are not expressions of a necessary connection between the subject and predicate. A priori propositions, on the other hand, though they may be indirectly based on observation of fact, are statements of logical implication. In them the predicate merely analyses out certain logical implications of the definition of the subject. They are therefore said to be "analytic" propositions; whereas empirical propositions are said to be "synthetic," because in them the predicate, so to speak, puts things together, adds new facts to the subject.

Many propositions are seemingly empirical, but really a priori. From their ambiguity arises a danger that the necessity in them, which is in fact merely a logical consequence of a definition, may seem to be a necessity somehow belonging to the objective world. The proposition "All men are mortal" may be interpreted either synthetically or analytically. If the proposition means simply to state the result of prolonged observation of the fate of members of the human race, it is empirical and synthetic. There is no necessary in it. But if we mean by the word " man " a mortal animal of a special kind, then it is analytic and necessary. Its predicate is contained in its subject's definition. The empirical sense of the proposition records an actual addition to knowledge; the analytic sense adds nothing to knowledge, but merely draws attention to one factor included in the definition of "man." In fact, like all a priori propositions, this proposition (taken in it’s a priori sense) is tautological. If the two senses of the proposition "All men are mortal" are confused, we may be tempted to think that mortality is necessarily involved not merely by the definition of man but by the rest of human nature; which is not true. It is merely an observed fact about men.

If the Logical Positivist is right, a famous problem raised by Kant turns out to be unreal. It seemed to Kant that mathematical propositions, such as 5+ 7 = 12, were at once necessary and synthetic. They seemed synthetic because apparently they really do add to knowledge, because 12 is not simply identical with 5 +7. On the other hand they were obviously necessary, since the subject logically involved the predicate.

The Logical Positivist claims to undermine this problem by asserting that "5 + 7" and "12" are simply two ways of saying one and the same thing, or two names for the same thing. If this view is correct, then the whole of mathematics, which we regard (according to our temperament) as a majestic edifice either of pure thought or of objective necessity, consists merely of ways of saying more clearly what was already obscurely said in the basic propositions on which the great science is based.

Not only so, but all deductive reasoning, we are told, is of the same type. This is not to say that it is worthless. If our minds were incomparably more lucid than they are, mathematics (in this view) would indeed be worthless, because we should see at a glance all that the basic definitions contained. We should therefore take no further interest in the subject. But since we are merely human, and our insight is limited, laborious calculation is needed for the discovery of the full content of the basic definitions. Similarly with all other kinds of deductive reasoning. When we have by repeated observation and experiment established a scientific law (say the Law of Gravity), we can deduce from it the sequence of future events. The law itself is simply a summary of past observation, a definition of a principle which is observed to have held good in the world of fact up to the present date, and is expected to hold good in the future. We say in effect, "If the law is true, then so-and-so will happen." The mysterious necessity in this reasoning lies, we are told, simply in the fact that the particular expected event is of the kind already included within the definition of the law.

Thus logical necessity is reduced strictly to a purely linguistic phenomenon, namely to tautology, to the fact that different symbols may have identical meanings.

(d) Criticism of Logical Positivism — The foregoing account of logical necessity is to my mind very impressive; but with the diffidence proper to the mere amateur in logical analysis, I suspect that it falls seriously short of the whole truth of the matter. The definitions which we call scientific laws are, of course, formulae which are true of sense-experience. The law of gravity is not merely a definition implying certain verbally diverse but logically identical consequences.; it is a description of the way in which certain kinds of events have been observed to happen in the experienced world. This description is repeatedly corroborated by succeeding experiences. So far as it is verified, it plainly does in some sense describe a real factor in the experienced world. It is not merely a form of words. Regarded linguistically, logical necessity may appear as sheer tautology; but regarded in its application to the experienced world it appears, not merely as the fact that the same meaning may be expressed in different words, but as the fact that in the actual world the same identical principle may be in different manners. There is, of course, no observable necessity that the principle must continue to hold good; but, so long as the general character of the world appears not to have changed, particular events may reasonably be expected to occur in certain predictable manners. The tautology, so to speak, is not merely a tautology of language but an identity of fact occurring in diverse kinds of situations.

Such statements would be heartily condemned by the Logical Positivists. Clearly, all turns on the word "principle." Logical Positivists deny the existence of such vague entities. But in the present connection the word "principle" does not mean a mysterious and occult "something" behind the experienced world. It means simply an identity of character inherent in a number of diverse events, a "universal character" in many "particular instances." We shall presently enquire whether there is any justification for the belief in such entities, which Logical Positivists reject. Meanwhile, let us assume that there is an identity in all cases of gravitation, as there is for common sense an identity in all cases of warmth, or animality, or justice. An all-powerful intelligence might see at a glance this identity in all gravitational events, as we see the identity in all cases of "warmth"; but human intelligence can only by toilful observation and calculation gradually discover this gravitational identity.

Let us now revert to the Logical Positivists' account of mathematics. It is necessary first to form a clear idea of number. For our purpose it is enough to say that number is the distinctive character of groups. In saying this we assume that there can indeed be identity of character in a number of particular things or events; that, for instance, in all couples there is a certain identity, and again in triplets, and so on. This assumption we shall consider critically in the next section. Meanwhile, let us make use of it. "One," then, is the character common to all single things, whether stones or days or desires, or what not; "two" is the character common to all couples; "three," to all triplets; and so on. Let us note also that "one" is a character of every group as a whole, since it is a single group, however many units it contains. Thus we can have a single couple, a single triplet, a single century. The same applies to "couple." We may have a couple of couples, or of triplets, or centuries. And so on with all the numbers.

In the first instance some of these characters must be observed in actual concrete groups of things. The basic operations of mathematics, adding and subtracting, must also, in the first instance, be carried out with actual objects, and observed. But once we have discovered that by adding a single thing to a single thing we get a couple, we have opened the way to the whole of mathematics, and could in theory construct all the mathematical systems without further experiment. In fact, mathematical reasoning is "necessary," not "contingent."

The Logical Positivists say that mathematical necessity consists in sheer tautology. Are they right? For simplicity, we will consider the proposition 2 + 2 = 4. In a sense 2 + 2 does mean the same thing as four. But in a sense it does not. Strictly what it means is that if you take a couple and then another couple you will have a quadruplet. The operation of "adding two to two" is not the same as the result, "four." The operation of taking two pills twice a day is not the same as the operation of taking four at a time. Now clearly the symbol 2 + 2 means not merely a number but an operation performed with numbers. The result of the operation 2 + 2 is the number 4. Numerically the symbols 2 + 2, and 4, and 1 + 3, and 2 x 2, and so on, have identical significance, but "operationally" they have not.

Apparently, then, the attempt to explain away the seemingly objective necessity of mathematics by reducing it to tautology of symbols has failed. Tautology there is, but there is something else. And the problem lies not in the tautology but in the something else. Mathematical necessity consists in the fact that certain operations with certain numbers produce certain numerical results. Of course, this happens because, in spite of the difference of operation, there is a numerical identity in both sides of the equation. But this identity is not, in the final analysis, a linguistic identity; it is an identity of actual number, an identity of character in any group of things with which the respective operations are performed.

Clearly this vague talk about "character" forces on us a discussion of the whole problem of "universal characters" and their "particular instances."

iv. Universals and Particulars

(a) The Distinction between them

(b) Types of Theory

(c) Impossibility of Denying Particularity

(d) Impossibility of Denying Universality

(e) "Distributive Unity" of Universals in Particulars

(a) The Distinction between them — We have seen that thinking involves noticing the identities and differences in the characters of things. To say "This rose and that flag are both red" is to do more than be aware of a red flag and a red rose without recognising that they are both red, that they both have a certain identical character called "red." The rose and the flag are two things, or events, consisting in each case of a number of characters; and one character is identical in them both. Does this kind of statement describe the matter truly? What is the relation between a particular instance of a character and the universal character of which it is an instance?

Clearly, the characters that constitute any particular thing or event are in a sense more than the particular example of them. Each of the thing's characters seems to have some sort of being beyond the thing in which it occurs, since it occurs in other things.

The red of this rose is indistinguishable (let us suppose) from the red of that flag. An identical something occurs in two situations, a something in virtue of which we relate the two situations, and contrast both with that green grass.

Does this distinction between a. universal character and its particular instances rest on a distinction in the nature of reality, or is it merely a consequence of the nature of our thinking, or our speaking?

(b) Types of Theory — Let us glance at some of the answers that have been made to this question.

In the first place there are theories which accept the reality both of universals and particulars, and attempt to state the relation between them.

In one view, originated by Plato, universals have a special kind of being of their own, quite apart from their instances. They "subsist" in a peculiar sphere out of relation with time and space. They are the perfect types or patterns or forms to which particular things approximate, or in which they participate, and without. which they could have no features. In this view the pure universal character, "redness," subsists independently of all red things.

The Greek word which Plato used to signify a universal was the original of our word "idea"; but to Plato it meant an objective "form," not a mental state. On the other hand, the Platonic "idea" or "form" did mean something more than mere character. The "form" of a thing was the ideal or perfect pattern toward which it somehow strove. A man, for instance, participated to some extent in the form of manhood; and also in some sense he strove toward the perfection of this form. The supreme form was the form of the Good. From this all other forms were derived. God himself was subordinate to the form of the Good.

This introduction of perfection and striving toward perfection is irrelevant to the problem of universal characters. It overlooks the fact that the idea of perfection is derived from human need. Thus the ideal form of the circle, to which actual circles merely approximate, is "perfect" simply in relation to our need for good wheels or for a useful geometrical concept. The child's rough drawing of a circle does not itself aspire to approximate to the ideal of circularity. In fact, circularity is simply an abstraction from our experience of actual round objects. This (as I shall argue later) does not mean that it is a mere figment of our own minds; but it does mean that we know the character 'of circularity only in its particular instances, and that we have no evidence of a distinct realm of purely logical entities.

Medieval philosophy, which was largely derived from Plato's pupil and critic Aristotle, inclined to conceive the Platonic forms as actually mental ideas in the mind of God. The Good was good because God willed it. And all created things were embodiments of the ideas that God conceived.

In both these types of theory universals are regarded as more fundamental than the concrete things which exemplify them. To use the old phrase, both theories put the universals before the particular thing (universalia ante rem). In this view, even if there were no red things, and never had been any, redness would still "subsist."

In another kind of theory universals have no being at all save in their instances. Redness is simply a character which is observed in all red things (or events). Manhood is in men. Apart from actual men, manhood has no being at all. This theory, that universals are simply in the thing (universalia in re), has somehow to bridge the gulf between the identity of the universal and the separateness of its instances.

All these theories accept the reality (in some sense) both of universals and particulars. Even the medieval view that universals were ideas in God's mind allowed that at least they were objective to the minds of men.

But from this position it is easy to pass to the theory that universals are creatures of our own minds, and that they have no objective being. We are said to form in our minds "concepts" or "general ideas" about things. This is the theory of universals after the thing (universalia post rem) or conceptualism.

Two other kinds of view have to be recorded. First there is that which denies the being of universals entirely, preserving only particulars. In this view there are not even such things as general ideas in the mind. What actually happens is that we use one and the same name for similar things or similar characters in things. Redness is just a name, and a name is just a noise or a mark on paper. This is the theory of "nominalism."

Some philosophers have gone to the other extreme and denied the reality of particulars, preserving universals alone. In this view, a concrete thing, such as a particular stone, or a tree, or Oliver Cromwell, is simply a very complex system of universal characters, of all the characters that go to make up this individual thing. Not only is it claimed that Oliver Cromwell is a system of universals occurring in a particular historical context; but also that even his historical relationships are universals. For instance, the date of his birth is a universal character belonging to all events that happened before one set of events and after another. Further, we are told that he himself is constituted by his relations to other things, by their effects on him and his reactions on them. He is what the environment makes of him, and what he does to the environment. Even the shape of his body is the shape as it affects other things, and his own and other people's minds. No particular thing, it is said, is fully real. It involves a context. And the simpler and less self-complete the thing is, the less "real," the less concrete and more abstract it is. Thus an electron is less "real" than an amoeba, and this than a man; and a man is less "real" than a community of men. The only completely " real " thing is the Whole that comprises all things. For this alone (according to the theory) is a self-complete system of universal characters.

Thus we arrive at the Idealist's theory of the "concrete universal." A distinction is made between a relatively more abstract universal, such as "redness," and a relatively more concrete universal, such as " this red patch," which is redness combined with certain other universal characters and universal relations. A particular man is a very much more complex (and therefore concrete) universal. The British nation is more concrete still. The only fully concrete universal is the universe itself.

Such are the main theories of universals and particulars. I shall examine the two extreme theories, and endeavour to show that both universals and particulars must somehow be retained. I shall then summarise a theory which seems to me to give a credible account of their relation.

(c) Impossibility of Denying Particularity — If there is no such thing as particularity, two exactly similar systems of character must be in fact one and the same system. There is no meaning in saying that there are two of them. This is the theory of "the identity of indiscernibles." The theory assumes that even the relationships in which a thing stands are themselves universal characters, and are moreover intrinsic to the thing itself; in fact, that the thing is constituted by its relationships. Oliver Cromwell is the sum of his intercourse with the world. As we have seen, there is a sense in which even Cromwell's bodily shape is constituted by its relations to other volumes. If this theory of relations is granted, clearly there logically cannot be two identical Cromwells in the same universe, since they could not have the same relations with the rest of the universe. Nor could there be two identical stones.

But there is a serious difficulty in the theory that things are constituted by their relations to other things. If all things are thus constituted, all things exist, as it were, "by taking in each other's washing," and nothing in fact exists at all. We may admit that our knowledge of a thing is wholly constituted by our knowledge of its relations to other things, but that the thing itself is thus constituted we must not allow. Or rather, since in one sense a finite thing certainly does seem to be constituted by its relations, we must expect to find some other sense in which it is not. If things are constituted by their relations, it is equally true that relations are constituted by things. They are essentially relations of things. Or, since the word "thing" is in bad odour in philosophy, let us substitute the word "event."

But to return to the problem of universals, we must try to see the whole matter from a fresh angle. Is not the theory that denies particulars merely playing with words? What we actually experience is particular examples of universal characters. This rose, that flag, and that nose, we say, are all "red." Redness is the character in respect of which these particulars are identical. Of redness unparticularised we know nothing, save by our power of abstracting, of attending to the identity of red things while ignoring their differences. It is true that the only way in which redness can be particularised is by "entering into" particular situations or relationships with other characters; but "entering into" is metaphorical. Of redness apart from particular situations we know nothing. It is of the very nature of redness to be particularised. Particularity is as essential to it as universality.

Observing one red thing after another, and attending to their identity of character (and their difference from green things) we abstract the universality of their redness, and "hypostatise" it, or treat it as a self-complete thing. We think of redness as something other than this red and that red. In fact, we set up the universal and the particular as two independent "things." And having done this we find it impossible to relate them. In despair we have to abolish either one or the other. Thus we may actually come to think of the universality of red as in some manner the whole reality of red. But this is unnatural. and artificial, and arose through the initial mistake of detaching the universality of red from its particularity in its instances.

(d) Impossibility of Denying Universality — If, on the other hand, we retain particulars and deny that universals have any being at all, we land ourselves in another set of difficulties. According to this theory " red" is just a name, and a name is a kind of behaviour which we adopt in relation to a certain class of situations; and "green" is another name, for other situations. Each class of situations is made up of many particular members, and there is nothing whatever which can be called the "universal."

This view lays itself open to a simple criticism which, so far as I can see, vast ingenuity has entirely failed to answer. In virtue of what distinguishing mark do we assign all red things to one class and one name, and all green things to another? If there is nothing in respect of which all dogs, in spite of their differences, are identical, and distinguishable from all cats, how do we know which animals to call "dogs" and which "cats"? Similarly, if there is nothing in respect of which all couples are identical, and, again, all triplets, and so on, how do we know what to put into the class of couples, what into the class of triplets, and so on?

Further, what is a name? It is a noise or mark or action of a special kind. The noise "dog" is only a name in virtue of the fact that all instances of this noise have an identity of character, are in fact instances of one and the same name, and distinct from other names.

We saw that the denial of particulars arose from the hypostatisation of the universality in characters. We now see that the denial of universality arises from the hypostatisation of particularity in characters, the assertion that a thing or event is nothing whatever but its particularity.

Similar objections can be brought against the theory that a universal is a "concept," a mental thing, made of the stuff of the mind itself. If that is all it is, how do we know which concepts to apply to which things? The things must have similarity and difference, and so must the concepts.

(e) "Distributive Unity" of Universals in Particulars — In some sense, then, we must retain both universals and particulars. But we must avoid cutting them adrift from one another, and regarding each as an independent thing. Then what are they, and how are they related?

Let us begin by insisting that there is nothing what- ever in a particular thing (or event) save characters, and that these characters have universality, that they can occur identically in more than one instance. On the other hand, let us insist that these universal characters have no being save in their instances. The problem, then, is to state the relation between these two abstractions, namely, the particularity and the universality of a concrete character.

The following remarks are based on the theory of Professor G. F. Stout, according to which the being of the universal simply is the "distributive unity" of a character in many particular instances of the character. Thus the universal character "redness" is not a disembodied abstraction or ideal form, inhabiting a timeless realm of pure being, and mysteriously conferring itself upon its instances. But neither is "redness" a mere figment of the mind, or a mere noise. On the other hand, a particular existent "red," say in this rose, is not a completely isolated thing without objective relations (of similarity and difference) with other particulars. But neither is it describable wholly in terms of its universality. "Redness" just is the identity of character in all red things. It is not above them or before them or between them. It consists, let us say, of "the respect in which all red things are identical." It is the distributive unity of all red things.

It may be objected that this theory does not really solve the difficulty, and that we must still ask how this identity of a single something (red) in many instances can be. But the question is improper. The difficulty arises through stating the problem wrongly at the outset, through cutting universals and particulars apart and hypostatising both of them. All that a theory can be expected to do is to describe the facts of experience faithfully; and this, we may claim, our theory succeeds in doing.

Postscript on Truth

Some readers may feel the lack of a discussion of this subject. I therefore append a note, as a sketch- map of the territory.

When we say that a statement is true, we generally mean that, in some sense, it corresponds with some fact other than the statement itself. Idealists, however, maintain that the truth of a statement or idea is constituted by its coherence with the total system of knowledge. Pragmatists hold that any object (such as a word, a sign-post, a flag) may be used as an idea, may assume the office of "idea," in so far as it serves as a symbol or guide for our activities. The truth of the "idea" is simply its successful functioning in that capacity. Logical Positivists insist that a statement is true only if it can be verified in sense-perception. In this respect they and the Realists agree with common sense, though with many qualifications.

It is important to distinguish between the meaning of truth, which, I submit, involves "correspondence," and the test of truth, which is very often "coherence" with the established system of human experience.

Chapter 6

The Scope and Limitations of Reason

i. Natural Science

(a) What Scientists Do

(b) Philosophical Problems Arising out of Natural Science

(c) Scientific Laws

(d) Scientific Objects

(e) Probability

(f) Determinism and Indeterminacy

(g) The Value and Danger of Science

(a) What Scientists Do — Having formed some idea as to the nature of reason, we must now consider the scope and limitations of actual human reasoning. In our day reason's most spectacular achievement is natural science. How does the scientist go about his work? What sort of truth can he tell us?

It may be objected that these questions concern science more than philosophy. But philosophy is concerned with every subject, or a special aspect of every subject. Certainly it has much concern with science. Some modern philosophers go so far as to define philosophy as "the logic of the sciences" Without agreeing with this limitation of philosophy, we must agree that philosophy at any rate involves a study of the logical basis and structure of science.

What, then, does the scientist do? All human activity springs from complicated motives. The guiding motive of any particular scientific worker probably includes, along with sheer intellectual curiosity, such ulterior motives as the will to shine in his profession, the will to serve the community, and (in capitalistic societies) the urgent need to secure a livelihood by selling his skilled labour as dearly as possible.

For one reason or another a scientist's attention is directed to a particular science, such as physics or biology, and to some highly specialised field of study within his chosen science, such as the breaking-point of metals, or the inheritance of characters in cereals. Most scientific work to-day is very highly specialised. All the more obvious fields of research have already been at least roughly and often minutely mapped, and a subtle technique, appropriate to a special field, equips the worker for enterprises which formerly would have been quite impossible.

Let us consider the form of that technique so far as it is common to all sciences. Let us take as an example the formulation of the law of gravity. When things are let go; they fall. How fast do they fall in varying circumstances? Does their weight make any difference to their speed? Pioneering, the scientific mind made a vast number of observations of falling bodies, and devised a mathematical formula which would enable the behaviour of future failings to be predicted. It was found that they moved, and might be expected to move, with an acceleration of thirty-two feet per second every second. The colour, temperature, odour, etc., of the falling bodies were found to be irrelevant. Their weight and shape were relevant only in relation to air-resistance, and irrelevant to gravitation itself.

We may summarise the nature of all scientific enquiry as follows. Whatever his ulterior motives, the scientist's immediate aim is to describe how things happen in his particular field of enquiry. He wants his description to be as simple and handy as possible, and as coherent as possible with other scientific descriptions. He seeks some principle, or preferably some precise mathematical formula, in terms of which he can explain his problem, or rather describe his data. But first he must procure clear and significant data. He therefore analyses the crude facts, distinguishing between those that seem relevant and those which seem irrelevant. He discovers how to make crucial observations and, if possible, experiments, to help him to get a clear view of what actually happens. Whenever possible he measures the significant factors in his data. Factors which seem not to be significant for his purpose he simply ignores. He imagines hypothetical descriptions, or hypothetical laws, and tries these out; until at last he discovers one which compendiously describes the whole mass of data, and enables him to predict the future course of events.

(b) Philosophical Problems Arising out of Natural Science — This procedure confronts the philosopher with a number of problems. What precisely is a scientific law? Clearly, as' we have already seen, it is not a law with binding force. There is no "must" about it. At most it describes how events are observed to happen. But if this is so, by what right do we use the law for prediction of future events? Thus we raise the problems of the validity of inductive reasoning, the nature of causation, of probability, and the issue between determinism and indeterminism.

Another very difficult problem is raised. How far is the method of analysis reliable? How far can we discover the truth about natural events by analysing them, and ignoring all those aspects which seem irrelevant? Thus we come once more upon the question of the scope and danger of abstraction. We also encounter the issue between pluralism and monism. Which is the more significant and useful view, that the world consists of many independent things in relation, or that it consists of one thing, and is a seamless whole, such that nothing can be truly said about its parts without reference to the whole? Some, but not all, of these problems we shall discuss in this chapter.

(c) Scientific Laws — We have already seen that scientific laws are not binding laws. There is no necessity in them. For all we know, they may be violated at any moment. They are at best descriptive. Some philosophers hesitate even to allow that they are descriptions, in the ordinary sense of the word, for the following reasons.

The observations from which a law is derived are, of course, erratic. Instruments that measure time and space are never perfectly accurate. The manipulating and observing experimenter himself introduces further complications. Strictly, the law derived from the observations does not describe the actual data but a simplified principle to which the data, taken as a whole, approximate. The law, in fact, is a sort of graph, near which all the past data fall, and all future data may be expected to fall.

The Logical Positivists, bearing this in mind, insist that a scientific law is not really a proposition about a set of data; for it is not a proposition at all but only a formula by means of which propositions about actual events may be constructed. They say this because they are anxious not to attribute semi-mystical "principles" to nature. Rightly they seek to avoid thinking of abstractions, such as gravity, as mysterious "things" or "spirits" controlling nature. Rightly they insist that a scientific law is more like a rule of grammar than a sentence. It is a human dodge for simplifying description. Other dodges might work equally well.

But surely there is an important difference between a mere formula and a formula that is a scientific law. The law, after all, is derived from events, and is predictive of events. As such, it is descriptive of nature, in the sense that it describes not particular events but a set of relations between certain kinds of events. In fact, it describes a complex universal character. Of course, if universals are nothing but the names we "give" them, then a scientific law is nothing but a complicated word. But if, as I have maintained, universals have real being as "distributive unities," then a scientific law is actually a description of a universal character inherent in a large class of events.

The fact that scientific laws can be true or false, that they can be tested in sense-experience, shows that they really are, in some sense, descriptive of nature. The fact that there may be different and equally good, or even better, ways of formulating laws raises no more difficulty than the fact that " It rains " and "Il pleut" are equally good descriptions of a certain kind of natural event. These statements are no less true, though less precise, than the statement that H2O, in drops of a certain size and frequency, is descending on the earth.

When Newton, in a flash of creative imagination, guessed that there was a connection between the laws descriptive of falling bodies and of the movements of the planets, he set about testing this hypothesis by further observations and calculations; and discovered that his original formula did, in fact, describe the principle common to both sets of events. When Einstein, intrigued by certain minute discrepancies between prediction and observation, devised a much more subtle formula to comprise much more than gravitation, he did not overthrow Newton's law. He merely invented a more exact "language" by which to describe more precisely what Newton's language had described less precisely. Both laws, however, are descriptive of nature. But Einstein's is the more precise and comprehensive description.

(d) Scientific Objects — So much for scientific "laws." What of scientific "objects," such as electrons, protons, neutrons, positrons? Are they to be regarded as real factors in nature or as mere formulae, useful for scientific prediction? Obviously very little is known about them. They are mere calculable potentialities for affecting our instruments. An electron, for instance, is (in this view) a very abstruse formula descriptive of a very subtle "permanent possibility of sensation." It is a mere system of probability. We can assign to it no quality known to us. The little that we do know of it is often self-contradictory. An electron is apparently to be conceived as at one and the same time a particle and a system of waves. Nevertheless, the logical status of scientific objects is at bottom the same as that of ordinary unperceived physical objects, such as the earth's metal core, or the stony centre of Cleopatra's Needle, or a man's own brain. If these are real factors in nature, so are electrons. The only difference is that our knowledge of scientific objects is reached by a much more indirect method, is far less detailed, and cannot be accurately conceived in terms of familiar sensory characters.

On the other hand, if scientific objects are mere. formulae, useful for prediction of perceptible events, but not to be regarded as objective entities, then ordinary unperceived physical objects must be regarded in the same way. Not only so, but perceived physical objects, too, though of course not pure sense data, must be regarded as mere formulae, useful in action, but no more.

This view we have rejected. In doing so we pledge ourselves also to a realistic view of scientific objects.

(e) Probability — It is fairly clear that scientific laws are compendious descriptions of past sensory experience, or at the very least formulae from which such descriptions can be derived; but by what right do we use them also for prediction of future sensory experiences?

It used to be said that the first assumption of all science was the "uniformity of nature," the conviction that, wherever and whenever events occur, the same fundamental physical laws must hold good of them. To-day it would rather be said that though the scientist hopes for and seeks regularity, he makes no assumption that it must exist. An immense amount of regularity has been discovered and is found to hold good from day to day. But we know no reason, inherent in the nature of things, why this regularity should continue. At any moment gravitation might cease, or the sky might roll back and reveal the Celestial City, or sheer chaos might supervene.

We have a strong expectation that none of these things will happen. The "probability" of their happening, we say, is infinitely small. What is this " probability"? Is it simply the degree of the intensity of our sense of expectation, or rather of the strength of our mental habit of expectation, which becomes more and more insistent the more often a familiar sequence of events is experienced? Or is probability in some manner objective in nature?

Sometimes probability can actually be calculated and assigned a percentage. In dice-throwing we can easily calculate the probability that the six will turn up so I many times out of so many throws. Put to the test of experience, the prediction proves the more accurate the greater the number of throws. If it were to fail completely, if the six were to turn up much more often than we expected, we should at once infer that some special influence was at work. Perhaps the dice might be biased, or the throw itself nicely calculated to turn up sixes.

If we knew all the relevant data for any particular throw (the centre of gravity of each of the dice, the initial position of both, the strength and direction of the movement, and so on) we could predict the result of that throw without leaving any more to probability than is left in all statements about the world of fact. As it is, we know only (let us say) that the dice are not appreciably biased, and that the throws are genuinely haphazard. Each side of the die, we say, has as good a chance of turning up as any other. Since there are six sides, each side has one chance in six for any particular throw. The probability is that, out of every six throws of one die, one throw will produce the coveted side with six dots on it. This statement is clearly not simply a statement about our expectation. Whatever anyone expects, the statement is in some sense true. Yet it is not in the ordinary sense a statement of fact. Actually the six might turn up six times in succession, or not at all in a score of throws. Then what is the statement about?

It is a logical statement about the implications of a hypothesis or definition. If the die is unbiased, and the throw is random, and if the accepted principles of dynamics still hold good, then no side has the advantage. The reasoning is "necessary" in this hypothetical sense. But there is no observable necessity in its application to any particular group of throws. Indeed, strictly it does not by itself apply to particular throws at all, since it is incomplete. In every particular case the issue is determined strictly by the dynamics of the situation. But the formula is useful, because over a large number of throws the idiosyncrasies cancel out. So long as the conditions hold good, the formula is a true description of a universal principle which has had instances and may have others.

On the face of it there is a great difference between the probability that a six will turn up in a particular throw and the probability that the laws of dynamics themselves, or any natural laws, will hold good. The one probability can be calculated, the other not. And in the one case possible interferences can at least be conceived and studied; in the other not. But the underlying principle is identical in both cases.:fn each, certain factors are known, others are not known. In the case of the die, what is demanded is prediction of a particular result, and for this prediction the known factors are insufficient. Only a general principle can be established. In the case of a natural law, a general principle is all that is demanded; and for this the knowledge that we have has proved adequate. But, of course, in both cases the great unknown makes certainty impossible.

(f) Determinism and Indeterminacy — In the nineteenth century the growth of rationalism combined with the success of science to suggest that all physical events were connected together in one great causal system. Every physical event was regarded as a necessary effect of preceding events and a cause of succeeding events. Mental events in human minds were thought either to be links of a non-physical kind in the causal chains or to be mere consequences of purely physical causation. They were supposed not to be themselves causally efficient.

Although in the physical sciences determinism was generally accepted, in the biological sciences a long- drawn-out war raged over it. The usefulness of organs and of modes of behaviour strongly suggested that in some way purpose was a controlling factor in biological causation. The determinists clung to the concept of mechanism, and declared that natural selection was enough to explain the process of evolution. The vitalists insisted that natural selection was negative, and that some positive and teleological or purposeful drive, some "entelechy," or "élan vital," was obviously at work.

Into this controversy we need not now enter. All that we need do is to try to see clearly what is at stake. The issue can be stated in terms of purely descriptive law, without any reference to underlying forces) whether physical or teleological. Are there, or are there not, some sequences of biological events which cannot even in theory, even if we had all the relevant data, be fully described by the formulae of physical mechanism, and which in fact involve a teleological infringement of the purely mechanical course? To use an analogy, are there points at which the stream, instead of taking the line of least physical resistance, actually gathers itself together and leaps over barriers? And are we justified in holding that these leapings can be described only by reference to a goal?

The issue of the controversy must be left to the scientists. Perhaps, like so many controversies, it will be decided not by the victory of one side but by the discovery that the alternatives have been wrongly conceived, so that neither is true and neither is false.

Let us note, however, that even if the teleological view is correct, determinism (though not, of course, mechanism) might still hold good. Particular events, though not determined solely by preceding physical events, might still be determined. They might still occur systematically in relation to determining factors. They might show a teleological bias that was constant and regular; and in relation to this bias prediction of future events might still be possible, in the manner in which a man's act may, up to a point, be predicted from knowledge of his purpose.

On the whole it is probably fair to say that though mechanical descriptive laws have proved increasingly useful in biological research, the issue between teleology and mechanism is not yet decided. The steady advance of biochemistry strongly suggests that in time all biological phenomena will be accounted for in terms of physical mechanism. On the other hand, it may also turn out that thoroughgoing mechanism in the abstract field of the biological sciences is not, after all, incompatible with teleology in more concrete studies.

Strangely, while the biological sciences have tended to provide increasing evidence of determinism and even of mechanical determinism, physics itself has been shaken by a serious attack of "indeterminacy." It would be folly on my part to pretend that I have more than a superficial understanding of this scientific controversy. Consequently the reader must take my comments on its philosophical aspect as .merely a starting-point for further study. If he wishes to pursue the matter he should read, not only the popular works of Eddington and Jeans, but the penetrating criticism of them in Professor Susan Stebbing's Philosophy and the Physicists.

The trouble seems to have had two sources. One, we are told, was the complete failure to find any reason why an electron should change its orbit at one time rather than another; the second source of difficulty lay in the discovery that in principle there was no possibility of knowing both the position and the velocity of an electron in its orbit. If one was known, the other was in principle unknowable.

The common-sense reaction to these troubles was simply to attribute them to our ignorance. If we knew enough, it was said, we should be able to predict the electron's leap; and we should be able to correlate its speed and its position.

But the eminent physicists pointed out that this was sheer assumption. We were so accustomed to discover system in nature that we irrationally took it as certain that system must hold throughout. When at last we stumbled upon a fundamental arbitrariness in physical events, we could not recognise it, but regarded it merely as a case of veiled determinism. Instead, we should have recognised that, after all, at bottom nature was not systematic. The ultra-microscopic events within the atom contained a factor of sheer arbitrariness. No doubt in the mass, in "macroscopic" physics, these arbitrary events average out and yield the systematic, predictable events from which the theory of determinism was derived. But when we look more minutely into the matter, determinism (they said) turns out to be illusory.

To enforce their argument the opponents of determinism cited the analogy of life-insurance. The actuary is able to predict that so many people of a given age will die each year, though the death of any individual is unpredictable. From a host of accidents a statistical law of probability emerges, by means of which prediction is possible.

Some have found in this supposed arbitrariness of physical nature an argument for free will in human beings. The bogey of physical determinism, they say, is destroyed. If physical events themselves are at bottom arbitrary, they cannot impose determinism on the mind. This, however, is a very unconvincing argument. A man's behaviour consists of physical events of the "macroscopic," not the microscopic, order; and therefore, even according to this theory, should be subject to the determinacy of "macroscopic" physics. Putting the matter very crudely, we may say that what the champions of free will must establish is not that the individual electrons in a brain have "free will" but that the single mind of the man has "free will."

But quite apart from the question of free will, what bearing have these arguments on the problem of determinism in physical nature? From the point of view of common sense the fact that there is system on the "macroscopic" physical plane seems to imply system. also on the ultra-microscopic plane, even if we cannot yet discover the laws of that system. The analogy of the actuary was misinterpreted. His generalisations would not hold good unless the individual deaths, though unpredictable, were as a matter of fact systematic. Generalisations about deaths from road accidents, diseases, and suicide would be impossible if the individual deaths were not in fact determinate instances of general principles — physical, biological, psychological, social. Similarly, if the behaviour of electrons was really indeterminate in detail it would prove indeterminate also in the mass. And whatever is the truth about the behaviour of individual electrons, it is certainly true that in the mass, or on the "macroscopic" scale, their behaviour is determinate in the only sense in which any matter-of-fact is ever determinate, namely, that in very many cases it can be predicted and subsequently verified with great precision. Of course, there is no discoverable logical necessity in their behaviour, or in any actual events. But science has established a huge system of exact statistical laws about their behaviour; and, though these laws are not necessary, they have an almost infinite degree of probability.

Much confusion arises from the ambiguity of the words "determined" and "determinism." If determinism involves logical necessity, then clearly we have no right to say that physical events are determined, since we know of no logical necessity in the sequence of events. Even if determinism involves merely causal necessity, we have now, according to Professor Stebbing, no right to attribute determinism to physical events, since in the microscopic foundations of physics causal laws have given place to statistical laws, necessity to probability. (But surely this is nothing new.) If, on the other hand, determinism involves merely determinate or systematic or regular behaviour, then the new developments of physics do not disprove determinism, since on the macroscopic level and even on the sub-atomic level there is an immense amount of regularity and predictability. It is important to emphasise this point since the works of Eddington and Jeans tend to give a different impression. As Professor Stebbing has pointed out, the new concepts of physical science do not show that there is anything indeterminate or arbitrary in physical nature. There is nothing lawless in the basic phenomena of physics.

The upshot seems to be that recent developments of physics have no special bearing on the philosophical problem of determinism. Independently of these developments it is recognised that all scientific laws are descriptive laws, not necessary laws. They describe observed regularities in the spontaneous course of events. At most they can only suggest a determinism which can never be proved. Sub-atomic physics does nothing to diminish the suggestion.

(g) The Value and Danger of Science — It is obvious that natural science has given man extensive knowledge and great powers. It is equally obvious that those powers have been used unwisely; and that the knowledge which science has given has in some important respects led not to wisdom but to blindness, folly, destruction, and grave peril to civilisation.

The method by which science went to work was that of attending to those aspects of the world which could most easily be observed with accuracy, and ignoring the rest. Roughly, it studied the movement of material things, and whatever was clearly related with movement. It ignored "secondary qualities," such as colour and sound, save as symptoms of movement. It also ignored mental facts, such as desiring.

Thus in time was built up the amazingly complex system of the physical sciences; and, along with this, industrial power. Meanwhile, with high confidence in his new explorative technique, man applied the concepts which had proved so useful in the study of lifeless matter to the study of living matter and of mind. By observation and analysis he strove to single out the determining factors of vital and of mental behaviour, with the expectation that these could be explained in terms of the laws of matter in motion. He succeeded at least to the extent of discovering many important and unexpected ways in which behaviour depended on obscure physical factors in the body or in the environment. It seemed clear that in time the dream of the materialist would be fulfilled, and everything would be thus explained.

I shall consider Materialism in more detail in a later chapter. Meanwhile, we must note that the theoretical and practical triumphs of physical science led to an unjustified confidence in it as a key to the metaphysical understanding of the universe.

ii. Irrational Determinants of Thought

(a) False Reasoning

(b) Reason and Desire

(c) Social and Economic Determinants of Thought

(a) False Reasoning — How is it that false reasoning ever occurs? What happens in it? What are the influences that tend to vitiate reason? Is it true, as some say, that it is doomed to failure in all its more ambitious enterprises? Is it reliable only in the practical sphere?

Let us first try to see clearly what happens in false reasoning. In a sense all false reasoning springs from ignorance and rashness. This is true equally of false probability reasoning, in which a reasoner ignorant of certain relevant facts may rashly assert a conclusion as probable on insufficient evidence, and of false necessity reasoning, in which a reasoner ignorant of the precise meaning of a definition may rashly deduce consequences that are not,-after all, implied in the definition. In each case there is ignorance and a rash act of "jumping to conclusions."

The ignorance may be due either to the fact that (in probability reasoning) the reasoner has never come upon the relevant data, or has not understood their relevance; or (in necessity reasoning) to the fact that he has never come upon or never properly understood the definition.

But also the ignorance, and the rashness, too, may be due to psychological influences in his own mind. These influences may have induced him positively to ignore the relevant data, or to misinterpret the definition. One psychological influence that may have this effect is sheer haste. All reasoning, as we have seen, is undertaken to fulfil some need, practical or theoretical. If the need for a solution of the problem is very insistent, or is not restrained by the impulse for caution and thoroughness, hasty and inaccurate reasoning may occur.

This kind of psychological distortion of the reasoning process through haste and superficiality may be regarded as a special case of a large class of distortions due to the influence of desire.

(b) Reason and Desire — The wish may be father to the thought. Desire that a certain conclusion should be true, either for sheer haste or for the pleasantness of the conclusion, may blind the reasoner to facts which should induce him to reject it. Or again, the desire may persuade him to imagine a cogency in arguments that are in fact irrelevant or worthless. We all know in our own experience the temptation to allow this to happen. We know also the devastating discovery that we did on an earlier occasion unwittingly allow desire to vitiate our reasoning, even though at the time we refused to admit that this was so.

Still worse, psychologists assure us that we are constantly swayed by motives of which we have no consciousness; and that much of our reasoning, if not all, consists of finding plausible excuses for beliefs or actions that are needed by our unconscious nature.

That men are often swayed by unconscious prejudice is obvious to onlookers, though not to themselves. The psychologists have but extended our knowledge of this danger. Though there is good reason to be sceptical of some of the doctrines which particular psychological schools assert about the status and content of "the unconscious," we must, I think, recognise that all reasoning processes are in principle liable to be irrationally influenced by cravings which the reasoner will not or cannot bring into clear consciousness. This theory enables us to understand how our friends come to use fantastic arguments. And if this is the case with them it is probably so also with us.

Here we may note some of the more obvious ways in which "the unconscious" may exercise a distorting influence. Frustrated self-regard, frustrated sex, frustrated sociality, untoward parental relations, marital relations or social relations, repressed fear, hate, cruelty — all these may have a dire effect in misdirecting reason and forming false concepts.

Every particular reasoning process, then, may be to a greater or lesser extent distorted by "unconscious wishes." These wishes or needs may be peculiar to the individual or common to all members of his community or to all members of the human race. By every possible means we must guard against this danger in our own thinking. Two methods are possible. The first is to explore and bring into clear consciousness, so far as possible, our unconscious needs. The psychoanalysts assure us that we cannot do this without being analysed. I should myself have more faith in this method if it did not seem to me that in their own behaviour, speech, and writing the distorting influence of unconscious needs was sometimes painfully obvious. However, the psycho-analysts are no doubt in principle right. We cannot delve far into our unconscious needs without expert help. My only doubt is as to whether any really expert help is yet available. Some day, no doubt, it will be. Meanwhile, we can, I believe, do a good deal more than the psycho-analysts suppose in the way of knowing' our own motives. Anyhow, we can but try to know them as far as possible.

The second method of guarding against the irrational influence of unconscious needs is to formulate a logical technique so exact and reliable that errors introduced by irrational influences will be as patent as errors in arithmetic. The patient work of modern logicians is laying the foundations for such a technique, but at present the practical application of their technique is scarcely possible. They have, however, exposed many unexpected snares of thought, many sources of ambiguity and false reasoning.

It may be that through the use of these two methods human thinking may some day become far less unreliable than it is now. Meanwhile, we can at any rate to some extent guard against inaccurate reasoning and emotional distortion of reasoning by fostering in ourselves a strong devotion to clear thinking. The desire that is least likely to distort the thinking process is the desire for intellectual accuracy. Even this, as we have seen, may sometimes defeat its own end by creating an extravagant passion for scepticism or for hair-splitting analysis.

(c) Social and Economic Determinants of Thought — This principle of the irrational determination of thought is immensely important. Though it cannot be used to undermine reason in general, any particular process of reasoning may be invalidated by unconscious needs. We are at last beginning to suspect that the history of a community's thought is determined less by purely rational considerations than by other influences. On the whole, those ideas and values tend to survive which are emotionally satisfactory either to the community as a whole or (more often) to a dominant class within the community. Rationality, of course, has some influence, but its scope is limited and precarious. In the long run it has little power against the strong primitive urges of self-regard, sex, and herd-feeling. No doubt, flagrantly irrational ideas will not gain general acceptance unless they are either presented in times of extreme emotional excitement or so obscurely expressed that their irrationality is concealed. And, of course, ideas which, through obvious failure to correspond with facts, would lead to swift and dramatic disaster are also unacceptable. But apart from such extreme cases, the fate of ideas depends very largely on their power to give emotional satisfaction. This in turn depends partly on their actual or illusory satisfaction of primitive needs which may not be introspectable by the thinker himself.

On the other hand, we must recognise that there is a constant process of natural selection of ideas. On the whole, in the very long run, those ideas that tend to fit a community for survival triumph over those that tend towards the community's destruction. This process is not to be regarded as a triumph of rationality in human minds. It represents simply the nemesis that overtakes all folly in the long run. I shall have more to say on this subject under the headings of Ethical Scepticism and Economic Determinism.

There can be little doubt that in every age there occurs a fairly rigorous but not absolute economic determination of culture. The culture of any particular community at any moment of its history is an expression of the following influences:

  1. The culture of the preceding period. This includes both "culture" in the restricted sense and the whole social tradition of behaviour.
  2. The present economic condition of society, including (a) the needs of the masses and (b) the needs of dominant classes.
  3. Other present conditions not primarily economic, such as scientific discoveries.
  4. The degree of mental health, or freedom from frustration and obsession, in the masses and the dominant classes. This frustration is of two types, personal (e.g. parent complex) and social (e.g. economic frustration).
  5. The general intelligence of the masses and the dominant classes, and their power of resistance to suggestion.
  6. The degree of the power which the dominant classes exercise through coercion and propaganda.

Of these factors those which affect the dominant classes are generally far more important in determining culture than those which affect the masses. But the greater the divergence between the needs of the masses and those of the dominant classes the more will the culture of the dominant classes (and therefore of the masses themselves at second hand) be determined by the will of the dominant classes to maintain their power. That is to say, ideas which seem to the dominant classes "subversive," either socially or morally or intellectually or even aesthetically, will be severely repressed.

iii. Irrationalism

(a) Statement of the Theory

(b) Objections to Irrationalism

(a) Statement of the Theory — The subtlety and range of these irrational determinants of thought may seem to support a radical scepticism about the value of in. tellectual enquiry. If the distortions of thinking are so far-reaching and so secret, must we not recognise that all our thinking is wholly untrustworthy, save in the most simple practical spheres?

Other considerations have been thought to prove not merely that intellect is in fact so confused as to be worthless, but that in principle, in its very nature, it is doomed to failure. Human intellect, we are told, is a product of biological evolution. It occurred because of its survival value in practical situations. It is adapted only to practical purposes. When it is used in pursuit of more abstruse ends, such as metaphysical truth, it defeats itself. As well might the flippers of a seal be used for flying.

Moreover, it is said, we have no justification for assuming that reality is rational at all in its intrinsic nature. Why should it conform to the requirements of intellect? No doubt, in practical life, a great deal of system does appear in the world, but this is imposed by the mind, imposed upon a fundamentally irrational, non-systematic reality. The rationality of science is not in the last analysis objective; it is a sort of reflection which the object throws back to the rationalising mind, a reflection of the mind's own rationalising nature.

Further, it has been suggested that intellectual activity is not, properly speaking, a way of knowing at all. What it can do is simply to devise formulae for successful action. Physics and chemistry do not tell us anything about the nature of matter. They merely provide us with principles useful for the control of matter — in fact, for industry, medicine, war, and so on. This is the essence of Pragmatism.

All our concepts, it is said, even the most subtle and abstract, have their roots in the practical thinking of primitive savages. Intellectual curiosity, working with these barbaric tools, has, of course, wonderfully improved them; but at bottom they remain the same rude implements, and they can no more give us objective truth about things than the savage's spear can pierce the sun. Matter, mind, space, time, causation, freedom, necessity, and, indeed, the whole gamut of our concepts, are said to be utterly deceptive if we expect of them insight into reality, and not merely precepts for action.

Another charge that is brought against intellectual enquiry is that it is vitiated by its analytic method. Intellect has to study a complex whole by distinguishing its component parts and observing their relations with one another. In so doing, we are told, it dooms itself never to grasp the Whole as such. This criticism is related to the monistic view of the universe. If the only truth is the whole truth about the whole universe, it is impossible to build up the truth bit by bit out of "partial truths," which are not really true at all, save in relation to particular finite purposes. In this view the universe is conceived as organic. The analytical account of the parts of an organism and of their behaviour can never, it is said, give the truth about the organism as a whole, which cannot be analysed without being destroyed.

Intellect, we are told, works with concepts which are mere abstractions from concrete reality. They are derived by attending to a particular character in its concrete setting and ignoring the setting. But characters have no existence without their setting. They are expressions of their setting. To hypostatise them in this manner is to falsify them. Any particular character, say the red of that rose, is not simply an example of redness, or even of any particular shade of red. It is the particular shade in relation to a particular background. Thus, it is said, even the fullest and most accurate description of a concrete thing or event, in which all its characters were duly enumerated, would be false throughout, not only in the sense that all knowledge save knowledge of the Whole must be false, but also in the sense that each item in the description would lack concreteness, and therefore the whole description would lack it.

Yet another argument in favour of irrationalism is based on the charge that intellect can only regard its objects from outside. It can never penetrate into them, and know them inwardly. Even the most seemingly penetrating scientific analysis is really quite external. Science, for instance, cannot tell us what an electron is in itself, but only how it affects the observer. Properly to know a thing, we are told, we must not merely stand over against it and observe its aspects, one after another; we must enter into it and be it. This, intellect can never do.

Along with this charge against intellect the claim is often made that there is another way of knowing which is not stultified by analysis and externality. This is said to be a direct, intuitive apprehension of reality. In support of this claim reference is made to immediate sense-experience as a genuine, though of course limited, "being-the-object" and therefore knowing it inwardly, in contrast with indirect, though more pretentious, intellectual knowledge. Instinctive action is also cited as an example of the superior kind of intuitive or inward knowing. The wasp which seals up food along with its eggs, for the future grubs, is said to know intuitively the future grubs' future needs. Similarly, we are told, aesthetic and moral intuitions, the intuitive sense of another person's character, and also the experiences of the mystics, are modes of knowing which are not subject to intellect's limitations.

(b) Objections to Irrationalism — Before considering the claim that there is another kind of knowing more penetrating than intellectual knowing, let us deal with the criticisms of intellectual knowledge itself, and particularly with the charge that it is in principle impotent.

The fact that intellect was evolved under the stress of biological evolution as a means of dealing with practical problems does not involve its incapacity in the realm of theory. Many activities which at the outset were ill-suited to the capacities of a species have subsequently developed to a high degree of efficiency. It is true, of course, that an organ which has become highly specialised for one purpose cannot easily be adapted to; another. The seal's flippers, of course, are of no use for flying. But they themselves developed from organs of terrestrial locomotion, and were once ill-adapted to swimming. Wings, too, have evolved from legs. Such arguments, however, are of little value, one way or the other. The important point is that, as we have seen, intelligent behaviour is essentially of the same type whether it is applied to practical or to theoretical problems, and that the problems themselves are essentially of the same type too. So long as intellect really does conform to the principles of its own nature, and does not commit sheer errors, it can give genuine information about the universe.

The Pragmatist's claim that intellect cannot afford insight into objective reality, that it can do no more than devise formulae for action, contains an important truth; but it goes too far. It is true that even the most abstract intellectual knowledge is in a sense a formula for action, even if it is so remote from practical life that no action can at present be based on it. But it is equally true that no intellectual knowledge is only a formula for action. To be useful in action a formula must work. And to work, it must be a generalisation about certain characteristics of the objective world. To that extent it really is, or rather affords, real knowledge of the objective world.

Of course, if "knowing" means only immediate acquaintance with, direct contact with, or mystical penetration into the object known, or into a "reality" behind appearances, intellect is incapable of yielding knowledge. But if the word "knowing " is given a more modest and more usual sense, and is allowed to include the discovery of any true information about the object, then clearly intellect can give knowledge. Starting with the immediate data of sense-experience, it constructs and verifies hypotheses, scientific laws, theories of "scientific objects," according to which future experience may be predicted. Such knowledge really is knowledge about reality, even though it is nor penetrating knowledge.

