BERTRAND RUSSELL

MYSTICISM AND
LOGIC
AND OTHER ESSAYS

LONDON
GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN LTD
RUSKIN HOUSE MUSEUM STREET

First published as

"Philosophical Essays"

October 1910

Second Edition as

and Logic"
December 1917

"Mysticism

Third Impression Fourth Impression
Fifth Impression
Sixth Impression
Seventh ImpressionEighth Impression
Ninth Impression Tenth Impression Eleventh Impression

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April 1918
February 1919

October 1921
-August 1925
January 1932
1949
1950

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This book
vention.

is

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1951

-

1959

copyright under the Berne

Apart from any fair dealing

Con

for

the

purpose of private study, research, criticism or
review, as permitted under the Copyright Act,
1956, no portion may be reproduced by any
process without written permission.
should be made to the publisher.

Enquiry

PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN

& Co.

by Taylor Garnett Evans
Watford, Herts.

Ltd.,

PREFACE
r

1

following essays have been written and published at various times, and my thanks are due to

the

previous publishers for the permission to reprint

I

""HE

The essay on

"

"

Mysticism and Logic

appeared in the

Hibbert Journal for July, 1914.
The Place of Science
in a Liberal Education
appeared in two numbers of
"

"

The

Man

New

"

s

The Free
24 and 31, 1913.
The Study of Mathematics
"

May

Statesman,

Worship

and

"

"

were included in a former collection (now out of

print),

Philosophical Essays, also published by Messrs. Longmans,
Green & Co. Both were written in 1902 the first appeared
;

originally in the Independent Review for 1903, the second

the

New

In theoretical
Quarterly, November, 1907.
the
in
Free Man s
advocated
The
Ethics,
position
is not
Worship
quite identical with that which I

in

"

"

hold

now

:

I feel less

convinced than

I

did then of the

good and evil. But the general attitude
towards life which is suggested in that essay still seems
to me, in the main, the one which must be adopted in
times of stress and difficulty by those who have no

objectivity of

dogmatic religious

beliefs,

if

inward defeat

is

to

be

avoided.

The essay on

"

was written in
zine, The International Monthly, under the

Work

in the

"

Mathematics and the Metaphysicians
1901, and appeared in an American maga

Philosophy of Mathematics."

"

title

Some

Recent
points

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC

vt

in this essay require modification in

view of later work.

These are indicated in footnotes.

Its

tone

explained by the fact that the editor begged
the article
as romantic as possible."

is

me

partly

to

make

"

All the

above essays are entirely popular, but those

somewhat more technical.
On Scientific
Method in Philosophy was the Herbert Spencer lecture
at Oxford in 1914, and was published by the Clarendon
that follow are

"

"

Press,

which has kindly allowed
"

collection.

me

to include

The Ultimate Constituents

it

in this

Matter

of

"

was an address to the Manchester Philosophical Society,
and was published in the Monist in July
of that year. The essay on
The Relation of Sense-data
to Physics
was written in January, 1914, and first
appeared in No. 4 of that year s volume of Scientia, an
International Review of Scientific Synthesis, edited by
M. Eugenio Rignano, published monthly by Messrs.
Williams and Norgate, London, Nicola Zanichelli,
On the
Bologna, and Felix Alcan, Paris. The essay
Notion of Cause
was the presidential address to the
Aristotelian Society in November, 1912, and was pub
early in 1915,

"

"

"

"

"

lished in their Proceedings for 1912-13.

Knowledge by
"

was also
Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description
a paper read before the Aristotelian Society, and pub
lished in their Proceedings for 1910-11.

LONDON,

Mysticism and Logic The Place of i Science in a Liberal Education Man s 33 III A IV. VII. The Study oj Mathematics 58 Mathematics and Metaphysicians 74 in 97 V. VI.CONTENTS P*gs Chaptr 1. II. IX. Free On Scientific the Method The Ultimate 46 Worship Philosophy Constituents The Relation of Sense-data On the of Matter to Physics Motion of Cause 125 145 180 Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description 209 . VIII. X.

greatness through one of these impulses alone. But alone : in for the greatest men who have been philosophers have felt the attempt the need both of science arid of mysticism : to harmonise the two was what made their life. from the first. make always must. the other urging them towards Some men have achieved science. example. to some minds. a greater thing than either for all its science or religion. philosophy. has been developed. world as a whole by means conceive the to of thought.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC AND OTHER ESSAYS MYSTICISM AND LOGIC or the attempt METAPHYSICS. while in Blake a strong hostility to science co-exists with profound mystic insight. the one urging men towards mysticism. the scientific impulse reigns quite unchecked. by the union and conflict of two very different human impulses. others through the other Hume. and Plato. in the very intimate The two philosophers blending which they mean are Herac&ius I . Before attempting an explicit characterisation of the scientific and the mystical impulses. I will illustrate them by examples from two philosophers whose great ness lies achieved. and what arduous uncertainty.

This theory. universal flux time builds and destroys : all in things.&quot. This is the language says. the same for made but all. alludes &quot. to whom observation is the sole guaran &quot. We step and are and do not step not. flame their while change utterly.&quot. too. The things that can be seen. sea and and ever . From the few fragments that remain. half of the sea is earth. was ever. as every one knows. we are . might have inspired the famous saying to which Plato You cannot step twice into the same rivers . But we find also another statement among the extant fragments for fresh : &quot. first of all. in spite of its paradoxical obviously inspired by scientific reflection. and measures going out. The sun is new every day. that Fire is the one permanent substance. of the empiricist. In com passing phases. . half whirlwind.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC * was a believer Heraclitus. no now.&quot. an ever-living Fire. &quot. he says. heard.&quot. tee of truth. : waters are ever flowing in upon you.&quot. and no doubt seemed to him to obviate the difficulty of character. fragment and . &quot. of which we and heat &quot. The transformations of Fire are. into the same rivers . though no longer one which science can Science. visible things are all bustion see things rise up into the air This world. is nevertheless scientific in spirit. but there are some sayings that strongly suggest scientific observation as the source. Actual observation must also have suggested to him his central doctrine. it is not easy to discover how he arrived at his opinions. is understanding how the sun can work its way under ground from west to east during the night. &quot.&quot. and learned/ he are what I prize the most. which one of gods or men is has and vanish. accept. it is shall be. &quot.&quot. with measures kindling. is another this opinion.

and the life : a child playing draughts. which is scientific.&quot. not science. as they appeared to him.&quot. : Wisdom which . Mysticism is.&quot. : . kind of feeling leads Heraclitus. right. and things wrong all things are fair Much and again . such as &quot. the identity of opposites he says and good and some right. It is poetic Time &quot. which presents as despotic lord of the world. fed the 1 above quotations are from Burnet (2nd ed. but those that have been given are enough to show the character of the man : the facts of science. which ~ible frivolity of a child. pp. and again &quot. Time a child e&amp. shows how intimately the two tendencies are blended in the system of Heraclitus. but : men : To God &quot. &quot. 3 which is mystical. to IleTaeiitus leads Good and ill are assert one. imagination.gt. but only a mystic would have said Every beast is driven to the pasture with blows : &quot. purchases at the cost of soul &quot. 146-156. and again &quot. Examples might be multiplied.f his science.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC The comparison of this statement. of true that a scientific determinism alone might have Man s character is his fate inspired the statement It is &quot. little more than a certain intensity and depth of feeling in and this regard to what is believed about the universe . too. All the top hv s Ecurlv Greek Pkilo- . . with the one quoted by Plato. in essence. hold some mysticism underlies the ethics of Heraclitus. the kingly power is is s. 1908). It is ever it &quot. is one thing..&quot. hard to fight all with one it s heart What s desire. on the basis to strangely poignant sayings concerning world. It is to know things are steered through all the thought by 1 things. : wishes to get. with all the irresponIt is mysticism.

and in its light he saw into the depths world by the reflection of his own dancing swiftly penetrating fire. of same twofold impulse exists. as you might articles. and impulse mystic secures ultimate victory whenever the conflict is sharp. with an entrance open to the light. let some of the passers-by be talking.MYSTICISM 4 AND LOGIC flame in his soul. above and behind them. . in which 1 &quot. they have been confined. 1 Republic. like the screens which conjurors put up in front of their audience. together with various other and. from their childhood. that it is possible to achieve in the world of thought. the His description of the cave belief in a knowledge and than that of the senses is the classical statement of reality truer and more real : Imagine a number of men living in an underground cavernous chamber. In Plato. with a low wall built along it. silent. wrought in wood and stone Also figure to yourself a behind this wall. he replied. 514. though the is distinctly the stronger of the two. with their legs and necks so shackled that they are obliged to &it still and look straight forwards. number of persons walking and carrying with them statues of men. I have it. which overtop the wall expect. and others . extending along the entire length of the cavern. because their chains it impossible for them to turn their heads round and imagine a bright fire burning some way off. other animals. and an elevated roadway passing between the fire and the prisoners. and images of and all kinds of materials. as I think. translated by Davies and Vaughan. In such a nature we see the true union of the the mystic and the man of science the highest eminence. and above which they exhibit their render : wonders.

if he were to real. I replied. in the following manner. Doubtless. and question him. They resemble us. than the sun and the sun s light less difficult to finding the heaven itself by day. and turn his neck round and walk with open eyes towards the light . and is turned towards things more above all. if some one were to tell him that in those days he was watching foolish phantoms. and afterwards the realities . but that now he is some what nearer to reality. much now forced ? truer. and compel him to answer what they are ? Should you not expect him to be puzzled. habit will be necessary to enable him to perceive objects in that upper world. . Now what would happen consider if the course of nature brought them a release from their fetters.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC You are a describing strange * and strange scene. Last of all. suppose. What answer should you expect him to make. prisoners. and compelled suddenly to stand up. raise his eyes to it encounter the light of the moon and stars. and sees more correctly . . him the several objects that are passing by. and let us suppose that he goes through all these actions with pain. he will be able to observe and . study the heavenly bodies and by night. . I imagine. will discern the reflections of . I be most successful in distinguishing shadows then he men and other things in and after this he will water. and that the dazzling splendour renders him incapable of discerning those objects of which he used formerly to see the shadows. At first he will Hence. and a remedy for their foolishness. and to point out to regard his old visions as truer than the objects upon his notice Yes. Let us suppose that one of them has been released.

Of course. But. and in a manner the cause of all those things which he and his companions used to see. knowledge. be that as the subject it may.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 6 contemplate the nature of the sun. as teaching. correct.&quot. Now parts to our former statements. there truly real. . this will be his next step. you must . . and the light of the fire therein to the power of the apply in sun all its and by the upward ascent and the contemplation of the upper world. but. indeed. the view which to the following effect. case the source of all take of In the world of is the limit of our and can barely be perceived we cannot I . this imaginary case. is perceived. but as it is in itself in its own territory. is . either in private or in public. to the prison house. since you desire to be told what they are though. by com paring the region which the eye reveals. must set . Obviously. and in the intellectual world dispensing. not as it appears in water or on alien ground. immediately and with full authority. you understand the mounting of the soul into the intellectual region. His next step will be to draw the conclusion. my dear Glancon. when in every help concluding that that is bright and beautiful. that the sun is the author of the seasons and the years. in the it is visible world giving birth to light and its master. the essential Form of Good enquiries. eyes. and the guardian of all things in the visible world. you will hit the tendency of my own surmises. truth and reason and that whosoever would act wisely. God only knows whether they are : if. this Form But of Good before his throughout most of Plato s an identification of the good with the which became embodied in the philosophical in this passage. .

of science. as theory of ideas to Parmenides. Plato produced a divorce between philosophy and science. Ethical considerations can only legitimately appear when the truth has been ascertained they can and should appear as determining our feeling : towards the truth.&quot. not to despise even tha advice shows the genuine with this impartial temper that this apparent insight into a higher reality and a hidden good has to be combined if philosophy is to realise the mystic s its greatest possibilities. among those which illus mind where he seems The most noteworthy is the one a young man. in and are hopes nature still may my opinion. in After Socrates has explained that there is an idea of the good. There are passages in Plato trate the scientific side of his clearly aware of this. and the philosopher. And it is failure in this respect that has made so much of idealistic philosophy thin. whatever his aside while he studies if he is to achieve truth must do the same. and insubstantial. but not of such things as hair and mud and dirt. It is only in marriage with divorced from the world that our ideals can bear fruit : they remain barren. and It is &quot. suffering. Parmenides is the source . it. from which. lifeless.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 7 and is still largely operative in our own day. both have suffered ever since The man must lay them be. But marriage with the world is not to be achieved by an ideal which shrinks from fact. . and our manner of ordering our lives in view of the truth. tradition. is explaining the which Socrates. but not as themselves dictating what the truth is to be. or demands in advance that the world shall conform to himself of a peculiarly its desires. scientific temper. Parmenides advises him meanest things. In thus allowing a legislative function to the good.

: . immovable in the bonds of mighty &quot.&quot. penetrating. Mystical philosophy. trated by the doctrines we have been There considering.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 8 interesting strain of mysticism which pervades Plato logical thought the mysticism which may be called &quot. because it is embodied in theories on s. unchanging. and The fundamental true belief has cast them away. first. chains. to have originated with Parmenides. so far as the West is con cerned. he says. : and spoken &quot. and the soul .&quot. indivisible . capable of absorption in an inward passion must have experienced at times the strange feeling of unreality in common objects. change follows from this principle can be spoken of. and therefore. be. by the principle. the loss of contact with daily things. which appears. it is and without end since coming into being and passing away have been driven afar.It of is not possible for . still is. indestructible. in which the solidity of the outer world is lost. This form of logic. past bility of . mysticism.&quot. Reality. in all ages and in all parts of the is characterised by certain beliefs which are illus world. and it is The impossi for what is to be. without beginning principle of his inquiry . is stated in a sentence which Thou canst not would not be out of place in Hegel know what is not that is impossible nor utter it for it is the same thing that can be thought and that can needs must be that what can be thought And again &quot. which is contrasted with is. coercive. for what it is possible for nothing to is it be. &quot. dominates the reasonings of all the great mystical metaphysicians from his day to that of Hegel and his modern disciples. the belief in insight as against discur the belief in a way of wisdom. sive analytic knowledge sudden. is uncreated. : the slow and fallible study of outward appearance by a All who are science relying wholly upon the senses.

as contrasted with sense. in utter loneliness. Often. reason. We may ignore such inessential and confine ourselves to the beliefs which all mystics share. of insight begins with the sense of a mystery a hidden wisdom now suddenly become beyond the possibility of a doubt. s initiation but for the mystic it is is merely the gateway an ampler world. which no doubt become amalga mated with what was essentially mystical in virtue of their subjective certainty. and analysis. preparing the what seems a higher wisdom. other convictions of a more local and . it is . This is the negative side of the mystic doubt concerning common for the reception of men to whom pass beyond to : the knowledge. accretions. we find. The sense of certainty and revelation comes earlier than any definite The definite beliefs at which mystics arrive are belief. way Many familiar do not this negative experience it. The mystic unveiled. certain the result of reflection upon the inarticulate experience gained in the moment of insight. This Reality is regarded with an admiration often amounting to worship . which are regarded as blind guides leading to the morass of illusion. in many of them.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 9 seems. Closely connected with this belief is the conception of a Reality behind the world of appearance and utterly different from it. temporary character. the mad dance of fantastic phantoms which have hitherto appeared as independently real and living. out of its own depths. The first illumination and most is direct outcome moment of way of know of the belief in the possibility of a ledge which may be called revelation or insight or in tuition. beliefs which have no real connection with this moment become subse quently attracted into the central nucleus thus in addi tion to the convictions which all mystics share. to bring forth.

the distinction of past be illusory. that reality is one and indivisible.&quot.&quot. so far as his logic permits. veiled the lover are seekers after that glory the haunting beauty that they pursue is the faint reflection of its sun. being held in check by his theory of but it reappears. ready. This is an outcome of the one. and its refusal to admit opposition or division good and ill anywhere. if all is and future must and among moderns it is prominent in Parmenides fundamental in the systems of Spinoza and Hegel. to shine in its glory even through the apparent The poet. is less ideas . for example. We have seen this doctrine denial of division . The same attitude appears : &quot. The last of the doctrines of mysticism which we have to consider is its belief that all evil is mere appearance. The assertion of Parmenides. such as &quot. Mysticism does not maintain that such things as cruelty. A third mark of almost all mystical metaphysics is the denial of the reality of Time. prominent. are good. an illusion produced by the divisions and oppositions of . In Plato. &quot. for the receptive mind. in the doctrine of the primacy of the Good. the analytic intellect. with a knowledge beside which all other knowledge is ignorance. this impulse positions. The second characteristic of mysticism is its belief in unity. the way up and the way down is one and the same. : . thinly by the shows of sense. : But the mystic lives in the full light of the vision what others dimly seek he knows. in the simultaneous assertion of contradictory pro We step and do not step into the same rivers we are and are not. but it denies that they are real : they belong to that lower . We found Heraclitus saying are one and again he says. comes from the same impulse towards unity. &quot. the artist. and folly and wickedness of Man.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC io felt to be always and everywhere close at hand. .

by mysticism seems to sufficient restraint. and but good also. But this is a difficult question. namely I. III. is to be commended as an attitude not as a creed about the world. ethically absence of indignation or protest. The meta- . Hegel. the whole system of associated beliefs which make up the body of mystic doctrine. I yet believe that. If this is the truth. the good and characteristic of mysticism This attitude the bad. and one on which it cannot be hoped that mankind will reach Four questions thus agreement. though nevertheless the emotional attitude towards what is held to be Reality is such as would naturally be associated with the belief that Reality is What good. acceptance with joy. as feelings do in dreams. is regarded as illusory. which respectively reason and intuition be preferred to the other ? II. mysticism towards life. Indeed it may is be suspected that the feeling of peace produces. arise in considering the truth or falsehood of mysticism. is. is is a direct outcome of the nature of the mystical experience : with sense of unity its associated a feeling of infinite peace. at least verbally in Spinoza not only evil. disbelief in the ultimate truth of the division into two hostile camps.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC II world of phantoms from which we are to be liberated by Sometimes for example in the insight of the vision. in all cases. What kind On all and ? And if division illusory may be so. : Are there two ways of knowing. Is all plurality Is time unreal IV. while fully developed me mistaken. there is an element of wisdom to be learned from the mystical way of feeling. is called either to ? ? of reality belongs to good and evil ? four of these questions. which does not seem to be attainable in any other manner.

although this emotion. is a mistaken outcome of the emotion. have been printed in a course of Lowell lectures On our knowledge of the external But I have world. is the inspirer best in Man. by those who rebelled against artificial forms of government and thought. 1 . has raised instinct to the position of sole This section. I have no wish to deny it. Bergson. I shall maintain. and also one or two pages in later sections. an opposition between It is common to and reason in speak the eighteenth century. untested and unsupported. Even the cautious and is patient investigation of truth by science. is an insufficient guarantee of truth. and then. published by the Open Court Publishing Company. by all who felt in science a menace to creeds which they associated with a spiritual outlook on life and the world. as the purely rationalistic defence of traditional theology became increasingly difficult. under the name of first &quot. in spite of the fact that much of the most important truth is first suggested by its means.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 12 physical creed. but under the influence of Rousseau and the romantic movement instinct was given the preference.intuition. spirit of reverence REASON AND INTUITION 1 Of the reality or unreality of the mystic s world I know nothing. nor even to declare that the insight which reveals it is not a genuine insight. which seems the very antithesis of the mystic s swift certainty. the opposition was drawn in favour of reason. left them here.&quot. I. of instinct . may be fostered and nourished by that very in which mysticism lives and moves. as this is the context for which they were originally written. as colouring and informing all whatever of other thoughts and feelings. What I do wish to maintain and it is here that the scientific attitude becomes imperative is that insight.

for instance. Instinct. as we may come to know through their per ceived inconsistency with other equally strong beliefs. where it is but the . Reason is a harmonising. But even in such matters a wrong very and in impression may be given by reserve or flattery are often felt . tion of instinct intuition. with extraordinary discrimination through careful disguises. weak regards themselves. or insight is what first leads to the beliefs arbiter of metaphysical truth. which tests our beliefs by their It is mutual compatibility. held instinctively. controlling force rather than a creative one. logical realm. Instinct. and held with instinct regard to single such determination that no degree of inconsistency with other beliefs leads to their abandonment. very strong mistaken. consists. in doubtful cases. is it what insight that first arrives at is new. in the last agreement with other beliefs no less in stinctive. though Where others. such as philosophy deals instinctive beliefs are sometimes wholly with. the possible sources of error on the one side and on the In this there is no opposition to instinct as a other. and examines. possible. Even in the most purely of analysis. but only to blind reliance upon some one interest ing aspect of instinct to the exclusion of other more . is liable to error.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 13 But in fact the opposi and reason is mainly illusory. like all human reason is faculties. tfhich subsequent reason confirms or confutes Confirmation. whole. Where and reason do sometimes conflict is in beliefs. matters less directly practical. Those instinct is all least admit liable it : whom in regard to to practical matters as to which right judgment survival in are often unwilling to admit this as friendship and error is is in a help to hostility in others. such considerations that necessitate the harmonising mediation of reason.

to attain the absolute. the second. p. &quot. and the consequent complete con rest of Bergson demnation of science all s the pretended knowledge derived from and common sense. he says. Bergson attempts this intellect justification in two ways. It is such one-sidedness. The first implies that ways move round the object : the second that we enter of different we of s by &quot. of intellectual in it and therefore &quot. through the imperfect medium of words. These more or maxims may be less trite illustrated Bergson advocacy There are. 6). philosophy consists in reporting. to into it. 1 Introduction to Metaphysics. in those possible. at he mentions self-knowledge from all seize within. that reason aims at correcting.&quot. the kind is. This procedure. .I MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 4 commonplace but not less trustworthy aspects. the knowledge gained by intuition. first by explaining that side is a purely practical faculty to secure biological success. 8). In illustration. A. not instinct itself. (p. The first depends on the point of view at which and on the symbols by which we express The second neither depends on a point of ourselves. stands in need of justification by proving the greater trustworthiness of the beliefs on one than of those on the other. inexpressible (p. application &quot. It is our own personality in its : flowing through time The our self which endures &quot. The first kind of knowledge we are placed may cases be said to stop at the where it is relative . since it takes sides in a conflict of instinctive beliefs. intellect. against intuition &quot. as two profoundly knowing a thing. 1 The &quot. which one places oneself sympathy by is unique to coincide with what in order within an object second of these. by intuition and least. he says. &quot. there is one reality. view nor relies on any symbol.&quot. which is intuition. which we not by simple analysis.

and not a source of true beliefs. useful. that it is only through vival s intellect that and we know of the struggle for sur of the biological ancestry of man : if the intel whole of this merely inferred history untrue. they are use ful when they give truth and become harmful when they give falsehood. If. in the uneducated than in the educated. then it is not only intellect. It is greater. example in regard to other people s characters and dispositions. capacity for pure mathematics friendship is Yet the savage deceived by likely to pay whereas even in the most for his mistake with his civilised societies men false life . that have been developed under the stress of practical Intuition is seen at its best where it is directly utility. has occasionally been developed beyond the intuition. first. but our all faculties. though intuition can apprehend them. Intellect. speaking broadly. . are he interprets baffling to intellect as Of Bergson it. as a rule. that both intuition and intellect have been developed because they are useful. theory that intellect is a purely practical faculty. The fact is. for example. and that. like artistic capacity. are not put to death for mathematical incompetence. the other hand. on the other hand.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 15 secondly by mentioning remarkable feats of instinct in animals and by pointing out characteristics of the world which. for for this kind of knowledge is less explicable by the struggle for existence than. of course. All the most striking of his instances of intuition in animals have a very direct survival value. in civilised man. we agree presumably evolution took place as Darwin him in that with thinking lect is misleading. on point where it is useful to the individual . the is believed. in children than in adults. we may say. developed in the struggle for survival. Bergson apparently holds that capacity. seems on the whole to diminish as civilisation increases.

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 16 Probably in dogs human beings. and envies of which they are quite unconscious. It is true that intuition has a convincingness which is lacking to intellect while it is is it almost to doubt its truth. and even where there is no intentional deception. that the supposed insight such cases and that the slower more groping methods the intellect are in the long run more reliable. Apart from self-knowledge. and people think they see are in love : into another soul as into their own. though even their best friends can perceive them without any difficulty. such instance of ourselves it. Bergson maintains that intellect can only deal with things in so far as they resemble what has been experi enced in the past. one of the most notable examples of intuition is the knowledge people believe themselves to possess of those with whom they the wall between different personalities seems to become transparent. according to him. its greater subjective certainty be if it comes a demerit. as a rule. . Most men. it exceeds anything to be found in see in these facts a recom But those who mendation of intuition ought to return to running wild in the woods. impossible : should appear. was of is illusory. difficult. on examination. dyeing themselves with woad and living on hips and haws. Yet deception in constantly practised with success . yet self-knowledge . But present. while intuition has the power of appre hending the uniqueness and novelty that always belong That there is something unique to each fresh moment. Let us next examine whether intuition possesses any The best infallibility as Bergson claims for it. making it only the more irresistibly deceptive. experience gradually proves. proverbially rare and have in their nature meannesses. is our acquaintance with is for example. vanities. to be at least as fallible as intellect.

but sensation. it is also true that this cannot be fully expressed by means of intel lectual concepts. so far as But direct ac given fully in sensation. the whole apparent seen to be illusory. rough and ready methods of instinct or intuition will find in this field a favourable ground for their application. is admirable in those customary surroundings which have moulded the habits of the animal in question. that supplies new data but when the data are new in any remarkable manner. In such matters as self-preservation and love. of intuition for its apprehension. I can see. . ment to place her inside know them Intuition. is certainly true . that show intuition at its best. Only direct acquaintance can give knowledge of what is unique and new. and not merely to when the ducklings take intuition is analytically . It is the older kinds of activity. The theoretical understanding of the world. or even to most civilised men. sometimes (though not always) with a intuition will act swiftness critical and which are astonishing to the But philosophy is not one of the precision intellect. It is hardly to be supposed. in fact. therefore. but to the water. or to savages.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 17 and new at every moment. which bring out our kinship with remote generations of animal and semi-human ancestors. that the rapid. any and special faculty It is neither intellect nor intuition. quaintance of this kind is does not require. but totally incompetent as soon as the surroundings are changed in a way which demands some non-habitual mode of action. intellect is much more capable of dealing with them than The hen with a brood of ducklings would be. and. which is the aim of philosophy. like all instinct. no doubt has intuition which seems intuition them. is not a matter of great practical importance to animals. . and the hen on the shore. is is left helpless an aspect and develop of instinct.

giving rise to pantheism in religion monism An in and to elaborate logic. more almost than any since the true objects of philosophy. in essence. and that what the universe is seem parts. is. beliefs. a certain aloofness from all mundane hopes and fears. unusual. in the sphere of knowledge. at times. demanding. and that freedom from practical pre intuition. It is not in philosophy.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 18 it pursuits which illustrate our affinity with the past ^ a highly refined. highly civilised pursuit. : and even. however it may conflict with the explicit beliefs of many mystics. and remote. and that quick unanalysed convictions are least deserving of uncritical acceptance. that we can hope to see intuition at its best. and culminating in Hegel and his followers. are strange. as against the self-assertion of a confident reliance upon we are only urging. a certain liberation from the life of instinct. to be its if considered as substantial and self- . In advocating the scientific restraint and balance. that largeness of contemplation. not contrary to the spirit which inspires those but rather the outcome of this very spirit as applied in the realm of thought. On the contrary. for its success. beginning philosophy with Parmenides. it is here. H. and the habit of for their demanded thought apprehension. One all most convincing aspects of the illumination UNITY AND PLURALITY is of the mystic the apparent revelation of the oneness of things. has been gradually developed. to prove that one indivisible Whole. where that intellect proves superior to intuition. Thus our conclusion. else. occupations which have been inculcated by all the great religions of the world. therefore. that impersonal dis interestedness.

a reality one. The paradoxes apparently proved by his logic are really the paradoxes of mysticism. The logic used in defence of mysticism seems to be faulty as logic. not. since which mystical logic has arisen. but shall instead attempt an analysis of the state of mind from criticisms. from what appears to the senses arises with irresistible force in certain moods. would they probably have discovered the errors of theii life. was introduced into Western indivisible. But such of logic fully is not developed mysticism is rare in the West. but appeal directly going mystics to the immediate deliverance of their insight. he will be very hos pitable to any ground that suggests itself. are mere illusion. the need metaphysics Belief in a reality quite different felt. . and accordingly the more thorough do not employ logic. But since the belief already exists. and of most While such a mood is dominant. philosophy by Parmenides. for mystical or religious reasons. and are the goal which he feels his logic must reach if it is to be in accordance with insight. When the intensity of emotional conviction subsides. which 1 have explained elsewhere. and unchanging. fundamental idea.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC existing. The conception 19 of a Reality quite other than the world of appearance. nominally at least. but on the basis of a logical and most subsequent metaphysical systems are the outcome of argument as this to the impossibility of not-being. I shall not here repeat these they are lengthy and difficult. which are the source of most mysticism. a man who is in the habit of reasoning will search for logical grounds in favour of the belief which he finds in himself. and open to technical criticisms. The resulting logic has rendered most philosophers incapable of giving any account of the world of science and daily If they had been anxious to give such an account.

it not be hostile. logic interested or candid. It is in this way that the great philosophers logic has been pursued by those of who were mystics. mysticism shows. or at least to prove that it was insight. Such an sion.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 20 logic . Nevertheless their origin clung to them. and they remained to borrow a useful word in regard to the malicious from Mr. Everyone knows that to read an author simply in ordei to refute him is not the way to understand him . their logical doctrines were presented with a certain dryness. and were believed by their dis be quite independent of the sudden illumination from which they sprang. Santayana ciples to &quot. It is only so that we can account for the complacency with which philo have accepted the inconsistency of their doctrines sophers with all the common and scientific facts which seem best established The and most worthy of belief. real super-sensible world. &quot. but with a desire to retain the vanishing insight. but must be inspired by a genuine accept- must . But since they usually took for granted the supposed insight of the mystic emotion. and that what seems to contradict it is illu The which thus arises is not quite dis and is inspired by a certain hatred the daily world to which it is to be applied. The impulse logic of to logic. but most of them were the world of science and less daily anxious to understand life unreality in the interests of a than to convict of it &quot. of attitude naturally does not tend to the best results. &quot. world of science and common sense. If our logic is to find the common world intelligible. as is natural. reasserts itself as the mood fades. read the book of Nature with a conviction that illusion is just as unlikely to lead to and to it is all understanding. the defects which are inherent in anything malicious. not felt while the mystic mood is dominant.

as already by Parmenides. even now. 34. but originally derived. A truer of time is I think. at any rate in the founders of new systems. often nominally based. rather in relation to our desires than in relation to truth. I It is difficult to this view. ? l what is ultimately real must be im it gave rise to the meta a very common one a physical notion of substance.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC ance such as is not usually to be found 21 among meta physicians. How long Burn up both of them with fire Wilt thou be partitioned by these segments as a reed &quot. is Nevertheless there is think. . and a certain emancipation from slavery to is time is essential to philosophic thought. upon logical arguments. wholly illegitimate satisfaction in such scientific doctrines The belief that mutable is : as the conservation of energy and mass. ! &quot. III. some sense easier to feel than to state in which time an unimportant and superficial characteristic of reality. Past and future must be acknowledged to be as real as the present. 1 Whinfield s translation of the Masnavi (Triibner. p. and finds. 1887). disentangle the truth and the error in The arguments for the contention that time unreal and that the world of sense is illusory must. from the certainty which is born in the insight. be regarded as fallacious. than from a view which regards Both in time as the devouring tyrant of all that is image of the world. The unreality of time is TIME a cardinal doctrine of many metaphysical systems. is obtained by picturing the stream of time from an as into entering things eternal world outside. As a Persian Sufi poet says moment of mystic : Past and future are what veil God from our sight. The importance rather practical than theoretical.

The kind of way in which. but only a difference in relation to us impartial contemplation. : to And im in the intellectual sphere. The felt difference of quality between past and future. just what we now see it to be. the future is tc : some extent subject to our power. to realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom. that very same virtue of disinterestedness which. associated with the idea of evolution. is not an intrinsic : difference. must learn to overcome the difference of attitude towards past and future. on the basis of the development which has led from the lowest forms of life up to man. That this is the case may be seen at once by asking ourselves why our feelings towards the past are so different from our The towards the future. may be illustrated by the philosophy which has become and which and emplified by Nietzsche. ceases to exist. to rise in thought above the tyranny of practical desires. while the past is un alterably fixed.aa MYSTICISM AND LOGIC thought and in feeling. when it was still have been future. sees in progress the fundamental law of the universe. But every future will some day be past if we see the past truly now. it partiality of contemplation is. and thus admits the difference between earlier and of its contemplative outlook. appears as justice and unselfishness. in the sphere of action. Whoever wishes to see the world truly. and to survey the whole stream of time in one comprehensive vision. Bergson. even though time be real. is ex This philosophy. later into With its the very citadel past and future . it must. therefore. pragmatism. and what is now future must be just what we shall see it to be when it has become past. time ought not to enter into our theoretic philosophical thought. as it seems to me. feelings reason for this difference is wholly practical our wishes can affect the future but not the past.

The doctrine of natural kinds. Darwin s Origin of Species persuaded the world that the difference between different species of animals and plants is not the fixed immutable difference that it appears to be. I do not wish to quarrel. appealing to less thing mundane hopes. it soon found a way to reassert itself. Thus the old fixed landmarks became wavering out the and and all sharp outlines were blurred. In spite of its appeals to is some more more and arduous aloof. and none could say where they began or where they ended. the true scientific philosophy.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 23 history of the world. kinship with the ape. too. the of much that universe is has required for a true understanding been forgotten. was suddenly swept away for ever out of the biological world. and protected by its supposed necessity for orthodox dogma. I think. The sun and the planets had already been shown by Laplace to be very probably derived from a primitive more or less undifferentiated nebula. involving intermediate being who could not with certainty be placed either within or with human family. The between man and the lower animals. conjectural as it is. Something of. was shown to be a gradual achievement. But if human conceit was staggered for a moment by indistinct. which to difference our human conceit appears enormous. which had rendered classification easy and definite. and requiring a severer discipline for its science. of Oriental resignation. and that way is th* &quot. successful practice. But I think that.philosophy&quot. its . in the intoxication of a quick success. which was enshrined in the Aristotelian tradition. its hurrying Western self-assertion can emerge from the ardour of youth into the be combined with before it mature wisdom of manhood. something. of evolution. must Hellenism. and Things species lost their boundaries.

the assurance is slipped in that the future. could not be accepted as adequate by the more whole-hearted votaries of change. and though it can be Somehow. and must be replaced by new beliefs to meet the beliefs of . are mere convenient there is only smooth unbroken transition. Not only the aspiration. will be the reader is like better than the past or the present the child which expects a sweet because it has been told : to oijen its mouth and shut its eyes. All our thinking consists of convenient imaginary congealings of the stream reality flows on in spite of all our fictions. Logic. An ideal to which the world continuously approaches is. mathematics. though we cannot foresee it. all things. must change and there must be no develop with the course of evolution : fixed goal. though it might satisfy Spencer and those whom we may Hegelian evolutionists. . new situation. call to these minds. fictions. but a continual fashioning of fresh needs the impulse which the process. : without explicit statement. Separate and beginnings endings. if they us but to-morrow they will be along the stream carry false. but the ideal too. Life. But such a view. lived. The and which alone gives unity in this philosophy. Hence the cycle of changes which science had shown to be the probable history of the past was wel comed as revealing a law of development towards good in the universe an evolution or unfolding of an idea slowly embodying itself in the actual. in is and unreal. it cannot be conceived in thought. which is life divisions are artificial : to-day may count as true to-day. fictions by to a continuous stream. too dead and static to be inspiring.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 24 A process which led from the amoeba to Man appeared to the philosophers to be obviously a progress though whether the amoeba would agree with this opinion is not known.

or at least of the destiny of interested in morality and happiness more than in knowledge for its own sake.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 25 physics disappear in this philosophy. towards a goal which. and that a desire for the kind of sophy can give attain truth. motives and interests which inspire it are so exclusively practical. &quot. that it of the questions that. recedes as we advance. it must have a province of its own. constitute genuine special. to philosophy. It is interest of evolutionism is in the human destiny. because they are what is real is no impulse and movement too static . and makes every place different when it reaches it from what it appeared to be at a distance. like the rainbow. . It must be admitted that the same may be said of many other philosophies. I do not propose to enter upon a technical examination I wish only to maintain that the of this philosophy. &quot. it is very rare. and the problems with which it deals are so can hardly be regarded as touching any my mind. knowledge which philo But first is if philosophy is to and foremost that necessary philosophers should acquire the disinterested intellectual curiosity which characterises the genuine man of science. Philosophy is not a short cut to the same kind of results as if it is to be a genuine study. and aim at results those of the other sciences : which the other sciences can neither Drove nor disprove. by the methods of that science. But what is evident is that any proposition about the future belongs by its It is subject-matter to some particular science. Knowledge concerning the future which is the kind of knowledge that must be sought if we are to know about human destiny is possible within certain narrow limits. The predominant question of Life. impossible to say how much the limits may be en larged with the progress of science. and is to be ascertained/ if at all.

or present thing. lacking in the philosophy which IV. says Spinoza. I wish only to preserve the mental outlook which inspired the denial.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 36 in Evolutionism. the attitude which. I. Df. I do not wish to do this . IV.&quot. Ethics. regards the past as having the same reality as the present and the same In so far.&quot. Bk. &quot. Ib. II.. VI. It is this I find to the dictate of reason that ceiving according of reason. Prop. &quot. is based on evolution.&quot. LXII. : us. as the mind conceives a thing according to the dictate &quot. past. By reality and 2 but else perfection I mean the same thing. is .&quot. : ill are one. but gooduses the word &quot. Pt. it will be equally affected whether the idea is con that of a future. Both views are to be found in Heraclitus Good and &quot. similar twofold position is to be found in Spinoza. &quot. &quot. but more often holds that all Reality is good. A &quot. GOOD AND EVIL Mysticism maintains that all evil is illusory. . Df. To God all things are fair and good and right. but men hold some things wrong and some right. as we saw. perfection &quot. and some times maintains the same view as regards good. * Ethics. he says I mean shall that where we find the definition By good 8 Thus useful to know to be which we certainly perfection belongs to Reality in its own nature. he says. 1 importance as the future. &quot. progress. as its tyrant rather than its servant. IV. and thereby loses that impartiality of contemplation which is the source of all that is best in philosophic thought and feeling.&quot. in thought. but he when he means to speak of the good that not merely human. Meta physicians. it seems to me. but again. Pt. to become allows the notion of time.&quot. which is itself basing upon the notion of change from the worse to the better. have frequently denied altogether the reality of time.

mystical . and disappears Some such distinction. which divides the world of appearance into but there is also a what seem to be conflicting parts of which kind belongs to Reality good. is difficult to give a logically tenable account of this is It good and evil are sub merely that towards which position without recognising that what jective. and overcome the ethical dualism which action requires. and that this higher good belongs to the whole shall world as say that there it is in reality. and to of feeling. higher. have a distinction of good and and worse. But this distinction. belongs to it is necessary to evil. we if. in 27 necessary in order to understand the ethical outlook there is a lower mundane kind of good mysticism : and evil.&quot. vision. relative to ourselves an impartial survey. taining to action. and the apparent and justified. if concerned with time. we remain merely impartial. a higher good than that of action. that we have one kind is good is and what is evil is merely we have another kind of feeling. is In this way the twofold attitude vacillation of mysticism are explained . I think. light. . we if worship. In our contemplative action to not called is only because for. where possible to be impartial. we may be content both the good and the evil of action are that say So long as to But illusions.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC ness is of is and our needs. it is it is as essentially life. In where we have to exercise choice. prefer this to that of two possible acts. and every Apparell d in celestial common sight. and not opposed by any correlative kind of evil. or at least of better like everything per what mysticism regards the world of illusion. &quot. . that towards which our active life. as find the we we must do if we have the mystic whole world worthy of love and see The earth.

it must be admitted that here . freed from therefore pre-occupation with all not judge things good or it is combined with that feeling bad. a possibility of a nobler. Although. becomes a tyrant in this and introduces into thought the restless Good and evil. it selectiveness of action. are. But if we are not to be led into false beliefs. apart from any creeds which may be built upon it. not only from the kind of survey which discards good and evil alto gether from its view. And an impartial contemplation. through the notion of progress. mysticism can be interpreted so as to agree with the view that good and evil are not intellectually fundamental. it is necessary to realise exactly what the mystic It reveals a possibility of human nature emotion reveals. evil. happier. and is thus shut out. will good. although very easily of universal love which leads the mystic to say that the whole world is Self. like time. is bound up with the ethical dualism of the worse and the better. or about the nature of the universe in general. but also from the mystical belief in the goodness of everything. and joy for the in all conduct and and gives inestimable value to the mystic emotion. but late and highly specialised in the world of members of the intellectual hierarchy. not general or fundamental thought. Good and bad. are the reflections of our own emotions on other things. and even the higher good that mysticism finds everywhere. as we saw.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 20 The possibility of this universal love that exists of is happiness of supreme importance life. freer life than any that can be otherwise achieved. would seem. In this way the distinction of good and philosophy. The philosophy of evolution. like time. But it does not reveal anything about the non-human. not part of the substance of things as they are in themselves.

Thus of the ethical interests which have often inspired philo some kind of sophers must remain in the background : may inspire the whole study. chemist is not now required to prove the ethical im portance of his ions or atoms . I we however. The general form and structure of those attitudes towards objects which constitute mental phenomena is a problem for philosophy. a scientific philosophy can do anything whatever to satisfy. and an ethical be briefly defended. The difference between a good world and a bad one is a difference in the particular character the particular things that exist in these worlds not a sufficiently abstract difference to come within istics of it is : the province of philosophy. is not a difference but the difference between love and hate form or structure. The hope of satisfaction to our more human desires the hope of demonstrating that the world has this or that desirable ethical characteristic is not one which. but none must obtrude in the detail or be expected in the special results which are sought. the biologist is not expected to prove the utility of the plants or animals . that the elimination of ethical con siderations from philosophy is both scientifically necessary believe. Love and hate.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 29 are no longer in verbal agreement with most of the great philosophers and religious teachers of the past. but to philosophy they are closely analogous attitudes towards objects. are ethical opposites. we may remind ourselves that a similar change has been found ethical interest The physicist or necessary in all the other sciences. for example. so far as I can see. and therefore belongs rather to the special science of psychology than to philosophy. If this view seems at first sight disappointing. though this may seem a paradox Both these contentions must advance.

In philosophy. appears in Plato s Timaeus for example. It is . success. with ethical attributes its : he is merely concerned to find out facts. if philosophy is not to remain a set of pleasing dreams. ethical neutrality has been seldom sought and hardly ever achieved. the belief that the notions of afford a key good and evil must to the understanding of the world has sought a refuge in philosophy. and difficult and only during the last century that an and here ethically neutral psychology has grown up to scientific essential has been ethical too. In psychology. It is a commonplace that . neutrality in theory also. must be important or bad. hitherto. Men have remembered their wishes. was studied because men believed in astrology it was thought that the which he dissects. this belief must be driven forth. But even from this last refuge. on the contrary. is full of ethical it is an essential part of its purpose to show notions it : that the earth is of admiration. as physicist. as of study. when direct human and im beings. the scientific attitude is even more and more recent it is than in the physical sciences natural to consider that human nature either is : good to suppose that the difference between good so bad. many who had found astrology study absorbingly interesting decided that astronomy had too little human this belief interest to be worthy Physics. all-important in practice. though he has no wish to deny that the earth is admirable.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 30 In pre-scientific ages this was not the case. sciences. for example. not to consider whether they are good or bad. Astronomy. is not concerned. : movements of the planets had the most portant bearing upon the lives of sumably. and have judged philosophies Driven from the particular in relation to their wishes. worthy The modern physicist. Pre decayed and the disinterested of astronomy began.

a realisation of the human somewhat lacking in material successes and quick insolent belief in the boundless possibilities of progress. Insistence which lives on of it lies belief in in an external realisation of the good self-assertion. there is an element of submission. with He &quot. through a too confident love of and there is life. In religion. The submission which religion inculcates in action is essen tially the same in spirit as that which science teaches in should lose thought and the ethical neutrality by which its victories have been achieved is the outcome of that submission. and destroy that it lies reverence towards fact which constitutes both what is . which. that a philosophy which does not seek to impose upon the world own its conceptions of good and evil is not only likely to achieve truth. We are thus brought back to our seeming paradox. not best achieved by those and it would seem that the same 31 who is is seek it true of the good. and in every deeply serious view of the world and of human destiny. ward good which while it cannot is a form secure the desires. like evolu more tionism and most traditional systems. The good which it concerns us to remember is the good our power to create the good in our own and in our attitude towards the world. life itself much of what gives it its highest worth. those who forget good and evil and seek only to know the facts are more likely to achieve good than those who view the world through the distorting medium of their own desires.gt. . In thought. can seriously impair the within our power. at any rate.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC happiness directly . power. limits of the its &quot. which modern world. but is also the outcome of a higher ethical standpoint than one which. that loveth his danger lest. external good which L&amp. is its life shall lose it . is perpetually appraising the universe and seeking to find in it an embodiment of present ideals.

its ethical preoccupations.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 32 valuable in humility and what is fruitful in the scientific temper. like every approach to selfbrings with it a rich reward in increase and breadth and comprehension. glitter of outward but more indifferent and more capable of accepting the world without the tyrannous imposition of our human and temporary to fate. fails to be a truly scientific philosophy because of its slavery to time. of course. everything but experience has shown are not the conceptions by hostility to be understood. something subjective. though as yet only in a nascent condition. demands. But scientific philosophy comes nearer to objectivity than any other human and gives us. Evolutionism. mirage to and mundane concerns and its predominant destiny. sophy thus represents. wholly transcend nature . A truly be more humble. Scientific philo either friendly or hostile that friendliness and which the world is . philosophy will more arduous. interest in our scientific meal. if only the interest that determines the direction of our attention. more piece offering less flatter fallacious hopes. a higher form of thought than any pre-scientific belief or imagination. the closest constant and the most intimate relation with the outer world that it is pursuit. must remain in all our thought. . in spite of its appeals to particular scientific facts. Human human beings cannot. of scope it and. To possible to achieve. is the primitive mind. transcendence. therefore.

II THE PLACE OF SCIENCE IN A LIBERAL EDUCATION to the ordinary reader of newspapers. in this aspect. represented triumphs. The instance of wireless telegraphy will serve to illus trate the difference Almost all between the two points of view. but this reason has been so often urged and to my It is so easily appreciated that other reasons. not of this aspect of science that I wish to speak. Science. is mind with these other reasons. interesting only until they are replaced by newer something nothing of the and more up-to-date. consists of detached up-to-date is fragments. quite as important. th^ serious intellectual labour required for the 33 . that I shall be concerned in what follows. especially with the in mind in forming our trinsic value of a scientific habit of outlook on the world. are apt to be overlooked. is by a varying selection of sensational SCIENCE. almost as a casual incident. have practically useful results which interest the come the man The increased command over the nature which is derived from science is un in the street. such as wireless telegraphy and aeroplanes It radio-activity and the marvels of modern alchemy. displaying systems of patiently constructed know ledge out of which. forces of doubtedly an amply sufficient reason for encouraging scientific research.

but sincerely. leisurely. of giving that well-informed. not merely politely. but had not that broad sweep and that universality which could give them intrinsic interest as an object of dis interested contemplation. bringing together and unifying an end apparently detached phenomena. and demonstrated the identity of light with electromagnetic waves. and Hertz. are apt to admit. but none the inferiority services And less real. Even the warmest advocates of science are apt to rest their claims on the contention that culture ought to be sacrificed to Those men of science who respect culture. when utility. impersonal outlook which constitutes culture in the good sense of this much-misused word. The system which they discovered is one of profound intel modern theory lectual interest. From the point of view of training the mind. systematic of mind is finer quality .MYSTICISM AND LOGIC Jl of possibility this invention is due to three men Faraday. Maxwell. a certain on their side. they associate with men learned in the classics. and variety displaying a cumulative mental power which cannot but of less afford delight to every generous spirit. very considerable ingenuity. and little attempt is made to preserve that survey by which the formed and nourished. no doubt. of science. compensated doubtless by the which science renders to humanity. The mechanical details which remained to be adjusted in order to utilise their discoveries for a practical system of telegraphy demanded. it so long as this attitude exists tends to verify itself : among men the intrinsically valuable aspects of science tend to be sacrificed to the merely useful. it seems to be generally held indisputable that a literary education is superior to one based on science. In alternating layers of these three men built up the and theory experiment of electromagnetism.

The qualities in which the present excels are qualities to which the study of the past does not direct attention.SCIENCE AND CULTURE But even feriority as this is. any such in supposed in the educational value of science. One education seem inherent in a purely a exclusive too emphasis namely. however. in present fact. and earth-soiled as those from own day. which is shocking to the man of sensitive is quivering from the rough contact. a habit of criticism towards the present and the future is engendered. does classical on the past. and my knowledge of of Greek and Latin literature. and to which. but by drawing attention to neglected excellences in science. insolent. even a vulgar. there be. derived almost wholly from firmly persuaded that the Greeks Greek and Latin authors translations. and that it is a very great and serious loss to be unacquainted with their writings. not the fault of science but the itself. if is I believe. But I am is fully deserve all the admiration that is bestowed upon them. forgetting that they were reclaimed from the wilderness by men as rough taste . that I wish to conduct my argument. It is not by attacking them. fault of the spirit in possibilities 35 that its capacity of producing those habits of If its full I believe mind which constitute the highest mental excellence would be at least as great as that of literature. and more particularly In saying this I have no wish whatever to disparage a classical education. By the study of what is absolutely ended and can never be renewed. there little apt to be something crude. defect. were realised by those who teach it. whom he shrinks in his The habit of being unable to recognise merit . the student of Greek civilisation may In what is new and growing easily become blind. I have not myself enjoyed its benefits. he retires to the trim gardens of a polished past. which science is taught. therefore.

traditional. which militates not only against the exclusive study of the classics. see but such impartiality is rare So says the Chinese poet in the more pugnacious atmosphere of the West. leads inevitably What is the true end of education ? But before tion to : attempting to answer this question define the sense in For tion. since its consideration would introduce topics quite foreign to the question with which we are concerned. is too apt to be the result of a purely and a culture based wholly on the past will seldom be able to pierce through everyday surroundings to the essential splendour of the hope of still &quot. eyes saw not the And now their age . My men of old away has rolled.&quot. may be confined to the imparting of definite information on .MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 36 until it bookish is dead life. educa distinguish the sense in from two others. I weep to think I shall not The heroes of posterity. but against every form of culture which has become static. which I to use it In the broader sense. vitally In the narrower sense. where the champions of past and future fight a never-ending . the formation of character Of this aspect of education. education instruction. this mean it will be well to which we are to use the word purpose I shall &quot. but all that we learn through personal experience through the education of life. I will say nothing. the one broader and the other narrower than the sense in which I mean to use the word. contemporary things.&quot. This consideration. both perfectly legitimate. battle. instead of combining to seek out the merits of both. or to greater splendour in the future. important as it is. education will include not only what we learn through instruction. and the fundamental ques academic.

and if influence. and arithmetic is almost wholly of this kind. in the sense in which I mean it.SCIENCE AND CULTURE 37 various subjects. by sort of outlook. queen-bee. &quot. It remains to ask ourselves. spreads slowly through the subsidiary impulses. what mental habits. because such information. which store up in its service ness. colourless. die. little by the But affords. Elementary education reading. Only what is in some way connected with these instincts and impulses appears to us desirable or important there is no faculty. &quot. Each of them is like a . of certain mental habits and a certain outlook on life and the world. so obviously What was worth doing that life formerly it raised . death-dealing habit. I wish be may means of instruction. writing. it : is whatever honey the surrounding world the queen-impulse though retarded a all dies. and denned as what the formation. can be instruction ? hoped for as the result of answered this question we When we have can attempt to decide what science has to contribute to the formation of the habits and outlook which we desire. Education. in and for itself. and the cells remain empty of their expected sweet So with each primary impulse in civilised man surrounded and protected by a busy swarm of attendant derivative desires. But instruction. aided by a hive of workers gathering honey but when the queen is gone the workers languish and . is useful in daily life. &quot. whether reason or virtue or what ever it may be called. &quot. necessary as it is. and a whole tract of becomes inexplicably full of zest. Our whole life is built about a certain number not a very small number of primary instincts and impulses. does not per se constitute education in the sense in which to consider it. that can take our active life and our hopes and fears outside the region controlled by these first movers of all desire.

&quot. the spasmodic. all to teach virtue has led to the production of stunted and contorted hypocrites instead of full-grown human beings. the purpose can only be to enlarge the scope of those that human nature provides. fragmentary.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 3* no questions. The purpose of education. which through possible conflicts of impulses are foreseen. has now grown dreary and purposeless : we inquire the meaning of life. and when they are extinct no miracle can restore to the world the value which they reflected upon it. is to thwart or But although nature must supply the initial force of desire. therefore. perhaps. In this way . and by showing where the most permanent satisfaction is to be found. The search for an outside meaning that can compel an inner response must always be disappointed all meaning must be at bottom related to our primary desires. ministry and temporary impulses are impulse which may controlled by the unifying be called wisdom. and the endeavour . in the civilised man. the theory that the purpose of education eradicate nature. cannot be to with a sense of disillusion &quot. waste no more words on we need. : any primary impulse which create lacking in the uneducated . nature that man. natural misconceived often &quot. From such mistakes a kinder heart is in education a better psychology or beginning to preserve the present therefore. generation . and decide. nature is not. is &quot. this obvious truth has been too in the training of the young has been falsely regarded as excluding best in what is natural. by increasing is number and variety of attendant thoughts. Each impulse has its constitutional of thought and knowledge and reflection. that all is vanity. &quot. Under the impulse of a Calvinistic horror of the the &quot. and yet violent set of impulses that it is in the savage.

and vast stretches circle of his interests. and whether it is in any respect superior to its rivals in educational practice. we can return to the consideration of science. and of the nature of the nonhuman world as it is in itself apart from our desires and interests. which is not inherently necessary. Closely connected with this moral end is the more purely intellectual aim of education. embracing distant countries. as it human environment. is to be judged successful in proportion as its out come approximates to this ideal . but not actually and fully realisable. in proportion. The complete attainment of such an objective view is no doubt an ideal. but a citizen of the universe. indefinitely approachable. Education. but is certainly true . and increases through knowledge the wealth and variety of the indi vidual s contacts with the outside world. II Two opposite and at first sight conflicting merit* belong to science as against literature and art. the endeavour to make us see and imagine the world in an objective manner. making him no longer an isolated righting unit. remote regions of space. inquiring how far science contributes to such an aim. It in the insistence of desire that is of past is and future within the this simultaneous softening and enlargement of its scope the chief moral end of education.SCIENCE AND CULTURE 39 education destroys the crudity of instinct. as far as possible as it is in itself. that is gives us a true view of our place in society. and not merely through the distorting medium of personal desire. considered as a process of forming our mental habits and our outlook on the world. The one. If this standard is admitted. of the relation of the whole human society to its nonto say.

is hopefulness as to the future of in particular as to the useful human achievement. and : theory and spontaneity out of the canker in its is still insincerity destroys the advantages of a merely pretended ignorance. to my mind I mean the also a merit. from which there seems no escape except into the deliberate vandalism which ignores tradition and in the search after originality But in such vandalism achieves only the eccentric. actually increase the diffi culty of fresh triumphs of attainment . Each of these reasons for preferring the study of science requires some amplification.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 40 at the present day. a certain peevishness and undue fas tidiousness towards the present. to those who have cumulative. our attention of literature or art is per men of Greece or than any men do now the upon the past of the Renaissance did better : the . and perhaps its greatest merit irrelevance of human passions and of the whole subjective apparatus where scientific truth is concerned. In the study petually riveted Let us begin with the first. triumphs of former ages. by rendering not only is originality harder artistic achievement not seems even to depend upon a certain freshness and naivete of impulse and vision which civilisa tion tends to destroy. Hence comes. The despair thus arising from an education which suggests no pre-eminent mental activity except that of creation is wholly absent from an education artistic . there is none of the simplicity which great art springs core. and work that may be accomplished by any intelligent student. but it been nourished on the literary and artistic productions of former ages. so far from facilitating fresh triumphs in our own age. This merit and the cheerful outlook which it engenders prevent what might otherwise be the de pressing effect of another aspect of science.

a thousand lesser No it. transcendent ability useful discoveries in science is . who can apply the method with fresh vigour. science. in nothing worth doing can be done without genius its . we may say that it dates from Galileo. dependent for progress upon the appearance of continually greater genius. where one upon the shoulders of of supreme genius man has invented a method. Yet already it has transformed the world. men can apply required in order to make the edifice of science needs masons. The discovery of scientific method. appropriate to different classes of problems but over and above them all. there is something not . required for their work. is not so great as that required by the first inventor of the method. and its success proceeds with matics. bricklayers. for science the successors stand in their predecessors . covered an activity of the very highest value in which they are no longer. In science men have dis ever-accelerating velocity. and to associate it with the name of Bacon. But the true inductive method was not discovered by Bacon. It may be called the . science even a very moderate capacity can contribute to a supreme achievement. and architects. and common labourers as well In art as its foremen. master-builders. unimpaired by the previous labour of but the mental calibre of the thought perfecting it . as in art.SCIENCE AND CULTURE 41 which gives the knowledge of scientific method. except in pure mathe a thing of yesterday speaking broadly. There are in science immense numbers of different methods. In science the invents a man of real genius new method. is . which method of was formerly customary to identify this with the inductive method. and the true method of science easily definable. however brilliant. is The notable the man who discoveries are often made by his successors.

method. so seemingly trivial. but I will try to indicate mind out of which the scientific method scientific the temper of grows. or even in the accurate ellipses. considered that the stars in circles because the circle is the most I Aristotle. But to remember it consistently in the world. This may be painful to a certain hankering after simplicity of pattern in the universe. especially where the available evidence is means uncertain make and inconclusive. so obvious. Easy as this knowledge seems now. The kernel of the scientific outlook and is is the refusal to regard our own desires. In the absence of evidence to the con trary. this may seem no more than a trite truism. of the scientific outlook a thing so simple. A few illustrations will this clear. to the courage tific of scien . which is the second of the two merits that were mentioned above as belonging to a The kernel scientific education. matters arousing our passionate partisanship is by no easy. or in any other kind of simply describable curve. must move perfect curve. but we know that in astronomy such feelings are irre levant. We know now how was to ascertain as a fact way in which the heavenly bodies move.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 42 something which includes deduction as mucn as induction. and we know that they do not move in circles. logic and mathematics as much as botany and geology. key to the understanding of interests as affording a Stated thus baldly. he allowed himself to decide a question of fact by an appeal to aesthetico-moral considerations. that the mention of it may almost excite derision. tastes. understand. I shall not attempt the difficult task of stating is what the method is. we owe it and insight of the first inventors and more especially of Galileo. In such a case it is at once obvious to us that this appeal unjustifiable.

but does not impair the value of his method. though to most it is still a difficult and artificial intellectual contortion. new that people ought not to act as he said they did. His great merit lies in considering man not as the object of praise or blame. so the philosopher can quote science. This illustration is for the fact that his actual doctrine is nov? all 43 Malthus s the better known to be It is not his conclusions that are largely erroneous. that may falsify his conclusions. There is of however. his calm determination man as a natural phenomenon marks an im portant advance over the reformers of the eighteenth century and the Revolution. germ-plasms. The scientific spirit is not an affair of. ana this was only possible because Malthus s outlook was essential truly scientific. . But as the devil can quote Scripture. one study which is as yet almost wholly un touched by the scientific spirit I mean the study of philosophy Philosophers and the public imagine that must pervade pages that bristle with the scientific spirit and the eyes of shell-fish. but the valuable. it was to him that Darwin owed ar part of his theory of natural selection. If the if the consequences are not quite what he inferred. The objections which were that it was horrible made when his and depressing. and is to some people quite natural. Under the influence Darwinism the scientific atti tude towards man has now become fairly common. behaviour is not quite what Malthus supposed. to treat as against all of them. allusions to ions. a thing with a certain characteristic behaviour from which certain consequences must follow. and so on were all such as implied an unscientific attitude of doctrine was mind . but as a part of nature. temper and method of his inquiry As everyone knows.SCIENCE AND CULTURE We may take as another illustration doctrine of population.

but which we have as yet no reason to suppose justified. and would give us the cosy feeling that every place is like home. for no better reason. and the whole subjective emotional life. loves and hates. for example. of course. in philosophy this attitude of mind has not as yet been achieved. which is can find . until we it become subdued to the material. The than manners are an mind involves a sweeping other desires in the interests of the desire to scientific attitude of all away of know involves suppression of hopes and fears.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 44 quotation. any more affair of the etiquette-book. without bias. Mind. at bottom. but human. negative. is to give to our hopes and importance which may. without any wish except to see it as it is. A certain self-absorption. has marked almost all attempts to conceive the universe as a whole. or some aspect of it thought or will or sentience has been regarded as the pattern after which the universe is to be con ceived. I have spoken so far largely of the negative aspect of the scientific spirit. than that such a universe would not seem strange. fears a cosmic be neutral terms. without preconceptions. not per sonal. and until arrived at a scientific attitude we have arrived at such an it is hardly to be hoped that philosophy will achieve any solid results. To conceive the universe as essentially progressive or essen tially deteriorating. but it is from the positive aspect that its attitude. in philosophy we have not . one of the chief incentives to artistic creation. to what we should like it to be. able to see it frankly. The instinct of constructiveness. value is derived. or it is can easily imagine Now it positive or to what we to be. and without any belief that what must be determined by some relation. Until we have learnt to think of it in ethically justified. of externally acquired information.

and its happiness is derived from the very best sources that are open to dwellers on this troubled and passionate planet. which any epic poem. A life devoted to science is therefore a happy life. source of almost ished 45 all intellectual effort. interests.SCIENCE AND CULTURE in scientific systems a satisfaction more massive than Disinterested curiosity. . the admiration of splendid achievement. is fulfilled by the impersonal cosmic outlook of science as by nothing else. To all these happiness of the must be added. finds that delight might well have science seemed desire for a larger life can unveil for ever and wider is the with aston which secrets undiscoverable. for The an escape from private circumstances. and the consciousness of inestim able utility to the human race. and even from the whole recurring human cycle of birth and death. as contributing to the man of science.

at any cost. boil and burning mountains heaved and tossed. from the monsters. the knowledge of good and evil.Ill A FREE MAN S WORSHIP 1 Dr. 46 And . huge damp mould. At length it began to take shape. with the power of thought. the central mass threw off planets. December. sea monsters breeding. the planets cooled. 1903. and passing away. Man And was born. devouring. to : The grow endless praises of the choirs of angels had begun wearisome . after all. as the play unfolded itself. saying TO &quot. Faustus in his study Mephistopheles told the history of the Creation. for. For countless ages the hot nebula whirled aimlessly through space. and resolved that the great drama their praise ? should be performed. Reprinted from the Independent Review. did he not deserve Had he not given them endless joy ? be more amusing to obtain undeserved Would it not praise. fighting. monstrous world. And now the first germ of life grew in the depths of the ocean. struggling to snatch. from black masses of cloud hot sheets of rain deluged ing seas the barely solid crust. And Man saw that that all is moments 1 passing in this mad. &quot. and developed rapidly in the fructifying warmth springing from the ferns into vast forest trees. and the cruel thirst for worship. to be worshipped by beings whom he tortured ? He smiled inwardly. a few brief all is of life before Death s inexorable decree.

anywhere. his growth. Yes. and the purpose is good . the labours of the ages. could fathom it. and in the visible world there is nothing worthy of reverence/ And Man stood aside from the God intended harmony to come human efforts. can that all preserve an individual life beyond the grave . he sent another sun through the sky. . are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms that no fire. more void of meaning.A FREE MAN S WORSHIP Man said There : is 47 we but a hidden purpose. his hopes and fears. And he gave God which God s thanks for the strength that enabled him to forgo even And God smiled and the joys that were possible. that his origin. are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar . I will it performed again. and asked God to forgive him. his loves and his beliefs. And when he followed which God had transmitted to him from struggle. Such. no heroism. in outline. have he murmured. And seeing the present was bad. no intensity of thought and feeling. all the devotion. and all returned again which crashed into Man s sun . But he doubted whether he could be justly forgiven. that thereby the future might be better. is the world which Science presents for our belief. but even more purposeless. Amid such a world. for we must rever ence something. resolving that out of chaos by the instincts his ancestry of beasts of prey. . it was a good play . he called it Sin. until he invented a divine Plan by wrath was to have been appeased. our ideals That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving . all the noonday brightness of human genius. if henceforward must find a home. he made it yet worse. to nebula. when he saw that Man had become perfect in renuncia tion and worship. all the inspira tion.

if not quite beyond are so dispute. subject still to her power. Pathetic and very terrible is the long history of cruelty and torture. The savage. of degradation and human sacrifice. in the world with which he freedom belongs . that no philosophy yet which rejects them can hope to stand. and is in this lies his superiority to the resistless forces that control his out ward life. but knowledge of good and evil. with Mother. mark and know. How. untarnished ? but blind. to criticise. and in imagination to alone. has brought forth at last a child. Only within universe in ruins the scaffolding of these truths. this seal of the yet free. can the soul s habitation henceforth be safely built. their lust for blood must be ap peased. the Man parental control. when what is most precious has been freely given. himself nothing that he respects more than Power. to examine. with the capacity of judging all the works of his unthinking gifted with sight.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 48 system. in such an alien and inhuman world. during his brief years. and that the whole temple of Man s achieve ment must inevitably be buried beneath the d6bris of a all these things. to create. The religion of . the trembling believer thinks. without inquiring whether they are worthy of his worship. is To him acquainted. endured in the hope of placating the jealous gods : surely. nearly certain. like ourselves. can so powerless a creature as Man preserve his aspirations A strange mystery it is that Nature. feels the oppression of his impotence before the powers of Nature but having in . only on the firm founda tion of unyielding despair. in the revolutions of her secular omnipotent hurryings through the abysses of space. and more will not be required. In spite of Death. he is willing to prostrate himself before his gods.

those created the demands by the savage. in our own day. the claim of the ideal world begins to be felt and worship. base their morality upon the struggle for survival. But others. will adopt the position which we have become accustomed to regard as specially religious. even in his heart. But the world of fact. as morality grows bolder. When we have realised that Power is largely bad. things the by freeing him as far as possible from tyranny of non-human Power. still urging that naked Power is worthy of worship. allow the thought that his master deserves no adulation. there is an element of must be purged. Such also is the attitude of those who. though they feel 1 of the ideal. Some. maintaining that. and. but of the divine goodness there is no hint. and receive an unlimited respect. in some hidden manner. who dare not. the mystic unity of what is and what should be. must be given to gods of another kind than . Power may be freely wor shipped. not content with an answer so repugnant to the moral sense. Since the independence of ideals not yet acknowledged. Thus all-good. the world of fact Man is really harmonious with the world of creates God.A FREE MAN S WORSHIP 49 Moloch as such creeds may be generically called is in essence the cringing submission of the slave. Such is the attitude inculcated in God s answer to Job out of the whirlwind : the divine power and knowledge are paraded. main taining that the survivors are necessarily the fittest. if it is not to cease. But gradually. with his knowledge of good and evil. that man. after all. in submitting our judgment to it. despite its is wanton infliction of pain. is not good . will stih consciously reject them. Man. is but a helpless atom in a world which has no such slavishness from which our thoughts For in all it is well to exalt the dignity of . all-powerful and ideals.

it seems to be. world we know. and affects profoundly our whole morality. in the let &quot. while we live. and that the ideals to which we do and must adhere are not realised in the realm of matter. for the ideal of perfection which life does not permit us to attain. a sacrifice of our If strength indeed is to be respected.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 50 knowledge. bad. we are free. to respect only the heaven which inspires the insight of our In action. though none of these things meet with the ap proval of the unconscious universe. Let us admit that. we must submit best moments. Let us learn. or shall we worship Goodness ? Shall our God exist and be evil. into the world the good of *act. there are many things that would be better otherwise. from the men. then. in aspiration. in desire. the choice again presented to us is Shall : we worship Force. . as In this in determination to worship by our own love of the good. us respect rather the strength of those who refuse which fails to recog that false recognition of facts nise that facts are often bad. that energy of faith which enables us to live constantly in the vision of and let us descend. with that vision always before us. free even. Let us preserve our respect for truth. is the result of failure to maintain our itself own ideals against a hostile universe : it is a prostrate submission to evil. for beauty. perpetually to the tyranny of outside forces j/ but in thought. lies Man s God only the let us reject true freedom created : it If Power is from our hearts. or shall he be recognised as the creation of our own conscience ? The answer to this question is very momentous. free from our fellow- from the petty planet on which our bodies impotently crawl. . to which Carlyle and Nietzsche and the creed of Militarism have accustomed us. best to Moloch. The worship of Force. &quot. in action. free tyranny of death.

To defy with Promethean constancy a hostile universe. always actively hated. though they prove impossible.A When FREE MAN S WORSHIP 51 the opposition of fact and ideal grows fully visible. has shown a wisdom exceeding that of the Promethean It must be admitted that. though sometimes false. yet Christianity. But the vision we of beauty is possible only to unfettered contemplation. desires springs the virtue of resignation dom of . for still it thoughts to be occupied with an evil world compels our . them any of those personal goods that are subject to the mutations of Time. to keep its evil always in view. half reconquer the reluctant world. by providing a reason . some. however. Indignation is a submission of our thoughts. in preaching it. is far less often false than untamed passion sup poses . to refuse no pain that the malice of Power can invent. do not form part of a fully purified ideal. wisdom consists is found our desires. of fierce hatred of the gods. the things we desire. appears to be the duty of all who will not bow before the inevitable. as ardently longed . at last. and in the from which rebellion springs there fierceness of desire a kind of self-assertion which it is is necessary for the wise to overcome. The belief for. From the submission of our in the submission of but not of our thoughts. But indignation is a bondage. and the creed of religion. a spirit of fiery revolt. from the free our thoughts springs the whole world of art and philosophy. Although the necessity of renunciation is evidence of the existence of evil. but not of our desires the Stoic freedom in which . to thoughts not weighted by the load of eager wishes and thus Freedom comes only to those who no longer ask of life that it shall yield . are yet real goods others. of philosophy of rebellion. that what must be renounced is bad. first seems necessary to the assertion of freedom. and the vision of beauty by which.