The identification of knowing and being, implied in the claim that to know anything one must be it, is merely a confusion of thought. It seems to be based on the mistaken notion that the only thing a man really knows is himself, because he is himself. As a matter 'of fact he knows almost nothing about himself, and what he does know is found not by being himself but by making himself an object of a knowing act in the ordinary way. In fact, to know himself he must be able in a manner to " stand outside" himself and "look" at himself. Similarly with sensation. We do not know a sensed object, such as a red patch, by simply being it. To know it we must, so to speak, hold it at arm's length, focus it, and contemplate it.

The charge that analysis is essentially falsifying has no weight at all unless extreme monism is true. Of course, if reality is indeed a single substance in which all distinctions are illusory, if we cannot know anything unless we know the Whole, and know all about it, then intellectual activity is indeed futile. The theory of monism must be considered later. For the moment we may merely note that if monism is strictly true, and if intellectual knowledge is in principle radically fallacious, there is no reason to trust the arguments which lead to this conclusion, since they themselves are intellectual arguments, and therefore fallacious.

It is mistaken to suppose that all conceptual knowing must be false because of the nature of abstraction. No doubt a concept is formed by abstracting a particular character from all its many concrete occasions and ignoring its setting in those occasions; but this procedure is quite legitimate so long as we remember that what we are acquiring in abstract knowledge is abstract, so long as we do not suppose that our abstract knowledge of the object is the whole truth about it.

Similar is the charge that intellect itself imposes an illusory rationality on a fundamentally irrational reality. The charge is arbitrary. Clearly we do seem to discover some system in the world; and, short of complete subjectivism, there seems no reason to deny that such system as we do discover really does belong to the objective world. It does not, of course, follow that the world is systematic through and through.

Let us now consider the contention that there is another kind of knowing which is free from the disabilities of intellect, and is indeed the only true knowing, because it enters into the object. The case of instinctive action is really quite irrelevant. There is no reason whatever to suppose that the wasp knows that its eggs will hatch into hungry grubs, or that it knows what food it will want. As well might we suppose that when a child is terrified of the dark it knows why it fears. The truth is simply that the dark arouses fear in it. It may, of course, invent reasons for its fear; but the real cause of its fear is unknown.

Aesthetic and moral intuitions, and intuitions about personal character, are often cited as cases of the non-intellectual kind of knowing. They are, of course, at bottom cases of direct acquaintance with something, and so far indubitable. But the interpretation which is put upon them when they are described or even thought about is an intellectual structure, and open to error. Even the intuitive core of these experiences is partly the product of past intellectual operations of analysis and synthesis, now forgotten. And even if we grant that there are some factors in aesthetic and moral experience which are irreducible intuitions, these intuitions cannot be properly known without intellectual study of them; just as, if we would precisely know the qualities of sensation, we must make generalisations about their likenesses and differences in comparison with other sensations.

We have already seen that intellect itself is intuitive through and through. It operates on data which are given intuitively (such as sense-characters), and these it compares and contrasts and generalises about in successive acts of intuitive "vision." It may well be that there are kinds of intuitive experience other than intuitive sense-experience, and that these do afford peculiar insight into certain characteristics of reality. But this does not mean that reality is irrational in the sense that it is incoherent, unsystematic, arbitrary. It means only that reality is irrational in the sense that the ultimate data on which intellect works must be simply brute facts. Even if reality is systematic through and through, intellect knows no necessity in virtue of which it must be so. Its very rationality (in so far as it is rational) must be accepted simply as an irrational fact.

I shall not now discuss the claim that mystical experience affords some kind of intuitive knowledge of the whole of reality. It is enough to say that even if it does, even if mystical knowledge is the supreme kind of knowledge, this is no reason why ordinary intellectual knowledge should be deemed worthless as a means of knowing some kinds of facts about reality.

iv. The Place of Reason

Let us now try to sum up and draw conclusions from our discussion of the scope and limitations of reason. Irrationalism came into vogue as a reaction against extreme Rationalism. It has been supposed that rationality was fundamental to the universe, that there must be a reason for everything, that in theory everything in the universe could be deduced from the rational nature of the universe as a whole, and that man, in spite of his ignorance and stupidity, was in essence a rational being, who would always act reasonably if only he could be led to see the reasonable course. When rationalism of this extreme kind had come to seem extravagant, the pendulum of culture, gathering momentum, began to swing toward an equally extravagant irrationalism. This I have criticised. All its arguments are either false, or effective only against the extravagant kind of rationalism.

We may conclude as follows. Reasoning can only work upon data given in intuitive experience. It cannot find any necessity in its ultimate data. Nor has it any foreknowledge that the data must be in any way systematic and amenable to intellectual study. Its task is to compare, distinguish, clarify, and relate,the data, and to discover temporal sequences of data, for the purpose of understanding, prediction, or control. Each act of comparing, and so on, is itself intuitive. Reasoning is a sequence of linked intuitions. The data upon which reasoning operates are of many kinds. There are intuitions of sense and of introspection, logical and mathematical intuitions, aesthetic and moral intuitions, and there may be many other kinds. The scope of some of these experiences is very restricted, of others much more comprehensive. We must not rule out the possibility of an intuitive experience of the whole universe, or of the relation between the experienced and the whole. Even such a datum of intuition might, if it occurred, afford matter for intellectual study, though the concepts derived from the sphere of normal experience might well prove wholly inadequate to the task.

Chapter 7


i. Fact and Value

HITHERTO we have been considering questions of fact, not questions of value, or of good and bad. The word "value" is very ambiguous, but it is a useful " hold-all" word to include all the sought and shunned aspects of experience. Pure science and pure logic are supposed to be concerned only with questions of fact, and not at all with the pleasantness, usefulness, goodness, or beauty of the facts which they discover. The physicist studies the behaviour of electrons without passing moral judgments on it. Utilitarian, moral, or aesthetic motives may direct his attention to certain fields of study rather than to others; but he must so far as possible prevent these motives from influencing his actual study of facts. Truth itself is in a sense a value, not only for the utilitarian motives but for the motive of pure intellectual curiosity; since it is indeed something which is sometimes sought and admired for its own sake. On the other hand, values themselves are in some sense facts. It is a fact that, men being what they are, food has value for them. It is a fact that for the lover the beloved is a thing of value. It is a fact that for Christians love itself has value or is a value. These statements are all in some sense true statements of fact. It is our concern in this chapter to form as clear an idea as possible of the nature of their common element, namely, value.

ii. Some Distinctions and Problems

To avoid confusion let us make a few preliminary distinctions. Some of them may turn out to be mistaken or superficial, but it is necessary to grasp them clearly at the outset, if only to be able to dismiss them.

First we must distinguish between the thing that is valued and the activity of valuing it, between a drink, or the act of drinking-a-drink, and the enjoying of drinking-a-drink; between the beloved and the act of cherishing her; between loving and the act of valuing love itself.

We must also distinguish between external objects valued and one's own activity valued. In the case of drinking, the object is the actual liquid, the activity is what we do with the liquid, namely, drinking. Strictly, what we value is drinking-a-drink. Both drink and drinking are distinct from the valuing or enjoying. In this case it is clear that what we value or enjoy is a complex made up of certain objective sensory characters (coolness, bitterness, fragrance, etc.) and a certain muscular activity of our own. In the case of the beloved also we must distinguish the object (a physical and mental "person"), what we do with the object (activities physical and mental), and the act of valuing or enjoying. Once more we value or enjoy both the object and our activity. But while in the case of the drink we may incline to say that we value the object merely as a means for the activity, in the case of the beloved some would probably insist that they valued her mainly for her own sake and not merely as a means. They might say that they appreciate her intrinsic excellence.

In both cases another problem arises. Do we value the "pleasure" which the object or the activity affords, or is "pleasure" itself simply the activity of valuing something other than itself? According to the doctrine of Hedonism we value intrinsically only our own pleasure; other things we value' only as means to our own pleasure. Is this true?

Clearly, whatever the truth about pleasure, we must make a general. distinction between "ends" and " means," or between the things that we value for their own sake and the things that we value only as instruments for the attainment of other things. We may call things that are valued for their own sake "intrinsically good," and things that are valued only as means "instrumentally good." When a man is thirsty he values the act of drinking as intrinsically good, though he may also value certain sensations. At other times he may value it only as a means to health or to social intercourse; that is, as instrumentally good.

Things that we originally valued only as means may come to be valued as ends. Money, or rather the activity of acquiring it, which for most of us is a means, becomes for the miser an end. On the other hand, things that we formerly valued as ends may come to be discarded, or sought only as means. We outgrow our childish tastes.

The question arises, are there any things, or is there anyone kind of thing, which we cannot but value intrinsically? Many answers have been given to this question. Besides the Hedonist's answer, that we value only "pleasure" for its own sake, there is the Idealist's that we value only "self-fulfilment," sometimes in partial and imperfect forms, more reasonably as fulfilment of the "personality" as a systematic whole. There are also other possible answers.

Another problem which arises is this. Is "goodness" a character actually belonging to some things and not to others, in the manner in which roundness is thought to belong to things; or is the supposed goodness of a thing illusory? Is the truth merely that we call a thing good when it fulfils a certain function in relation to ourselves or to the human race?

The word "good" is certainly very ambiguous. When we say that a thing is good, we may mean simply that it pleases us, or we may mean to attribute a certain unique character to it, or we may mean simply that it ought to be.

When we say that a thing "ought" to be, or happen, we may mean merely that, assuming a certain purpose, the thing is necessary as a means to the achievement of that purpose. (If you want to understand Frenchmen you ought to take lessons in French.) Or we may mean a moral "ought." (A man ought to befriend his fellows.) Can this moral "ought" also be derived from some purpose? And if so, is it God's purpose, or whose? If, on the other hand, the moral "ought" is not connected with any sort of purpose, what sense can there be in the notion of a moral claim which binds us whether we will or not? Or is moral obligation an illusion?

Let us begin by briefly noticing some of the most important ethical theories.

iii. Some Traditional Theories

(a) Plato and Aristotle

(b) Hedonism and Utilitarianism

(c) Idealist Ethics

(d) Ethics of Evolutionism

(e) Intuitionism

(a) Plato and Aristotle — We have already seen that Plato distinguished sharply between particular things and the universal forms toward which they approximate, and that for him the form was not only a. form but an ideal which the thing strove to embody. He thus distinguished between two spheres of being, the realm of imperfect things and the realm of perfect forms. The form of man was the ideal to which all men approximate, and it existed independently of actual men. Justice was the ideal form of all just acts, which each act in turn "strove" to embody. Truth, goodness, and beauty were logically independent of all examples of them.

This view is repugnant to the typically modern mind. We have come to suspect every kind of theory in which the actual world is less real than some unseen ideal world. We know too well, by bitter experience, that such views may encourage complacency toward the ills of our fellows in this world. Moreover, our obsession with physical science makes us impatient with the idea that there may be a reality beyond the flux of time and the passions of this world.

Neither of these motives affords a reasonable criticism of the Platonic theory. Indeed, the fact that we feel as we do suggests that we are unduly impressed by the physical and the ephemeral.

Nevertheless we must, I think, reject the Platonic; theory as a straightforward account of the status of good and evil as we actually experience it. We have, after all, no good reason to believe that the ideal form of man is a pattern subsisting independently of the actual world. It is simply a possibility implied in the nature of actual men. In our experience we find that certain human characters and activities are good. We intuit them as such. Love, for instance, and courage are known only in actual instances. We find them always imperfect, mingled with other characters which detract from their full being. The ideal is simply an abstraction from the imperfect instances.

Plato's great pupil Aristotle developed his master's theory in his own manner. For him the ideal was, in fact, something implicit in our own nature. The ideal form of manhood was implicit in the imperfect desires of particular men. "Good" was to be derived from desire. But since desires conflict, and are moreover of different ranks of importance, we must not allow any of them extravagant expression to the detriment of others. Hence the famous doctrine of the Mean. One capacity only may be given free rein, namely, the capacity for reasoning and for desiring the truth; since the special function of this is to rule and judge between all the others. Thus from Aristotle we learn two important principles which play a great part in subsequent ethical thought, namely, that the good, to constitute a motive for action, must appeal to something in our own nature, and that the ideal is the systematic or harmonious fulfilment of human capacities.

(b) Hedonism and Utilitarianism — Under the influence of Hume and of modern scientific materialism there arose a very different attitude toward ethical problems. In this view the individual mind was simply a sequence of mental states, some of which were pleasant and some unpleasant. Good and evil were therefore identical with the pleasure and displeasure of the individual mind.

The word "Hedonism" covers two distinct theories, one psychological, the other ethical. According to Psychological Hedonism a man always desires his own pleasure and cannot possibly desire anything, else. Is this true? The claim is that, when we seek anything, what we are "really" seeking is the pleasantness which it is expected to afford us. Thus if a man wants to drink, or to excel over his fellows, or to champion a cause, what he is really seeking in each case is identical, namely, the experience of pleasure. The theory abstracts the pleasantness of the act and regards it as the sole object of desire.

This account is psychologically incorrect. It is true of course that the attainment of our ends gives us pleasure. But why do we desire those ends? Not because they promise pleasure, but for their own sake. Certain situations stimulate us to certain actions, and our free functioning in these actions pleases us. Pleasure is nothing but the "pleasedness " that we feel in the success of our enterprises. This is equally true of complex, highly developed activities and of simple, animal activities. Superficially we may, of course, say that a child eats sweets "for the pleasure of eating them." More correctly, it is pleased with eating them because it wants to eat them, in the sense that some active factor in its psycho-physical make-up is felt to be afforded free activity by eating sugar. If it goes on eating sugar for long enough there will come a time when it becomes aware of the impact of sugar more as thwarting than as fulfilling. Then the pleasure gives place to disgust. In a sense, of course, it is true that a man desires only his own pleasure, since, obviously, in desiring any object whatever he ipso facto makes that object become an object of his desire; and when he attains the object he will be pleased. But what made it seem desirable? Not, in the first instance, the abstracted "pleasedness" afforded by having it, but its felt favourableness to his own active nature. To abstract the feeling from the rest, and then affirm that what a man seeks is this abstraction, is a mistake.

Psychological Hedonism, then, is false. Ethical Hedonism is based on Psychological Hedonism. It says in effect not only that a man can only desire his own pleasure, but, further, that his own pleasure is what he ought to desire. Pleasure, one's own pleasure, is the sole good. But if we can only desire our own pleasure, what significance is there in saying that we ought to desire it? The word "ought" surely implies the possibility that we might not do what we ought.

Hedonism, psychological and ethical, is the foundation of the ethical theory of Utilitarianism. Of Utilitarianism as a principle for the direction of public affairs much good might be said; but Utilitarianism as a philosophical doctrine is a tissue of false argument The theory may be summed up as follows: "A man can only desire his own pleasure. Therefore pleasure alone is desirable. Pleasure is pleasure whether it is my pleasure or another's. Therefore what I ought to desire is the greatest amount of pleasure for as many people as possible," or "the greatest happiness of the greatest number."

In this argument the word "desirable" is ambiguous. It may mean either "able to be desired" or "ought to be desired." Professor G. E. Moore has exposed the consequent fallacy. The proposition, "A man can only desire his own pleasure," implies the proposition, "Pleasure alone is desirable," only if "desirable" means "can be desired." The proposition, “therefore pleasure alone is desirable" cannot imply ethical consequences unless "desirable" is taken not in the psychological but the ethical sense, namely, as equivalent to "ought to be desired." But in this sense the proposition, "Pleasure alone is desirable" does not follow from the proposition, "A man can only desire his own pleasure."

Moreover, the starting-point of the argument is the proposition that a man can only desire his own pleasure. How then can he possibly be under obligation to desire other people's pleasure, the greatest happiness of the greatest number?

Another serious difficulty has to be faced by Utilitarianism. How are we to form a calculus of pleasure? It is essential for Utilitarianism that pleasure should be always one and the same measurable thing, wherever it occurs. If there are different kinds of pleasure, how are we to measure one kind of pleasure against another, say, the pleasure of football against the pleasure of philosophy? Still worse, how are we to measure one man's pleasure in philosophy against another's; or, worse again, against another man's pleasure in (say) martyrdom? It is true that in a given situation we can roughly estimate which of two acts will give us more pleasure. But very often we incline to feel that the act which (we should say) gives less pleasure is in fact the better act in some obscure but important sense. For instance, it is commonly agreed that helping the needy, though irksome, is better than feasting. The Ethical Hedonist and the Utilitarian assure us that actually we shall get more pleasure out of helping than out of feasting. But when this is true, which is not always, the greater pleasure is surely consequent on our belief that the act of helping is socially desirable, or right.

Faced with this difficulty, John Stuart Mill, the greatest Utilitarian, admitted that pleasures differ in quality as well as in intensity or quantity of pleasurableness, and declared that those of higher quality were more desirable (morally) than those of lower quality. But this admission undermines the whole doctrine, since it introduces something other than the single criterion of pleasurableness.

(c) Idealist Ethics — Modern Idealist philosophers riddled Hedonism and Utilitarianism with much shrewd criticism and offered theories of their own. The pioneer was Kant, impressed by "the starry heaven above and the moral law within." So far was he from agreeing with the subjectivistic doctrine of Hedonism that he went to the extreme of objectivism. The moral law, though "within," must be wholly objective, independent of human desires. He even went so far as to say that a "good" act done with pleasure was not really a morally good act at all, since a morally good act must have no motive but the goodness of the act itself. There is nothing good, he said, but it good will. For him the central principle of morality was rationality. His "categorical imperative" was expressed in the formula, "Act only on that maxim which thou canst at the same time will to become a universal law." Thus we must not lie and we must not murder, because we cannot will lying and murder to be universal. To this principle Kant added another, namely, that "man, and generally any rational being, exists as an end in himself." From this it followed that we must treat human beings always as ends, not merely as means. But they were to be treated as ends simply because they were rational beings, not because they were active, desiring beings.

The fundamental criticism of Kant's moral theory is this. Good cannot be derived from sheer rationality. Lying, for instance, may in some circumstances be right. Kant apparently failed to see that what I can and cannot will to become a universal law depends in the last resort not on sheer rationality but on my active dispositions or needs. In fact, he did not recognise that good must be in some way connected with human capacity, otherwise it could never afford a motive for action.

Later Idealist philosophers, for instance F. H. Bradley, avoided this error, by stressing Kant's other principle, namely, that individuals must be treated as ends. According to them a man can only desire the fulfilment of his self, by which they meant something very different from pleasure. Like Kant, they thought of a man not as a mere centre of pleasant and unpleasant experiences, but as a system of experience or of "mental content "— in fact, a universe of experience which included, along with experience of his own body and his own individual personal needs, his experience of other persons. It followed, they said, that he could not gain true self-fulfilment so long as the demands of the self as a whole system, including the known needs of other selves, were left unfulfilled. Necessarily there would be conflict within the self, and some needs would have to go unsatisfied; but any such frustration must be subordinate to, or an actual means to, the fulfilment of the self as a whole system of active capacities, some of which were subordinate to others.

Of course, we do not actually desire the ideal self-fulfilment which involves the fulfilment of society as a whole. We desire all sorts of less comprehensive ends, some very trivial, some flagrantly in conflict with the good of others, or of society as a whole. Idealist Ethics admits this, but distinguishes between a man's "actual" but imperfect will, and his "real" and perfect will, which demands complete self-fulfilment, and therefore the good of society. Though he does not ever effectively will this goal, or at best seldom does, it is logically implied (we are told) in his actual will. For to will some of the ends demanded in his experience, and not all, is irrational. The fact that some are needs of his private self and some are needs of other selves is said to be irrelevant to their being needs experienced within the horizon of his mind. The needs of his body and private person as opposed to those of others (we are told) are simply one set of needs within his experience. Though he is apt to feel them with greater intensity than the needs of others, they have no peculiar status in relation to his "real" will.

It follows from the theory that though the actual wills of individuals differ and conflict, their "real" wills, which will the fulfilment of all men, are harmonious, nay identical. The "real" will of each individual, it is claimed, is the completely rational will, the completely social will, the Good Will.

Moral obligation, in this theory, is the claim exercised by the real will over the imperfect actual will. Once you begin to will at all, you must, logically-morally, will the Good Will. To do less is to defeat your own essential nature.

I shall now try to state some of the main criticisms that have been made against Idealist Ethics. What reason is there to say that the will for the lower activities logically implies the will for the higher ones? Does the cynical will for self-aggrandisement at the expense of others imply the social will? From the pure egotist's point of view the social will is flagrantly irrational, for the cogent reason that the good of others happens to them and not to him. Even those who do at least spasmodically will the social good may well doubt whether the social will is logically implied in the self-regarding Will. Rather it seems' to demand a genuine awakening of new sensibility to something novel which could not be deduced from the more familiar ends. However this may be, we must insist that, if in his blind state a man cannot recognise the logical implication of his will, the moral claim has no application to him.

Moreover, what if, in his moral perversity, he snaps his fingers at rationality itself? It may well be true that, as a matter of fact, he cannot find self-fulfilment unless he does will the rational; social Good Will; but what if he rejects the goal of logically perfect self fulfilment and insists on desiring only partial and perhaps thoroughly immoral ends? Is there any sense in saying that his obligation to will something better than this lies in the fact that, to a being superior to him, his conduct appears irrational and immoral?

We may put the criticism in another way. For the theory to work it is essential that the good will should be my will in the sense that it actually does appeal to me as the way of self-fulfilment for me, for this particular conscious being with all its limitations. But if it is my will in this sense, morality is reduced to prudent self-regard. On the other hand, if we stress the objectivity of the moral claim, insisting that the good is independent of my actual will, then the theory's explanation of the moral claim is a mere play upon words.

But though the Idealist theory of moral obligation should be rejected as it stands, we must, I think, agree that rationality plays a very important part in moral experience. In a very real sense the good will is the rational will; and one motive of moral conduct is the will for rationality, the will to detach the will from personal favouritism, to regard all men, including oneself, as on the same footing. This motive of objectivity and rationality has played a great part; and does provide, for those who actually will it, a logical basis for obligation.

(d) Ethics of Evolutionism — The theory of biological evolution is sometimes made the basis of a confused and dangerous ethical theory. The discovery that certain species have evolved from simpler types, and that man himself is in this 'sense the flower of the evolutionary process, suggested that there must be some sort of "life force" striving to produce ever more developed types, and that "good" and "bad" must mean at bottom "favourable to" and "unfavourable to" the evolutionary process.

This theory is only plausible because in the case of man's evolution the direction of change has led on the whole to the increase of those characters which we do admire, such as intelligence and affection. Were we living in an epoch of biological degeneration we should not be tempted to derive goodness from evolution. Progress is by no means general. Many biological types have stagnated; many have declined. Evolutionary ethics, moreover, could only seem plausible during a spell of social advancement, such as that which was occurring in Western Europe when Evolutionary Ethics became popular. To-day, when our society threatens to collapse, the theory looks less plausible.

Such considerations are not really relevant to the truth or falsity of the theory. What matters is rather that we know very little of the causes and direction of evolution; while good and bad are experienced every day in our own lives. It is certainly arguable that what is intrinsically good is richness and depth of experience and fullness of creative living (if I may be pardoned a very vague phrase). It is true also that in some cases evolution has moved in that direction. It is even possible that there is some sort of bias in this direction in the universe. But to derive our moral experience from that bias is to derive the known from the unknown and problematical. "Good" is not good because it is the goal of evolution; rather evolution is good (if it really is good) because its goal is something which we recognise as good.

Moreover, to explain "good" by evolution is like explaining the falling of a stone by saying that it has a capacity for falling. In the case of gravitation, the only kind of explanation that can be usefully given is a systematic description of gravitational happenings, not an explanation in terms of an entirely unknown metaphysical entity. Similarly with moral experience, we can explain only by systematically describing all kinds of moral experience and relating them to other descriptive facts about human nature and the objective world. It is useless to postulate an unknown metaphysical entity.

(e) Intuitionism — I shall now describe and criticise a theory which starts by insisting that moral experience is unique, and not to be explained in terms of anything other than itself. Philosophers who hold this theory claim that "good" and "bad" are unique objective characters which belong to some things and not to others; and that in apprehending them we simply intuit that "good" ought to be, and "bad" ought not to be, and that "good" ought to be striven for and "bad" striven against. In this view the word "good" and the phrase "ought to be and be striven for" have identical meaning. And that meaning is unanalysable and indefinable. We all know intuitively what that meaning is, but according to the theory we can no more explain or describe it to a non-moral being than we can explain or describe colour to a man born blind.

In this country Professor G. E. Moore has been the chief exponent of this view. He argued that "good" could not be simply identical with "pleasant " or with "self-fulfilling " or with "fit to survive" or any other character, because if it were identical with any of them we should not be able to distinguish between it and the other.

In particular, "good," he says, is not to be identified with "desired." The good is not good because we desire it, or because God desires it, or because the fully enlightened mind would desire it. On the contrary, we desire it (so far as we do desire it) because it is good. We simply intuit it as desirable, in the moral sense. It is such that it imposes moral obligation onus.

If "good" is intuited in this direct manner, it may be objected, how is it that moral judgments conflict, and are therefore capable of error? If we intuit " good" and "bad" in the same sense as we intuit sensory characters, such as "red" and "salt," how comes it that we can make mistakes about them? We cannot make mistakes about sensory intuition. To this objection it is answered that we cannot really make mistakes about moral intuition. Moral situations, however, are often very complex situations in which the moral factor itself may be very easily overlooked or mis-described. We may, it is said, fail to analyse out from the situation that in it which is good (or bad); but if once we do see the situation accurately, we cannot but see the good and the bad in it, if we are morally sensitive beings.

We must note one serious difficulty in the Intuitionist theory. It is claimed that the unique, objective character "good" constitutes a motive for action in the moral agent. He recognises that he ought to establish it. But, as Aristotle long ago pointed out, nothing wholly external to the self can provide a motive for action. Obligation, that is, must, after all, appeal to something in a man's own nature. If this is true, the Intuitionist account of the matter is quite unintelligible. On the other hand, if "good" is, after all, identical with fulfilment of capacity, then it does appeal to something in our own nature. And the moral claim exercised over us by other individuals for their fulfilment springs from our cognition of their capacities as capacities, as needs of the same order as our own, and as appealing to us through the medium of our imagination and our will for rationality.

But though this fundamental criticism must be made against Intuitionism, the theory remains true, I suggest, in a special sense. In experiencing some particular activity (say, love) one does experience the activity as morally good, as "ought to be" and "ought to be fostered by all who can see what it is." And the goodness of the activity is intuited as a character objective to the intuitive recognition of it. On the other hand, this "good" character of love can only constitute a motive for action in so far as one does experience it (in the first instance) as a character of one's own activity, of one's own being. Only because it is first recognised as a character of one's own activity is it known to be also a character of the activity of others. And the moral claim to foster love in others constitutes a moral motive for one's own action only through one's own will for rationality. But before accepting this view we must examine two kinds of radical ethical scepticism, both of which have come into prominence during the present century.

iv. Ethical Scepticism: Ethnology and Psychoanalysis

(a) The Subjectivity of Value

(b) Social Determinants of Morality

(c) Economic Determinants of Morality

(d) Psycho-analysis and Morality

(e) Criticism

(a) The Subjectivity of Value — We have considered several types of ethical theory, none of which can be regarded as entirely satisfactory. I shall now set forth and criticise the main arguments of those who regard "good" and "bad," "right" and "wrong" as entirely subjective.

Value, they assert, is essentially value for some conscious individual. Even if psychological hedonism is false, the truth remains, we are told, that a man cannot value anything other than the fulfilment of his own activities, and the means thereto. Nothing, then, can be good in itself, apart from anyone's valuation of it. The idea of an objective good is not merely false, it is meaningless. Meaningless, too, is the idea that moral obligation has some mysterious kind of objective sanction. No intelligible account can be given of these ideas. On the other hand, a perfectly satisfactory account can be given of their historical origin. They are, in fact, superstitions generated in men's minds by social forces. They can be described scientifically in terms of the established principles of psychology and anthropology.

(b) Social Determinants of Morality — Man is a gregarious animal. Morality is a consequence of his social habits. For creatures that are not gifted with formidable weapons gregariousness has survival value. The more the individuals of a group tend to live together and act together, the better the group's chance of circumventing its enemies. Consequently those groups tended to survive in which the individuals were knit together by strong group-feeling; that is, in which there was a strong disposition to conform with other members of the group in physical and mental behaviour, and a strong disposition to enforce conformity upon those who were in any way eccentric. Thus by natural selection (we are told) there grew up a craving to conform to the customs of the group and to feel mentally at one with the group. Along with this appeared the impulse to condemn those who dared to infringe the customary ways of behaving and thinking and feeling. Such, it is claimed, are the biological and psychological roots of all moral aspiration and moral censure.

One of the main factors determining the particular customs and moral feelings of a group would obviously be survival value. Useful customs would tend to be perpetuated, harmful ones would tend to vanish. But we should indeed be innocent if we were to suppose that social utility was the sole determinant of morality. In the first place we must remember that customs tend to fall out of date. The circumstances to which they were originally adapted give place to new ones in which the customary mode of behaviour may be positively harmful. Then the moral feelings that sanctify and maintain that custom, and are inculcated in each successive generation by education, will resist any attempt to change the custom to suit the new circumstances. Thus archaic customs, formerly beneficial, may survive for ages, supported by irrational prejudice and defended by all manner of specious and subtle argument.

But this is not all. Groups have leaders, individuals who by their real service to the group or by mere personal dominance over their fellows, or by some purely factitious glamour, focus on themselves the loyalty of the rank and file, and are taken as patterns which all humbler individuals seek to imitate. Of course, if the example of the leaders too flagrantly violates the group's sanctified customs, it will be rejected. But the prestige of leadership may afford the leaders considerable freedom to found a morality of their own. In one obvious respect their behaviour tends to differ from that of the masses. They develop customs suited to their particular position; and since they have prestige and power they inculcate in the masses, by force and propaganda, certain customs and moral feelings which are likely to strengthen their own position as leaders. Thus there will appear a special morality for leaders and a somewhat different morality for lowly folk. But at the same time much of the morality of the leaders will be adopted as an ideal by the lowly also, though it may be quite unsuited to their condition.

These principles must be applied not only to the early but to the later stages of the history of morals. But in the later stages the complexity and weight (so to speak) of past morality tends more and more to hinder new situations from bringing about adequate moral changes. On the other hand, in the modern world industrialisation has produced very rapid changes in the structure of society itself; so that even the huge dead weight of moral tradition has begun to be shifted more rapidly than ever before, though not without resistance.

Another important difference distinguishes the modern from the primitive ages of human development. In the modern phase, and indeed throughout the whole period of civilisation, the morality of the leaders is no longer a simple code of chieftainship but a mixture made up of such elements as: vestiges of archaic moralities; incursions from the morality of the subordinate classes during times of moral revolution (e.g. early Christianity); vestiges of the moralities of subsequent dominant classes (e.g. feudal or military or commercial aristocracies); and, finally, new principles or new applications of old principles, forced on the dominant class by its struggle to maintain its power (e.g. some characteristics of Fascism).

Roughly, the more secure the leaders feel themselves to be, the more generous their morality. On the other hand, the more precarious their hold, the more will they be forced to the conviction that, for the good of society itself, they must at all costs maintain the existing order and their dominant position in it. In all sincerity they will tend in the long run to believe that practices of the most deceitful, ruthless, and even brutal kind are not merely permissible. but obligatory, if they seem to promise the maintenance of the status quo.

(c) Economic Determinants of Morality — Clearly the main underlying factor which determines the history of morality as sketched above is the economic factor. Different kinds of morality will develop in different economic environments. A hunting community will perhaps stress hardihood, an agricultural community industriousness. A feudal aristocracy will glorify the martial prowess by which it maintains its position. The virtues prized in a commercial class are likely to be those which helped it to gain and retain power — in fact, the business virtues of prudence, reliability, and individual initiative. A commercial oligarchy will also tend to regard as morally right the principle of unrestrained commercial competition between individuals, and as morally wrong the workers' attempt to combine to secure better conditions. A society organised on the basis of private enterprise will probably incline to take as its effective ideal that of the outstandingly successful commercial individual — in fact, the millionaire. A society in which modern industrial activity has reached a very high pitch and is not consciously planned for social welfare will tend to glorify industrial power as an end and not merely a means. A society in which a proletarian class has achieved a successful social revolution by combining against the employers will glorify comradeship, group-loyalty, and the proletarian virtues of manual toil.

In a later chapter I shall discuss the theory of Economic Determinism in relation not merely to morality but to the whole of the life of society. Meanwhile let us pass from the social determinants of morality to another class of influences which seem to support Ethical Scepticism.

(d) Psycho-analysis and Morality — Ethical Scepticism can be defended by arguments derived from Psycho-analysis and from General Psychology.

We must distinguish between those psycho-analytical doctrines which are common to all schools of Psychoanalysis and those in respect of which there is serious difference of opinion. Those on which there is agreement among psycho-analysts are also accepted by most psychologists and deserve careful attention. It is not merely the doubtful doctrines, but those on which there is general agreement, which seem to support Ethical Scepticism.

One doctrine which is accepted as a working hypothesis by all psychologists is the doctrine of Psychological Determinism, according to which any particular experience or activity is determined by the preceding state of the organism and the environment. The justification for this hypothesis lies in the fact that up to a point men do behave in a regular and predictable manner, and that psychologists have discovered much more system, and therefore determinism, than was formerly supposed to exist. The concept of moral obligation is generally thought of as involving freedom to do either the right or the wrong act. Psychological Determinism seems to rule out this possibility.

Psychology has certainly not yet been able to demonstrate that human behaviour is systematic or determinate through and through. It has merely brought to light an increasing number of regularities in behaviour. But let us suppose that some day it succeeds in proving determinism conclusively. Then, though the arbitrariness of moral choice would be excluded, it might still be that one among the many factors determining behaviour was, indeed, the moral motive, but that this motive, like all others, took effect in a regular manner and was therefore predictable. Different individuals in different circumstances might have determinate degrees of the power of freely and spontaneously resisting temptation and holding to the path of moral rectitude.

Leaving aside this general question, let us note the more special ways in which Psychology, and particularly Psycho-analysis, seems to support Ethical Scepticism.

Conscious behaviour, it is claimed, is largely determined by needs or cravings which are "unconscious," which are not accessible to introspection. Long before the days of Freud "unconscious prejudice" was recognised as an important fact; but Freud used this familiar concept as the basis of a comprehensive theory of human behaviour. In particular he used it to explain our moral experience. If all moral judgments are at bottom cases of unconscious and irrational prejudice derived from past experiences that are not really relevant to the present judgment at all, it is nonsense to suppose that conscience is a unique faculty, by which we distinguish between the objectively right and the objectively wrong.

Freud's great contribution to psychology was undoubtedly the concept of mental conflict and repression, with consequent unconscious motivation. His own detailed account of the mechanism of repression and the "content of the unconscious" is disputed by other schools, but the general principle is accepted. The essential concept of the "unconscious mind," with its "unconscious mental processes," its unconscious desirings and thinkings, is open to very serious philosophical objections; but there is agreement that, however confusedly Freud has described the concept, it really does mean something of very great importance for the understanding of human behaviour. We may perhaps make " unconscious mental process " more intelligible by describing it as mental processes which we are incapable of introspecting. We cannot attend to the fact that we are having them.

According to the general theory, when one set of our needs (or cravings) conflicts with another set, repression may occur. Cravings which are violently repugnant to the main system of experience (the dominant, conscious personality) may be "thrust below the threshold of consciousness," may cease to be introspectable. But though they are in this sense "unconscious," they continue to influence behaviour and emotion, and particularly our moral judgments.

Our moral experience, it is claimed, is of the same nature as taboo in primitive society. Certain acts are "not done." The very contemplation of them arouses horror and shame. The taboos of primitive races, which they themselves accept uncritically as self-evidently right and divinely sanctioned, often seem to us irrational and fantastic. Certain animals must not be killed by any member of the tribe. Men must not marry women of the same tribe. Certain obscure ritual acts must be performed at certain seasons. Such irrational and highly emotional taboos (we are told) are expressions of unconscious needs generated in each member of the tribe by his own mental conflicts in connection with his relations with his own parents, and handed on and embroidered from generation to generation. The taboo animal and the taboo act symbolise emotionally cravings repressed since childhood. We easily forget that many of our own most cherished moral convictions would seem quite as arbitrary as savage customs to those who were not brought up to accept them. It is probable (we are told) that the true explanation of our own morality is of precisely the same type as that of primitive morality.

The defender of ethical objectivity may reply that, of course, much of our moral experience is indeed irrational and arbitrary, but that there are certain fundamental simple moral intuitions which cannot be undermined. For instance, it may be said, the commandment, "Love thy neighbour," is the expression of a genuine intuition.

Many psychologists, however, would deny this. They would insist that even the most refined and generalised moral intuitions must be explained by the same principles as, the most primitive. In one way or another everything in moral experience must have developed out of the infant's behaviour, which, they assure us, is completely ego-centric and irresponsible. There may be room for doubt as to the particular "mechanism" by which this evolution has come about, but the general principle, it is claimed, is certain.

In the Freudian view, the depth and intensity of moral experience, both the horror of guilt and the passionate aspiration for moral purity, must be traced to the infant's relations with its parents. The violence of moral emotions and their resistance to criticism point to an infantile source. In the child's early days mother and father dominate its experience, and mould its character for ever after. In respect of each parent its mind is tom (we are told) by a conflict of love and hate, love on account of benefits received and hate on account of restrictions imposed. The love, it is insisted, is in the first instance sheer "cupboard love;" and the hate is of the same order. The conscious personality is taught to be ashamed of the hate; which is in consequence re- pressed, to generate in the "unconscious" all manner of irrational prejudices and needs for destructive action. Love, on the other hand, which the parents applaud, is idealised all the more through revulsion from repressed hate. All moral guilt is at bottom (we are told) guilt for the infringement of taboos enforced in childhood. Even if we hesitate to accept the Freudian contention that in origin it is the guilt of hostility to the father or the mother, and of forbidden sexual love for the mother or the father, the general tenor of the argument must, I think, be taken very seriously.

(e) Criticism — The foregoing arguments for Ethical Scepticism are very strong, but they should not be accepted as final.

Let us begin by considering the arguments derived from Psycho-analysis. Of course, the detail of the explanation is little more than guess-work, and has been supported by a good deal of faulty argument. But what of the general principle that conscious value- judgments are the expression of unconscious and often trivial wishes? This principle must, I think, be accepted as at any rate true of many particular moral feelings. It follows that moral intuitions must not be taken simply at their face value. They must certainly be subjected to severe criticism, even if radical Ethical Scepticism is not justified.

The nerve of the argument derived from Psychoanalysis consists of the charge that all moral feelings develop from the experience of the infant, and that the infant is wholly egotistical. To this contention serious objections must be made. The first is a very general and very important objection. The analytic method, which has been so successful in the case of physical science, may be the right method for the understanding of human behaviour; but there is always a danger that, in our zeal for analysis and explanation in terms of constituent parts, we shall overlook some subtle aspects of human behaviour which are not actually reducible to simple factors. Whatever the state of the infant mind, it may be that, through the operation of intelligence and imagination, the individual comes to conceive essentially new ends, not reducible to the ends sought in infancy. In the present sketchy state of psychology a confident denial of this possibility smacks of sheer prejudice in favour of analysis.

A more particular criticism must be made. The vogue of Psychoanalysis was partly due to the cogency of evidence and partly to the emotional release which the doctrine afforded to minds that had been dominated by Victorian self-righteousness and prudery. Inevitably emotional acceptance of the new doctrines blinded people to their intellectual weaknesses. After a while, however, many of those who had welcomed Psychoanalysis felt misgivings about some of its arguments. Wohlgemuth, once a follower of Freud, exposed the weakness of some analyses by Freudians. More recently Ian Suttie has criticised Psycho-analysis from a somewhat different angle. He suggests that in modern Europe there occurred a widespread emotional reaction against kindly feeling, and a consequent "taboo on tenderness." The psycho-analysts themselves, he argues, were deeply influenced by the prevailing prejudice, and by it they were sometimes led into false reasoning. Suttie points out that the infantile attitude is not, strictly speaking, egotistical, since it does not discriminate between self and not-self. As soon as this discrimination does begin to occur, as soon as the distinction is made between "me" and "you," genuine tenderness toward the mother emerges along with genuine egotism.

If this analysis is correct, then the orthodox Freudian theory is in error, and moral experience must be derived from the conflict between tenderness and egotism. Tenderness is not merely a kind of "conditioned egotism" but a direct "espousal" of the active needs of another individual, an "espousal" which is of the same primary order as the "espousal" of one's own needs, though, of course, generally much less constant and vigorous.

The Ethical Sceptic, however, may circumvent this criticism. He may grant that tenderness is a psychologically primary impulse, and yet insist that this fact has no bearing on ethics. Citing the ethnological argument, he may say that tenderness is simply a response which has survival value in social organisms. It is merely the affective or emotional side of sociality. The fact that individuals who do not feel it are censured by society means only that society condemns reactions that are socially harmful.

True, but more must be said. We must remember once more the fundamental criticism which was made against the analytic method. We must not too readily assume that, because the method has succeeded so well in physical science, therefore it is infallible in psychology, and particularly in the study of the more subtle reaches of human experience. If we use it we must continually check it by reference to the actual experience which it is claiming to explain, so as to be sure that it really is explaining that and not something else, connected with or like that, but essentially distinct. It is notorious that many of those who have keen sensibility in the most developed spheres of human experience, in literature, art, the appreciation of personality, and in moral perception, find the psycho-analytical account of these experiences ludicrously inadequate. To them it seems that the Ethical Sceptic never really apprehends the experience that he undertakes to explain; or that, if he does apprehend it, he allows his clear vision of it to be obscured in the interest of a theory. He attends to, and correctly explains in terms of his science, certain aspects of its growth, yet completely misses the nerve of the matter.

Roughly, what he does is this. He traces the growth of moral customs from certain primitive origins, and claims that he has completely accounted for morality. If he could have divested himself of his prejudice for analysis, if he could have faithfully observed the activity itself without preconceptions, he would have realised that, whatever the historical origins of it, in its fully developed form it included something different in kind from its primitive sources, in fact, that a genuine novelty had somewhere emerged. He would allow for a gradual awakening and refinement of moral sensibility from the infant's earliest precarious tenderness, or the tribe's primitive social cohesion, to the saint's perception of the absolute goodness of love.

v. Ethical Scepticism: Logical Positivism

(a) The Claims of the Logical Positivists

(b) Types of Theory

(a) The Claims of the Logical Positivists — A still more radical kind of ethical scepticism can be derived from Logical Positivism. The argument runs as follows. Ethical statements cannot be verified in any sort of sense-experience. Therefore they are meaningless. The fundamental ethical concepts are not really concepts at all but pseudo-concepts. They do not say anything; they merely evince approval or disapproval. And these are simply feelings, facts in the speaker's mind, unrelated to any objective ethical facts or principles. The statement "X is good" does not even say something about one's own feelings, since it expresses no real proposition. It is merely an emotional response, like a cry of delight.

It may be objected,that, if ethical statements were really meaningless, we should not be able to dispute about questions of value. If they are mere cries of approval and disapproval, if they are not really statements at all, if they do not mean something intelligible about a common or public object, there can be no disputing about the truth of their meaning. Yet seemingly we do dispute a great deal about moral questions.

To this objection the Logical Positivist replies as follows. The truth is that we never do actually dispute about questions of value. When we think we are doing so, we are really either making noises which, though composed of meaningful words, are as wholes mere meaningless noises of approval and disapproval; or else we are disputing about questions not of value but of fact. If one man says that stealing is bad, and another contradicts him, the ensuing argument always consists of a dispute as to what stealing really is. Each hopes to show the other that he is wrong about the facts. Each believes that, if his opponent could see the facts as he does himself, the two of them would at once feel the same approval or disapproval (or indifference) about them. Very often the hope is justified, since we are all constituted much alike in many important respects. But sometimes the dispute does not end in agreement. Disputants who have been nurtured in very different traditions may find that the discussion ends in a deadlock. That is, though they are both considering the same facts, they feel differently about them. And there the matter ends, however much more talking there may be. Each probably charges the other with having an undeveloped or distorted moral sense. According to Logical Positivism, this kind of situation arises because ethical statements, though they are. worded as if they were statements about fact, are really meaningless, like grunts of pleasure and disgust. There comes a point when the disputants merely, so to speak, grunt louder and louder at each other.

If this theory is true, it follows that there can be no such thing as an ethical science, a study of objective good and bad. All that there can be is a psychology of morals, a study of the ways in which people do, as a matter of fact, feel approval and disapproval.

(b) Criticism of Logical Positivism on Ethics — It is obviously true that ethical statements cannot be verified in sense-experience. There is no conceivable kind of sense-experience that could afford verification of the statement, "murder is wrong." But it is a mistake to suppose that therefore the statement is meaningless, and a mere grunt of disapproval, if by "disapproval" is meant a subjective state which has no intention beyond itself. As a matter of fact, "disapproval" is the right word for the matter, since it has essentially an ethical significance. Of course, it is very difficult to say precisely what it is that we mean by disapproval in the strict moral sense. Indeed, "disapproval" and "approval" are probably, as Professor Moore has pointed out, strictly indefinable, like "red." But to suppose that, because their meaning is unverifiable in sense-experience, therefore they are meaningless is as grave a refusal to face the facts as the priests' refusal to watch Galileo drop weights from a tower. We all know quite well that we do mean something by these words, even though we find it extremely difficult to say what we mean. Some Ethical Sceptics reluctantly concede that we do mean something; but they insist that we mean merely, "I like X, and I wish all men did." But this is not enough. Rightly or wrongly we mean something more than this. And the something is in some way concerned with what X is and what any normally developed mind cannot but feel about such a thing as X. When we say, for instance, that murder (the destruction of human life for private ends) is wrong, we mean at least "Murder is such that (or contains an element which is such that) any mind capable of apprehending murder accurately cannot but condemn it." Murder is such that, and mind is such that, mind must condemn murder when it realises what murder is. But the word "condemn" probably itself means the identical indefinable thing meant by "disapproval."

According to Logical Positivism, these moral statements are not merely false but meaningless, because not verifiable in sense-experience. But the Logical Positivist should recognise that they can be verified (i.e. put to the test) in another kind of experience, namely moral experience. That is, one can go round telling people precisely what one means by "murder," helping them to imagine it accurately, and if possible enabling them to watch a murder or two (not so difficult to-day); and one can demand what they feel about it. In nine cases out of ten they will reply that they "disapprove" of murder, in the universal sense above described. The small minority who failed to give this reaction might have to have their imaginations aided still further. It might be necessary to start murdering the murder-apathetic himself, so as to clear his mind of moral perversion or of the false theory of Ethical Scepticism. Probably not more than one per cent. would fail to be enlightened before their death.

But the ground for the assertion that murder is in the universal moral sense wrong is not merely inductive, not merely the fact that most people do condemn it. The claim is made that any mind that is sufficiently developed to see murder as it really is must necessarily condemn it. And to verify this claim it is enough for anyone, who is morally neither blind nor perverted, to contemplate murder as clearly as possible and see for himself that this is so. Moral truth is in one respect like arithmetical truth. To recognise the universal truth that 2+2 = 4 it is necessary only to see one concrete example of it, say, two marbles added to two marbles. Similarly, to recognise the universal truth that murder is wrong we have only to contemplate one concrete example of it. That is, contemplating one example of it, we affirm that, murder being such as it is, any conscious being who sees it as it is must necessarily condemn it. The affirmation may be false, but it is not meaningless. Nor, as a matter of fact, is it unverifiable in direct experience (though not in sense-experience), for you have only to get a clear idea of murder to see that this is so.

Consider for a moment a case of intuited good instead of intuited evil. The mutual awareness and mutual valuing of two persons is experienced by lovers as intrinsically good, as something which any conscious being who recognises it for what it is must necessarily prize and applaud, because it is experienced as a notable fulfilling of the knowing-feeling-willing capacity 'which is the essence of "a conscious being."

To all this the Logical Positivist will reply that the universality and necessity of these moral judgments are sheer illusion. We have no right, he will say, to read all this into our mere private feelings of liking and disliking. To this the only possible answer is that he must look into his experience a little more closely and without bias in favour of a theory. He may then discover that he has ignored an essential feature of it.

Perhaps he will then fall back on the contention that, after all, love is not universally applauded nor murder universally condemned. As for murder, many people to-day glory in it. What right have we to accept the verdict of the one party and reject that of the other? It is all very well to claim that the condemners of murder are more developed, more enlightened, more aware; but do we call them so for any more cogent reason than that they agree with us, about murder and other matters?

To this we must make a twofold reply. First, of the many who justify murder, most "know not what they do," or else are perverted and blinded by special conditions. Second, the statement, "Murder is wrong," is supported not only by the intuitive disapproval experienced by all normal minds, but also by a more general principle (itself founded on intuition), namely, "Living is good"; or, more accurately, "The free performing of the multifarious activities known as living is good." The most developed, the most awakened minds of all lands and ages have emphatically condemned murder. If Logical Positivism denies that there is any valid distinction between the mentally less developed and more developed, we must reply that, though the concept may be misused, it is a concept of great service, which is used effectively every day in our relations with one another. Moreover, it is a concept which can be defined objectively. A mind is "more developed" in which cognition is more accurate, penetrating, and comprehensive, and affection and conation' more appropriate to the mind's whole situation. As between one mind and another we may often disagree as to which is in fact more developed in this manner, but in many more cases we decide quite easily. The concept of developed mentality is a generalisation both from scientific and from intuitive experiences. Of the concept itself we have seldom any doubt. Of this I shall have more to say in the next chapter.

vi. The Practical Upshot

I shall now draw together the threads of the foregoing discussion. In the first place, then, we must recognise that Intuitionism is right in its fundamental contention. "Good" is a unique objective character which we intuitively apprehend as "ought to be," and "ought to be striven for." When we clearly see a possibility of good we recognise that any being who can strive for it ought to do so. This is the fundamental unanalysable moral experience. No theory which does less than justice to it is to be accepted.

On the other hand, in the first instance we recognise this character of "ought to be" only as a character of our own free activity. It constitutes a motive for our action because in the first instance it is experienced as a character of our own activity.

Our powers of recognising possibilities of good and bad vary immensely from the level of simple bodily appetite to the level of saintliness. Even bodily appetite, I should say, includes a moral aspect. When I am hungry I do not merely crave food; I feel that I ought to be fed. My hunger, I feel, constitutes a claim on all beings who know what hunger is and that this creature is hungry. This moral aspect of one's own bodily appetites is obscured by traditional views of morality; but for those who can divest themselves of the tradition it is discoverable. In the case of another's hunger I do not recognise the moral claim unless either I imagine it very vividly or I have already formed moral theories about it.