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 52 proving that it is never false. To every man comes. But there even in resignation a further is good element : when they are unattainable. remote from the touch of sorrow. to be fretfully the great renunciation. Except there is for those rare spirits that are born without sin. fortune comes. It is the part of courage. has been the means of purifying our hopes by the discovery of many austere for truths. where of the beauty shines and glows. to turn away our thoughts from vain regrets. by death. For the young. a cavern of darkness to be traversed before that . to bear without repining the ruin of our hopes. remote from the fear of change. in architecture. however beautiful may be the things we crave. giving at once a touch stone to judge the world about us. or by the voice of duty. we must learn. and yet impossible. by poverty. and in the golden sunset magic of lyrics. by illness. when mis Yet. there is a good thing desired with the nothing unattainable whole force of a passionate will. each one of us. Fate may never theless forbid them. in music. right : But passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom for not by renunciation alone can we build a temple for the worship of our own ideals. temple appear in the realm of imagination. sooner or real goods. in the untroubled kingdom of reason. them not credible. and an inspiration by which to fashion to our needs whatever is not incapable of serving as a stone in the sacred temple. Haunting foreshado wings . ought not desired. In the contemplation of these things the vision of heaven will shape itself in our hearts. This degree of submission to Power is not only just and it is the very gate of wisdom. . is to later. remote from the failures and disenchantments of the world of fact. and that. that the world was not made for us.

a new tenderness. its towers. the prouder its victory its in compelling the its triumph. there the eagerness. the shining citadel in the is country. the must be only so can the soul be freed from the empire of Fate. The gate of the cavern is despair. on the very summit from impregnable watchcamps and arsenals. we have learnt both to resign ourselves to the outward rule of Fate and to recognise that the non-human world so to transform it becomes possible at last and refashion the unconscious universe. revealed within its walls the free life continues. even in the very omnipotence of Death the insight of creative idealism can find the reflection beauty which its own thoughts first made. the forces of Nature.A FREE MAN S WORSHIP 53 temple can be entered. it deals. In this of a way mind asserts its subtle mastery over the thoughtless The more evil the material with which the more thwarting to untrained desire. that a new image of shining gold replaces the old idol of clay. Of opposing forces to swell the pageant of all most triumphant . When. Tragedy for builds it s enemy mountain its the proudest. . is its greater to yield up achievement in inducing the reluctant rock hidden treasures. shine forth to gladden the pilgrim s heart. a new joy. by whose radiance a new insight. without the bitterness of impotent rebellion. and all . for daylight of wisdom. in the events of the life of man. his are all . his columns and forts. while the legions of Death and Pain and Despair. very centre of the of his highest the arts. and its floor is paved with the gravestones of abandoned There hopes. But out of the cavern the Gate of Renunciation leads again to the greed of desire slain. so to transmute it is unworthy of our worship. In all the multiform facts of the world in the visual shapes of trees and mountains and clouds. in the crucible of imagination. Self untamed must die .

afford the burghers of that dauntless city new spectacles of beauty. and charity are born . the true initiation into the overmastering beauty of human existence. wisdom. From that awful encounter of the soul with the outer world. with what of courage it can hostile forces command. concentrated upon the individual soul. make up the common day by day we see. the inexhaustible mystery of existence. Victory. an over powering awe. enunciation. in this the true baptism struggle with the powers of darkness. is present always and everywhere in life. surrounding the narrow raft by the flickering light of human comradeship. illumined . we lose all eagerness of temporary desire. is against the whole weight of a universe that cares nothing for its hopes and fears. which must struggle alone. have preserved for us the priceless heritage of liberty. Happy happy the dwellers on that Honour to those brave warriors those sacred ramparts. through countless ages of warfare. to a superficial view. as by some strange marriage of pain. In the spectacle of Death. in which. and in the irrevocableness of a vanished past. all struggling and striving for petty ends. in more or less obvious shapes. is into the glorious company of heroes. But the beauty of Tragedy does but make visible a quality which. and with . in the endurance of intolerable pain. In these moments of insight. and have kept undefiled by sacrilegious invaders the home of the un subdued. all care for the little trivial things that. the dark ocean on whose rolling waves we toss for a brief hour from the great night without. who.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 54 the servile captains of tyrant Fate. there is a sacredness. . a chill blast breaks all the loneliness of humanity amid in upon our refuge life of . the sufferer is bound to the world by bonds of sorrow. the depth. a feeling of the vastness. thrice all-seeing eminence.

beauty. endurable . to feel their passionless splendour. is un but to a soul which has conquered Fate it is the key of religion. Death and change. viewed outwardly. and this is the free man s worship. To take into the inmost shrine of the soul the irresistible forces whose puppets we seem of to be the past. great as they are. is but a small comparison with the forces of Nature. part of ourselves. the irrevocableness and the powerlessness of man before the blind hurry of the universe from vanity to vanity to feel these things and know them is to conquer them. This is the reason The beauty power. The doomed to worship Time and Fate and Death. and make it a still. to think of them greatly. has faded away. greater we no in Oriental subjection. this liberation for Fate is by a con subdued by the effected itself is . . to expel all eagerness of temporary desire. Duncan. what was . like petty and transitory. the Past has such magical motionless and silent pictures why of its enchanted purity of late autumn. The thing slave life in is of Man. to a soul not worthy of it. the things that were beautiful and eternal shine out of it like stars in the Its night. to burn with passion for eternal things this is emancipation. abandon the struggle us free is men . To for private happiness. when the leaves. after life s fitful fever it what was eager and grasping. But. and because all his thoughts are of things which they devour. And such thought makes longer bow before the inevitable but we absorb it. still is like the glow against the sky change or strive sleeps well The Past does not in golden glory. because they are greater than anything he finds in him self.A FREE MAN S WORSHIP 55 their birth a new life begins. though one breath would make them fall. And templation of Fate .

to strengthen failing courage. condemned words in Brief . to-day to lose his dearest. sure doom falls pitiless and dark. where no deed of ours was the cause . the free man finds that a new vision is with him always.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 56 mind which fire leaves nothing to be purged by the purifying of Time. when their good and have become eternal by the immortality of the it failed. to give them the pure joy of a nevertiring affection. Be it ours to shed brief is the sunshine on their path. . United with his fellow-men by the strongest of all ties. towards a goal that few can hope to reach. One by one. our comrades vanish from our sight. be they their day is over. The life of Man is a long march through the night. where they suffered. shedding over every daily task the light of love. to lighten their sorrows by the balm of sympathy. ours to feel that. and powerless is Man s life on him and all his race the slow. the tie of a common doom. omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way for Man. that make the misery of their lives . to instil faith in hours of despair. seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. tortured by weariness and pain. actors in the same tragedy with ourselves. we were ready with encouragement. their evil past. perhaps the blindnesses. with brave a spark of the divine fire which high courage glowed. but wherever kindled in their hearts. as they march. to-morrow himself to pass . And when so. in which their happiness or misery is decided. Very time in which we can help them. with sympathy. but of the sorrows. scales their merits their need Let us not weigh in grudging let us think only of and demerits. let us fellow-sufferers in the same remember that they are darkness. reckless of destruction. Blind to good and evil. surrounded by invisible foes. the difficulties. and where none may tarry long.

ere yet the his little blow day 57 falls. .A FREE MAN S WORSHIP remains only to cherish. the lofty thoughts that ennoble through the gate of darkness. a ideals have fashioned despite the of unconscious power. the his tion. to preserve a mind free from the wanton tyranny that rules his out ward life proudly defiant of the irresistible forces that built . for a moment. to sustain alone. of Fate. to worship at the shrine that his own hands have undismayed by the empire of chance. . it disdaining the coward terrors of the slave . tolerate. world that his own trampling march knowledge and his condemna weary but unyielding Atlas.

but the art of living in the contemplation of great things. it living is is well to be to be desired. it by providing the mechanism of reminded that not the mere fact of life. which are as actually adding to the sum to be justified. Still more in regard to those avocations which have no end outside themselves. a clear prefiguring vision of the temple in which creative imagination is to be embodied.IV THE STUDY OF MATHEMATICS regard to every form of human activity INsary that the question should be asked time. is indeed sadly remote so remote as to make the mere statement of such a claim appear preposterous. What is its purpose and ideal In what ? is it neces from time to way does As contribute to the beauty of human existence ? those which contribute pursuits respects only remotely. persuade mankind to impart to the successive generations the mechanical knowledge with out which impossible to cross the threshold. The it is fulfilment what concerns the upon which custom has of this need. permanent necessary to keep alive a knowledge of their aims. fully to the beauty of the contemplations to whose service their lives are devoted. of the world s if at all. Great men. Dry pedants possess themselves of the privilege of instilling this knowledge they forget that it is to serve but as a it is : . studies forming the material in decided to train the youthful mind. possessions. desiring that others may alive share in their joys.

Mathematics. ance of yet in it is none of these that entitles liberal education. mathematics to a place we know. they turn their backs upon the temple so resolutely that its very existence is forgotten. will probably be that mathematics trains the reasoning faculties. unwilling to abandon the teaching of definite fallacies.THE STUDY OF MATHEMATICS 59 key to open the doors of the temple though they spend their lives on the steps leading up to those sacred doors. . perhaps more even than the study of arches. And the reasoning faculty generally conceived. the usual answer will be that it facilitates the making of machines. known to be such. the reasons for which the tradition arose are forgotten. buried beneath a great To those rubbish-heap of pedantries and trivialities. regarded the every contemplation of mathematical truths as worthy of the . Yet men who make this reply are. by those who urge its cultivation. as merely a means for the avoid itself is pitfalls and a help in the discovery of rules for the guidance of practical life. who inquire as to the purpose of mathematics. whether in war or commerce. Plato. for the most part. has suffered from this oblivion of its in civilisation. and the victory over If it be foreign nations. and the eager youth. it is true. the travelling from place to place. is Greece and Rome. who would press forward to be initiated to its domes and bidden to turn back and count the steps. and instinctively rejected by the un the very sophisticated mind of every intelligent learner. Although tradition has decreed due place that the great bulk of educated men shall know at least the elements of the subject. the reply. objected that these ends value are not furthered all of which are of doubtful the by merely elementary study imposed upon those who do not become expert mathematicians. All these are undeniably important achievements to the credit of mathematics .

to most men. and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show. while those 1 Such was the mathe who read him know no mathematics. mathematics . but to be assimilated as a part of daily thought. And what are these necessities of knowledge. Real life is. of divine necessity human necessities of . p. (Laws. like that of sculpture. The true spirit of delight. as to the and. a long second-best. Stranger. and care for judgment of man &quot.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 60 Deity single and Plato realised. which the Many talk set for in nothing can be more ridiculous than such an application of the words. but maticians do not read Plato. what those elements are in human life which . which is the touchstone of the highest to be found in mathematics as surely as in What is best in mathematics deserves not merely excellence. which are divine and this connection.something aside . if is is in mathematics. more perhaps than any other man. the exaltation. SiS). without the gorgeous trappings of paint ing or music. nor yet a hero. There merit a place in heaven. which says. &quot. 1 This passage was pointed out to me by Professor Gilbert Murray. possesses not only truth. and regard his opinion upon this question as merely a curious aberration. rightly viewed. and brought again and again before the mind with ever-renewed encouragement. nor able earnestly not to think Plato s ? Athenian. . . Cleinias. the sense of being more than man. human Those things without some use or knowledge of which a man cannot become a God to the world. but supreme beauty a beauty cold and austere. he necessary and cannot be I mistake not. . to be learnt as a task. Mathematics. nor a spirit. . yet sublimely pure. a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible but the world of reason no no knows pure practical limitacompromise. is poetry. without appeal to any part of our weaker nature.

THE STUDY OF MATHEMATICS
tions,

61

no barrier to the creative activity embodying

in

splendid edifices the passionate aspiration after the per
fect

from which

all

great

work

springs.

Remote from

human

passions, remote even from the pitiful facts of
nature, the generations have gradually created an
ordered cosmos, where pure thought can dwell as in its

natural home, and where one, at least, of our nobler

impulses can escape from the dreary exile of the actual
world.

So

little,

however, have mathematicians aimed at

beauty, that hardly anything in their work has had this
conscious purpose. Much, owing to irrepressible instincts,

which were better than avowed
;

reasoning

also has

The

been

spoilt

characteristic

only to be found where the
the rules of logic are to
rigidly logical

excellence of mathematics
is

has been moulded

beliefs,

by an unconscious taste but much
by false notions of what was fitting.
is

:

mathematics what those of structure are to architecture.
In the most beautiful work, a chain of argument is pre
sented in which every link is important on its own
account, in which there is an air of ease and lucidity
throughout, and the premises achieve more than would

have been thought possible, by means which appealnatural and inevitable.
Literature embodies what is
in
circumstances
whose universal
general
particular
but
through their individual dress
mathematics endeavours to present whatever is most
significance shines

;

general in its purity, without any irrelevant trappings.
How should the teaching of mathematics be conducted

much

as possible

Here experience must,
but some maxims
measure, be our guide

in a great

so as to

communicate

of this high ideal

to the learner as

?

;

may

result

from our consideration of the ultimate purpose to be
achieved.

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC

6a

One

of the chief ends served

rightly taught,

is

to

awaken the

his confidence in the truth of

strated,
is

and

by mathematics, when

learner s belief in reason,

what has been demon
This purpose

in the value of demonstration.

not served

by

existing instruction

which

;

but

might be served.

it is

easy to

At

present, in
ways
what concerns arithmetic, the boy or girl is given a set
of rules, which present themselves as neither true nor

see

in

it

but as merely the will of the teacher, the way in
which, for some unfathomable reason, the teacher prefers
false,

to have the game played. To some degree, in a study of
such definite practical utility, this is no doubt unavoid
able ; but as soon as possible, the reasons of rules should

be set forth by whatever means most readily appeal to
the childish mind. In geometry, instead of the tedious

apparatus of fallacious proofs for obvious truisms which
constitutes the beginning of Euclid, the learner should
be allowed at first to assume the truth of everything
obvious,

and should be instructed

in the demonstrations

theorems which are at once startling and easily verifi
able by actual drawing, such as those in which it is shown
of

that three or

more

lines

meet

In this

in a point.

way

seen that reasoning may lead
generated
to startling conclusions, which nevertheless the facts will

belief is

verify ;
abstract

;

it is

and thus the
or

theorems are

instinctive distrust of

rational
difficult,

whatever

is

Where
gradually overcome.
be
first
should
taught as
they

is

exercises in geometrical drawing, until the figure has

become thoroughly familiar
advance to be taught the

;

will

then be an agreeable

logical

connections of the

it

various lines or circles that occur.

It is desirable also

that the figure illustrating a theorem should be drawn in
all possible cases and shapes, that so the abstract relations

with which geometry

is

concerned

may

of themselves

THE STUDY OF MATHEMATICS

63

emerge as the residue of similarity amid such great
apparent diversity. In this way the abstract demon
strations should form but a small part of the instruction,

and should be given when, by familiarity with concrete
*e natural
illustrations, they have come to be felt as

embodiment

of visible fact.

In this early stage proofs

should not be given with pedantic fullness ; definitely
fallacious methods, such as that of superposition, should

be rigidly excluded from the first, but where, without
such methods, the proof would be very difficult, the
result should be rendered acceptable by arguments and
illustrations which are explicitly contrasted with demon
strations.

In the beginning of algebra, even the most intelligent
The use of

child finds, as a rule, very great difficulty.

mystery, which seems to have no purpose
It is almost impossible, at first,
except mystification.
not to think that every letter stands for some particular
letters is a

number,
stands

if

for.

only the teacher would reveal what number it
The fact is, that in algebra the mind is first

taught to consider general truths, truths which are not
asserted to hold only of this or that particular thing, but
of

of

any one

whole group of things.

It is in the power
such
truths that the
and
discovering
understanding

of a

mastery of the

intellect

over the whole world of things

possible resides ; and ability to deal with the
general as such is one of the gifts that a mathematical
education should bestow. But how little, as a rule, is

actual

and

the teacher of algebra able to explain the
divides

it

from arithmetic, and how

assisted in his groping efforts at

chasm which

little is

the learner

comprehension

!

Usually

method that has been adopted in arithmetic is con
tinued rules are set forth, with no adequate explanation
the

:

of their

grounds

;

the pupil learns to use the rules blindly,

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC

64

presently, when he is able to obtain the answer that
the teacher desires, he feels that he has mastered the

and

of the

the subject.

But

of inner comprehension
he
has probably acquired
processes employed

difficulties of

almost nothing.

When

algebra has been learnt, all goes smoothly until
studies in which the notion of infinity is

we reach those
employed

the infinitesimal calculus and the whole of

The solution of the difficulties
higher mathematics.
which formerly surrounded the mathematical infinite is
probably the greatest achievement of which our own age
has to boast. Since the beginnings of Greek thought
these difficulties have been known ; in every age the finest

have vainly endeavoured to answer the appar
unanswerable
questions that had been asked by
ently
Zeno the Eleatic. At last Georg Cantor has found the
intellects

answer, and has conquered for the intellect a new and
vast province which had been given over to Chaos and
old Night.

It

was assumed as

self-evident, until Cantor

and Dedekind established the opposite, that if, from any
some were taken away, the number
left
must
of things
always be less than the original
number of things. This assumption, as a matter of fact,
and the rejection of it
holds only of finite collections
has
been shown to remove
where the infinite is concerned,
all the difficulties that had hitherto baffled human reason
in this matter, and to render possible the creation of
an exact science of the infinite. This stupendous fact
collection of things,

;

v

ought to produce a revolution in the higher teaching
mathematics it has itself added immeasurably to
the educational value of the subject, and it has at last
of

;

given the means of treating with logical precision
studies which,

until

and obscurity.

By

many

were wrapped in fallacy
those who were educated on the
lately,

encouraged the belief that many things. a bold rejection of whatever failed to fulfil the strictest requirements of logic. is must be con it so often the case. to candid and inquiring all minds. 65 fessed that the discoverer. has hardly himself emerged from the mists which the light of his intellect is dispelling. By reject as fallacious. has been bred where reason alone should have ruled. or else a sacer dotal belief in mysteries not intelligible to the profane. were rightly judged to be confused and erroneous. and not as a technical training for engineers. Accordingly those who have attained a sufficient familiarity with its easier portions should be backward from propositions to which they have assented as self-evident to more and more fundamental principles from which what had previously appeared as led premises can be deduced. has facilitated the mastery of higher mathematics . compromising spirit.THE STUDY OF MATHEMATICS old lines. work this in &quot. So far from producing a fear less belief in reason. by a long process of sophistication. on first acquaintance. as and . to give assent to arguments which. They should be taught . means. which a rigid inquiry would must yet be accepted because they what the mathematician calls practice. for hitherto. If we are considering mathematics as an end in itself. let those who wish to mathematics be taught at once the true theory in all its logical purity. during the past two centuries. it is very desirable to preserve the purity and strictness of its reasoning. But inherently. a mathematical training. a timid. the new doctrine of the infinite. it has been necessary to learn. new work considered to be appallingly is and obscure abstruse.&quot. All this it is now time to sweep away penetrate into the arcana of . the difficult. and in the concatenation established by the very essence of the entities concerned.

must not be repelled by an array of meaningless examples by amusing oddities. which is perhaps the inmost essence of premisses a subject is the intellectual impulse. The love of system. can find free play in mathematics The learner who feels this impulse as nowhere else. In the great majority of mathematical text-books there a total lack of unity in method and of systematic development of a central theme. a nearer scrutiny shows to be false. unity and in in the as in the unfolding of a drama in evitability are felt . and much space is devoted to mere curiosities which in no way contribute to the main argument.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 66 what the theory of infinity very aptly illustrates that many propositions seem self-evident to the untrained mind which. it is well to study afresh the elementary portions of mathematics. At this stage. Propositions of very diverse kinds are proved by whatever means are thought most easily intelligible. Questions of this nature can now be answered with a precision and certainty which were formerly quite impossible and in the chains of reasoning that the answer requires the unity of all . an examination of the foundations upon which the whole edifice of reasoning is built. the great trunk from which the spreading branches spring. to take perhaps a more fitting metaphor. asking no longer merely whether a given proposition is true. By this means they will be led to a sceptical inquiry into first principles. But the greatest works. of interconnection. and in every subsequent step some definite advance is made towards mastery of its nature. nevertheless. but also how it grows out of the central principles of logic. proposed for consideration. to become familiar with the structure of the various subjects which are put before or distracted . but must be encouraged to dwell upon central principles. or. mathematical studies at is last unfolds itself.

But when at last they have been found. with a view to the discovery of the principles employed. for the most part. method still and of discovery in symbolic logic. are so embedded in our employed quite un and can be to consciously. in its wider developments. and selective attention upon what is taught to dwell by preference is weighty and essential. the best method is indeed. yet. to travel easily over the steps of the more important In this way a good tone of mind is cultivated. though it owes its inception to Aristotle. in the The true and probably also growing with great rapidity. study to a learner mathematics. dragged light only by much patient effort. is the for introducing the acquainted with other parts of analysis of actual examples of deductive reasoning. and to be the sole source of everything in pure mathematics. they are seen to be few in number. These principles. the learner will be able to understand the fundamental science which unifies and systematises the whole of deductive reasoning. When the separate studies into which mathematics is divided have each been viewed as a logical whole. mist as the traveller ascends an Italian hill-side. The dis covery that all mathematics follows inevitably from a small collection of fundamental laws is one which im ratiocinative instincts. present day.THE STUDY OF MATHEMATICS 67 him. incomplete nature of most existing chains of deduction this discovery comes with all the overwhelming force of a like a palace emerging from the autumn . deductions. This is symbolic logic is a study which. that they are measurably enhances the intellectual beauty of the whole to those who have been oppressed by the fragmentary and . a product. almost wholly. of the nineteenth century. the revelation stately storeys of the mathematical edifice appear in their . as a natural growth from the propositions which constitute their principles.

are laws of thought. This satisfaction ought not to be refused to learners capable of enjoying it. In this respect. Moreover. with a new perfection in every part. By this opinion the true dignity of reason is very greatly lowered it ceases to be an investigation into the very heart ana : immutable essence of all things actual and possible. the discovery that the true principles are as much a part of mathe matics as any of their consequences has very greatly increased the intellectual satisfaction to be obtained. The contemplation of what is non-human. unprogressive methods able employed by philosophers. an inquiry into something more or less human and subject to our limitations. laws regulating the operations of our minds. for it is of a kind to increase our respect for human powers and our knowledge of the beauties belonging to the abstract world. and discover only by the uncertain. instead. are the chief means of overcoming . be coming. Until symbolic logic had acquired its present develop ment. analysis.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 68 due order and proportion. Philosophers have commonly held that the laws of logic. which underlie mathematics. all. the realisation that beauty belongs to the outer world as to the inner. mathematics seemed to be not autonomous. the principles upon which mathematics depends were always supposed to be philosophical. the edifice built upon such dubious foundations began to be viewed as no better than a castle in the air. So long as this was thought. but dependent upon a study which had quite other methods than its own. and geometry are to be deduced was wrapped in all the traditional obscurities of hitherto metaphysical discussion. since the nature of the postulates from which arithmetic. the discovery that our minds are capable of dealing with material not created above by them.

It was formerly sup that reason could in some respects. It is only when we thoroughly understand the entire independence of our selves. But we that pure mathematics can never pronounce now know upon questions of actual existence in a sense. Not only is mathematics independent of us and our but in another sense we and the whole universe thoughts. The apprehension of this purely ideal character is indispens able.THE STUDY OF MATHEMATICS 69 the terrible sense of impotence. but from such restrictions the abstract imagination . even here it builds a habitation. in the past. of weakness. or rather finds a habita tion eternally standing. posed pure to the nature of the actual world geometry. further from . of exile amid which is too apt to result from acknow hostile powers. but every possible world. objects considered by mathematicians have. as decide. reconcile us. reign of Fate which is merely the literary personifica But mathe what is human. to which not only the actual and world. was : thought to deal with the space in which we live. at least. and in the application of its results to the world in time and space. point creative of fact. must conform tion of these forces matics takes us is still the task of tragedy. that we can adequately realise the profound importance of its beauty. the exhibition of its awful the to by beauty. been mainly of a kind suggested by phenomena are lost The . into the region of absolute necessity. but it is not at any fact. its certainty and precision among approximations and working hypotheses. To ledging the ail-but omnipotence of alien forces. if we are to understand rightly the place of mathematics as one among the arts. of existing things are independent of mathematics. which belongs to this world that reason finds. controls the world of : the world of reason. where our ideals are fully satisfied and our best hopes are not thwarted.

It is a merit in . Whenever the marks by which we these marks should be and investigated on their own account. proofs depend upon some only of define the object to be studied. to be remedied. A undue emphasis upon results which prevails in mathematical instruction.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 70 should be wholly free. as elsewhere. as traditional modes of exposition suggest. a desire for rapid progress. which serves only to prove a conclusion is like a story subordinated to some moral which it is meant to teach each becomes important in and for : no part of the whole should be certain practical spirit. The better way is to propose for the some theme for consideration in geometry. for conquest of new realms. where this does occur. and so on. in an argument. It is but to persuade him in the way which itself has. is responsible for aesthetic perfection merely a means. the most beauty. and its in the end it is hard to say whether a creation or a discovery. A reciprocal liberty must thus be accorded reason cannot dictate to the world of facts. if possible. it must be viewed as a defect. not merely to per suade the student of the accuracy of important theorems. very desirable. of all possible ways. . The true interest of a demonstration is not. For it is a defect. by so generalising the steps of the proof that An argument itself. : but the facts cannot restrict reason s privilege of dealing love of beauty may cause to seem worthy of consideration. to employ more premisses than the conclusion demands what mathematicians call elegance results from employing only the essential prin isolated : ciples in virtue of which the thesis is true. Here. a function of having important properties which the study is illuminating. concentrated wholly in the result . we build up our own ideals out of the fragments to be found with whatever objects in the world the result is . a figure in analysis. in instruction.

but only there is truth for me. as is often said. of fearless acknowledgment of what is. within its own sphere. mathematics upon practical life. all the weapons of doubting cynicism. is a complete answer. because this axiom is inherently objectionable. idealism and rationalism. disappears from our moral vision. in mathematics. . that no external kingdom of truth to which. every new axiom diminishes the generality of the resulting theorems. Against that kind of scepticism which abandons the pursuit of arduous and the goal not cer tainly attainable. in his view of the world. by own his peculiarities. but because. By this mind one of the chief ends of human effort is habit of and the supreme virtue of candour. that each of us is conditioned. one respect a good result appears probable. for every separate person. though they should not be regarded as the motive of our studies. and the greatest possible generality is before all things to be sought. we may at last obtain admittance. Too often it is said that there is no ideals because the road is absolute truth. but most varied teenth century. in the in the seven past. been most notable. in the eigh teenth. The effect upon philosophy has. may be used to answer a doubt to which the solitary inexpugnable to The effects of . his own taste and bias . seemed equally its offspring. for you.THE STUDY OF MATHEMATICS Euclid that he advances as far as he is 71 able to go without employing the axiom of parallels not. mathematics. by patience and discipline. Of the effects of mathematics outside its own sphere more has been written than on the subject of its own proper ideal. Of such scepticism mathematics is a perpetual ful its edifice of truths stands unshakable and reproof denied. . but only opinion and private judgment . materialism and sensationalism. Of the effect which it is likely to have in the future it would be very rash to say much but in .

cannot but appear as a somewhat selfish refusal to share the burden imposed upon others by accidents in which justice plays no part. to withdraw from tion. for ennobling the tone . be used to cause a revolu tion in the habitual thoughts citizen. no doubt. that some must keep live a life some must preserve. the true answer is. For the health of the moral life. to leave our fellow-men unaided. tion. as must sometimes occur. is yet plainly good in its own nature ? When these questions arise. therefore. in every genera which shadows forth the goal of much But so when. this answer seems too cold. Utility. Nor does capital of experience give any means of deciding what parts of mathematics will be found useful. as in the case of conic sections. In a world so full of evil suffering. while we which. though arduous and austere. when we are almost maddened by the spectacle of sorrows to which we bring no help. alive the sacred fire. The use of steam and and occupations electricity of every to take striking rendered possible only by mathematics. In the results of abstract thought the world possesses a instances is which the employment in enriching the common round has no hitherto discoverable limits.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 72 student must always be liable. must always be for the few only. not a guide in directing our studies. the haunting vision then we may often does more reflect that indirectly the more for human mathematician happiness than any of his practically active contemporaries. to the present evils. at any moment. positions it remains two thousand years without effect upon daily life may yet. we ask. can be only a consolation in moments of discouragement. striving. retirement into the cloister of contempla and enjoyment of delights which. Have any of us the right. The history of of abstract pro science abundantly proves that a body even if. however noble.

and where. the love of truth in mathematics. exceeding the power of those not informed and purified by thought. the austerer virtues have a strange power. Of these austerer virtues the love of of truth is the chief. but also a means of creating and sustaining a lofty habit of mind and this purpose should be kept always in view throughout the teaching and learning of mathematics. ing faith. .THE STUDY OF MATHEMATICS 73 an age or a nation. . more than may find encouragement for else wan Every great study is not only an end in itself.

This work abounds in asseverations that it is not mathematical. asked what this able to say that it consisted of Arithmetic.V MATHEMATICS AND THE METAPHYSICIANS nineteenth century. and as to what distinguished them from applied mathematics. like most others. He was also mistaken in supposing that he was dealing with the laws of thought : the question how quite irrelevant to him. and tained the laws of thought. As to what these studies had in common. Algebra. might have derived a more legitimate title to fame from the discovery THE of pure mathematics. and thus we find it was born was baptised long before . what But if they had been subject was. Geometry. and so on. in a work which he called the Laws of Thought (1854). which prided itself upon the invention of steam and evolution. the fact being that Boole was too modest to suppose his book the first ever written on mathematics. they would only have been writers before the nineteenth century alluding to they called pure mathematics. and this IB the same thing as mathematics 74 . if it people actually think was his book had really con was curious that no one should ever have thought in such a way before. His book was in fact concerned with formal logic. This science. our ancestors were completely in the dark. Pure mathematics was discovered by Boole.

Now the fact is that. Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about. As one of the chief triumphs of modern mathematics consists in having discovered what mathematics really is.MATHEMATICS AND METAPHYSICIANS 75 Pure mathematics consists entirely of assertions to the if such and such a proposition is true of any effect that. . deduce and //our hypothesis amusing. would belong to applied mathematics. then our deductions constitute mathematics. to start Geometry any branch of mathematics for with a certain number of primitive supposed incapable of definition. People who have been puzzled by the beginnings of mathematics will. though there are indefinables and indemonstrables in every branch of applied mathematics. and not about some oneormore particular things. from certain rules of infer these points start. then such and such another proposition is true of that thing. supposed ideas. Logic. and a certain number of primitive propositions or axioms. find comfort in this definition. a few more words on this subject may not be amiss. of which it and not is to mention what the Both supposed to be true. incapable of proof. true. formal It is logic. All pure mathematics Arithmetic. It is essential not to discuss whether the first thing. is about anything. in ence. there are none in pure mathematics except such as belong to general logic. proposition anything is is. is distinguished by the fact that its propositions can be put into a form in which they apply to anything whatever. by which we can infer that if one proposition These rules then so is some other proposition. We pure mathematics. common instance. nor whether what we are saying is true. Analysis. really true. and will probably agree that it is accurate. I hope. is of inference constitute the major part of the principles of We then take any hypothesis that seems its consequences. broadly speaking.

. in each decade since 1850 more has been done to advance the subject than in the whole period from Aristotle to Leibniz. called 1 This subject is due in the main to Mr. it might be found in Throughout the Middle Ages. S. down and made the deduction. C. special difficulty. whereas in the nineteenth century only an infinitesimal proportion of the world s thought went into this subject. People have discovered how to make reasoning this. as is in Algebra. intellects symbolic. of mathematics. invented by Aristotle. over the greater and part of the domain been already accomplished there is no . If any proof were required of our superiority to the mediaeval doctors. which has thus at last shown itself to be identical with mathematics. and formed the than theology) of the Middle Ages. Nevertheless. and the schoolmen never chief study (other got beyond Aristotle. On up by combinations of the primi propositions are deduced from the general axioms of logic. rules besides the syllogism. 1 has been invented to deal with topics that wholly surpassed the powers of logic. The subject of formal logic. But Aristotle never got beyond the syllogism. They have discovered and a new branch of the Logic of Relatives. almost all the best devoted themselves to formal logic. being rapidly Philosophers have disputed for ages whether such deduction was possible mathematicians have sat achieved. there is now nothing left but For the philosophers graceful acknowledg ments. so that deductions are by mathematical effected many it rules. . was. such as the syllogism and the other rules of inference. as every one knows. in the and few remaining it is now it has cases. and or an aspiration.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 76 and Geometry is built tive ideas of logic. And this is no longer a dream more difficult its the contrary. which is a very small part of the subject. Peirce.

the whole of Arithmetic and Algebra has been shown to require three indefinable notions and five indemonstrable propositions.MATHEMATICS AND METAPHYSICIANS 77 the old logic. and the whole thing becomes mechanical. that since people have tried to prove obvious propositions. Then we set up certain rules for operating on the symbols. parts of mathematics. but only of the beginnings. Selfthey have found that many of them are false. to the uninitiated. But without a symbolism to find this out. The fact is that symbolism is useful because it makes things difficult. enemy which nothing seems obvious. But the proof of self-evident propositions may seem. Obviousness is always the it is Hence we invent some new and to correctness. For instance. To this we might reply that it is often by no means selfevident that one obvious proposition follows from another obvious proposition so that we are really discovering . everything Now. and very hard to see whether one self-evident proposition follows from another or not. though they form the chief contents of mathematics. not easy for the lay mind to realise the importance of symbolism in discussing the foundations of mathe It is and the explanation may perhaps seem strangely paradoxical. In this way difficult we in symbolism.) What we wish to know is. a somewhat frivolous occupation. find out what must be taken as premiss and what can be demonstrated or defined. that to It is so it would have been very hard obvious that two and two are four. is self-evident . new truths which is when we prove what not evident. . in the beginnings. is But a more evident by a method interesting retort is. what can be deduced from what. where self-evident things are to be proved. (This is not true of the advanced matics. we can hardly make doubt whether in other cases it ourselves sufficiently sceptical And the same holds can be proved.

a whole always has more than that is nothing plainer terms than a part. [Note added in 1917. how and are swept away by Professor we wish to learn the whole of the Calculus. in which there are no words at all. it becomes possible to sup pose that in these other cases it is false. is of the University of Turin. are a concession. such as therefore. little phrases occur. us assume. we take which is sure to as our guide. be usually of a proof is false. For instance. One symbol stands for zero. 1 an Italian. Peano. usually called pure mathematics (except Geometry). Professor He Peano. required in the whole development.] me when . cases. there are no doubt fewer words than most readers would wish. All future symbols are symbolically explained by means of these word 1 I is ought to have added Frege. For instance. and indeed all that is Arithmetic. but his writings were unknown to this article was written. have reduced the whole) to strict symbolic form. But after symbols wish you have been invented for these three ideas. One of the merits ing one to it. or hence it follows. if What these ideas mean. In the ordinary mathematical books. in time. Algebra. men of our own day.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 78 evidence often a is mere will-o -the-wisp. All these. that it instils a certain doubt as to the result and when what is obvious can be proved in but not in others. not another after. or that a number is increased by add lead us astray if it But these propositions are now known to Most numbers are infinite. The great master of the art of formal reasoning. we must start with a dictionary of three words. another for number. among proved some the . let Still. it is necessary to know if to become an arithmetician. and a third for next ever. consider. and if a number is infinite you may add ones to it as long as you like without disturbing it in the least. has reduced the greater part of mathematics (and he or his followers will.

there would be no more need of dis putation between two philosophers than between two accountants. there still are formerly controversial. &quot. Even these three can be explained the notions of relation and class by means 79 of but this requires the Logic of Relations. their hands. which . But over an enormous field of what was . and to say to each other (with a friend as witness.&quot. in spite of the patronising his From schemes have been treated by &quot. Leibniz s dream has become sober fact.&quot. has shown how in all this may be done and although the method which he . capable of being carried a good deal further than he has carried it. if they liked). superior persons. who is assisted by a very able school of young Italian disciples. Professor Peano. Leibniz foresaw the science which Peano has perfected. formal fallacies now desired to create contempt with which but the subject which he . to sit down to their desks. as he called it. are at most a dozen notions out of which all the notions pure mathematics (including Geometry) are com pounded. For it would suffice to take their pens in &quot. It must be admitted that what a mathe matician has to know to begin with is not much. Two hundred years ago. exists. and disputes which calculation cannot decide. whom he could not believe guilty of definite. Let us calculate/ This optimism has now appeared to be somewhat excessive problems whose solution is doubtful. the honour of the pioneer has invented is must belong to him.MATHEMATICS AND METAPHYSICIANS three. he hoped for a solution of all problems. arise. he says. There . If controversies were to and an end to all disputes. this Universal all Characteristic. and endeavoured to create it He was prevented from succeeding by respect for the authority of Aristotle. which Professor Peano has never taken up. In the whole philosophy of mathematics.

of space. certainty have replaced the con fusion and hesitation which formerly reigned. This all man. and made the basis of a mathematical renaissance. and continue to write on such subjects in the old way. by means of which the certainty of mathematics extends also to mathematical philosophy. In this capricious world. time longer in who wish any degree open to doubt or discussion. arguments were reinstated. of course. to prove that motion is impossible. But mathematicians. fessor. appears in Plato s Parmenides in the privileged position of instructor to Socrates. at least in Italy. Professor of Mathematics in the University of Berlin. the natures of and motion are infinity. that Achilles can never overtake the tortoise. Philo used to be at least as sophers. Weierstrass. by a German pro is really at rest. Those know the nature of these things need only read the works of such men as Peano or Georg Cantor . have not yet discovered this fact. nothing is more capricious than posthumous fame. One of the most notable examples of posterity s lack of judgment is the Eleatic Zeno. He invented four arguments. by strictly 1 1897. who probably never dreamed of any connection l between himself and Zeno. and that an arrow in flight After being refuted by Aristotle. He died in . have now the power ol treating the principles of mathematics in an exact and masterly manner.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 8o full of doubt as any other part of order and philosophy. all immeasurably subtle and profound. to they will there find exact and indubitable expositions of these quondam mysteries. now no of continuity. who may be regarded as the founder of the philo sophy of infinity. Hence many of the topics the great mysteries for which used to be placed among example. and subsequent by every philosopher from that day to our these own.

probably the greatest of which our age has to and I know of no age (except perhaps the golden . to invest air of platitudes .MATHEMATICS AND METAPHYSICIANS 81 banishing from mathematics the use of infinitesimals. This is a conse quence which by no means follows and in this respect. and Cantor have not merely advanced the three problems. however. has at last shown that we live in an unchanging world. and capable of a purely arith metical treatment. was to accomplish perhaps the hardest part of the philosopher s task. nothing. for those ac completely solved them. as a matter of fact. but have The solutions. three men Weierstrass. Zeno s only error lay in inferring (if he did infer) that. with three problems. because there is no such thing as a state of the same state any one time as at any other. broadly speaking. Dedekind. This was done by Zeno. are so clear as to leave no longer the slightest doubt or difficulty. These are the problems of the and continuity. the infinite. quainted with mathematics. From him to our own day. the finest intellects infinitesimal. but achieved. each presented by motion. the ingenious Greek. his views in mathematics. and lover of reason than rate more calculated if the result Zeno s is less delightful to the bold defiance. embodying Weierstrass has been able. the German mathematician is more constructive than the therefore change. but each more abstract than motion. and that the arrow in its flight is truly at rest. In our own time. of each generation in turn attacked the problems. to appease the it is at any mass of academic mankind. Zeno was concerned. To state clearly the difficulties involved. This achieve ment is boast . by where familiarity with truth eliminates the vulgar prejudices of common Zeno s paradoxes with the respectable sense. world in is at .

The Calculus required continuity. in notion of all mathematics. therefore. . it seemed to become the fundamental Carlyle tells. It was plainly not quite zero. But at last Weierstrass discovered that the infinitesimal was not needed at all. when Leibniz in vented the Infinitesimal Calculus. Thus there was a deadlock. It was introduced by the Greeks. mathematicians are more dignified of infinitesimals.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 82 age oi Sreece) which has a more convincing proof to offer of the transcendent genius of its great men. Nowadays. finite whole. and continuity was but nobody supposed to require the infinitely little discuss this topic. But philosophers and mathematicians who for the most part had less acquaintance with courts continued to of courtiers though without making any advance. The played formerly a great part in mathematics. because a sufficiently large number added together. higher his Frederick the Great. they talk about the infinitely great a subject than Leibniz : . could discover what the infinitely little might be. It gradually grew in importance. and that everything could be accomplished without it. and definitively accomplished by Cantor. and how she would reply that on that subject she needed no instruction the behaviour to discourse to had made her thoroughly familiar with it. who a as differing infinitesimally from a polygon circle regarded infinitesimal with a very large number of very small equal sides. until. how Leibniz used Queen Sophia Charlotte of Prussia con cerning the infinitely little. that of the infinitesimal was solved by Weierstrass . the solution of the other two was begun by Dedekind. and yet not finite. Of the three problems. instead of talking about the infinitely small. Thus there was no longer any need to suppose that there was such a thing. were seen to make up a But nobody could point out any fraction which was not zero.

. . way. and that when a thing results. Thus if there are no two moments are quite con are but there secutive. seems. Nevertheless there are points. but. If any piece of matter be cut in two. since. always other moments between any two. they can still smaller still.. between any two because if there were a finite number one would be nearest the first of the two moments. and then each part be halved. monarchs to whom Leibniz discoursed. This might be thought to be a difn it is here that the philo it. The banishment of the infinitesimal has all sorts of odd consequences. and makes all straight. will Here again. never reach the in number of divisions bring us to points. there are in the interval. As regards motion and change. The interval between one moment and the next would have to be infinitesimal. if we take two li^le interested the moments with a finite always other moments interval between them. to interest them even less than the infinitely which. and why points are not infinitesimal lengths. there is no such thing as the next moment. and no We finite size. But they will always have some finite however small they finitesimal in this and made as small as we may be. as a matter of fact. please. only these are not to be reached by successive divisions..MATHEMATICS AND METAPHYSICIANS 83 however appropriate to monarchs. However be cut up and made small they may be. . Hence there must be an infinite number of moments to be no infinitesimals. and . to which one has to become gradually accustomed. sophy of the infinite comes in. The same sort of thing happens in space. and so on. un fortunately. the bits will can theoretically be become smaller and smaller. must be in a state of change. For example. the philosophy of the infinite shows us how this is possible. therefore next to culty . we get it similarly curious People used to think that when a thing changes.

it is in a state of motion. is sophy of the infinite. and now they have found out their mistake. example. Motion consists merely in the fact that bodies are sometimes in one place and some times in another. It was formerly supposed that infinite numbers. all that can be said one place at one time and in another at say that it will be in a neighbour at the next instant. since there is no next ing place is that in it is We must not another. and that they are at intermediate places at intermediate times. on the other hand. Only those who have waded through the quagmire of philosophic speculation on this subject can realise what a liberation from antique pre judices is involved in this simple and straightforward commonplace. and philosophy seemed to . as we have just mainly negative. When a body moves.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 84 moves. and in opposition to the Eleatic s destructive ardour. People used to believe in it. tell us that when a body is changes position within the instant. To this view Zeno long ago made the fatal retort that every body always is where it is$ but a retort so simple and in motion. Philosophers often instant. The philo seen. was obvious that there were infinities for infinite generally. The philosophy of the infinitesimal. it became possible ance with Zeno s It philosopher paradox. and the mathematical But as it were self-contradictory. its it was not of the kind to which philosophers are accus tomed to give weight. and they have continued down to our own day to repeat the same phrases which roused the brief was only recently that to explain motion in detail in accord platitude. is wholly positive. the number of numbers the contradictions of infinity seemed unavoidable. We may now at last indulge the comfortable belief that a body in motion is just as truly s where it is as a body at rest. This is now known to be a mistake.

but destructive. its common had allowed itself to be taken in by a specious maxim. roughly speaking. Here Cantor proceeded in the only proper way. a perfectly precise definition of an infinite number or an infinite collection of first and perhaps the greatest step. It thus appeared in of almost all mathematics. and he found that all proofs adverse to infinity involved a certain principle. Almost all current s upset by the fact (of which very few philo sophers are as yet aware) that all the ancient and respect able contradictions in the notion of the infinite have been is philosophy The method by which this has been done is most interesting and instructive. that if one collection is part that sense ^ . when once this maxim was rejected. he might have produced some unintelligible rigmarole. what is more remarkable. Twenty years ago. nobody had ever thought of asking. of Hegel s dialectic method. He took pairs of contradictory propositions. ever since the beginnings of Greek thought. on the other hand. and that. In the first place. What is infinity ? If any philosopher had been asked for a definition of infinity. antinomies. involved no principle that had evil consequences. but he would certainly not have been able to give a definition had any meaning at all. things. proofs favourable to infinity. they answered it. They found. all went well. He of the contradiction strable.MATHEMATICS AND METAPHYSICIANS 85 \ A have wandered into a to Kant to much &quot. though people had talked glibly about infinity once for all disposed of. It This was the then remained to examine the supposed contradictions in this notion. in which both sides would be usually regarded as demon strictly examined the supposed proofs. The maxim in question is. that that is to say. The consequences. and. at first sight obviously true. and hence. This difficulty led cul-de-sac. more or less indirectly. Dedekind and Cantor asked this question.&quot.

and there are fewer Englishmen than Euro numbers. numbers This may by putting odd and even numbers together and even numbers alone in a row below just altogether. and shows. that the number of finite numbers is infinite. there are as there are number can be doubled. 8. But when we come to This breakdown peans. one by one. 4. elementary way of finding out how many terms there are in a collection. ad infinitum. harmless definition of infinity. 10. There are obviously just as many numbers in the row below as in the row above. there are always more to The fact is that counting is a very vulgar and follow. And in any case. 3. ad infinitum. the one the one of which which it is a part has fewer terms than a part. as many even numbers since every an infinite number For example. 2. counting gives us what mathematicians call the ordinal number of our terms . however many we may count. 5. in be seen one row. But the uninitiated may wonder how it is possible to number which cannot be counted. which was formerly be a is now transformed into a to contradiction. in the above case. that is to say. precise definition of infinity. longer true. : 1. because. If you can take away just as some the when infinite it of the terms of a collection. this maxim of the is no gives us the terms collection of is contains as parts other collections which many terms as it has. because there is one below for This property. thought each one above. Englishmen are only some among Europeans. without diminishing number of terms. 6. 2. It is im deal with a possible to count up all the numbers. then there are of terms in the collection.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 86 of another. 4. This maxim is true of finite is For example. it arranges our terms in an order or . infinite have A numbers.

without counting. . to count things without counting 87 some it is first impossible and others afterwards. but by a are method. but what is called cardinal. or. whether two collections have the same number of terms. If An illustration will there existed some country in which. in the way in which counting does. from and this its result tells us arrangement. what number of terms a collection but if we define a number as the number of terms has .MATHEMATICS AND METAPHYSICIANS series. different which is the greater. Now when there are only a finite number of terms. then this method enables us to discover whether some other collection that may be in mentioned has more or fewer terms. numbers one must be the greater than it Although some infinite numbers are cannot be proved that of any two infinite greater. then (provided polygamy was not a national institution) we should know. show how this is done.] some others. which results from what. such and such a collection. but when there are number. which tells us. depends not only upon how many terms we have. They are not obtained by putting our terms in order and counting them. neither more nor 1 [Note added in 1917. that there were exactly as many men as there were women in that country. but also (where the number of terms is infinite) upon the way in which the terms are arranged. for one reason or another. in a general sense may be called counting. to begin with. what type of series results In other words. Thus the ordinal number. The fundamental infinite numbers are not ordinal. if not. but in which it was known that every man had a wife and every woman a husband. it was impossible to take a census. 1 It does not tell us. what corresponds to counting will give us quite different results according to the way in which we carry out the operation. we can count them in any order we like an infinite . so that counting always has to do with order.

line a millionth of an and exactly as many points on a There is a inch long as in the whole of infinite space. This just as is many terms as there are the general method by which the numbers of infinite collections are defined. and all the finite numbers are used once. greatest of all infinite numbers. then our are finite numbers. connects the things less. of every sort and kind. one number corresponding to the one that is doubled or halved. there are infinitely more infinite numbers than finite ones. collection finite If must have numbers. And in this way we can find any number of collections each of which has just as many terms as there every term of a collection can be hooked on to a number. But there are more irrational numbers than there are whole numbers or fractions. and every even number can be halved. It is obvious that there cannot be a greater number than this. . one collection each with one of the things in another collection. are as This many was the way in which even numbers as there Every number can be doubled. There are more ways of arranging the finite numbers in different types of series than there are more points finite in space numbers. There are probably in time than and more moments There are exactly as many fractions as whole numbers. there are finite numbers. and each process gives just are numbers. If there is some relation which. which is the number of things altogether.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 88 This method can be applied generally. and vice versa. although there are an infinite number of fractions between any two whole numbers. like marriage. in the process. then the two collections have in the same number of we found that there terms. But it must not be supposed that all infinite numbers are equal. because. There are probably exactly as many points in space as there are irrational numbers. and only once. On the contrary.

1 point. because each is in one place at one moment. It is a new argument for his con On this point. we must suppose. the master has which But one fallacy. D.S. N. hope to explain in We can now understand why Zeno believed that Achilles cannot overtake the tortoise and he can overtake We it. fast as the tortoise.Note on Achilles and the Tortoise.] that there 1 This must not be regarded as a historically correct account of what Zeno actually had in mind. Zeno appealed to the maxim that the whole has more terms that the part. For at every somewhere and Achilles is some where and neither is ever twice in the same place while the race is going on.] . I in this been guilty of a very subtle some future work. Cantor has a proof that there is no greatest number. The solution of the puzzle is complicated and depends upon the theory of types. pp. Vol. Here. e. 318-19. see clusion. The argument is this Let Achilles and the tortoise start all : along a road at the same time. not the argument which influenced him. Mind. moment will the tortoise is . and if this proof were valid. His proof is no greatest number is valid.g. the contradictions of infinity if would reappear in a sublimated form. [Note added in 1917. Univ. 1910). part of the places where Achilles would have been. there is nothing left to add.&quot. Press. &quot. Thus the tortoise goes to just as many places as Achilles does. Broad. Much valuable work on the interpretation of Zeno has been done sine?. the tortoise (as is only Let Achilles go twice as fair) being allowed a handicap. and in another at any other moment. 2 Thus if Achilles were 1 Cantor was not guilty of a fallacy on this point. [Note added in 1917.this article was written. the places where the tortoise would have been would be only fast. XXII. who because they accepted premises from which his conclusion followed. Vol.. But if Achilles were to catch up with the tortoise. which is explained in Principia Mathematica. I (Camb. or ten times or a hundred times as Then he never reach the tortoise.MATHEMATICS AND METAPHYSICIANS 89 everything has been taken. C. why as a matter of fact shall see that all the people disagreed with Zeno had no right to do so.

it must be confessed. if you give him time. But there is no good word to be said for the philosophers of the past two thousand years and more. For consider day will and had not had continued biography would for ever. he would be farther and farther from the end of his history. which is I call the paradox of Tristram Shandy. be in exactly as many places as the tortoise. and shows that the tortoise. and so on. and therefore no part of the biography remain permanently unwritten. Now I maintain that. who have all allowed the axiom and denied the all conclusion. if he had lived wearied of his task. so that. in the may that day will be described in the corresponding year. will go just as far as Achilles. : the hundredth be described in the hundredth year. The retention of this axiom leads to absolute contra rejection leads only to oddities. then. Hence we infer that he can never catch the tortoise. and then goes well. the thousandth thousandth year. employed two years in chronicling the first two days of his life. Whatever day we choose as so far on that he cannot hope to reach it. at this rate. while its One of them. This argument is strictly correct. are very odd. if we allow the axiom that the whole has more terms than the part. This paradoxical will but perfectly true proposition depends upon the fact . Tristram Shandy. and lamented that. more in any period. Some of these oddities. would have been in but we saw that he must. material would accumulate faster than he could deal with it. the axiom must be rejected. as we know. As the con clusion is absurd. dictions. as years went by.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 90 to overtake the tortoise. Thus any day that may be mentioned will be written up sooner or later. he places than the tortoise . even if his life as eventfully as it began. no part of his have remained unwritten. the converse of the Achilles.

Of this. without any reference to number. depends upon that of order. brought order into greater of continuity and greater prominence. he has given a perfectly precise definition. Mathematics has. as of infinity. their properties symbolic logic and can be deduced from the principles of by means of the Algebra of Relatives. it was apt to suppose) that still quantity was the fundamental notion of mathematics. since continuity is merely a particular type of order. and it has been found that this investiga tion can be conducted without any reference to quantity. except from one little corner of Geometry. quantity is banished altogether. and. and to acquire new and Cantor oi better instincts as to the true and the false. The solution of the problems concerning infinity has enabled Cantor to solve also the problems of continuity. who used to be thought impossible because they would find it so inconvenient to stand on their heads. All types of series are capable of formal definition. in modern times. for the most part. The oddities then become no odder than the people at the antipodes. The investigation of different kinds of series and their relations is now a very large part of mathematics. But a little ciples practice enables one to grasp the true prin s doctrine. . But nowadays. supposed (and philosophers are In former days. that it is impossible to give any account of The notion it here. while order more and more reigns supreme. and has shown that there are no contradictions But this subject is so technical in the notion so defined.MATHEMATICS AND METAPHYSICIANS that the number of days number of years. Thus on the subject conclusions which at in all is no greater than the it is impossible to avoid time of infinity first 91 sight appear paradoxical. and this is the reason why so many philosophers have supposed that there were inherent contradictions in the infinite.

and all. what is more. One set of axioms is Euclid s other results. it is Only order This improve one which has is now relevant Thus. under the general study of order. that Geometry should really be regarded as belonging to applied mathematics. used to be defined by means of quantity. to limits. and accordingly it was urged. in explain to recent times. The a general subject of which the study of ordinal numbers (mentioned above) is a special and very interesting branch. is a question as to which the the pure mathematician is indifferent and. like Arithmetic. . and the series which it limits may not approximate to ment also is revolutionised mathematics. But the unavoid able technicalities of this subject render it impossible to any but professed mathematicians. which is fundamental in the greater part of higher mathematics. But nowadays the limit is denned quite differently. It was formerly supposed that Geometry was the study of the nature of the space in which we live.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 92 The notion of a limit. It might posit is . Geometry is a whole collection on a corresponding collection of sets of axioms. by those who held that what exists can only be known empirically. as a term to which the terms of some series approximate as nearly as we please. Whether axioms lead to other sets of equally good Euclid s axioms are true. though all finite integers are at an infinite distance from study of different types of series is it. Geometry. that Geometry throws no more light upon the nature of space than Arithmetic throws upon the popula tion of the United States. a question which it is theoretically impossible to answer with certainty in the affirmative. But it has gradually appeared. by the increase of non-Euclidean systems. of deductive sciences based . integers is at it due to Cantor. the smallest of the infinite the limit of the finite integers. has been subsumed. for instance.

Formerly. are only follow. that but no measurements could s axioms are false Euclid . In this way. as in other parts of mathematics. nowadays. and not starting. it has an air of somewhat wilful pedantry. it becomes possible to discover are needed . and in this way all banishing the the axioms that all sorts of possibilities. all sorts of things seem obviously to at all. as best he What defines Geometry. ever assure us (owing to the errors of observation) that Thus the geometer leaves to the they are exactly true. has been made by introducing points as they are required. what axioms are most nearly true in the actual world. In Geometry. figure. it was held by philosophers and mathematicians alike that the proofs in of . This method is due partly to Peano. and decide. as a matter of fact. One great advance. Peano and his disciples have done work of the very greatest merit as regards principles.MATHEMATICS AND METAPHYSICIANS sibly 93 be shown. is that the axioms must give rise to a series more than one dimension And it is thus that Geometry becomes a department in the study of order. The geometer takes any set of axioms that seem interesting. we begin with the following . If a figure is used. are brought to light. by assuming the whole of space. accepted because they are obvious. deduces their consequences. The reasoning proceeds by the strict rules of formal logic from a set of axioms laid down to begin with. partly to another Italian named Fano. man of science to may. in this sense. By which would have otherwise remained undetected. from the point of view of correct ness. and which. as was formerly done. which no formal reasoning can prove from the explicit axioms. this is In the best books there are no figures figure . Geometry depended on the known to be false. by very careful measurements. To those unaccustomed to it.

. where he constructs an equilateral triangle on a given base. the theory of parallels and the theory of pro portion. is was thought. namely. on the straight line joining a and b. are re quired for the proof of his propositions. as Peano humorously one for which Geometry has no use at all. at least one point. (3) If a be a point. is axioms which he enunciates. It require. Countless first eight propositions.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 94 axioms (2) : There There a class of entities called points. he winded. remarks. And so we go on. A vastly greater number of axioms. and in some kinds of spaces they do not always intersect. Then we bring in the straight line joining two points. till we have the means of obtaining as many points as we least But the word space. But no explicit axiom assures us that they do so. that. Thus Euclid fails entirely to prove his point in the very first proposition. as Sir Henry Savile remarked in 1621. Even in the first proposition of all. there were only two blemishes in Euclid. It is quite doubtful whether our space belongs to one of these kinds or not. and is terribly longhas no but an historical interest. The rigid methods employed by modern geometers have deposed Euclid from his pinnacle of correctness. but it is certain that his propositions do not follow from the true. and begin again with (4). That doubtful whether his axioms are a comparatively trivial matter. until recent times. he uses two circles which are assumed to intersect. (5) There is at one point not on the line ab. not only which is it that these are almost the only free from blemish. longer any Under these circumstances. which Euclid unconsciously employs. there (i) is is a. it is nothing less than a As he is certainly not an easy author. there is is at least one other point besides at least one other point besides a and b. It is now known points in which Euclid is errors are involved in his is to say.

who should have taken too little mathematical ability to invent their foundations. asks who ever heard of a reaction against Taylor s theorem ? of If he had lived now. to be mere outrageous pedantry. 1 book should have either intelligibility or correctness combine the two is impossible. Such rude shocks to mathematical faith have produced that love of formalism which appears. have The great inventions of the seventeenth century Analytical Geometry and the Infinitesimal Calculus were so fruitful in new results that mathe maticians had neither time nor inclination to examine of the Greeks. but to lack both is to . be unworthy of such a place as Euclid has occupied in education. [Note added in 1917.MATHEMATICS AND METAPHYSICIANS scandal that he should A to still 95 be taught to boys in England. for this modern investigations have overthrown. &quot. had new branches of mathematics which have now been found necessary for any adequate discussion. Thus mathematicians were only awakened from their dog matic slumbers when Weierstrass and his followers &quot. 1 Since the above was written. contrasting the certainty mathematics with the uncertainty of philosophy. had not been known among them previously since the time Weierstrass. he himself might have heard of such is precisely one of the theorems which a reaction. up the the task. under the influence of The most remarkable mathematics is result of the importance of rigid formalism.] . such as and accuracy. showed that many of their most cherished propositions are in general false. to those who are ignorant of its motive. modern methods symbolic logic and in Mathematicians. he has ceased to be used as a text book But I fear many of the books now used are so bad that the change is no great improvement. of shown in modern times a care for an aversion to slipshod reasoning. Macaulay. Philosophers.

within our generation. by which Kant explained the possibility of pure mathematics. there is every reason to hope that the near future will be as great an epoch in pure philosophy as the immediate past has been in the principles of mathematics. Great triumphs inspire great hopes . Kant s theory also has to be aban doned. such results as will place our time.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 96 The that all pure mathematics. The Aristotelian doctrines of the schoolmen come nearer in spirit to the doctrines which modern mathematics but the schoolmen were hampered by the fact inspire that their formal logic was very defective. including Geometry. What is now required is to give the greatest possible development to mathematical allow to the full the importance of relations. is wholly inapplicable to mathematics in its present form. and then to found upon this secure basis a new philosophical logic. Kant. If this can be successfully accomplished. on a level with the greatest age of Greece. [Note added in 1917. 1 The greatest age of Greece was brought to an end Peloponnesian War. rightly perceiving that Euclid s propositions could not be deduced from Euclid s proof axioms without the help of the figures. is a fatal blow to the Kantian philosophy. and that the . which may hope to borrow some of the exactitude logic. when the fact and not a is shown to be a mere result of the nature of geo metrical reasoning. to and certainty of its mathematical foundation. The whole doctrine of a priori intuitions. so successfully that. philosophical logic based upon the syllogism showed a corresponding narrowness. defect in Euclid.] by the . in this 1 respect. and pure thought may achieve. invented a theory of knowledge to account for this fact and it accounted . is nothing but formal logic.

and. sd(m(x_andjnorajs^ are to be united in fruitful and indissoluble marriage. and Kant we find motives strongly present. we find that. to-day. Locke. those derived from science. of his writing. Herbert Spencer. ~~It is my belief That the ethical 97 and religious motives . Descartes. broadly speaking.ON SCIENTIFIC METHOD IN PHILOSOPHY we try to ascertain the motives which have to the investigation of philosophical WHEN men led questions. they can be divided into two groups. and Hegel may be taken as typical ethical. Plato. on the one hand. Berkeley. both groups of we are assembled his would naturally be classed among scientific it was mainly from science that he drew his formulation of problems. Spinoza. These two groups of motives are. of method. those derived from religion and ethics. in whose honour Aristotle. are and is obvious his ethical preoccupations what make him value the conception of evolution that conception in which. on the other hand. of the mainly religious and while Leibniz. as_a whole generation has believed. philosophers : But his strong religious sense in much. and Hume may be taken as philosophers whose representatives of interests are the scientific In wing. and leading to very divergent systems. and his conception data. often antagonistic.

to its own peculiar province. as its etymology indicates. and see!Tto_giye~even greater generality and unity to these results. I believe the conception for either tions &quot. Both these expecta seem to me mistaken. possibility and importance of applying to philosophical problems certain broad principles of method which have been found successful in the study of scientific questions. in advances. from science. to discover was entangled and was thereby hindered in its maintain. consciously thrust aside philosophical truth. that philosophy should draw inspiration. the universe to be . Much philosophy inspired by science has gone astray through preoccupation _ with. The between a philosophy guided by method and a philosophy dominated by religious and ethical ideas may be illustrated by two notions which are very prevalent in the works of philosophers. from ethics and by those who wish Science. but (jnetho^ that can be transferred with profit from the sphere of the special sciences to the sphere of philosophy. It its I is. originally. and the notion oi good and opposition scientific A philosopher is expected to tell us something about eviL the nature of the universe as a whole. of &quot. a . Or it may study the methods of science.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 98 systems to which have begn_on the whole a hindrance to the progress of philosophy. What I wish to bring to your notice is the results. jtha results momentarily supposed to have been achieved. namely the notion_oi^thuniyrs&. But there are two may seek to base different itself upon ways in science. and ought now to be in spite of the splendidly imaginative they have given rise. similar motives. It is not . which a philosophy It may emphasise the most general results^oi science. rather than religion. and to give grounds optimism or pessimism. and seek to apply these methods. with the necessary adaptations.

bodies a failure to effect thoroughly the Copernican revolution. the wish to believe ManiL important in the scheme of things. the theoretical desirq a comprehensive understanding of the Whole. s Copernican revolution. but is a system of reciprocally &quot. whose anthroinspired system was warranted pocentrism apparently by the geocentrism of metaphysics astronomy. The Critical Philosophy. / . possibly. In this way. Reality is not merely one and self -consistent. such a statement would pass almost unnoticed as a mere truism.&quot. : In the days before Copernicus. that force and it survived with scarcely diminished survived even Kant is still now &quot. an_ethically grew up. the unconscious premiss of most meta physical systems. When Copernicus swept away the astrono mical basis of this system of thought. Yet I believe that it em &quot. and that the apparent oneness of the world merely the oneness ofjwhat js_seen byji single spectator apprehended by a single mind. : diurnal revolution of the heavenly bodies bound them together as all parts of one system. il. to the extent of maintaining that it is insoluble. determinate 1 parts&quot. The oneness of the world is an almost undiscussed postulate of most metaphysics.&quot. of which the earth was the Round centre.METHOD SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY IN 99 and I believe relic of pre-Copernican astronomy the question of optimism and pessimism to be one which the philosopher will regard as outside his scope. the conception of the was defensible on scientific grounds the universe &quot. mere &quot. p. although it intended to emphasise the subjective element is . and had associated itself so intimately with men s of aspirations. 211. or 1 Bosanquet. many human this desires rallied : apparent scientific fact. the q for hope that the course of nature might be guided by some sympathy with our wishes. it had grown so familiar. except. Lofio.

1 Let us now turn our backs upon ineffable or unintelligible ways &quot. the question of the unity of the world. and to inhabit different times different persons do even now. Having re cognised the categories as the work of the mind. but not. 124. and by that . I think.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC ioo apparent characteristics of the world. . the right method. in any absolute or ultimate Still less was it a ground for rejoicing. so con in many centrated attention upon the subjective representation that its subjectivity was soon forgotten. and spaces. was paralysed by its own recognition. the oneness affirmed may not merely be a name like substance descriptive of the fact that certain specific and verifiable connections of accounting for the world s oneness. supposing that the nescience to which it ought to have given rise could be legitimately exchanged for a meta physical dogmatism. universes so disparate from ours that actually be whole we who know ours have no means exist. . As regards our present question. by regarding the world in itself as unknowable. namely. yet. and inquire whether. . of perceiving that they We conceive their diversity. its despair was well falsification. We can easily conceive of things that shall have no connec We may assume them tion whatever with each other. it founded. and abandoned in despair the attempt to undo the work of subjective In part. as the dreams of be so unlike They may so inert towards one another. as I think. or for sense. Even now there may as never to jostle or interfere. p . no doubt. are found among the parts of the experiential flux. however 1 Some ProlUms of Philosophy. has been indicated by William James. and incommensurable. instead of being a principle.

as this example shows. namely. fail it is it let us consider called it thecfSgn oflaw^ People were a remarkable fact that the In fact. Taking all such functions for & . experience have the common property of being ex a truism from which obviously nothing perienced by us is it is clearly fallacious of importance can be deducible : to draw from the fact that whatever we experience is experienced the conclusion that therefore everything must be experienced. though the fallacy is a trifle less In order to explain elementary. of points in space. there is Taking any arbitrary set a function of the time corre- expressing the motion of a this function may. : such a particle H is subject. ^ . i. that derived from scientific laws.^ \j. due merely to the fact that my experienced world is what one experience selects from the sum total of the other that tentative and partial unity existence writers to the fact that . . Now a generalisation based upon either of these kinds of That the things which we unity would be fallacious. exhibited in the prevalence of scientific laws in those portions of the world which science has hitherto mastered. The importance attached by certain monistic any chaos may become a universe by merely being named. particle which traverses these points be regarded as a general law to which the behaviour of sponding to these points. The generalisation of the second kind of unity. for a moment what is often speak as though physical world however. could a world not easy to see how such is to obey general laws.e. is to me incomprehensible.METHOD SCIENTIFIC fact the whole PHILOSOPHY 101 them form what is known in logic To form a universe of discourse/ lot of a universe of as IN discourse argues. no further kind of connexion.&quot. subject to invariable laws. We are thus left with two kinds of unity in the experienced world the one what we may call the epistemological unity. would be equally fallacious.

In the first place. the jnost genera results of science are the least certain and the most liable to be upset by subsequent research. What fact that the uniformity able to discover it. It is not the uniformity of nature in physics is that should surprise us. by sufficient analytic ingenuity. In utilizing these results as the basis of a philosophy. there will be theo retically some one formula embracing them all. is surprising not the existence of general laws. that other undiscovered laws are equally simple. any conceivable course of nature might be shown to exhibit uniformity. carefully whether there more probable that these necessary to examine very not some reason making it it is is results should hold of all that has been experienced than that they should hold of things universally J^Hie^sumtptal of by mankind is a selection from the what sum is experienced total of what and any general character exhibited by this selection may be due to the manner of selecting rather exists. for it is obvious that simplicity has been a part cause of their discovery. k . for. and this all formula may be regarded as the single and supreme law Thus what of the spatio-temporal world. therefore. than to the general character of that from which exxT^perience selects. but their extreme simplicity. give no ground for the supposition and can.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC ioa the particles in the universe. ihe fallacies to which these two kinds of unity have suggest a caution as regards all use in philoso phy of general results that science is supposed to have achieved. In the second place. we sacrifice the most valu able and remarkable characteristic of scientific method. is But should sjarprise us is the simple enough for us to be it is just this characteristic of simplicity in the laws of nature hitherto discovered which it would be fallacious to generalise. in generalising these results given rise beyond past experience.

says 1 i &quot. it is needful to recognise. although almost every tiling in science is found sooner or later to require some correction. or.&quot. as Herbert Spencer used to call it. as a rule. could either come into existence or cease to The succession of phenomena would in such exist. case be altogether arbitrary. Part II. The prudent man of science acquires a certain instinct as to the kind of uses which may be made of present scientific beliefs without incurring the danger of complete and utter refutation from the modifications likely to be introduced by subsequent Unfortunately the use of scientific generalisa tions of a sweeping kind as the basis of philosophy is discoveries. illustrate these Let us begin with the conservation of energy. beginning of chap. \ in no We may scientific caution since. viu. but also An attempt the fact that Force to assign the causes of Evo would manifestly be absurd if that agency to which the metamorphosis in general and in detail is due. it^oj:dd^qnly_lea4_to_true j JJT?U it is ff/V$ based stood \A general considerations by means of two examples. that. not only the facts that Matter is indestructible and Motion persists. Before taking a first step in the rational inter pretation of Evolution. just that kind of use which an instinct of would avoid. 1 First Principles (1862). . namely. the greater part of the results which have been deduced from the premiss subsequently correction is discovered to be faulty. results if the generalisation upon which need of correction.METHOD SCIENTIFIC IN PHILOSOPHY 103 namely. and deductive Science lution impossible. the persistence of (i) He force. yet this almost always such as to leave untouched. the conservation of energy and the principle of evolution. continuous. or only slightly modified.

is far more artificial. three distinct errors. believed Thus even if by those who philosophise (which I cannot for a moment admit) the persistence of some entity were among the necessary postulates of science. as it physics seems to me.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 104 This paragraph illustrates the kind of way in which ne tphilosopher is tempted to give an . for they are merely hypothetical. or the a priori necessity of any such constancy which may be empirically discovered. First. and apply not only to the actual and these world but to whatever is possible. but is not a thing or substance per sisting throughout the changes of the system. more an embodiment of mathematical convenience. this presupposition is then be exemplified in some quantity which declares to be constant. of quantity. of which only the approximate truth in the regions hitherto investi gated can be guaranteed by the unaided methods of science. The same is true of mass. It is very often said that the persistence of is a necessary presupposition of all something or other and scientific investigation. There are here. The second error consists in the identification of a constant quantity with a persistent entity. Energy is a certain function of a physical system. principles are not laws of nature. science need pre suppose nothing except the general principles of logic. the detailed thought to scientific investigation of such general laws as nature does not presuppose any results are found to verify. involving. numerical measurement based largely upon conventions. far than is commonly on physics. it would be a sheer error from this the constancy of any physical quantity. it to infer . does. in spite of the fact that mass has often been defined as quantity of matter. In the third place. as it The whole conception.air of absoluteness and necessity to empirical generalisations. its Apart from particular observations.

METHOD SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY IN 105 has become more and more evident with the progress of physics that large generalisations. But both these sorts of evolutionism have in common the emphasis on progress. which used to be regarded as the most indubitable of physical quantities. and also another sort. the most general results apparently obtained by those methods. and to given be. illustrates the same tendency to hasty generalisation. the undue (2) of evolution. is now generally believed to vary according to velocity. namely. The philosophy which was to be our second example. in moment fact. the slightest in absolute exactness is fatal. such as the conserva tion of energy or mass. upon a continual change from the worse to the from the simpler to the more complex. will be very chary of basing anything upon what happen at the moment to be fore. as the conservation of mass or of energy the older investigations very fication of the older results such a principle is is erected into a universal a priori law. are far very likely only approximate. from certain and are Mass. is there though he may with advantage study the methods of physics. and therefore little modi But as soon as required. It better. raised upon The prudent this foundation philosopher. of which both Hegel and Spencer represent the older and less radical kind. or . at a The detailed conclusions deduced from the supposed constancy of mass for such motions as used to be studied in physics will over the field of remain very nearly exact. kinds of evolutionist philosophy. while that is. There are two preoccupation with ethical notions. Pragmatism and Bergson represent the more modern and revolutionary variety. is a vector quantity which different in different directions. and the whole failure philosophic structure necessarily ruined.

how ever. Apart. : . upon the previous history of this planet. we are assured. and even on scientific grounds probably not an average sample of events in the world at large. An extra-terrestrial philosopher. who had watched a single youth up to the age of twenty-one and had never come across any other human being. has developed gradually from the protozoon to the and this development. but all the other evolutionists. we are told. pher. not the protozoon. is indubitably an advance. have derived their impetus very largely from the history of biological development. derived from the undue admixture of ethical notions in the very idea of progress from which evolutionism derives its charm. including Hegel s modern disciples. there is another. To a philosophy which derives a law of universal progress from this history there are two objec tions. that this history itself is concerned with a small selection of facts confined to an infinitesimal very fragment of space and time. from this scientific objection to evolutionism. First. Unfortunately it is the philoso philosopher.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 106 would be unfair to attribute to Hegel any scientific motive or foundation. Organic life. and we can have no security that the impartial outsider would agree with the philosopher s self-complacent This point has been illustrated by the philosopher Chuang Tzii in the following instructive anecdote assumption. For we know that decay as well as growth is a normal occurrence in the world. who gives us this assurance. might conclude that human beings to grow continually and wiser in an indefinite progress towards per fection and this generalisation would be just as well founded as the generalisation which evolutionists base it is the nature of taller .

Human ethical notions. was he his own point of view. then. . It is to make man. perhaps. speaking from his own point to enjoy honour when alive one would of view. as Chuang essentially anthropocentric. interfere with essence of the To regard ethical notions as a key to the understanding of the world is essentially pre-Copernican. to . I shall discipline myself for ten days : and I shall fast for three. the centre its is of the universe and the interpreter of supposed aims and purposes. speaking from the pigs point of view. readily die on a war-shield or in the headsman s basket. strew fine grass. But then. So he rejected the pigs point of view and adopted In what sense. however disguised. one of the most serious obstacles to the victory of scientific method in the investigation of philo the involve.SCIENTIFIC &quot. he It is better. In this that receptivity to fact which scientific attitude way they is the towards the world. IN PHILOSOPHY in his ceremonial robes. The ethical element which has been prominent in many of the most famous systems of philosophy is. &quot. different from the pigs ? : . you bodily upon a carved sacrificial dish. perceived. . in my opinion. to legislate for the universe on the basis of the present desires of men. this satisfy you and place Does not ? Then. to live on continued bran and escape the shambles. and when used in metaphysics. 107 ap proached the shambles and thus addressed the pigs How can you object to die ? I shall fatten you for three months. added he. an attempt. much I fear that the evolutionists too often resemble Grand Augur and the pigs. after all. are Tzu ever veiled. with the hopes and ideals which he happens to have at the present moment. how sophical questions. Ethical metaphysics fundamentally an attempt. METHOD The Grand Augur.

however recommend Even vegetarians do not or less subjective. through the operation of social justice. recommending is ation with oneself. essentially a product of the gregarious instinct. which feels that the general principles of justice are on the side of its own herd.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC io8 give legislative force to our own wishes. success of gregarious animals in the struggle for upon co-operation within the herd. Hence. for example. course. the ends pursued by hostile groups are nefari are good . this view of ethics takes no account of such truly ethical notions as that of self-sacrifice. Hence arises a conflict of desires and instincts. to save the in doing so life of a they destroy the sacrifices refined. however. a fever. of the instinct to co-operate with those who are to form our own group against those who belong to other groups. would be a mistake. of confirmed by which ethical notions in arise. subjectivity of this situation is not apparent to the gregarious animal. and co-operation requires sacrifice. of what would otherwise be the interest of the individual. When the animal has arrived at the dignity of the meta physician. So the Grand Augur invokes ethics as the justification of Augurs in their conflicts with pigs. But. be questioned. to by oneself. although many millions of . are pursued by our own group are desir which The ends able ends. it invents ethics as the embodiment of its belief in the justice of its own herd. by reflexion. since both selfpreservation and the preservation of the herd are biological existence depends Ethics ends to the individual. but I think that a consideration of the way it is This may. to say. but in origin the art of to others the sacrifices required for co-oper all ethics. it may be said. Those who belong to our own group Ethics that is is those who belong to hostile groups are wicked. The ous. it comes. remains man in lives of more hesitate. The This. to some extent.

which world as which PHILOSOPHY 109 world taken by the philosophy is thus never impartial from ethical notions derived self IN it more or fully scientific. essence of the scientific temper. but what is valuable in such work is not any meta physical theory as to the nature of the world to which give rise. how ever immeasurable it is. infected with the prejudices of a time and inspires less is a place. The scientific philosophy. some way of feeling by which our own existence can acquire more of the characteristics which we must deeply desire. cannot take account of ethical notions without being turned aside from that submission to fact which is the lation to the therefore. which aims only at understanding the world and not directly at any other improvement of human life. and the philosophy always more or less parochial. As compared with to achieve the imaginative liberation from is necessary to such understanding of the man can hope to achieve.SCIENTIFIC METHOD The view microbes. within its own sphere. The ethical work of Spinoza. possess is Such theoretic importance as only in relation to human it may nature. belongs with practice and not with theory. What is valuable is the indication of some new way of feeling towards life it may and the world. of the kind of philosophy which is inspired by ethical notions. nor indeed anything which can be proved or disproved by argument. appears to me of the very highest significance. The value of such work. not in re world at large. do not deny the importance or value. for ex I ample. of the and therefore never it fails science. .