Moral judgments may conflict with one another. Two conflicting moral judgments cannot both be right. This does not mean that the moral intuition itself is subject to error, but merely that we may fail to disentangle the intuition itself from irrelevances, or may unconsciously pretend to have an intuition when we actually have it not. The intuition itself is infallible; but we can never be sure that we have it, or that we have not confused it, or expressed it falsely in words. In the same way sense-experience is infallible, but we may unconsciously pretend to have it when we have, it not, and we may misdescribe it, and so on.

What kinds of things, then, are characterised by this unique quality of "good," and what by "bad"? In the most general sense, only one kind of thing is good, namely, free activity, and only one kind of thing is bad, namely, frustration. But we are complex beings, capable of many kinds of action and frustration. The full answer to the question, then, depends on the answer to the question, What kinds of activity are most fulfilling to our active nature? This question is to be satisfactorily answered only by minds that are in two manners qualified to answer it. They must have reached a fairly high level of moral sensibility; but also they must have a fair degree of intellectual acuity. What sort of an answer do such people as a matter of fact give? No doubt their answers conflict; but is it not true that, on the whole, apart from idiosyncrasies peculiar to their personality or their social conditions, and apart from differences of verbal formulation, which may be very serious, they show remarkable agreement? Whatever else may be intuited as good intrinsically, one thing at least is so intuited. One thing at least we all, in our most lucid moments, recognise as good. But though in some degree this thing is familiar to us all, it is difficult to name adequately or to describe. Let us call it, for the moment, very vaguely, the free functioning and full development of the capacity for knowing-feeling-striving; or, since individuality and community are inextricably mingled, the fulfilling of the capacity for personality-in-community. Need I say that the word "knowing" in the phrase "knowing-feeling-striving" must not be taken to mean merely intellectual knowing? It must include every kind of awareness or cognition.

Many kinds of things, of course, are sometimes judged good. But of most of them it can be maintained that they are not intuited as good, in the same sense as that in which we intuit free activity as good. For the word "good," as we have seen, is ambiguous. It sometimes refers to an activity in relation to some object and sometimes to the object itself. Thus, when we say that a picture is good, what we actually intuit as good in the one sense of the word is the picture, but in the other sense what we intuit as good is what we can do with the picture. To take a very different case, the sadist may judge that torturing is good, intrinsically. No doubt he does intuit it as good in so far as it is a fulfilling of some obscure need of his own personality, but he does not intuit (though he may declare) that the thwarting of the other person's personality is good intrinsically.

It may be objected that such phrases as "free functioning" and "fulfilling of capacity" are too vague to be useful, and that they obscure the great difference between the activities that have a genuine moral aspect and those which have not. There is a world of difference, it may be said, between such morally indifferent activities as eating and such morally desirable activities as charity.

It is true that there is a world of difference between such activities. But the difference is not such that one kind has a moral aspect and the other not. Of course we must not fall into the error of hedonism, and suppose that by "fulfilment" we mean always one and the same experienced quality, namely, pleasure, which can be simply measured by its intensity. Pleasure, no doubt, is the abstracted sense of fulfilment, or "how fulfilment feels"; but it is not simply identical with fulfilment. At any given time one's fulfilment as a whole, as a personality, may simply not be open to consciousness. Consequently, conscious fulfilment (pleasure) may be a very misleading measure of fulfilment. Under the spell of a minor conscious fulfilment we may overlook the fact that this minor fulfilment entails a major frustration beyond the present reach of consciousness. Indeed, habitual indulgence in minor pleasures may render for ever impossible a major fulfilment which, had it occurred, would have been recognised as more worth while than those pleasures which were chosen. We must certainly allow different orders of fulfilment on different planes of mental development. And the final measure of the relative worth of activities on the different planes must be intuitive. But the verdict of intuition is not valid unless both the activities to be judged are fully open to conscious inspection, and unless the judgment is not warped by the pressure of grave frustrations. It is important to realise that, though biological and psychological theory may afford a useful elucidator of the relations of mental levels, the final test must be intuition. We must boldly affirm that to the developed mind the more developed activities do afford a deeper or more comprehensive fulfilment than the primitive activities; and that the former are intuited as in some sense more truly the goal of living than the primitive activities. But this statement needs much more careful discussion than is possible here.

In the next chapter I shall enlarge upon the subject of the more developed human activities. For the moment it is enough to say that they are those which psychological analysis reveals as the most complex, most subtle, most integrated activities. They are, in fact, the most penetrating and comprehensive modes of knowing-feeling-striving. They include the most precise self-awareness, the most delicate personal intercourse, the most accurate social awareness, the most subtle practical and theoretical intelligence, the most creative art, and, I believe, certain experiences and activities which may be called mystical.

We have already examined the practical and theoretical intelligence. We shall examine personal and social experience, and at the close of our enquiry we shall consider mystical experience. Aesthetic experience, the kind of experience with which art is concerned, we must leave untouched, owing to lack of space. Aesthetic theory is so confused that no adequate brief discussion of it is possible. I will say only that, in my view, art is to be explained in terms of symbolic satisfactions — personal, social, and perhaps mystical; that there is no need to introduce a unique kind of aesthetic value, to be called "beauty" or "significant form."

One point about primitive and developed activities must be emphasised. We must distinguish between the urgency of the primitive activities and the ultimacy of the developed activities. In starvation the urgency of eating eclipses all else; but a human life in which there were no activity superior to eating would be a poor thing.

On the other hand, a life in which the primitive activities were regarded solely as necessary means to the higher activities would be not merely physically but also mentally and spiritually unwholesome. For the primitive activities, such as eating, bodily exercise, and physical sexual activity, can afford not only a purely physical but also a spiritual refreshment and elucidation. So to speak, the developed human mind can actually discover more in these activities than the animal or child can discover. For the child and the animal they may be more intense; but the well-grown adult, unhampered by puritanical taboos and unspoiled by excess, experiences them with more discrimination and penetration. Seeing them in relation to one another and to the rest of his experience, he may discover in them a significance which would not otherwise be revealed, a significance which may be called spiritual.

The word "spiritual" is dangerously ambiguous and emotive. I use it to refer solely to those activities which the developed mind intuits as expressing the most developed part of human nature, as being, in fact, at the upper limit of human capacity.

For each individual there is implied in his nature as a knowing, feeling, and striving thing an ideal of personal fulfilment. For him what is desirable, what is good, whether he consciously wills it or not, is that he should know, feel, and strive as fully as possible, as coherently as possible, as creatively as possible. If he recognises this fact about his nature, and if he has it in him to feel appropriately toward it (that is, if he really is a moral being), he ought to strive to realise his potentiality to the full. He ought to seek to know the world around him as truly as possible through whatever channels of experience are open to him. He ought to seek to correlate truly all the diverse modes of his experience. He ought to seek to prevent his understanding from being distorted by the influence of cravings, conscious or unconscious. He ought to seek to feel and strive appropriately to the world that he experiences. For instance, he ought not to let self-regard distract him from the service of the community. He ought to seek to "espouse" all good causes in just proportion. Not only so, but, so far as he can, he ought to strive not merely to foster the vital capacities of himself and others but also actually to evoke in himself and others new capacities of higher order. Here lies his opportunity of creative action.

The foregoing statement of the personal ideal is, of course, extremely abstract. For any particular person, with particular equipment and in particular circumstances, the direction will be something much more concrete and limited.

Practical morality is in the main concerned with the relations between human beings. Whatever the origins of the sense of obligation, in the developed mind it is bound up with two features of experience, namely, sympathy and rationality. The fulfilment of another individual personally known to the subject himself is easily intuited as good, and his frustration as bad. Moral development involves, among other things, the widening of the scope of spontaneous sympathy to embrace not merely personal beloveds, not merely companions whose character affords fulfilment to one's own personal needs, but even alien beings who are known to be in need.

Moral development also involves something more than this expansion of spontaneous sympathy. The rational impulse, which is also the impulse for objectivity in thought and action, is very relevant to morality. That which in oneself is intuited as exercising a moral claim on others for help, namely, "my personal need," exercises that claim wherever it occurs, whether or not I have close acquaintance with it or merely learn of it, whether or not I have enough of sensibility and imagination to feel spontaneous sympathy for it. On the strength of my own experience of my own needs and my experience of obligation toward particular individuals other than myself, I have formed a generalisation to this effect, and I recognise an obligation to make my conduct conform to the general good.

Chapter 8


i. Some Psychological Principle

(a) Philosophy and Psychology

(b) Psychological Determinism

(c) "Mental Chemistry"

(d) The Unity of Experience

(a) Philosophy and Psychology — We have derived "good" and "bad" from the activity of conscious beings, the fulfilling of their capacity. We cannot give concreteness to these abstract phrases without making an excursion into psychology, the science of behaviour, and particularly of conscious human behaviour. Our concern with the physical sciences was only indirect, but psychology we must consider more closely. As the science of human behaviour, it should throw light on the proper fulfilling of human capacity. We shall examine it, however, from the philosophical point of .view. Psychology is simply one of the sciences, and therefore a field for specialists, like physics or chemistry. Part of the philosopher's task in relation to all sciences is to study respectfully the findings of the specialists, so as to discover the bearing of one science on another; but also he must try to form clear ideas about the fundamental assumptions with which the specialists work, so as to discover if possible what their significance is, not merely for the practical purposes of the particular science but for philosophy.

What then is the philosophical bearing of the vast, incoherent mass of doctrines known as modern psychology? What of permanent value does it tell us of the nature of human personality and its healthy functioning?

(b) Psychological Determinism — The psychologist's aim is to discover principles which will enable him to predict human behaviour and control it, as the chemist predicts and controls the behaviour of atoms. The psychologist wishes to be able to declare that "human beings of a certain type, faced with certain circumstances, will behave in certain manners and can be influenced by certain methods." In fact, he wishes to show that human behaviour is systematically related to certain determinants in human nature and the environment. Only in so far as psychological determinism is true, only in so far as human behaviour is not arbitrary, can the psychologist go about his business at all.

We have seen that all scientists work inductively. From masses of data they construct formulae descriptive of the general pattern of events. With these formulae they predict future events with more or less success. Scientific laws, we have noted, are expected to hold good in the future; but we know no necessity why they should. At any time they may be broken. So far as we are concerned, electrons, if they do behave systematically, do so not because in the nature of things they must, but spontaneously, because they have it in them to behave in certain manners.

Psychological laws are on the same footing as physical laws, though they are much less precise, much less comprehensive, and much less reliable. They are descriptions of ways in which on the whole people of certain types behave in certain circumstances. For instance, in serious danger most people try to escape, unless they have some strong motive for doing otherwise. Owing to the complexity of human behaviour and the sketchiness of psychology, only the simplest and most obvious laws can be relied upon with any confidence; and these are all laws of a biological type, descriptive of the reactions of fear, sex, hunger, and so on. We shall later question whether these laws of primitive behaviour are adequate fur a full and true description of human behaviour in all its modes.

Meanwhile let us note that, even if this is not the case, psychological determinism may still be true. Even if it is necessary to construct special laws for the more developed activities, human behaviour may still be systematic and therefore predictable. On the other hand, it might be found that this was not the case. There may be something absolutely indeterminate and arbitrary in human behaviour. It is at least possible that in some human acts there is a factor which is absolutely novel, something which is, in the fullest sense of the word, creative.

If psychological determinism is true absolutely, human behaviour is in theory predictable throughout. Should this possibility be contemplated with horror? No. In actual life the man whose conduct is recognised to be systematic, predictable, reliable, is valued and praised, not spurned, so long as the determining principles of his conduct are themselves good principles. A deterministic system of psychology which described just how, just with what degree of moral integrity, different kinds of men would behave in different circumstances need not be disheartening, so long as it allowed generous and noble motives to be in some considerable degree actually effective, and not merely disguised resultants of the interaction of primitive impulses.

The only kind of freedom that matters is not freedom for completely irresponsible, arbitrary caprice, but the freedom which consists in self-determination, in contrast with determination by something external to the self, or something within the self but less than the whole self. In the act of falling down a precipice a man is relatively unfree, since the event is almost wholly determined from without. In walking he is relatively free, since the event is largely determined by his own active nature. On the other hand, if, under the impulse of obsessive hate, he walks to commit a murder, contrary to his better judgment; if, in fact, his act is determined by an insistent partial motive, although he knows that it will lead to disaster for his self as a whole, then he is in an important sense less free than if he resisted the temptation. Finally, even in an act of prudence, if its motive is obsessive self-regard in conflict with the considered will to behave socially, a man may be said to be less free than in self-abnegation for an end which he himself recognises as more worthy than self-preservation. In this kind of act he achieves the highest possible degree of freedom. That is, though his act is fully determined, it is determined in accordance with his own fully conscious and fully integrated will. In fact, he himself determines it, acting, of course, in relation to the external world. He himself, no doubt, is a determinate something. He has a certain nature and not some other nature. But in so far as his act was a complete and unrestrained expression of his own nature, he was free, in the only sense that matters; even if, in turn, his nature was in the past determined by influences other than himself which produced him.

(c) "Mental Chemistry"— The analytical method, which proved so useful in the physical sciences, was naturally applied in psychology. In this field, of course, it has proved immensely useful; but it has also been responsible for a good deal of unsound theory.

David Hume, as we have seen, regarded the mind as a stream of "impressions and ideas." Some of the followers of Hume claimed that to understand this stream of consciousness we must analyse it and discover the laws which determine the patterns and sequences of the elements which compose it. They thought in terms of "mental chemistry." Consciousness at any moment was like a very complex and ever-changing chemical compound made up, so to speak, of mental atoms. Further, they believed that one fundamental principle underlay all psychological laws, namely the principle of "mental association." The present experience, they said, tends to recall features of past experience which were associated with this particular kind of experience on past occasions. Thus the visual appearance of an orange as a round, yellow, mottled patch recalls the fragrance and sweetness that were formerly associated with such visual experiences. The psychology based on this principle is called Associationism, and is fundamentally "atomistic." It deals in mental " atoms."

These "mental atoms" are supposed to consist of unit characters of sensation — units of colour, pressure, warmth, sound, and so on, occurring in patterns to form shapes, physical objects, rhythms; and capable of being recalled as images from past experience. Some of the patterns are supposed to be intrinsically pleasant or unpleasant, others acquire pleasantness or unpleasantness in relation to the primitive need of the organism to preserve itself, or to its more sophisticated needs, acquired in a civilised environment.

As we shall see, the theory is open to many serious objections, which are of two main types. The first is that the mind is not "built up" of unitary elements. It is essentially an "organic whole," in which every part is determined by its relation to the rest. The second objection is that the mind is not simply a passive recipient of impressions. It is essentially active, or (if you prefer the word) dynamic; and its experience is largely determined by its activities or its capacities for action. Let us consider the unity of the mind.

(d) The Unity of Experience — The mind, then, is not made up of mental atoms which are distinct and self-complete and unmodified by their relations with the whole of experience. The mind is not built of separate bricks. Experience is not composed of mortared units. It is "seamless." Its parts fade into one another. Moreover, everything in experience qualifies and penetrates everything else. Whatever we experience is experienced in virtue of its difference from other things. A perceived shape, for instance, is a determination within the total visual field. It is what it is in virtue of the background which it is not. Warmth is sensed in contrast with cold, light with darkness. We perceive patterns, which closer attention can analyse into their component parts. We do not build the patterns up out of mental elements. In this connection one of Professor Köh1er's experiments is significant. He confronted a hungry ape with two cards of different shades of grey. Behind the darker card there was food, behind the other nothing. After a few such experiences the ape learned to go straight to the darker card. But one day the light card was removed and a fresh card, darker than the original dark card, was put in its place. In the altered situation, the ape chose the new and very dark card. That is, it was all along reacting, not to a particular shade of grey, but to "darker," as opposed to "lighter." On the atomistic theory it should have continued to respond automatically to the original, medium shade, no matter what other cards were introduced.

We must conceive of the infant's mind not as a "buzzing confusion" (to use William James's phrase), but as a shifting, unsteady experience of very simple patterns against a very vague, unnoticed background. Its mental progress consists of gradually filling out the patterns with detail, by analysing out their features; and in the progressive discovery of fresh patterns in the hitherto unnoticed background. Probably the infant does not even distinguish between the different sensory fields. Its mother is not something which occurs in the field of sight, and in the field of touch, and in the field of sound. She is simply a seen-felt-touched thing.

In this connection we must distinguish between what Bertrand Russell has called the "psychologically primitive" and the "logically primitive." The psychologically primitive is what comes first in the development of the mind, the vague perception of unanalysed physical objects, actually composed of elements from several senses. The logically primitive is the detailed pattern of unitary sense-characters which the expert mind reaches by careful analysis of common-sense perception of physical objects. For the understanding of the physical world, what matters most is the logically primitive. For the understanding of the mind, both are important, in different connections. Even for the understanding of the physical world, it is important to realise that the unitary sensory characters, which the expert discovers by the analysis of perception, are not the absolutely fixed, discrete elements which they were once supposed to be. Every sense-character is intrinsically related to others by contrast. The seemingly atomic structure of experience is not strictly atomic.

Our present concern is the mind, and its unity. We must never lose sight of the fact that the mind, whatever it is, experiences things together. When we see a dog and hear it bark, there is not merely the seeing a dog and the hearing it bark. There is a single experience of "see-hearing." Seeing we hear, and hearing we see. And each factor of the single experience to some extent modifies the other.

The unity of experience is particularly striking in the relation of knowing, feeling, and striving. These were formerly regarded as distinct faculties which might function independently of one another; but every mental event really involves all three of them, or rather has three aspects. It is a case of know-feel-strive, or (in technical language) cognition-affection-conation. Obviously there can be no conscious striving that is not a striving about something known and felt. There can be no feeling (liking or disliking) that is not feeling about something known and striven for or against. There can be no knowing that is not itself an enterprise, an activity, a striving, either to grasp or to avoid something. Moreover, in another way also knowing involves striving. Our knowing, our cognition, is determined not only by the objective world but also by our interests. These direct our attention hither and thither, and actually modify our knowing.

The atomistic or granular theory of experience is faced with a peculiarly striking difficulty in respect of memory. If it is taken seriously it makes memory impossible. According to the theory a particular act of memory is just a system of mental imagery to which is attached a feeling of "pastness." It has also certain relations within a wider system of possible imagery, similarly toned with "pastness," namely" my past experience." But within the terms of the theory it is quite unintelligible that memory should be about actual events which formerly occurred and are now non-existent. For if it is about actual past events, the conscious act of remembering must be something more than a mere present event having no contact with the past. Something or other that was present at the past event must persist now. Such a spanning of past and present the theory does not permit. So far as the theory is concerned, memory must be a gigantic illusion. I may have come into being a few seconds ago equipped with a complete set of bogus memories which have no relation to a real past. If we insist on believing that memory really reports the past we must refrain from describing consciousness in such a way as to make this impossible.

This difficulty over memory is a good example of the limitations of the analytic method. We must distinguish between "aggregates" and "organic wholes." An aggregate is a collection of independent things, such as a heap of stones. An organic whole is a system in which the nature of the parts is determined by their relations with the rest of the system. Animals, minds, and works of art are organic wholes. If you analyse an organic whole into parts and regard the parts as discrete self-complete things, and then explain the whole in terms of them, your explanation will be superficial.

We must now ask whether there is really any truth in the doctrine of Associationism. No doubt in some sense a present experience tends to "recall" similar experiences in the past, and also their associates in the past. But how can this be explained in terms of the theory? If the factors of experience are wholly distinct from one another, how can mere likeness constitute a . between them? Is similarity a sort of magnetism?

If on the other hand we think of experience, not as a patchwork and succession of separate things, but as the complex activity of a single enduring thing, this difficulty is avoided. We should then describe association thus. When the "enduring thing" is stimulated to act in a certain manner (e.g. seeing an orange) in which it has acted on former occasions, it tends to be in some degree aware of the former act and of the whole pattern of activity (e.g. fragrance and taste) in which the former act was a member.

What of this "enduring thing"? If it is to serve the purpose of the explanation, must it be a substance, with changing attributes? Before dealing with this problem let us very briefly consider the observable nature of the individual mind and the ways in which minds differ.

ii.The Dynamic Individual

(a) Perception, Memory, Thought

(b) Straining Toward Action

(c) Innate and Acquired Need

(d) How Behaviour is Modified

(e) Hierarchy of Activities

(f) Conflict and Repression

(a) Perception, Memory, Thought — First let us remember the second main criticism of the old Associationist psychology, namely that the mind is not passive but essentially active. We have already seen that cognition (which includes every kind of apprehending) is determined partly by the object cognised and partly by the dynamic nature of the individual. His needs and interests direct and limit his attention. His sense-organs can respond only to a few of the innumerable kinds of stimuli that flood in on him. No sense-organs, for instance, are adapted to "radio" waves, or ultraviolet waves, or supersonics. Only stimuli of those kinds which have proved relevant to biological need are selected by specialised organs.

Another important character of our mental life is that it includes immediate acquaintance with change. Experience is always "going on." It does not consist of a durationless instant of present experience which "clicks" into the past. If it did we should have no perception of change or movement. But we do actually perceive things moving and changing. Our present is therefore a span of time, not a timeless instant. One event fades into the next and gradually ceases to be present.

Next, sense-experience is filled out with vague sensory imagery derived from the past, so as to afford perception of the hosts of three-dimensional physical objects of the world of ordinary life. Past experience can also be recalled as explicit memories with a feeling of "pastness," and more or less precise location in the system of remembered and merely "heard-of" past events.

The most striking difference between human cognition and that of even the most developed sub-human animals is that in man there is a far higher degree of the power of abstraction, of forming general ideas, or (more precisely) of attending to the universal characters that large classes of events or situations have in common, while ignoring the idiosyncrasies of the particular events or situations. Professor Köhler's chimpanzees, as we have remarked, abstracted the character that renders packing-cases climbable. Man goes much farther in abstracting such very general characters as "a million," "justice," "space," "truth." The power of abstraction has been immensely aided by the practice of using verbal symbols, or names, to earmark and signify particular things and, universal characters. Without language, thought could never have passed far beyond the stage reached by the apes. Unfortunately, like all potent instruments, language is dangerous. Symbols may come to lose their meaning, or take on several meanings. Such debased symbols, or pseudo-symbols, which have no objective meaning at all though they are manipulated as though they were genuine symbols, may lead to all manner of superstitions and subtle unconscious confusions of thought.

Men vary greatly in cognitive powers. Some have better sensory equipment than others.- Some can discriminate differences which are too slight for others to detect. In fact, some are more capable of analysis. Some, on the other hand, are better at synthesis. They have, so to speak, wider mental grasp. They can detect the relationship of facts which superficially seem to have no connection with one another. Such powers as these go to make up the complex capacity known as intelligence. Clearly some individuals are more intelligent than others, either in special fields or in every field. Some, for instance, have more "practical intelligence," some more "theoretical intelligence." Some are specially gifted with intelligence in the sphere of personal intercourse. They are peculiarly apt at detecting slight changes of mode in the behaviour of their fellows, and responding appropriately.

These cognitive powers, though they may vary in degree in different individuals, are common in some degree to all. Besides these powers we must allow the possibility of others which the average man lacks, or has only in a negligible degree. There is some evidence that at least a few individuals, perhaps all to some extent, are capable of "telepathy," of direct access to the experience of others, without the mediation of the senses, This conclusion is at least strongly suggested by recent experiments. Still more surprising, experiment has also seemed to support the claim that some are capable of "clairvoyance," of "extra-sensory" perception of physical facts which could not be reached either by the normal channels or by telepathy. Such claims need to be supported by a much greater mass of evidence before they can be accepted as fully established; but in the present state of human knowledge it would be foolish to rule out the possibility of such powers. It is, after all, very probable that our present naively materialistic knowledge touches only the fringe of reality. Supernormal modes of cognition may actually occur amongst us; and they may constitute a fragmentary hint of powers proper to a higher plane of evolution.

(b) Straining Toward Action — We must now consider the individual as a centre of feeling and striving, and we must begin with another criticism of Associationism. Any particular present experience must have an immense number of very diverse associations in the past. What is it that determines which of all these shall actually be recalled? For the hungry man all sorts of experience are apt to be reminiscent of food; all trains of thought lead sooner or later to memories or fantasies of feasting. Yet when he has fed, his attention will wander in other directions. The course of association, and indeed the character of perception itself, are largely determined by the claims of interest or need. After a visit to Switzerland an artist and a geologist will give very different reports of the country. The one will see the mountains mainly as complicated coloured shapes, the other as geological formations.

The individual is essentially dynamic. He is doing things and straining to do other things. Biologically and psychologically he is a system of needs to act in specific manners in response to the state of his own body and the environment. When he is empty, he needs to seek food. When in danger, he needs to escape. When sexually ripe he needs to make love. When thwarted by another living creature he needs to take violent hostile action. And so on. These needs or active behaviour-tendencies or dispositions largely determine his cognition of his world. He is far from a merely passive recipient of external fact.

For psychology, as for biology, the most significant concept is that of the active organism, responding to the stimuli of the environment. The organism must be regarded not simply as a physical thing, but rather as a body-mind, as something to be studied both from the physical and the psychological points of view.

We must be careful not to suppose that a need, or disposition, or behaviour-tendency, is a hidden bit of machinery which compels the organism to behave in a specific way. When we say that a man needs food or tends to eat when he is hungry, we are not expounding an internal necessity; we are merely summarising a host of observations of particular cases .of human behaviour. Even when we attribute some particular behaviour to some hidden need, we are doing no more than describing. If, in the manner of the psycho-analysts, we derive (let us say) a particular vindictive act from repressed father-hate, we are only saying that the act has characters in virtue bf which it must be assigned to a certain class.

Though a need is not to be thought of as a hidden bit of machinery, we must nevertheless think of it as in some sense a disposition (momentary or constant) toward some specific kind of activity, a potentiality of acting in a certain manner in response to a certain kind of situation. On the other hand, we must beware of regarding dispositions as inflexible, unalterable, distinct factors; and the personality as a tissue woven of these harsh fibres. Rather we must think of dispositions as all, in varying degrees, fluid or viscous, as only relatively constant. In fact they are intrinsically related parts within the organic whole of the personality.

The individual's activities are teleological. They are determined by a goal or end, at least in the sense that, when a certain end is attained, the activity ceases. For instance, in flight from danger, the course of activity may vary with circumstances, but when the individual has escaped the danger, by whatever course, flight ceases. We must be careful not to confuse the end which actually causes quiescence and the biological end which an observer is tempted to consider the true end of the activity. Thus the actual end of eating is a filled belly, but the biological end is supposed to be nutrition. Biological ends are those which seem plausible on the theory that all behaviour is directed in the main toward the survival of the individual or the race. The actual end is simply the observed end-state of a series of acts.

(c) Innate and Acquired Need — In many sub-human animals behaviour is mainly an expression of the inherited nature of the individual. It is but slightly modified by experience. Insects perform complex stereotyped actions without having to learn them. If the normal environment is altered, they show only very slight power of readjusting their behaviour. The nest-building of birds is less complex and more adaptable, but clearly it also is mainly innate. In the higher mammals behaviour is much less precise and rigid. It .consists mainly of very general types of activity in response to very general types of situation. They are responses partly to a condition of the external world, partly to a condition of the organism itself. Eating, for instance, involves not only the presence of food but an organic condition. Very roughly the kinds of innate activity may be catalogued as nutrition, escape, defence, attack, sex, parenthood, and gregariousness. All are directed toward some actual end-state, but within limits their course varies with the detail of the environment. In the higher sub-human animals all are modifiable by experience. Through trial and error, or more distinctively intelligent insight, animals can learn modes of behaviour very different from the innate modes.

In man the innate is still more vague and more flexible. Behaviour is modified to a still greater extent by intelligence. Nevertheless, under the influence of the revolt against rationalism, some psychologists have claimed. that the innate factor is all-important for understanding human behaviour. All our actions, they say, are determined in the last analysis by innate dispositions to act in certain manners in response to certain stimuli. Sometimes these innate factors are regarded as mental entities and called instincts; sometimes instinctive action itself is said to be at bottom a case of mere physiological reflex action, like involuntary sneezing, though of course much more complicated. Of the instinct-psychologists one school inclines to emphasise the sexual instinct as by far the most important determinant; another stresses self-regard; another postulates a general instinctive urge which is directed hither or thither according to the environment's impact; while others claim that man's instinctive nature must be analysed into a large number of innate dispositions, such as fear, anger, sex, protectiveness, gregariousness, self-assertion, curiosity, manipulation, vocalisation, and so on.

There can be no doubt that there is an innate basis in all our behaviour, and that it is not unlike that of the higher sub-human animals. But the attempt to describe all human behaviour as simply a subtle expression of instinct is misleading. There is no clear knowledge of the innate factors; and to explain human behaviour in terms of them is to explain the known by the unknown. In man, save when he is acting under stress of violent primitive emotion, the primitive needs are overlaid by such a complex system of acquired needs, or learned habits of action, that they are of little use for explanatory purposes. Almost any concrete action may afford some satisfaction for almost every innate disposition (or reflex mechanism), and can be plausibly accounted for in terms of each of the conflicting theories.

Clearly, then, though we must recognise that at bottom human nature is very much like (say) ape nature, and that in primitive situations man often acts in an almost purely" animal" manner, we must also recognise that in typically human and civilised situations all his behaviour is much more complex, and demands for its interpretation not only concepts derivable from the study of animal behaviour, but also concepts derivable only from human behaviour.

(d) How Behaviour is Modified — The commonest way in which new modes of behaviour are acquired, both in men and animals, is by the process known as "conditioning." When a dog smells food, gastric juice flows into its stomach. If the smell of food is many times accompanied by the sound of a bell, and then finally the bell is sounded without the presentation of food, the gastric juice flows in response to the bell alone. If every time a baby is shown a bowl of gold-fish a pistol is fired behind it, it will in time become terrified by the mere sight of gold-fish. If in men's minds a certain idea is frequently associated with a. certain emotional stimulus, the emotion may come to be felt in relation to the idea itself, quite irrationally. Thus a political policy, even if it is foolish, may come to seem attractive merely by being associated with free drinks and motor rides, or with an adored leader. Reason may then be brought in to justify the attractiveness and prove the policy wise.

The other method by which behaviour is modified in men, and much less frequently in other animals, is the method of intelligence, which we have already examined in the cases of the chimpanzee and Einstein. This is the distinctively human way, though some behaviour of sub-human animals shows rudimentary intelligence, and most human behaviour is almost wholly the product of mere conditioning.

It should be noted that, even when intelligence has worked out a new method of behaviour, the new method may not be adopted. Well-established habit may prove irresistible. On the other hand, if the new behaviour is adopted, intelligence need not come into operation again whenever the behaviour is repeated. A new automatic habit may be formed on the basis of the new behaviour. The chimpanzee, having intelligently solved the problem of the suspended fruit, may come to perform the necessary actions in future without repeating the painful act of intelligent insight. The multiplication table, once learnt in laborious processes of reasoning, may be repeated parrot-wise.

Our daily life consists of an immensely complicated system of habitual actions, intermittently modified by conditioning or by intelligence.. Washing, dressing, catching trains, going about our business, making love, disputing, fearing calamity, longing for success, contemplating our own nature and the world's, these and a thousand other actions are carried out by each of us in the distinctive manner characteristic of his unique personality. All may be regarded as expressions of his innate psycho-physical nature modified by the impact of the world, and in turn helping to form his future nature.

(e) Hierarchy of Activities — One thing at least is clear about human behaviour, namely that some activities are more complex than others. Compare, for instance, a sneeze, a stroke in tennis, the decision to embark on a certain career, life-long devotion to a public cause. Of these cases we may say both that some are experienced by the agent himself as more complex than others, and that some, objectively studied, are observed to involve in fact more complex capacities than others. Thus, to take an extreme case, the intelligent desire to embark on a certain career involves considerable knowledge of society and of one's Own aptitude, whereas a sneeze involves no more than a simple reflex mechanism. Deliberate conscious activities may be said to vary in respect of the "knowing" involved in them, the "feeling" involved in them, and the "striving" and actual "doing" involved in them. These three aspects, as we have seen, are inseparable. There is no "knowing" that is not a "striving," and so on. But for the understanding of a particular bit of behaviour one aspect may be more important than another.

It is arguable, though there is not agreement on the subject, that along with differences of complexity in behaviour there also appear differences of quality. In this view love, for instance, which includes the realising of another person as a centre of conscious activity, and also the self-neglectful cherishing of the other, is not fully accounted for by describing it as a highly complex form of response to stimulus. of the primitive biological order. It seems to involve a kind of apprehension and feeling and striving not reducible to the primitive. Before accepting any account which claimed to describe these higher activities wholly in terms of primitive activities we should have to make certain that the distinctive features of higher activities had not been overlooked or misrepresented.

Very roughly, and without deciding whether the distinctively human activities are "reducible" or "emergent." we may classify the hierarchy of behaviour as follows:

  1. Simplest of all, though even these are incredibly complex. are the purely physical and chemical reactions of the physical units of the body, considered as a purely physical system. It mayor may not be that a complete account of physical behaviour can in theory be given solely in these terms. For my part I am quite ready to believe that it can. But at the same time I should insist that this purely physical and therefore very abstract account of behaviour would be less significant for the understanding of human nature than the account given in humanistic terms.
  2. Next come the simplest vital reactions of individual cells. considered as minute living things. These are overwhelmingly more complex than the sub-vital physical reactions of the physical units in inorganic situations.
  3. Far more complex again are the simple reflexes. such as the shutting of an eyelid in response to the presence of a foreign body in the eye. In all such action. we are told. there is a train of physiological events which consist of: (a) stimulation of a sense-organ (fly in eye); (b) passage of a nerve-current along a sensory nerve-channel into the spinal chord or the base of the brain; (c) continuation of the current along a more or less direct course linking the sensory to the relevant motor nerve in the central nervous system; (d) passage of the current outwards along a motor nerve to the relevant muscle or gland; (e) contraction of the muscle or chemical action of the gland. In simple reflex action the response is very stereotyped, but it can be conditioned to new stimuli, as in the case of the dog's gastric flow. Experiment strongly suggests that emotional states are produced by, or through the medium of, certain chemicals in the blood, and that these chemicals are produced by special glands which are set in action by reflex mechanism. Thus anger is correlated with the presence of adrenalin, which is produced by the adrenal gland by reflex Stimulus in response to "anger situations." Adrenalin injected into a cat makes the cat angry. Mere water does not.
  4. Simple reflexes may occur together or in sequences to form compound reflexes, such as standing, digesting, breathing. These also may be conditioned.
  5. "Instinct" may be merely a case of very complex and highly flexible or modifiable "compound reflex," in which the whole action is controlled by special emotion reflexes. But we must allow for the possibility that instinctive action really involves a novelty over and above reflex action. However this may be, though in the human infant there are purely instinctive (or reflex) actions, such as sucking and rage, in the grown man, And even in the child, very little unmodified "instinctive" action occurs. Rage, for instance, is roused not only by physical resistance, as in the animal, but by all manner of conditioned stimuli resulting from civilised life (e.g. the receipt of a letter). Even the response itself seldom takes the primitive form of physical attack. It may, for instance, consist of writing another letter.
  6. We come now to the hierarchical rank which includes the distinctively human kinds of behaviour and experience, the kinds which are characteristic of man, though they are spasmodically and precariously attained by the highest sub-human animals. The simplest example of this is practical intelligence. Human behaviour is to a greater or less extent modified by the power of coping with novel situations not merely by trial and error but by noticing their relevant features and relating these with significant features of past experience. As we have seen, the essential character of this behaviour is the act of attending to likenesses and differences, and thereby abstracting universal characters, which can then be manipulated in imagination for experimental purposes. This power of forming "free ideas," and performing imaginary experiments .with them is not only the source of practical intelligence and of intellect but is also an essential factor in imaginative art and in imaginative insight into self and others. Indeed, it is this power which enables the passage from mere habit-formation to the formation of "sentiments." In habit we respond to a stereotyped situation with a familiar stereotyped action. A "sentiment," on the other hand, may be defined as a complicated system of responses varying in relation to the varying condition of a certain object, or of the varying relation of the object to the agent himself. The object of a sentiment may be another human being, an animal, a physical thing, a whole class of living or lifeless things, or an abstraction such as love or justice or punctuality.

Let us consider a sentiment of love. John, let us suppose, has a sentiment of love for Jane. When Jane is insulted, John responds with anger on her account. When she is in danger he fears for her and seeks to protect her. When she is admired by Jim, he feels per- haps a conflict of joy on her account and jealousy on his own. account; and he tends to act accordingly. Even while he loves her for her own sake as an intrinsic good, he also feels possessively toward her and strives to hold her. When he is in the mood he makes love to her; though if she herself is not in the mood he may refrain. When she flouts him he responds with anger or dejection. And so on. His sentiment of love for her is inevitably balanced by at least a rudimentary and perhaps a full-blown sentiment of hate. For though he genuinely loves her, he also loves himself; and though she is in many ways a source of enrichment to him, she is in some ways a source of frustration. Thus when she is cold or cruel or grasping he may respond either in terms of self-regard and hate or in terms of self-abnegation and love, or both.

Sentiments for other individuals involve the capacity for reacting to persons as persons and not merely as stimuli. In fact, they involve self-consciousness and other consciousness, which in sub-human animals are at most very rudimentary. Self-consciousness begins with the power of attending not merely to external objects but to one's own acts o£ experiencing. This gives rise to a sentiment the object of which is oneself as an experiencing person among other persons, and also to sentiments the objects of which are other persons.

John's complex behaviour toward Jane, then, can best be described as follows. He has (a) a sentiment of self-regard, and a probably less vigorous sentiment of self-contempt, which is also a factor in us all. He has also (b) a sentiment for Jane-herself as an intrinsically good thing, not merely as a source of enrichment or advancement to his own self; and along with this he has a sentiment for her as in some respects a bad thing, not merely as a source of frustration to himself. It is a mistake to suppose that all other-regarding sentiments are "at bottom" self-regarding. Of course, as we have seen, there is a sense in which all behaviour is self-regarding, since it is directed toward the end which the individual himself is seeking. But in a more important sense self-regarding acts are those which are directed toward the fulfilment of "me" as a particular person among others, and other-regarding acts are directed toward the fulfilment of other persons. The second kind of activity cannot be derived from the first. But we must, of course, recognise that self-regard is much more insistent than other-regard; and also that some particular cases of other-regard are at bottom self-regarding, and vice versa.

When self-consciousness and other consciousness first dawn in the life of the child, and presumably also in the early stages of the evolution of the species, even lifeless objects tend at first to be regarded as persons and reacted to with behaviour proper to persons. Thus the child personifies not only its doll put all striking physical objects. The savage personifies not only his fetish but winds, trees, rivers, rocks. Even the civilised adult tends to personify lifeless objects that receive much attention. The shipmaster personifies his vessel, the engineer his machine. We are all in danger of personifying abstract ideas and large groups of individuals. The religious devotee personifies almightiness and love. The patriot personifies the State or the People. These are all cases of misplaced transference of the reaction proper to persons, or at least to conscious beings.

We must distinguish between two very different ways of reacting to persons, one primitive, the other more developed. In the primitive mode, though one recognises the other as a person, as a conscious being, one reacts to him only as a means for fulfilling. one's own needs. In the more developed mode one wills the fulfilment of the other's needs in the same direct manner as one wills one's own fulfilment. Further, as we distinguish between impulsive acts of self-assertion (such as anger) and the established sentiment of self-regard, which may issue in all sorts of action, so also we must distinguish between impulsive affection and established sentiments of other-regard. Impulsive acts of affection occur not only in human beings but also in sub-human animals in relation to mates and offspring. In John's behaviour toward Jane, then, we should distinguish between (a) impulsive acts of self-assertion and affection, and (b) the established sentiments of self-regard and Jane-regard.

It is perhaps worth while to point out that any concrete act may happen to be at once impulsive and an expression of a sentiment; and further that it may express both the self-regarding sentiment and other sentiments. Indeed, so complex and so unified is the human individual that almost the whole of his dynamic nature may express itself in a single act.

Having contrasted genuine other-regard with the primitive reactions toward other individuals, let us now contrast primitive gregariousness with the distinctively human attitude toward society. Roughly We may say that primitive gregariousness, as sometimes seen in herds of cattle, consists in a set of stereotyped responses to stimuli. Isolation from the herd produces reactions of anxiety and the attempt to return to the herd. Danger produces clustering, and some degree of unity of action. Eccentricity in any individual produces hostility on the part of others. On the other hand, the exceptionally powerful and masterful individual is reacted to with submission, and is followed.

Genuine human sociality, on the other hand, is so different from this that any attempt to explain it as "merely" a development of primitive gregariousness is far more misleading than significant. Of course even human sociality is mainly of the primitive type; but civilised and truly human social behaviour does occur, and plays an immensely important part in small groups of individuals in personal contact. In large groups, not cemented by personal contact, it is very much more precarious and rare, but it is at least a potent ideal. Genuinely human sociality is rooted in the distinctively human power of realising other individuals as conscious persons, and willing their needs without ulterior, self-regarding motives. But it is more than a sentiment for particular cherished individuals. It is in fact the deliberate will that all individuals, known and unknown, within the society shall be treated as persons, not merely as manifestations of the herd. The society in question may be of any size, from the family or the city to the nation or the whole human race. But the larger and less coherent the society, the more precarious is the sway of true sociality.

Personality is essentially social. A human being completely isolated from his kind throughout his life would be less than human. Without social intercourse, without stimulation by contact with other individuals, and without cultural heritage, he would be at best a rather quick-witted beast, more probably an imbecile. So intimately do personality and community interpenetrate that we must devote a chapter to the consideration of this problem alone. Meanwhile, several other aspects of the individual's nature must be considered. I will close this section by explaining a phrase which I have already used more than once, namely "creative activity." I use this phrase to refer to any kind of activity which raises the mental life of the individual temporarily or permanently to a new and higher level of development, in respect of sensitivity or of integration. It may be that very many kinds of activities are to some slight extent "creative" in this sense, but I use the word rather to mean those activities which are in the main of this kind. Thus, some education, some art, some intellectual work, some personal intercourse, deserve the adjective "creative."

(f) Conflict and Repression — A man's needs very often conflict with one another. The world being such as it is, the fulfilling of one need often makes the fulfilling of some other need impossible. Conflict may take place either between needs of the same hierarchical rank or between needs of different ranks. Of the first kind would be a conflict between impulsive pugnacity and impulsive fear, or, on a higher level, between love and hate of the same person. On the other hand, in a conflict between, on the one hand, the will to catch a train so as to fulfil an important engagement and, on the other hand, an impulse to have a drink ort the way, the needs:are of different rank. The most dangerous conflicts, on the whole, occur between an end which the individual cherishes as most important or sacred and any primitive and deep-rooted impulse which threatens to violate it. Conflicts of this sort can cause profound discord and cleavage in the personality. For instance, a child's conflicting impulses with regard to its parents may cause permanent disorders in its mind.

Freud, whatever his mistakes, has a great achievement to his credit. He has shown that in such cases of grave conflict the disreputable impulses, intolerable to the dominant personality, may be "repressed" into "the unconscious." That is, needs or cravings which are gravely inconsistent with the ideal of personal virtuousness may be resolutely ignored. The individual may cease to be able to attend to the fact that he has such cravings at all. If consciously he admires and loves his father and "unconsciously" he needs to be rid of him or get the better of him, the disreputable need, though not recognisable, will not cease to be a factor in his nature: It will express itself by distorting his feelings and thoughts not only about his father but about anything which is superficially identifiable with his father or the relation of parenthood. In fact, to use the jargon of psycho-analysis, it will generate "in his unconscious" a "complex" with regard to his father.

A complex may conveniently be regarded as a sentiment the object of which is not valued consciously or disvalued consciously. The object is valued (or disvalued), but it is impossible to attend to the fact. The individual is actually "set" in favour of the object (or against it), but he is not aware of the fact. Nevertheless, because he is set in that direction his conscious activity is to a greater or less extent influenced in that direction; and this influence, from the point of view of conscious ends, is irrational.

Sometimes conflict takes another form. The repressed matter, instead of remaining as a submerged and distorting influence, may capture for a while the stronghold of consciousness. Either the subject's temperament may suddenly and dramatically change. so that to his friends he becomes "almost a different person"; or, still more strikingly, this emotional change may be accompanied by a loss of memory of his whole past career, so that he becomes in a more literal sense a new personality. In this new state he may continue for years. Or he may undergo repeated alternations of personality, or even spawn a number of subordinate personalities.

Such cases are rare, but none the less significant for the understanding of the nature of personality. Far commoner, and seemingly universal, is the distortion of thought and will by repressed needs.

iii. The Upper Reaches of Human Personality

The foregoing account of the hierarchy of human activities was purely descriptive. No attempt was made to find in one particular level the explanatory principles for the understanding of all the levels. Some materialists would have us believe that if we had a complete account. of the atomic structure of the human body we should be able to predict all its actions in terms of physics. The Behaviourists in America, for instance, regard the reflex as the key to the understanding of all behaviour, and the reflect they assume to be reducible to purely physical terms.

Some psychologists, on the other hand, do not believe that such an explanation is possible even in theory. As we have seen, they insist that human behaviour cannot be understood save by means of the concept of purposive or teleological activity; and physics, of course, has no place for teleology. Desire and thought do not fall within the scope of purely physical laws. These psychologists, as we have seen, have attempted to classify what they regard as the basic teleological dispositions or instincts, and they claim that even the most subtle behaviour is in fact simply an expression of primitive instincts acting in much disguised forms. We have already noted that there is not much agreement as to what precisely the basic instinctive dispositions are.

It has therefore been argued by critics of "instinct psychology" that, after all, instinct is not a very useful concept for the understanding of human behaviour. While some seek to reduce instinct to reflex, others seek to show that instinct itself is too mechanical a concept for the explanation of the upper reaches of personality. Some claim that the most significant concept is the sentiment, in the psychological sense. Of course any organism's behaviour is an expression of its own nature in response to the environment; and its nature is in the first moments of its life purely innate. All the same, what is innate in it is simply a capacity for behaving in a certain manner in a certain environment. The organism cannot behave in vacuo. Organism and environment co-operate in behaviour. Further, from the first moment onwards the influence of the environment changes the organism's nature; and the more sensitive and flexible it is, the more it is changed. The more developed the species the more subtly is each individual "keyed into" the environment; the more, that is, does the environment itself affect the organism's constitution, moulding it, and creating in it, or at least evoking in it, new capacities not logically reducible to the laws of the behaviour of a simpler organism in a different environment.

If this view is correct, a man's behaviour is not to be understood in terms of anyone level of behaviour. It is an expression of all his levels, interacting in a complex environment that stimulates them all. The attempt to explain behaviour by purely physical laws or purely physiological laws, or by laws of pure instinct, is doomed to failure. One might almost as well turn the tables and try to explain it all in terms of aspiration toward the divine.

Perhaps we have been unduly dogmatic. Perhaps we should say only that in the present state of knowledge it is not possible to describe human behaviour in terms of anyone level; and that our failure suggests not merely a lack of sufficient data but an insufficiency in our explanatory concepts. Perhaps the key to the problem lies on none of the levels but in some much more general principle which correlates all of them but cannot yet be formulated.

We must remember, too, the possibility that ultimately, although a complete account of physical behaviour may be given in purely physical terms, yet for a real understanding of human nature the purely physical may be too abstract an explanatory principle.

However this may be, all that we can do in our present ignorance is to study each level on its own merits, formulating its special laws, and "reducing" these laws to lower-level laws only when this can be done without falsifying the facts to be explained.

For instance, in explaining the growth of sentiments we may reasonably affirm that in the first instance the object of the sentiment is simply a stimulus to various kinds of instinctive activity. Jane, for instance, is a stimulus to John's sexuality, self-regard, gregariousness, protectiveness, and so on. But as attention is increasingly focussed on the sentiment's object, so that it is realised as a conscious person, a new mode of behaviour is evoked, not describable in terms of the simple concept of instinct. Jane creates in John the capacity for taking Jane herself as an end. Between this new capacity and the lower-level capacity there is constant conflict. And much that passes for higher-level activity is really lower-level activity masquerading. To the unprejudiced mind, however, this makes no difference to the fact that higher-level activity does occur.

It may be objected that all our assertions about the higher reaches of personality are so vague as to be worthless. To this we must reply that inevitably they are vague, since their subject-matter is very complicated, and psychologists have as yet seldom faced it without prejudice. But it is better to make a few significant though confused protests than to be content with an over-simplified theory.

I shall now try to suggest what these "upper reaches" of human personality actually comprise, so far as we can as yet ascertain.

Some claim that telepathy and clairvoyance and pre-vision of the future are high-level powers characteristic of the upper reaches. I am not in a position to judge whether such powers exist or not, though on the whole I incline with much hesitation to believe that in some form or other they do. But I cannot see anything particularly lofty about them.. They may be consequences of high development, but in themselves they are merely strange modes of perceiving events of commonplace order.

On the other hand, it is fairly clear that under the heading of "personal sensibility" we do exercise powers that involve the upper reaches of human nature. The core of the matter, as we have seen, is the realisation of another individual as an active conscious person, and the disinterested willing of his fulfilment. This apprehension opens up a whole new world of perception and of action which is distinctively human, in that the sub-human has no access to it. It is a world known in some slight measure to all of us, though only those who are specially gifted with personal sensibility are at home in it. Literature is largely concerned with it.

We may reasonably suspect that in creative art, and, most obviously in the tragic ecstasy, expression is given to the higher reaches of personality; of course along with most other levels. No satisfactory theory of aesthetics has yet been devised, nor even a satisfactory psychology of artistic activity. Aesthetic experience in its most developed form eludes all descriptive explanation, and affords a sense of novel awakening and lucidity. It is reasonable, therefore, to believe that it entails activity of the "upper reaches." In fact, as was said in the chapter on ethics, aesthetic experience can be most satisfactorily described in terms of the symbolic fulfilment of impulses of every level, sensory-motor, instinctive, personal, social, and probably mystical also.

Intellectual activity itself is, of course, distinctively human. It involves a power .of abstraction which could not be predicted from the psychological study of purely sub-human creatures. But even in its dizziest flights it exercises nothing more than the initial power of abstraction, though, of course, greatly improved. It belongs to the "upper reaches" only if we interpret the phrase to apply to all that is distinctively human, not if it is to exclude all but the powers at the extreme limit of human capacity.

The same should perhaps be said of "personal sensibility" if it were not that this phrase may be taken to cover a wide range of activities from simple apprehension of the other as a discrete conscious individual to much more subtle (and less describable) experiences of the other as in some manner an embodiment of universal powers.