This. but I do believe that a philo be applicable to everything must sophical proposition that this belief is justified. or with any other portion of space and time. specially with things on the surface of the earth. and the ascription of such peculiar predicates to the universe would be the special business I maintain. that there of philosophy. This does not involve that all the things there are form a whole which could be regarded as another thing and be made . however. and an important one.&quot. on the contrary. In the first place a philosophical proposition must be general. is universe &quot. It might be supposed that this admission would be scarcely distinguishable from the view which I wish to reject. in other words.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC no II the notion of the universe and the notion of good and evil are extruded from scientific philosophy. are no propositions of which the ject . universe. that exists or may exist. that there &quot. or with the solar system. What I &quot. such as the propositions of logic. It is this need of It must not deal generality which has led to the belief that philosophy I do not believe deals with the universe as a whole. would be an error. is the sub no such thing as the do maintain is that there are general propositions which may be asserted of each individual thing. it may If be asked what specific problems remain for the philos opher as opposed to the man of science ? It would be give a precise answer to this question. but certain characteristics may be noted as distinguishing difficult to the province of philosophy from that of the special sciences. The traditional view would make the universe itself the subject of various predicates which could not be applied to any particular thing in the universe.

becomes word has now come . namely. if what has been said is in fact the indistinguishable from logic as that correct. all things. independently of such facts as can only be discovered by our senses. A be neither proved nor disproved by empirical evidence. that they must be a philosophical proposition must be such as can propositions. We shall see.METHOD SCIENTIFIC IN PHILOSOPHY in the subject of predicates. but are true of any possible world. It involves only the assertion that there are properties which belong to each separate thing. This brings us to a second charateristic of philo sophical priori. I wish to advocate may be called logical atomism or absolute pluralism. since it may be thought that the possible is something other than the general. that philosophical propositions. is liable to two are indistinguishable. therefore. or the convolutions of the brain. it while maintaining that denies that there is a whole because. are concerned with all things distributively concerned with . there are many composed of those things. things. not that there are properties belonging to the The philosophy which whole of things collectively. or the eyes of shell-fish. which must make only such assertions as would be equally true however the actual world were constituted. and not only must they be but they must be concerned things as do not depend upon with such properties of all the accidental nature of the things that there happen to be. We may sum up these two characteristics sophical propositions of philo saying that philosophy by But is the this statement unexplained be misleading. Philosophy. whereas science of the possible. Too often we find in philosophical books arguments based upon the course of history. Special and accidental facts of this kind are irrelevant to philosophy. instead of being concerned with the whole of things collectively.

definite. with the kinds of propositions that of logical forms. . the nature of perception. and ft may On be. or the theory form of the of judgment. the analysis of special science. as the sciences do. of mentioning any one thing or predicate or relation. the class hand. classification of the constituents of facts. with the various types of facts. ft.&quot. and with the occur. it becomes possible at to deal with its problems piecemeal. may logic provides an inventory In this way of possibilities. if its appears. the other concerned with the analysis and enumeration i. might be thought that such a study would be too It vague and too general to be of any very great importance. that this is not the In some problems. for example.e. last for and philosophy to obtain. broadly speak two not very sharply distinguished portions. such for example as if x is a member of the class a and every member of a is a member of ft then x is a member of &quot. The study of logic consists. It space and time. It is chiefly for want of the right logical hypothesis that such problems have hitherto been treated in such an un satisfactory manner. such partial and probably not wholly correct results as subsequent investigation can utilise . a.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 112 to be used. it is whatever x. however. and have given rise to those con tradictions or antinomies in which the enemies of reason among philosophers have at all times delighted. the discovery of the logical is the hardest part of the work and the whose part performance has been most lacking hitherto. case. and problems became at any point sufficiently be merged in the problems of some would they that. On the one hand it is concerned with those general state ments which can be made concerning everything without ing. a repertory of abstractly tenable hypotheses. facts involved By concentrating attention upon the investigation of logical forms.

the source of the triumphs of science. The essence sis. because each original philosopher has had to begin the work again from the beginning. of his wish to philosophy such as be piecemeal and tentative like other above all. any more feasible than the discovery life is I of the philosopher s stone. maxim of success here as elsewhere. only in application that the meaning or impor tance of a method can be understood. without being able to accept anything definite from the A . more than anything else. it philosophies hitherto have been constructed block.METHOD SCIENTIFIC even while IN PHILOSOPHY supplements and improves them. unlike science. and &quot. of general forms. will yet remain have been made. of philosophy as thus conceived To not synthesis. if basis for further investigations. fruitful after the necessary corrections This possibility of successive approximations to the truth is. this fact that It is chiefly owing to philosophy. into a &quot. Heine German s build professor up systems who is analy of the world. number What and the is is the understanding division of traditional problems of separate Divide and conquer feasible not. it will be able to invent hypotheses predecessors. were they wholly incorrect. recommend sciences work scientific I will which. Suppose we are for it is confronted with the problem of space as presented in . has hitherto been unprogressive. even if they are not wholly true. and could not be used as a way that. is it and to ensure to transfer this possibility to philosophy progress in method whose importance a would be almost impossible to exaggerate. believe. Let us illustrate these somewhat general maxims by examining their application to the philosophy of space. is the less baffling questions. like knit together fragments of and made an intelligible system out of them. in such a 113 Most all in one they were not wholly correct.

a minimum statement body is it of the not Given a body difficult to find axioms from which of propositions can be deduced. the problem of logic can be solved exactly in concerned. the It is this also not by dropping or altering some of these axioms. these three. from the point of view of pure mathematics. each of which. to respect as the The Euclidean true perhaps of actual space (though but doubtful). to obtain a more general or a different geometry. It Kant s to discover soon appear that three entirely distinct problems. as solved with great a degree of certainty and as great an approach to exactness as can be hoped in an empirical the problem of theory of knowledge. its uniqueness feasible . Let us see (i) The how these three problems arise. a problem of Of a problem of theory of knowledge. the same difficult. logical coherence more and the same Euclidean familiar title geometry.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC H4 Transcendental ^Esthetic. has an equal and inde geometry this itself is is Thus right to be called a Euclidean space. remains very obscure and very difficult to deal with. or of mathematical an as logical object study loses space not only are there many kinds of spaces. certainly of an infinite number of arithmetical systems. region . having. from the purely point of view of abstract logic. will belonging to different studies. have been confusedly combined problem with which Kant is the supposed single There is a problem of logic. and physics. and perfectly the problem of physics can probably be . however. and requiring different methods for their solution. and suppose we wish what are the elements of the problem and what hope there is of obtaining a solution of them. of geometrical propositions. but there are an infinity of examples of each kind. . has arisen through logical problem suggestions of non-Euclidean geometry.

&quot. not any single one among them. The space in fact is not determined by the class of its points. The points of the space are all the space. say. to find IN 115 of which the space it is impossible to of which the space of physics is certainly As an illustration of one possible logical system of geometry we may consider all relations of three terms which are analogous in certain formal respects to the relation between as it appears to be in actual &quot. He considers the whole such relations. it becomes unnecessary for the stract capacity to distinguish which have all pure geometer in his ab between the various relations these properties. The nature of geometrical reasoning therefore is purely&quot. terms which have this relation to something or other. but by the ordering three-term rela abstract logical properties of such When enough relations have been enumerated to determine the resulting kind of geometry. tion. not be in the reasoning. and may an example. it musti . of one space are necessarily also points of other spaces. Euclidean geometry. but in our knowledge concerning} the axioms in some given space. since there are necessarily other three-term relations having those same points for their field. A space is then defined by means of one such three-term relation.METHOD SCIENTIFIC though it is difficult of physics find any kind PHILOSOPHY any kind be an example.] deductive and purely logical if any special epistemological peculiarities are to be found in geometry. for example. The physical problem of space is both more in teresting and more difficult than the logical problem. Thus in studying a given kind of geometry the pure class of mathematician defined is by means studying a certain class of relations of certain abstract logical properties which take the place of what used to be called axioms. and their order in the space in question is determined by The points this relation. (2) / .

is it is to find plain that if any application must be neither a datum such a notion as that of a point to empirical material. B. and C the fact which or C is is between fairly evident sitting in a row. the point nor a hypothetical addition te . amenable to the kind of treatment at which geometry aims. If I see three become aware of B is be B and C. as empirically given. It must therefore be applicable to the sensible world. give rise to a geometry. by saying that A is between This relation of &quot. or at any rate in terms of data together with such hypo thetical additions as seem least open to question. possible to find an interpretation of the points. but the three people A. or to construct from physical materials. degree of approximation people A. This problem derives from the attempt to accommodate to the logical its difficulty roughness and vagueness of the real world some system possessing the logical clearness and exactitude of pure That mathematics. I be expressed rather than that may A and C tween can be done with a certain this A and B. planes. but its properties fail to which is be exact. which line. and are not. B. and planes . outline. we saw. nor is the row Nevertheless physics. straight is and planes of physics in terms of physical data.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC n6 The physical problem may be stated as follows : to find the physical world. thus perceived to hold has some of the abstract logical properties of those three-term relations which. sitting in exactly a straight formally assumes a space containing and points. straight found empirically to give results lines. In abstract geometry we deal with points. Since all data suffer from a lack of mathematical precision through being of a certain size and somewhat vague in lines. a space of one of the kinds enumerated by the in treatment of geometry. straight lines. between &quot. and C whom I see a row are not exactly points.

Whitehead. contain the point. that points are mathematical fictions. as one would naturally say.ta. in any case not to be felt by those as practically every one does. thetical filling out of data is less dubious and unsatis da. It will be the class of all those objects which. &quot. of physical space. To secure a definition giving this result. is an agree able problem in mathematical logic. after we have turned away our eyes. to be more or less analogous to what they were while we were looking. We are thus led naturally to define a physical point as a certain class of those objects which are the ultimate constituents of the physical world. To assume.SCIENTIFIC METHOD IN PHILOSOPHY 1. fiction is used by many men who seem not explaining how it can come about glibly in such connexions the necessity of that a fiction can be so useful in the study of the actual world as the points of mathematical physics have been to feel found to be. and ought who maintain.17 but a construction by means of data with their It is obvious that any hypo hypothetical additions. which regards a point it is explained both how as a class of physical objects. . The solution of this problem and the perception of its importance are due to my friend Dr. The word &quot. for example. without previously assuming that physical objects are composed of points. points must not be assumed db initio as they are in the logical treatment of geometry. but must be constructed as systems composed of data and hypo are thetical analogues of data. that objects which we see continue. By our definition. The oddity of regard ing a point as a class of physical entities wears off with familiarity. is a less violent assumption than to assume that such objects composed of an infinite number of mathematical Hence in the physical study of the geometry points. factory when the additions are closely analogous to data than when they are of a radically different sort.

Many of the mathematically convenient properties ol abstract logical spaces cannot be either known to belong or known not to belong to the space of physics. there can be no empirical objection to the mathematically simplest assumption. The subject of the physical theory of space is a very large one. (3) The problem with which Kant Transcendental ^Esthetic is is concerned in the primarily the epistemological .MYSTICISM AND LOGIC u8 the use of points can lead to important physical results. conversely. there are nevertheless possible non-continuous spaces which will many be empirically indistinguishable from it . actual space be non-continuous and yet empirically indistinguish may able from a possible continuous space. Continuity. It is associated with a similar theory of time. For to know that actual space has these properties would If require an infinite exactness of sense-perception. And from the point of view of physics. Such the properties connected with continuity. where no empirical means of distinction can be found. or time of the physical world whether these are con tinuous or not would seem to be a question not only : unanswered but for ever unanswerable. and both have been forced upon the attention of philosophically minded physicists by the discussions which have raged concerning the theory of relativity. though obtainable in the a priori region ol arithmetic. are all actual space is continuous. From the point view of philosophy. is not with certainty obtainable in the space therefore. which is that of continuity. and how we can nevertheless avoid the assumption that points are themselves entities in the physical world. hitherto little explored. the discovery that a question is unanswerable is as complete an answer as of any that could possibly be obtained. however. and.

for example. &quot. &quot. of geometry. it is who maintain that our knowledge that the axiom of Kant s to be a delusion. and the peculiar position which in day geometry appeared to occupy is seen now There are still some philosophers. Our knowledge verified. The principle of economy. is true of actual space. for example. Our knowledge of physical geometry is synthetic. synthetic &quot. and does not enable us to assert. is a priori knowledge synthetic now reply. with the separation which we have made between pure geometry and the geometry of physics. like the rest of our knowledge. while it that this axiom is approximately does enable us to assert of observation. &quot. Our knowledge of pure geometry is hypothetical. problem : METHOD How 119 do we come to have knowledge of By the distinction between the geometry a priori ? logical PHILOSOPHY IN &quot.&quot. partly from sense. ducible from logic alone. Thus. soon as we realise the notion of application of geometry to the physical world in no way demands that there should really be points and straight lines among physical entities. . Our knowledge of pure geometry is a priori but is wholly logical. the How Kantian problem collapses. To the question. at * &quot. the bearing and physical problems and scope of this question are greatly altered. does not. This position is not logically refutable. but I think it loses all plausibility as how complicated and derivative is As we have seen. Our knowledge of geometry. the physical space.SCIENTIFIC &quot. enable us to assert that is it verified exactly. true.It is &quot. owing to the inevitable inexactitude of physical geometry. but is as Kant maintained derived from an a priori intuition. that the axiom of parallels is true in the physical world. is not to be accounted for empirically. but is not a priori. parallels. is derived partly from logic. we can possible ? is concerned* far rate as so geometry any not demeans if not possible.

Although. as we accept the view that points and straight lines are complicated constructions by means of classes physical entities. therefore.&quot. we can remove its grounds one by one through an analysis of the problem. other philosophical questions. &quot. the analytic method. though with some vacillation. the hypothesis that we have an a priori intuition enabling us to know what happens to of straight lines when they are produced indefinitely becomes and harsh nor do I think that such an hypothesis would ever have arisen in the mind of a philosopher who had grasped the nature of physical Kant. As soon. : Are our objects and are they independent of the per be supposed that we attach some must cipient and independent. &quot. adopted. Both those who advocate and those who combat realism seem to me to be far from clear as to the nature of the problem which they are discussing. though logically unobjection able. Thus. since absolute space is an unnecessary entity in the explanation of the physical extremely strained . demands that we should abstain from assum ing the existence of points and straight lines. either side in the controversy of realism is if asked to define these two words. is removed by Occam s razor. If we ask &quot. while not capable of arriving at a demonstrative result. and this hypothesis. ? it &quot. is nevertheless capable of showing that all the as in many positive grounds in favour of a certain theory are fallacious and that a less unnatural theory is capable of accounting for the facts. under the influence of Newton. and real words meaning to the of perception real &quot. the hypothesis of absolute space. we cannot refute the Kantian theory of an a priori intuition. . however. their answer is pretty yet. space. here world. Another question by which the capacity of the analytic method can be shown is the question of realism.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC iao therefore.

true or false. there must be in the world two sorts of objects.&quot. in the discussions concerning realism. and of There certainly are &quot. There is of course the Hegelian answer. The question we have therefore to consider is the question as to what can be meant by assigning to some reality &quot. reality is used in this sense. . &quot. and yet the unreal is supposed to be essentially what there is not. that the real is the self-consistent and that noth it real is ing is self -consistent except the Whole but this answer. without its being in any way deducible that they are . the question to be a substantial therefore. I the entities that think. rather with psychical states on the one hand and matter on the other Objects of perception are hand than with the all-inclusive whole of things. It might turn out that the objects of per ception failed of reality in one or both of these respects. and that in fact there might be a whole world in which nothing was real in either of these senses. but not all of elements. namely. the real and the unreal. which moves on a lower plane and status of objects of perception is concerned with the among other objects of con equal fragmentariness. trasted. a thing is real when it is correlated with other things in a way which experience has led us to expect. Two make up what is felt rather than thought A thing not perceived . The question what properties must belong to an object in order to make one to which an adequate answer is seldom if ever forthcoming. real. or persists at times when again. if whether these objects are real is question. &quot. Let us begin with the word objects perception.SCIENTIFIC sure to embody METHOD IN PHILOSOPHY 121 confusions such as logical analysis will reveal. it is be seen that reality in either of these senses is by no means necessary to a thing. make up the world. is not relevant in our present discussion. It will when the word is real if it &quot.

&quot. where I found Professor Simmel.&quot. like those which we It may . it would be absurd to deny body to move from must be supposed that a questions caused his that these Bonn to Strassburg. Owing to this plurality of causal series antecedent to a given event. law according to which the antecedents are to be con sidered. and that there are well as of succession. but that. it correlations of simultaneity as becomes evident that there is no uniqueness in a series of casual antecedents of a given event. the notion of the cause becomes indefinite. &quot. Now. set of purely mechanical antecedents could also be found for this transfer of matter from one and yet it which would account place to another. at any point where there is a correlation of simultaneity. . we ought to ask whether there is a series determined by such and such causal laws leading from B to A.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 122 not parts of the external world with which physics deals Similar remarks will apply to the word independent. Most of the associations maintain. This point is important in connexion with the particular question be that no objects quite ever exist unperceived perceive of objects of perception. I received a letter the other day from a corre It will spondent who had been puzzled by various philosophical These After enumerating them he says questions. : questions led me from Bonn to Strassburg. A is word are bound up with of this ideas as to causation which it is independent of not now B when B possible to is not an But when it is indispensable part of the cause of A. we can pass from one line of antecedents to another in order to obtain a new series of causal be necessary to specify the causal antecedents. causation is more than correla that recognised nothing tion. and the question of independence becomes correspondingly ambiguous.&quot. Thus. instead of asking simply whether A is independent of B.

that it avoids difficulties realists which seem to me to beset both realism hitherto advocated. The view which I should wish to advocate is that objects of perception do not persist unchanged might well have at times objects when they more are not perceived. and are themselves properly to be called physical . and that it and idealism as avoids the appeal which they have made to ideas which logical analysis shows to be ambiguous. that purely physical laws exist determining the character and duration of objects perception without any reference to the fact that they are perceived .SCIENTIFIC METHOD IN PHILOSOPHY be a causal law according to which perception are not independent of being in this case there will objects of perceived. physics. All that I should claim for it is. although probably or less resembling them do exist at such that objects of perception are part. which seemed capable of remaining for ever undecided. of the actual subject-matter of times . stands. indeterminate. and the only empirically knowable part. But even if this be the case. In that case. I believe that this confusion has borne a very large part in prolonging the controversies on this subject. and that in the establishment of of such laws the propositions of physics do not presuppose any propositions of psychology or even the existence of mind. it may never happen that there are purely physical causal laws determining the occurrence of objects which are perceived by means of other objects which perhaps are theless also not perceived. A further defence and elaboration of . I do not know whether would recognise such a view as realism. are independent of being perceived is. as it ception and the answer will be yes or no according to the method adopted of making it determinate. in regard to such causal of laws objects perception will be independent of being Thus the question whether objects of per perceived.

and pro and of appeal to principles with which. all competent students must agree. But there remain a number large of the re cognised problems of philosophy in regard to which the all those advantages of division method advocated gives into distinct questions. Some relegates. compels us to abandon the hope of solving many of the more ambitious and humanly interesting of these it problems of traditional philosophy. gressive advance. if I am not mistaken. others it shows to be such as our capacities are essentially incapable of solving.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 124 I advocate. to special sciences. partial. but for which time is be found indicated in my book on the positions which lacking now. 1 Open Court Company. independently of temperament. though with little expectation of a successful solution. 1914. The failure of philosophy hitherto has been due in the main to haste and ambition patience : and modesty. road to solid and durable progress. here as in other sciences. of tentative. will Our Knowledge of the External World* The adoption of scientific method in philosophy. will open the .

Nunn. and that only a fool or a philosopher could be in doubt as to whether any given entity 1 is mental or material. is. ? no a question less &quot. Are Secondary Qualities Independent Arist. igi-2i8. the present article. VI. we can separate the problem into an essentially soluble and an essentially as it concerns philosophy. This simple faith An address delivered to the Philosophical Society of Manchester in February. I Common sense is accustomed to the division of the It is supposed by all who have never studied philosophy that the distinction be tween mind and matter is perfectly clear and easy. 1915. The question. 1515 &quot. The Basis of Realism. &quot. Vol. of Perception ? Proc. which is realistic. that world into mind and matter. not remote from that of Professor hope Alexander. British Academy. ancient metaphysical query. Reprinted from The Monist.vii THE ULTIMATE CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER 1 to discuss in this article 1WISH than the matter &quot. by whose writings on this subject I have profited 8 2 It is also in close accord with that of Dr. What is &quot. I and we can now see how to solve the essentially soluble portion.. the two do not at any point overlap. pp. July.&quot. What is matter ? &quot. 1909-10. . and is. Soc. insoluble portion. that is to say. in so far think. especially Samuel Alexander. 1 Cf. 1915. * &quot. believe. It is these outlines which I wish to suggest in My main position. at least as regards its main outlines. greatly. already capable of an answer which in principle will be as complete as an answer can hope to be .

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC survives in Descartes and in a but with Leibniz in Spinoza. atoms. like alcohol or hasheesh. much of what we think we Psychologists point out how see is supplied by association . A unit of matter tends more and more to be something like an electromagnetic field filling all space. though having its greatest intensity in a small region. It is my intention in this article to defend this dualism . Our knowledge of the material world is obtained by means of the senses. it somewhat modified form begins to disappear. of sight and touch and so on. corpuscles. and as many more such subdivisions as their future needs may make them and the units at which they arrive are un commonly different from the visible. in spite of its connection with the money remains a metaphysical theory none the less. Matter consisting of such elements is as remote from daily life as any metaphysical theory. market. postulate. At first it is supposed that things are just as they seem. that what we hear depends upon the ear. On the one hand the physicists cut up matter into molecules. The second kind of sophistication to which the world it of common sense has been subjected is derived from the psychologists and physiologists. theories of metaphysicians only in It differs the fact from the that its practical efficacy proves that it contains some measure of truth and induces business men to invest money on the strength of it . but two opposite sophistications soon destroy this naive belief. tangible objects of daily life. and from his day to our own almost every philosopher of note has criticised and rejected the dualism of common sense. but. but before defending it we must spend a few moments on the reasons which have prompted its rejection. and that all our senses are liable to be affected by anything which affects the brain. The physiologists point out that what we see depends upon the eye.

They prove that. belong. is we I Common sense believes that physical. to the outer world. outside the mind. it absurdum of naive realism. and how doubtful is the residuum which can From these facts it is be regarded as crude datum.CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER how much unconscious inference. since its whole nature is con by our nerves and sense organs. that some part of the beliefs of common sense must be aban doned. or is 127 mental inter pretation. changing as ditioned they change in ways which it is thought impossible to connect with any change in the matter supposed to be This physiologist s argument is exposed to perceived. argued by the psychologists that the notion of a datum passively received by the mind is a delusion. since the existence of the nerves and sense organs is only evidence of the senses themselves. more specious than solid. what we see to exist if direction. and it is argued by the physiologists that even if a pure datum of sense could be obtained still this by the datum could not analysis of experience. and continuing shut our eyes or turn them in another believe that common sense is right in . the rejoinder. if we take these beliefs as a whole. known through the This argument may prove that some reinterpretation of the results of phy siology is necessary before they can acquire metaphysical But does not upset the physiological argu ment in so far as this constitutes merely a reductio ad validity. These various lines of argument prove. as common sense sup poses. I think. we are forced into conclusions which are in part but such arguments cannot of them self-contradictory selves decide what portion of our common-sense beliefs . is in need of correction. that our know ledge of the existence of the sense organs and nerves is obtained by that very process which the physiologist has been engaged in discrediting.

and my first visit to I first one was determined by the desire to verify Bergson s statement.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 128 we regarding what several possible probably wrong physical and (in outside the mind. the immediate objects of sight or touch or hearing. and among the impermanence of physical entities may perhaps be made clearer by the use of Bergson s favourite illustration of the cinematograph. it is argued that these data themselves cannot be among the ultimate con stituents of matter. regard as the ultimate constituents of matter. I believe this to be a sheer mistake. or falling into a river. down When. that the whole discussion of matter has been obscured by two is errors which support each other. as see senses) in supposing that it one of but is continues to exist when we me It seems to are no longer looking at it. Since the immediate data of sense are not indestructible but in a state of perpetual flux. are extra-mental. I believe that the actual data in sensation. When My meaning in regard to read Bergson s statement that the mathematician conceives the world after the analogy of a cinematograph. symbolic fictions enabling us to express compendiously very complicated assemblages of facts . The persistent particles of mathematical physics I regard as logical constructions. that what physics it is we first of these see. the ultimate constituents of matter. The the error that what our other senses. . we know so far as I see a man concerned. and. I had never seen a cinematograph. or perceive subjective : through any of the second is the belief Whatever physical must be persistent. we or hill. is may always supposes these constituents to be indestructible. at least am in a picture palace. rolling running away from the police. or doing any of those other things to which men in such places are addicted. purely physical. on the other hand. which I found to be completely true.

I believe. are what I call logical constructions or symbolic fictions. Each of these is to be regarded.CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER 129 is riot really only one man moving. not on the analogy of bricks .&quot. but as a series of each other in time. each different one from the other. but by continuity and certain intrinsic causal laws. not as one single persistent entity. same kind In saying this I of division in time as am we only urging the are accustomed to in the case of space. each with a different momentary man. the sun. Now what I wish to suggest is that in this respect the illusion of persistence arises cinema is a better metaphysician than common sense. moon and stars. composed many things A of matter requires a division of things into time-corpuscles as well as into space-corpuscles. results from relations among Classes or series of particulars. physics. collected to gether on account of some property which makes it con venient to be able to speak of them as wholes. matical instant. is really a series of momentary men. that there The only through the ap proach to continuity in the series of momentary men. The arrangement or pattern particulars. The entities which are arranged I shall call particulars. &quot. similarly a thing which persists for an hour is to be regarded as of of less true theory duration. and bound together. however the police may swear to his identity. not by a numerical identity. A body which fills a cubic foot will be admitted to consist of many smaller acknowledge bodies. The world may be conceived as consisting of a multi tude of entities arranged in a certain pattern. The par ticulars are to be conceived. And what applies to men applies equally to tables and chairs. each occupying only a very tiny volume . The real man too. each lasting for a though probably not for a mere mathe entities succeeding very brief period. or philosophy. but a suc cession of films.

. &quot. &quot. but what I see. are certainly mental occurrences so are what we may call experiences. in fact. wishing. willing. each of which lasts only for a very short time. : being pleased or pained. of lightning. seeing. perceiving generally. would contain as a constituent what I see. are con soon as things &quot. When I see a flash perceived. are to be applied for deciding whether a given entity belongs to one class or the other. When people ask. what is heard. what is smelt. But the thing/ it As will of regarding than.&quot. real or thing in the way manner ought to be regarded as &quot. could describe truly and fully all that occurs in physicist the physical world when there is a flash of lightning. ceived in this &quot. from (apart but rather on the analogy of notes in a of a symphony The ultimate constituents relations) are the notes. hearing. and although it seems very unlike what the physicist would describe as a flash of from this that what what is I maintain. be found that the difficulties immediate objects of sense as physical have largely disappeared. We may collect together all the notes played by one instrument these may be : regarded as the analogues of the successive particulars which common sense would regard as successive states of one &quot.i MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 3o in a building. sym phony. no more &quot. Is the object of sense mental or &quot. it lightning. and also what . &quot. but some thing may be done by enumerating occurrences which are indubitably mental believing. But it does not follow smelling. for example. doubting. &quot. substantial the role of the trombone. is seen. they seldom have any clear idea either what meant by mental or physical/ or what criteria physical ? &quot. must be mental. mental. although it is not quite the same as what anybody else sees at the same moment. &quot. &quot. my seeing of it is mental. is &quot. that if the is not mental. I do not know how to give a sharp definition of the word &quot.

and that it &quot. does not occupy a certain region in space. since the confusion only needs to be but the second pointed out in order to be obviated . they seem to suppose that their meaning must be clear. &quot. what is in that region is presumably part of the brain. What I mean may perhaps be made seen see by saying that if my body could remain in mind exactly the same state in which it is. that it it is in the &quot. that they did not ade have. which would not be said to be in the mind. The first of these reasons need not detain us. I think. outside me. The prin plainer which have led people to reject this view first. since it ing of causal dependence. that the causal dependence of what I see upon my body has made people suppose that what I see can cipal reasons : . since my seeing is mental. &quot. &quot. ought to be possible to say yes or no without any further discussion of the terms involved. &quot. or. although my see I now which that had ceased to exist. In fact. although of course I should not see it. what . &quot. and on the other. When people say that sensible qualities are in the mind. or other secondary qualities are inside or outside the mind. for example. When people ask whether colours. mind ? The mind is not like a bag or a pie . precisely object when I see the flash would exist. on the one hand as to the nature of space. as to the mean discussion. which the blackbirds were in the pie. We might regard the mind as an assemblage of particulars. not be &quot. can only be answered requires some by removing current misconceptions.CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER is 131 by anybody else who would commonly be said to the same flash. or are very outside inside however. such terms as this or meant whether What is by asking ambiguous. &quot. namely. they in the sense in spatiaUy contained in do not mean &quot. been two between my seeing and what I see quately distinguish secondly. if (in a sense) does.

place that the heat of is not in the fire but in inference that the fire is only by in our heat we feel which of the cause judged to be the body. s . which would belong common specific quality. have to suppose that each separate person s states of mind have some common characteristic distin should guishing them from the this latter point.&quot.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 132 would be called &quot. : 1 First dialogue edition IQOT). The quality of all states of mind would be the quality mental . In reply to this argument. actually belong to objects of sense. &quot. I. &quot. mental/ it is not difficult to see that noises are not mental in the sense of having that intrinsic peculiarity which belongs to beliefs and wishes and volitions. and that no one could regard pain as something outside the mind. but not to the physical world.&quot. 1 Berkeley advances on this subject a plausible argument which seems to me to rest upon an ambiguity in the word He argues that the realist supposes the heat pain. which he feels in approaching a fire to be something outside his mind. however difficult it may be to know what we mean by colours and &quot. us ask ourselves whether by the word &quot. 384. it should be observed in the first which we are immediately aware our own body. does. between Hylas and Philonous. but that as he approaches nearer and nearer to the fire the sensation of heat passes imper ceptibly into pain. Works (Fraser p. It is when we speak of pain we may mean one we may mean the object of the sensation of two things or other experience which has the quality of being painful. mental &quot. In the second place (and this is the more im portant point). let Ignoring the quality designated mind states of of other people. states of together in virtue of some mind. and besides this we designated by the word common &quot. as a matter of observation. I think any candid person must reply that. such as colours or noises.

in common language we speak of the sensible object experienced in a painful sensation as a and pain. but the sensation. however. confusion the experience passes gradually from being pleasant to being painful. then. the mind is. As the heat which we experience from the fire grows greater. to meaning of be inferred from the arguments advanced by those who regard sensible objects as being in the mind. 133 When man says he has a pain in his great toe. in the main. as well as to But sensations. that is to say. painfulness which only mental occurrences can have. In fact. however. and it is therefore a fallacy to argue that this object must be mental on the ground that painfulness can only be attributed to what is mental.CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER or a is we may mean the quality of painfulness itself. when we say that something is in the mind we mean that it has a certain recognisable intrinsic characteristic such as belongs to thoughts and desires. and hence it comes to be thought that what we call a pain in the toe must be mental. such as would prove the &quot. it is this way of speaking which causes the upon which the plausibility of Berkeley s argument depends. it must be maintained on grounds that objects of sense are not in A of immediate inspection any mind. The sensation consists in sensation. what he means that he has a sensation associated with his great toe of painfulness. experiencing a every sensible object. but neither the pleasure nor the pain is a quality of the object experienced as opposed to the experience. but which may belong to thoughts or desires. and the experiencing has that quality of and having the quality like itself. It would be absurd to attribute the quality of painfulness to anything non-mental. The argu ments used are.in . it is not the sensible object in such a case which is painful. different J &quot. If. the experience of the sensible object.

not by psychology. But if it is recognised that the ultimate more or less constituents of matter are as circumscribed in duration as in spatial extent. another difficulty. and altered if the alterations which they effect are to be explained by 1 They are in physiology and optics. the whole of this difficulty vanishes. connected space. or look previously at something dazzling . When we look at the sun we wish to know This point has been well urged by the American realists .MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 134 cpusal dependence of objects of sense upon the percipient. So long as it is supposed that the physical world is composed of stable and permanent constituents. or squint. however. and what I for my part have no wish to deny. There remains. any more than the visual appearance pre sented by an object seen through a microscope would re main if the microscope were removed. sense would suppose. What they do tend to prove. the fact that what we see is changed by changes in our body appears to afford reason for regarding what we see as not an ultimate con stituent of matter. I wish to urge that the dependence in question is rather upon our bodies than upon our minds. is that what causally dependent upon our body arid is not. They belong therefore to the theory of the physical world. fact of exactly the same kind as the alterations effected by spectacles or a microscope. by philosophers. and can have no bearing upon the question whether what we see is causally dependent upon the mind. so in fact than generally realised I shall return to this point in a moment. but all these are bodily acts. however. Now the notion of causal dependence is very obscure and much more difficult. The visual appearance of an object is we shut one eye. is For the present. accepting the notion of causal dependence without criticism. something which would exist equally if our eyes and nerves and brain we see is as crude common were absent.

and reach our eyes after about eight minutes. Space. thence in the brain. which is ninety-three but what we see is dependent upon million miles away our eyes. physics has of been led step by step to the construction of the causal chain in which our seeing is the last link. At the end of this purely physical series. And yet.CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER 135 something about the sun itself. be can only be answered by a radical analysis and reconstruction of all the conceptions upon cause I believe that it whose employment it depends. and the immediate we see cannot be regarded as that initial cause which we believe to be ninety-three million miles away. starting from a common-sense acceptance of our seeing. Causal dependence. thence in the optic nerve. object which &quot. the rods and cones. and the order of evidence as revealed by theory of knowledge. that causes the most &quot. . and which we are inclined to regard as the real sun. the ninety-three million miles. by some odd miracle. affect what happens miles. is a conceptions. invalidates also the whole of physics and physiology. comes the experience which we call seeing the sun/ and it is such experiences which form the whole and sole reason for our belief in the optic nerve. I have stated &quot. the electro magnetic waves. this difficulty as forcibly as I can. They there produce disturbances in the rods and cones. and it is difficult to suppose that our eyes can . as a source knowledge concerning physical reality. as I observed a moment ago. time. and the sun itself. Anything that invalidates our seeing. It is this curious oppositeness of direction between the order of causation as affirmed by physics. serious perplexities in regard to the nature of physical reality. waves Physics start at a distance of ninety-three million tells us that certain electromagnetic from the sun. are the chief of these Let us begin with the conception of cause. matter and cause.