If there is any truth in the concept of the "upper reaches" as consisting of capacities at the highest limit of human development, we should include under it certain experiences and powers which may be called mystical. To say this is not necessarily to accept all the interpretations which mystics give of their experiences. I shall discuss this subject in a later chapter. It is extremely unlikely that any interpretation couched in language derived from normal experience can be true of "upper range" experience. Description must necessarily work by means of conceptual thought, and this was moulded under the influence of normal mundane experience. It may be that the reports of the mystics have all a certain extremely metaphorical truth, at least for those who have some immediate acquaintance with the experience described; but to the rest of the world such descriptions are likely to be wildly misleading.

For my part, and speaking mainly with reference to such traces of seemingly mystical experience as have happened in my own life, I hazard the suggestion that the essence of the experience consists not in discovering new truth but in taking up a new attitude, an attitude which I can only describe as one of delighted or even ecstatic acceptance of the universe.

iv. Differences Between People

Our sketch of human nature would be seriously incomplete if we made no reference to the differences between individuals. The more complex an organic species the more scope there is, all else being equal, for differences between its individuals, since there are more respects in which differences can occur. No doubt in gross bodily respects dogs vary more than men, but the mental differences between men are probably far greater and more complicated than any differences between dogs.

Differences between individuals are in part an expression of innate factors, in part the result of differing circumstances. Though the influence of the environment may disguise and even reverse innate characters, these are important determining factors throughout life. In studying the differences of individuals it is difficult and sometimes impossible to decide how much is innate and how much acquired; but for our present purposes we may ignore this problem and; consider merely how people do actually differ.

We may start by distinguishing between differences of degree of development and differences of capacity on the same hierarchical plane. The former may be called "vertical" differences, the latter "horizontal." The distinction, of course, is not fundamental, but merely a convenient method of study. Though accurate measurement is still impossible, we cannot but recognise that some individuals manifest higher general development than others. On the whole they are more sensitive in all directions, and more capable of discriminating slight differences. In all respects they are more intelligent and also more integrated, more capable of acting in relation to their experience as a whole, less distracted by passing impulses which they themselves, in calmer moments, would regard as trivial. The fact that it has proved very difficult to estimate differences of this kind must not blind us to the fact that in daily life we recognise them. In extreme cases they are flagrantly obvious.

Though particular differences of temperament and capacity' are on the whole to be regarded as "horizontal" differences, there are certain capacities which belong distinctively to the higher levels of development, since on the lower levels they may be almost negligible. Of these I will mention, without staying to define them, sensibility to personality, social responsibility, capacity for dealing with human beings, capacity for abstract thought, certain kinds of artistic capacity, and the capacities which with some hesitation I have called mystical.

Of the "horizontal" differences between people much might be said, but space forbids. We may very roughly distinguish differences of special capacity and differences of general temperament. Of special differences we may note that, for example, some have and some have not outstanding musical ability, or mathematical ability, or ability for draughtsmanship, or for the use of words, and so on.

Temperamental differences are much more difficult to distinguish. The old classification of individuals into melancholic, sanguine, choleric, and phlegmatic is probably not so superficial as was recently supposed. Without attempting to discover the essential factors of temperamental difference, we may note at random that some are more sociable, some more solitary, that (quite apart from ability) some have more theoretical and some more practical interests, that some are more interested in human beings and some in lifeless matter, that some are more intuitive and some more ratiocinative, that some are in general more cautious, conservative of their vital resources, while others are more venturesome and spendthrift.

Many attempts have been made to systematise such differences as these. For instance, there is the famous and useful distinction between the introvert and extravert temperaments, the former on the whole meditative, inward looking, seeking mental tidiness or coherence, the latter active, outward looking, seeking constant intercourse with the environment. Another distinction that has been suggested is that of cerebrotonic, viscerotonic, and somatotonic, between those who live mostly in the brain, those who live mostly for the emotional life which is controlled by glands and nerve-ganglia in the viscera, and those who live mostly in the body as a muscular system, and are therefore addicted; to sport and physical exercise.

Here we need not pursue the difficult problem of classifying and explaining temperamental differences. I mention the subject only to suggest that human minds are in fact immensely different from one another, that they are generally quite unconscious of the real nature of their differences, that their intercourse is therefore often extremely jarring and bewildering, that in spite of superficial similarities one type may find it almost impossible to understand and sympathise with another type, and may incline to condemn the other as barbarian or inhuman, while in truth the one is just as human as the other.

In this plight our only hope is to try as far as possible to become aware of our differences, so that we can make allowances for them, seeking so far as possible to enter imaginatively into the other's point of view. For differences should become a source not of enmity but of mutual enrichment.

v. What is the Self?

One question about human personality we have not yet properly faced, and though it seems to some the most important of all questions, I shall only briefly discuss it. Is "the mind" or "the self" simply the stream of experiences that goes on from birth to death, or is there an enduring something, an " ego " or essential mental substance which has the experiences?

There are two main types of theory about the nature of the self. Professor Broad calls one kind "central theories" and the other "non-central theories." In central theories there is a central enduring self to which experience happens. The centre may be conceived either as a unique mental substance (a "metaphysical ego"), or as "the body," or as a central core of enduring experience, including the internal body-sensations. Of these three possibilities I shall speak only of the "ego" theory; since the other two reduce either to the "ego" theory or to some kind of non-central theory. In non-central theories experience is a centreless tissue or flux. The former type may be represented by a wheel with axle and spokes, the latter by a net.

The main arguments for the "ego" theory are: (1) Common sense assumes a centre, and claims that we are literally self-conscious, that we have introspective acquaintance with the "ego." (2) Some unifying principle is needed to provide the ground of the unity or mutual interpenetration of experiences, and particularly the interpenetration of past and present experiences in memory. (3) If, as Realists claim, experiencing is essentially a relation between an experiencer and an experienced, there must be an experiencer, just as there must be an experienced object.

The main arguments for the non-central theories are: (1) We have no introspective acquaintance with the "ego." As Hume long ago said, when we seek to discover the self, we only come upon particular "impressions," or in modern language particular experienced objects, such as sense data of the body. (2) The unity of experience, it is claimed, can be satisfactorily accounted for without a substantial self to do the unifying. Indeed, if the unifying principle is thought of as a substance, it cannot fulfil its purpose. A second principle must be invoked to provide a link between the single, constant substance and its innumerable fleeting experiences. The correct method (we are told) is to describe the unity of the mind as the unity of a system of a special kind, in fact an organic whole, in which the parts are intrinsically related to one another. (3) Experiencing is indeed a relation between an experiencer and an experienced, but it need not be a relation between a unique unanalysable substance and the objects of experience. It might be a relation between a system of events and some fresh event assimilated to the system. Thus, when I perceive a pear, certain sense data are brought into mental relation with the system of mentally related past events which constitute "my mind." In this view successive states of consciousness are not the acts of an enduring substance; they are events having a very special relation to one another. As William James said, each thought is born an owner of preceding thoughts, and dies owned by the following thought.

It is impossible to do justice to either of these' points of view in a short space. I mention them merely to indicate the kind of problems that have to be faced in any attempt to study the nature of the self. My own impulse in this controversy, as in many others, is to "have it both ways." That is, I suspect that both kinds of theory, thoroughly worked out, would arrive at essentially the same conclusion, which would be a theory having some characteristics derived from both the simpler theories. Some indication of the general type of a satisfactory compromise-theory may be found in the following suggestions. It is a mistake to abstract and hypostatise either the unity of the mind or the plurality of its components. The mind is not a single substance "having" mental events. It is entirely analysable into its mental events, even if some of them are "unconscious" or not open to introspection. But on the other hand mental events are not distinct atoms or bricks out of which a mind is built. Each of them is intrinsically related to the rest of the mind. In fact they, no less than the,unique, unifying "ego," are abstractions.

In the light of the tentative findings of this chapter and the chapter on Immortality, we may, I think, draw a rather important conclusion. It is a two-fold conclusion. On the one hand we must not regard the human individual as being in some manner precious merely on account of his individuality; for his individuality is probably not the simple eternal thing that some suppose it to be. On the other hand the human individual is the ground of all that is to be prized, within the limits of our experience. From one point of view the importance of human individuals is apt to be overestimated, and from another point of view underestimated. It is not the individual as such that matters, but the vital, mental, spiritual activity which constitutes him. He matters not because he is himself, but because he is capable of knowing-feeling-willing, and particularly because he is capable in some degree of the most developed kind of knowing-feeling-willing, which can be very roughly summed up by the old words "reason" and "love." Because this is so, the whole aim of society should be to enhance the capacity of individuals for the life of reason and of love.

Chapter 9


i. Problems of Social Philosophy

WE have seen that personality is an expression not only of innate structure but also of environment. In the case of human personality the environment is very largely social. In some sense human personality is through and through an expression of present and past social environments. But precisely in what sense? We must now face this problem, which is one of the two main problems of social philosophy. On the one hand lie theories according to which individuals alone are "real," and society is merely the system of related individuals. On the other hand lie theories according to which society alone is "real," or "fully real," and individuals are mere abstractions from the concrete social whole. Between lie theories which compromise by suggesting that both society and individuals are abstractions, and that neither should be hypostatised, or regarded as an independent self-complete entity; but that, taken in their actual relation, both may be called "real."

From these various types of social theory emerge various types of social ideal, ranging from extreme individualism to the apotheosis of the State.

When we have discussed these traditional problems, we shall examine in more detail the nature of community, and its pre-requisites. We shall consider also its prospects in the world to-day.

In the next chapter we shall turn to the other great problem of. social philosophy, namely the search for the underlying principles which determine social change and social evolution. This will involve us in a discussion of the Marxian theory of economic determinism.

ii. Two Theories of the Nature of Society

(a) Individualism

(b) The Apotheosis of Society

(c) Synthesis

(a) Individualism — The philosophical individualism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was a system of ideas appropriate to a commercial class that was rising into dominance through individual enterprise in industry and commerce. The triumph of the doctrine is a good example of the determination of thought by economic influences.

According to the theory, individual men and women are self-complete realities or substances, and "society" is the mass of them in relation to one another; or (in another sense of the word "society") the abstract system of relations which holds between them. In this sense, "society" as a whole, including every one of its multifarious institutions from fashion to marriage, from the club to the State, is simply a very complex system of manners in which individuals behave toward one another. According to the individualistic theory, individuals are to be thought of as "atoms," entering into, but not constituted by, their relations with one another.

Each individual, according to the theory, is regarded as a centre of experience and rational behaviour. Apart from aberrations due to ignorance, stupidity, or distorting passion, each seeks to preserve and advance his own person. When he behaves altruistically he does so because, through one cause or another, and indeed most mysteriously, his self-interest has been extended to include the self-interest of others.

The theory is associated with the doctrine of Utilitarianism, according to which, as we have seen, pleasure is the sole good, and the ideal is the greatest happiness of the greatest number. This ideal sets the true direction of all social activity. Nothing is to be sought but the pleasure of individuals, and one individual is as good as another, save that some may be capable of more pleasure than others, and some may be more useful to their fellows. The function of the State is to interfere with the free behaviour of individuals only so far as this is necessary in order to prevent them from hurting one another.

Hence the doctrine of Laissez Faire. It was confidently believed that, the uncontrolled economic activity of individuals seeking private gain by competing to satisfy the demand for goods would ensure the greatest possible production, and also the just distribution of goods, and therefore the greatest possible happiness of the greatest number of individuals. It was assumed that on the whole people would demand the kind of goods which would most benefit themselves, and therefore society, and that production would be guided solely by the spontaneous demand of the masses of freely demanding individuals.

As we know, events did not justify the theory. Our concern is philosophy, not history; but it is impossible to see Individualism in its true light without noting how it worked out in practice. Those who had economic advantages were soon able to dominate society. Those who lacked advantages sank to the status of wage-slaves, to drag out their lives often in incredible misery and brutishness. Their distress was generally regarded as a necessary though regrettable consequence of the triumph of the system. Combination of the workers to wrest better conditions from the masters was condemned as a wicked interference with sacred economic laws. Little by little, however, the workers themselves, aided by a few generous individuals in the employing class, did compel the State to interfere more and more (by means of Factory Acts, etc.) to protect wage-slaves against wage-masters. Always such interference was regarded by individualists as a very dangerous practice, to be adopted only in urgent cases.

The faith that people would demand the kinds, of goods which would most benefit them was falsified by three facts that the advocates of Laissez Faire overlooked. First, people did not really know what was good for them in the long run. Second, even when they did know, they were led astray by primitive cravings which were exaggerated to the pitch of obsession by the nerve-strain caused by unfavourable conditions. Third, capitalist propaganda and advertisement tended to stimulate these cravings rather than the desire for "the good life." The result was the tragic futility and vulgarity of our civilisation.

Along with economic individualism there grew up a morality which was individualistic not merely in the sense of being convenient to selfish individuals, but also in the sense that it was a social doctrine based on the importance of individual rights, individual responsibility, and individual intelligence and conscience. Individual rights were, of course, the only rights, and they were to be curtailed only to safeguard the rights of the majority of individuals. Freedom of action and of speech became basic political values to be safeguarded and increased. This was admirable, but it was overlooked that to the wage-slaves political freedom was useless without economic freedom. Complementary to individual right was individual responsibility. Since the individual was real, and society an abstraction, the individual must think for himself, and must will according to his own lights, never surrendering his intelligence or his conscience to the care of other individuals. In the sphere of religion the rise of the "Nonconformist Conscience" was an expression of the general reeling for individualism. In our day, when individualism has become an unfashionable doctrine, we tend to forget that it was not merely the glorification of selfishness, and that it contained much of permanent value.

Unfortunately the worse elements of the theory tended to be put in practice more than the better. Selfishness ran riot; individual responsibility was too often evaded; liberty was not preserved. Freedom of action and of speech did not include freedom on the part of the wage-slaves to act and speak against their oppressors.

The fact that Individualism as a practical political and social policy has had regrettable results constitutes in itself no condemnation of Individualism as a theory of the nature of society. But it not unreasonably arouses suspicion and an inclination to seek some theory in which society appears as more real than its individuals and as imposing a special obligation upon them. Of course the advocate of Individualism may reasonably argue that, if effective provision were made to ensure that all individuals should have an equal chance, the policy would. work. To this it may be replied that even if a society of individualists were to be put in this state of very unstable equilibrium it would very soon generate a dominant class which would use its advantage to fortify its own position.

(b) The Apotheosis of Society — At the other extreme from Philosophical Individualism lies the political theory associated with Philosophical Idealism. For Kant and his followers, particularly Hegel, the whole was necessarily more real than the parts. This theory, as we have seen, is derived from the theory that all finite things, including finite minds, are constituted by their relations with other things. So far as human knowledge is concerned each thing simply is the system of its relations with the rest of the universe. Of the things in themselves which have those relations nothing can be known. It is merely postulated as the one, universal, Absolute Reality. Of finite things (we are told) it may with human and partial truth be said that the more comprehensive a thing, the more real it is, since it approximates more to the Whole which alone is fully real.

The application of this theory to the nature of society was very striking. In a very important sense an individual is an expression of the society in which he occurs. His every act is determined by his biological inheritance, his own past experience, and his present environment. There is nothing whatever in him (according to the theory) that is not social or racial through and through. The form of his whole life and every moment in it is, so to speak, an expression of society's willing and thinking in and through him. The only thing about him which is not determined from without is the abstract and completely featureless capacity for experiencing in some manner and acting in some manner. What manner depends wholly on his social, historical, and biological "location" so to speak.

The Idealist philosophers were not greatly concerned with biology, but we may significantly give their theory a biological interpretation to bring it in line with contemporary thought. Biologically the individual inherits the dispositions for the special modes of behaviour characteristic of his species and his unique individuality. These dispositions are themselves determined by the pressure of past environments working on the indeterminate potentiality of his ancestors, selecting some biological strains rather than others. Even if, as we are told, natural selection cannot account for the occurrence of the variations themselves, nevertheless, whatever their source, it must be a source beyond the finite individual that manifests the variation. It is a social and a racial source. In fact, according to the theory, it is the Absolute Reality, of which all particular things are merely particular aspects.

Apart from biological inheritance, the individual mind is determined by the social tradition in which it is nurtured. As we have seen, all a man's experience is limited by the categories which traditional culture imposes on him. Or rather, he can only transcend his traditional culture in so far as contemporary social circumstances or the special conditions of his life compel him to do so. The creative originality of the individual need not be denied, but it may be thought of as the "spirit of the whole" possessing him and acting through him. His originality consists in some special sensitivity or insight into the nature of his experienced world, and a consequent imaginative leap to new modes of behaviour more appropriate than the old modes. But this special sensitivity itself is the product of past social and racial factors.

Some philosophers, bearing in mind all these considerations, have been led to a sort of deification of society or the race. An extreme case is the theory of the "group mind." It is well known that in a crowd or mob individuals may behave quite otherwise than they would in isolation. Seemingly the "spirit of the crowd" possesses them and imposes on them its own forms of feeling and of thought. Each individual is carried away by the enthusiasm or passion of the crowd, so that he willingly participates in acts that may be either more brutal or more generous than he or any average individual in the crowd could have performed without the support of the crowd. Lynching mobs, patriotic assemblies, revivalistic religious congregations, afford evidence of these statements. Less dramatic, but to some minds equally impressive, is the spread of fashionable ideas in a national community. Like the wind on a cornfield, some mysterious force seems to sway all minds together in unison, with spreading waves of thought and feeling. Should we not, then, say the advocates of the "group mind" theory, think of society as a great brain made up of individual cells? Must we not believe 'that all individuals, though they seem to themselves to be living their own mental life in isolation from one another, are in fact possessed by a common, unitary social consciousness?

Many Idealist philosophers who did not accept the theory of the "group mind" in this extreme form adopted a theory very much like it in effect. In their view a mind was essentially a system of ideas and valuations, a system of "mental content." The whole of the individual's "mental content" was merely a minute excerpt from the total system of ideas which constituted the whole cultural life of society. This mental content of society as a whole they regarded as real independently of the individual minds that participate in it; and indeed as more real than the individual minds, since it was vastly more comprehensive.

Just as Individualism triumphed because it was congenial to a rising commercial class, so theories which hypostatised the State or the race flourished because they were congenial to a class that had secured power and regarded its political and social institutions as essential to the life of the community. Just as Individualism produced its characteristic morality, so did the theory that we are now discussing. We have already seen that in Idealist ethics the moral claim is the logical claim of the individual's "real" will over his actual and merely partial will, and that his "real" will is the completely rational and good will, which is said to be identical in all individuals, and is the will for the greatest possible fulfilment of society as a whole. In this theory, what is really best for the individual himself is that he, with his particular capacities, should be used to the best advantage by society for the social good. It followed that the right course for the individual was not, as the individualists declared, to seek his own interest, in the faith that in this manner he would best serve society; on the contrary he must serve society, in the faith that in this manner he would fulfil his better, his "real" self.

Further, since he as an isolated individual had no reality, since he was a mere abstraction from the concrete whole of society, he must not presume to set himself up as a judge of society's morals. Since his thought was but a fragmentary abstraction from the whole culture of society it would be folly for him to judge that culture in the light of his private intelligence. Since his conscience was but an imperfect mode of the public conscience, it would be wicked for him to judge the accepted morality in the light of his own moral intuitions. For him the sum of righteousness must be to conform to the precept, "My station and its duties."

On the other hand, though for the average individual the right course was simply to fulfil his social function in the office to which fate had assigned him, some individuals there must be who were gifted with special powers of insight into the needs of society and the potentialities of cultural growth. These were the natural interpreters of the General Will, the true brain of the social organism. Without their mediation and guidance the masses would blunder into all kinds of folly and conflict. Obviously this doctrine was well suited to an established oligarchy which regarded itself as the rightful rulers of society.

Oddly enough the same kind of doctrine is also suited to a revolutionary party that claims to have a mission to remake society, and needs for its heroic task strict intellectual and moral discipline, and conformity to the dictates of the party. Marx turned Hegel back to front not only, as we shall later observe, in converting his form of idealism into a corresponding form of materialism, but also in restating for the purpose of revolution a moral doctrine that was originally well adapted to an established oligarchy.

Doctrines which hypostatise society have a special advantage which individualism has not. They can give a quasi-religious satisfaction, a sense of participation in and service of a supernatural being whose purposes are of a higher order than the purposes of individuals. This is their strength and their danger. For dangerous they are. They breed a fatal tendency toward a vague mysticism of State or race. They tempt self-assertive individuals to regard themselves as semi-divine leaders of society, and to mistake their own private advancement, and their own private prejudices, for the sacred will of society. They also afford to these self-styled interpreters of the general will an excuse for every kind of tyranny and ruthlessness. On the other hand, they encourage the average mentally lazy individual to shirk his intellectual and moral responsibility, to accept ideas and values uncritically, either from popular "leaders of thought," or from a vague and illusive public opinion, or from the official propaganda of the class that controls the great modern organs of propaganda. The ordinary citizen thankfully surrenders his intelligence and his conscience into the hands of others, and becomes a blind instrument.

But the fact that these doctrines are dangerous does not necessarily mean that they are false. Let us now try to judge both the social theories that I have been describing, both Individualism and the Idealist political philosophy, in order to discover, if possible, what is good in each.

(c) Synthesis — The Idealists' criticism of Individualism is in the main true, but their positive assertions go much too far. There is indeed good reason to hold that the individual's will is an expression of his biological inheritance and his social environment. Biologically the only qualification is that at every stage of his ancestry, no matter how remote, there must always have been something internal, something upon which the environment worked. Without that initial something, even though it was probably from the physical point of view just a very complex and unstable molecule, there could have been no biological evolution. And the offspring of that initial something, made more and more complex by generations of evolution and of intercourse with the environment, is man, with his highly-developed subjectivity.

Socially also a qualification must be made. Though the individual is through and through an expression of past and present society, yet, whatever his causes, he actually now is what he is, namely a particular and determinate individual, a centre of experience and action. To call him a mere abstraction would be false, if by "abstraction" is meant something non-existent. To "abstract" is to attend to a particular character while ignoring others. Though the character attended to is an "attraction," it is not less objective than the whole of which it is a member. Of course, the human individual without a social environment would be a very different creature; but though the social environment profoundly influences his mind it is not essential to his mind's existence as a mind. Moreover, however he was made, there he is, a real centre of mental and physical activity.

Society itself is simply the individuals that compose it. The individuals, of course, are organised in complex social relations, and are infused by their society's tradition and culture; but there is nothing that is society or the State over and above the individuals, with their present relations, and their traditions. Their relations are ordinary physical and mental relations between individuals. Their tradition is embodied in a huge mass of verbal and other symbolism, created by past generations of individuals, and interpreted by the present generation. Nowhere is there any evidence for a supra-individual self. Even the striking facts of crowd-behaviour can be fully explained without any such hypostatisation of the group. The individual in the crowd may be regarded as indulging in a particular sort of instinctive response to the special stimulus of the presence of his fellows. His reaction is what the psychologists call "primitive passive sympathy." He tends to manifest emotions and actions similar to those manifested by his fellows.

We must reject also the less extreme view which, though it does not postulate a group mind as an actual conscious process embracing all individual minds, yet regards the individual as a mere excerpt from the objective tissue of ideas which is the life of society. This view depends on the theory that a mind is simply a system of mental "content," of thoughts and values which can be identical in different minds. It ignores the individual mental activity which has this content, which thinks and feels it. If a mind is simply a system of "content," and a minute excerpt from the whole mental "content" of society, it follows that society is actually a mind of the same order as the individual's mind, though far greater. Against this view we must insist that the individual mind is of a different order from the tissue of ideas which constitutes culture, just as a tree is of a different order from a forest. From the Idealists' theory it follows that, since the whole is more real than the part, the social mind is more real than the individuals that compose it. But this view we have rejected. The parts even of an organic whole are not less real than the whole. A hand is not less real than the man, though it is less complete, and cannot exist in isolation, and is instrumental to the whole man.

Society, of course, the whole system of individuals, is more important than any individual or group of individuals, simply because it is all the individuals. It is always possible, no doubt, that, from the point of view of the welfare of the whole, a particular individual or group of individuals may be supremely important, or at any rate more important than others. But their enhanced value is instrumental to the whole.

We must admit that in a society composed of individuals of very different mental rank, say men and animals, or supermen and submen, the welfare of the men (or supermen) should count for more than the welfare of the animals (or submen), simply because they would be capable of activities and fulfilments of higher order. But actually the individuals of human societies do not differ in rank in this extreme manner. It is quite impossible to grade them in a mental hierarchy which will be demonstrably and objectively correct. Consequently, for political and social purposes, however much they may vary in social usefulness, they should be treated as though all were equally capable of mental fulfilment, as having equal claims to the consideration of society, and equal rights to express their will about the conduct of society, and, in the last resort, to determine its policy.

On the other hand, we must not fall into the errors of individualism and the cruder sort of democracy. We must recognise that the mass of individuals in a society, nurtured in unfavourable conditions, doomed to crippling activities, and educated not for responsibility and integrity, but for mechanical efficiency and docility, may be quite unable to recognise what is really best for them as individuals capable of mental development, and quite incapable of judging public policy. We must recognise, in fact, that a policy based on the expressed demands of the majority of individuals may lamentably fail to satisfy the deeper needs of those individuals themselves.

This fact must not be made an excuse for authoritarianism on the part of an enlightened minority. We have to-day plenty of evidence of the tyranny to which this inevitably leads. Instead, the enlightened minority must work by reasonable persuasion and the example of its own personal integrity and responsibility, till the masses recognise them as appropriate leaders. Unfortunately it is always easier to gain recognition and power by deceitful and emotional propaganda, and to secure it by coercion.

iii. How Men Behave in Groups

(a) Degrees of Social Awareness

(b) Herd-mindedness

(c) The Individualistic Mentality

(d) Genuine Community: Personal Intercourse

(e) Genuine Community: Social Will

(f) Civilisation

(a) Degrees of Social Awareness — Having considered the problem of the status of the individual and of society, we will discuss the different manners in which individuals are aware of society. The reader must be warned, however, that in this section I shall not be summarising well-established philosophical theories, but tentatively putting forward ideas which academic philosophers might regard as outside the province of philosophy. It will be obvious that in formulating these ideas I have been influenced by the writings of Mr. Gerald Heard, but I have also, for my own purposes, modified his theories in some very important respects. Mr. Heard speaks of the "evolution of consciousness" from the pre-individual type, through the individual type, to the fully social type; but I cannot determine whether he is describing different kinds of attitudes taken up by the individual toward society or different forms of a communal consciousness or group mind. In what follows I shall discuss merely the attitudes taken up by the individual to his social environment.

There seem to be three different kinds of mental attitude or three kinds of mentality which the individual may manifest toward the group of which he is a member. For brevity I shall call them the herd-mentality, the individualistic mentality, and the mentality of genuine community. All three attitudes are actually manifested by all extant human beings, at one time or another, or all together; but since some individuals are on the whole more prone to one attitude than the others, we may perhaps very roughly classify individuals according to their habitual attitude to society. And since we may with some confidence arrange the attitudes in order of mental development, we may similarly grade the individuals in respect of development of social consciousness.

I cannot believe, as Mr. Heard does, that it is possible to trace in history a gradual evolution from a condition when the herd mentality, the most primitive social attitude, was overwhelmingly dominant to a condition in which the most developed will for true community is intermittently occurring. Instead I incline to believe that the three attitudes have been common ever since our species emerged from the sub-human, and that throughout the historical period the individualistic attitude has been commonest. On the other hand, it may well be that in the highest sub-human mammals, and even in the earliest, most primitive human races, the herd-mentality dominates. It may be that in a biological type higher than our own the dominant mentality would be that of genuine community. But again it is not inconceivable that even in the case of Homo Sapiens more favourable social and economic conditions and better education may in the long run immensely strengthen the rudimentary community-will in each generation, and that in time even the imperfect nature of our species may be conditioned to genuine community.

However this may be, there are to-day three distinct ways of feeling about social groups; and if we wish to understand the nature and potentialities of human society we must form clear ideas on this subject. I shall now try to describe these social attitudes and I shall argue that the more developed cannot be described simply in terms of the less. Individualism contains a factor not reducible to herd-mindedness; and genuine community-will contains something not reducible to individualism.

(b) Herd-mindedness — The most primitive social mentality is illustrated most strikingly in typical mob-behaviour. The individual is intensely conscious of the presence of the crowd as a vague surrounding mass, but much less aware of distinct individuals, save as focal points in the crowd. His attention is directed to individuals only when they become in any way significant of the mental life of the crowd, for instance by assuming leadership over him, or by being singled out as aliens, recalcitrant to the common mood. Even leaders and aliens fail to impinge on the mind of the crowd-member as real individuals. They are merely stimuli evoking in him a stereotyped response. He tends to be oblivious also of his own individuality. So far as he is self-conscious at all, his desire is to conform to the behaviour of the crowd. He is almost literally hypnotised by the crowd's presence.

Not every member is reduced to this state. On the contrary a few may react with heightened self-consciousness and self-assertion. But all tend toward herd-mindedness, even if some resist the tendency, and react in a contrary manner. Under the influence of a crowd-leader who senses the disposition of the crowd, and can express it, and within limits control it, the members eagerly conform to the prevailing temper. They allow their individual intelligence and moral sensibility to fall into abeyance. They accept uncritically such simple thoughts and feelings as can be communicated in the atmosphere of the crowd. Relatively simple, primitive, and emotional ideas can be communicated much more easily than ideas that are more subtle and less emotional. It follows that under the influence of the crowd each individual tends to be reduced to a mental level lower than his normal level, and is capable of actions which in the normal state he would dismiss as foolish or barbarous or base.

It would be unjust to say that in crowd-behaviour the individual always tends to be less moral than normally, for skilful leaders can sometimes rouse a crowd to a high level of moral enthusiasm. But always this enthusiasm is evoked by some relatively simple and vivid moral experience, such as the saving of a life, or a protest on behalf of those who are oppressed. And such moral behaviour is far less common in crowds than a decline of moral consciousness.

Herd-mindedness does not occur only in crowds in which the members are physically present to one another. In every group which is regarded as an object of value there is a tendency to herd-mindedness. Tribes, families, cities, colleges, schools, aristocracies, class-conscious plutocracies, class-conscious proletariats, trade-unions, religious bodies, and above all nations may exercise this hypnotic power. We must, however, distinguish between the group's emotional dominance over its members as an object of veneration, as in the nation infected by patriotism, and the state of affairs in which, though there is no sentiment for the group, the individual is constantly drenched by the group's ideology and insulated from the ideology of other groups. Even the most independent-spirited individual may be gravely led astray by the sheer weight and detail of the social tradition in which he is drenched.

(c) The Individualistic Mentality — The attitude which I have called herd-mindedness is obviously the psychological aspect of instinctive gregariousness. The individualistic attitude, on the other hand, is not simply the psychological aspect of instinctive self-assertion, though this instinctive reaction does, of course, fortify it. The individualistic attitude is more developed than any purely instinctive response. It involves not only instinctive self-assertion but also a fairly high degree of self-consciousness. The individualist, of course, is aware both of himself and of others as individuals. But whereas his self-consciousness is relatively persistent, his other-consciousness, his awareness of his neighbours as centres of knowing-feeling-striving, is intermittent and vague. Of course he may have impulses of affection for those who are psychologically nearest to him, just as he may on the plane of herd-mentality. He may even have enduring sentiments for particular individuals; and these sentiments may sometimes be genuine love-sentiments in which the other is valued not merely as a physical object is valued but as a person, whose well-being is desired for its own sake. But his dominant attitude toward his fellows is that of concentrated self-regard, and even his love-sentiments are apt to have a strong aspect of sheer self-regarding possessiveness. Indeed, in so far as his loves really are loves, in so far as they are genuine other-regard for a more or less clearly conceived person, he has passed beyond the limitations of individualism. As an individualist, though he is vaguely conscious of others as individuals, he is not impressed with a sense of their vivid reality. His dominant motive is the advancement of himself as a person among other persons. It does not follow that he is particularly "selfish." Indeed he may be ostentatiously generous. If he has been brought up to admire altruism, he may take as his ideal of personal advancement a pattern of Christian kindliness. None the less his mentality is essentially individualistic, in the sense that subconsciously he does what he does not for love but for personal salvation. Of course his beatitude may not be conceived as beatitude in life after death. It may consist wholly of gratification here and now for his need for self-respect.

The individualistic mentality is probably the dominant social attitude in all races, though all of us are at all times faintly herd-minded, and some are sometimes predominantly so. The genuine community-mentality is in most of us very precarious and rarely dominant. The influence of the primitive herd-mentality is generally unconscious, in the sense that the individual himself is unable to recognise that he is being swayed by an obscure craving to conform, and to enforce conformity on others. On occasions of heightened social consciousness, such as political crises, economic crises, crises of class-strife, war scares, and so on, herd-mentality may become dominant, though still in the main unconscious. The individual will accept arguments and valuations simply because they bear the sanction of public opinion, or of the particular group-opinion to which he is loyal; yet he will believe that he has accepted them for reasons of self-interest or for genuinely social reasons.

This picture of the individual's social feeling and behaviour is not complete till we have added a few slight but very important touches of a very different nature, already mentioned in the chapter on Personality. Most individuals do, as we have seen, at times rise to genuine love of some other individual. Most are capable also, to some slight extent, of genuine community behaviour. Important as this is, we must not forget that in the main, however much they conform to the social tradition of altruism, they are at heart individualists, With this qualification always in mind, let us proceed to discuss in more detail the nature of genuine community.

(d) Genuine Community: Personal Intercourse — The word "community" is ambiguous. In the first place it sometimes means a group of individuals, as in the phrase "the Jewish community," and sometimes it means the abstraction or universal character which characterises all concrete communities. In the second place, whether it is used in the concrete or the abstract sense, the word may have either a very general or a more restricted meaning. In the general sense a community is any group of individuals having any kind of social relation to one another. In this sense even the prisoners in a gaol may be said to form a community. But in the more restricted sense, the sense with which we are here concerned, a community is a group of persons who willingly co-operate, who are not merely economically but mentally a source of enrichment to one another, and who prize their social relationship.

Community in this sense must be experienced in the first instance through actual personal intercourse with other individuals in some small group. Larger and yet genuine communities, in which the bond of personal intercourse is absent or fragmentary, may occur; but in these some other kind of bond must form an adequate substitute for personal contact. We will begin by considering only communities based on contact.

The simplest example is a happily married couple. By a happily married couple I mean, not the romantic idealisation of marriage as "two souls in unison," but a partnership in which the very diversity of the members, even if it leads to considerable strain, is on the whole a source of enrichment to both. Larger groups may also in varying degrees fulfil the definition. A family, a school, a college, a religious congregation, a committee, a body of research workers or of any other workers in personal conflict, a military unit, a revolutionary "cell," a social club — these and many other kinds of small group may be genuine communities. To deserve the name they need not be immune from internal conflict. Indeed the internal conflicts of a community may be one of the main modes by which the members mutually enrich one another. But for the community to be a genuine community, conflict must be subordinate to the common purpose, and must be so regarded by all the members of the community.

I have several times used the phrases "mutual enrichment" and "mental enrichment." Each member of the community is a centre of activity, and in particular of conscious activity, of knowing-feeling-striving. He has his characteristic capacities and needs. The community should enrich him in two manners. In the first place, his intercourse with the other members should enable him the better to fulfil his own personal capacities and satisfy his personal needs. In the second place, friendship with or love of individuals whose character is different from his own should enrich him with experience of the diversity of minds, and should (metaphorically) enlarge his self to embrace other selves of alien type. It is essential to community as a source of mutual enrichment that the members should be different from one another in psychological make-up. A community composed of identical twins living in identical conditions (if this were possible) would be a sterile community. The greater the psychological differences the better, so long as the underlying identity of interest or purpose is strong enough to hold the members together.

In the community of personal contact each member prizes not only the other members as individuals but also the social relationship. In the simplest of all cases the lover loves the beloved, but also he prizes love itself, the reciprocal relationship between himself and the other. Further, while the experience of love affords him a deep sense of personal fulfilment, he will gladly (up to a point) forgo personal fulfilment if thereby he can give greater fulfilment to the other. In the larger community of personal contact a member may sacrifice himself (up to a point) either for the sake of the other members or to preserve the communal relationship.

The common interest or purpose which unites the members of the community may have as its object either the maintenance of the community itself or some goal external to the community. The common purpose of the married couple is chiefly the maintenance of the community itself; though the raising and equipment of children is a purpose which comes under both categories. The common purpose of the revolutionary "cell" is external to itself.

In any actual community, even the most intimate and harmonious, there will be conflicts of personal interests. In so far as the community really is a community these conflicts will be willingly subordinated to the common interest. But also, of course, in the best actual human communities, even those based on personal contact, there will be a great deal of sheer individualism. Personal interests, that is, will not always be willingly subordinated, but will sometimes be pursued even to the detriment of the community.

Indeed, genuine community, even by personal contact, is rare and precarious. Some psychologists have claimed that there is no such thing, that the only social behaviour is some combination of individualism and instinctive gregariousness, sex and parenthood, conditioned to the stimuli of civilised society. To these psychologists the reply must be that they have overlooked a kind of behaviour which does occur and is essentially different from the other kinds. Rare and precarious as community is, probably most human beings have some slight experience of it. When it has become firmly established in a small group of individuals of fairly high mental calibre it may very thoroughly dominate the behaviour of the whole group.

(e) Genuine Community: Social Will — If it is difficult to achieve community in a small group in personal contact, it is far more difficult, if not impossible, to establish it in a large group, where personal contact cannot bind every member to every other. In the small group the community-mentality is grounded in the fact that the members can realise one another as persons and can respect one another's differences because of the underlying sense of community. In the large community there is no universal mutual awareness.

Something else, however, can in a manner take its place, namely, a firm will for community.

Though the members of a large community may know only a very small minority of their fellows, all are .held together in a mesh of social relationships. Directly or indirectly every life is related with every other. Moreover they may have common economic and political interests, common modes of behaviour, common cultural ideals. Up to a point it is possible for each member to realise at least something of the psychological pattern common to all typical members.

This alone would be no sufficient basis for the will for community. But individuals who have also concrete experience of genuine community through personal contact may form an established disposition to behave on the principle that all members of the large group, even though personally unknown to them, are real individuals, with social rights.

This principle is, of course, consciously accepted by the great majority in civilised countries; but unfortunately the fact that it is consciously accepted does not mean that it is necessarily an effective motive in determining conduct. Probably in most acts which seem to spring from the genuine social will the effective though unacknowledged motive is either individualism or herd-mindedness. Most human acts have complex motives. It is often impossible to discover which motive is the decisive motive in forming a decision. Only when there is a clear conflict between the dictates of self-regard and the social will, and the issue is an act of social service, can we be sure that social will really is the effective motive. But such clear conflicts seldom occur. Even the martyr for a social cause may be sacrificing himself for the sake of self-esteem. We are entitled, however, to ask how it came about that self-esteem demanded the supreme self-sacrifice. And the answer must be that his ideal of himself was largely determined in the first instance by his recognition of the intrinsic good of community.

(f) Civilisation — If the foregoing analysis is correct, any human society must be thought of as consisting mostly of individuals who are in the main individualistic, though they are constantly and sometimes violently swayed by herd-mindedness, and are to some, extent capable of genuine community by personal contact, and to a much slighter extent moved by the abstract social will.

Recognising that this is true of all normal individuals, we may nevertheless classify normal individuals into three grades, namely, those that are on the whole more herd-minded than others, those that are most individualistic, and those that are on the whole more capable of community than others. But we must not forget that every normal individual, no matter what his normal state, may sometimes sink to the lowest or rise to the highest grade of social behaviour.

In addition to the vast majority of normal human beings, who are in the main individualists, we must recognise a smaller class of approximately subnormal or approximately moron rank, whose social behaviour, and indeed all their behaviour, is almost entirely impulsive. They fluctuate between the spasmodic self-assertion of the sub-human animal, spasmodic affection for particular individuals, and spasmodic herd-mindedness.

At the other extreme comes the very small company of supernormals or saints who have brought their whole lives more or less effectively under the control of their will for community. These are so few and so difficult to discover that they should perhaps be omitted from the classification. But on the whole it seems probable that genuine social saints do occur, and that they have sometimes had a great influence.

If society depended solely on the strength of the genuine social will in men it would be impossible. But in the main it depends on their self-regarding motives. It is in the main a system of interdependent self-seekings. No doubt, so long as we are comfortable, we keep the rules of society largely through sheer easy-going conformity to tradition, and to some extent through a very tepid though genuine social will. For, on the whole, and provided that the cost to himself is slight, a man would rather behave socially than antisocially. But when serious individualistic interests are at stake he tends either to evade the rules or to keep them merely for fear of condemnation, while persuading himself that he is really acting from the best motives.

The scope of the genuinely social will is probably much less than it is generally thought to be; but it is not wholly negligible. Both in a comfortable society and in one that is felt to be in danger of destruction it does play some part, though in very different manners in the two cases. In the comfortable and fairly secure society, in which most of the members are not too frantically struggling to preserve themselves, the social will does restrain individuals from petty anti-social acts. It does enable society to function smoothly without continuous compulsion and espionage. In the hard-pressed society; for instance in times of revolution, it may for a while, and precariously, become the effective motive not merely in a few supernormal individuals but in large numbers. When this happens, mere herd-feeling may be drawn in to support it; for those in whom the social will is but feeble will be induced by mere herd-feeling to subordinate their self-interest to the common enterprise of saving or remaking society. But herd-feeling, or herd-mindedness, is a dangerous reinforcement. In times of crisis and of violence it tends to become dominant; while the community-mentality can establish itself firmly only in times of security and peace.

In what we call "civilised society," there is very little that deserves the name. For civilisation, after all, is not a matter of mechanical power and modern conveniences. It is the process of advancing from a less to a more civil mode of behaviour. By this I understand the process by which people come to treat one another more civilly, more as persons, both in immediate social contacts and in social organisation.

Is man capable of no more truly civilised society than that of our day? Must the limitations of human nature permanently prevent men from creating a society in which the will for community dominates the herd-mentality and the individualistic mentality, as in our day individualism dominates the others? Before hastily answering, "No, for human nature cannot be changed," we should remember that, though the will for community is dependent on innate capacities for intelligence and imagination, it is the product of these capacities in relation to the social environment. It is not simply an innate faculty. In general we must recognise that human nature is so fluid that in each generation it can be changed beyond recognition by the impact of the environment. In an appropriate environment, then, there might occur a very much higher degree of the will for community. Let us therefore now try to record the sort of conditions that are required for the existence of genuine community.

iv. Pre-Requisites of Genuine Community

Genuine community, as defined above, entails the distinctively human degree of sensibility toward other individuals and the distinctively human degree of intelligence and imagination. These are presumably rooted in innate capacity, but to repeat, they can be greatly strengthened or weakened by environmental influence.

Genuine community entails also "unity-in-diversity." The greater the mental diversity of the members the better, so long as each can recognise that others, however alien, are sincerely loyal to the common enterprise.

Genuine community entails that the members of the community shall be bound together in mutual enrichment and mutual obligation either by direct personal contact or by the established will for community. It is impossible to have genuine community without a resolute will that all members of the community shall be treated with the respect and kindliness which every individual desires to receive from his neighbours. Personal intercourse and the abstract will for community may be regarded as the two kinds of cement which consolidate communities.

That the members may realise one another's modes. of life and thought, their means of communication must be well developed. In the community of contact they must meet and converse and engage in common enterprises. In large communities they must have transport, postal services, journals, radio, and so on, in order that the special needs and characters of particular sub-communities may be to some extent known to all.

On the other hand, the members must not be so cramped by one another's presence that none can properly develop his individuality, assimilate his experience, and retain his personal distinction of character.

That the members may be able to understand and cherish one another they must be nurtured in a common tradition of thought and feeling.

The common culture must be such as to afford a sense that all are united in a common purpose more important than private advancement. The common purpose, as we have seen, may be either intrinsic or extrinsic to the community.

Grave personal frustration is inimical to community. No doubt some degree of struggle and even of defeat is necessary for the health of the individual. The mind that has no difficulties to overcome is likely to be flabby and sterile. The man who knows only personal success lacks depth of experience, and when trouble does arrive is likely to be overwhelmed. Further, the community-will needs to express itself in unselfish devotion to the common task. But sacrifice must be voluntarily incurred, and it must not be such as to lower the individual's mental and moral calibre. Clearly the occurrence of serious and widespread frustration is in itself a violation of community, since the goal of community is the fulfilment of individual capacity. But in another sense also frustration is inimical to community. Individuals of lowly calibre are incapable of true community if they are themselves gravely, continuously and compulsorily frustrated. Exceptional individuals may retain the community mentality in spite of grave personal frustration; but in average individuals frustration soon breeds exasperation, intolerance, vindictiveness, and incapacity for objective thought. In a society in which these mental defects are common, even the unfrustrated members are liable to be infected by the general decay of community. The secret sense of their own unmerited good fortune may drive them to irrational fear and hate of the frustrated.

For practical purposes we may say that there are three main kinds of frustration which tend to make genuine community impossible. They are often closely related. They are: frustration due to untoward personal relationships, economic frustration, and frustration due to the danger of the destruction of the community, for instance in war.

In spite of the important pioneering work of the psychoanalysts, the effects of frustration due to personal relationship are as yet little understood. We are, however, beginning to realise that the relations of children and adolescents to adults and to others of their own age may have grave effects on the development of character. The same is true, though in a less degree, of the relations of adults to one another. Not only sexual disasters, but disastrous relations between master or leader and subordinates may destroy the precarious capacity for community.

But serious economic frustration is at least as harmful as any other force inimical to community. Not merely actual hunger but bad home conditions and conditions of work, the constant sense of economic insecurity, the spectacle of the luxury of the more fortunate, the servility exacted from the wage-slave, mass-produced education, the sense that one's labour is being controlled for the profit of a class rather than for society as a whole, the sense of the futility of the whole economic order of society, the sense that the precious gift of mechanical power is being prostituted for false ends, and above all the sense of personal dereliction and uselessness — all these effects of economic frustration tend to engender in the average individual a state of mind inimical to community.

The third grave source of frustration is the dread of the destruction or serious damage of society, whether by revolt from within or attack from without. Danger is more apt to foster the herd-mentality than the community-mentality. As we have seen, the herd-mentality is essentially a reaction to danger by means of biologically-imposed discipline; while the community-mentality cannot thrive for long without freedom and security. It demands, not uniformity, but diversity, and the realisation of other individuals as intrinsically worthy of regard in spite' of their differences from oneself. But in order to resist social danger, from within or without, it is necessary to suppress all those developed activities which are the true purpose of community, so as to concentrate on the single task of defence. The society must therefore be regimented. Personal freedom must be gravely restricted. Eccentricity must be condemned. Criticism of the official policy of defence must be silenced. Free intelligence in general must be bridled or suppressed. Kindliness toward enemies and even toward unfortunate fellow-members is identified with weakness or with treason.

Up to a point all these reactions may be rationally justified as a means of coping with the perilous situation. But instinctive fear and herd-mindedness in response to social danger turn a reasonable tightening up of discipline into an extravagant orgy of repression which tends to blot out all understanding of what community should be.

Two other essential pre-requisites of genuine community remain to be stated. Education must be consciously and unfalteringly directed to evoke fully in all members whatever capacity they have for development in knowing-feeling-striving. Above all, they must be encouraged to trust their own intelligence, to criticise even the most sacred beliefs and customs of the community, and to judge all moral issues in the light of their own well-criticised consciences. Intellectual and moral integrity must be the supreme goal of education.

The other essential pre-requisite of genuine community is freedom of expression. Communists sometimes argue that complete freedom of expression is impossible and undesirable. No society, they say, will tolerate or should tolerate the advocacy of policies that threaten to undermine the basic structure of the society. To this the answer is simple. Though in societies which have not attained genuine community some degree of restriction may be necessary, the fact that restriction is necessary proves that community has not been attained. Indeed, the degree of restriction of expression may be taken as a rough measure of a society's approximation to community. In no existing society is there complete freedom of expression for all classes. The Western democracies, bad as they are, are very superior to some other states in this respect.

v. Prospects of Community

What are the prospects of the development of community in the world as it is in our day? In some respects they are better than ever before, but in some they are exceptionally bad.

The outstanding increase of the means of communication provides for the first time one essential pre-requisite of world-wide community. Apart from contrary influences, peoples of alien culture can now begin to realise one another as never before. And for good or ill the spread of ideas throughout the world has begun to create a real cosmopolitan culture. If this were to mean the complete standardisation of the cultures. of all local societies, it would be a disaster; for community involves diversity. But there is at least a chance that from the present chaos a cultural unity-in-diversity may ultimately arise.

Of common purpose there is as yet but little, since the will for community seldom operates beyond the boundaries of nation or of social class. But the idea of creating an orderly world-community in which national sovereign states shall become mere local governments is at any rate far more familiar than it was before the last European War.

To these favourable influences must be added the fact that unprecedented scientific invention and mechanical power make it possible to organise the world in such a way that every human being might have the opportunity of developing to the full such innate capacity for community as he has.

Unfortunately, these favourable factors are counterbalanced by unfavourable ones. Though there has probably been no considerable change in the incidence of innate social capacity, the new barbarism, now spreading from country to country, the tendency to persecute the free intelligence and the individual conscience, may seriously reduce the proportion of more sensitive and integrated individuals in the world-population. For the present, however, this is not an urgent danger save in the regions controlled by dictators. Even in the small society united by direct personal contact the modern taboo on tenderness has probably rendered genuine community more precarious. By casting doubt on man's capacity for altruism it has tended to weaken the will for community in every sphere.

Frustration of all three kinds mentioned in the preceding section seriously undermines men's social capacity in every country. Frustration from untoward personal relationships may be no commoner than in earlier days; but it is present. And its damaging effect is probably increased by the strain of modern industrial life. The evil effect of economic frustration is increased by the increasing sense that it might be avoided. The sense of danger from attack has increased beyond ail expectation.

Unless economic frustration and danger from attack can be removed, the prospects of community, even in the relatively narrow sphere of the national State, are very poor. Of world-community there seems at present little prospect.

Psychologically the national State depends very largely on appeals to herd-mindedness. It is also supported by the community-will of some sections of the population. But in the modern world the community-will cannot logically confine itself within the boundaries of the national State. It must seek world-community or degenerate into herd-mentality in response to danger.

Apart from the grave practical difficulties of organising a world-society, and apart from the formidable pressure of purely individualistic vested interests in the established order, two psychological forces resist the incipient movement toward world-community. The herd-mentality of the nation tends to preserve enmities. The herd-mentality of economic classes, caused of course by real conflicts of economic interest, tends to preserve class-enmities. Until these two great sources of emotional prejudice are overcome there is no hope of genuine world-community.

On the other hand, nothing short of a world-community can satisfy the community-will or afford peace and prosperity to the human race in modern conditions.

Many declare that the ideal of world-community is quite unrealisable. They point out that even on the national scale there is no real community, but only a more or less successful system of interdependent self-seekings, liable at any moment to be swept by waves of herd passion.

True! Yet if the causes of frustration are abolished, and full use is made of modern communications, and education is consciously, constantly, and whole-heartedly directed toward the creation of responsible world-citizens, even our imperfect human nature might prove capable of world-community. But shall we ever, in our present warped and savage state, even begin to remove the causes of frustration?

Chapter 10

Social Change

i. Some Idealist Theories

(a) The Problem

(b) The Great Men Theory

(c) Evolutionism

(d) The Hegelian Theory

(a) The Problem — We have been considering the nature of community and its present prospects. Clearly the future of community in the world depends on the forces, whatever they are, which determine the course of history. We must now briefly consider some of the main theories on this subject. Strictly, this is a scientific rather than a philosophical problem in the narrower sense. Is it possible by means of careful observation to form inductive laws descriptive of the course of history? The subject is so complex that no such scientific analysis can as yet be made with any accuracy. The field is therefore left open for speculation based on very fragmentary and confused evidence. This is not to say that theories of the determinants of history are all worthless. On the contrary, as we shall see, at least one very important principle can be established and used with great effect, so long as it is not set up as an all-sufficient principle of explanation.

My reasons for bringing this subject into a book on philosophy are, first, that when speculation is permissible at all, it should be very strictly criticised from the philosophical point of view, and second, that, if philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom, philosophers must seek some understanding of the process of history.

(b) The Great Men Theory — Perhaps the most naive theory of the forces which determine the course of history is that according to which the influence of "great men," of outstanding individuals, is the most significant factor. In this view such famous characters as Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, simply through the force of their own temperament and will, simply through their own intrinsic and undetermined spiritual vigour, determine what shall happen throughout vast areas. They impose a particular pattern on events, a pattern of government or conquest or culture. Directly and indirectly they mould the whole future of the race.

Below them, according to the theory, large numbers of minor "great men" have similar but far less important effect. Lower still come the average masses, who are in the main passive to the far-reaching influences of the great.

In its extreme form the theory is too crude to be seriously considered. It overlooks very much that is obvious to any unbiassed student of history. Even the greatest personality must have some raw material through which to express his potency; and the raw material is just the world of physical objects and ordinary people. Obviously this material has a nature of its own, and its effects must not be ignored. It determines the course of history at least as much as the great men. Moreover they themselves are at least in part determined by their social environment and their biological inheritance.

The recognition of this, however, need not blind us to the importance of dominating characters. No doubt circumstances themselves playa great part in making great men what they are. Cromwell, for instance, would never have made history had not the circumstances of his time and place given special opportunity to such a man. But the kind of history that he did make was partly the expression of his own idiosyncrasies. These in turn, no doubt, were in some sense an expression of his environment and his inheritance; but, once in existence, they became a possible important factor in English history. Much good and much harm can be done by leaders.

(c) Evolutionism — Some scientists and philosophers, impressed by human progress and by the evolution of biological species, have conceived that the main force determining the course of history is some kind of teleological drive or Life Force, independent of conscious individual minds but inherent somehow in them, and working through them. This mysterious entity they conceive as striving toward ever more developed consciousness in its races of individuals, creating species after species in age-long experimentation. Similarly in human affairs the Life Force is thought to bud out in a number of races, and to express itself in institutions and cultures, always moving forward (apart from temporary setbacks) to higher social forms and biological forms.

This theory takes us at once into the realm of metaphysics, the attempt to discover by argument the essential nature of reality. We shall later enquire whether metaphysics is a possible study, and whether, if it is possible, Evolutionism is a satisfactory theory. Meanwhile we are concerned only with its relation to history. Do the known facts of history suggest that the course of events has been controlled by a superhuman purposive power or teleological principle?

Many human races have never advanced beyond the primitive level. Many have advanced only to decline. 'It is true that the more advanced races and societies tend to master the less advanced, but this is more satisfactorily explained in terms of the mere struggle for existence than in terms of an occult teleological drive toward a higher form of civilisation. When we consider the record of human history, do we discover any evidence whatever that cannot be accounted for as a slow and fluctuating progress due to individual intelligence and the effects of a gradual accumulation of wisdom and skill through tradition?

We must bear in mind also that, though in recent centuries there has been an amazing mechanical and industrial advance, the result may turn out to be not progress but the destruction of civilisation. Does the present situation of the human race strongly suggest guidance by a teleological power?

(d) The Hegelian Theory — The type of historical theory conceived by Hegel and adopted by most Idealist philosophers is at first sight akin to Evolutionism, because it makes use of the concept of development; but in this theory development does not take place through the operation of purely physical laws, nor through some mysterious teleological Life Force. It is said to be a logical consequence of the character of a changing situation at a given time. The "situation" is not simply environmental. It is the whole situation "man-in-environment." But this, according to Hegel, is to be thought of in terms of mind rather than of matter. Human history is therefore the history of the development of the human spirit; but the human spirit includes its objective world. Thought and reality are one, not two related things. Reality is experience. The laws of our thinking are in principle the laws of reality. Human knowledge is reality knowing itself.

Once more we find ourselves faced with metaphysical statements which we will not yet criticise. We will merely consider their application in the Idealist theory of history.

The development of human thought, or the human spirit, takes place, according to Hegel, by a process which he called "dialectical." The condition of culture at any time, he says, contains within itself contradictions; and as the contradictory elements grow in strength the spirit suffers internal conflict, until at last a new condition emerges in which both the conflicting components are transformed and harmonised. The three stages he called respectively "thesis," "antithesis," and " synthesis."

For the understanding of history, then, we must detect in the culture of a people at a given time the conditions in virtue of which that culture must presently be thrown into logical conflict with itself; and we must watch this conflict give birth to a new form of culture in which the conflict is resolved in a new synthesis, a new and relatively stable phase of culture. In this phase too we must seek for a new incipient conflict. And so on. What is true of the successive phases of a single culture is said by Hegel to be true also of the great sequence of the cultures that have risen and fallen since the beginning of history. The key to the understanding of,this process is the principle that the development of the spirit is a dialectical development toward "rational freedom," freedom to will the rational good will. Thus, we are told, in ancient Asiatic culture both law and morality are conceived as external to the individual. He obeys them as the commands of an alien tyrant. Later, in Greece, individuality begins to assert itself. Later still, in the Roman State, sheer individualism is consciously subordinated to the State, which becomes the common end of all individuals. From this condition, in which the individual tends to be overburdened with duties, the spirit rises (we are told) to its full expression of rational freedom in the Germany of Hegel's time.

Thus history is conceived as essentially the consequence of the rational development of the ideas that constitute a culture. Though for Hegel reality and thought are identical, the explanatory concept is the principle of rationality experienced in thinking.

Apart from the question of the scope of the dialectical principle, which I shall discuss more fully at a later, stage, the main criticisms to be brought against the Hegelian theory are two. First, it underestimates the fortuitousness and confusion of history. What it describes as a logical development is in fact a bewildering tangle of haphazard influences. Second, it assumes that the governing principle of cultural change is to be found in culture itself, rather than in the environment within which culture is generated. It entirely fails to do justice to the part played by the material world in determining man's actions, institutions, and ideas. It ignores the immensely important geographical and economic influences.

ii. Economic Determinism

We must now consider a very different theory in which the emphasis is laid not on mind but on the material environment. At this point I shall try to give an account of Karl Marx's interpretation of history without discussing the metaphysical aspects of his doctrine. These I shall consider at a later stage. This procedure seems to be justified because Marx's historical theory is in the main independent of the metaphysical theory on which he based it.

It is advisable to say at the outset that I cannot claim to be a thorough student of Marxism, and that what follows was 'written by one who approached the subject regrettably late in life, and is perhaps unable fully to comprehend it. At least I shall treat it with due respect. And I shall try to regard it without prejudice, favourable or unfavourable.

Marx starts by accepting the Hegelian dialectic, but claims to turn it right side up. Human history, for Marx, is not the logical development of thought, changing through a purely ideal necessity. For Marx "the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into terms of thought." And Engels declares that "the final causes of all social changes and revolutions are to be sought not in man's brains, not in men's better insight into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange."

We must begin by distinguishing between the two closely associated doctrines which are involved in the Marxian interpretation of history. Economic Determinism is the doctrine that the whole course of history, including the evolution of institutions and ideas, is determined by the impact of the economic environment on man's economic needs. Dialectical Materialism is the doctrine that the course of Economic Determinism takes place according to the dialectical principle. This doctrine has also a metaphysical aspect which we can for the present ignore.

In the true dialectical manner it is conceived that any given stable phase of social development generates within itself its "opposite," and that out of the conflict of the two social tendencies there emerges a synthesis in which what is of permanent value in both appears in a new and harmonious form. A typical example of the dialectical process in history is said to be the growth of capitalism out of feudalism. The feudal system itself generated a bourgeois class that was antithetical to it; for in feudalism every individual was born into a certain social status, whereas the flew bourgeois class consisted of individuals who by commercial power were able to break the bonds of feudal status. After a period of conflict a new social order emerged, namely capitalism, in which a new stability was attained. But capitalism itself (we are told) generated the modern proletariat, which is antithetical to it, and must inevitably (we are told) produce a new class-less order, namely Communism.

In the contemporary world a number of dialectical contradictions obviously occur. I cite some examples quoted from Mr. Joseph Needham. Modern capitalistic national States must, for the violent seizure or maintenance of foreign markets, arm their workers; but this is to arm their own potential destroyers. (Perhaps the development of air power has made it unnecessary to arm them, and easy to control them.) Capitalistic States must seek to develop their colonies; but this causes native movements of liberation. Capitalistic States must, to preserve irrational loyalty to themselves, suppress the free intelligence, and substitute for reason some kind of Fascist mythology of race. But to suppress the free intelligence is to suppress the scientists without whose co-operation capitalism cannot function.

It is easy to see that in the very early stages of human social development institutions and ideas would arise as a direct expression of the simple economic life of hunters and fishers, and later of herdsmen and agriculturists. The relations between the individual and the group, the rules of private and public property in instruments and hunting territory and fertile land, and so on, would come into being through the direct pressure of the environment on primitive human needs. Similarly in modern Industrial society the ultimate determinant of institutions and ideas is man's contact with the material environment through the immensely complex processes of acquiring raw material and turning it into marketable goods by innumerable industrial techniques. But in this late stage the immediate effect of the environment is complicated by a thousand other influences derived from the past, and ultimately from past environments.

In the earliest stage of social development there would be no class distinctions. But with the change from hunting to pasturage the scope of private property would increase, and consequently there would appear the first cleavage into "haves" and "have-nots." This class distinction would be greatly emphasised by the development of agriculture and property in land. This brings us to the period of recorded history. The landowner's need for cheap labour was satisfied by reducing the less fortunate to serfdom. The whole of subsequent history, according to Economic Determinism, is at bottom an expression of two factors, namely, on the one hand the relation between man and the physical environment which conditions his production, and on the other hand the relation between two antagonistic social classes, namely, the owners of the means of production and the workers, who by one device or another are forced to labour as the owners dictate. The form of this class relationship varies in different ages and localities with the variations of the economic determinants. Thus, by a process of environmental influence which we need not consider in detail, the primitive slave-owning agricultural society develops into the more complex feudal society, and this in turn into the modern capitalistic society. In every case, we are told, the fundamental determinants, of institutions and ideas are the relation of man to the material environment, and the relation of the exp.loite~s to the exploited slaves or wage-slaves.

In the archaic slave-owning society and the feudal society the power of the owners is frankly based on physical compulsion; but in the capitalistic society, though it depends ultimately on force, it normally operates through the fact that the bargaining power of the worker in selling his labour is much less than the bargaining power of the master.

Another factor has to be taken into account. Institutions and ideas, once they have come into being, tend to persist long after the situations which created them. Modern capitalist society is shot through and through with vestiges of feudalism, which ceased long ago to have any direct bearing on economic conditions. We retain relics of the old feudal aristocracy, and our moral code is still largely based on ideals suited to feudalism in its prime. At any particular stage of history a struggle is going on between the old customs, which are out of gear with new economic facts, and the influence of the new facts themselves, which tend to produce a new social order, including new institutions, new cultural forms, and a new morality. The more firmly established the old order, the greater the time-lag before the new order can appear; and, moreover, the greater the time-lag, the greater the pent-up pressure that will be generated, and the more catastrophic the change when it does occur. Feudalism gave place to capitalism in a series of minor revolutions spread over a long period. Capitalism, since it is far more highly organised and has far greater resources, and far more effective means of propaganda and repression, and since, moreover, it is a world-wide system, will put up (we are told) a more effective fight and have a more catastrophic end.

Not only do institutions and ideas survive the conditions which produce them, but also, once they have come into existence, they manifest a very vigorous life of their own. They may be handed on from individual to individual and from generation to generation long after they have ceased to be appropriate to anything in the environment. They may become part of the deep-rooted mental habits of the society. Not only so, but also the minds which support them think about them and change them. Their changes consist partly of partial adaptations to changing circumstances; but also they are changed in such reactionary ways as to render them more efficient instruments for the service of the social class which holds them. Thus, for instance, the basic ideas of capitalism come to generate the ideas of Fascism, adapting for capitalism's defence some concepts which were alien to capitalism in its earlier phase. For in its earlier phase capitalism was individualistic. It came into existence through the unfettered economic enterprise of private individuals. But in its later stage, as an established system seeking to defend its declining power, its individualism is modified and subordinated to the "totalitarian" or the "corporate " State.

An important place must also be made in the picture for human individuality itself. Though the theory is a deterministic theory, it does not deny spontaneity to human action. Economic determinism works only because men spontaneously desire certain things. They are not compelled to do so, but observably they to do so. Their behaviour is up to a point predictable. Marxism merely predicts how men in the mass may be expected to act. The environment operates through the needs of human individuals, who are not passive but active. They react to their environment in pursuit of their needs. And though particular individuals may have all sorts of idiosyncrasies of desire, the needs which in the mass and in the long run take effect in determining history are the basic economic needs for food, shelter, security, and comfort. Marxism does not deny that all men have also other needs, some primitive like physical sex, some very sophisticated, like the need for intellectual activity. It does not deny that for the understanding of the behaviour of particular individuals these needs may be very important. It merely claims that when we are dealing with men in the aggregate economic needs alone have to be taken into account.

Marxism need not deny that certain outstanding individuals may have a disproportionate effect on history, and may complicate the pattern of economic determinism by their idiosyncrasies. But it insists that these great ones are in the main selected by the economic forces which happen to offer scope for just such men. The case of Lenin is an obvious example.

In general, though ideas and institutions and the idiosyncrasies of prominent individuals do play an important part in history, this influence is always subordinate to the primary influence of the exigencies of production and exchange. Whenever a conflict between economic forces and other factors occurs, economic forces must, according to Marxism, in the long run win.

The claim that the movement of culture is determined fundamentally by economic influences and not simply by the spontaneous unfolding of the rational capacity of the human spirit, need not deny that rational thinking does occur and does play an important part. The point is that economic influences themselves select from the innumerable individual thinkings that are going on. People tend in the aggregate to accept just those particular ideas that do accord with the current economic order or with the new order that is struggling into existence. Thus (we are told) the thoughts of Marx and of Lenin are destined to play a great part in future culture just because they accurately reflect the objective facts of capitalist society and the inevitable trend of events in the future.

It is claimed, for instance by Professor Levy, that the degree of development of social life and of culture in any period is limited by the degree of technological development in that period. When the material technique of a society is primitive, conditions of life are penurious. Toil is inescapable. The efflorescence of culture is meagre. Where material technique is well advanced, life, at any rate for the dominant class, is easier and more leisured, and culture blooms more luxuriantly and subtly.

Any social order tends to breed within itself techniques more advanced than those which produced it. When this happens, when a social order has generated a technical power too great for it to assimilate, so that the technique is not allowed to be fully applied for human betterment, then, we are told, the effete order must inevitably be swept away. This happened, for instance, to feudalism, and is beginning to happen to capitalism. The full functioning of scientific technique is incompatible with an order which cannot thrive without a certain scarcity of commodities.

In the Marxian theory the whole of human history, from the primitive phase up to the establishment of Communism in the future, is essentially an expression of class struggle. Class after class fights its way to power, and is in turn overwhelmed by a class rising against it from below. And at every stage the dominant class has wielded a ruthless dictatorship. Formerly, the slave-owning aristocracy, later the feudal aristocracy, to-day the capitalist class, and in the transitional stage toward Communism the victorious proletariat exemplify this principle. Capitalism, we are told, is doomed because the economic structure of the world has already outgrown it, because in new circumstances it can no longer work. It depends on mass-production and expanding markets. In a world overcrowded with capitalist States increasing competition for markets inevitably leads to war and the ruin of the whole capitalist system. In this disorder the proletariat (we are told) will seize power, and after a period of dictatorship by the proletariat a new spirit will come into the world. For the interest of the proletariat is identical with the interest of society as a whole. Consequently this final dictatorship is transitional toward a class-less and truly democratic and communistic society. At last history will no longer be determined. by the class struggle, nor will culture be vitiated through and through by the need of the dominant class to distort it as a defence against revolution.

iii. Commentary

It is difficult to discuss any aspect of Marxism without rousing violent emotions. And, when emotions run high, champions on either side tend to make it a point of honour to maintain every tittle of the faith and to destroy heresy root and branch. Yet when we look at the history of human ideas we cannot but be impressed by the fact that even the most significant and potent of them have invariably turned out to be open to serious criticism in one respect or another. Particularly is this true of ideas which have a religious or quasi-religious aspect. And Marxism, mainly because it attacks the established order and the fundamental assumptions of society, is often regarded with religious veneration or religious hate. The fact that Economic Determinism in general and Dialectical Materialism in particular are immensely important principles for the understanding of social change should make us specially careful not to spoil their effect by using them uncritically.

We may, I suggest, unhesitatingly accept the general principle that in a sense the prime or ultimate determinant of the course of historical events has been the impact of the material environment on man's economic needs. It would indeed be strange if institutions and ideas had adapted themselves as closely as they have done to economic conditions, and yet the real determinants had been something else. The main cause of the common reluctance to accept this theory is probably a vague sense that it is subversive, and a vague repugnance felt against materialism. This last objection we shall not consider till we have opened up the question of metaphysics.

But having granted the general principle that the prime determinant is, or at any rate has been, economic, we must beware of assuming that the dialectical principle, which certainly applies in some striking cases, is always and necessarily the most significant concept for understanding social change.

Without raising the question of the metaphysical, validity of the dialectical process, we should note that, if it is to be applied to history, it must not be interpreted too simply. On this point Marx himself insists, but his followers are sometimes less cautious than their master. No doubt the application of the dialectic to history is valid up to a point. In some cases a particular social situation may generate within itself some conflicting factor which may be reasonably regarded as in some respect its opposite or contrary; and the conflict may issue in a new synthesis. But we must not attempt to force the whole of history into one simple pattern. Of course there is a loose sense in which the dialectical principle obviously must be universally true. Obviously any social change must spring from some factor which is incompatible with the maintenance of the status quo, and may therefore be said to be its opposite. This is merely a platitude. To be significant the principle must mean more than this. It must mean that the original economic situation necessarily breeds its logical .contrary, and that out of the conflict of the two there must (apart from external interference) necessarily arise a new social situation, a new system of institutions and culture, which is an improvement on both. It would be rash to assume that such progress is inevitable. The present state of the world, for instance, seems as likely to lead to the destruction of civilisation as to its advancement. The attempt to understand all social change solely in terms of a necessary dialectical principle is likely to lead to a doctrinaire and over-simplified account of history. In fact, even if the dialectical principle is in the loosest sense true universally, it is also too formal and abstract to afford by itself a master key to historical problems. Human history is immensely complex. Marxians claim that underlying all this complexity there runs a single theme, upon which the complexity is, so to speak, a mere embroidery wrought by special secondary causes. But when they defend this claim they are compelled to ignore or minimise much that gives each age its concrete and unique character. For instance, they ignore the immense scope of mere chance by which comparatively trivial circumstances can deflect the whole course of history, much as a single stone at a critical point near a stream's source may deflect it to one side rather than the other of a mountain, and perhaps of a continent.

Sometimes, too, they do less than justice to the influence of prominent individuals. It is true, of course, that very often the influence of the "great man" does, as they claim, avail itself of the course of economic determinism. Lenin, for instance, had the intelligence to see which way the economic cat would inevitably jump, sooner or later, if left to itself and the influence of lesser men. He had also the genius and fervour to force it to jump at once with a vigour and precision which otherwise it would have lacked. But "great men" may sometimes retard or even deflect the course of economic determinism. In principle this possibility is allowed by the Marxians. They insist only that in the long run it is the economic factor that counts. This, with some further qualifications that have still to be made, we may admit. For the present I suggest only that, if not Marx himself, then some of his followers are apt to underestimate the length and meandering of that "long run."

One element in the Marxian creed, as we have seen, is the belief that, so long as there is class domination, violent revolution is necessarily involved in the achievement of every new social synthesis. It is involved because the established dominant class will necessarily sit on the safety-valve till the boiler explodes. We may admit that in the present world-situation it is probable that the longed-for synthesis will involve a great deal of violence. It does seem all too likely that, whenever a resolutely progressive party comes into power constitutionally, the reactionary minority will provoke a violent conflict. But it is surely rash to assert that violence must, wherever there is class domination, always and necessarily occur. It is rash to generalise from the course of events in Russia, where the established system was exceptionally inefficient and crudely brutal, and the class cleavage much simpler and sharper than in Western Europe.

Of course there is a sense in which all social change is necessarily "violent," since the established order invariably seeks to maintain itself. But if violence means "bloody revolution," we must insist that no simple generalisation is to be trusted.

The foregoing criticisms are of a minor order. They are only qualifications of the main contention that economic conditions are the prime determinants of history. One more criticism, and a much more radical one, must be cautiously stated. The Marxian claims that in Economic Determinism he has a principle which, properly applied, affords an accurate description of the course of history. To prove his case he has, of course, to interpret the facts so as to reveal the underlying economic causes. In many cases the economic interpretation is simple and very plausible, in some cases much more ingenious, and more open to doubt. Clearly it may be that in some of these cases some other factor is after all the more significant one, that some other general principle is the key to the problem; and, indeed, that always some other principle or principles may interfere with the whole pattern of economic determinism, not very obviously, yet with very far-reaching consequences. Determinism operates through the impact of the environment on human motives or needs. It is possible that in certain crucial situations even large masses of men may be actuated by motives which are not economic, which are not derived from the need for food, comfort, and safety.

For instance, one such motive might be irrational herd-mentality, which by dominating men’s behaviour at critical points of history might side-track the simple course of economic determinism. Of course herd-mentality may be regarded as itself an "expression" of economic determinants in the remote pre-human past. The united action of the group was always essential to survival. Thus the environment would tend to evoke whatever latent capacity there was for gregarious behaviour and herd-mentality. But this could not have happened unless in human nature (or animal nature) there had been some potentiality for development in such a manner. Herd-mentality can only occur in creatures that have capacity for some kind of mental life. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, nor a sow's ear out of sand.

Further, having once come into being, herd-mentality constitutes an independent factor, gravely complicating the course of events. Sometimes it cuts across the dominant, but more recently dominant, individualistic mentality, which responds more systematically to economic considerations. It is possible that the European War, though partly an expression of economic determinism, would never have occurred if, the national States had not been able to evoke an immense fervour of pure herd-mentality. It is possible also that subsequent events in Europe have been vastly complicated by the same force.

Another independent factor in human nature is the will for genuine community. No doubt it, like all else, has been in a sense evoked by the environment, and may therefore be regarded as an expression of economic determinism. But the environment has evoked it; not simply created it. Always there must be something upon which the environment works. It may well be that sometimes, for instance in times of revolutionary enthusiasm, such as the first century of Christianity and the Russian Revolution, the will for community has played a crucial part. Possibly neither of these great changes could have been achieved without it. Perhaps it is also destined to playa similar part in a future world-wide revolution in comparison with which the Russian Revolution will seem a crude aid rather barbaric first sketch. Subsequently, perhaps, it may sink once more into quiescence. Or, again, perhaps long after that revolution has been accomplished, perhaps after centuries of gradually improving economic and educational conditions, it may become the dominant factor in a more harmoniously developed human nature, and the main determinant of history. Economic Determinism, though perhaps the most useful principle for the interpretation of history during the past and the present, may cease to be the supremely significant principle in the not very remote future, when man (we hope) will have gained far greater facility and power of control over the economic environment.

Religious ideas and habits have, of course, in the past played a great part in determining the course of history. In the Marxian view these are all indirect expressions of the economic environment, working upon the universal human need for food, comfort, and security. I have no doubt that this is largely true. But it is surely unscientific, in the present imperfection of our knowledge of psychology, to declare dogmatically that this is the whole truth of the matter. It is at least possible that in the best kind of religious experience there is a core, probably impossible to describe accurately in any human language but none the less actual, which is not derived in this manner, but is a genuine apprehension at the upper limit of human capacity. It is possible that experience of this kind, in outstanding individuals, has played a not inconsiderable part in influencing the conduct of the masses at critical moments of history.

As a matter of fact, the Marxian theory itself has room for all this. For the theory expressly denies mechanical determinism. It expressly asserts that qualitatively new factors may emerge in each new synthesis. This leads us to the metaphysical aspect of the theory, which we shall discuss in the course of the next chapter. Meanwhile, it is worth while noting that the more fanatical kind of Marxians often do less than justice to the non-mechanical aspect of their master's thought.

This brings me to the final criticism. The theory that all thought is ultimately an expression of economic influences, though in a sense true, has certain dangerous consequences for Marxism itself. It claims that all thought is to some extent biassed by economic motives. If bourgeois thought is thus biassed, so is proletarian thought, though in a contrary direction. It follows that Marxian theories are open to grave suspicion. Some Marxists admit that proletarian thought is biassed, and glory in the fact. For the proletarian bias, they say, is a bias not in favour of a class but in favour of society as a whole. Moreover, no theories, they say, are objectively true in an absolute sense. Theories are true for action. They are true in that action based upon them will succeed. This view, as we have already seen in connection with Pragmatism, leads finally to subjectivism. Marxism is in other respects objectivistic, and in no danger of yielding to subjectivism. But this tendency, not merely to recognise that some degree of bias is inevitable, but actually to glory in it, is extremely dangerous. It encourages some Marxians to dismiss as a mere expression of bourgeois bias any theory which they regard as hostile to Marxism. And for the same reason any theory which these enthusiasts simply fail to understand is likely to be condemned. Even more serious is the danger that the glorification of bias will lead to a gradual abandonment of intellectual honesty and the painfully conceived ideal of dispassionate thought. No doubt it is very difficult to put this ideal in practice, but to reject it as an ideal is to reject civilisation for barbarism.

Chapter 11


i. Is Metaphysics Possible?

(a) The Meaning of "Metaphysics"

(b) Scientific Positivism

(c) Logical Positivism

(d) Criticism of Positivism

(a) The Meaning of "Metaphysics" — Several times we have raised issues which have been called metaphysical. It is time to form a clearer idea as to the meaning of "metaphysics," and to enquire whether metaphysics is a possible kind of study or only an impossible dream.

The word "metaphysics" is ambiguous. In the widest of all its possible senses it seems to mean the attempt to discover, by whatever method, the most general or comprehensive principles that are true of the experienced universe, or of everything in the experienced universe, or simply of "reality." A more usual and somewhat more restricted sense is the attempt to discover by logical analysis of experience the most general principles that are true of the universe as we experience it. This is what Kant called "immanent metaphysics," in contrast with the still more restricted "transcendent metaphysics." By "transcendent metaphysics" he meant the attempt to discover by reasoning the nature of the reality which was conceived to lie behind the world of our ordinary experience. In the following discussion we shall be considering metaphysical theories of various types, but we must always bear in mind Kant's distinction, and his contention that though "immanent metaphysics" was a possible study, "transcendent metaphysics" was logically impossible. There is no need, of course, to suppose that the distinction between the kinds of metaphysics is always easy to apply.

The starting-point of metaphysics in either sense is the desire to construct a comprehensively true description of reality. But "transcendent metaphysics" proceeds on the assumption that, since the experienced world is incoherent and unintelligible, we must suppose it to be in some sense merely an "appearance" of a hidden "reality." The method by which it is hoped to discover reality is rational analysis of the fundamental concepts or categories in terms of which we think about things. Though our perception of reality, and our thought about reality. are confused and self-contradictory, it is supposed that, if only we think hard enough, penetratingly enough, sincerely enough, about the nature of our experience, we may discover some hidden principles in the light of which the whole confusion will be resolved.

Two kinds of fundamental criticism are brought against metaphysics. One is derived from natural science, the other from the logical limitations of our thinking. We will consider them in turn.

(b) Scientific Positivism — The gradual realisation of the immense size, complexity, and subtlety of the physical universe has made it seem unlikely that man should be able to discover anything about the fundamental nature of reality. Man has existed for a very short time. Is it credible that the upstart intelligence of a minute organism should be capable of understanding the essence of everything? Human intelligence, as we have seen, evolved as a means of mastering practical problems, such as the struggle for food and safety. Was it likely that this humble instrument could accomplish a task that was profoundly alien to it?

This argument was confirmed by the fact that metaphysics seemed never to make any progress. For many centuries the philosophers had been at work, yet what was there to show for it? There was no agreement among them on metaphysical questions. Science, on the other hand, had moved on from strength to strength. Of course there was plenty of disagreement among scientists; but it was disagreement only along the ever-advancing front of scientific conquest. Behind lay a well-established régime which no one would dream of disputing.

Swayed by such arguments Auguste Comte and others formulated the doctrine of Positivism. All metaphysical problems must be foresworn as beyond the range of human intelligence. The only profitable intellectual task was to pursue the scientific exploration of the world.

(c) Logical Positivism — This sceptical disposition has been outdone by the Logical Positivists. According to them, metaphysics is not merely too difficult for the human intellect to tackle profitably; it is logically an impossible task. We have several times had occasion to notice this important argument. It is now time to pass our final judgment on it. Mr. A. J. Ayer, in his Language Truth and Logic, affirms that, since the metaphysician claims to know by intellectual processes facts that could not be known through sense-experience, and since "no statement which refers to a 'reality' transcending the limits of all possible sense-experience can possibly have any literal significance," all metaphysics must necessarily be nonsense. The fruitlessness of trying by means of logical argument to transcend the limits of all possible sense-experience follows, according to the Logical Positivists, from the nature of the significance of language. The metaphysician, we are told, produces sentences which "fail to conform to the conditions under which alone a sentence can be literally significant." A sentence can only be significant, it is said, if it is verifiable. The only way in which to verify a statement of fact (as distinct from a purely logical, and therefore tautological, statement) is by producing the relevant sense-experience. All statements of fact, if they are to have any meaning, must be verifiable at least in principle in sense-experience. Of course it must be admitted that many meaningful statements of fact cannot actually be verified in sense-experience, because we cannot put ourselves in the position to have the relevant sense-experience. Of this type is the statement that there are mountains on the other. side of the moon. This is not a meaningless statement, because at least we know what kind of experience would afford verification of it. On the other hand, in the case of metaphysical statements it is argued that no kind of conceivable sense-experience could possibly, even in theory, afford verification. Therefore all such experiences are meaningless. For instance, the statement that God is an eternal spirit cannot conceivably be verified by any kind of sense-experience, because sense-experience is essentially temporal. It comes into being and then vanishes. Verification of the statement that God is an eternal spirit would have to be given in a sense-experience that was itself eternal. But this is inconceivable to us. Similarly unverifiable and meaningless is the statement that reality, as opposed to mere appearance, is timeless. Other examples are the statements that reality is one substance, or two, or many, or unknowable.

The Logical Positivist's rejection of metaphysics may take another form. According to the theory, logical necessity (as we have already seen) is nothing more than tautology. Logical argument is mere elucidation of the content of a definition. It follows that the attempt to discover an underlying reality simply by deductive reasoning is futile. No doubt the definitions or concepts which metaphysics analyses are in the first instance derived from our experience of reality; and, taken at their face-value, they are approximately true of experienced reality. But we have no guarantee whatever that the analysed or deduced content of them is true also of a reality which we cannot experience.

(d) Criticism of Positivism — What is the real value of these arguments? Let us begin by distinguishing several kinds of "metaphysical" statements. Some metaphysical statements of the "immanent" kind really are theoretically verifiable in sense-experience in precisely the same manner as, for example, the statement that this book was written by a human being. The statement that there is in the universe "a power that makes for righteousness" is theoretically verifiable. If a large number of spectacular miracles were to occur, all of which obviously produced great good in the world, we should reasonably regard this as strong evidence that some superhuman power was interfering with the natural course of events so as to produce good results. Logical Positivists might claim that even such a crop of miracles would not verify the statement about a benevolent power, but merely the statement that such events had occurred. This is surely unsatisfactory. If a savage were to hear intelligible speech issuing from a radio loud-speaker, or from a gramophone, he would be justified in inferring that an intelligent being had determined the order of the sounds, in spite of the fact that he could not possibly conceive how the miracle happened or what kind of a being was responsible for it.

Some metaphysical statements, once more of the "immanent kind," though not verifiable in sense, are theoretically verifiable in other kinds of immediate experience. I have argued that moral statements are of this type.

Some metaphysical statements are meaningful but false, because they are demonstrably in conflict with experience. Of this type is the statement that reality is a featureless unity. Whatever reality is, it cannot exclude our ordinary experienced and featureful world.

Some metaphysical statements which are logically incoherent, and therefore in the narrowest sense meaningless, may yet have an important meaning in a broader sense. The statement that God is an eternal spirit or a supratemporal person is self-contradictory because the idea of personality involves the passage of time. In a sense, then, the statement is meaningless. But in another sense it is not meaningless, since we can distinguish between the meaning of "God is a supratemporal person" and "God is a form of physical energy." To this the Logical Positivist replies that these two forms of words are not really statements at all. They are made up of meaningful words, and so we can distinguish them; but neither of them as a whole is a meaningful statement. But is this true? We may agree that "God is a form of physical energy" is meaningless, simply because the generally-accepted definition of God logically excludes his being physical energy. But of "God is a supratemporal person" we may perhaps reasonably say that, though it has no literal meaning, it has a metaphorical meaning, which may be true or false. It amounts to saying "There is something, called God, the definition of which includes the essential characteristics of personality, but also includes an aspect which is not limited by time. We do not know how this can be; but we find in our experience certain facts (say miracles, or inner guidance) which strongly suggest a personal God, and other facts (say mystical intuitions) which strongly suggest that he is not limited by time. It would be more irrational to deny these facts than it is to affirm that God is a supratemporal person." I am not suggesting that this proposition about God is true, but merely that it is in an important sense meaningful. In general it seems unwise to exclude the possibility of metaphorical meaning.

Perhaps it is worth while pointing out that we sometimes make scientific statements of the same type. "An electron is at once a particle and a train of waves" is a self-contradictory statement, but it may have important metaphorical truth. If a mass of evidence suggests that an identifiable something, called an electron, has certain characteristics of a particle, and another mass of evidence suggests that it has certain characteristics of a wave-train, then a self-contradictory statement which expresses these conflicting facts is not only meaningful but more true than a coherent statement which leaves one or other aspect out of account.

The foregoing analysis suggests that metaphysical statements, to be meaningful, must be at least partially (and significantly) verifiable in some kind of immediate experience, though not necessarily in sense-experience; and that for literal, but not for metaphorical, meaning they must be logically self-consistent.

Let us now consider the Logical Positivist's other argument against metaphysics, namely, that deduction is merely the analysis of definitions, or concepts, and therefore cannot tell us anything new about reality, or anything about a reality behind experience. If "behind" experience means simply "not experienced, but of the same order as" experienced reality, then the statement denies the possibility of even immanent metaphysics. It is true only in the limited sense that logical analysis of the experienced cannot give us necessary truth about the unexperienced. However accurate a concept, however true to the facts of experience, and however accurate our deductive analysis from it, we know of no necessity in virtue of which unexperienced reality must conform to the implications of experienced reality. We cannot affirm with assurance that reality must be systematic, and that the unexperienced must cohere with the experienced. On the other hand, it may do so. And if the analysis of a concept does suggest that unexperienced reality, probably, has certain characteristics, we may reasonably believe that this is the case, until we come across positive evidence that it is not. Reality may, after all, not be systematic. Or our analysis may have been carried out upon insufficient data. But until evidence refutes it, we may reasonably trust it. The point is that each operation of reason, if it is to be condemned, must be condemned on its own merits, and not on the general principle that no analysis of experience can ever give us any meaningful information which could be true of unexperienced reality.

If, however, "behind" experience means "of an entirely different order from "experienced reality, then; it is true that deductive analysis of experienced reality can never give us information about reality "behind" experience. Transcendent metaphysics is impossible. But it is extremely important to realise that we cannot know beforehand where the more modest, immanent kind of metaphysics will lead. In the first place, experience itself is not a fixed thing. What we experience depends largely on our sensitivity and our power of intelligent discrimination. The child's experience, for instance, is different from the adult's, because the adult has learned to detect similarities and differences and other relations which the child overlooks. The advance is made by critical analysis and synthesis which to the child is inconceivable. What is for the adult "immanent" is for the child "transcendent." Similarly, a very much more developed culture than ours would outstrip ours as ours outstrips the child's. Much that in the superior culture was "immanent" would be for us "transcendent," and meaningless. This is an extreme example. The expansion of the frontiers of the " immanent " to embrace what seemed "transcendent" is really happening all the time, little by little, so long as culture does not stagnate.

I suggest, then, that the Logical Positivists have not really succeeded in eliminating metaphysics root and branch, even metaphysics of the "transcendent" kind. But they have certainly done very valuable work in showing the pitfalls and limitations of metaphysics. For they have at least led us to see that a metaphysical statement, to be meaningful, must be theoretically verifiable either in sense-experience or in some other kind of immediate experience. The only exception to this rule is the case of a metaphorical statement in which, though no single, logically coherent, literal meaning is given, yet two or more conflicting elements are theoretically verifiable in some kind of immediate experience.

Unfortunately, even if all metaphysical statements are not necessarily nonsense, we must admit that in practice it is extremely difficult to make any metaphysical statement that has more than a very slight amount of very incoherent meaning. Moreover, of those that have any meaning at all, the great majority must be less true than false. For ever since philosophy began, philosophers have been addicted to making metaphysical statements, and yet they have been unable to come to any agreement.

But metaphysics is not a wholly barren study. If it does nothing more, it at least gives salutary warning against the demonstrable mistakes of the great metaphysicians, and against the much cruder metaphysical statements which are very frequently made by people who do not even know that they are indulging in metaphysics. Logical Positivists might argue that it is enough to recognise the logical impossibility of metaphysics, without wading through floods of meaningless verbiage. But this argument is too facile. We must arm ourselves by examining some of the main types of metaphysical theories. In doing so we may perhaps gain something more than mere scepticism about metaphysics. We may end by saying, "Though none of these theories is a true account of reality, all probably contain some slight elements of distorted truth; and reality itself, whatever it is, is at least as rich and subtle as these theories."

I propose, therefore, to devote the rest of this chapter to tracing the main stream of metaphysical thought through Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Bergson, the Vitalists, the believers in "Emergence," and Whitehead.

ii. Parity of Mind and Matter

(a) Descartes

(b) Spinoza

(a) Descartes, a devout Christian, living in the early days of modern science, and himself a pioneer of scientific experiment and theory, was torn between faith and scientific curiosity. He determined to seek intellectual justification for the orthodox religious beliefs which were already being attacked on every side by the increasingly confident materialists. He supposed himself to be converting the infidel by reason. "I desire no one," he declared, "to believe anything I have said unless he is constrained to admit it by force and evidence of reason."

Seeking a touchstone by which to test all ideas, Descartes resolved never to accept anything for true which he did not "clearly know to be such." But he needed some principle by which to judge whether statements were true and certain. Such a principle he supposed himself to have discovered in the formula that only beliefs which we "clearly and distinctly conceive" are true. The test of truth was not correspondence with sense-experience but consistency of conception.

Bearing this principle in mind, Descartes scrutinised his whole experience and came to the conclusion that he could doubt almost everything, including sense-experience; but that one thing at least it was impossible to doubt, namely, his own existence as a thinking being; for, in the very act of doubting, he was thinking. "I think, therefore I am."

It seemed to Descartes that in formulating this proposition he had discovered a truth which was indubitable, and might be used as the foundation of all philosophy. But he was mistaken. He unconsciously assumed that thinking must be the act of something other than itself, namely a thinker. This assumption may be true, but it is certainly open to question. Strictly the starting-point of his argument should have been merely "Thinking is happening." From this it is not possible to infer "Therefore I am." Descartes, however, believed that at one stroke he had established the reality of a mental or spiritual substance whose whole essence and nature consisted only in thinking. It was a substance without place, independent of all material things, wholly distinct from the body, and more easily known than the body. Moreover, he believed, it would exist even if there were no body. This conviction of the self's immortality was, of course, ingrained in him from childhood by orthodox teaching, and it was natural for him to suppose that it. was implied in the very nature of a thinking being.

Descartes believed that he could pass logically from the reality of the self to the most remote metaphysical truths. Thus, because he was not merely a thinking but a desiring being, he was not wholly perfect, not wholly complete; since to desire is to desire something which is lacked. But if he was an imperfect being, how came it that he was able to conceive a perfect being, namely God? Surely, he argued, he must hold this notion from some nature which in reality was more perfect than himself. For it was impossible to have an idea which was not in the first instance derived from reality, however much it was distorted by the thinker. Arid the idea of perfection seemed to Descartes an absolute quality which could not be the result of distortion. "I should not have the idea of art infinite substance, seeing I am a finite being, unless it were given me by some substance in reality infinite." Descartes concluded that his idea of God as a perfect being proved that such a being existed.

The answer to this famous argument, as we have already seen, is that perfection is no such absolute quality but a mere abstraction from the imperfect objects of experience. A perfect circle is one in which no flaws can be detected. A perfect man is a monster in whom all virtues are unlimited and no vices occur.

Applying his principle of clear conception to his experience of the external world, Descartes thought that he conceived clearly what we call space. It was that which was indefinitely extended, and divisible into figures. Sensory qualities, however, he regarded as confused images, fictions of the mind. Not these qualities, but merely shape, might be allowed to matter.

But he notes a difficulty. Though only what can be clearly conceived can be true, it does not follow that whatever can be clearly conceived exists. In the case of God, the perfect being, "existence is comprised in the idea" of it; for if it lacked existence, this lack would constitute an imperfection. (Descartes failed to see that even if the idea of a perfect being includes the idea of existence, this does not prove that such a being exists.) Up to this point Descartes had satisfied himself that extended matter might exist (since it could be clearly conceived), but he had no proof that it did exist. But the belief in the existence of God enabled him to give an ingenious proof of the existence of matter. Obviously the senses may mislead. Dreams and illusions force us to admit this. Clearly conceived extension, including figure and number, seemed to Descartes indubitable; yet even figure and number may deceive, since they also may occur in illusion and dream. He had therefore to face the possibility that God had given him false intuitions, both of sense and of reason. But no; this, he argued, could not be. God, the perfect being, must be good, and therefore would not so grossly deceive. But, again, what if not God but a malignant demon had given these intuitions, purposely to deceive? Surely, Descartes protested, a perfect God would not permit any demon to perpetrate so great a deception as this.

Thus Descartes established the existence of a material world, and felt himself entitled to formulate his dualism of thought and extension, or mind and matter. His theory was, of course, a philosophical version of the vague dualism of common sense, and it has haunted philosophy ever since.

Having declared that mind and matter were two distinct substances, he was faced with the problem of explaining their relation. The most intimate of all extended objects, and the one through which alone he had intercourse with the rest of the physical world and with other thinking beings, was, of course, his own body. What, then, was the relation of the thinker or soul to his body? Anatomical research led Descartes to believe that the "seat of the soul" was the pineal gland, a small organ in the centre of the brain, recently, ascertained to be an atrophied third eye. He supposed that from this central position the soul somehow controlled the "animal spirit," which he conceived as an extremely subtle medium between mind and matter, permeating the whole body. This attempt to introduce a link between body and mind, far from solving the problem, merely doubles it, since it becomes necessary to explain the relation between the link and each of the two substances.

There was another aspect of the problem, already noticed in an early chapter. Descartes was a pioneer of the idea of physical mechanism. Material substances were supposed to interact with one another according to strict mechanical law. How, then, could the soul influence the body without interfering with the determined course of physical events? It was necessary to suppose that the soul in effect created or annihilated physical energy in order to interfere.

Descartes' failure to give a satisfactory account of the relation of the two substances, matter and mind, led many subsequent philosophers to reject dualism: They were then faced with three possibilities. Spinoza preserved the parity of mind and matter by denying them rank as substances and regarding them as two attributes of the one real substance. Idealist philosophers denied the reality of matter, and declared either that minds were substances (Leibniz) or that the only substance was the one Absolute Spirit (Hegel). Materialists regarded matter alone as substantial.

(b) Spinoza was a man of very different temper from Descartes. He had no desire to defend orthodoxy or to compromise with it. He was a Jew who had been excommunicated from the Synagogue on account of his beliefs. His work is inspired by a combination of intense intellectualism and intense religious feeling of a kind which was far from acceptable to the established religions. He came to be regarded as the arch-atheist; yet a later writer called him the "God-intoxicated" philosopher. It is important to realise that whatever Spinoza's intellectual errors, he did live according to his theories. Though his philosophy was at bottom in a sense. egoistic, his personal conduct was unostentatiously but sometimes heroically generous. For in practice he behaved as his philosophy dictated, namely, to embrace all men's needs within the scope of his egoism. In another respect also he lived his philosophy. He was true to the philosophic spirit. His whole life., was dominated by the peace of mind which he called "the intellectual love of God."

The motive of Spinoza's philosophical venture was the search for some permanent and perfect object of devotion. He longed to know "whether in fact there might be anything of which the discovery and attainment would enable me to enjoy continuous, supreme, and unending happiness." What ordinarily passed for happiness depended on precarious objects, and was itself precarious. He determined to anchor his own happiness to something eternal and infinite.

The philosophy which resulted from this motive is one which is dominated by the idea of an eternal and perfect substance. It does less than justice to finite things, which he regarded as incompletely real. Even the best of them, he felt, were not worth desiring.

He rejected Descartes' theory that mind and matter are distinct substances. A substance, he said, is that "the conception of which does not need to be formed from the conception of any other thing." In his view there can only be one substance, namely, the whole universe, or what he calls "God or Nature." This one substance must have an infinite number of attributes. An attribute is " that which the understanding perceives as constituting the essence of a substance." Spinoza believed that all attributes must in theory be logically deducible from the nature of the one substance. (Of course he could not demonstrate that this was so.) Only two of the infinite attributes, according to Spinoza, are known to us, namely" thought and extension," or mind and matter. All particular minds and particular physical things are said to be "modes" of substance. A mode is "that which is, and is conceived by means of, something else." A particular mind is a mode of the thought-attribute of the one substance; a physical thing is a mode of the extension-attribute. No particular mind or physical thing is a self-complete reality. It is merely a particular manifestation or quality of the one substance.

All our thoughts, all our experiences, are experiences within the universal experience which is the thought-attribute of the one substance, "God or Nature." What a man knows of the physical universe is an excerpt from the perfect universal understanding. Moreover, a "mode" of extension (a physical object) and the idea of it are one and the same thing, expressed in two ways. Things and our experiences of them are not distinct entities. The physical universe is simply the material aspect of the perfect universal understanding; and this in turn is the thought-aspect of the physical universe.

This principle enabled Spinoza to explain the relation of body and mind. Rejecting Descartes' theory of the interaction of two substances, he accepts a kind of parallelism or double-aspect theory. Thought and extension has each its own system of necessary laws. In matter everything is determined by physical laws, in mind by mental laws. But since thought is merely the thought-aspect of matter, and matter the physical aspect of mind, there is an exact correspondence between the two.

Spinoza conceived the universal experience in a very intellectualistic manner. In his view it is all-comprehensive knowledge, but it is. without any purpose which can be regarded as the purpose of the universal mind itself. Purpose implies lack, and the universal mind is complete, perfect. Though it has no purpose of its own, it embraces all purposes, and both sides of all conflicts. We, with our conflicting desires, are all members in the infinite understanding which is God. Our thoughts, taken in isolation from the rest of the universal experience, are one and all incomplete, and therefore false; but taken in their proper place in the universal experience, or in God's thinking, they are factors in truth.

This view of the individual and his errors is very unsatisfactory. If a finite mind is really no more,than a strand of thought in the infinite mind, how comes it that it can be in error at all? How can our thoughts be for us other than they are for God? How do our experiences come to be used twice, so to speak: once truly in the universal understanding of God, and once erroneously in our own finite understanding? To be in error, the mind must have a finite individuality of its own, isolated from the thought of God. Mere qualities cannot make mistakes.

Nor can they have emotions and desires. According to Spinoza, our emotions are simply ideas of the " effort" of a particular physical body, the effort by which it maintains its separate existence. Every finite thing has an inherent tendency to preserve its unity and equilibrium in spite of the influences of other things. This is the source of our self-conscious self-regard. Indeed, it is the source of all our actions. We are essentially egoists. All finite minds have these separatistic emotions. All seek the petty, partial ends which appear desirable to their finite, blinkered nature. Good and bad are wholly relative to our finite nature. They are subjective. In the divine understanding they are regarded with complete detachment. Nevertheless, there is one reasonable goal of a man's endeavour, namely participation in the divine understanding, the acceptance of the universal view, in which all goods and evils are transcended. The goodness of this is subjective, of course, since it depends on the man's own lack of that perfection; but it is nevertheless the reasonable goal for him, since it constitutes the fulfilment or perfection of his imperfect nature. To some extent all of us can strive to transcend our limitations and enter into the full understanding which is God; who contemplates all existence truly and without emotion, though with the beatitude that belongs to perfection. For our finite minds salvation lies in learning to detach our interest from all petty ends and seek only the "intellectual love of God," which consists of tranquil acceptance of the universe as it really is. This intellectual love of God, to which we should all strive if we would attain secure and lasting happiness, is at once our love o( God and God's love of himself; and also his love of us, who are modes of himself. When a finite mind achieves this consummation, it simply enters into the perfect understanding, the experience in which "God or Nature" contemplates itself. In the intellectual love of God we do not love something other than ourselves, for we are not distinct from God.

Sin, in this view, is of the same order as error. It is the willing of a merely partial good at the expense of other goods, which equally deserve to be taken into account. It is enslavement to the passions natural to the separate, finite creature; and it is neglect of the perfect whole.