136

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC

conception which

very dangerous to accept at its face
There exists a notion that in regard to any event
there is something which may be called the cause of that
event some one definite occurrence, without which the
event would have been impossible and with which it be
comes necessary. An event is supposed to be dependent
it is

value.

upon its cause in some way which in it is not dependent
upon other things. Thus men will urge that the mind is
dependent upon the brain, or, with equal plausibility, that
the brain is dependent upon the mind. It seems not im
probable that if we had sufficient knowledge we could
infer the state of a man s mind from the state of his brain,
or the state of his brain from the state of his mind. So
long as the usual conception of causal dependence is re
tained, this state of affairs can be used by the materialist
to urge that the state of our brain causes our thoughts,
idealist to urge that our thoughts cause the

and by the

state of our brain.

equally invalid.

Either contention

The

fact

equally valid or
seems to be that there are many

correlations of the sort which

may

is

be called causal, and

that, for example, either a physical or a mental event can
be predicted, theoretically, either from a sufficient number

of physical antecedents or

mental antecedents.

from a

To speak

sufficient

number

oi

an event is
of antecedents from which
of the cause of

therefore misleading. Any set
the event can theoretically be inferred by means of correla
tions might be called a cause of the event. But to speak oi

imply a uniqueness which does not exist.
The relevance of this to the experience which we call
is obvious.
The fact that there exists
seeing the sun
a chain of antecedents which makes our seeing dependent
the cause is to

"

"

upon the eyes and nerves and brain does not even tend to
show that there is not another chain of antecedents in
which the eyes and nerves and brain as physical things
are ignored. If we are to escape from the dilemma which

CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER

137

to arise out of the physiological causation of what
when we say we see the sun, we must find, at least
theory, a way of stating causal laws for the physical

seemed

we
in

see

world, in which the units are not material things, such as

the eyes and nerves and brain, but momentary particulars
of the same sort as our momentary visual object when we

The sun

look at the sun.

itself

and the eyes and nerves

and brain must be regarded as assemblages of momentary
Instead of supposing, as we naturally do
particulars.

when we

start

from an uncritical acceptance of the
"

really
apparent dicta of physics, that matter is what is
real
in the physical world, and that the immediate
"

objects of sense are
matter as a logical
stituents

will

mere phantasms, we must regard
construction, of which the con

be just such

evanescent

may, when an observer happens

to

particulars

as

be present, become

What physics regards as
the sun of eight minutes ago will be a whole assemblage
of particulars, existing at different times, spreading out

data of sense to that observer.

and containing
among their number all those visual data which are seen
by people who are now looking at the sun. Thus the sun
of eight minutes ago is a class of particulars, and what I
from a centre with the velocity of

when I now look at the sun
The various particulars
class.

see

is

light,

one member of this

constituting this class

be correlated with each other by a certain continuity
and certain intrinsic laws of variation as we pass out
wards from the centre, together with certain modifica
will

tions correlated extrinsically with other particulars which
It is these extrinsic
are not members of this class.

modifications which represent the sort of facts that, in
our former account, appeared as the influence of the eyes
and nerves in modifying the appearance of the sun. 1
1

Cf. T. P.
"

ception

?

Nunn,

"

Are Secondary Qualities Independent

Proc. Arist. Soc., 1900-1910.

of Per

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC

138

The prima

facie difficulties in the

way

of this view are

from an unduly conventional theory of
might seem at first sight as if we had packed the
world much fuller than it could possibly hold. At every
chiefly derived

space.

It

place between us
particular which

and the sun, we

is

few minutes ago.

said, there is to

be a

to be a member of the sun as it was a
There will also, of course, have to be a

particular which is a member of any planet or fixed star
that may happen to be visible from that place. At the

place where I am, there will be particulars which will be
I am now said to
things
severally of all the

members

"

"

be perceiving. Thus throughout the world, everywhere,
there will be an enormous number of particulars co
existing in the

same

But these troubles

place.

result

from contenting ourselves too readily with the merely
three-dimensional space to which schoolmasters have
accustomed us. The space of the real world is a space of

and as soon as we realise this we see that
there is plenty of room for all the particulars for which
we want to find positions. In order to realise this we
have only to return for a moment from the polished space
of physics to the rough and untidy space of our immediate
The space of one man s sensible
sensible experience.

six dimensions,

objects

is

a three-dimensional space. It does not appear
men ever both perceive at the same

probable that two

when they are said to see
time any one sensible object
the same thing or hear the same noise, there will always
be some difference, however slight, between the actual
;

shapes seen or the actual sounds heard. If this is so, and
if, as is generally assumed,
position in space is purely
it
follows
that
the
relative,
space of one man s objects

and the space of another man s objects have no place in
common, that they are in fact different spaces, and not
merely different parts of one space. I mean by this that
such immediate spatial relations as are perceived to hold

CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER

139

between the different parts of the sensible space perceived
by one man, do not hold between parts of sensible spaces
perceived by different men. There are therefore a multi
tude of three-dimensional spaces in the world
there are
:

those perceived by observers, and presumably also
those which are not perceived, merely because no observer

all

is

suitably situated for perceiving them.
But although these spaces do not have to one another

the same kind of spatial relations as obtain between the
parts of one of them, it is nevertheless possible to arrange
these spaces themselves in a three-dimensional order
This is done by means of the correlated particulars which

we regard as members (or aspects) of one physical thing.
When a number of people are said to see the same object,

who would be

said to be near to the object see a
particular occupying a larger part of their field of vision

those

than

is

people

occupied by the corresponding particular seen by
said to be farther from the thing.

who would be

By means of such considerations it is possible, in ways
which need not now be further specified, to arrange all
the different spaces in a three-dimensional series. Since
each of the spaces is itself three-dimensional, the whole

world of particulars

is

thus arranged in a six-dimensional

to say, six co-ordinates will be required to
assign completely the position of any given particular,
namely, three to assign its position in its own space and

space, that

is

three more to assign the position of its space among the
other spaces.
There are two ways of classifying particulars we may
take together all those that belong to a given
perspec
tive/ or all those that are, as common sense would say,
:

"

"

"

different

am

aspects

of the

same

"

thing."

For example,

what
belongs to
the assemblage of all my present
;
objects of sense, which is *vhat 1 caiJ a
perspective
if

I

(as is

said) seeing the sun,

two assemblages

:

I see

(i)

"

"

i

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC

4o

(2) the assemblage of all the different particulars which
would be called aspects of the sun of eight minutes
ago this assemblage is what I define as being the sun oi
and things
eight minutes ago. Thus
perspectives
are merely two different ways of classifying particulars. It
is to be observed that there is no a
priori necessity for
to
be
of
this
double
classification.
particulars
susceptible
There may be what might be called
wild
particulars,
not having the usual relations by which the classification
is
effected
perhaps dreams and hallucinations are
of
wild
in this sense.
composed
particulars which are
The exact definition of what is meant by a perspective
is not quite easy.
So long as we confine ourselves to
visible objects or to objects of touch we might define the
all particulars which
perspective of a given particular as
have a simple (direct) spatial relation to the given par
"

"

"

"

"

"

;

"

"

"

Between two patches

ticular."

of colour

which

I

see

now, there is a direct spatial relation which I equally see.
But between patches of colour seen by different men
there

is

means
(which

only an indirect constructed spatial relation by
"

of the
is

"

in physical space
placing of
things
the same as the space composed of perspec

Those particulars which have direct spatial
relations to a given particular will belong to the same
tives).

But if, for example, the sounds which I
perspective.
hear are to belong to the same perspective with the
patches of colour which I see, there must be particulars
which have no direct spatial relation and yet belong to
the same perspective. We cannot define a perspective
as all the data of one percipient at one time, because we
wish to allow the possibility of perspectives which are
not perceived by any one. There will be need, therefore,
defining a perspective, of some principle
neither from psychology nor from space.
in

Such a principle

may

derived

be obtained from the considera-

CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER
The one all-embracing

tion of time.

all-embracing space,

is

a construction

141

time, like the one
;

there

is

no

direct

time-relation between particulars belonging to my per
spective and particulars belonging to another man s. On
the other hand, any two particulars of which I am aware

are either simultaneous or successive, and their simul
taneity or successiveness is sometimes itself a datum to
We may therefore define the perspective to which a

me.

"

all particulars simultaneous
given particular belongs as
simultaneous
is to
with the given particular," where
"

"

be understood as a direct simple relation, not the deriva
tive constructed relation of physics. It may be observed
that the introduction of

"

local

time

"

suggested by the

principle of relativity has effected, for purely scientific
reasons, much the same multiplication of times as we

have

just

been advocating.

The sum-total

of all the particulars that are (directly)
either simultaneous with or before or after a given par
ticular

may be

defined as the

particular belongs.

It will

"

"

biography to which that
be observed that, just as a

perspective need not be actually perceived by any one,
so a biography need not be actually lived by any one.
Those biographies that are lived by no one are called
"

official."
"

"

The definition of a
is effected by means of
thing
and
of
correlations
which have a certain
continuity
"

That is to
independence of other
things."
say, given a particular in one perspective, there will
usually in a neighbouring perspective be a very similar
particular, differing from the given particular, to the first
differential

order of small quantities, according to a law involving
only the difference of position of the two perspectives in
perspective space,
the universe.
It

dependence

and not any

of the other

"

"

things

in

this continuity and differential in
in the law ef change as we pass from one
(

is

i

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC

42

perspective to another that defines the class oi particulars
is to be called
one thing."
"

which

Broadly speaking, we may say that the physicist finds
while
convenient to classify particulars into
things,"
"

it

the psychologist finds
"

"

perspectives

and

the

may constitute

"

convenient to classify them into
biographies," since one perspective

it

momentary data

of one percipient,

and

one biography may constitute the whole of the data of
one percipient throughout his life.
We may now sum up our discussion. Our object has
been to discover as far as possible the nature of the

When I
ultimate constituents of the physical world.
speak of the
physical world," I mean, to begin with,
the world dealt with by physics.
It is obvious that
"

an empirical science, giving us a certain amount
knowledge and based upon evidence obtained through
the senses.
But partly through the development of
itself,
physics
party through arguments derived from
physics

is

of

physiology, psychology or metaphysics, it has come to
be thought that the immediate data of sense could not
themselves form part of the ultimate constituents of the
in
mental,"
physical world, but were in some sense
"

"

The grounds for this view,
they depend upon physics, can only be ade
quately dealt with by rather elaborate constructions
depending upon symbolic logic, showing that out of such
materials as are provided by the senses it is possible to
construct classes and series having the properties which
the

mind,"

or

"

subjective."

in so far as

physics assigns to matter.

Since this argument

is diffi

have not embarked upon it in this
the view that sense-data are
mental
rests upon physiology, psychology, or meta
physics, I have tried to show that it rests upon con
fusions and prejudices prejudices in favour of per
manence in the ultimate constituents of matter, and

cult

and

article.

"

technical, I

But
"

in so far as

CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER

143

confusions derived from unduly simple notions as to
space, from the causal correlation of sense-data with
sense-organs, and from failure to distinguish between
If what we have said on
sense-data and sensations.
valid, the existence of sense-data

is

independent of the existence of mind, and

is

these subjects
logically

is

causally dependent upon the body of the percipient rather
than upon his mind. The causal dependence upon the

body

we found,

of the percipient,

matter than

it

is

a more complicated

appears to be, and, like

all

causal depend

apt to give rise to erroneous beliefs through mis
conceptions as to the nature of causal correlation. If we
ence,

is

have been right
those

among

in

our contentions, sense-data are merely

the ultimate constituents of the physical
we happen to be immediately aware

world, of which

;

they themselves are purely physical, and all that is mental
in connection with them is our awareness of them, which
is irrelevant to their nature and to their place in physics.

Unduly simple notions

as to space have been a great
When two men look at the

stumbling-block to realists.

same table, it is supposed that what the one sees and
what the other sees are in the same place. Since the
shape and colour are not quite the same for the two men,
this raises a difficulty, hastily solved, or rather

covered
"

sub
up, by declaring what each sees to be purely
though it would puzzle those who use this glib
jective
word to say what they mean by it. The truth seems to
be that space and time also is much more complicated
than it would appear to be from the finished structure of
physics, and that the one all-embracing three-dimensional
space is a logical construction, obtained by means of
correlations from a crude space of six dimensions. The
"

particulars occupying this six-dimensional space, classi
which with certain
fied in one way, form
things," from
"

further manipulations

we can

obtain what physics can

On these grounds. What I much do claim of it is avowedly hypo for the theory is that it may be true. &quot. and gradually freeing it from all such assumptions as seem irrelevant. &quot. or unfounded. and that this is more than can be said for any other theory except the closely analogous theory of The Leibniz. resulting from discrediting sense-data. difficulties besetting realism. if a form respectively or of a total experience. classified in . as we have done. flows from methods of classification. and it suggests that what can be known with certainty is likely to be discoverable by taking our theory as a starting-point.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 144 regard as matter &quot. which may. This con if flict. physical into series of classes of particulars. biographies/ happens to exist. the con any philosophical account of physics. and vanishes as soon different as I its source is discovered. . I recom mend it to attention as a hypothesis and a basis for further work. unnecessary. which would have the same merits. fusions obstructing dilemma which yet remain the the outer world all our knowledge of the by the theory which I sole source of these are avoided This does not prove the theory to be true. thetical. do not claim that it is certainly true. since probably many other theories might be invented advocate. they form &quot. Apart from the likelihood of mistakes. But it does prove that the theory has a better chance of being true than any of its present competitors. have been dissected things momentary when &quot. that the conflict between the point of view of physics and the point of view of psychology can be overcome. what has been said is not mistaken. and perspectives suitable percipient the sense-data of a It is only another way. though not as itself a finished or adequate solution of the problem with which it deals. In favour of the theory which I have briefly outlined.

electrons prima molecules have no colour. only one term of the correlation. upon is supposed to be verifiable. i. based observation and experiment. so far as physics is concerned. etc. have no and cor taste. through their some kind verifiable of it : through their correlation alone. with certain spatio-temporal rela tions. The supposed contents facie very different atoms make no of the physical world are from these : noise. : certain patches of colour. But how is the correlation itself ascertained relation can only be ascertained empirically ? by A cor the cor related objects being constantly found together. If must be solely relation to sense-data they must have correlation with sense-data. But in our case. What can we learn by observation and experiment ? Nothing. the sensible term.e. smells. is ever found : the other term seems essen- . puscles do not even smell. except imme diate data of sense tastes.vm THE RELATION OF SENSE-DATA TO PHYSICS I. namely. THE PROBLEM STATED OHYSICS A It is said to be an empirical science.. sounds. and must be such objects are to be verified. capable of calcu lating beforehand results subsequently confirmed by observation and experiment.

(2) We may succeed in actually defining the objects of Just in so far as physics as functions of sense-data. But the waves are in fact inferred from the colours. Thus if physics is to be verifiable we are faced with the Physics exhibits sense-data as func tions of physical objects. and so on. not vice versa. some extent. This way has been often adopted by It philosophers. but may be necessary to adopt this in so far as to be empirical or based tion alone. must to this be possible. (1) We may say that we know some principle a -priori. by which physics was incapable of being found. e. it much interesting logico-mathematical work. sense-data appear as functions of physical objects when such-and-such waves impinge upon the eye. without the need of empirical verification. the correlation with objects of sense. way to adopted physics ceases it is upon experiment and observa Therefore this way to be avoided as is much as possible. since leads physics expectations. we can only expect what can be experienced. The problem of accomplishing this expres data. In physics as commonly set forth. to be verified. Therefore.i MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 46 tially would seem. and that something can be known about these causes by inference from their effects. Physics cannot be regarded as validly based upon empirical data until the waves have been expressed as functions of the colours and other sense-data. we see such-and-such sion leads to : colours. far as the physical state of affairs is And in so inferred from sense- must be capable of expression as a function of sense-data.g. but verification is only possible if physical objects can be exhibited as functions of sensefollowing problem : . is itself utterly and for ever There are two ways of avoiding it un verifiable. that our sense-data have causes other than themselves. this result.

particular by attention whole of what : noises. sense-datum. rather such a part of the whole as might be singled out particular patches of colour. so as to make them instead give physical objects in terms of sensedata. and gives knowledge of a truth. is not a two-term but involves the prepositional form on the object-side. which may be suitably called perception. An observed complex fact. from that of sense : and is thus a which the object can be named but sense gives acquaintance with particulars. II. is some difficulty in deciding to be considered one sense-datum tion causes divisions to : often atten appear where. and it will perception as included of this paper. such as that this patch of red is to the left of that patch of blue. acquaintance with a particular. not mere relation. however. is also to be regarded as a datum from our present point of view epistemologically. what and is There so on. it : does not differ greatly from a simple sense-datum as Its logical regards its function in giving knowledge. so far as can be discovered. and is inherently incapable of truth or false hood. I do not mean the I mean is given in sense at one time. This logical difference.&quot. When I CHARACTERISTICS OF SENSE-DATA speak of a &quot. is not very relevant to our present problem . be convenient to regard data of among sense-data for the purposes It is to be observed that the particulars which are constituents of a datum of perception are always sense-data in the strict sense. whereas the observation of a complex fact. important as it is. two-term relation in not asserted. there were no divisions before. structure is very different. data. .SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS 147 We have therefore to solve the equations giving sense-data in terms of physical objects.

we directly hence all-important.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 148 know Concerning sense-data. and nominally pays no special attention to sense-data. (The mean of course raises problems We do not know. Thus the relation of a sensibile to a sense-datum a man to a husband : a man becomes is like that of a husband by . and they would probably appear as a rather haphazard selection from a mass of objects more or less like them. I assume only that it is probable that there are particulars with which we are not acquainted. If we could construct an impersonal metaphysic. whether the objects which are at one time sense-data continue to will concern us exist at times when they when they primitively know times mology the later. In this respect. It is only when we ask how physics can it is be known that the importance of sense-data re-emerges. of no presumption that they are all that there is. without necessarily being data to any mind. word ing of the which &quot. SENSIBILIA I shall give the name sensibilia to those objects which have the same metaphysical and physical status as sensedata. Thus the special importance of sensedata is in relation to epistemology. knowledge and ignorance.) are not data. of all and this is that they are there the epistemological basis our knowledge of external particulars. physics is to be reckoned as metaphysics : impersonal. the would probably of the accidents of our privileged position of the actual data disappear. are data are that all of the external world fact that they are data the fact that they are that all we Sense-data at the is . In saying this. independent course. not to metaphysics. external &quot. III. except by means of more or less precarious inferences. we while they are data. know directly and in episte- But gives.

The appearance which a thing presents to us is causally dependent upon these. and brain.Can &quot. and at another not ? word sensibile as well as the word &quot. in part of the actual subject-matter of physics. intervening medium. Both dependences contained in the statement that the appearance are which a piece of matter presents when viewed from a given place is a function not only of the piece of matter. terms for sensibile . nerves.sense-datum. but these arguments seem to physiologicaj_s\^]e. jectivity. and as being. still We sense-data exist without being given exist at a time cannot ask &quot. and an epistemological question whether there exist means of inferring sensibilia from those that which are not data are. There are arguments. we wish to discuss whether an object which at one time a sense-datum can is when it is not a sense-datum. shortly to be examined. questions are apt to entangle us in trivial logical puzzles. but also of the. A few preliminary remarks. such also &quot.ciivity. for their sub I fact.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS entering into the relation of marriage. regard sense-data as not mental.e. to be amplified as we pro ceed. Can &quot. ? a particular sensibile be at one time a Unless we have the sense-datum. (The terms used in . will serve to elucidate the use which I propose to make of sensibilia. i. ? for that is like Can husbands exist without being married must ask Can sensibilia exist without being given &quot. It will be seen that all sense-data are sensibilia.&quot. &quot. It is a metaphysical question whether all sensibilia are sensedata. me only to prove causal dependence on the sense-organs. &quot. asking We and ? &quot. in exactly the same way as it is dependent upon inter vening fog or smoke or coloured glass. and 149 similarly a relation becomes a sense-datum by entering into the It is important to have both of acquaintance.

view from a given appearance/ intervening medium nned in the course of the present paper. The definition and can only be of the term &quot. The word are to be used. whatever their nature may prove to be. many difficult and decided. is merely awareness : everything else is physical or physio logical. to be understood as physics.&quot. is satisfactorily given after controversies have been discussed more difficult. &quot.) &quot. If $er impossibile there were a complete human body with no mind in it. For present purposes therefore I must content myself with assuming a dogmatic answer to these controversies. tells thing about some of the constituents of the actual world what these constituents are may be doubtful. aware of when it . 1 shall call a &quot. &quot. physical. IV. and mental I shall call &quot. makes it not unreasonable to suppose that they present some appearance at such places. which would be sense-data if there were a mind in the body. place. mental &quot. it is in all preliminary what is us some &quot.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 150 this &quot. in relation to that side body. it is mental contains a mental particular as a constituent. &quot.&quot.&quot. SENSE-DATA ARE PHYSICAL Before discussing this question it will be well to define mental and physical the sense in which the terms &quot. &quot. will all We be de have not means of ascertaining how things appear from places not surrounded by brain and nerves and sense-organs.&quot. Any such appearance would be included among sensibilia. they that are to be called physical. the br cause we cannot leave the body but continuity . Physics. &quot. in fact. particular something. dealt with is by &quot. &quot. statement matter. a fact when &quot. What the mind adds to sensibilia. but it is . discussions. &quot. meaning plain. all those sensibilia would exist.

between the mental and the physical that is the merely one of arrangement.new realists. them as part of the . that certainly would tend to show that they were mental but as I contend.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS 151 be seen that the mental and the physical are not It will necessarily mutually exclusive. . although I know of no reason to suppose that they overlap. with of indifference in Mach and James and the difference &quot. namely (i) of Do them ? sensible objects persist in other words. while yet maintaining that they probably never persist un changed after ceasing to be data. as some have held. certain time do when we sensibilia are not sensible which are data at a some times continue to exist at times when they are not data I : ? And (2) are sense-data mental or physical ? propose to assert that sense-data are physical. quite erroneously in my opinion. importance in our present dis am concerned to maintain is that little I sense-data are physical. a logical impossibility in sense-data persisting after ceasing to be data. then it carries no such implication with it. if. In discussions on sense-data. of is For what cussion.&quot. been a potent source of confusion in regard to is our present problem. yet what I have to say in the present paper is compatible with their doctrine and might have been reached from their standpoint. If there were. The doubt as to the correctness of our definition of the &quot. 1 believe. mental &quot. two questions are com monly confused. The view that they do not persist often thought. Although I do npjt hold. and this has. their non-persistence is merely a probable inference from empirically ascer tained causal laws. to imply that they are mental . and this being granted it is a our present inquiry whether or matter not they are also mental. and we are quite free to treat subject-matter of physics.

The existence of the sense-datum is therefore not logically for the only way. I in the subject s sensation is a complex of which the subject is a con stituent and which therefore is mental. . &quot. as sense-data are clearly distinguished from sensa fact tions. a long and difficult journey is to be performed before we can arrive either at &quot. So soon. logically is dependent upon the existence of B is when B A.&quot. and as their subjectivity is recognised to be physio logical not psychical. The view that sense-data are mental in part also is derived. There is therefore no a priori reason why a part of particular which is a sense-datum should not persist after it has ceased to be a datum. no doubt. V. The sense-datum. from their physiological subjectivity. a sensation mean the fact consisting awareness of the sense-datum. a particular of which the subject is aware. Thus a By sensations. nor why other similar particulars should not exist without ever being data. dependent upon that of the subject so far as I know. way of as physical are removed. in which the existence of A can be . stands over against the subject as that external object of which in sensation the subject is aware.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 152 Logically a sense-datum is an object. there fore. AND But if sensibilia are to be recognised as the ultimate constituents of the physical world. as for example beliefs and volitions do. SENSIBILIA &quot. It does not contain the subject as a part. It is true that the sense-datum is in many cases in the subject s tinct body. but in part failure to distinguish between sense-data and from a &quot. the chief obstacles in the regarding them &quot. but the subject s body from the subject as tables and chairs are. on the other hand. is as dis and is in merely a part of the material world.

Soc. 1909-1910. : &quot. has caused the difficulties to realists and given an un &quot. phrase : phrase that its weakness lies.. however. P. 153 matter &quot. man a rectangular appearance. while to another. pp. of The supposed impossibility of combining the physics. The contrary opinion has. as we shall shortly see. different sense-data which are regarded as appearances of the same &quot. /Irttf. that these different shapes and different colours cannot co-exist simul said. as we shall see. namely the place at which it appears and the place from &quot. towards whom It is reflects the light. &quot. sensibilia made it seem must be regarded as mere A given table will present to one subjective phantasms. appears. deserved advantage to their opponents. These belong to different spaces. Nunn in an article entitled The of ? Perception Secondary Qualities Independent &quot. &quot.in the same and it is precisely in this place. to establish a correlation between them. . &quot. jQi-218. been ably Are maintained by Dr.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS &quot. thing as though these to different people has &quot. supposed.* supposed impossibility derives its apparent force from the &quot. and cannot therefore both be constituents of the physical world. and unambiguous as Kant. man it not wholly without plausibility. T. with certain limitations. taneously in the same place. &quot. while to another it appears to have two acute angles and two obtuse angles to one it appears brown. in his reflection psychological innocence. The conception of space is too often treated in philosophy even by those who on would not defend such treatment as though it were as given. Two places of different kinds are involved in every sense-datum. . &quot. it is possible. which it 1 Pvoc. it appears white and shiny. It is the unperceived ambiguity of the word place which. although. This argument I must confess appeared to me until recently to be irre futable. simple. the of thing common sense or at the &quot.

&quot. there are. Besides the appear appearances of another thing. although there those sensibilia. are to be regarded as belonging to the same system of appearances. happen to be if no observers to An example may make a number same of people in a tables and whom they are data. which. other would present to other possible If a man were to sit down between two spectators.&quot. ttill it is not unnatural to suppose that. all seeing. we must include among appearances not only those which are actual sense-data. fact be identified with the whole class of its appearances where.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 154 What we the different appearances of the same thing call to different observers are each in a space private to the No observer concerned. and others as thing &quot. however. Suppose there are as they say. on grounds of con tinuity and resemblance. the No two of pictures. &quot. newly spectator. any. yet there among their data to enable them chairs. the appearance which the room would present to him would be intermediate between the appearances which it presents to the two others and although this as not exist it is without the sense would appearance of the and arrived nerves brain. organs. this clearer. &quot. ances which a given thing in the room presents to the actual spectators. we may suppose. The thing &quot. walls these people have exactly the is sufficient similarity to group together certain of these data as appearances of one to the several spectators. others. one observer is place in the private world of identical with a place in the private world There is therefore no question of the different combining appearances in the one place and the fact that they cannot all exist in one place affords of another observer. accordingly no ground whatever for questioning their of common sense may in physical reality. from the position appearances which it : . but also &quot. and same sense-data. . room.&quot.

logical constructions are to be sub stituted for inferred entities. Our procedure is precisely analogous to that which has swept away here from the philosophy of mathematics the useless menagerie of metaphysical monsters with which it used to be in fested. if the class of appearances will the purposes for the sake of which the thing was invented by the prehistoric metaphysicians to whom common sense is due. . existed before his arrival. economy demands that we should fulfil identify the thing with the class of its appearances. VI. from all of them and underlying them. Take first the In old days. . some appearance of the room This supposition.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS 155 which he now occupies. &quot. need merely be noticed and not insisted upon. cannot. irrationals were inferred as the supposed limits of series of rationals which had no rational limit but the objection to this procedure was case of irrationals. CONSTRUCTIONS VERSUS INFERENCES Before proceeding to analyse and explain the am a few general remarks on biguities of the word place. Some examples of the substitution of construction for inference in the realm of mathematical philosophy may serve to elucidate the uses of this maxim. it ciple of Occam s razor. method are desirable.&quot. Since the &quot. But by the prin tiality. It is not necessary to deny a substance or substratum underly ing these appearances . it is merely expedient to abstain from asserting this unnecessary entity. however. is philosophising this The supreme maxim in scientific : Wherever possible. without indefensible par thing be identified with any single one of its appear came to be thought of as something distinct ances. &quot.

we then construct some logical function of less hypo thetical entities which has the requisite properties. will be found equally applicable in the philosophy oi . We now define an irrational number as a certain class of ratios. By dint of a little logical ingenuity. required of the supposed entities in order to make these propositions true. By defining the cardinal number of a given collection as the class of all equally numerous collections. its existence must remain in doubt. but can be regarded as symbolically constructed fictions. But so long as the cardinal number is inferred from the collections. This constructed function we substitute for the supposed in and thereby obtain a new and less doubtful interpretation of the body of propositions in question This method. as I have shown elsewhere. we avoid the necessity and thereby remove a needless element of doubt from the philosophy of arith metic. ferred entities. thus by means of ratios. which need not be supposed to have any metaphysical reality. of this metaphysical postulate.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 156 that and it the existence of irrationals merely optative. A similar method. The method by which the construction proceeds closely analogous in these and all similar cases. not constructed in terms : dinal of them. cardinal of collections to Two Take equally have something in supposed to be their car appear this something is number. is Given a nominally dealing with the supposed we observe the properties which are set of propositions inferred entities. can be applied to classes themselves. so fruitful in the philosophy of mathematics. it the numerous it case numbers. methods of the present left for this reason the stricter day no longer tolerate such a definition. instead of constructing arriving at again common logically by a doubtful inference from them. unless in virtue of a metaphysical postulate ad hoc.

In the first place they should always be made perfectly explicit. however. A complete application of the method which substitutes constructions for inferences would exhibit matter wholly j / terms of sense-data. and should be formulated in the most general manner possible. resting ulti inferred entities kinds : mately upon the analogical argument other than my own . be similar to those whose existence is given. rather than. sensibilia which would no minds. appear from places where there happen and which I suppose to be real although they are no one s to be \ s . &quot. where.V data of a single person. of the sense. and even. The which I shall allow myself are of two of other people.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS 157 do not doubt. in favour of the sense-data (a) which there is the evidence of testimony. since the sense-data of others V in cannot be known without some element of inference. who is applying it to the more mathematical portions of the region intermediate between sense-data and the engaged in points. In the second place the inferred entities should. since I owe the application of this suggestion and the stimulus for its application entirely to my friend and collaborator Dr. Whitehead. however. to be approached as nearly as possible. we may add. be subjected to certain guiding principles. This. like the Kantian Ding an sich. something wholly remote from the data which nominally support the inference. The inferences which are unavoidable can. whenever this can be done. it would have been applied the fact that all who have studied this but for long ago subject hitherto have been completely ignorant of mathe physics. I myself cannot claim originality in the method to physics. instants and particles of physics. if at all. must remain for the present an ideal. but to be reached. I matical logic. (b) the in favour of minds &quot. only after a long preliminary labour of which as yet we can only see the very beginning.

place at which ceived. no doubt. as a dogmatic part of the philosophy of physics in final its form. the first probably be allowed to pass unchallenged. to be used only while the edifice of physics is being raised. tions. will. class of inferred entities It may be thought monstrous to maintain that a can thing present any appearance at all in a place where no sense organs and nervous structure exist through which I do not myself feel the monstrosity it could appear. PRIVATE SPACE AND THE SPACE OF PERSPECTIVES We &quot. have now to explain the ambiguity in the word and how it comes that two places of different place. It would give me the greatest satisfaction to be able to dispense with it. The theory it is namely the and the place from which it is per to be advocated monadology. to Leibniz s being The less first fact to notice covered. no sensibile is is is closely analogous it differs chiefly in that. should regard these supposed appearances in the light of a hypothetical scaffolding. &quot. and thus establish physics upon a solipsistic will basis but those .&quot. so far as can be dis ever a datum to two people at . though nevertheless I removed as soon as the edifice is sensibilia which are not data to completed. classes of inferred entities. sorts are associated with every sense-datum. . whom human the for logical and I fear they are the majority in affections are stronger than the desire economy. These anyone are therefore to be taken rather as an illustrative hypothesis and as an aid in preliminary statement than possibly capable of being &quot. VII.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 158 Of these two data. not share my desire The second raises much more serious ques to render solipsism scientifically satisfactory. from which smooth and tidy.

and therefore the same place cannot occur in two private worlds which have no common constituent. there is. The question. it would seem that some closely similar. This different from any place in the private which a sense-datum place therefore though interesting to the demands. in spite of this similarity. lives in a private world. economy merely them our own in regard to our a place in private space. from difference in the point of so far as his sense-data are con This private world cerned. This multiplicity of private spaces. is space of another percipient. of is no great importance since present problem. call what we different combining appearances of the same thing in the same place does not arise. The things seen by two 159 different people are often same words can be used to denote them. psychologist. point. Thus each person. is as logical relative. contains its own space. enables us to correlate which embraces all is a solipsistic experience into the one private space sense-data. however. or rather spaces. But. This might be . In addition to the private spaces belonging to the private worlds of different percipients. another space. and the fact of that a given object appears to different spectators to have different shapes and colours affords no argument against the physical reality of all these shapes and colours. a place is only definable by the things in or around it.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS once. for it would seem that only experience teaches us to correlate the space of sight with the space of touch and with the various other spaces of other senses. so similar that the difference always arises view. in which one whole private world counts as a. or at least as a spatial unit. The place at is. however. without which communication with others concerning sensible objects would be impossible. therefore. that all For if position we assume.

In Leibniz s monadology.sensibilia&quot. In our system of perspectives.&quot. but thing being presumably not in certain others. We have now to explain how the different perspectives are ordered in one space. each perspective a which was an appear sensibile ance of each thing. A given thing will have appearances in some perspectives. it a I shall call &quot. may nevertheless contain very ances.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC r6o described as the space of points oi view. appearances of one thing. defined as the class of its appearances. perspective. however. K being a class &quot. in order to private world And it as the space of obviate the suggestion that a real when someone views it. The &quot. &quot. we &quot. perspectives. to speak of I prefer. And . different perspectives. &quot. and the in spatial order of a certain group of a private space of one perspective is to. there was &quot. though they cannot both contain the same sensibilia. by testimony. of one &quot. sensibile &quot. This is effected by means of the correlated sensibilia which are regarded as the appear &quot. in different perspectives. ol mutually exclusive classes of sensibilia. if K is the class of is appears. or very similar &quot. way one &quot.&quot. and the same thing. In this in the private space one perspective is correlated with one another. is only same reason. in make no such assumption of completeness. &quot. &quot. Such correlated sensibilia &quot. &quot. &quot. will in be called &quot. similar ones . since each private world may be regarded as the appearance which the universe presents from a certain point of view. then perspectives in which a certain thing a member of the multiplicative class of AC . when for the I wish to speak of a private world without assuming a percipient. and we discover that two By moving. order of the correlated sensibilia of another perspective.&quot. since each monad mirrored the whole universe. in sensibile &quot.&quot. the spatial found to be identical with.

SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS similarly a perspective class of the things is a member which appear in 161 of the multiplicative it. which the when one arrangement is com with the penny) and ordered as before by the apparent size of the penny. By such means. Those perspectives in which penny appears as a straight line of a certain thickness will similarly be placed upon a plane (though in this case apparent size of the there will be penny is many of the different perspectives in same size form a . together all those perspectives in which the appearance of the penny is circular. in others it ance of an it presents the appear We may collect ellipse of varying eccentricity. Suppose.&quot. The arrangement of perspectives in a space is effected by means of the differences between the appearances of a given thing in the various perspectives. all those perspectives in which the penny presents a visual appearance can be arranged in a threepleted these will circle concentric . ordering them in a series by the variations in the the penny. perspectives . that a certain penny appears in a number of different in some it looks larger and in some smaller. in some looks circular. instead of the penny. appeared in empirical fact which has made it possible to construct the one all-embracing space of physics. . we had chosen any other thing which all the perspectives in question. The space whose construction has just been explained. dimensional spatial order. and whose elements are whole perspectives. perspective-space. say. Experience shows that the same spatial order of perspectives would have resulted if. These we will place on one straight line. or any other method of utilising the differences between the appearances It is this of the same things in different perspectives. will be called &quot.