Since in Spinoza's view we are all essentially egoists, sin consists in seeking a minor or fleeting kind of self-fulfilment at the expense of a major or more enduring kind. The only fully satisfying life is that which is dominated by the intellectual love of God, and is not side-tracked by the passions. The "passions" include spontaneous pity and charity. We must do good acts not for pity but because they are rational. Pity is mere weakness; and weakness, no matter how amiable, is a vice. So is ignorance. Sin is devotion to a minor good in ignorance of a greater good. For in Spinoza's view; if we really know the good, we cannot but will it. This is unsatisfactory. By sin we mean essentially something more than this. We mean willing what is known to be evil. Spinoza's theory of sin is also open to a criticism of the same kind as that which we brought against his theory of error. How comes it that mere qualities of the one substance can have wills of their own, and sinful wills?

In the orthodox view sin is thought to involve freedom. In sinning we could do otherwise than we actually do. For Spinoza, however, all our acts are determined; since they are the outcome of the laws of matter and mind. But though he allows no possibility of arbitrary choice, he offers what he regards as the only kind of freedom that is worth having; not freedom to struggle against destiny, but the freedom which consists in knowing the truth and accepting it with peace of heart in the intellectual love of God.

The temper of our own age is out of tune with the temper of Spinoza. For most of us it is easier to see the faults than the merits of his philosophy. We readily condemn it, not only on account of its many inconsistencies, but also because it stresses the whole at the expense of the parts, and because it disparages the values of ordinary life, advocating an inhuman detachment. We incline to regard the hunger for an all-embracing or ultimate reality as merely a flight from immediate reality with all its urgent claims.

Undoubtedly Spinoza was so obsessed by wholeness and infinity that he entirely failed to provide a satisfactory status for particular things and minds. But to charge him with flight from reality seems ludicrously unjustified. The charge is refuted by his personal life. On one occasion when he was in a friend's house, his enemies incited a mob to clamour at the door for his life. Rather than embroil his friend by remaining in safety, he faced the crowd. By reasonable speech he persuaded them to disband. Indeed, Spinoza may be regarded as the outstanding example of the true philosophic temper which combines courageous but reasonable action with unshakable detachment and peace of mind.

Though. intellectually Spinoza's philosophy should perhaps be regarded as a splendid and immensely significant failure, the fact that it was a failure must be attributed, I believe, partly to the fact that he was pre-eminently conscious of two seemingly incompatible aspects of experience, both of which may be called religious. One is the intuitive and non-rational perception of the beauty or rightness of the experienced universe as a whole. The other is the intuitive and non-rational devotion toward the human enterprise within the universe. Intellectually he failed to reconcile these two experiences, but he lived in loyalty to both.

In our age we need, I believe, not less but more of the spirit of Spinoza. We are being submerged in a great wave of irrationalism, in a cult of unreason, of impulse, of animality, of savagery. All this originated in a wholesome reaction against the complacent intellectualism of an earlier age; but it has become extravagant, and is dragging us into barbarism.

iii. Idealism

(a) Essentials of Metaphysical Idealism

(b) Leibniz

(c) Absolute Idealism

(d) Other Types of Idealism

(a) Essentials of Metaphysical Idealism — We have been considering theories in which mind and matter are given equal status, either as distinct substances or as attributes of a single substance. We must now turn to theories in which mind is taken to be the more significant concept for understanding reality.

In an earlier chapter we discussed Epistemological Idealism, or Idealism as a theory of knowledge. We now turn to Metaphysical Idealism, or Idealism as a theory of the fundamental nature of reality.

Metaphysical Idealism may be said to begin with Plato. As we have already seen in connection with ethics, Plato held that the universal "ideas" or forms to which particular things approximate were more " real" than the particular things themselves. According to him, manhood is more real than men. He did not, of course, conceive of the forms as merely subjective ideas in our minds. They were objective to us. All the same, in the Platonic theory the world of universal forms, which was the reality behind appearances, was evidently in some sense a spiritual reality. The supreme form was the form of the Good. Plato did not distinguish as sharply as we do between the mental and the non-mental; but his theory that the universal forms, or characters, or "ideas," or (as some would say) concepts, were more real than particular things was certainly the germ from which, centuries later, sprang modern Absolute Idealism.

In considering modern Idealism, we must notice two types of theory, namely, pluralistic and monistic. The first, revolting against Spinoza's monism, postulates an infinite number of individual mental substances, the finite minds. The other, deeply impressed by Spinoza's monism, asserts. that the whole universe is a single mind, and a single substance. Both agree that matter is merely an " appearance," with no existence apart from the minds (or mind) in which it is conceived.

(b) Leibniz was a courtier and a man of affairs who devoted only part of his energy to philosophy. He had a legal training, and as well as being a great philosopher he was a great mathematician. He invented the differential calculus. Like Descartes, he was anxious to show his agreement with orthodoxy, and for this reason was unwilling to acknowledge his debt to Spinoza.

Leibniz's philosophical aim was to preserve the individuality of human minds while giving a satisfactory account of their inter-relatedness. He also sought to do justice to the part played by purpose in the universe. His philosophy is often regarded as at once arid and fantastic, but to the philosophic mind it affords a very interesting and fertile study. It is a remarkable product of intellectual acuity conflicting with subservience to orthodoxy. And it contains the germs of many modern ideas.

Like Descartes and Spinoza, he worked with the concept of substance and attribute. But he defined a substance as that which persists through change. Attributes might change, but not the substance itself. According to his theory, the change of the attributes of a substance, or the development of a substance, is never caused by the influence of anything external to the substance. All its changes are consequences of the nature of the substance itself. This theory, that substances could not in any way affect one another, was a consequence of Leibniz's insistence on the reality of finite individuals. If an individual is completely real, it must in his view be completely independent of external influences. If intercourse of any kind whatever is allowed, the theory that an individual is a self-complete substance must be abandoned.

Leibniz insists that substances are active; but the activity of a substance, he says, affects only the future states of the substance itself. Each substance is a world to itself, and an ever-developing world.

Obviously this theory that individuals are completely isolated substances is very unplausible, since individuals seem to be in constant interaction. This difficulty Leibniz solved by a very ingenious device, namely, his theory of "pre-established harmony." His substances, it will be remembered, are all mental. He calls them "monads." They are infinite in number. No two of them are exactly alike. Each unique monad is a completely isolated and ever-changing world of experience; but although the changes within each monad happen solely by the necessity of its own nature, yet all changes, says Leibniz, happen as if they were due to the effects of other monads. Thus in a manner each monad "mirrors" the rest of the universe from its own particular point of view. This, then, is Leibniz's famous theory of "pre-established harmony." In the beginning God, the supreme and uncreated monad, so fashioned the infinite host of created monads that of their own nature they must evolve in this manner. He made them to be like a number of musicians who, though out of hearing of each other, play in perfect co-ordination because they all began playing their assigned parts together at a common signal and at the same tempo.

Though the monads are all mental, they are of many ranks, ranging from completely unconscious mental activity to clear intellection far beyond human power. Roughly there are three kinds of monads. Lowliest are the "bare monads," which, though mental beings, are unconscious. The notion of unconscious mentality is far from clear. Apparently it means that consciousness in these cases is too faint or too confused to be noticed. The "bare monads" are centres of mere appetite and aversion. They are without memory. -Next in rank are the "souls," which are conscious in the animal manner. They have memory, feeling, attention, but are neither rational nor moral. Finally come the "spirits," or human souls, which are more clearly conscious; and, moreover, are self-conscious, and also rational, and morally sensitive and responsible. All monads are eternal; but only spirits have true immortality, since they alone have continuity of experience beyond this life.

Since all substances are mental, material things are not substances. Matter is simply the "appearance" of substances of various kinds to one another. Not that the "appearance" is direct; for this would mean that substances influenced one another. It is merely an "as if" kind of appearance, resulting from the pre-established harmony. Further, matter is essentially, not extension, but resistance, hardness; or rather the apparition of resistance in the completely isolated life of human minds. The ultimate units of matter are not atoms (or electrons, etc.) but monads, lowly minds. Matter is the "appearance" of innumerable unextended centres of spiritual activity. It. is an "appearance" in human minds, and through pre-established harmony.

If minds alone are substances, what sort of thing is a human body? It is the "appearance" (to oneself and to others) of a vast group of monads of different ranks, mostly of the order of "bare monads." These are subordinated to several "souls," which are in turn subordinated to the "spirit" which is the self or "I" of the man. Every one of these monads, of course, fulfils its own destiny by internal necessity; but the changes of all are related by "pre-established harmony." In the lower monads, however, changes are sometimes to be accounted for by reference to changes in higher monads. That is, in some cases God made the lower such that they must spontaneously behave as they do because he wanted them to have a certain relation to the higher, through the system of pre-established harmony. Thus, although there is no interaction between the spirit of the man and the monads which appear as his body, in a sense the final cause or reason for what happens in the body monads is to be found in the spirit of the man.

In the experience of every monad there occur changes in clarity of perception. In the case of human spirits there is normally an advance in clarity from infancy to maturity. All monads strive for greater clarity; that is, toward greater "magnitude of positive reality," greater spiritual perfection. Goodness and reality of mental being are either identified or very closely related. "Pleasure" is how we feel when we attain greater perfection. Reason should lead us to seek complete and lasting felicity, but unfortunately by instinct we tend toward merely partial and fleeting fulfilments.

Leibniz's theory of pre-established harmony involves determinism; but as an orthodox Christian he clings to free will. All monads, he insists, act spontaneously, according to their own inherent nature. Their behaviour is contingent, not logically necessary. But the monads of lower order are coerced by the passions, by the insistence of immediate ends; while the spirits, with their greater clarity, can emancipate themselves from their passions for the sake of the ideal of spiritual perfection, or greatest possible "magnitude of positive reality." In Leibniz's theory every act of a monad follows necessarily from its preceding state. All its behaviour is necessarily implied in the nature that God originally gave it. Leibniz does his best to explain away this determinism, since it conflicts with religious orthodoxy. For orthodoxy, sin must be positive. It must not be mere ignorance, mere lack of knowledge. Merely seeing the good must not necessarily lead to choosing it. The monads must be in some sense free to do or not do what they know to be good. Leibniz therefore insists that, though all the acts of a monad are determined, and in theory predictable, yet also they are free. God made them such that they would freely act in determinate manners in accordance with pre-established harmony.

God's primordial aim in creating, Leibniz says, was to produce as great perfection as possible, to create "the best of all possible worlds." Evil springs not from (God's will but from eternal truths which are independent of his will. The best of all possible worlds must contain some evil. Though the perfection of a monad consists in its attainment of perfect clarity, and all spirits are destined finally to reach perfection, it is necessary for the perfection of the world that all should start as bare monads and pass upwards through aeons of striving: spirits alone among monads are ends in themselves. Other monads are for the sake of spirits, or for the sake of the perfection of the world. God's aim is single, but it has two complementary aspects, namely, the perfection of the world and the perfection of individual spirits, or the creation of the company of the blessed, which he calls "the City of God." These two aspects support each other through pre- established harmony.

The main criticism to be made against Leibniz is the opposite of the main criticism of Spinoza. Just as Spinoza sacrificed individuality to the unity of the whole, so Leibniz sacrificed the whole to individuality. The theory of pre-established harmony is a heroic effort to do justice to the unity of the whole without infringing the substantiality of individuals; but it is unsupported by any evidence. Moreover, the insistence on the plurality of self-complete substances leads straight to solipsism. For if the substances are wholly unaffected by one another, no one. of them has any adequate reason to postulate the existence of others.

But though Leibniz's theory may be regarded as a reductio ad absurdum, it is well worth study, not only as a brilliant intellectual achievement, but also because, like Spinoza's theory, it contains many ideas which have played an important part in the subsequent history of thought.

(c) Absolute Idealism — Having considered the outstanding example of Idealistic Pluralism, we must turn to Idealistic Monism, or Absolute Idealism, in which individual minds are regarded as mere excerpts from the one reality, which is the absolute spirit.

After Leibniz, leadership in philosophy passed for a while to Britain, and its main theme was not metaphysics but the theory of knowledge. We have already traced that movement through the thought of Locke and Berkeley to its culmination in Hume's phenomenalism. In this view, as we have seen, reality consists wholly of the stream of immediate experience. Any attempt to discover any ulterior, metaphysical reality is doomed to failure.

Hume's great critic, Kant, agreed that metaphysical knowledge, at least of the kind that he called transcendent, was impossible. Behind:the world of mere appearances, which Hume tended to regard as the sole reality, Kant, as we have seen, set an entirely unknowable reality or thing-in-itself. All the perceived and conceived characters of experience, in his view, are created by the mind in response to stimulation by the unknowable reality. Thus thoughts do not, as is generally supposed, conform to things; on the contrary things-known must conform to the inherent categories of the mind, to our innate principles of sensibility and understanding. This was Kant's famous "Copernican Revolution" in philosophy. Even time and space must be regarded as mere appearances, due to the limitations of our sensibility. Reality itself must not be thought to be either spatial or temporal. Similarly when we look inward, we find, according to Kant, not the soul but merely "internal phenomena." Whether behind these there is a particular individual spirit or the identical universal spirit we cannot know.

As we have seen, Kant pointed out that the mind was not (as Hume had said) a mere sequence of "impressions" and "ideas," each independent of the rest. Each element in experience was intrinsically related to all others. Everything was what it was in virtue of its relation to other things. This insistence on the unity of experience and the intrinsic relations of its parts was the starting-point of Absolute Idealism.

Though Kant was an idealist, in that he regarded thought as a more significant concept than matter, he was not simply a subjective idealist. In his works there are two tendencies — one subjectivist, the other objectivist. The world of appearances, though inherently logical, and therefore in Kant's view mental, in structure, is objective to the individual mind. In principle, and apart from private errors, the same world of appearances is common to all men. For the general structure of the world of appearances is created not by individual idiosyncrasies but by the fundamental capacities or categories common to all human minds. We are therefore not imprisoned from one another in distinct solipsistic universes.

In Hegel's philosophy the objectivist tendency in Kant is emphasised. A completely unknowable reality, he says, is a completely unnecessary fiction. In principle reality must be knowable. In fact, in principle reality is knowledge; not, of course, simply the knowledge of finite minds, but all-comprehensive knowledge. According to Kant, reality is featureless, because to assign it any features would be to deprive it of other features, and it must be infinite. But, according to Hegel, such a reality would be simply nothing at all. Reality, in his view, is a systematic, rational structure, continuous with the world as known in human experience.

And from the point of view of the individual experience reality is objective. It is what it is, no matter what the individual believes it to be. Nevertheless, in principle, thought and reality are identical. The individual human mind is an excerpt from the more comprehensive mind which is society, or society's knowledge; and this again is an excerpt from the mind. which is the universal spirit. The structure of the individual human mind is logical throughout. So is his mental development from birth to maturity. So is the social mind, and the development of society. Continuous with this again, and essentially logical, is the structure of the universe as a developing process, and also the structure of the eternal Absolute Spirit within which the temporal process is in some sense an eternal factor.

In our day it is difficult to accept Hegel's faith in the ultimate logicality of the universe. We have grown sceptical. We can discover no necessity in virtue of which the universe must be systematic through and through. Even if it is, we can no longer believe that it must therefore be essentially "idea." If the objective world is logical in structure, its logicality is its own, and we have no reason to call it mental.

According to Hegel, human self-consciousness is in an important respect a microcosm of the all-inclusive reality, the Absolute. For reality is not simply object or simply subject. It is at once knowing and known; just as, in human self-consciousness, the self is at once knowing and known. The Absolute consists at once of the total reality, which we know partially as the multifarious universe, and of the true knowing of all this together in the single universal self-consciousness.

One may "feel it in one's bones" that in some sense the Whole is, indeed, self-conscious; and yet one may fail to be impressed by the rational processes by which Hegel and his followers claim to demonstrate this conclusion. No wonder that such daring flights of reason have frightened so many cautious minds, and driven them into Positivism.

We have already seen that for Absolute Idealists only the Whole is fully real. Each particular fact is fully constituted by its intrinsic relations within the whole system; and so, taken by itself, it is a mere abstraction. We must certainly admit that our knowledge of any thing is constituted by our knowledge of its relations to other things. We cannot know the red of a rose save in contrast with other colours. But for Hegel, since knowledge and reality are identical, the rose itself is constituted by its relations to the rest of the universe, its relations of likeness and difference, (position, causation, and so on.

Between extreme Monists and extreme Pluralists there is a deep difference of temperament or taste. Perhaps no reconciliation is possible. But the mind that has no extravagant leaning in either direction can see the weakness of both extremes. In respect of the essentially monistic theory of internal relations it is clear that if each thing is wholly constituted by its relations to other things, if A is its relations to B, and B is its relations to A, there is nothing left to have the relations, nothing but the omnipresent and characterless Absolute, which in its characterlessness is reduced to sheer nonentity. On the other hand, if we insist on the complete independent reality of particular things, we incur all the difficulties of Leibniz. Somehow, even at the cost of failing to find a satisfactory theory, we must insist on the co-equal reality of parts and whole, and of terms and relations within the whole. We must be content to say "In a sense things are constituted by their relations within the whole; but in another sense the whole is constituted by its elements in relation."

For the Absolutists true wholes are always more "real" than their parts. They regard the concept of "organism" as all-important. The Absolute is organic. There is certainly a sense in which a living organism is more of a whole than a mere aggregate, like a heap of stones. We are tempted to say that it includes something more than the atoms that compose it, namely, the form or pattern which determines the arrangement of its atoms. Its form in immaturity, moreover, is to be understood only by reference to its mature form. It is a whole both in space and in time. Is the universe, the whole of being, organic in this sense? Perhaps it is, but we have little or no evidence on the subject. And the attempt to demonstrate by reason that it must necessarily be so is doomed to failure, since there is no necessity that the universe should be rational.

This extreme monism seems to be based on a confusion of "real" and "true." Doubtless you cannot say the whole truth about a particular thing without saying the whole truth about the whole universe; but the particular thing is no less real than the whole universe. Particular things just are, and so is the whole universe.

In the Hegelian system time (like space) is not fully real. The temporal view of reality is a partial, limited, human view of a reality which is not itself limited by time, but includes time within itself. Reality is not simply what exists at a fleeting instant. Nor is it merely the sum of all instants. Nor is it timeless, in the sense that time is not a factor in it at all. Nor is it something everlasting, changeless, static. In some manner it is more than temporal. It embraces all the stages of the whole process, yet somehow it embraces them as process, though eternally.

It is sometimes objected against the metaphysics of Absolute Idealism that, in denying the reality of time, it takes all the life and movement out of the universe, or that it gives us a "block universe" which is complete and static. In this respect it is contrasted with the metaphysics of Bergson, in which change is real. I cannot feel that this objection is justified. Any philosophy worthy of the name must reckon with both these conflicting aspects of our experience, both the reality of change and the eternal reality within which change is comprised. Bertrand Russell has said "There is some sense, easier to feel than to state, in which time is an unimportant and superficial character of reality." A philosophy which ignores this fact is as unsatisfactory as one which explains away time and change. Hegel does his best to do justice both to the temporal and the eternal. Of course he fails to give a coherent account of them. But who has succeeded?

Though in Hegel's theory time is not fully real, great stress is laid on the concept of development. Every particular fact is an expression of other facts, and to be understood it must be understood historically. Hegel believed that the process of human history, and, indeed, the process of the whole universe, was systematic through and through, and dominated by a formative principle. History may be regarded, in the temporal and only partially true view, as the process by which "God," or the growing system of universal experience, reaches full self-consciousness. As Hegel had no sense of the astronomical magnitudes of time and space, human history bulked much more largely in his philosophy than seems plausible to us. He regarded mankind as a growing organism whose career was the central theme of the universe. He believed that every stage in humanity's growth was the logical outcome of the previous stage, and that a purpose was unfolding itself from age to age. He had no conception of the prodigious confusion, fortuitousness, precariousness of historical development. He was confident that although reason might sometimes be difficult to discover in the course of events, it must be there. Not only so, but he undertook to deduce the whole universe in all its concreteness from the most abstract of all categories, the concept of mere "being."

This leads us once more to Hegel's famous "dialectical method," which we first noted in connection with his theory of history, and subsequently in connection with Economic Determinism. We must now consider it in relation to the metaphysics of Absolute Idealism. According to Idealism, it will be remembered, every idea is only partially true, and is said to involve its opposite. From the conflict of the two ideas ("thesis" and "antithesis") emerges a new idea (the "synthesis") which comprises harmoniously the truth of both the others. This synthesis in turn forms a new thesis which generates a new antithesis; and from the new conflict arises a still more comprehensive synthesis. And so on indefinitely.

This movement of thought Hegel believed to be the basic principle for understanding not only the connections of abstract ideas and the process of history, but also the nature of the universe as a whole. For, though the dialectic is essentially a principle of thinking, it is also, in his view, a principle which applies to the whole of reality; since reality itself is constituted of thought.

One very important application of the dialectical principle, according to Hegel, is the relation of the knower to the object known, or of the self to the not-self. The self has no being without its opposite, the not-self; and in his view the not-self has no being without the self as its knower. The two are opposed to each other, yet they involve each other. From this opposition of abstract self and abstract not-self arises the synthesis of the concrete act of knowledge which embraces both self and not-self. Indeed, the concrete act of knowledge is logically prior .to the two abstractions which are derived from it, namely, the self and the not-self. Similarly the timeless Absolute is logically prior to all the particular finite things which we experience in it.

The basic principle of the dialectic may be taken as a denial of a principle of formal logic, namely, that a thing cannot both be and not be. This principle, Hegel says, is true only of static things; not of developing things, which, because they are changing, are always! both being and not being.

Applying the dialectical method to the concept of "being," the simplest of all concepts, Hegel points out that a thing cannot merely be. Pure being is nothing. A thing must be something definite, determinate. This logically involves its not being other things. To be solid involves not being liquid. Thus a thing's being what it is is constituted by all that it is not. These contradictory ideas, "being" and "not-being," find their synthesis, as we have seen, in the idea which includes them both, namely "becoming." In ceasing to be what it was, a thing becomes something new. This is the first step of the process by which Hegel believes that he can deduce the whole concrete universe.

We need not consider the stages by which he attempted to pass from pure being to his detailed philosophy of nature. We can see now that it is impossible to deduce the physical world from any such abstraction. The physical world can be known only by observing it.

By the same dialectical method he claimed to deduce the philosophy of mind or spirit. We have already noticed Hegel's dialectical account of the evolution of society, and his political and moral philosophy. Here we are concerned only with criticism of Hegel's fundamental metaphysical principles. What, then, of the dialectic as a metaphysical principle? The main criticism is not that it is untrue, but that as a method of exploration it is barren. Even if reality is in fact such that an all-powerful intellect could deduce it in its full concreteness from some basic concept, neither Hegel nor any other human being can do so; for the good reason that we cannot conceive an adequate basic concept. Hegel's deduction from the concept of "being" is unconvincing from start to finish. Clearly in Hegel's hands the dialectical principle is doomed to failure, because it amounts merely to an attempt to deduce the concrete universe from certain abstract characteristics of human language.

(d) Other Types of Idealism — Hegel's philosophy is essentially intellectualistic. The nature of reality is to be discovered through study of the nature of thinking. We must now glance at a kind of idealism in which not thought but will is the key to the understanding of reality.. Hegel's younger contemporary and rival, Schopenhauer, reverted to Kant's distinction between the thing in itself and its appearances. He agreed with Kant that the reality behind appearances could not be known by reasoning, but he suggested that it was probably very like the reality that we know at first hand in ourselves. And in his view the inner essence that a man knows as "himself" is "will." His body is merely the objective side of his will. Thus the nutritive organs are objectified hunger. The brain is the objectification of the will to know. The root of knowledge itself is will, for we think because we will to know, and we will to know because we will to act. (Thus did Schopenhauer enunciate a principle which was to play a great part in subsequent philosophy.) Not only man, but all that exists, is in essence will, or striving. This is the inner nature of the huge turmoil of the physical world. Reality is Will. And the will that is reality is one. Multiplicity is merely an illusion of the human intelligence.

Will arises from want, from deficiency and suffering. When satisfaction comes, desire ceases. But there is no satisfaction for the infinite craving which is Reality. Life, therefore, and all existence is an evil. Pleasure is a mere phantom; for, when desire is satisfied, pleasure vanishes, and before it is satisfied, we are tormented. Salvation comes only when we crush out all desire. In resignation alone we triumph; and the supreme resignation is the extinction of all consciousness, the heaven of annihilation. Thus, in contrast with the calm beatitude, some would say complacency, of the Absolute Idealist, Schopenhauer offers only black pessimism.

Since the time of Schopenhauer Idealism has consisted mainly of a development of the thought of Hegel, who dominated European philosophy throughout most of the nineteenth century. Hegel bequeathed to his followers two ideas that he never properly reconciled, namely, the idea of the perfect, all-inclusive, static Absolute, in which change is illusory, and the idea of the importance of Development. On the whole, Hegel's English followers, particularly Bosanquet and Bradley, stressed the Absolute. In Italy, however, a new school arose, which abandoned the Absolute and stressed Development. For Croce and Gentile the only reality is not a timeless absolute spirit but an active, changing, self-creative spirit. I have not space to trace the development of these two themes of monistic Idealism.

iv. Materialism

(a) Mechanical Materialism

(b) Dialectical Materialism

(a) Mechanical Materialism — Having considered the two main types of Idealism, namely pluralistic and monistic, we must turn to Materialism. Two principles are generally regarded as essential to Materialism of every kind. The first is that matter, or what we experience as matter, is more fundamental than mind, or than anything in the nature of our experiencing. The second principle common to all kinds of Materialism is determinism. It is conceived that all events happen systematically and follow necessarily from the nature and mutual relations of the material units. Within the field of Materialism we must distinguish two kinds of theory. One, which may be called Mechanical Materialism, is whole-heartedly materialistic. The other, Dialectical Materialism, is much more temperate and much more subtle.

One of the main sources of Materialism is the work of Herbert Spencer, but his philosophy is not easy to classify. He regarded natural science as the only feasible method of studying reality; and thus he was a champion of Scientific Positivism. He believed that human behaviour and human ideals could in theory be fully described in terms of natural science, and that the complex is always fully describable in terms of the simple. In this sense he was a Mechanical Materialist. But he also tells us that, if we had to choose between translating mental phenomena into physical phenomena and translating physical into mental, the latter would be more acceptable; since our knowledge of matter is derived from "feelings." In this mood, in fact, he abandons materialism for idealism. Further, though a champion of mechanism, he is also a champion of evolution and of a hierarchy of levels of biological development from lifeless matter to man. And the principle by which he judges the level of an organism is the principle of integration. Those organisms are more developed in which the parts are more specialised and more dependent upon one another. In thus emphasising unity-in-difference, or "organicity," he is the pioneer of the biologically inspired philosophies. But in his combination of determinism with degrees of development in integrative behaviour he is a forerunner of Dialectical Materialism.

The crudest kind of Materialism is that according to which the universe consists of a vast collection of ultra-microscopic physical units endowed with force, and interacting in regular manners, such that in theory all events in the universe could be predicted from full knowledge of the nature of the units and their arrangement at any moment. Theoretically all that has to be done is to form inductive laws describing how the different kinds of units behave in relation to one another in very simple situations. From this knowledge all else should be deducible. Not only all physical events but also all mental events, are thought of as in some mysterious way consequences of the nature of the ultimate physical units. Consciousness is at most a strange and ineffectual "glow" produced by the material machinery of the body. One school, the extreme kind of Behaviourists, have even argued that there is no such thing as consciousness; there are only nerves, muscles, glands, and their physical behaviour.

Such is the crudest kind of Materialism, but with the advance of science the concept of matter has been transformed, so that nerves, muscles, glands have come to seem very tenuous. An atom is no longer a little grain endowed with force. It is analysable into a system of electrons, protons, and so on; and these are conceived sometimes as "particles of electricity," sometimes as "wave-trains." The concept of force has been abandoned. Even the concept of energy, the potentiality of doing work, has been discarded (so I understand) in favour of something more abstract and less anthropomorphic. Probing further and further in search of the ultimate physical reality, science has abolished more and more of the concrete, and is apparently left with nothing but waves of the probability that certain occurrences of unknowable quality will happen in definite spatial and temporal relations with other such occurrences. This is indeed a far cry from old-fashioned materialism.

Not only so, but also the old concept of discrete units or particles interacting has tended to give way to the concept of a field, within which, or in relation to the totality of which, events occur. They are what they are in relation to the rest of the field. And for some purposes the relevant field is the whole universe. Thus in physical science itself Pluralistic Materialism has developed a strong tendency toward monism.

Finally, the scientific Theory of Relativity has led some physicists to believe that the observing mind itself plays a creative part in determining what shall be observed. Such seemingly objective facts as the measurable size of an object and the simultaneity of events are found to vary with the relative motion of the observer. It is therefore argued that all events are events to or for observing minds. The existence of events, we are told, depends on their being observed. Thus has materialistic science delivered itself over to Subjective Idealism.

Many scientists reject the view that the facts of Relativity support subjectivism. They point out that even though size and simultaneity do depend on the relative physical motion of the observer, there is no evidence that they depend on his observing, or his mentality. A lifeless camera-plate would record the same kind of results. Many philosophers consider that the arguments on which this new subjectivism is based are confused and mistaken, and, moreover, that they have long ago been refuted. This is not the .place to reopen the whole question of Epistemological Realism, which we have already discussed and judged tentatively to be sound.

Modern physicists with a leaning toward Idealism have put forward an argument against the deterministic aspect of Mechanical Materialism, namely, the argument based on physical indeterminacy, which we have already noticed in discussing science. Rightly or wrongly, this argument also has tended to undermine the old faith in "matter."

But even if we reject the arguments for subjectivism, and for determinism, we must recognise that the mere advance of physical science has transformed Mechanical Materialism into something very different from what it was in the nineteenth century. It is no longer an affair of little hard atoms, like marbles. Though the essence of Materialism may be retained, a more appropriate name for it would be "Physicalism," as opposed to Idealism, or "Mentalism."

The real weakness of Mechanical Materialism or Physicalism lies, as we have seen, in the fact that concepts derived wholly from the study of physical nature are not in fact adequate to describe all kinds of events. We cannot in practice give an account of the Russian Revolution or of art or of intellectual activity solely in terms of physical concepts. In affirming that "in theory" we can do so, the Materialist is merely declaring a faith which he cannot prove, or even render intellectually plausible to anyone who has realised the difficulties. In practice each science studies a particular type of events, and employs special concepts derived from its special field of study. In some cases it is possible to analyse the basic concepts of one science into simpler terms derived from another. Thus in theory chemistry can be reduced to physics. In other cases only a partial reduction can be effected, for instance in physiology. In yet other cases the essential features of the special field cannot be reduced at all to any lower-level concepts; though the higher-level events may be found to vary with lower-level events. Emotion cannot be reduced to chemical concepts, but it does to some extent vary with chemical events in the body. In other cases, again, even this concomitance cannot be demonstrated, and the higher-level science must, for the present at least, remain completely autonomous. In this state of affairs the belief that in theory everything can be accounted for in terms of physical concepts is little more than a superstition.

Another and seemingly a very cogent argument against Mechanical Materialism we have already noticed in discussing the problem of mind and body. According. to the theory, thoughts are either-identical with, or wholly caused by, physical changes in the body. This means that the sequence of thoughts in a rational process is determined not by the logical implications of the object about which we are thinking but simply by physical changes in the brain. But if in thinking we really discover the truth about anything, the course of our thinking must be determined by the nature of the object thought about, not merely by bodily events. Otherwise all theorising is invalid, and in particular the theorising which produced the theory of Mechanical Materialism. Thus if Mechanical Materialism is true, all the arguments for it are worthless.

We noticed a possible, but not wholly satisfactory, answer to this argument. The nerve-tracks which determine the course of our thought, and our sense of rationality, it may be said, are themselves a "reflection" of the structure of the environment, which is itself on the whole rational. Thus, after all, thought is to be trusted, and the arguments for materialism are not necessarily worthless. But this is guess-work.

(b) Dialectical Materialism — We can now turn to the more subtle kind of Materialism, namely, that which was founded by Karl Marx. But I must begin by once more warning the reader that my knowledge of Marxian theory is not that of a specialist.

Karl Marx was influenced both by the materialistic tradition of science and, as we have seen, by the dialectical form of idealism originated by Hegel. He wisely escapes the charge that we have made against materialism of the mechanical sort, since he avoids the attempt to account for everything by means of concepts derived from physical science. Instead he postulates qualitatively distinct levels of reality, connected together in the dialectical manner. Though he retains the name "Materialism" to mark his opposition to Hegel's Idealism, his theory is not by any means materialistic in the original narrow sense. It is materialistic only in that it derives its explanatory concepts from the nature of the objective world which mind experiences, not from the nature of mind itself, or of experiencing; and it regards the nature of: the objective world as more like matter than like mind.

Dialectical Materialism is said to be a principle or formula by means of which we can discover intelligible order in the data of observation. Further, it is said to be scientific. It rejects all concepts that cannot be derived from scientific observation. Such concepts it labels "metaphysical."

Dialectical Materialism itself is in one sense at least a metaphysical doctrine, since it includes propositions about the essential nature of experienced reality in general, and the connection between different orders of observable reality. Using the distinction made. by Kant, we may perhaps say that Dialectical Materialism is a case, not indeed of transcendent metaphysics, but of immanent metaphysics. Though it makes no claim to reveal any hidden reality behind the world of ordinary experience, and is not in this sense metaphysical, it does claim that, for the understanding of reality as we experience it, the dialectical process is the master key.

The kind of understanding which this master key can provide is said by Marxians to be not metaphysical but scientific, because it affords not a means for merely contemplating reality but a means for practically controlling reality. The purpose of human knowledge, we are told, is not mere knowledge but action, not to know the world but to change it. Knowledge is always relative to human needs to act. Disinterested thought is a fiction. Sheer curiosity is, of course, one motive of action, but it is a minor motive, and is not the driving force of any of the sustained and co-operative efforts of human intellect. Moreover, objective truth for contemplation is a fiction. Knowledge is "true" in so far as it leads to successful action.

In this respect the Marxian theory is identical with Pragmatism. As we have already discussed and rejected Pragmatism we need not spend more time on this aspect of Marxism. We may merely repeat that if bourgeois truth is true only for bourgeois action, then proletarian truth is true only for proletarian action. This tendency, not merely to recognise that some degree of bias is inevitable, but to deny any ultimate distinction between true and false, and actually to glory in bias, is extremely dangerous. It encourages some Marxian enthusiasts to dismiss as mere bourgeois propaganda any theory which they regard as unfavourable to Marxism, or which they simply fail to understand. The glorification of bias is bound to lead to an abandonment of intellectual honesty, and finally to the destruction of civilisation by barbarism.

But there is much more in Marxism than this pragmatical strain. The theory does in practice admit an objective distinction between "true" and "false." The dialectical method is regarded as a means for discovering objective truth about the world; though, of course, the kind of truth that it discovers is said to be simply truth useful for action.

Dialectical Materialism may be regarded as a theory of the relation of the sciences to each other, or rather of the fields of objective reality studied by the sciences. While each science is entitled to its own special concepts, it also has its special position in the hierarchy of sciences. Sciences of higher rank cannot be simply reduced to, or explained in terms of, sciences of lower rank, as they must be if Mechanical Materialism is true. The relation between the ranks is said to be of a regular and dialectical type. According to the theory, whenever the internal strains in matter reach a certain measurable degree of intensity there appears a qualitatively new kind of behaviour, in which all the internal contradictions of the former kind are solved in a new "synthesis." The new kind of behaviour cannot be described by the scientific laws formulated for the study of the simpler kind of behaviour, but must be studied on its own merits, for the formation of a science of higher rank. Thus the sciences can be arranged in a hierarchy, extending from physics, through biology and psychology to sociology, the science dealing with the most complex kinds of behaviour of which matter is capable, so far as we know.

It is important, but none too easy, to distinguish between the hierarchical principle adopted in Dialectical Materialism and that adopted in the biologically-inspired theory of Emergence, which Marxians scornfully reject. In the theory of Emergence, as we have seen, the laws of one level cannot, even in theory, be explained in terms of the laws of a lower level. Real novelty emerges at each higher level. Marxians also insist that in their theory, as opposed to that of Mechanical Materialism, real novelty occurs at each level. Yet they sometimes charge the champions of Emergence with introducing a "mystical" principle, owing to an inveterate bias toward the obscurantism which is necessary for the defence of the capitalist class.

All this is really very perplexing. It looks as though Marxians were trying both to have their cake and eat it. They seem to claim that their theory is at once "non-mechanical" (in the sense that it does not accept the laws of physics as the ultimate explanation of everything) and yet also that it is materialistic (in the sense that any principles which it does accept must be regarded as inherent in the nature of "matter"). But if matter is after all not purely physical, if the biological and the mental causal concepts are not reducible to the physical, what is the difference between Dialectical Materialism and Emergence? On the other hand, if they are reducible, what is the difference between Dialectical Materialism and Mechanical Materialism?

But to continue, the dialectical principle does not apply only to the relation between distinct sciences, but also within the field of anyone science. It is said to explain the sudden qualitative changes, or "changes of phase," that occur when a quantitative change reaches a certain critical point. For instance, when ice is heated, there comes a moment when the ordered ranks of its molecules break down, and the crystalline ice becomes liquid water. Professor Levy has pointed out that such catastrophic and qualitative changes are well known in science, as the culmination of more gradual processes. Such changes the Marxian would describe as dialectical.

Marx's lieutenant, Engels, formulated three laws of Dialectical Change, which, in spite of their difficult language, may be taken to express the essentials of the process. (1) "The transition of quantity into quality" expresses the fact, already noted, that any process of increase culminates in a critical point at which a new quality emerges, and new laws are exemplified. (2) "The interpenetration of opposites" expresses the coexistence and conflict of thesis and antithesis in any dialectical situation. As an example, Professor Levy mentions the condition of science in capitalist society. Capitalism itself generated the vast activity of modern science. But whereas capitalism tends toward high prices and therefore scarcity, science tends to function for plenty, and must in time undermine the very system that created it. (3) "The negation of the negation" expresses the final synthesis in which the negation described by the second law is transcended in a new order. Thus, in the case of science, the negation of science and capitalism will not itself be negated until a new social order emerges in which science can fulfil its power of affording social plenty.

The dialectical process is said to be a case of necessity. It is notlogically necessary, since the synthesis is not deducible from the manifest character of the thesis and antithesis. The synthesis contains real novelty. None the less, the process is said to be necessary in the scientific sense, since it is regular and predictable. There must therefore be a hidden internal necessity. Causation is not to be thought of as merely "invariable sequence," as it was by Hume, but as necessary though not demonstrably necessary. By observation we can form inductive laws to describe and predict in what lower-level conditions the higher-level behaviour will occur. For instance, we can formulate exact inductive laws to predict when water will boil, ice thaw, and (we are told) when social revolution will occur. Also, we can formulate higher-level inductive laws to describe the manner in which the higher-level behaviour itself will occur. In this purely descriptive sense, at least, the behaviour is deterministic. But also, if I understand it, it is deterministic in the sense that this observable regularity is regarded as an expression of an underlying necessity. If this is a correct interpretation, Dialectical Materialism is obviously not merely a scientific but a metaphysical theory.

But though deterministic, the theory does not simply deny human freedom. Marx insists that men make their own history, Of their own intrinsic nature they choose one course rather than another. Throughout history the wills of individuals are determining factors of all human activity. The laws of psychology and sociology are inductive, descriptive. They tell us how human beings do observably behave. They discover no inner necessity in virtue of which human beings must so behave. But human nature and the individual will are observed to be regular; and human behaviour is found to be, within limits, predictable. In the mass, men do desire before all other things food, comfort, and security. Their primary motives are economic. The particular acts of particular individuals are not always predictable, because of the subtlety of the psychological influences concerned. But, as we have seen, in dealing with large social happenings individual idiosyncrasies cancel out, and may be neglected.

Marxians often explain that the only true freedom is that which consists in knowing the laws of social change and working to accelerate their operation. This is reminiscent of the contention of some mediaeval philosophers that the only true freedom is freedom to will the will of God. For the Marxist, true freedom to-day consists in (a) realising that the massed economic desires of the workers, combined with the inevitable breakdown of capitalism, must lead to social revolution; and (b) in voluntarily working as a revolutionary. We are not here concerned with the social theory but with the theory of freedom. And so far as freedom is concerned, I fail to see that a man's will is any more free in swimming with the current than in swimming against it.

I will close this subsection by summarising the main criticisms that, in my view, must be made against Dialectical Materialism as a metaphysical theory.

So far as I can understand it, the theory regards "matter" as an underlying substance which "has" physical and mental qualities. Marxists would deny this charge, but not, so far as I can see, with justice. We have already seen that the substance-attribute way of thinking is misleading, though not wholly false.

Though the theory insists that matter may have both physical and mental qualities, it apparently regards the physical qualities as in some sense more substantial (or essential to matter) than the physical qualities; since it makes much of the late evolution of consciousness. To this it might be replied that perhaps the more essential qualities of matter only reveal themselves (to scientific observation) at a late stage of evolution.

In general, the relation between higher and lower levels remains obscure. It is by no means clear in what sense the connection is necessary, and in what sense genuine novelty appears at each higher level. Nor is it clear whether the causal necessity (on which the theory insists) operates solely on the physical plane or also and independently on the mental plane. If I understand the theory, the mental is not reducible to the physical. But if this interpretation is correct, I fail to see why the priority of the physical should be emphasised.

In spite of these criticisms, however, it is obvious that Dialectical Materialism is in our day one of the main growing points of thought. Perhaps in the future, when a decent society has been established and social passions do not confuse all intellectual issues, Dialectical Materialists will outgrow their habit of imputing mere class-bias to those who criticise their beliefs. Perhaps at the same time they will be content to know that their doctrine is an immensely fertile principle, without insisting that it is gospel truth.

v. The Influence of Biology

(a) The Pioneer of Evolutionism

(b) The Life Force Theory

(c) Vitalism and Emergence

(d) Whitehead's Philosophy

(a) The Pioneer of Evolutionism — Absolute Idealism, though it passes beyond formal logic, is in temper intellectualistic. Mechanical Materialism deals chiefly in concepts derived from physics. Dialectical Materialism is inspired partly by physics but mainly by sociology and economics. We must now turn to a type of philosophy in which the source of inspiration is biological and psychological.

Though Darwin was the pioneer of Evolutionism as a biological theory, Herbert Spencer, as we have seen, was the pioneer of philosophical Evolutionism. But whereas many later philosophers have inclined to regard evolution as involving some definitely non-mechanical principle, Spencer accounts for it as a deterministic expression of natural law. His famous definition of evolution runs as follows: "An integration of matter, and a consequent dissipation of motion; during which the matter passes from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity, to definite, coherent heterogeneity of structure and function, through successive differentiations and integrations." Interpreting this ponderous formula, we may say that, in his view, evolution consists of (a) specialisation of parts and differentiation of their characters, and (b) increasing interdependence of parts, in fact system, unity in difference. "Life," he tells us, "is the continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations." But "life in its essence," he says, cannot be conceived in physico-chemical terms.

Spencer thought that evolution, as he defined it, must necessarily occur. He believed that a chaos of simple units must inevitably become a differentiated system. He insisted on "the instability of the homogeneous." This principle is far from being true. Indeed, in modern science its opposite, the principle of increasing "entropy" or "randomness" and decreasing system or organicity is accepted as a universal physical principle.

The fact that evolution has occurred, yet cannot be shown to be necessary, combined with the appearance of seeming novelty at higher evolutionary levels, has led some philosophers to abandon the view that in principle a purely scientific account of evolution can be given. We must now turn to the extreme expression of this view.

(b) The Life Force Theory — Bergson's philosophy is based on a criticism of the mechanistic account of biological evolution and of human behaviour. If evolution is a product simply of minute chance variations and natural selection, as Darwin suggested, how could complete organs, such as eyes, which have no value till they are more or less complete, ever evolve? Bergson argues that gradualism cannot have been the main principle of evolution. There must have been sudden large variations that were generally favourable to survival. Such large variations are known to occur and are called "mutations."

Something positive, Bergson thinks, is needed to explain the continued advance of life. Behind evolution there must be some "élan vital" or Life Force, making ever new experiments.

In criticism we must note at once certain important points. Eyes, we are now told, have evolved by stages each of which afforded some slight advantage to the organism. One early stage consisted of a sense organ under the skin with a vaguely transparent "blister" of fluid immediately over it. As to mutations, they are more often harmful than beneficial. Indeed, most of them, it seems, are positively lethal. Selection would account for the survival of the beneficial ones.

On the other hand, we must admit that some positive cause is required to explain progressive variation. It is pointed out that the mean around which variations vary in each generation does not advance from one generation to another. If two persons above the average stature have children, the statures of the children vary (in ordinary conditions) not round the parental heights but round the average height for the stock that produced the parents. To explain an evolutionary increase of stature we should have to show how the average stature (round which variations varied) increased from generation to generation. Natural selection prunes the evolutionary tree; but some positive force must provide the sprouting. This is a point in Bergson's favour.

Bergson further argues that evolution cannot be accounted for simply by the gradual adaptation of the organism to the environment. If it could, he says, evolution would have stopped long ago, when all the species were exactly adapted to their environments. To this argument the answer is that perfect adaptation never occurs in an advancing species, because the environment itself is constantly changing. When the environment ceases to change, stagnation does often ensue. Thousands of species have never evolved beyond a primitive level.

Bergson claims that certain psychological facts are incompatible with the theory that living things are mere pieces of mechanism. He cites the "vicarious functioning" of brain tracts; but, as we have already seen, this argument is of doubtful value. He also claims that the facts of abnormal psychology occur without any corresponding brain changes. This certainly cannot be proved. He further claims that subconscious mental activity is inconceivable if consciousness is associated with brain changes. But why? Some brain tracts .may sometimes function in dissociation from others.

Bergson's conclusion is that the brain is merely the instrument of consciousness, or the point at which consciousness enters into and avails itself of matter. He suggests that consciousness itself, for its own purpose, evolved the brain. And consciousness itself is the Life Force, which is responsible both for the evolution of the race and for the growing of the individual. This would seem to imply that we should be conscious of the process by which we grow up; but we are not.

In Bergson's view consciousness is not the passing activity of an enduring self or "ego." The self is the flux of consciousness. We change unceasingly, and even the static is nothing but change of a special kind. The whole universe is change. The universe, he says, is a stream of change, or "becoming," or evolving. There is no Absolute Reality which is the eternal source of change. There is just the continuous flux, without beginning, and without end.

Like Marx, Bergson condemns intellectual metaphysics; but, unlike Marx, he claims that there is another kind of metaphysics, not of intellect but of "intuition." By means of "intuition," which is said to be instinct conscious of itself, we realise in our own changing consciousness the reality which is also the reality of the universe. For we are the "becoming" or "duration" or "durée" which reality is.

Bergson distinguishes experienced duration from the intellectual abstraction which we call "time," and use for scientific purposes. This abstract "time," or "mathematical time," is a system of temporal relations between events. If real time, or "duration," were to be speeded up, the system of relations would not reveal the fact, since they would remain the same. Clocks, like everything else, would go quicker. In distinction from mere "scientific time," duration itself is the continuous progress of the past which "gnaws into the future," and is lived through in our consciousness.

Just as intellect dissects the living duration into the abstract instants and dates of scientific time, so also it dissects our concrete spatial experience into distinct material objects. Matter is said to be the falsifying view of reality, created by intellect. The shapes of things do not belong to reality itself. They are the pattern which intellect projects upon reality as an aid to action. Intellect "carves out" these solid and distinct objects, constructs them, as one constructs a formula for action.

In the same way, Bergson says, intellect gives a falsifying account of motion. It analyses motion into a series of static states, like the instantaneous views that make up a cinematograph film. It misses entirely the reality of motion, which only intuition can grasp as it really is.

He admits, however, that matter is not wholly the creature of intellect. For there is something which is other than the intuited flow of life, and something with which intellect is specially concerned. What precisely this "other" is he never clearly tells us. Sometimes he speaks of it as a flow in the opposite direction from life. It is the falling and extinguished remains of life's rocket. Or if life is the rising jet of a fountain, matter is the falling drops, some of which collide with the upthrust of the jet.

The peculiar nature of intellect, Bergson argues, throws light on the free-will controversy. The special function of intellect is to abstract. Any single act of volition is an abstraction formed by intellect. What is real is not isolated acts but the indivisible flow of life. Each act, regarded in isolation, inevitably appears as determined by causes beyond itself. But the personality as a whole is freely creative in every moment. Free will is creative action. This view, says Bergson, is supported by the fact that in practice we never really believe in determinism. We confidently feel ourselves free.

Bergson's work has played a great and salutary part in the formation of modern thought. It was a symptom of the revolt against mechanism, and against intellectualism of the doctrinaire kind. It helped men to realise that the scope of intellect, even of the ideally perfected intellect, had grave limitations, and that intellectual analysis might miss the essence of the object analysed.

But, as we have seen, some of Bergson's arguments are far from convincing; and his theories are unsatisfactory. In particular they are open to the charge that they defeat themselves. They claim to prove that, intellect is in principle a false guide, save in practical matters; but since they themselves are based on intellectual processes, their own conclusions must be invalid. The sweeping condemnation of intellect and praise of intuition, though a healthy reaction from crude intellectualism, is itself crude. As we have seen, intellect and intuition involve one another. Intellect itself moves by intuitive leaps, and intuition is often the outcome of preparatory intellectual work.

We have already considered and dismissed the theory that intuition is "instinct conscious of itself," and that it affords a more penetrating knowledge than intellect. When instinct is "conscious of itself" it is not so much a conscious knowing as a conscious doing. Its knowing is a very limited awareness of the particular stimuli which evoke it, and a generally quite imprecise awareness of the actual response. In what other sense does the angry man know the situation that makes him angry, or know the activity of anger itself? What reason is there to suppose that the instinctive bird or insect knows in any more effective way? It simply behaves "by blind instinct."

Another difficulty in Bergson's philosophy is the theory that reality is featureless. If all the forms that we know in the material world are purely subjective, how is it that we are compelled to perceive things as having certain characters and not others? Why is the reality of a cat cat-like and not tree-like? Must we not admit that however illusory our perception, some differences must actually belong to reality itself as the causes of the differences in our perception?

(c) Vitalism and Emergence — Many philosophers who are unable to accept the extravagant anti-intellectualism of Bergson have nevertheless been greatly influenced by the biological temper which he so persuasively advocated. Here it is impossible to do more than note the general trend of this great stream of philosophical thought, ignoring its many meanderings and the wealth of ideas that have flourished along its banks.

The controlling principles of philosophies of this type would seem to be three, and all are derived from biology. They are: the concept of evolution, the concept of teleology, and the concept of organism.