&quot. THINGS AND PERSPECTIVE SPACE THE PLACING OF &quot. with disastrous results tinction Let us revert to our philosophy of physics. All these lines meet in a certain place. say. since it is &quot. other line of perspectives defined by means of the penny.&quot. however. If we have been penny travelling along a line of perspectives in the previously be seen. the perspectives in which the penny appears penny are larger regarded as being nearer to the penny than for the : those in which appears smaller. structed space are associated with a given There is first the place which is the per- physical &quot. but as far as experience goes the apparent size of the penny will not grow beyond a certain limit. . is. sensibile. The world which we have of six dimensions. by imagining the penny removed. . that where (as we say) the penny is it so near the eye that if it were any nearer it could not By touch we may prolong the series until the touches the eye. and it is because of the un conscious performance of this correlation that the dis between perspective space and the percipient s private space has been blurred. that is. have now to explain the correlation between the per We spective space and the various private spaces contained within the various perspectives severally.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 162 VIII. in a certain &quot. but no further. SENSIBILIA so far constructed is &quot. namely. prolong the line of perspectives by means. IN a world a three-dimensional series of perspectives. we may. &quot. It is by means of this correlation that the one three-dimensional space of physics is constructed . This perspective will be defined as the place where the penny It is now evident in what sense two places in con perspective. of another penny and the same may be done with any defined sense. each of which is itself three-dimensional.

is &quot.&quot. is &quot. this perspective is. inside our head. we may regard this perspective as being the position of our mind in perspective space. &quot. sensibile accordingly interesting. Since our mind is correlated with the perspective to which our sense-data belong. in the above denned sense. We can now say of the various appearances of a given thing that some of them are nearer to the thing than others . true or false.&quot. is. there is a good meaning for the state ment that the mind is in the head.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS 163 &quot. place at which &quot. We have seen that we can assign to a physical thing a In this way different place in the perspective space. To the psychologist the which &quot. in other words an appearance &quot. &quot. &quot. . sen this The sensibile the place at which the appears. The causes. sensibile spective of which the sensibile the place from which the appears. limits appears physical and partial justification of each of these two apparently the more &quot. is is the place where the thing is of which the an appearance. therefore. place from &quot. namely. that which &quot. sensibile and the him subjective and where the the more interesting. &quot. and therefore there is a meaning (whether true or false need not much concern us) in saying that the perspective to which our sense-data belong is inside our head. &quot. of one a member which is sensibile perspective is correlated with another perspective. sibile the place where the thing is of which the is a member. those are nearer which belong to perspectives that are nearer to the place where the thing We can thus find a meaning. is &quot. Secondly &quot. &quot. If. sensibile &quot. This is is a member. To the physicist the &quot. for the statement that more is to &quot. &quot. there is &quot. and the to him and external. incompatible views are evident from the above duplicity of places associated with a given sensibile. accordingly appears to percipient is. . parts of our body acquire positions in perspective space.

or still nearer to. the appearance my eyes changes in every perspective in which there such an appearance. or make the thing look double. while only comparatively distant appearances of the thing are altered.&quot. the On the other hand we shall say that the change is some other thing if all appearances of the thing which are at not more than a certain distance from the thing thing. we are naturally led to the consideration of which must be our next IX. that a thing changes when. shutting our eyes. the things which intervene between the phrase a and subject thing of which an appearance is a datum to him. Nevertheless there is a very important distinction between two different ways in which the appearances may change. there is of course necessarily some change in the If thing whenever any one of its appearances changes. One reason often alleged for the subjectivity for the of sense-data when we is find changed that the appearance of a thing may change hard to suppose that the thing itself has it when the change is due to our to our screwing them up so as to for example. whereas most of the appearances of the thing will remain unchanged. but this can hardly be taken as a definition of matter. as a of is matter of definition. however near to the thing an appearance of it may be. We can also find a meaning &quot. If after looking at a thing I shut my eyes.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 164 be learnt about a thing by examining it close to than by viewing it from a distance. WP want to be able to express the fact that . We may say. &quot. THE DEFINITION OF MATTER defined the &quot. From this con sideration matter. in remain unchanged. the thing is defined as the class of its appearances (which is the definition adopted above). We topic. there are changes in appearances as near as. physical thing as the class of its appearances.

because em no such limit to be obtained from sense- it is The definition will have to be eked out by con and definitions. &quot. by blue perspective is alterations in the sense-organs or nerves of the percipient (which also must be reckoned as part of spectacles or by the intervening medium). not quite satisfactory. The appearance of a thing is altered by intervening smoke or mist. It is obvious that from attainable as a limit : the point of view of physics the appearances of a thing close to count more than the appearances far off. in order to state the influence of matter on appear perspective. that limit may be tend towards approach taken to be what Jones really is. thing class of appearances of a the whole something other than thing. in a position to understand in outline the reverse journey from matter to sense-data which is per formed by physics. But probably it suggests the structions right direction in We are now which to look. The appearance of a thing in a given a function of the matter composing the thing and of the intervening matter. we see it is a man then we see it is Jones then we see he is smiling. if the appearances of Jones as we him a limit. We commonly assume that the information we get about a thing is more accurate when the thing is nearer. may therefore set The matter up the following tentative of a given thing is definition the limit of its : appear ances as their distance from the thing diminishes. ances. pirically there is data.&quot. Complete accuracy would only be . . It seems probable that there is something in this but definition. The nearer we approach to . have found a meaning for between a a But we want matter to be and perspective.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS 165 the appearance of a thing in a given perspective is causally affected by the matter between the thing and the We &quot. Far off. We &quot.

and each of these will again Thus one appearance may represent many things. neous feeling that matter more is &quot.&quot. But it is inferred approximately by means of the appear It then turns out that these ances we can observe. is in some sense an empirical fact. and cannot accurately infer the limit of these appearances. as opposed to it be. more and more and the causal laws froir their of their divergence are to be stated in terms of the matter which lies between them and the thing. Consider for example the infinite divisibility of matter and approaching it. &quot. The whole causal efficacy of a thing resides in its matter. when we approach indefinitely near to the thing there will be an indefinite number of units of corresponding to what. the less its appearance is affected by the inter vening matter. its appearances diverge initial character . As we travel further and further from the thing. we come to think that the limit towards which these appearances tend as the distance diminishes what is what the merely seems to with its for the statement of This. This is how is matte i only one infinite divisibility arises. appearance. but it would be hard This to state it precisely. What can be known empirically about the matter of a thing is only approximate. because we cannot get to know the appearances of the thing from very small distances. thing really is. &quot. because &quot. Since the appearances at very small distances are less affected by causes other than the thing itself. and to limit.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 166 the thing. In looking at a given thing datum will divide. real than sense- data. at a finite distance. causal efficacy is difficult to define. seems to be the source of the entirely erro &quot. Hence in the this process there seems no end. one sensebecome several. together necessity causal laws. appearances can be exhibited by physics as a function of .

It is a con struction. first suggested to me the views advocated here. Univ. there will be a direct time-relation of before and after. 1 A. for present purposes. but offers One appearance. e. can only be effected by dynamical inferences. X. no of thought. biographies. This suggests a way of dividing history person s the same sort of in way as it is divided by different experiences. which . of a visible object for example. by Mr. 1913). or simul taneous with. the visual appearance of a distant object is a function of the light-waves that reach the eyes. sensibile. Press).&quot. This leads to confusions real difficulty. compare Robb (Camb. though it is not necessary that all or any of them should actually do so. the history of the world is divided into a number of mutually exclusive of perspectives. A. omitted what is most interesting and novel in his theory. Cambridge.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS 167 the matter in our immediate neighbourhood . Mr. Physics has become conscious of this fact through the dis cussions connected with relativity. itself Between two perspectives which both belong to one experience.g. though I have. &quot. this subject. so far as means it is of elaborate its possible at all. a given &quot. is not other simultaneous appearances. but without introducing experience or any we may define a biography as every thing mental &quot. although it goes a certain distance towards determining them. : thing that is (directly) earlier or later than. On A Theory of Time and Space. TIME 1 seems that the one all-embracing time like the one all-embracing space. The determination of the hidden structure of a sufficient to determine thing. Robb has given a sketch of his theory in a pamphlet with the same title (Heffer and Sons. By this means. This will give a series which might all form parts of one person s experience.

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC

168

We

have now

to correlate the times in the different

The natural thing would be

biographies.

of a given

appearances

(momentary)

to say that the

thing in

two

different

perspectives belonging to different biographies are to be
taken as simultaneous ; but this is not convenient.

Suppose

A

A

Then between

s shout.

and

his hearing of

made A

and

s

B replies as soon as he hears
A s hearing of his own shout

shouts to B, and

Bs

Bs

there

is

an interval

;

thus

if

we

same shout exactly
we should have events

hearing of the

simultaneous with each other,
exactly simultaneous with a given event but not with

To obviate this, we assume a velocity of
That is, we assume that the time when B hears
sound."
A s shout is half-way between the time when A hears his
own shout and the time when he hears B s. In this way
"

each other.

the correlation

is

effected.

What has been
to

equally

light.

said about sound applies of course

The general

principle

is

that

the

appearances, in different perspectives, which are to be

grouped together as constituting what a certain thing
at a certain moment, are not to be
at that

moment.

On

all

is

regarded as being

the contrary they spread outward
velocities according to the

from the thing with various

nature of the appearances. Since no direct means exist
of correlating the time in one biography with the time in
another,

this

temporal grouping of the appearances

belonging to a given thing at a given

moment

is

in part

motive

is partly to secure the verifica
as that events which are exactly
simultaneous with the same event are exactly simul

conventional.
tion of such

Its

maxims

taneous with one another, partly to secure convenience
formulation of causal laws.

in the

SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS
XI.

169

THE PERSISTENCE OF THINGS AND MATTER

Apart from any of the fluctuating hypotheses of
physics, three main problems arise in connecting the
world of physics with the world of sense, namely :

2.

the construction of a single space
the construction of a single time ;

3.

the construction of permanent things or matter.

1.

We

have already considered the

these problems

;

it

;

first

and second

of

remains to consider the third.

We

have seen how correlated appearances in
thing
perspectives are combined to form one
"

moment
now to consider how appearances

different
"

at one

We

in the all-embracing time of physics.

have

at different times are

and how we
The
arrive at the persistent
of physics.
matter
which
of
substance,
technically
assumption
permanent
combined as belonging to one

"

thing/
"

"

underlies the procedure of physics, cannot of course be
regarded as metaphysically legitimate
just as the one
:

thing simultaneously seen by many people is a con
struction, so the one thing seen at different times by the

same or

must be a construction, being in
but
a
certain
nothing
grouping of certain sensibilia."
We have seen that the momentary state of a thing
different people

"

fact

"

"

is

an assemblage of

"

sensibilia,"

in different perspectives,

simultaneous in the one constructed time, but
with
the place where the thing is
spreading out from

not

all

"

"

"

depending upon the nature of the
The time at which the thing is in this state
velocities

"

sensibilia."

"

is

the lower

limit of the times at which these appearances occur. We
have now to consider what leads us to speak of another
set of

appearances as belonging to the same

a different time.

"

"

thing

at

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC

170

For this purpose, we may, at least to begin with,
confine ourselves within a single biography. If we can
sensibilia
in a given biography
always say when two
"

"

are appearances of one thing, then, since we have seen
how to connect sensibilia in different biographies as
"

"

appearances of the same momentary state of a thing, we
have all that is necessary for the complete con

shall

struction of the history of a thing.
It is to be observed, to begin with, that the identity of
a thing for common sense is not always correlated with

A human body is one

the identity of matter for physics.
persisting thing for

common

sense, but for physics its

We may say, broadly,
constantly changing.
that the common-sense conception is based upon con
tinuity in appearances at the ordinary distances of sensematter

is

data, while the physical conception is based upon the
continuity of appearances at very small distances from

the thing. It is probable that the common-sense con
ception is not capable of complete precision. Let us there
fore concentrate our attention

upon the conception

of the

persistence of matter in physics.
The first characteristic of two appearances of the
piece of matter at different times

is

continuity.

same
The two

appearances must be connected by a series of inter
mediaries, which, if time and space form compact series,
must themselves form a compact series. The colour of
the leaves is difierent in autumn from what it is in summer;
but we believe that the change occurs gradually, and that,
if the colours are different at two given times, there are
intermediate times at which the colours are intermediate

between those at the given times.
But there are two considerations that are important as
regards continuity.
First,

it

is

largely hypothetical.

We

do not observe

SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS

171

any one thing continuously, and it is merely a hypo
thesis to assume that, while we are not observing it, it
passes through conditions intermediate between those in
which
tion,

here,

it

it

is

is

perceived.

During uninterrupted observa
but even
is nearly verified

true, continuity

when motions

explosions,

;

are very rapid, as in the case of

the continuity

is

not actually capable of

Thus we can only say that the sensedata are found to permit a hypothetical complement of
such as will preserve continuity, and that
sensibilia

direct verification.

"

"

may be such a complement. Since, how
ever, we have already made such use of hypothetical
sensibilia," we will let this point pass, and admit such
therefore there

"

"

sensibilia,"

as are required to preserve continuity.
continuity is not a sufficient criterion of

Secondly,
material identity.

It is true

that in

many

cases,

such as

rocks, mountains, tables, chairs, etc., where the appear
ances change slowly, continuity is sufficient, but in other
cases, such as the parts of an approximately homogeneous
fluid,

it

fails

us utterly.

We

can travel by sensibly

continuous gradations from any one drop of the sea at
any one time to any other drop at any other time. We
infer the

motions of sea-water from the

effects of the

current, but they cannot be inferred from direct sensible
observation together with the assumption of continuity.

The

characteristic required in addition to continuity

conformity with the laws of dynamics

is

Starting from

what common sense regards as persistent things, and
making only such modifications as from time to time
seem reasonable, we arrive at assemblages of sensibilia
which are found to obey certain simple laws, namely those
"

of dynamics.

"

"

"

sensibilia
at different
regarding
times as belonging to the same piece of matter, we are
able to define motion, which presupposes the assumption

By

on the contrary. some times practically.&quot. but. The persistence of all matter throughout all time can.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 173 or construction of something persisting throughout the time of the motion. and leads to a criterion by which we can determine. &quot. the world is motions take place is still to a certain extent arbitrary even after the assumption of continuity. sensibilia is given. and that this determination. sensibilia occurring. manner in which we combine same Thus even when the whole history of given in every particular. This determination. roughly and on the whole. &quot. sometimes only theoretically. thing. I imagine. with regard to the laws way in which series not belonging to one in would general not behave. To recommend it is that What is this conclusion. Experience shows that way it is possible to determine motions in such a as to satisfy the laws of dynamics. will be &quot. is fairly in agreement with the common-sense opinions about per sistent things. sufficient collection physics has found data into to one series. though unverifiable where they go beyond sense-data. the question what sensibilia at different times as belonging to the piece of matter. in a . therefore. it of &quot. is that its hypotheses. is adopted. whether two appearances at different times are to be regarded as belonging to the same piece of matter. during a period in which all the and the times of their appearance are given. are is proved ideally such as to render all sense-data calculable &quot. be secured by definition. we must consider what proved by the empirical success of physics. are at no point in contradiction with sense-data. when a Now empirically possible to collect sense- each series being regarded as belonging and behaving. different according to the &quot. The motions which are regarded as &quot. If it is to be un thing two appearances belong to the same whether ambiguous of physics.

Thus we may lay down the following definition : Physical things are those series of appearances whose matter obeys That such the laws of physics. But all are of the sort that would be called &quot. This statement would endorse. probably. HALLUCINATIONS. A. no reason parent. there must be only one way of grouping appearances so that the resulting things obey the laws of physics. Such sense- data are of various kinds. Wolf 1 says : &quot. also untenable because of its failure of to account for the very possibility of dreams and hallu It seems impossible to realise how a bare. p. Secondly. 165. ILLUSIONS. It an empirical series exist is verifiability of physics.&quot. AND DREAMS remains to ask how. requiring somewhat different treatment. Mr. Proc . cinations. The conception activities is.&quot. before cussion. and embarking upon the dis remarks must be made upon the therefore. but for our present purposes we may let this point pass. in our system.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS 173 thing or not.. we are to find a place for sense-data which apparently fail to have the usual connection with the world of physics. can be directed towards a nothing a term of a relation cannot be a mere nonentity. Natural Realism and Present Tendencies in Arist.&quot. 1908-1909. : Philosophy. most people it is open to two objections. however un- how an &quot. which constitutes the fact. and assume that there is only one way. transparent activity can be directed to what to apprehend what is not given. mind as a system of transparent I think. unreal.&quot. First trans activity. 1 &quot. XII. It would be very difficult to prove that this is the case. certain logical conceptions of reality and unreality. one which. it is is But difficult to see is not there. Sac.

from failure to distinguish. we must be dealing either to propositions. then there would be a difference in respect of givenness between dreams and waking life.false. and &quot. mental reality. &quot. &quot. objects being They have their position in the of where the perspective of the dreamer private space then what as &quot. cations can be significantly with propositions or with such incomplete phrases as 1 Die Erfahrungsgrundlagen unseres Wissens. pair. &quot. in pairs. (1) I The belief that dream-objects are not given comes. real con and &quot.unreal. for the assertion that dream-objects are not there and not given. &quot. any of the sense-data of waking life. &quot. invalid. as regards waking between the sense-datum and the corresponding In dreams. and &quot. . think.non-existent.&quot. &quot. are applicable only false except in derivative signifi Thus wherever the above pairs applied. they fail is in their correlation with other private spaces and therefore with perspective space. &quot. they are there &quot. Meinong thing 1 maintains. Exactly the same argument applies as to the dreamthere. 28.&quot. if.g. &quot.existent&quot. as we have maintained. (2) the correlative conception of used in a &quot.&quot.&quot. and just as truly as &quot.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 174 is given. &quot.&quot. . as the dreamer supposes thing . But in the only sense in which there can be a datum. &quot. therefore. there is no such corresponding thing/ life. were given in waking life. &quot. as e.&quot.&quot. p. But if.true&quot. &quot. what is given is never the thing. &quot. but merely one of the sensibilia which compose the thing. we apprehend in a dream is just as much given what we apprehend in waking life. Now &quot.valid&quot.true&quot. Let us take the second point first &quot. are generally way which embodies profound Words that go fusions. such as and all and logical &quot. are &quot. &quot.&quot. derived from the one funda &quot. &quot. the &quot. and I am convinced that none can be given. &quot. etc.. &quot. &quot. The conception of illusion or unreality.

because x the case is (in Dr. and it may also be true that x is my present sense-datum. non- meaningless either We might be exists. cit. The fact that &quot. although it is significant &quot. forms a proposition. .&quot. To say &quot. Let us illustrate by the terms Given any datum assert or to deny that x and &quot. the apparent proposition inferred strictly meaningless. for example. it is existence. with them. I. For the definition of ixittencr. Cf. &quot. they have no application whatever to data. is Principia Mathematica. * * 14.. 1 but not to proper names in other words. &quot. 14. &quot.&quot. x is a we are supposing) I have explained this point fully elsewhere (loc.&quot. .&quot. existence is only applicable to concealed by the use of what are gram matically proper names in a way which really transforms them into descriptions. The inference from these two propositions to x exists is one which seems irresistible to people unaccustomed to logic yet meaningless. a legitimate descriptions 1 III. x. Of course x exists. but shall proceed with their applica I shall tion to our present problem. &quot. cannot say There is an object of which &quot.&quot. not therefore here repeat the demonstration of the above propositions. without which it is hard to understand . and Introduction.&quot. is My There : not merely false.SENSE-DAiA AND PHYSICS 175 only acquire meaning when put into a context which. rf. Vol. but present sense-datum is an object of which But we my present sense-datum is a description. : description. to &quot. but only to entities or non-entities described in : terms of data. Whitehead and a name. But such a statement is really &quot. Thus such pairs of words can be applied to descriptions. existence &quot. for otherwise it tempted to say could not be a datum.) with the help of symbols. &quot. Chap.&quot. &quot. 02. It is. exists is to say (roughly) &quot. not a description. : and true to say My present sense-datum exists.

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 176 question whether Homer existed . or other things inquire as to the existence or reality of It is the un sensibilia inferred from such objects. &quot. but here means the author of the Homeric poems/ &quot. &quot. remove &quot. it is meaningless to ask whether they exist or are real. though what is to be said be mainly a repetition of what others have said before. &quot.&quot. which has reality of these &quot. &quot. together with a failure to notice that they are not data. Similarly may but then God means the Supreme Being or the ens realissimum or whatever other description we may If were a proper name. &quot. &quot. &quot. and dreams.&quot. supposed to be incompatible. &quot. &quot. &quot. &quot. Our system of different perspectives fully accounts for these cases. existence. things and other sensibilia. &quot. and is a ask we whether God exists description. . in fact. We may now apply these considerations in detail to the stock arguments against realism.&quot. hallucinations. be taken as synonymous Concerning the immediate objects in illusions. and that ends the matter. which Kant obscurely felt. What has been said about existence applies equally existence &quot. Homer &quot. and is seen to &quot. where the correlation between (2) We have cases . The distinction between existence and other predicates. with which may. and shows that they afford no argument against realism. . Locke s water which seems both hot and cold belongs to this class of cases. led to the view that the objects of dreams are unreal. God would have God preler. But we may legitimately &quot. will We the variety of normal appearances. is brought to light by the theory of descriptions. &quot. to be a datum and then no question could arise as to His existence.&quot. There they are. &quot. &quot. &quot. to reality. &quot. &quot. altogether from the fundamental notions of metaphysics. &quot. This is the case of the different shapes and colours which a given thing presents d) have first to different spectators. &quot.

&quot.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS different senses is The bent unusual. it is in less need of explanation than the single visual sense-datum which we normally obtain from the things on which We come now (3) the we focus. 1 also The of double cannot case graph seeing lie. and. belongs here. thing a is of and it is whole sensibilia. &quot. . solid objects melt. &quot. incompatibility with earlier and later data. It is their lack ol unreal. and it is : not on account of such occurrences that &quot. in view of our having two eyes. contain nothing to arouse sus but are condemned on the ground of their supposed picion. though bent to sight. &quot. But none of these unusual occurrences need happen in a dream. &quot. at moment of dreaming. if the touch. World.&quot. and it is their lack Holt. 1 when he wakes. p. though in this case the cause of the unusual is physiological. condemn them Cf. we think that the stick would feel bent to The stick would look just as bent in a photo &quot. &quot. stick in looks bent but it 177 water is straight People say this only means that it is straight to the touch. The Place of Illusory Experience in a Realistic Kealism. The phenomenon has a purely physiological explanation .&quot. Of course it often happens that dream-objects fail to behave in the accustomed manner heavy objects fly. belongs here. The New double.&quot. Gladstone used to say. sensibilia which are data to the per that are duplicated.&quot. and would therefore not correlation operate in a photograph. dream-objects are called with the dreamer s and future that makes continuity past him. There is no illusion/ but only a false : &quot. to cases like dreams. those visual cipient &quot. both on this point and as . which may. Edwin B. the photo graph. It is a mistake to ask whether the The is duplicated when we see it double. thing system only &quot. indeed. as Mr. babies turn into pigs or undergo even greater changes. 30^. inference.

&quot. hallucinations of the kind that lead to insanity. learn this through testimony.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 178 with other private worlds that makes others Omitting the latter ground. in such cases. &quot. &quot. &quot. into if they were jointed sufficiently but the chief instances life waking neatly are recurrent sensory . in other perspectives. there is nothing to show that the hallucinatory sense-data do not have the usual kind within his of connection with Of course he may &quot. we infer from them cannot be combined according to the inferred from waking &quot. own experience. become what others call insane is the fact that. things Dream-data are no &quot. still of class last illusions are those which cannot be discovered within one person s experience. &quot. but he sensibilia . Dreams might conceivably belong to this class. this appearance is not (especially that expected to be produced by a door banging. with images of battleships and sea and smoke. but not of such things I have no wish to combat as the dreamer supposes. &quot. will be an appearance of the door bang the peculiar condition of the body to but owing ing. and thus The whole dream the dreamer is sense-data are physics would (4) The But led to entertain false beliefs.&quot. &quot. laws of physics with the things sense-data. and are such as a completed include and calculate. our which reason for condemning them is that the things correlation of condemn them. the brain) during sleep. except through the discovery of discrepancies with the experiences of others. This might be used to &quot. such as those of the psychological But there psycho-analysts. of theories dreams. doubt appearances of things. his physical. condemn the inferred from the data of dreams. What makes the patient. a door banging may produce a dream of a naval engagement. certainly are cases where may contribute) the (whatever psychological causes presence of physical causes also is For very evident. instance.

this view is the only one which accounts for the empirical verifiability of physics. I think. conclude. In par the part played by time in the construction of the physical world is. thing to eke out momentary appearance. . to form part of our data. not a philosophical objection. the part played by unperceived sensibib a could be indefinitely diminished. no theoretical criterion by which the patient can decide. have intrinsically just the same status as any others. 1 should hope that. and even seem. except to the psychologist. &quot.&quot. In the present paper. &quot. more fundamental than would ticular. so far as I can see. of the kind which we regard as decep tive. and that. &quot.SENSE-DATA AND PHYSICS 179 probably finds it simpler to suppose that the testimony is untrue and that he is being wilfully deceived. whereas they are merely the causes of false infer ences. &quot. and connections become part of our unreflective expectations. From would appear that ab normal sense-data. between the two equally satisfactory hypotheses of his madness and of his friends mendacity. with further elaboration. therefore. appear from the above account. The fact that correlations and connections of un usual kinds occur adds to the difficulty of inferring things from sense and of expressing physics in terms of sensedata. mistakenly. the usual correlations &quot. But the unusualness would seem to be always physically or physiologically explicable. that in such cases the data are un real. I have given only a rough preliminary sketch. in such a case. on the other hand. and therefore a complication. probably by invoking the history of a the inferences derivable from its &quot. that no valid objection exists to the view which regards sense-data as part of the actual raises only I substance of the physical world. Since sensibilia tions with other &quot. the above instances it but differ as regards their correlations or causal connec and with things. There is. it comes to be thought.

onlv because erroneously supposed to do no harm. yet. to exhibit imagine sophers &quot. surviving. he apparently thinks. like the is a much relic of a monarchy. supposed law of causality which philo to be employed . age. makes this a ground business of those of complaint against physics who wish to : the ascertain the ultimate truth about the world. should be the discovery of causes. which appear to me to be connected with erroneous notions as to causality. All philosophers. of every school. &quot. &quot. first. in advanced sciences such as is science. yet physics never even seeks them. the word Dr. employed in science &quot. imagine that causa tion one of the fundamental axioms or postulates of oddly enough. I believe. especially in regard to teleology and determinism. is . from the philosophical vocabulary desirable to inquire what principle. in place of the certain confusions. like among philosophers. James Ward. to maintain that the word cause is so inextricably bound up with misleading associations as to make its complete extrusion -- &quot. cause never occurs. thirdly. gravitational astronomy. To me it seems that philosophy ought not to assume such legislative functions. The law that passes muster bygone it is of causality. secondly. there are no has ceased to look for causes such things.DC ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE TN the following paper I wish. . if any. in fact. in his Naturalism and Agnosticism. &quot. and that the reason why physics is that.

ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE In order to 181 out what philosophers commonly find &quot. .. The some meaning of which it is capable for.. &quot.&quot. Baldwin s Dictionary : That is necessary which not only is would be true under all circumstances. The notion of cause is so intimately connected with that of necessity that it will be no digression to linger over the above definition. if any meaning is to he would be true under all circum given to the phrase the it must be a pro positional funcof stances. Something more than brute compulsion is. which are so related to each other that whenever the first ceases to exist the second comes into exist ence immediately after. Whatever may be included in (notion of). . true. (i) . is obviously. stands. &quot. necessary. Under gives the following &quot. there general law under which the thing takes is a place. and was rewarded beyond my expectations. there NECESSARY. are correlative terms denoting any two distinguish able things. M .&quot. &quot. CAUSALITY. The unintelligible without a definition of this head.&quot. as it far from definite very having any signification. but fore. or aspects of reality. . and whenever the second comes into existence the first has ceased to exist immediately before/ Let us consider these three definitions in turn. the thought or perception of a process as taking CAUSE place in consequence of another process. for I found the following three mutually incompatible definitions &quot. Cause and effect . with a view to discovering. . if possible.&quot. understand by cause. first. it is point to notice is that. involved in the conception . . phases. : CAUSE AND EFFECT. subject first &quot. of events . I consulted Baldwin s Dictionary. (i) The necessary connection in the time-series.

the assigned to the variable . necessary then &quot. definite value is we choose one number. the definition in Baldwin s true Dictionary says that what is necessary is not only &quot. an expression containing a variable. i. however.would be true under the something all circumstances.182 tion.&quot. NECESSARY is a predicate of a propositional function.&quot. it is : &quot. for all argument or arguments. on Sundays as on Mondays.&quot. tion of true or there can be no ques : Charles I s head was cut off circumstances. i. Now &quot.and &quot. &quot. : The variable is A. 01 becoming a proposition as soon as a A is assigned to the variable. true under all circum which the variable means &quot. . two are incompatible. Bjit is also true. Hence the definition is meant seems to be necessary when it function which is true under position is is as stands it this &quot. Examples are propositional function undetermined constituent. 1 and that ends the matter false. is &quot. and only propositional functions can be true under all &quot.e. should be led to the following definition Thus we because is mortal is if stances.&quot.&quot. these &quot. meaning that it is true for all possible values of its argument or arguments. and becoming a pro in when a value position &quot. Unfortunately. called the argument of the function.&quot. the Thus if is capable. alluded to are then is circumstances % &quot.&quot.e. true for any possible value of x. the same proposition will be necessary or values of its contingent according as 1 A &quot. But if we adopt this definition.&quot. &quot. * is a or other of its an expression containing a variable. circumstances What nonsense.A : is pro a value of a propositional all circumstances. not a MYSTICISM AND LOGIC A proposition is simply proposition. &quot. necessary. &quot.&quot. varying different values of &quot. under all circumstances &quot. summer as in winter. is what is a man. Thus when it is worth saying that something just as true in is &quot. question must be a prepositional function. x &quot. &quot. Only propositions can be true.

is necessary if Socrates is chosen as argument. will then be the varied. Again.If the event be followed by the event intended to be necessary with it will remain true however tl may be Causality. For the present. this difficulty : A proposition is necessary with respect to a given constituent if it remains true when that constituent is &quot.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE 183 terms as the argument to our prepositional function.&quot.&quot. I am merely concerned I . following : I&quot.if is a man.] But before this can be considered precise. It is obvious that the argument must be the time at which the earlier event occurs. and we thus arrive at the following definition chosen. but not if Plato or mortal is is mortal. is what the law of causality is supposed to be.&quot. to discover I J am not concerned as yet to consider whether this law true or false. we must specify how much later e t is to occur. to the other definitions quoted above. Plato man be necessary if either Socrates or chosen as argument. Socrates &quot. Socrates For is mortal. However. example. but not if man or mortal is chosen. respect to t i.e. as a universal law. Thus an instance el et of causality will be such as occurs at the time t lt This proposition . e^ occurs later.&quot. is will can be overcome by specifying the constituent which is to be regarded as argument. Given any event e lt there is an event ez such that. &quot. whenever e l occurs. Thus the principle be comes : Given any event e lt there is an event 2 and a timeT such that.&quot. d 2 follows after an interval r ( interval . lt to is : &quot. if Socrates is a man. whenever e l occurs. therefore. altered in maining any way compatible with the proposition re significant. We may now apply this definition to the definition of causality quoted above. pass.

indeed. since the time-series is compact . hence either the cause or the effect or both must. of a process. on the other purely static. Thus we shall be led to diminish the duration of the cause without limit. leaves nothing to be desired. it would seem that only the later parts can be faced with a : . But caused by the temporal contiguity of it a great difficulty is cause and effect which the definition asserts. in spite of bare . it seems too strange to be accepted. involving no change then. must be what concerns us in considering causality. by the wording of the definition it is plain^that both are assumed to endure for a finite time. no such cause is to hand. will not have been reached. The third definition as regards clearness is by far the most precise indeed . another process. If. is it psychological for two not the : &quot. No two instants are contiguous. But then we are dilemma if the cause is a process involving within itself. endure for a finite time . &quot. it taking place in consequence of introduces the very notion of cause which was to be as denned. First. in the first place. as defined. because reasons. &quot. in speaking of a process Secondly. because it is circular : &quot. there will still which might be altered without altering the effect. for it will be obsejved that the definition excludes plurality of causes. we shall require (if causality is uni change versal) causal relations between its earlier and later parts moreover. but the process thought or perception itself.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 184 The second definition need not detain us long. and however much we remain an may earlier part diminish it. if the definition is correct. is be found in nature. and strange -in the second place. since the earlier parts are not contiguous to the effect. the cause within itself. so that the true cause. relevant to the effect. and therefore (by the definition) cannot influence the effect.

in other words.Will. . if there are causes and effects. V. d.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE logical possibility 185 that the cause. b. effect. is but the familiar truth. they must be separated by a finite time-interval r. : &quot. or. the recognition of which is the main pillar of inductive science. Chap. therefore. Bk. when it might just as well have done so at any earlier time. that the same causes produce the same effects. 1 7 2. as was assumed in the above inter pretation of the What is first definition. which same shape . it is argued. Thus he : &quot. p. : previously perceived. is fatal to the view that cause and effect can be contiguous in time . JQQ. who has as stated by philosophers tinues to suppose that it says rightly perceived that the law is is worthless. Logic. Ill. after existing placidly some time. is Thus John Stuart Mill says The Law of Causation. And &quot. Time and Free. Now. can occur again in the (2) that a certain phenomenon P. this law means that every phenomenon law of causality] determined by its [the is conditions. obtain between every fact in nature and some other fact which has preceded And Bergson. should suddenly explode into the effect. - again We perceive physical phenomena. essentially the same statement of the causality as the one elicited above from the Baldwin s definitions law of first of given by other philosophers. 1 it. or have gone on unchanged without producing its for This dilemma. x that in variability of succession is found by observation to. and these pheno laws. This means (i) That phenomena mena obey a. nevertheless con used in science. c.&quot.

there a fair consensus is There schools. As to what the principle employs is. p. and after these conditions only. penny such an event is something like an must into the slot of is to recur. are the : (1) (i) arise. What is it is highly improbable that this will meant by an &quot.&quot.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 186 appeared after the conditions a. 1 same A great part of Bergson s attack on science rests on the assumption that it employs this principle. will not fail to recur as soon as the conditions are again present. 202. which are forced on our by the above statement attention foil owing What (2) How is meant by an long and An of the law. For if such con siderations were relevant. Will. since other graver questions have to be considered. event striking a match. in the statement of the law. In fact. event &quot. It follows also that an &quot. d. not a particular. since recur. event is &quot.event. ob- is viously intended to be something that is likely to recur since otherwise the law becomes trivial. it not be denned too narrowly we must not state with what degree of force the match is to be struck. it no such philosophers even Bergson are too apt to take their views on science from each other. which at once are. ? the time-interval be between cause ? &quot. but some_unjy^.sjji of which there may be many instances. nor what is to be the temperature of the penny. among philosophers of different however. Two of these. not from science.&quot. or dropping a automatic machine. must be something short of the universe. . may effect &quot. but principle. c. If of the whole state &quot. event &quot. It follows that an &quot. our would occur at event : &quot. a number of difficulties I omit the question of plurality of causes for the present. b. 1 Ttmr and Ftee &quot.

es of a universal defined sufficiently many particular occurrences in time is it. no doubt. event. but before I can draw out my ticket there is an earthquake which upsets the machine and my calcula tions. we must know that there is nothing in the environment to interfere with cause And But it. the prob is not. however. may happen short we make during the this interval which prevents the expected result. interval T. itself. In spite of these difficulties. be admitted that many fairly dependable regularities of occur in sequence daily life. Hence. something This. it is thought that a better formulation could have been found which would have never failed. Philosophers. between cause and insuperable effect. but as effect this. An &quot. by as soon as we include the environment. think of cause and contiguous in time. It may be that there will in fact never be an exception to the rule that when a stone of more than a certain mass. are found to fail.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE 187 most once. In order to be sure of the expected effect. at once raises However difficulties. I am far which from denying that there may be such sequences never do fail.comes almost nil. this means that the supposed adequate to insure the effect. moving with more than a certain velocity. I put my penny in the slot. The next question concerns the (2) time-interval. whole environment is when the included. and the law would cease to give information. It is these! regularities that have suggested the supposed law of causality where they . is impossible. comes in contact with a pane of glass of . until at last. of course. for reasons already given. the probability of repeti tion be.&quot. ability of repetition is diminished. then. widely to admit of beingjnstaiic. since there are no infinitesimal timethere must be some finite lapse of time r intervals. it must.

or that uniformities. every advance in a science takes us farther away from the crude uniformities which are first observed. the and moon must make a difference. It is true that there is fast fall. into greater differentiation of antecedent and consequent. same effect. vague qualitative statement how science wishes to . as it we &quot.same cause. 1 which philo sophers imagine to be vital to science.^. the glass breaks. even when they are not without exceptions. That bodies fall is a this kind. What I deny is that science assumes the existence of invariable uniformities of sequence of aims at discovering them. The principle &quot.&quot.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 188 less than a certain thickness. sufficiently fully to enable the consequent to be calcu lated with some exactitude. is useful in the infancy of a science bodies in air usually : the observation that unsupported fall was a stage on the way to the law of gravitation. is therefore utterly As soon as the antecedents have been given otiose. But made a later it vacuum so is then com . more nearly uniformity when they fall in a far as Galileo could observe. the uniformity plete. science would remain utterly sterile. I also do not deny that the observation of such regularities. appeared that even there the latitude and the altitude. Hence. position of the sun nised as relevant. All such saw. the antecedents have be come so complicated that it is very unlikely they will ever recur. and into a continually wider circle of antecedents recog difference. if this were the principle involved. depend upon a certain vagueness in the definition of the events.d to a more correct account of scientific procedure* partly in the fact that they remove . The importance of these considerations lies partly in the fact that they le^. know This depends upon the shape of the they bodies and the density of the air. Theoretically. In short.