Evolution is conceived as a cosmical process, tending, either by necessity or more often as an undecided free adventure, toward something like a "far-off divine event" in which the potentiality in the universe for consciousness will be fulfilled by a process continuous with biological evolution. For instance, in the philosophy of Samuel Alexander, the universe is said to have a "nisus toward deity," a tendency or urge or bias to achieve the fully awakened cosmical consciousness. In this view space and time, or rather space-time, is regarded as the fundamental reality, which generates the manifold characters of the universe. This is a very different conception from that of Absolute Idealism, in which reality is "above" space and time.

Teleology, in the philosophies of organism, is contrasted with mechanism. According to the Vitalists, since evolution cannot be explained in terms of mere natural selection, it is necessary to postulate a purposive Life Force, a metaphysical substance, controlling the whole movement of evolution; or a number of particular "entelechies" or purposive substances controlling the growth of individual organisms. By some such means, they argue, it is ensured that on the whole biological variations shall have a bias favourable to progressive evolution.

This theory, which C. D. Broad has called "Substantial Vitalism," must be contrasted with what he has called "Emergent Vitalism." According to Lloyd Morgan, it is a mistake to conceive such distinct teleological substances, but we must recognise that, when physical units are organised in a certain degree of complexity, they manifest a new mode of behaviour, which is different from mechanical behaviour, and must be called "teleological," in that it is determined partly by a goal, or end to be attained. The new kind of behaviour is said to "emerge" in the complex situation, In judging the theory Broad gives a very useful analysis of the idea of teleology. The structure or behaviour of anything is said to be "teleological" if it cannot, even in theory, be fully described without introducing an end. The thing must be fashioned as if, or must behave as if, it had been purposefully designed to attain that end. The structure or plan of a man-made machine is obviously teleological in this sense, though its behaviour can be described fully in terms of mechanism. This is a case of "external teleology," which is contrasted with the "internal teleology" of a living organism. Organisms seem like machines that make themselves. In the case of a living organism the champion of mechanism may reasonably claim that behaviour is in theory reducible to mechanism (i.e. the physical functioning of mechanical parts); but it is difficult for him to explain by means of pure mechanism the form of structure, or plan, of the organism, in virtue of which its parts may be thought of as functioning mechanically so as to attain the ends of survival and reproduction. According to the Emergence theory, then, teleology "emerges" out of mechanism. Similarly, at a higher level of organisation conscious purposiveness is said to emerge out of unconscious teleology. So to speak, it is "teleological behaviour become conscious of itself," and therefore capable of more flexible and accurate adaptation to the environment.

In terms of this concept of teleology these philosophers describe the evolution of species and the instinctive behaviour of individual organisms. And sometimes they suppose that teleology, thus defined, is in some sense a potentiality of the universe as a whole in its evolution toward a state of perfected organicity and consciousness.

A final decision about Emergent Vitalism cannot be reasonably made until much more biological evidence has been accumulated. It is still possible that a complete account not only of behaviour but of the evolution of species may be given in terms of mechanism. But we must recognise that no such account of evolution has yet been given.

It remains true, however, that so far as size, shape, and movement are concerned the concept of mechanism is in theory capable of explaining evolution and behaviour. On the other hand, as we have already seen, a concept which itself contains nothing but size, shape, and movement cannot, logically, account for anything else. It cannot account for secondary qualities. Nor can it account for consciousness. The most it can do is to describe the mechanical situations in which these are observed to occur, or emerge.

It is worth noting, by the way, that the theory of Emergent Vitalism does not necessarily deny determinism, though its advocates often do in fact deny it. There is no reason why the emergent teleological factor should not turn out to be (if we had more precise knowledge of it) perfectly regular and predictable. Its actual emergence, though not logically derivable from the lower-level, mechanical laws, might occur precisely in certain mechanical situations and not in others; and therefore it would be determinate. And when once it had emerged, its operation might be perfectly systematic.

It must not be supposed that the emergent factor, so to speak, "descends from the blue" like a divine messenger. Rather we must suppose that it is always a latent capacity in the mechanical units, but a capacity which cannot manifest itself save when they occur in certain complex relations with one another.

(d) Whitehead's Philosophy — The third of the controlling principles which appears in philosophies of a biological temper is the concept of "organism," which first came into prominence in the work of the Absolute Idealists, and was developed in a very different manner by Herbert Spencer.

An organism is a system in which the character of each part is determined by its relation to the rest of the system. A system can be either more or less organic in comparison with other systems. The character of a part can be either more thoroughly or less thoroughly determined by its relations to the rest of the system. The ideal limit in one direction is the "system" in which the parts are wholly unaffected by one another, like Leibniz's monads. In the other direction is the ideal limit in which the parts are wholly determined by their relations, as in the Hegelian Absolute. Both these extremes are impossible abstractions. If they are to be avoided it is necessary to allow that the parts may be in some respects unaffected by their relationship, and in others affected intrinsically by it. A biological organism is plainly organic in this sense. In philosophies that make great use of the concept of organism it is sometimes contended that the whole universe, either is or is tending to become organic.

The philosophy of A. N. Whitehead is perhaps the most thorough-going and the most striking philosophy of organism. Unfortunately, Whitehead's work, though rich in suggestive ideas which open up vistas of novel and significant thought, is often very obscure. I do not pretend to be able to judge how far the obscurity is due to actual confusion of thought and how far to the inability of the ordinary mind to share the insight which has gone to the making of this remarkable philosophy. My own experience in reading Whitehead has been rather like that of an explorer groping his way through dense jungle. Now and then he emerges upon some bare mountain-top, to be rewarded by a panorama that embraces seemingly a whole virgin continent, the home, perhaps, of a future civilisation.

Not that Whitehead's work is novel in any revolutionary manner. He himself deprecates the modern tendency to break away from the great stream of philosophical speculation, He insists that philosophy must speculate, and must take note of past speculations. His own work, he suggests, is but "a transformation of some main doctrines of Absolute Idealism on to a realistic basis." (Might not this be said also of Dialectical Materialism?)

Whitehead's starting-point is a criticism of the analytic method of modern science. As a method bf practical scientific enquiry it is, of course, invaluable; but it led, almost unconsciously, to a false metaphysics in which certain factors in the concrete world were abstracted from their setting and regarded as the "reality," of which all the rest was subjective "appearance." This error Whitehead calls the fallacy of "illicit abstraction." It led to Descartes' dualism, which Whitehead describes as the "bifurcation" of nature into material and mental characters, and the attempt to explain everything in terms of the material. Those who felt that this kind of explanation was all wrong were themselves guilty of "bifurcation," since on their side they attempted to explain everything either in terms of the other illicit abstraction, namely the mental, or in terms of the interaction of the two distinct abstractions, matter and mind.

Bifurcation also led, according to Whitehead, to a false separation of substance and quality, culminating in theories of an unknowable reality and its appearances. In yet another respect it led to error, namely, in the sharp distinction between the "thing" and its "environment," a failure to recognise that the two are not substantially distinct, but intimately intermingled. According to Whitehead, it is always a mistake to abstract a thing from its environment and to think of this abstraction as concrete. He calls this error the fallacy of "misplaced concreteness." Rejecting this analytic kind of philosophy, Whitehead offers a system based on the conviction that everything is intrinsically related to everything else, or is constituted by its relations to everything else. The result is a far-reaching monism, but a monism that differs from Absolute Idealism in at least three important respects. In the first place, reality is not a static, timeless reality. It is actually going on. It is essentially process, though it has, as we shall see, an eternal aspect. Secondly, reality is not featureless, as it was for some Idealists. It really has (though often not simply in the manner that we suppose) the features that we perceive it as having. Thirdly, according to Whitehead, reality is to be conceived not in terms of thought but of "feeling." (Some Idealists would agree with this.) Feeling, however, is not, in Whitehead's view, purely mental or subjective". It has also an objective aspect which is essentially what we mean by "material."

Every particular "thing" or "event" in the universe, whether an electron or a man or an explosion or an epoch of civilisation or the career of a star, is in some sense constituted by its relations to the test of the universe. These relations are not merely of the logical type, as in Hegel's system. They are relations of feeling. Everything feels, or perceives, or takes account of, everything else.

Only in highly organised things, such as men, is this feeling a conscious feeling. Elsewhere it is subconscious. In passing we must note that "subconscious feeling" is a very slippery phrase. The word "consciousness" itself is ambiguous. It may mean any sort of awareness, or it may mean something more, perhaps "awareness plus awareness-of-that-awareness." Then "subconscious feeling" is simply awareness, without awareness-of -the-awareness.

Every particular thing, then, is sensitive to other things in the sense that it grasps aspects of other things, and is itself constituted by what it grasps of other things. This relationship Whitehead calls "prehension." Every event is a "prehensive occasion" embodying the relations of that event to the rest of the universe.

This sensitivity toward the rest of the universe is not, however, a thing's whole being. It is not only a passive receiving but also an active giving. Its whole being is constituted by its reception of the rest of the universe in its particular place and time, and its contribution to the rest of the universe throughout all space and time. As we have already seen, Whitehead denies that a thing is "simply located" in a particular place and time. It is the sum-total of what we call its "effects" throughout space and time, plus its reception of the "effects" of the rest of the universe in its simply-located focal point (or rather its focal region) in space and time.

The words "thing" and "event" are, of course, misleading. We must think of the universe as a seamless (but not featureless) unity, which for our own interest we can analyse into discrete things. Similarly a cube may theoretically be analysed into an infinite number of lesser cubes, some of them concentric with others, some overlapping, some distinct from one another. A better image, perhaps, is the multitude of spreading circles made by raindrops on a pond. But, to complete the image, the circles must be infinite in number, and every abstract point must both radiate and receive influences.

And what of the characters in respect of which things differ and are alike?, Whitehead distinguishes between particulars and universals, but he does not hypostatise either of these abstractions; and he does not use the words "particular" and "universal" An "event" is any particular happening (long or short) in the spatio-temporal world. But apart from the abstract spatio-temporal characters which constitute an event, it has also the qualities which we either perceive or intellectually know it to have. These universal qualities he calls, rather oddly, "eternal objects." The word "object" indicates that they are objective, that they are not mere subjective "ideas" in our minds, or God's mind. The word "eternal" indicates that, like the Platonic "forms," they are in a sense not restricted by time and space, since they may occur anywhere and anywhen. But unlike the Platonic forms, they are not fully real independently of their particular occasions. They have only the kind of reality which a possibility has. Together, in their infinite variety, they constitute the infinite realm of possibility. Though they are mere abstractions, they are said to have "ingression" into, or be "ingredient" in, the flux of events. That is, certain "eternal objects" characterise certain events.

An event is characterised by certain "eternal objects" and not others. If it were characterised by all, it would have no character at all. "Every actual occasion is a limitation imposed on possibility." The actual world, then, must be given definite form in virtue of some principle of limitation. This principle of limitation Whitehead calls God. But God, regarded in this aspect, is a very strange God, who is not a concrete being, but an abstraction. Regarded thus, he has no reality save as a principle characterising the universe. In this aspect, he is not actual, but is "the ground for concrete actuality." He is "the principle of concretion," His existence is said to be "the ultimate irrationality." No reason can be given for his nature, or for the actualisation of just those possibilities that are actualised and not others. But, as we shall presently see, God has also another aspect.

We have seen that every actual thing or event is said to be a "prehensive occasion," constituted by its relations to other events. To this conception we must now add the doctrine of "negative prehension." A thing's positive character is what it is partly in virtue of all the characters that it is not. A cat is a cat partly in virtue of not being winged, finned, handed, and so on. The cat, therefore, negatively prehends all the characters which are excluded from it. Similarly all "living" things, in being alive and not lifeless, negatively prehend the "non-living" character of lifeless matter.

The difference between "alive" and "lifeless" is for Whitehead only a difference of degree, not an absolute difference. All actual things are organisms. Biology is the study of the larger organisms, physics the study of the smaller. The whole universe is a living process, not in the sense that it is a single living organism, but as entirely composed of an infinity of interpenetrating living organisms of all degrees of complexity. And an organism, as we have seen, is essentially an "occasion of experience."

But the experience which constitutes a thing is not simply passive. It is active; and active in two ways, if I understand Whitehead rightly. Not only is a thing active in that it contributes to the nature of all other things, but also in that it has its own "subjective aim," its striving to fulfil its potentiality. In virtue of this "subjective aim" it incorporates certain possible prehensions into itself and rejects others. More precisely, it accepts everything; but in virtue of its "subjective aim," some relations playa more important part in its make-up than others.

God also is said to have a "subjective aim." For God is not simply an abstraction. He is not merely the primordial "principle of concretion" in virtue of which the universe actually occurs. He has not only a "primordial" but also a "consequent" nature. He is not only the beginning but the end; or, better, not only the ground or root but the flower of all existence. For "he shares with every new creation its actual world." Thus he has. after all, actuality. "Each temporal occasion embodies God"; and God is "a multiplicity of actual components in process of creation." Not only so, but God is one. For the fulfilment of God's "consequent nature" is a single consciousness, and "the realisation of the actual world in the unity of his nature." Between God and the world there is a reciprocal relation. Each is necessary to the other’s being. By reason of this reciprocal relation, "the love in the world passes into the love in heaven, and floods back into the world. In this sense. God is the great companion — the fellow-sufferer who understands."

It is all too likely that the foregoing brief account of Whitehead's philosophy is far more inadequate and misleading even than I know it to be. But I could not complete this book without some account of the most brilliant. most comprehensive, most significant. though also most difficult. metaphysical system of our time.

It is impossible here to offer anything but the briefest criticism. The whole system is founded on the doctrine of intrinsic relations, the doctrine that particular things are constituted by their relations with other things. As we have seen. the objection to this doctrine is that relations presuppose terms. If we analyse the terms away into more relations nothing whatever is left. To this objection Whitehead would reply that he has insisted on the actuality of the particular "occasions" in space and time which support the relations. In this view both relations and terms are abstractions, and neither must be hypostatised and used as an all-sufficient explanatory concept.

Apart from the general criticism that it is sometimes impossible to tell whether Whitehead is being very profound or very vague, we must note also that sometimes, for instance in his theory of God, the trend of his argument seems to be determined less by logical necessity than by the desire to complete his system by relating it, in however strange a manner, with religious orthodoxy.

However this may be, the sympathetic reader will discover in his works a degree of metaphysical imagination and insight which far more than compensates for any shortcomings.

Chapter 12


i. Conclusions Thus Far

I SHALL begin this chapter with a summary of the positive though tentative conclusions which seem to me to have emerged at one stage or another throughout the course of this book. I shall then give a brief account of two metaphysical problems which I regard as the growing points of metaphysical enquiry to-day. I mean the problems of Time and Mystical Experience.

Our discussion of personal immortality led to the conviction that no such possibility should be allowed to playa guiding part in the conduct of a man's life. Enquiring into the relation of mind and body, we came to no clear conclusion, save the surmise that they must not be regarded as distinct substances. The problem of the external world and the experient led us into deep waters, but left us with a sense of the rich actuality of a universe that was no mere creature of our minds.

Our examination of the nature of reasoning suggested the conclusion that the method of intellectual enquiry was in principle capable of yielding objectively true propositions about unexperienced regions of the world. With some hesitation we rejected the uncompromising view that logical implication was a purely linguistic phenomenon, that it applied only to the analysis of definitions or concepts, and in no sense to the external world. We decided that, in so far as a concept was superficially true of the world, the deeper logical implications of it might reasonably be expected to be true also. But we admitted that there was no necessity in this, even if the initial concept itself was true of the world. The implications could not be more than probably true of the world. As a matter of fact they were often borne out in practice.

In the field of ethics we found that no classical theory was satisfactory, but on the other hand we came to the opinion that radical ethical scepticism was unjustified. In spite of Logical Positivism, we regarded moral experience as affording a sense of objectivity and universality which should not be overlooked in the interest of any theory. We really do experience free activity as good and frustration as bad in the fundamental and indefinable sense.

Examination of the nature of personality led us to think of the individual as a system of capacities of varying degrees of complexity and mental lucidity; and of individuals as differing from one another in sensitivity, discrimination, and integration. We distinguished between the distinctively animal and the distinctively human capacities, and those obscure capacities which seem to lie at the upper reaches of human nature.

In particular, we distinguished between the distinctively animal and the distinctively human modes of social behaviour. Further analysis led us to contrast the herd-mentality (the animal mode) with the individualistic mentality and the will for genuine community. In human society, we decided, individualism mostly dominates, but herd-mentality is always present and sometimes dominant; while the will for genuine community is precarious and rare, though sometimes crucially important. We examined theories of social change, and decided that Economic Determinism was by far the most significant. We saw reason, however, to refrain from setting it up as an absolutely and universally true principle, save in the loosest possible sense.

Passing on to metaphysics, we recognised that the kind of truth which intellect could discover in this sphere was very limited. We had to face the claim that all metaphysical enquiry was necessarily futile because propositions that could not even in theory be verified must be strictly meaningless. In order to judge this claim, we distinguished between "immanent" metaphysics (the attempt to discover by observation and rational analysis the most general characters that are true of anything whatever in the experienced universe, or of the experienced universe as a whole), and "transcendent" metaphysics (the attempt to discover a hidden reality behind experience, and different in kind from it). We decided that immanent metaphysics, though its conclusions must always be suspect, was not in principle impossible. Further, since metaphysical assertions of both types are very common, it seemed desirable to study metaphysics if only in order to be able to expose false metaphysical assumptions and refute false metaphysical theories.

We then attempted a survey of metaphysical theories from Descartes to Whitehead. Descartes' dualism of matter and mind led to Spinoza's monism in which mind and matter are regarded as attributes of a single substance. This in turn led to Leibniz's pluralistic idealism, according to which there is an infinite number of substances, all of them mental, and matter is illusory. Then followed the monistic idealism of Kant and Hegel, in which reality is essentially mental, but is a single, indivisible, quality-less Absolute Spirit. In revulsion from this, came pluralistic and mechanical materialism, in which only the characters studied by physics are real, and reality consists of an infinite number of physical units interacting with one another. On the other hand, Marx's dialectical materialism rejected mechanism. In his view physical categories are not the sole causal characters. Nevertheless, in his view mind has a determinate nature, and all its behaviour is in the long run determined by the dialectical necessities forced upon it by the objective environment, and particularly the social environment. We also examined Bergson's Life Force theory, in which a purposive power controls evolution and human history; in which intellect is essentially falsifying, and the only true knowing is intuitive. For these theories we found little evidence; but we recognised that Bergson was very important as a check upon the extravagant faith in mechanism and rationalism. We then turned to the Emergence theory, in which teleology and consciousness are said to "emerge" in very complex configurations of physical entities. Lack of evidence made it impossible to judge this theory. Finally we examined Whitehead's philosophy, which seeks to harmonise ideas derived from Absolute Idealism, epistemological realism, and biology. This system we found obscure, but full of suggestive ideas.

None of these theories has proved entirely satisfactory, but all have contributed, if only in a negative; manner, to our understanding of the experienced world. A few positive but rather vague conclusions may be offered.

Perhaps we should begin by reminding ourselves that, though abstract thought is capable of yielding important truths about the universe, we have again and again discovered that it involves a characteristic snare. It is all too apt to lead to the hypostatisation of some one kind of factor in the universe and the dismissal of all others as "illusory," or mere "epiphenomena." This procedure has repeatedly led to bad metaphysics. For instance, with regard to the problem of "the one and the many," neither extreme monism nor extreme pluralism can afford us a coherent description of the universe. In fact the universe is both many and one. It is fatal to abstract either its unity or its multiplicity, and hypostatise one of these characters at the expense of the other. Parts cannot be wholly independent of one another, but neither can they be wholly an expression of their relations to one another. However minutely we analyse anything, we shall never be able to show that it consists of certain atomic elements and certain atomic relations. Always the parts will be in principle further analysable into minute wholes consisting of minuter parts which in turn are constituted by their intrinsic relations to other parts. All wholes are infinitely analysable into actual parts; yet all parts are synthetic systems of intrinsic relations.

Another reasonable conclusion is that neither the mental aspect of experience nor the physical aspect should be abstracted and regarded as an all-sufficient concept for understanding the universe. Metaphysically, mentality is as significant as physicality; and vice versa.

Tentatively we may draw another conclusion, of a different type, which involves not only philosophy but science. There seems some reason to believe that purposiveness, which in one manner or another characterises all conscious behaviour, must play a very large part in the universe. When we remember the size of the physical universe and the immensities of the past and the future, we cannot but believe that, scattered among the myriads of stars, there are, or will be, purposeful beings as superior to us as we are to the amoeba. Of these beings we can conceive almost nothing, but from the examination of our own experience we are entitled to draw certain tentative conclusions about them. So far as we know, all conscious beings are essentially active. And when they develop beyond the level of blind impulse, they tend to desire the fulfilment of their particular capacities for action. These capacities, as we have seen, vary in complexity and subtlety. And conscious beings also vary in the degree of the integration of their capacities. That is, some conscious beings are more unified, more highly organised than others. It is reasonable to suppose that, throughout the universe, conscious beings vary immensely both in the richness of their capacities and in the degree of integration of their capacities to form unified systems.

Examination of our own human experience has led us to assert that we do recognise differences of intrinsic worth in human beings. In the last analysis these differences of worth correspond to differences of mental development, differences of richness and integration of knowing-feeling-striving. In fact, we tend to admire most those who are most developed as knowers-feelers-strivers, in fact as persons. It was pointed out that both a subjective and an objective account of this value can be given. We may, I suggest, affirm with some confidence that this admiration for personal development is no mere human whim, but a characteristic implicit in the nature of consciousness, and explicit whenever conscious beings reach a certain degree of development, throughout the universe.

Further, as we have seen, conscious beings that have passed beyond a certain stage of mental development tend to desire fulfilment not only for themselves as individuals, but for some other conscious beings who are personally known to them. Moreover, in intercourse with other and diverse persons, they may find immense enrichment of their own personality. Hence emerges the ideal of personality-in-community. As conscious beings advance in mental growth, they come to recognise that this ideal must embrace not merely their own kin or neighbours, not only their tribe or nation, not only the whole race or species, but all conscious beings whatever, no matter how foreign. It is surely probable that this desire for the fulfilment of personality-in-community plays a very large part in the universe. We must remember, of course, that the particular forms which it may take in different kinds of worlds, up and down the universe, may be utterly alien to our comprehension and appreciation. Or rather, not utterly alien; since, if these arguments are correct, there is an essential underlying kinship and identity in all possible kinds of conscious being.

On the whole it seems more reasonable than unreasonable to believe that the ideal of progress in the direction of ever-increasing personality-in-community is not peculiar to man but is a very general characteristic of conscious beings, and is in some manner deeply rooted in the nature of the universe. It is no fixed goal, but one which at the best of times tends to recede faster than it is approached. For the activity of conscious beings produces novel situations in which new forms of personality and of community emerge, and new, hitherto inconceivable capacities demand expression. By means of intelligence and creative imagination conscious beings can sometimes so manipulate reality in the external world and in themselves that it will manifest entirely new aspects of itself. In my earlier book, Star Maker, I have sketched an imaginary history of the cosmos on these lines.

In our survey of metaphysics in recent centuries we saw that in one form or another this ideal of personality-in-community was affirmed or implicitly accepted by all the great philosophers. Not only was it accepted as a human aim, but in many cases it was given some kind of metaphysical status. This consensus of opinion may well strengthen our conviction.

Such, I suggest, should be our tentative conclusions, thus far. One famous metaphysical problem we have several times encountered, but we have come to no kind of decision about it. The problem of Time must now be briefly considered on its own merits. In our metaphysical survey we came across two very different attitudes to time, represented, for instance, on the one hand by Hegel, for whom the universe is eternally perfect, and time is but a limited aspect of it, and by Bergson, for whom the passage of our experience is absolutely real, and the static is an abstraction. The problem of time is so important that I must devote a special section to it.

ii. Time

Let us begin by noting briefly how we do in fact experience time. We actually perceive changes and movements. The rise of a rocket is not merely remembered in successive moments. We actually see it soaring. On the other hand, when the process is completed, when the rocket has burst into a shower of stars and has disappeared, we remember the vanished past event. In a very fragmentary manner we retain much of our past experience as a system of latent memories. And in addition to our personal memories we have more or less reliable knowledge of other past events. This knowledge is derived from the reports of other persons, from historical, anthropological, geological records, and astronomical observations. Our experience of the future consists, mainly at any rate, of inferences from the present and past. Immediate pre-vision or "second sight" must certainly not be dismissed as too fantastic to be credible. We know of no necessity which renders pre-vision impossible, and there is some fragmentary evidence for it both in waking experience and in dreams. But it would be rash to affirm confidently that it does occur.

Such in brief are the possible forms of our experience of time. It is important to realise that we actually perceive change and motion. If our experience were simply made up of a succession of instantaneous flashes, like the separate pictures of a cinematograph film, each coming into being and vanishing, to give place to the next, we should not perceive motion at all, but only remember that things were different from what they are. For the pictures to be fused into living motion, there must be something persisting from instant to instant to do the fusing.

But, of course, the idea of time as made up of timeless instants, or of space as made up of sizeless points, is false. Instants and points are abstractions from our concrete experience of time and space. Indeed, time and space themselves are abstractions from our concrete experience of the "passage" of spatio-temporal events.

To hypostatise the instant and the point is to let ourselves in for a swarm of false problems, such as the ancient puzzle of the flying arrow. The arrow at a certain instant is said to be actually at a certain point. Its tip is "in" a point. If so, at the instant there is no difference between a moving arrow and a stationary arrow. There is no movement in a point-instant. If so, how does the arrow ever reach the next point? The whole difficulty arises from the mistake of abstracting and hypostatising instants and points. If time were literally composed of timeless instants, laid beside one another, so to speak, it would never get under way at all. All the instants would coincide. And if space were a host of sizeless points, either they would all coincide as one point, or there would after all have to be spaces between them.

During a very short span of time, then, we actually perceive change and motion. This span, which has no clear beginning or end, is called the "specious present," or "now." If a change or motion is too rapid, we do not perceive it at all. The light and dark phases of an electric filament lit by an alternating current are not perceived. On the other hand, equally if a change is too slow, we do not perceive it. For instance, we cannot perceive the movement of the minute hand of a watch. We only remember that it was where it is not. We may conceive a being who could distinguish the strokes of a bee's wing as we distinguish those of a gull's; or again, a being who could perceive the growing of a tree over a century as we might perceive a quick-motion film of its growth. We may conceive a being whose "now" was a single electro-magnetic pulsation; or one who embraced within his "now" a geological epoch, or an astronomical aeon. We may even conceive a being who could both distinguish the single vibration and yet also grasp the whole aeon as "now"; as we distinguish the individual tones of a melody and yet grasp in one act of perception the whole bar. What we can not conceive is a being whose "now" is a timeless instant; or, on the other hand, one whose "now" is eternity. For neither instant nor eternity can accommodate actual "passage."

With regard to memory, we have already had occasion to refer to Bertrand Russell's suggestion that all memory might be sheer illusion. This possibility is based on'; illicit abstraction. If all that is immediately given in experience is an instant, then not only does movement vanish, but the whole past may be regarded as illusion. But perception of movement and change guarantees some sort of past, however different in detail from that retained in our obviously fallible memory.

In considering the philosophy of time we encounter the question whether time constitutes a medium, a matrix, within which events happen, somewhat as toy bricks may be packed in a box in successive layers, or whether time is nothing but a particular kind of relationship between events. I shall not discuss this question in detail. The idea that time is logically prior to events, and that there might be time without events in it, seems to be another product of illicit abstraction. One might as well suppose that parenthood was logically prior to the individuals that become parents, that it was a medium within which individuals assume parental relations.

Time, then, is best regarded as a relationship of events. The same arguments apply to space. What is concrete is events, which consist of characters in spatial and temporal relations with each other. If so, then the modern conception of space as at once boundless and finite becomes intelligible. We are told that a journey in a straight line among the stars would finally bring one round to one's starting-point. This means merely that the possible spatial relations between events form a closed, not an open and infinite series. Similarly if time consists simply of relations of "before" and "after" and "contemporaneous with," there is no reason why the "last" event of the time series should not also immediately precede the "first." Then the whole series would be "circular." This would not mean an endlessly repeated cycle of events, but a single cycle. For there would be no other, "straight-line" time-series of events in which the cycle could be repeated. I mention these possibilities merely to show that our temporal experience is not as simple as we sometimes suppose.

It is impossible to think accurately about time unless we distinguish two very different aspects of it. From the subjective point of view we regard it as consisting essentially of the present event (or "now"), a vaguely remembered or reported past, and an expected future. These three modes of subjective time have very different quality or status. The present is always handing over its character to the immediate past and assuming a new i character.

From the other, the objective point of view, time consists of the series of events which (in the broadest sense) constitute the actual history of the universe. These are arranged in a certain order. Each is related by the relation "after" to the preceding event, and by the relation "before" to the succeeding event. More accurately, history consists of one long continuous event which can be analysed into an indefinite number of abstract constituent events. From this point of view, which we may regard as the "scientific" aspect of time, all the events have similar status. Past, present, and future are irrelevant.

It is tempting to regard the series of events as in itself timeless or eternal, and our experience as a passing along the series, as the beam of a searchlight sweeps over the clouds, illuminating first one and then another feature; or as a stick floating on a river passes stationary objects on the bank. This theory, it is sometimes said, turns time into a purely subjective fact, and therefore an illusion, not a characteristic of reality. But this is a mistake. Even if external events are timeless, the sequence of our illusory mental views of them is a real sequence. The problem of time is merely shifted from the external to the internal sphere of reality. From the scientific point of view, no doubt, the careers of conscious beings are more or less prolonged events in particular situations within the whole tissue of events. The career of a prehistoric man and the career of a future man are just as "real" as one's own present experience. In a certain mood it is impossible not to believe that this is true. But if it is true, change, motion, the passage of time, become illusions.

On the other hand, if we insist on retaining the absolute reality of passage, the past and future must be non-existent. This raises a difficulty. Reality is reduced to a knife-edge of instant-present events, between two vast non-entities, the past and the future. Or is the present not an instant but a small span of time? Then how big a span? To fix on the span of our own specious present is arbitrary.

A special difficulty about the nature of time has been created by modern physics. It has come to seem that time and space are not as distinct as they were thought to be. At any rate their distinction is not as clear as it was. This is not an occasion to discuss the physical theory of relativity, even if I were competent to do so. But a few words must be said about its bearing on the philosophy of time. Briefly, the trouble is apparently that we are no longer entitled to believe in an absolute "simultaneity " of events. There is no precise set of events throughout the universe all of which are simultaneous with one another, and before a subsequent set, and after a preceding set. From one point of view events A and B are contemporaneous, but from another (dependent on the movement of the observer) A may precede B; and from yet another point of view B may precede A. Similarly, distances can no longer be regarded as absolute. And the two sets of variations, temporal and spatial, are interdependent and complementary, in such a manner as to suggest that time and space are in a sense (and only within narrow limits) convertible into one another. What appears from one point of view as an increase of time appears from another point of view as a decrease of space, and vice versa.

All this is very surprising, but we must hold fast to our concrete experience of time and space. In immediate experience the temporal aspect of events is qualitatively different from their spatial aspect. Time and space are "as different as chalk from cheese," nay, much more different. Even if, in astronomical magnitudes they reveal a close interconnection, we must never be deluded into supposing that time is merely a fourth dimension of space.

On the other hand, it is quite conceivable that, to minds of a higher lucidity than ours, what appears to us as the temporal sequence of cosmical events may appear simultaneously "spread out" as a fourth spatial dimension, while a fifth dimension of events, wholly unknown to us, may constitute for those beings a genuine temporal dimension, in which events have passage.

It must be admitted that the impact of modern physics has made the past-present-future aspect of time seem less objective than of old. The universe certainly does consist of a vast system of spatio-temporal events related together in very complex and subtle manners. It is possible that the myriad "searchlights" of individual experiencing minds may travel in many different directions about the system, somewhat as in a four-handed game of Halma the four streams of individual pieces move across the board in four different directions. It is not inconceivable that some beings experience our physical universe "back to front," so that for them the law of entropy is reversed, and energy piles itself up into the stars.

But there is a difficulty in all these possibilities. They make nonsense of free choice. In ordinary life a man feels strongly that he could either do this or that. For instance, he could either plant an acorn in his garden or not. If he does, the universe may contain the career of a particular tree which would otherwise not exist. If freedom is real, the future cannot be predestined.

This consideration has made some philosophers believe that future events are non-existent in a sense in which past events are not non-existent. The past, they hold, is irrevocably what it is, and a part of reality. The present is the "growing-point" of the past. But the future is nothing at all until the course of events (including our own free choices) creates it.

It may be noted that such a view of time excludes pre-vision. If the future does not in any manner exist now, it is impossible to have access to it now. If our choosing creates one future rather than another, the future cannot be seen till it is brought into existence by choice.

If, on the other hand, we abandon the belief in arbitrary free choice this difficulty does not arise. The system of events can then be regarded as fixed eternally. Our choices are therefore predestinate as factors in the system. They are free only in the sense that, and in so far as, they depend only on our own (determinate) nature, and not on the nature of something other than ourselves which compels us against our determinate will.

When we take into account all these conflicting considerations it is very clear that no satisfactory account of time can yet be given. Some aspects of temporal experience point emphatically toward the absolute reality of the "passage" of events, and therefore of the past-present-future distinction. Other aspects point no less emphatically toward equality of status for all spatio-temporal events. In these circumstances some philosophers simply dismiss "passage" as sheer illusion. Others merely ignore the difficulties and insist on its absolute reality.

In accord with my deliberate policy of facing both ways when neither aspect is exclusively satisfactory, I suggest that the most promising way of dealing with the problem is to cling to both sets of facts while frankly admitting that we cannot reconcile them. We may then express our view by saying that in some sense, not yet definable, passage is an objective character, and yet in some sense, not yet definable, events are also supra-temporal, or have an eternal aspect. To this statement we may add the surmise that perhaps the trouble lies much deeper than human philosophy can ever probe. It may be that human mentality itself, the half-developed mode of human immediate experience, does not reveal enough of the nature of time to permit of a logically coherent theory of it. Roughly this is the view of the Absolute Idealists; but they were sometimes inclined to go further and believe that time was merely subjective. This view, as we have seen, is unreasonable.

The conviction that our normal temporal experience, though it has access to an objective character of the universe, is also radically incomplete and incoherent, raises the question whether there is any positive evidence of any more penetrating kind of experience. It leads, in fact, to an intellectual assessment of the claims of the mystics.

iii. Mysticism

Throughout this survey it has been borne in on us that intellectual knowledge, though reliable up to a point, is superficial, piecemeal, and sometimes treacherous; but hitherto we have barely noticed the claim that there is another kind of knowing which is penetrating, comprehensive, and infallible. I shall now briefly consider this claim as it is put forward by the mystics. European philosophy has been mainly intellectualistic in temper; Indian philosophy has been mainly mystical. The great European mystics have been moral leaders, but they have not been philosophers.

I shall consider mysticism only in the most general manner, and shall merely try to show what, in my view, is its relation to philosophy, which we have defined as the love and pursuit of wisdom.

The word "mystical" is used in two very different senses. In the more general sense it applies to any ideas which are not strictly rational but have an element of intuitive guesswork in them. In this sense "mystical" sometimes becomes synonymous with "superstitious." In the stricter sense the word "mystical" applies to a special kind of non-rational experience, in which, it is claimed, the individual attains some degree of illumination or insight into the essential and normally hidden nature of reality. This insight is reported to be not merely a kind of knowing; it is the supreme achievement of knowing-feeling-striving in one all-fulfilling act. The "knowing" aspect of it is said to be not abstract, like intellectual knowing, but concrete, like sense-experience. In fact, in so far as it is knowledge, it is an immediate acquaintance with the hidden essence of a "reality" which is said to lie behind all ordinary and illusory experience.

The reports of the mystics vary greatly, but in spite of their differences they show a remarkable agreement about the general character of the experience. I shall consider only the features which are most general.

The mystic’s starting-point is often a condition of torturing self-contempt or of revulsion from the cruelty and injustice practiced by his fellow men. It is important to recognise that his motives, like most human motives, are very complex. He certainly desires, amongst other things, personal salvation in some sense. Christians conceive this as eternal personal life, but some Indians reject this view. Another and a subtly entangled motive is spontaneous compassion and the desire for the spiritual fulfilment of others. Different from these motives is the self-oblivious admiration for virtue or for the spiritual way of living. In this mood the spiritual way of living is conceived not merely as a means to salvation but as an intrinsic good. Different again is the admiration or adoration or worship of a personal God, or of the universal Spirit, or of something quite indescribable save as the supremely holy object of worship. This may be conceived either in terms of love and tender intimacy or in terms of awe and even terror, or in both of these manners.

The aspirant to mystical experience is generally a highly self-conscious individual, and often highly other-conscious also. He seeks to escape from the bondage of the bodily hungers and of personal self-regard. And he seeks very often, but not always, to free others from this slavery. In Europe he is apt to say that he denies himself in order to save his soul, or find union with his God. In the East he generally longs to annihilate his separate self and lose himself in the universal spirit.

Two different impulses appear among the mystics, often in the same individual. The first is the tendency to withdraw from the world in order to concentrate on self-discipline for the sake of the desired self-mastery and self-transcendence. The other is the tendency to play an active part in the world, to find his self-discipline in heroic social service, to find self-transcendence through absorption in the lives of others. It is claimed that the greatest mystics, at any rate in the West, have been not world-forsakers but world-embracers. In the East too, I understand, it is recognised that the final and most lethal temptation, the final snare of self, which traps many noble spirits when they are well on their way, is the temptation to shun all mundane responsibilities and seek self-annihilation for purely selfish motives.

Mastery over the flesh and the self-regarding passions is sought by various kinds of self-discipline. It often begins with special exercises to acquire voluntary control of bodily functions, such as breathing and blood-circulation. It may include fasting and other forms of asceticism, or actual "mortification of the flesh" by self-torture. It generally involves the religious exercises and ritual characteristic of the individual’s social environment. Good works among his fellow men may also play a large part in it. It may take the form of meditation, in which the individual tries to concentrate his attention upon, or to yield himself in utter passivity to, the spiritualising influence of God, or of the Whole. Or he may seek by introspective meditation to discover hidden imperfections in his own nature, so that he may eradicate them by spiritual discipline.

By such methods the mystics have sought their goal. Each method contains its own peculiar snares. Discipline of the flesh may turn into a perverse lust of self-torture or of spiteful cruelty to others. Every kind of self-denial may produce puritanical harshness. Good works may starve the inner life, and reduce the individual to a kind of charity-dealing robot. Meditation may lead to flight from social responsibility, and self-indulgence in a world of dreams; or to such a habit of self-analysis that the will is paralysed.

Amongst all these snares the traveller’s progress is bound to be fluctuating and slow. Very different experiences are reported by different individuals, but the underlying identity is unmistakable. The story generally includes a phase, sometimes known as "the dark night of the soul," in which all contact with the universal seems to be lost, and the spirit sinks into despair. Subsequently the adventurer struggles out of this slough of despond to find himself nearer to his goal than he expected. Little by little he may gain complete detachment from all worldly desires and be able to meet every issue of fate not merely with stoical resignation but with joyful acceptance. For all things have now come to seem particular manifestations of the universal spirit in which he desires to lose himself.

The final illumination and self-transcendence are of course described very differently by mystics of Eastern and Western culture. All differences, it may be, are differences in the interpretation of experiences that are essentially identical and indescribable. Such, perhaps, is even the seemingly radical difference between those who claim union of the personal self with a personal deity and those who speak of the annihilation of the personal self in the impersonal Whole. We must bear in mind always that any experience that is beatific, and also too subtle for literal description, is likely to be interpreted in terms of the most cherished ideas of the individual’s traditional culture. Consequently, in Christian lands and ages it is almost inevitable that interpretation should conform to the ideals of personal immortality and union with a personal God.

In general the ecstatic experience, which is the mystic’s supreme reward, is said to give profound insight into the essential nature of reality, along with a stammering inability to describe what has been revealed, save in the most metaphorical and paradoxical terms. Sometimes the reality thus revealed is referred to in terms of dread, and even terror, as the divine and ruthless "Other," rightly careless of man and his petty desires. In some cultures, on the other hand, it is said to be the divine, personified Love, which embraces, or gathers up into itself, the spirit of the individual lover of this all-loving God. In other cultures it appears as the impersonal and wholly dispassionate universal spirit, or the underlying reality which constitutes the unity of all things. One point on which there is general agreement is that in the supreme experience time is in some sense transcended. What is discovered is a reality which is eternal.

The effect of mystical experience on the individual’s ordinary life is claimed to be far-reaching. All his conduct is irradiated by memory of his vision. He is able to surmount all troubles with fortitude and joy. He behaves with increased wisdom, sincerity, courage, and devotion to whatever social ideal he has espoused. He is spurred by a new sense of the reality that informs all ordinary phenomenal things. Even sense-perception may reveal unexpected significance to him, significance of the essential nature of the universe. He has an immensely increased capacity for delighting in everything. In particular he may discover an intrinsic worth and lovableness in his fellow human beings, even in those who, in their blindness, pursue evil ends. In short, he becomes a much more sensitive, more practical, more alert, more integrated, more genuinely social personality. Such is the claim.

It is easy to dismiss these contentions as mere delusion. It is easy to point out that alcohol, nitrous oxide, opium and other drugs may induce ecstatic moods and beatific visions remarkably like some aspects of mystical experience. Simple starvation also may cause a striking mental lucidity and exaltation. Most remarkable is the well-attested fact that the onset of an epileptic attack may be accompanied by a conviction of profound insight and beatitude. Such evidence suggests that the mystic merely deludes himself into "projecting" upon the external universe a sense of extreme personal well-being which has been caused in him by nothing more exalted than glandular action in his own body.

Another argument against the objective validity of mystical experience may be derived from modern psychology. It is obvious that the language in which some mystics describe their experience is tinged with sexual metaphor. This vaunted union with the divine may after all be merely a hallucination bred of suppressed sexual craving. Or alternatively it may be a grandiose expression of primitive self-regard, or of the infantile longing for parental care, or for return to the womb, and annihilation.

The cogency of all such arguments is immensely enhanced by the contemporary disposition to regard explanations in terms of scientific concepts as more credible than any other. We have already noted that the supposed metaphysical implications of science are based on the hypostatisation of the physical categories and the dismissal of all others as unreal. But though we must discount this prejudice in favour of the physical, we must not rush to the other extreme of accepting the mystic’s claims uncritically. We must consider whether they can in fact be properly accounted for in terms of familiar concepts. What then must our judgment be? What is the reasonable verdict from the point of view of the plain man who has not himself had any mystical experience?

The mystic can account for the physically-induced seemingly mystical experiences by arguing that of course there is a physical aspect to the process of mastering the flesh, and that some of the phenomena produced during self-discipline may also be produced by purely physical causes. He may go further, and say that these physically-induced experiences really are approximations to the authentic mystical experience, though so oddly caused. In fact, if he has already made up his mind about the validity of mystical experience, he need not be disturbed by the arguments derived from physiology, nor yet by those derived from psychology.

But ought he to have made up his mind? Or rather, ought we, who do not share his experience, to accept his verdict? The main facts to remember are: that a large number of persons in all countries and all ages have claimed mystical experience; that in spite of diversity their reports show on the whole a surprising agreement; that many of them, though certainly not all, have been persons well above the average of intelligence and integrity; that some of them are the world’s greatest saints, moral teachers, religious and socially dynamic leaders; that among ordinary people in most phases of the world’s history though not in our own, the belief in, and the very fragmentary apprehension of, some kind of mystical reality has been a source of strength. It is true, of course, that, like other good things, mystical experience may become a snare. It may be used as an occasion for flight from the responsibilities of this life. Undoubtedly this has often happened. But such withdrawal is emphatically condemned by some of the greatest mystics. It is possible that it occurs only in individuals and in cultural phases of somewhat depressed spiritual vigour.

In view of all these considerations it seems rash to accept the simple materialistic theory that all mystical experience is merely an illusion. It seems on the whole probable that the mystics do have access of some kind to something which is missed in ordinary experience, and may have a supremely invigorating effect on the individual, and therefore on his behaviour.

On the other hand, all intellectual descriptions and interpretations of the mystical experience must be regarded with great suspicion. It is after all very unlikely that human thought and language, which are adapted to much simpler, more commonplace experience, should be able to cope with experience of a very different order. Descriptions and interpretations can be intelligible only to those who have at least some slight immediate acquaintance with the matters described.

The plain man may reasonably feel that this conclusion is both vague and unconvincing. He may say, "You may be right. But the whole thing may be moonshine. I have no personal knowledge of any such experience, and I shall continue to regard the mystic’s claims with grave suspicion."

But has he no personal acquaintance with mystical experience of any kind? Have not very many fairly sensitive people some acquaintance at least with a mystical aspect of normal experience? In our materialistically-obsessed civilisation it is difficult for them to recognise the fact. Perhaps many who have it overlook it. There are many kinds of normal experience which to the sincerely observing mind do seem to reveal an aspect which deserves the name mystical. In these experiences some particular fact is strongly felt to be in some incomprehensible manner significant of the essential nature of the universe. The most obvious example of this kind of experience is perhaps youthful falling in love. Sometimes, but not always, the lover feels very strongly that either love itself or the nature of the loved person gives him a new and penetrating insight. It is easy to dismiss this seemingly mystical aspect as merely a product of uncritical emotion. It is always fatally easy to dismiss unobtrusive facts that do not accord with our theories. Another kind of experience which may have a mystical flavour is the appreciation of "natural beauty," as Wordsworth knew. Less obviously, and less frequently, intellectual exploration may give the same impression, when matters which were obscure suddenly assume a far-reaching pattern. Artistic creation and appreciation are often felt to have a mystical aspect over and above their normal aesthetic character. Most strikingly this is revealed in tragic art. In watching a great play, in which the leading characters present themselves both as unique individuals and as symbols of humanity striving to mould its destiny, we are torn between human sympathy for the individual and acceptance of his tragic fate. The experience is not purely aesthetic; or if it is, then the aesthetic itself has a mystical aspect. We feel that in some obscure way the tissue of fictitious events symbolises a terrible and yet somehow a right characteristic of the universe. It is too easy (to repeat) to explain away this aspect of tragedy, in terms, let us say, of suppressed sadism or some other unwitting craving.

Perhaps the most impressive of all the ways in which the normal person may sometimes gain a hint of mystical experience is in grave personal danger or pain, or distress of any kind, and even in the agony of pity for one who is loved and is suffering. On such occasions one may find oneself strangely divided. The normal self is strained almost to breaking-point by unbearable terror or pain or compassion; and yet, even in the case of compassion, one sees the dread event as a revealing symbol of reality, and as such one accepts it, not merely with resignation but with a sense that even this is involved in the terrible but somehow right nature of the universe. And so, even while one is perhaps behaving with panic terror or horror, one is also, in some strange manner, fundamentally peaceful and glad.

I suggest the following tentative conclusion about this whole subject. In mystical experience, of all sorts from the humblest to the most exalted, the human mind gropingly reaches out to a mode of apprehension very different from all "normal" experience. This kind of apprehension is attained confusedly and precariously by quite a large number of people in the course of normal experiences, though it is seldom recognised as such. A very small number, whose mental development reaches to the extreme limit of human capacity, enjoy a much fuller measure of it, and can know it with much greater clarity and assurance. I suggest further that mystical experience is both one of the most dangerous moral snares and one of the most important sources of moral strength, not only for those who go far in it but also for all normally intelligent and sensitive persons.

But what of the philosophy of mystical experience? How are we to think of it? Is it really a kind of knowledge, a peculiar insight into hidden reality? We may perhaps more truly think of it in a somewhat different manner. In every kind of mystical experience, from that most closely associated with normal experience to that which is described by the great mystics, there occurs some kind of self-discipline and some kind of consequent vision. But the vision, I should say, is not most satisfactorily described as a discovery of hidden reality; it is rather a discovery of a new kind of value or worth or excellence or beauty in the normally experienced world. This rightness (we have no more satisfactory word) was formerly overlooked, and now suddenly confronts the mind. In fact, mystical experience constitutes essentially a new and more awakened way of feeling about the world. But "feeling about" must not be taken to mean a purely subjective attitude. It must mean a subjective attitude which is appropriate, objectively justified by, the real nature of the universe in relation to the real nature of the individual mind.

In this theory of mystical experience there is a very serious difficulty. How can the mystical attitude of delighted acceptance of the universe as perfect be reconciled with the moral attitude which distinguishes between good and bad, right and wrong, and recognises an obligation to struggle for the good against the bad, seeking thus to improve a universe which is regarded as very far from perfect? Plainly there is a logical conflict here, and it is useless to pretend that there is not.

I have argued that moral right and wrong depend on the intuited goodness of the free activity of conscious beings, and particularly on the fulfilling of personality-in-community. It almost seems as though the mystic, and the plain man in his rare half-mystical apprehension, had access to another kind of "good," independent of conscious beings, a "good" which somehow embraced ordinary good and evil, right and wrong. This view, it must be admitted, is both unintelligible and dangerous. It is dangerous because it may lead to a complacent acquiescence in the misfortunes of others, as being "all in the picture," all needed for the perfection of the universe.

On the other hand, it is undoubtedly a psychological fact that, in spite of the seeming logical inconsistency, mystical experience does very often clarify the moral consciousness and strengthen moral behaviour. Gautama Buddha, Socrates, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, and, I believe, Spinoza are outstanding examples. It is not impossible that Lenin, too, though he would have been indignant at the suggestion, owed his strength partly to unrecognised mystical experience.

It may be that at the human level of mental development a satisfactory intellectual solution of this conflict between moral protest and mystical acceptance is impossible. But we may grope toward a solution in the following manner. We may regard the human mind as having two aspects. In the one aspect a man is a finite individual; and his concern, his whole duty, is to champion the cause of personality-in-community in the human world. And this human enterprise is probably one minor theme in the universal enterprise of the advancement of the spirit through personality-in-community in a host of worlds. It may be that at some date in the history of the cosmos this enterprise will be fulfilled in the attainment of the perfection of knowing-feeling-striving through the experience of some cosmical society of worlds. Or perhaps this is too trite a way of conceiving the culmination of the cosmical process. Perhaps the spiritual perfection of the cosmos as a whole involves no such triumph of the enterprise of finite minds, but rather their partial defeat, much as the well-being of a living organism involves all sorts of internal, intra-organic conflicts, strains, and partial defeats. Of this we know nothing. But clearly the human individual in one of his aspects feels called to play a minute part in the great widespread struggle for personality-in-community.

Let us suppose, however, that he has also another aspect, in which he finds precarious contact with the eternal and perfected spirit of the cosmos, and in which his will tends to conform to that spirit, in the sense that he is no longer enslaved to the cravings of the separate self, or even to the service of the ideal of personality-in-community, but is able, so to speak, haltingly to feel all things from the universal point of view. In this mode of experience he recognises intuitively that the cosmos is an overwhelmingly glorious thing, and that all the struggle and defeat and agony of finite minds, no less than their partial triumph, are justified by the perfection of the whole. He realises that it is foolish and impious to demand that the universe shall be moral, or that the universal spirit shall be moral, or that "God" shall be good. These, he feels, do not exist for the sake of morality. On the contrary, morality exists for them.

In some such manner we may try to cope with the seeming logical conflict between the two fundamental religious experiences: between the moral protest, which seeks to alter the universe, and the ecstatic acceptance of the universe, with all its glory and its shame, its joy and its distress, its beauty, and all its squalor.

But if this intellectual reconciliation is unsound, which it may well be, let us never forget that these two experiences do in fact support one another, and that for the wise conduct of practical life both are needed.

Chapter 13

The Practical Upshot

WHAT is the practical upshot of our whole enquiry? How should it influence us in private and in public action?

To answer this question, we must first take note of the most significant features of our civilisation to-day. Some are obvious. One, and that perhaps the most important of all, is easily overlooked. It is obvious that science is transforming the life of the whole race. It is obvious that the East is destined to play a far more active part than it has done hitherto. It is obvious to all who are fairly intelligent and informed, and not blinded by some special disability, that Western civilisation is being undermined by vested economic interests and by absolute national sovereignty. It is fairly obvious that the issue of the present world-wide confusion must be either chaos and degeneration or a world in which the means of production are in some effective manner communally controlled. It is obvious that the forces of reaction are at present relatively hopeful and resolute, while the forces of progress are for the moment disunited, bewildered, and irresolute.

What is not so obvious is that a sinister change of temper is spreading throughout the civilised world and threatening to destroy both the flower and the root of civilisation. As the years pass we are tending more and more to abandon the two principles which constitute at once the goal and the essential means of civilised living. We are losing faith in the free critical intelligence. And we are losing faith in charity.

To understand the importance of this change, let us remember how our species triumphed. Throughout man's career intelligence and charity have been man's distinctive and most valuable assets. One of our early pre-human ancestors is said to have been much like the Spectral Tarsier, a little mammal about the size of a mouse, with long wiry fingers and huge forward-looking eyes adapted for binocular vision. Not by weapons but by correlation of subtle eyes and subtle hands through subtle brain, this creature triumphed. And man himself conquered the world by the same means, by attention, by discrimination, by skilled manipulation, by versatility; in fact by intelligence and imagination in adapting himself to an ever-changing environment.

But intelligence and imagination have not been his sole outfit. By means of these he developed a more precise and penetrating kind of awareness of himself and others than is possible to sub-human animals. At some stage or other men began to be conscious of themselves and their fellows as conscious agents, having distinctive characters and needs. This new power enabled them gradually to attain, though rarely and precariously, a new kind of social experience and social behaviour. Sociality, as we have seen, is of two types: the distinctively animal and the distinctively human; that which demands only herd-mentality, and that which demands also the capacity for true community, based on the mutual respect of self-conscious and other-conscious individuals.

These then, the critical and imaginative intelligence and the capacity for community, are the powers by which man has risen. Both of them, particularly the latter, are fragmentary and precarious; but both have until recently been regarded as essential to civilisation. The tragedy of our time lies in the fact that, besides declining in scope, they are actually coming into disrepute.

In the Victorian age it seemed that the future lay with Liberalism, if by that name we may refer not merely to a political policy but to an attitude of mind, a culture, which was accepted by most men, irrespective of party. This attitude of mind had been conceived by, and was appropriate to, the needs of the rising bourgeois class in its fight for independence against the feudal aristocracy. Along with some distorted ideas that were special to the circumstances of the bourgeois class, Liberalism included two perennially important principles, namely, faith in the free intelligence, and respect for human individuality. All other liberal principles, good and bad, were derived from these. Economic laissez faire, the freedom of the individual to buy in the cheapest market and sell in the dearest; political democracy, the freedom of the individual to take a share in the control of public policy by voting; freedom of conscience; freedom from superstition; freedom of expression; freedom of physical and mental growth through universal comfort and security and universal education — these ideals, which were accepted by very many intelligent citizens, were thought to be capable of speedy realisation throughout the civilised world. Not only so, but the "scientific spirit," the new temper of disinterested enquiry which had been so painfully acquired during the preceding three centuries, and had become associated with Liberalism, seemed at last to be coming into its own.

These expectations, as we have already noted, turned out to be false. Liberalism failed to fulfil its promise. Its failure was due partly to the fact that it stressed individuality at the expense of community, partly to the insincerity with which its principles were applied in practice, partly to the general reaction from intellectualism.

The root of the trouble, as we have seen, was that the policy of laissez faire was not implemented with equality of bargaining power. It favoured fortunate individuals at the expense of society. It brought not the millennium but plutocracy and wage-slavery. It brought the rivalry of industrial empires competing for the exploitation of backward lands and peoples. It brought also, though against its will, tariff walls and neurotic patriotism, arming to the teeth. Indirectly, and in spite of itself, it brought the European War.

What followed? The war accustomed men to discipline and to conformity. The exigencies of war, abroad and at home, and the exigencies of class-domination, tightened discipline in every sphere. Not only the Liberal Party, but the far more widespread Liberal mentality, was torn by an internal conflict, a conflict between democratic ideals and the expediency of defending the social order which it, the bourgeois class, controlled. Liberal principles suited a rising but not a dominant class.

Meanwhile, among the workers not individualism but collective action against the employers had proved the only remedy against oppression. This fact discredited the whole system of Liberal ideas, both the good and the bad. It was from Russia that Liberalism received its death-blow. There the tendency to sink the individual in the militant party and class gained immense prestige from the success of the Revolution and the founding of a social order planned in the workers' interests.

In Italy and Germany the same disgust with individualism brought the same tendency to energise and discipline the individual by persuading him to regard himself merely as a member of a group. But here the issue was a very different social order.

In the reaction from Liberalism we must distinguish two opposed but closely entangled factors, namely, an advance toward the will for genuine community and a regression toward the herd-mentality. In Russia, Italy, and Germany there has been a revulsion from individualism; and both the herd-mentality and the will for community have played a great part. It seems probable, however, that while in Russia the will for community has, on the whole, been dominant, in Italy and Germany the main factor has been herd-mentality, stimulated and used for private ends by individualistic capitalists and social adventurers.

The decline of Liberalism as a social policy brought with it the decline of Liberalism as a cultural ideal. In the more industrialised lands this cultural change was accentuated by a growing emotional revulsion from "scientific materialism," which was closely associated with Liberalism.

This change of feeling had two aspects. In general it was a reaction against the extravagant claims of the champions of the abstract intellect, in fact against a narrow intellectualism; and it was a particular protest against the intellectual undermining of morality. The belief that mind was a meaningless accident in the universe, and that moral values were merely subjective, seemed to be involved in the scientific world-view. This abstraction and hypostatisation of physical qualities was unjustified, but it accorded with the general preoccupation with the commercial aspect of the material world. Materialism, however, doubtless supported by a craving to be rid of tiresome moral obligations, led to the overthrow of the old moral sanctions. This revolution produced, particularly in the "advanced circles" of capitalistic countries, an irresponsible, sordid, and despair-racked way of life. This, or the reaction which it caused in spectators, gave rise in time to a phase of widespread disgust and horror at the effects of moral nihilism. The emotional tide turned once more toward self-discipline and even toward a "mystical" sanction for morality in some kind of religious devotion.

But devotion to what? The old religion had lost its power. A new one was urgently needed.

In one country alone this need was not seriously felt, or at least not recognised. Soviet Russia had not suffered from the disillusionment and degeneracy of Western Europe. In Russia, society itself, in the form of tae proletarian State, became the supreme object of veneration. And dialectical materialism strangely assumed much of the glamour of a mystical religion.

But in Italy and Germany materialism was blamed for social degeneracy. The deep need for a mystical sanction for values gave birth to the fantastic mythology of the divine race. The racial myth is based on the biologically unsound notion that the cultural differences between peoples are caused mainly by differences of biological stock, and that some races are innately nobler than others. This false conception is given an emotional appeal by the vague and wholly unfounded belief that one's own race is the best of all, and moreover has been entrusted with a divine mission to rule the world, or is itself an embodiment of the divine principle.

It is perhaps well to say in passing that, though we must emphatically condemn the culture which at present dominates Italy and Germany, it would be folly on our part to indulge in self-righteous censure of these great peoples themselves. The social neurosis which has seized them was bred of agony and dire frustration. And these were caused partly by cruel treatment at the hands of more fortunate neighbours, partly by the tragic failure of Liberalism.

The triumph of Liberalism had depended on the free exercise of the critical intelligence. Its downfall brought the free intelligence into contempt. In Russia, no doubt, intelligence is still prized; but it is muzzled and only allowed to function in directions approved by the State. Moreover, the discovery that all thought is unwittingly biassed has given rise, not only in Russia, to the perverse and lethal notion that distortion of facts and arguments is praiseworthy so long as it inclines in directions favourable to the social ideals of the thinker.

In Italy and Germany the free intelligence has been much more severely persecuted. The finer brains of both countries have been either exiled or destroyed. In the schools the young are brought up to believe that criticism of the official ideology, is always misleading and wicked. If the present regime continues, these two great peoples may within a generation suffer a very serious all-round reduction of mental capacity. Communists explain the Fascist annihilation of culture as a necessary result of the necessary hostility of capitalism to the free intelligence which tends to expose its weakness. No doubt there is much truth in this view. We must not forget, however, that in Russia also there is ruthless oppression and restriction of free criticism. This is officially attributed to the need for unity against threatened attack from within and without. It is true that grave danger inevitably brings oppression and cultural decline, and that in every country to-day insecurity, frustration, and fear are in fact producing this result. But it is difficult not to be gravely perturbed by recurrent shootings in Russia.

Liberalism was associated not only with the free exercise of intelligence but with a morality based on human brotherhood. This was a legacy from Christanity. It did not logically fit into the materialistic and ethically sceptical metaphysics that science had bred, but it accorded with the Liberal respect for individuality. Even within the sphere of Liberalism, however, it could not have long survived. We have already noticed the widespread "taboo on tenderness" that seized Western culture under the influence of science. A much more violent rejection of the orthodox tenderness-morality occurred in Italy and Germany as part of the emotional reaction against Liberalism. In fact, combined with a protest against ethical scepticism and moral licentiousness, there was a protest against the particular kind of morality which had for so long inspired Liberalism at its best. As against materialism, Fascism has reinstated morality, but as against Christianity it has dethroned love and set in its place courage and ruthless mastery. Finally, it is perhaps worth while to remark that, just as the racial myth necessitates suppression of the free intelligence that ridicules it, so this harsh morality demands a gradual blunting of all the finer sensibilities that condemn it.

It must not be supposed that the democratic countries (so-called) have been exempt from these tendencies. In Britain; for instance, what do we find? The key to the understanding of the whole process lies in the fact that the capitalistic social order is faced with very grave difficulties. In times of prosperity the owning class, influenced by Liberalism and spurred by the demands of the workers, tended to become comparatively tolerant and paternal. But recurrent financial crises, the fear of social disorder, and the necessity to arm extravagantly for the maintenance of imperial economic privileges are producing a very different temper. Already there are signs that tolerance and paternalism are giving way to a harsher spirit. This is partly the result of the inevitable increase of industrial centralisation. The individual firms of each industry tend to collaborate to restrict output and maintain prices. Capitalistic private enterprise is voluntarily controlling free competition in order to preserve the system. As yet there is no grand co-ordination of all industries, but it will come. At present, Parliament tries ineffectively to arbitrate between them. In time, presumably, the industries themselves will establish a central co-ordinating body, a sort of Fascist Grand Council.

Meanwhile, the tendency to Fascism is plain in other respects. Democracy is discredited by the supine behaviour of Parliamentary Governments. At the same time we see a steady encroachment on civil liberties. Police powers are extended. Attempts are made to discipline the people through gas-drills, and perhaps through the otherwise very desirable physical culture movement. Approval is given to hooligan action against persons whose political opinions are disliked. Conscription is in the air. Increasingly the press, the radio and the cinema become sensitive to Government suggestions for suppression or "interpretation" of facts. Along with all this we must note a change of moral temper, a slow but steady drift away from the tenderness morality of Liberalism and Christianity. Amongst intellectuals of a certain type we find, for instance, a disposition to defend blood-sports, including bull-fighting. There are signs that approval of corporal punishment is increasing, along with morbid delight in the infliction of it. Everywhere we encounter the first symptoms of the movement from kindliness to firmness.

It appears, then, that not only in the Fascist countries, and not only in these and Russia, but also in the "Democracies," there is a steady flight from the principles of Liberalism, both good and bad. I suggest that this cultural change is at bottom a consequence of the economic forces at work in our day. In fact I suggest that economic determinism is thrusting us not toward the Marxian Utopia but toward Fascism; and that, if economic determinism cannot be restrained, we are doomed.

The Marxian believes that this tendency toward Fascism occurs only in capitalist countries, and that sooner or later capitalism will crack, and the proletariat will seize control. He grossly underestimates the powers of propaganda and coercion in the hands of the owning class, and the gullibility of the masses. Also he underestimates, or still worse excuses as a temporary expedient, the tendency toward Fascism in Russia. It is necessary to face the possibility that the Communist party in Russia, in spite of its magnificent record of devotion, may ultimately degenerate into an oppressive bureaucracy or a reactionary religious hierarchy. May this fear prove unfounded!

Is there any hope of checking this trend of economic determinism? I believe that there is, though only a forlorn one. But forlorn hopes sometimes kindle the best in human nature and carry it to miraculous triumph. The only hope, I suggest, is that there may be a widespread and emphatic assertion of the will for true community. If, as I have argued, there was something more than economic determinism (in the narrow sense) in Early Christianity, in the French Revolution, and in the Russian Revolution itself, something without which these great events could never have been achieved, then there is after all a hope that the same spirit may yet refashion the whole world.

This spirit, however it has been described in the past, has always manifested two aspects, which in modern idiom consist of faith in the free intelligence and will for true community.

If this is correct, then the practical upshot of our survey of philosophy is obvious. Our main theoretical conclusion has been an increased reliance on the validity of the dispassionate intelligence and on the ideal of personality-in-community. If, as I have argued, philosophy does not end with theory, but is the love and the pursuit of wisdom, this conclusion must not remain purely theoretical. We have seen that in the contemporary world the dispassionate intelligence and the spirit of true community are falling into disrepute, and that their decline threatens to bring the human race to grave disaster. Clearly, then, the practical effect of our survey must be to stimulate us to do our utmost both in private life and in public life to foster these two essential factors in civilisation.

But though the free intelligence and the spirit of community are, I believe, by far the most important influences for civilising the world, we must not suppose that as abstract principles they constitute by themselves a panacea for all our troubles. To say, as some do, that if only we will be constant to these principles all will be well, is not enough. They are all-sufficient only when they are almost universally accepted, and accepted with sincere conviction. In the present world there is no prospect that this will soon be the case. On the contrary, even lip-service to them is dwindling; and at the best of times only a small minority will be capable of practising them constantly and sincerely.

Moreover, public events since the European War have shown all too grimly that a vague inclination toward sincere thinking and kindly behaviour is utterly powerless against a ruthless adventurer or a ruthless class, armed with modern weapons of propaganda and coercion. In our disjointed world there are too many dangerous neurotics who cannot be speedily turned from destructiveness by reasonable persuasion or by the power of non-violence. In the long run, assuredly, reason and love will prevail. And even to-day they are by far the most important instruments of civilisation. But unaided they cannot deal successfully with every crisis that threatens us with a further incursion of the new barbarism. We must face the fact that, though the free intelligence and the spirit of community are at once the goal and an essential means, they may be not only ineffectual but actually harmful, unless they are combined with a full measure of that hot indignation against tyranny, that devoted service in the struggle for the new order, which is characteristic of the best minds of the political Left.

On the other hand, the political Left, if it is to capture the imagination and allegiance of the people of this country and sweep them forward to victory, must, I believe, learn a more liberal spirit. I mean, of course, liberal not in the political but in the cultural sense, namely, loyalty to the free critical intelligence and respect for the human individual. For how do things stand? Up and down the country, up and down the world, in every class and every political party, outside the churches and inside them, there are increasing numbers of well-disposed and sensible men and women who are ready to make real sacrifices if thereby they can help to create a better social order and a peace that shall be lasting and world-wide. Many of those who have social and economic privileges are beginning to realise that such privileges are both unjust and doomed to vanish. Not only so, but many, in all social classes, who are citizens of capitalistic states with imperial privileges, are reluctantly beginning to see that their far-reaching advantages over less-favoured peoples are equally unjust and unmaintainable. Perhaps in time they will become reconciled to surrendering them.

But this growing mass of well-meaning bewildered public opinion is ineffective. One of the main reasons of its futility lies in the fact that no political party fully deserves its trust. The Conservatives are blinded by the prejudices of capitalism. The Liberals are often equally so. Labour is paralysed by the incubus of trade-union leadership. The Communists, unique in devotion and,courage, have gained a reputation for impracticable and doctrinaire policies and for political ineptitude. Moreover, the rank and file of the Communist party, and all but the best of its leaders, are too apt to play into their opponents' hands by indulging in a very excusable but none the less impolitic extravagance and bitterness.

Yet the increasing mass of politically waking people might, I believe, be brought whole-heartedly to support the Left and to make real sacrifices, if they could be sure that the Left was inspired, not only by righteous indignation and the will for a new social order, but also by outstanding intellectual integrity and respect for human individuality. Rightly or wrongly, people are afraid of Communism for the same reasons as they are afraid of Fascism. They are afraid that if it came into power it would prove more tyrannical than the present order, that it would regiment people intolerably and suppress criticism with much the same ruthlessness as Fascism. No doubt this impression is partly a result of hostile propaganda, but not entirely so.

The most urgent task of the Left to-day is to convince the mass of politically waking members of all classes that it stands not for a new kind of oppression and a new kind of censorship but for human kindliness and for the free intelligence. If the vague and confused forces of good will in this country and in the world are to be brought together to form a really effective movement for radical social change and world change, they must not only be taught true theories and sound policies; they must also find both a philosophy and a religion. And for this end the leaders of this great movement, which is so slowly and so tardily coming into being, must manifestly appear to be not only astute politicians, not only wise statesmen, but moral leaders. They must have the very highest degree of personal integrity. And by personal integrity I mean not merely incorruptibility in the face of personal temptations; for this is, or should be, a commonplace political virtue. I mean far more than this, namely that these champions of a new world must be relied on to preserve through all the excitements and emergencies of political action their fundamental loyalty to the ideal of personality-in-community and their respect for the free critical intelligence. I mean that they must be manifestly incapable of seeking any speedy but superficial triumph for the cause by means which in the long run will frustrate the achievement of the true social aim.

Apart from obvious economic ills, what is most wrong with the world to-day is that we have lost faith in the distinctively human attributes of man, namely, the free critical intelligence and the capacity for mutual respect. Leaders who combine sound social policies with unshakable and unmistakable loyalty to these principles will be able to inspire us, not only with a reluctant acceptance of the need to take serious risks, but with the will to follow such leaders constantly, even, if necessary, through the gravest sacrifices, in the faith that they are true builders of the new world.


Suggestions for Reading Philosophy

(a) The Approach

(b) General Introductions

(c) General Development of Modern Philosophy

(d) Specialisation

(e) The External World and I

(f) Reasoning, its Nature and Scope

(g) Science and Philosophy

(h) The Irrational Determinants of Thought

(i) Ethics

(j) Aesthetics

(k) Personality

(l) Social Psychology and Social Philosophy

(m) Metaphysics

(n) Practical Upshot


(a) The Approach — When I was adolescent, and beginning to worry about myself and the universe, I was encouraged to read popular books on scientific subjects. I was not encouraged to read philosophy. In spite of the fact that my:education in science had been very slight, since I was made to concentrate on "English" subjects, I managed to glean in this way quite a lot of significant morsels of scientific knowledge, and to concoct a fairly nutritive mental diet for the growing mind. But though my "philosophy of life" seemed to me coherent, it was in fact very confused. I had no idea that the metaphysical assumptions of popular scientific culture needed to be brought to light and severely criticised. For I was discouraged from reading philosophy. But though I did not read philosophy I came in time to realise that there was in fact a great continent of thought which I had never explored. It was a continent which was at once enticing, forbidden, and forbidding. Whenever, with guilt, and with greed for mental gold, I dared to set foot upon its coast, I found myself at once faced with a dense jungle of technicalities and obscure ideas which, if they were not nonsense, were far beyond my comprehension. My youth and ill-equipped mind had no means of penetrating into the hinterland. In disheartenment I fled back to the familiar continent of science, where the outposts of scientific culture were rapidly spreading across the still undeveloped areas in a kind of "ribbon development."

Since those days many useful books have been written to help the novice in philosophy. I propose to make a few suggestions both as to the best way of using this introductory material, and as to somewhat more advanced reading in philosophy. Much depends, of course, on the individual's special temperament and circumstances. Those who have a real gift for philosophical thinking will "lap up" books which others regard as almost unreadable. Those who have plenty of time at their disposal can embark on a thorough and far-reaching campaign. Those who have little leisure need to plan their reading so as to secure a maximum result from as few books as possible. Again, some will approach philosophy through some particular subject in which they have come up against philosophical problems. Thus physical science, biology, psychology, art, religion, political aims, may for different kinds of people provide the incentive to philosophical study, first in the particular sphere of these interests, but later in all other philosophical fields. Some explorers, however, will want to begin with a more general approach. It is mainly for these that this book has been written, and for these that I append the following notes on reading.

I do so with grave hesitation, because, owing to an excessively late start, my own study of philosophy has been hasty and incomplete. Moreover, recently it has come almost to a standstill. I look forward with some apprehension to the comments of the thoroughly trained academic philosopher, toward whom I feel the respect due from the amateur to the professional. It is all too likely that my survey of philosophical literature for beginners ignores some important works, and gives a mistaken estimate of others. All that I can claim is that my list embraces many books that I myself have found helpful, and one or two that I now recognise as important though I have not yet read them.

For another reason also I hesitate to advise people about reading philosophy, namely, that I have so seldom taken such advice myself. Instead of holding to a well-planned course of study, I have nearly always inclined to "seize every hour, sip every flower." And whether or not it can be truly said of me that, like the sparrow, I "at all times was ready for love," it can certainly be said that at all times I was ready for philosophy. This readiness, in season and out of season, for philosophical discussion, reading, or thinking is one of the essential prerequisites for serious philosophical enquiry of any kind. The other is, of course, a tolerably keen intelligence. But I hasten to assure readers that, just as Einstein could be a great mathematician although he could not (according to the story) count his change, so it is possible to be fairly intelligent in philosophy even though one may be incompetent in some other spheres.

To sum the matter, I advise readers not to take my advice too seriously. With these words of caution I proceed.

(b) General Introductions — It would be a great mistake to begin by reading nothing but introductions, but some sort of map of the country to be explored, or at any rate some clear point of departure, is desirable at the outset. There are two kinds of introduction to philosophy. One is the development of one problem so as to show that it involves other problems. The other kind is a general summary of all problems. Starting with an introduction of one or the other type, the intelligent reader will probably find his interest concentrating on some particular set of problems raised, and will want to pursue that theme with all possible thoroughness. He may, for instance, specialise in the philosophy of science or in social philosophy. But first let him try one or other of the following introductions.

Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy (Home University Library), published in 1912, and many times reprinted, is a brilliant introduction which starts with the question whether we have any certain knowledge of anything. It is a small volume, but in it the author, one of the outstanding philosophers of our age, states with his accustomed lucidity the core of several modern philosophical problems, such as the status of the external world, the nature of knowledge, the status of universals. The reader should be warned that Russell subsequently modified in important respects the principles laid down in this book. In all his works he favours philosophical Realism, but his characteristic development of it as " Neutral Monism " occurred after he wrote this Introduction. Another very valuable introduction, also Realist in general tenor, but more comprehensive than Russell's little book, is C. E. M. Joad's Guide to Philosophy. Readers will find that I have made use of Joad's treatment of several subjects. .He has a surprising gift for expounding difficult ideas in such a manner that we are left wondering why people say philosophy is obscure. His much slighter Introduction to Modern Philosophy summarises Realism, recent Idealism, Pragmatism, and Bergson's views.

Of the second type of introduction, G. Watts-Cunningham's Problems of Philosophy is a useful introductory summary of opposing theories in all the great fields of philosophical study. It is far less stimulating than the introductions by Russell and Joad, but is useful as a textbook or book of reference.

It is impossible to understand modern philosophy without understanding how it arose out of the philosophy of previous ages.

Clement C. J. Webb's History of Philosophy (Home University Library) may be strongly recommended. It deals very briefly and clearly with the whole sequence of philosophical thought from Ancient Greece to the Nineteenth Century. The author's own philosophical position is Idealist. A more advanced and very useful textbook is A. K. Rogers's A Student's History of Philosophy. Once more the general temper is Idealist. Will Durant's The Story of Philosophy, a much larger volume, is a bright and typically American account of the lives and theories of all the outstanding philosophers of Europe and America.

John Laird's Recent Philosophy (Home University Library) is a brief survey of philosophical movements in the present century. It presupposes some knowledge of philosophy. For Greek philosophy, Joad's Guide contains chapters on the metaphysical thought of Plato and Aristotle. For those who wish to concentrate on ancient philosophy, John Burnet's Early Greek Philosophy is the standard survey. G. C. Field's Plato and his Contemporaries is of great interest to readers who wish to pursue this theme.

(c) General Development of Modern Philosophy — In whatever field the reader wishes to specialise he must make himself acquainted with the main works of the great philosophers of the last three centuries. All modern thought is a development of their thought, and is not fully intelligible without some first-hand knowledge of their work. In this connection the reader will find particularly useful the little philosophical volumes in The Modern Student's Library (Scribners). Each of these consists of carefully selected passages from one of the great philosophers and an introduction by an eminent authority. The list of volumes comprises Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer. There are also two volumes on Mediaeval Philosophy. Very useful philosophical volumes occur also in Everyman's Library. Most of them have helpful introductions by A. D. Lindsay.

For practical purposes modern philosophy may be said to begin with Descartes. An Everyman volume contains his Discourse on Method and his other main works. He is quite readable. Unfortunately, Spinoza's famous Ethics (Everyman) is difficult, not only because of the difficulty of the thought, but also because of its strange presentation in the form of geometrical propositions. A short popular account of Spinoza's life and philosophy is given in J. A. Gunn's Benedict Spinoza. A more technical work is Leon Roth's Spinoza. John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding is, of course, another philosophical landmark. Locke is far more readable than Spinoza. His work is the embodiment of English common sense, with all its strength and weakness. Leibniz's works are much more difficult, because of the intrinsic difficulty of his theories. A volume of his writings is included in the Everyman's Library Series. Leibniz: The Monadology, etc., translated by R. Latta, with a long introduction on the philosopher's life and thought, contains all his important writings. Bertrand Russell's The Philosophy of Leibniz is a fine technical discussion which shows the importance of Leibniz for modern thought. Bishop Berkeley appears in the Everyman Library in the volume called A New Theory of Vision and other Writings. Berkeley is lucid. Two Everyman volumes give us David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature, which has played so great a part in modern thought, and is fortunately written in a direct intelligible style.

Immanuel Kant is a very different kettle of fish. He is the most difficult, the most ponderous, the most self-contradictory, but according to some the most pregnant of modern philosophers. Others have regarded him as a philosophical disaster. His most famous work, The Critique of Pure Reason, translated by J. M. D. Meiklejohn (Bohn's Philosophical Library), was the supreme classic of modern philosophy throughout the long reign of philosophical Idealism. Innumerable books have been written about Kant's philosophy. The beginner should try A. D. Lindsay's little volume The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (The People's Books). Use should also be made of the Modern Student's Library volume, Kant, Selections. The beginner should not attempt a serious attack on the Critique itself till he has ceased to be a beginner, and has read some of the later English Idealists. G. W. F. Hegel also is extremely difficult. For some he is the last word in philosophy, for others he is an even worse disaster than Kant. His Logic, which is not really logic at all, but an exposition of Absolute Idealism, has played a great part not only in Idealism but as the inspiration of Marx's very different system. The more or less advanced beginner should at first be content with the Modern Student's Library volume, Hegel, Selections.

The development of philosophy since Hegel is most conveniently dealt with piecemeal, in connection with special subjects. I will mention here only the three main streams of recent philosophical thought, namely, Idealism, Pragmatism, and Realism. A valuable little introduction to modern Idealism is R. F. A. Hoernlé's Idealism. Serious students may pass on to F. H. Bradley's Appearance and Reality, a difficult but well-written classic. Pragmatism may be represented first by a paper on that subject in Papers on Philosophy, by William James (Everyman), and, for more detailed study, by James's Pragmatism. The best introduction to Realism is Russell's Problems, already mentioned. More detailed works will be cited later.

This is a convenient point to say that serious students who have time and persistent interest may find it useful to read, as occasion demands, the essays contained in the two volumes of Contemporary British Philosophy (Allen and Unwin), in which many well-known philosophers have summarised their theories.

Serious students will also find that in the course of their reading they are again and again referred to important philosophical studies in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, and in issues of Mind, and of Philosophy, and other technical journals. These essays and reviews of philosophical books are much too specialised for beginners.

(d) Specialisation — Let us suppose that the beginner has tackled Russell's Problems, or Joad's Guide, and Webb's little History. Let us suppose that he has also already embarked on a preliminary study of the great philosophers, with the aid of the Everyman volumes and others mentioned in the preceding section. He will have found his interest to some extent inclining in one direction rather than another. How is he to proceed? It is a good plan, I think, to continue one's general philosophical reading while also pursuing some particular theme with all possible thoroughness. Many readers, however, will not have time to devote to a two-fold plan of study. All they can do is to guard against undue specialisation by occasionally reading a general book; or against superficial catholicity by occasionally concentrating on their chosen theme.

I shall now make a few suggestions for reading in each of the main philosophical subjects. I shall always distinguish between elementary and more advanced works. So far as possible, but not invariably, I shall mention first, in each subject or subdivision of a subject, the shorter, easier books. Then I shall refer to a few more formidable technical works for the guidance of the minority who intend to become more than superficially acquainted with the particular subject.

Inevitably, the subjects have to be dealt with in some order. I follow in the main the sequence adopted in this book; but "Immortality" and "Mind and Body" are deposed from their leading place.

(e) The External World and I — This subject has its origins in the work of Descartes, Locke, Berkeley and Hume. Berkeley's Theory of Vision is the historical root of the Idealist theory. For the Realist view the beginner, having referred to Russell's Problems and Joad's Guide, may attempt Russell's Our Knowledge of the External World. An interesting technical study by a modern Idealist is N. Kemp-Smith's Prolegomena to an Idealist Theory of Knowledge. On the Realist side, John Laird's A Study in Realism is attractively written. The serious student should also read G. E. Moore's famous paper, "The Refutation of Idealism," reprinted in his Philosophical Studies. Two American volumes (by various authors), The New Realism and Essays in Critical Realism, present respectively Realism without, and Realism with, the "mental act" and universals. Russell's Analysis of Matter is another very technical work. More recent and equally technical, though extraordinarily lucid, are C. D. Broad's Perception, Physics and Reality and his Scientific Thought. These two books contain a wealth of minute and illuminating criticism and original analysis. H. H. Price's Perception is a still more recent and highly technical classic.

The sceptical view of the Logical Positivists is very simply expressed in the course of the last chapter of A. J. Ayer's little Language, Truth and Logic, which all beginners and advanced students should read. They should also read Rudolf Carnap's two small classics, The Unity of Science and Philosophy and Logical Syntax (Psyche Miniatures).

(f) Reasoning, its Nature and Scope — For the psychology of reasoning, W. Kohler's The Mentality of Apes is illuminating, and fascinating on its own account. Consult also any good textbook of psychology (see below, under Personality). E. Rignano's The Psychology of Reasoning is also helpful.

Those who are interested in formal logic will find W. S. Jevons's Elementary Lessons in Logic a useful little book. S. H. Mellone's An Introductory Text-book of Logic is fuller. H. W. B. Joseph's Logic is a bulky but well-written classic on the subject. Susan Stebbing's more recent A Modern Introduction to Logic is a very valuable but technical account of recent advances.

Idealism, Pragmatism, and Realism give very different accounts of the nature and validity of reason. Bernard Bosanquet's little book The Essentials of Logic gives the Idealist's interpretation. Bradley's Appearance and Reality contains a radical criticism of the power of human reason.

For Pragmatism, go to William James, the fountain head, and to the works referred to above. The serious student should pass on to read the whole of his book, Pragmatism. For a more subjectivistic version of Pragmatism read F. C. S.! Schiller's Humanism.

In Bertrand Russell's Mysticism and Logic the title essay clearly distinguishes between the mystical and the rational points of view. There is also an important essay on the difference between "knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description."

For the controversy about universal characters, the reader should contrast Russell's early views in the Problems with his later views in The Analysis of Mind. The Idealist theory of the "concrete universal " is given in Chapter II of Bernard Bosanquet's The Principle of Individuality and Value, but is obscure. For the "distributive unity" of universals, read the last chapter of G. F. Stout's Studies in Philosophy and Psychology. This book contains other very helpful essays.

For the Logical Positivist's view of reasoning, the best introduction is Ayer's little book, already mentioned. Carnap's two small volumes in the Psyche Miniatures Series are important authoritative statements. Very serious students will find the origin of the subject in Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. A technical critical study is J. R. Weinberg's An Examination of Logical Positivism. For the nature of mathematics, A. N. Whitehead's little book Mathematics (Home University Library) is invaluable. Russell's Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy is more difficult. L. Hogben's Mathematics for the Million is a mine of information.

(g) Science and PhilosophyA. Wolf's Essentials of Scientific Method is a useful little textbook. A. D. Ritchie's Scientific Method is much fuller, more philosophical, and more technical. C. D. Broad's Scientific Thought (already mentioned) should be read by all serious students who seek a real understanding of recent movements of thought on this subject. A very different book is A. N. Whitehead's Science and the Modern World, which has had a widespread effect on the contemporary attitude to our modern, science-inspired culture. The book is rather uneven, but it is the most readable and perhaps the most stimulating of Whitehead's books. The same author's earlier books are important for any thorough study of the philosophy of science and of mathematics. The Concept of Nature contains much interesting matter on the abstracting of points and instants from our concrete experience.

The attitude to science which is implied in Dialectical Materialism is very briefly expounded in John Lewis's minute Introduction to Philosophy (New People's Library), and more fully in H. Levy's A Philosophy for a Modern Man.

Anyone interested in the relations of philosophy and science will probably have read some of the works of Sir Arthur Eddington and Sir James Jeans. These brilliant astronomers and able popularisers of science have found in recent physical theory evidence for an Idealist metaphysic. A. S. Eddington's Swarthmore Lecture (1929), Science and the Unseen World, states briefly the outline of his theory. His The Nature of the Physical World (1928), and New Pathways in Science (1934), besides containing much fascinating scientific information, present a more detailed account of his views on the limitations of science, and on indeterminacy in its relation to physics and to free will. Sir James Jeans's The Universe Around Us (1929) gives much illuminating science and some very doubtful philosophy. His The Mysterious Universe (1930) is a Pelican Book. A short expression on the other side by another and no less famous scientist is Max Planck's Where is Science Going? Philosophical criticism of Eddington and Jeans is given by C. E. M. Joad with his usual lucid style in his Philosophical Aspects of Modern Science (1932). Susan Stebbing's Philosophy and the Physicists (1937) is at present the last word in the matter. All who have been beguiled by the philosophy of the two famous astronomers should read this book. It is not only a detailed exposure of the philosophical errors of the two astronomers but also a sympathetic account of the revolution caused in science itself by the "uncertainty principle." In particular the principles of causality and probability are helpfully discussed.

(h) The Irrational Determinants of Thought — Onthis subject the reader can consult, for the principle of distortion by unconscious motives, any modern psychological textbook (see below, under Personality), and for "social and economic determinants" he should read E. Westermarck's Ethical Relativity and any exposition of Marxism (see below, under Economic Determinism and Dialectical Materialism). For a general statement of the limitations of reason, and its relation to emotion, read John Macmurray's Reason and Emotion. See also the works on Bergson's philosophy, mentioned below, under Metaphysics.

(i) Ethics — C. E. M. Joad's Common Sense Ethics is a very useful introduction. E. F. Carritt's Morals and Politics admirably summarises the classical theories, and also discusses political philosophy. For the psychology of moral experience read J. A. Hadfield's Psychology and Morals. For the growth of modern ethical theory, begin with J. S. Mill's Utilitarianism (Everyman's Library). A brief account of Idealist ethics will be found in J. H. Muirhead's Elements of Ethics;a fuller textbook is J. S. Mackenzie's Manual of Ethics. For a criticism of Utilitarianism and a defence of intuition read G. E. Moore's Ethics (Home University Library), an example of minute logical analysis of moral experience. G. C. Field's Moral Theory gives an important criticism of Moore's position and is more readable. A valuable little book on the part played by reason in morality is Israel Levine's Reason and Morals. For ethical scepticism read E. Westermarck's Ethical Relativity, a very readable and cogent statement. This is a more bulky volume than those previously mentioned, but all students of ethics should read it. The Logical Positivist's view is contained in Ayer's little book, already mentioned, and in Carnap's Philosophy and Logical Syntax.

Those who intend to make a serious study of ethics should read also C. D. Broad's Five Types of Ethical Theory, which discusses minutely and lucidly the ethical theories of Spinoza, Butler, Hume, Kant, and Sidgwick. They should also read, as the historical starting-point of the whole study, Aristotle's treatise called The Nicomachean Ethics. And they should study: for Hedonism, Henry Sidgwick's The Methods of Ethics; for the Idealist "self-fulfilment" theory, F. H. Bradley's Ethical Studies; for Idealism's "transcendence of good and evil," Chapter XXV of Bradley's Appearance and Reality; for a full defence of Intuitionism, G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica, which is minutely analytic. L. J. Hobhouse's The Rational Good is a very valuable criticism and development of the Idealist theory of moral obligation. A readable survey of the whole field of ethics, written from the Realist point of view, is John Laird's A Study in Moral Theory. A more recent careful survey of moral experience is L. A. Reid's Creative Morality.

(j) Aesthetics — ThoughI have not had space to discuss aesthetic experience, I will mention one or two books on this difficult subject. Bernard Bosanquet's Three Lectures on Aesthetics states briefly the Idealist attitude. For a very different and more modern view read I. A. Richards's The Principles of Literary Criticism. Another valuable book is S. Alexander's Art and the Material. L. A. Reid's A Study in Aesthetics is a balanced survey of the whole field. Benedetto Croce's' difficult Aesthetic as Science of Expression gives the view of the Neo-Idealists.

(k) Personality — Thereare innumerable textbooks of psychology. In extra-mural classes I have found the following acceptable: A. E. Heath's very little volume How We Behave (W.E.A. Outlines), Susan S. Brierley's An Introduction to Psychology, R. S. Woodworth's Psychology, A Study of Mental Life. Useful also is Bernard Hart's little book The Psychology of Insanity. Another small and useful book is W. McDougall's Psychology (Home University Library). McDougall's Outline of Psychology is a much more advanced work, full of interesting, though sometimes controversial matter. Serious students should read, with acritical eye, J. B. Watson's Psychology from the Point of View of a Behaviorist. Sigmund Freud's famous The Interpretation of Dreams must also be read by serious students, who may then wish to pass on into the vast jungle of literature on psychoanalysis by Freud, Jung, Adler, and their followers. Such popular works as W. Trotter's Instincts of the Herd in War and Peace and A. G. Tansley's The New Psychology, which were much discussed after the War, should be read with sharply critical intelligence. Those who are impressed by the undoubted achievements of psycho-analysis and modern "instinct psychology" should read James Drever's Instinct in Man, a very thorough survey. For serious criticism of the whole matter they should make a point of reading the relevant chapters in G. C. Field's Studies in Philosophy. A slashing attack is given in A. Wohlgemuth's Critical Examination of Psycho-analysis. Ian Suttie's Origins of Love and Hate is a readable, temperate, and constructive criticism of psycho-analysis, though I have known it make an eminent psycho-analyst see red. It makes much of the distortion of modern thought by the "taboo on tenderness." Serious students should also read K. Koffka's The Principles of Gestalt Psychology. They may discover that some of the main principles of Gestalt Psychology were anticipated in G. F. Stout's classical Manual of Psychology. For the theory of sentiments they should read A. F. Shand's The Foundations of Character. For the diversity of character-types, C. G. Jung's Psychological Types is important. Joanna Field's A Life of One's Own is a delightful study of the sources of conscious motive. The very serious student should read Stout's big Analytic Psychology and James Ward's Psychological Principles. An interesting large volume on the evolution of mind is L. T. Hobhouse's Mind in Evolution. The most recent and impressive survey of the growth and present achievement of psychology is C. Spearman's Psychology down the Ages.

Those who are interested in the question of super-normal powers should read J. H. Rhine's Extra-Sensory Perception, J. W. Dunne's An Experiment with Time, and A. W. Osborn's The Superphysical. Whether all the claims put forward in these books will be finally established may still be doubted; but no serious student of human nature can afford to ignore them. The last deals with telepathy, pre-cognition, materialisation, telekinesis, survival, reincarnation, and mystical states. The fact that these subjects are still more or less "intellectually disreputable" makes it all the more important that the intellectually sincere student should take note of them.

On the relation between mind and body, read Henri Piéron's Thought and the Brain for a full technical statement of the materialist view. Bertrand Russell's The Analysis of Mind (1921) is a more philosophical study which has played an important part in the growth of ideas about the nature of mind. The most comprehensive, balanced, and lucid work on the general philosophy of mind, including the mind-body problem and survival and the structure of minds, is C. D. Broad's invaluable The Mind and its Place in Nature (1925).

(l) Social Psychology and Social Philosophy — W. McDougall's Introduction to Social Psychology has played a great part in the evolution of modern psychology, but does not deal much with the social aspect. R. H. Thouless's Social Psychology is a textbook that should be read by all. Trotter and Tansley (mentioned above) must be treated with caution. A useful small book on the nature of society is G. D. H. Cole's Social Theory. R. M. Maciver's Community is an important larger work. McDougall's The Group Mind is a full-dress discussion of that difficult subject. Morris Ginsberg's The Psychology of Society is a brief survey which includes effective criticisms of the fashionable over-emphasis on instinct, and also of the Idealist theory of the State.

For Individualism, read J. S. Mill's Utilitarianism and his essay On Liberty. For the Idealist view, presumably Bernard Bosanquet's The Philosophical Theory of the State is the official English exposition. Serious students should read this and also L. T. Hobhouse's criticisms in his The Metaphysical Theory of the State. His The Rational Good (mentioned above) criticises the group-mind theory, as well as the Idealist theory of political obligation. Criticism of the Idealist political theory is also contained in E. F. Carritt's Morals and Politics.

For the three kinds of social mentality, read Gerald Heard's The Ascent of Humanity, the central idea of which is very significant, though for my part I suspect that the book "telescopes" the process of psychological evolution into very much too short a period. Also, he never makes it clear to me whether the pre-individual kind of consciousness is literally a group mind or simply an un-self conscious way of experiencing on the part of the individual. The latter, I hope.

At this point it is appropriate to refer to the works of Professor John Macmurray, one of whose books has already been mentioned. I should describe his central theme as the contention that religion has become lifeless because it has ceased to be inspired by Christian friendship and the will for true community. Though I find his work sometimes ambiguous, I urge all readers to take note of his very significant books, Creative Society and The Structure of Religious Experience.

For a lucid and brief account ofEconomic Determinism read Part IV of John Strachey's excellent The Theory and Practice of Socialism. This book contains a useful Bibliographical Appendix on the literature of Marxism. G. D. H. Cole's What Marx Really Meant should also be read. Criticisms of Economic Determinism are contained in E. F. Carritt's little Morals and Politics and in Israel Levine's also little Reason and Morals. Serious students of Marxism will consult A Handbook of Marxism (Gollancz). Everyman's Library contains Karl Marx's Capital, in two volumes. For the moment I shall say no more on this subject, as it is more conveniently treated under the later heading of Dialectical Materialism.

(m) Metaphysics — The Introduction to Bradley's Appearance and Reality claims to be a defence of metaphysical enquiry, but the upshot of his kind of Absolute Idealism is that human reason is incapable of making fully true propositions about reality. The Introduction to Broad's Scientific Thought distinguishes between "critical" and "speculative" philosophy, and points out that the latter is mostly guess-work. The Logical Positivist's view is, as usual, clearly explained in Ayer's Language, Truth and Logic, and in Carnap's two little books. A much more technical account occurs in Weinberg's Examination of Logical Positivism.

I have already referred to the works of the great modern metaphysical philosophers, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel. A brief survey of modern metaphysical thought is C. E. M. Joad's Mind and Matter. R. F. A. Hoemlé's Idealism is also relevant here. For a thorough study of metaphysical Idealism serious students, but not beginners, should read, besides Appearance and Reality, T. H. Green's Prolegomena to Ethics, and Bernard Bosanquet's The Principle of Individuality and Value. By far the most precise and technically brilliant study in Idealist metaphysics is J. McT. E. McTaggart's The Nature of Existence. This famous work is an amazing logical structure based on premises which some readers will feel to be inadequate. C. D. Broad has written an important Examination of McTaggart's Philosophy. Those who wish to study Italian Neo-Idealism should read H. Wildon Carr's The Philosophy of Benedetto Croce, and then, if they are prepared for difficult stuff, they may pass on to Croce's four-volume The Philosophy of Spirit, and to Giovanni Gentile's The Theory of Mind as Pure Act.

For Realist criticism of Idealist metaphysics the reader should consult Bertrand Russell's works, already mentioned. For a comprehensive account of his own recent position, read his An Outline of Philosophy. S. Alexander's Space, Time and Deity is an impressive Realist metaphysical system. For the foundations of philosophical materialism, and also for the early influence of biological ideas, the serious student must study Herbert Spencer's Synthetic Philosophy. A very interesting commentary on him, and also on the relations of Dialectical Materialism and biology, is contained in Joseph Needham's short Herbert Spencer Lecture, called Integrative evels: A Revaluation of the Idea of Progress.

For Dialectical Materialism the reader should study (in addition to the works referred to under Economic Determinism) the brief exposition and criticism in Joad's Guide; but he should also study the works of the Dialectical Materialists themselves. He might begin with John Lewis's Textbook of Marx's Philosophy, and pass on to Aspects of Dialectical Materialism, a co-operative volume by H. Levy and others. He should certainly read H. Levy's A Philosophy for a Modern Man. This volume contains a brilliant analysis of the appearance of new qualities in scientific fields of study, and a striking account of social evolution. Philosophically, however, it seems to me to be rather obscure and ambiguous about the basic ideas of Dialectical Materialism.

For an introduction to Bergson, the beginner will find J. A. Gunn's Bergson and his Philosophy a useful summary. H. Wildon Carr's The Philosophy of Change is a more technical study. Translations of Bergson's famous books bear the titles Time and Free Will, Matter and Memory, Creative Evolution (the most famous), and Mind Energy. The theory of Emergence is given in C. Lloyd Morgan's Emergent Evolution. S. Alexander's Space, Time and Deity also makes use of Emergence. For A. N. Whitehead's philosophy, the beginner should read Science and the Modern World, omitting the more technical chapters. Whitehead's main metaphysical work is Process and Reality, which is very difficult, but full of thought-provoking matter.

On the special subject of Time, the beginner should first grasp the observable characteristics of ordinary temporal experience, as described, for instance, in Stout's Manual of Psychology, Book III, Chapter V. Modern ideas about time are largely derived from Bergson's works (mentioned above). The serious student should read, in the philosophical journal Mind, 1908, p. 457, and 1909, p. 343, two important articles by McTaggart. The subject is also, of course, discussed in his The Nature of Existence, mentioned above. C. D. Broad's Scientific Thought contains criticisms of McTaggart's views, together with import- ant ideas of his own. Dunne's An Experiment with Time and Osborn's The Superphysical should, of course, be read for supernormal temporal experience.

Mystical experience, also, is discussed by Osborn. The most comprehensive and readable survey is Evelyn Underhill's Mysticism. Rudolf Otto's The Idea of the Holy is a short book which stresses awe as an element in religious experience, and is important as a corrective to the much commoner idea that the essence of religion is the conviction of the deity's friendliness. A sceptical, yet in a sense curiously mystical, attitude, reminiscent of Spinoza's "intellectual love of God," is admirably expressed in G. Santayana's Platonism and the Spiritual Life. Bertrand Russell's Religion and Science (Home University Library) is a concise summary of the sceptical view of religion. All who are interested in the psychology of religion should read William James's classic, The Varieties of Religious Experience. A useful and brief modern survey is R. H. Thouless's An Introduction to the Psychology of Religion.

(n) Practical Upshot — I will close by mentioning some books, of very different types, which have influenced me in forming ideas about the crisis of the modern world. I am conscious that, though for one reason or another all of them seem to me valuable, their authors are in some respects strongly opposed to one another. Stephen Spender's Forward from Liberalism, though rather hastily written, is a sincere expression of the author's gradual discovery that the old political doctrines were insufficient. John Strachey's The Theory and Practice of Socialism (mentioned above) is a brilliant account of the case for far-reaching social change. G. D. H. Cole's The People's Front urges combined action by all progressive forces to preserve democracy. Complementary to these exhortations to political action is Aldous Huxley's Ends and Means, which, though I regard a good deal of it as very questionable, does stress the fundamental importance of the free critical intelligence, of kindliness, and of individual responsibility. John Macmurray's Creative Society and The Structure of Religious Experience, already mentioned, are important because they stress the fact that religion must be base if it fails to issue in vigorous action to create a better social order. Naomi Mitchison's The Moral Basis of Politics is a sincere and unconventional attempt to lay bare the fundamental motives of moral and political action, and to consider dispassionately the moral aims both of Fascists and Socialists. She seeks to combine the spirit of sympathetic understanding of the more reputable motives of Fascists with the spirit of uncompromising resistance to the attack on our liberties.


Since this appendix went to press the following books have appeared, all of which are relevant to one or other aspect of our theme: L. Hogben's Science for the Citizen, C. E. M. Joad's Guide to the Philosophy of Morals, G. N. M. Tyrrell's Science and Psychical Phenomena, J. B. S. Haldane's The Marxist Philosophy and the Sciences, Bertrand Russell's Power, a New Social Analysis, Christopher Caudwell's Studies in a Dying Culture, John Macmurray's The Clue to History.

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