since there must be an intelligible nexus between cause and effect. in &quot. and one ground for this belief is that matter is too dissimilar from mind to have been able to cause it. &quot. unless the universe always contained something at least All such views equally noble which could cause them. the effect fact. is . f Cause and must more or less resemble each other. than any imagination. I do not profess to know stated. seem to depend upon assuming some unduly simplified law of causality for.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE 189 the analogy with human volition which makes the con ception of cause such a fruitful source of fallacies. what are termed the (1) effect nobler parts of our nature are supposed to be inexplicable. often unconsciously in the imagina tions of philosophers who would reject it when explicitly probably operative in the view we have been just considering. two states of the whole universe. and the &quot. The become clearer by the help of some For this purpose I shall consider a few illustrations. &quot. that mind could not have resulted from a purely material world. for example. &quot. It is what meant by is &quot. analogous to volition. I is think. in usually very widely dissimilar. that mind could not still often thought. &quot. some particular event. . Or. intelligible .&quot. &quot. and is still by no means extinct. it seems to mean &quot.&quot. maxims which have played a great part in the history of latter point will philosophy. in any legitimate sense of cause and science seems to show that they are effect. have grown up in a universe which previously contained nothing mental. more particularly. cause being. &quot.&quot. &quot. j This principle was prominent in the philosophy It is of occasionalism. j This ^Cause (2) maxim is. less intelli Nothing other the connection between sense. familiar to gible.

it is connected with our second . determine &quot. given the cause. meant by determining know. a very complex notion. Hence in general. &quot. &quot. given the effect.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC an act of and its fulfilment. events (3) |&quot. &quot. and falls as soon as that is &quot. maxim. no room for between which a nexus could be sought. the . compel . however much his wishes may be calculable by the help of earlier events. is that of a function &quot. effects. as a matter of fact. the must be such and such. The cause compels the some sense effect in in which the effect does not compel the cause/ This belief seems largely operative in the dislike of determinism but. pelling the effect. cause What I want to make clear at present is that compulsion word &quot. but. sense. there is no is compulsion. &quot. Any : set of circum is said to compel A when A desires to do some which the circumstances prevent. A vaguer form of the same maxim &quot. for the word substitutes the &quot. is . but not of is. if we suppose that. misleading to regard the cause as com in. But obviously the sort of nexus desired between cause and effect is such as could will &quot. causality in such a science as physics leave any two. which the supposed events only hold between the law of causality contemplates the laws which replace . If that or one-many we admit plurality of causes. So long as a person does what he wishes to do. define as follows compulsion We may abandoned. we word are told that the cause determines the effect in a sense in which the effect what does not determine the cause. And where desire does not come it is. involving thwarted desire. effect not quite clear the only precise It is &quot.&quot. &quot. or to abstain thing from something which the circumstances cause. so far as I relation. there can be no question of compulsion. This stances presupposes that some meaning has been found for the a point to which I shall return later.

then we may say that the cause determines the effect. &quot. if &quot. a good deal to do still It has. since the : past has effects now. results all. results only from conceiving the effect vaguely and narrowly and the cause precisely and widely. it causes &quot. however.&quot. because his death is vague we adopt the opposite course. The &quot. and as the effect the whole state of the world five minutes &quot. and a a has ceased to nothing. later. s duree &quot. &quot. We in . but as it wills. is involves the very view of causation which we are engaged combating. it A &quot. if sciously. it is not open to us as a definition. not it wills. is because what has ceased to exist common maxim. &quot. at all. is illusory. when it merely happens to be followed This certainly represents the usual view meant by a volition operating. to volitions. and thus cause their after they have ceased to exist. taking as the cause the drinking of a dose of arsenic. &quot.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE may have been cause one of many 191 alternatives. effect causej and cannot cause operate when (4) &quot. Plurality of causes. death. operate wills takes place . operate from assimilating them. consciously or uncon We have already seen that. they must be separated by a finite from their effects. &quot. f^A exist. with the attractiveness of Bergson &quot. a man s But and narrow. but not the effect the cause. except a volition. I pressed prejudice. Many antecedents &quot. may cause &quot. The mistake in this maxim consists in the supposition that causes when what &quot. there are causes at interval of time effects It may be objected to the above definition of a volition &quot. &quot. &quot. we have plurality of effects instead of plurality Thus the supposed lack of symmetry between shall of causes. that operating what it by what of what it only operates when &quot. volition operates but nothing can operate belief that causes &quot. it must still exist in some sense. &quot. j This it is more common unex fancy.

monadism. This. of prejudice against action at In philosophy it has led to a denial of and thence transient action. &quot. &quot. is. it is as this principle is not our present concern. portant to notice is that the usual notion of operating is not open to us if we reject. but to break windows. of course. that they are in some obscure way operate. &quot.operates&quot. discussion treat it as indubitable I shall in this We may then say. And. if any such sequence has been observed in a great there is hold in many cases. What law or laws can be found to take the place of the supposed law of causality First. What is chiefly im &quot. when there is some law in virtue of which a similar volition in rather similar may circumstances will usually be followed by what it wills. as I contend that we should. But this is a vague conception. we may admit that. as in the case of temporal contiguity. it rests upon the assumption that causes i. in the case of any siich frequently observed sequence.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC I 92 say that a volition &quot. of which the truth may reasonably be questioned . If stones have hitherto been found probable that they will continue to do so.&quot. and introduces ideas which we have not yet considered. the inferences drawn from this maxim are wholly groundless. to monism or Leibnizian Like the analogous maxim concerning tem poral contiguity. and has never been found to fail. &quot. an inductive probability that it will be found to future cases. (5) maxim A cause cannot operate except where it is very widespread . the usual notion of causation. This was urged against Newton.e. that . analogous to volitions.&quot. ? without passing beyond such uniformities of sequence as are contemplated by the traditional law. it and has remained a source a distance. I return now to the question.&quot. assumes the inductive principle.

the sequence. but owing to the fact that cause and effect must be separated by a of time. discussing this instance of night and day. is no more than probable. that we should believe not only that the antecedent always has It is . A may be sense. it will not be assumed that every event has some antecedent which is its cause in this we shall only believe in causal sequences where them. cases where B be the cause of the cause of B even if there actually are Striking a match will spite of the fact that some does not follow A. without any presumption that they always are to be found. even when we have a case of cause and effect in our present sense. all that is meant is that on grounds of observation. any case of sufficiently frequent sequence will be causal in our present sense . I do not mean by this merely that we are not sure of having discovered a true case of cause and effect I mean that. necessary to our using the word cause.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE the earlier event is 193 the cause and the later event the effect. we shall not refuse to say that night is the cause of day. In the second place. Thus in our present . its igniting. for example. finite says interval : &quot. make such special sequences very different from the traditional relation of cause and effect. any such sequence might fail the through interposition of other circumstances in the interval. Our repugnance to saying this arises from the ease with w iicii we can imagine the sequence to fail. in any hitherto unobserved instance. sense we . in matches are damp and fail to ignite. effect was supposed to whereas the relation of cause and be necessary. find In the third place. In the first place. it is probable that when one occurs the other will also occur. however. Mill. Several considerations.

6- &quot.. effect properly called No doubt the reason &quot. &quot. be so/ it always will 1 In this sense. any other earlier or That is to say. but that as long as the present constitution of things endures. or the configurations at two velocities at instants. cit. we shall have to give up the hope ing causal laws such as Mill contemplated . This state ment holds throughout physics. is what occurs in . and therefore they seek an unduly simplified statement. Certain differential equations can be found.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 194 been followed by the consequent. law of causality has so long continued to pervade the books of philo why the old simply that the idea of a function is unfamiliar to most of them. there is nothing that can be called a cause. &quot. falsification of sciences In the fourth place. But there is nothing that could be cause and nothing that could be properly called &quot. the configuration at any instant is a function of that instant and the configurations at two given instants. such laws of probable sequence. In the motions of any mutually gravitating bodies. which hold at every instant for every particle of the system. in such a system. is same &quot. and which. merely a formula. &quot. sequence which we have observed may at any falsified without a that the more advanced of find any causal moment be any laws of the kind aim at establishing. effect . cause producing the Loc. given the configuration there and is one instant. and nothing that can be called an effect science successful. it . render the configuration at later instant theoretically calculable. &quot. same &quot. There is no question of repetitions sophers of the &quot. though useful in daily life and in the infancy of a science. tend to be displaced by quite different laws as soon as a The law of gravitation will illustrate advanced science. and not only in the special case of gravitation.

(2) The law makes no future : the future &quot. &quot. It is impossible to state this is the only correct phrase. &quot. such that the rate of change in the rate of change is determinate when the state of the the universe universe is is given. If &quot. &quot. i. Nor it is an empirical is it.&quot. the law of causality &quot. : selves empirical generalisations. &quot.e. &quot. non-mathematical in language . &quot.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE is 195 not in any sameness of causes and effects that the con stancy of scientific law consists. the above proposition has a better right to the name than any &quot. several observations must be made (1) No one can pretend that the above principle is a necessity of thought. difference determines between past and &quot. the past in exactly &quot. a premiss of science are them a of from number laws which generalisation priori or self-evident or a &quot. : another variable if that other variable is a function of them. but in sameness of And even sameness of relations is too relations. here. (3) The law will not be empirically verifiable unless some sufficiently small volume the course of events within . has a purely logical signifi a certain number of variables cance determine the &quot. There is a constant approach would be as follows relation between the state of the universe at any instant and the rate of change in the rate at which any part of : changing at that instant.&quot. law of causality to be found in the books of philosophers. &quot.&quot. is to be something actually discoverable in the practice of science. same sense in which the past determines the future. In regard to the above principle. The word determine. sameness of differential equations simple a phrase . the nearest accurately &quot. and this relation is many-one. &quot. in any sense.

motions of planets in the solar system must be approximately the same however the fixed stars may be distributed. The uniformity of nature does not assert the same cause. although practice of science. same effect. &quot. with out which all scientific reasoning would be in error. so that the most remote stars made the most difference to the motions of the planets. or that. the world might be just as regular and just as much subject to mathematical laws as it is at present. but only probable to a degree which cannot be accurately . in the above sense. If gravitation varied directly as the distance. it The uniformity of is assumed in the nature.g. trivial permanence of laws. &quot. Although the old law of causality is not assumed science. For example.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 196 be approximately the same in any two states of the universe which only differ in regard to what is at a con will siderable distance from the small volume in question. The ground of this principle is simply the inductive ground that it has been found to be true in very many instances hence the principle cannot be considered certain. which will hold for the future. it is expected that it will continue to hold in the future. The assumption that all laws of nature are permanent has. provided that all the fixed stars are very much farther from the sun than the planets are. or rather is accepted on inductive &quot. of . something which we may call the uniformity by of nature is assumed.&quot. in its generality. an acceleration as a function of the configuration has been found to hold throughout principle of the the observable past. &quot. if it does not itself hold. agreeing with the supposed law as regards the past. (4) &quot. but the principle grounds. That is to say. be regarded as a kind of major premiss. there is some other law. but we could never discover the fact. e. estimated. must not. when a law exhibiting.

in its applications to the solar system. This point is very important in connection with what systems. . argue by way of a major premiss the conclusion is only but acquires a higher probability . those that are empirically verifiable but probably only approximate . in any given case. secondly. In con structing the Nautical Almanac for 1915 it will assume that the law of gravitation will remain true up to the end of that year until it . but may The law be exact. within some assignable margin of error.&quot. empirical generalisation. for example. but an is In all men are mortal. than to &quot.&quot. Science. A These may we may &quot. less probability than the assumption that this or that particular law is permanent . dictated uniformity of nature is not as to 1916 by known a This the fact that the priori. is verifiable solar when system is it may only empirically assumed that matter outside the we be ignored for such purposes we cannot . those that are not verifiable. will assume what the case requires. believe this to be only approximately true. by the former method than by the latter. and the assumption that a particular law is permanent for all time has less probability than the assumption that it will be valid up to such and such a date. of the almanac. probable in either case. it is better to argue immediately from the given particular instances to the new instance. but empirically verify the law of universal gravitation which we believe to be exact. of gravitation. behave in the same way throughout that the rest of the universe N may is will period. In all science we have to distinguish two sorts of laws : first.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE 197 course. call relatively isolated be defined as follows : system relatively isolated during a given period one which. however be constituted. like all such cases. but no more. of course. but it will make no assumption comes to the next volume procedure is.

This will be inferred from the observed fact that approximate uniformities can be stated for this system alone.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 198 A system may be called &quot. which the system the earth is we ought reason to believe that is to specify the respect in For example. not have been even practically isolated in this respect. it is followed by B A . It may happen general scientific laws. which philosophers take as fundamental. If the complete laws for the whole universe were known. they have no theoretical importance in the finished structure of a science. spot theory of commercial crises if had been Jevons sunit would true. but not as regards tides . however. the isolation of a system could be deduced from them assuming. relatively isolated. another event B. It will be observed that we cannot prove in advance that a system is isolated. It is. cause &quot. &quot. help of the fact that there is very little matter in its neighbourhood. as a result of occurs throughout a in that case. Strictly speaking. during a given period if. the practical isolation of the solar system in this respect can be deduced by the . . that. although. to be regarded as a piece of good fortune if this occurs it will always be due to special . although there might be states of the rest of the universe which would produce more than the practically isolated assigned margin of error. whenever certain period. The case where one event A is said to &quot. the law of universal gravitation. But it should be observed that isolated systems are only important as providing a possibility of discovering scientific laws . there such states do not in fact occur. relatively isolated as regards falling bodies. A and B form a system which is practically isolated throughout that period. is really only the most simplified instance of a practically isolated system. it is practically isolated as is regards economic phenomena. for example.

the configurations of the solar system at any two given times will be determinants. ministic system I shall call determined not part of any such system I shall call The events of the system. there is a functional relation of the tively. form !. given . &quot. more generally.&amp. may be any time that though period the If be no the true. &quot. for the purposes of this illustration. or. (A) &amp. period within if t. be in the &quot.lt. a. is such a system.. . is the state of the system at any time t. . The essential function which causality has been sup posed to perform is the possibility of inferring the future from the past. for example. events at any time from events at certain assigned times. &quot.lt. follows A a deterministic system as : is system said to be certain data. Any system in which determin is possible may be called a &quot. universe. . The system will &quot.. &quot. not. one which &quot.*). if E. . . determinism is true of the if not.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE circumstances. . formula . t n respec concerning this system. e lt e t . deterministic throughout a given above formula. It is to In the case of the motions of the planets. .&quot. at times t lt tf when. as a longer may whole. deterministic eM . e n I shall call is capricious.... &quot. determinants &quot. istic system. that to a griven state of brain of psycho-physical parallelism. such inference We may define &quot.. . ___ . e v e 2 . and would not have been true of the universe had been different 199 the rest if though subject to the same laws. universe A system which is part of a deter that outside period. be observed that a system which has one set of determinants will in general have many.. We may take another illustration from the hypothesis Let us assume.

deduce that matter must meanwhile have gone through the corresponding history. onlv . state of the if n whole material states of the material universe are determinants of the material universe. that psycho-physical parallelism The above illustration of the assuming. so that each is what a function of the other. if the state of the mind is deter minate when the state of the brain is given. there will be a one-one relation between the state of a given person universe. i. It is true that if the relation of brain to mind were many-one. But the dependence involved is. that to a given state of a certain brain a given state of the whole material universe is corresponds. there would be a one-sided dependence of mind on brain. since it is highly improbable that a given Hence brain is ever twice in exactly the same state. while con versely. not &quot. at the end. when But if the state of the brain the state of the mind is given. is it must be exactly as true to regard matter as subject to mind as it would be to regard mind as subject to matter. as Bergson sup poses. then mind to matter in some sense in which matter is is subject &quot. &quot. We could. that there is a one-one relation between them. work out the history of mind without ever mentioning matter.MVSTICISM AND LOGIC 200 a given state of mind always corresponds. and vice versa. in connection with is important a certain confusion which seems to have beset those who have philosophised on the relation of mind and matter often thought that. not one-one.e. that is is true. and if the It is material world forms a deterministic system. &quot. and then. practically certain. then n states of a given man mind are determinants s whole material and mental universe to say. there would be a one-aided dependence of brain on mind. in any case. if the relation were one-many. We may also assume. subject to also determinate mind. theoretically. It mind and the s follows that.

it does not mean that we shall do things we desire not to do. our actual world cannot. There is in difficulty infer and Let us consider. and there might wishes were thwarted. throws no light whatever on the teleoquestion whether the universe is or is not a so I contend position &quot. &quot. the various senses &quot. A system may be defined as &quot. in all these questions. This sup . and the desire that it is teleological. is It is difficult to define system.&quot. therefore. mechanical when &quot.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE logical . determined. as we know it. which stinctively imagine it to mean. or all all how wishes were realised. in which certain desires those. by proving that it is mechani should be teleological is no ground for wishing it to be not mechanical.e. a teleological system is one in which purposes Broadly. Now the fact if it be a fact that the universe is mechanical has no bearing whatever on the question whether it is teleo logical in the above sense. but the argument much affected by the particular definition we adopt. is 201 be compelled to what people in As another illustration we may take the case of mechanism and teleology. There might be a mechanical system in which be one in which whether.that are is not deeper or nobler or more fundamental or more universal or what not are followed by their realisation. moment. for the sake of argument. that it is a mechanical system. The question far. There is. logical meant by a &quot. such as the positions of certain pieces of matter at certain times. is a mechanical system or not let us suppose. has a set of determinants that it are purely material. i. for a may be which the future one sense and a very important . be settled cal. a very great in avoiding confusion what is in fact between what we can determined. It is an open question whether the world of mind and matter. are realised. &quot. teleological accurately what system.

MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 202 one in which scientific laws. This view seems to me to rest upon just those errors in regard to causation which it has been my object to remove. the sense that it will be what it all it it is regard the past as determined simply by has happened but for the accident that . seem to be merely (i) that wishing generallv . An effect being defined as something subse quent to its cause. If you already know what the past was. but a mere application of the law of contradiction. an application you happen to know this again . happen.g. not have been different Obviously. But/ it will be rejoined. memory works backward and not forward. obviously it is use less to wish it different. But also you cannot make the this is future other than of the it will be law of contradiction. it will &quot. the past would be different. obviously we can have no effect upon But that does not mean that the past would if our present wishes had been the past. to be different from would be if such effect tautology. but no more can our present wishes be different from what they are The . if our different.&quot. &quot. again. Of course. our present wishes are conditioned the past. This. we should regard the future as equally determined by the fact that But/ we are told. in &quot. you cannot alter while you can to some extent alter the future.&quot. and therefore could not have been different by unless the past had been different . You cannot make the past other than it was true. And if is the case of a forthcoming eclipse it is just as useless to wish it different as to wish the past our wishes can different. &quot. facts this again is merely the law of contradiction. We the fact that determined quite independently of namely. sometimes. therefore. is a mere cause the future. what it they did not exist. present wishes were different. the future e. the past cannot be different from what it was. will be. the past. and they can have no upon the past.

where a wish concerns the future. formulae of are admitted. whose it state at a given moment is a function of certain measur able quantities. But there seems no doubt that the main difference in our i. and is therefore commoner in (2) that regard to the future than in regard to the past . zt . meet with a great difficulty. the particle moves. theoretically.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE 203 depends upon ignorance.. determined in which the Although the sense of future is determined by the mere fact that it will be what seems to me) to refute some opponents of determinism. as well as what is said If by others. &quot.&quot. *.e.= /i(fl.=/ the whole state of the must be capable of being exhibited as a function of t. must be a deterministic system. very often form a &quot. Let us consider. *. But if this be material universe at time / . such that /&amp. functions /i /a. &quot. and at least theoretically calcu But at this point we lated. it and its realisation practically independent system. It follows that. however great. whose co-ordinates at time t are xt . Then. a single material particle. many feelings from the accidental arises but not the future can be fact that the past known by memory. *=/. would seem that any system. notably M. Bergson and the pragmatists.gt. y t. any degree of complexity. which besets what has been said above about deterministic systems. theoretically. as a function of the past. there must be. Hence our universe will be deterministic in the sense defined above. however. What they have in mind is a formula by means of which the future can be exhibited. yet it is not what most people have in it will be is sufficient (at least so it mind when they speak of the future as determined. wishes regarding the future are realised. in illustration.

be laws hitherto unbroken which now broken for the first time. Hence. is plainly not what was intended. the material universe must be deterministic. in down or But except from the point of view of our might seem to be a detail in itself. and there fore not practically capable of being written apprehended. which obey one law will also obey others.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 204 true. in many departments of science. and science has no sense that an axiom has been falsified. because past law that will hold. is merely a methodological If the simplest formula precept. What science does. is to select ceases. fact. We are thus left with the brute fact that. not a law of Nature. quite obviously. This cannot be regarded as having any a priori ground. difference between be seen as follows. after a time. it may be some other hitherto indistinguishable We cannot say that every law which has held hitherto must hold in the future. not empirically dis tinguishable from it in the past. in are the simplest formula that will fit the facts. but diverging from it facts hitherto more and more in the future. hitherto indistinguishable but diverging in future. This. nor can it be used to support inductively the opinion that fact . at every moment. be of It is true that the formulae strictly infinite complexity. no information stating that involved it is may is conveyed about the universe deterministic. quite simple laws have hitherto been found to hold. the simplest formula that remains applicable is selected. however. But this. Hence there facts must. even assuming that there are persistent laws. knowledge. we shall have no reason for assuming that the law of the inverse square will hold in future . to be applicable. this view and the view intended Given some formula which The may fits the say the law of gravitation there will be an infinite number of other formulae. if this : the above considerations are sound. must be subject to laws.

Whether &quot. given in an integrated form. uni interpret the formity of nature as meaning just this. is true or false. that no scientific law involves ttie time as an argument. The difficulty we have been considering seems to be met partly. of fact this doctrine . by the principle that the time must not enter explicitly into our formulae. of course. but merely certain observed uniformities As a matter . &quot. All mechanical laws exhibit acceleration as a function of configuration. is a mere question no a priori considerations (if our previous dis cussions have been correct) can exist on either side. On the one hand. for it may well be that the advanced sciences are advanced simply because. though in the advanced have would be fallacious to argue the advanced sciences to the sciences these laws are less simple than those that remained true. (i) Determinism in regard to the will is the doctrine that our volitions belong to some deterministic system. scientific laws.e. for at every 105 moment laws hitherto true are being falsified. there is no a priori category of causality. not of configuration and time jointly . hitherto. in which case lapse of time. if not wholly. may appear in our it is Whether formulas. Moreover it inductively from the state of future state of the others. determined in the sense defined above. while the subject-matter of other sciences has not done so. I it does much to diminish serve to illustrate do not know . but in it.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE the same laws will continue . are i. &quot. unless. and easily their subject-matter has obeyed simple ascertainable laws. and this principle of the irrelevance of the time In fact may be extended to we might all &quot. though not absolute time. come our any case It will it this consideration suffices to over difficulty completely. what has been said if we apply to the question of free will.

by no means implies any supremacy of matter over mind. thus there is some empirical evidence that of fact. on the other hand. The view that it has a bearing rests upon the belief that causes compel their effects. and These are mere anthropomorphic do. given certain material data. But volitions are determined. as well as some other things. except in the sense in which we found that everything must be determined. there evidence up to a point. but to all volitions. are not determined. whether they are part (3) determined. We feel that our not compelled.e. due to assimilation of causes with volitions of natural laws with human edicts. sometimes alleged against determinism. and it is it volitions. however volitions are part of a mechanical system. there of is what was above defined as a mechanical system. but that only means that it is not other than we choose it to be. or that nature enforces obedience to its laws as governments superstitions. maintain that the evidence quite possible that some is would be very rash to overwhelming. i. This the question whether they form part of a system with purely material determinants. whether there are laws which. It is one of the demerits will is of the traditional theory of causality that it has created opposition between determinism and the freedom of which we are introspectively conscious. It mav well be that the same system which is this . But.e. has no (2) bearing on the question whatever. that even if It is it is is empirical not conclusive in regard important to observe.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC ao6 there are observed uniformities in regard to volitions . the subjective sense oi freedom. make all volitions functions of those data. an artificial Besides the general question whether volitions are is the further question whether they are mechanically determined. Here again. i.

in other words. is a confused notion not legitimately Three meanings are deducible from determinism. We scientific laws. therefore. The notion (4) which of necessity. It would seem. as usually stated by philosophers. that the reasons which make people dislike the view that volitions are mechanically determined are fallacious. as well as by sets of material facts. commonly confounded when An (a) action necessity spoken of will be performed is : necessary when it the agent may wish to do otherwise. constant. is however much Determinism does not imply that actions are necessary in this sense. and is not employed in science. and found then considered the nature of . the connection of a volition with its determinants is necessary. our discussion of causality. instead of stating that one event A is always followed . function values are true. when it remains true however that constituent may be varied.ON THE NOTION OF CAUSE 207 susceptible of material determinants is also susceptible of mental determinants . the time-interval between the determinants and the volition being kept But this sense of necessity and has no emotional importance. is is necessary with respect to a given the value. We may now sum up found first is purely logical. A proposition constituent when it (y) argument. often associated is with determinism. We that the law of causality. This sense is is discussion. is false. thus a mechanical system may be determined by sets of volitions. if the time at which the determinants occur be taken as the constituent to be varied. In this sense. in a deterministic system. A (ft) necessary when att its not relevant to our present prepositional. with that constituent as of a necessary prepositional function.

We found that a system with one set of determinants may very likely have other sets of a quite different kind. : except in a trivial and scientifically useless form. . but in part not yet capable of being decisively solved.ao8 MYSTICISM AND LOGIC by another event B. if we were right. for example. not necessarily universal. that. which we called determinants. a mechanically determined system may also be teleologically or volitionally determined. We were unable to find any a priori the existence of scientific laws ap category involved as a peared purely empirical fact. they stated functional relations between certain events at certain times. that for determined by volitions. Finally we considered the problem of free will here we found that : the reasons for supposing volitions to be determined are strong but not conclusive. supposing volitions are mechanically determined. and other events at earlier or later times or at the same time. The problem of free will versus determinism is therefore. and we decided that even if is no reason freedom in the sense revealed denying by intro for or that mechanical events are not spection. mainly illusory.

of all try to I acquaintance. In order to make clear the antithesis between &quot. quaintance &quot. where the subject is merely described? I have considered this view 1 problem elsewhere from a purely what follows I Jjvish to consider the question in relation to theory of knowledge as well as in relation to logic. and in view of the abovelogical point of mentioned .a^d explain what am I description/ I shall mean by cognitive relation to that object.^ fa : we know in these cases.HE object of the following paper is to consider what that we know in cases where we know pro it is without knowing who what the so-and-so is. ac &quot.&quot. The problem I wish to consider is Wha. When I I am I direct directly of a cognitive relation here. I speak say that have a when i. For example. but the sort which constitutes In fact. .e.KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE AND KNOWLEDGE BY DESCRIPTION r I -* &quot. 1 I think the relation of subject ano Soe references 309 later. acquainted with an object when aware of the object first &quot. I know that the candidate who gets most votes will be elected. so-and-so &quot. bvit in logical discussions. itself. though I do not know who is the candidate who will get most positions about &quot.the or votes. I shall in this paper make the logical portion as brief as possible. I^do not mean the sort of relation which constitutes judgment.&quot.

even In the second word acquaintance is designed to emphasise. that there is no subject. To begin with. This is particularly . if not always. I is have The direct acquaintance with the colour or the noise. to my mind. we place. provided it has been before my mind. cases I in these which with sense-datum acquainted am is generally. This is the same sense when I in am which I am said to know that 2+2=4 thinking of something else. whence we arrive at idealism. whence we arrive at materialism . a danger that. Now I wish to preserve the dualism of subject and object and should in^my terminology. to say that S has acquaintance O is same thing as to say that presented to S.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC aio object which I call acquaintance is simply the converse of the relation of object and subject which constitutes presentation. That is. and will be again whenever occasion arises. the so emphasis the object as to lose sight of the sub The result of this is either to lead to the view ject. may or to lead to the view that what is presented is part of the subject. arrive at solipsism but for the most desperate contortions. because this dualism seems to me a fundamental fact concerning cognition. it is natural to say that I_am acquainted with an object even at moments when it is not actually before my mind. complex. more than the word presentation. in speaking of presentation. the relational character of the fact with which we are concerned. When /we ask what are the kinds of objects with which we are acquainted. But the associations and natural exten sions of the word acquaintance are different from those of the word presentation. When first I see and most obvious example a colour or hear a noise. as in most cog with is essentially the nitive words. There is. Hence I prefer the wordjacquaintance^ because it emphasises the need of a subject Avhich is acquainted. the [sense-data.

wU&amp. have to syppose that I is something kno wr^ by description af we wished to maintain the view thai. of course. to be argued at length here. This question arises in an acute form in connection with self-consciousness. but on the whole it would seem that there is no reason why it should not stituents is be possible.KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE 211 obvious in the case of sight.A perceive that acquaintance . Also we are acquainted with a corn pi ex in which wQ Afi. in addition to being aware of the sun . and if I does not stand for something which is a direct object of acquaint &quot. a. Whether it is possible to be aware of a complex without being aware of its con not an easy question. the sun. it I desire food. iJ/Vi u bUNn* -j we f\ . I do not mean.s. &quot. but probably not impossible. that plain that know the proposition I am acquainted with Now here the complex has been analysed. we &quot.&quot.gt.. as opposed to a complex of which I am a constituent. follows . often happens that I am aware of the sun. but we also we assume with ourselves It with the complex is &quot. merely that the supposed physical object is complex) but that the direct sensible obiecljs_jcornplex_and contains parts with spatial relations. we seem to be immediately aware of varying complexes. we might argue ance.&quot. &quot. to account for plain facts if we do notjiave acquaintance we are not only acquainted Self-acquainted-with-A. and is a relation. shall . In introspection. which we must now briefly consider. there is nn acquaiutajic^jwith Self. often happens that I am it is hard to discover my seeing and when aware of my /But any state of in which I am aware of myself alone.. it desire for food. It is difficult. We we know that it are acquainted with acquaintance./ Thp question oi the natureLof self-conscinnsnessjs too large. A. consisting of objects in various cog When I see nitive and conative relations to ourselves. and too slightly mind connected with our subject.

Not only are we aware of particular yellows. from the point view ojQheofyjtf knowledge. must have a subject-term as well as an object-term. or hearing. \ ~~ . kind of the of particulars). i. introspective knowledge exactly on a level with knowledge derived from sight But. I.&quot. The awarenesses we have considered so far have been awarenesses of particular^ existents. &quot. too. all all For.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 212 Hence we know that this complex isjhe relating relation must have a constituent which is that which is acquainted. w &quot. definition this cannot be regarded as a would seem necessary. And &quot. we are aware of the universal yellow universals. but if we have seen a sufficient number of yellows and have sufficient intelligence. But as a effort. . green does.&quot. in addition to awareness of the above which may be called awareness objects. This subject-term we define as Thus I means the subject-term in awarenesses of which 7 am aware. merely the proper name of a certain object. in a large sense of is be called sense-data. Thus self -consciousness cannot be therefore.&quot. same we have also (though what may be sense) called not quite in awarenessoL Awareness jofjuniversals is called conceiving. and might purposes. And the universal yellow is the predicate in this is a this is yellow. &quot. is not important for our present and I shall therefore not discuss it further. &quot. I. where such judgments as &quot. myself. universal relations.e. It suppose that I am acquainted with no therefore.. requires definition.^ and a universal of which we are aware is called a concept. being regarded as throwing light on the question whether we (Jan know a complex without knowing its constituents?) This question. or &quot.&quot. however. particular sense-datum. . . such judgments as yellow yellow resembles blue less than this universal is the subject in differs from blue &quot. or to find some other analysis of self -consciousness.&quot. happy either to and that &quot. &quot. &quot.

how to reconcile with the fact that we often this being before that. but &quot. then the &quot. but For example. constitutes an analysis. or in which the relata are not definite given objects. first is before the third . this is before that/ a complex as ever. and here the things concerned are not definite things. .anything. though we do not know directly such a relation we understand such a proposition as &quot. is hard to &quot. And more directly A judgment such as this is before that. desire.&quot. &quot.&quot.universal relation/itself but only of complexes in which it is a constituent.&quot. awareness after. the-yellowness-of-this. and not merely with &quot. up and down. particulars which one_orjmore constituents are existents. where this judg : &quot. v - There are thus at least. know propositions in which the relation is the subject. For example. before..&quot. and we should not understand the analysis if we were not acquainted with the meaning of the terms employed. instances of it. ment is derived from awareness of a complex.&quot. &quot. 213 and before and so on. namely.KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE are objects of awarenesses . would seem to be all of them itself. resemblance. it . this-above-that. w f In regard to relations. before and not merely with actual particular cases of one given object being before another given object. It see how we could know such a fact about unless we were acquainted with &quot. anything. we know that if one thing is and the other before a third. and may be is difficult directly aware of such This view. it might be never aware of the. be said that may as before. particulars and universals. such as this^before-that.&quot. before another. Thus we must suppose that we are acquainted with the meaning of before. which we can be objects of . Among I include and all complexes of alljsxistents.j*urJw c i urged that we are aware. two sorts of objects of which we are aware.

This concerned exclusively with definite therefore. or so-and-so the I shall call ^j^feo-and^sp a phrase of the form &quot. it is the so-and-so. We might also call it the &quot. description &quot. shall call a mask A so-and-so. is with the iron description. is a matter which descriptions. speak mean definite descrip mean any phrase of the &quot. &quot.)JU^ It__will be seen that among the objects with which we are acquainted are not included physical objects (as opposed to sense-data). &quot. phrase of the form &quot. descriptions Thus a description form ^jthe so-and-so I shall when &quot. to us &quot. the singular) I us man &quot. universals with which we are acquainted may be identified with concepts. remembered or imagined belong with particulars. (On the other hand. say that an object when we know that in &quot. I wish tojiiscuss is the nature of our knowledge concerning objects in cases where we know that there is an object answering to a definite description. but can hardly be called percepts.e.&quot. disjunction with the opposition &quot.&quot.definite (in ^jO description. &quot. These known by what I call knowledge by we must now consider. ambiguous &quot. &quot. shall. &quot. &quot. &quot. is objects of which no parthe disjunction universal- I jnchide all &quot.a man &quot.&quot. yfih an ambiguous description. &quot. when we . because things It is abstract-concrete. i. the description . nortrther people s minds.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 114 Among IP ticular universals Thus a constituent. includes particular all objects. the so-and-so &quot. simply of tions.&quot. I v known by &quot. &quot./ There are various problems connected with ambiguous descriptions. an &quot. I is with any such object. will in the singular. but I pass them by. not quite parallel concept-percept. and &quot.&quot. is the sequel. since they do not directly concern the matter I is a definite What wish to discuss. fl^hich /^description I mean a any phrase of the form description By things are &quot.a &quot.

pro- something with ^xists. is.a property so-and-so. tact. When we we do not know any where a is ^ is. we do not know any proposition of the form the candidate who will get most votes where A is one &quot. and no one else Thus. &quot. . We know that the candidate who gets most votes will be elected. and in this case we are very likely also acquainted (in the only sense in which one can be acquainted with some one else) with . having a it_ will generally be implied that and . We know that the man with the iron mask existed. which we are acquainted. The pro is the so-and-so&quot. the candidate who will get most votes. and no more.&quot.&quot. the man who is. and even when we are not acquainted with any object which. the^ so-and-so &quot. and nothing else has. &quot. Larmor is the Unionist candidate means &quot. we know that the so-and-so exists) but we_may know that the so-and-so exists when we are not acquainted with any object which we know to be the so-and-so. we mean that say there is just one object which is the so-and-so. &quot. We by name. in fact. although we know that the so-and-so exists/and although &quot. the so-and-so.e. yet &quot.^merely we may possibly be acquainted with the object which in fact. in is. A is i.&quot. and many propositions are known about him but we do not know who he was. when we are acquainted with an object which we know to be the so-and-so. and no one else The Unionist candidate exists means some one is a Unionist candidate.KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE know that there is certain property one object. position a is the so-and-so. means that a has the position &quot.&quot. is the so-and-so. we do not have knowledge of the same object by ac quaintance. Sir Joseph Sir Joseph &quot. &quot. &quot. of the candidates shall say that we have descriptive knowledge/ of the so-and-so when. but we do not know which of the candidates he is. Larmor is a Unionist candidate.

makes no particular description involved usually difference to the truth or falsehood of the pro position in the which the name appears.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC ai6 Common words. ment made about Bismarck. and not self a description of the object. were only known as the object. of course. for which he connected certain sense-data (rightly. In this case. But so long as this remains same person at the constant. very much man s a matter of chance which characteristics of a will appearance he thinks of him . a-re_usuall^_realiy descriptions. Bismarck himself might have used his name directly to designate the particular person with whom he was acquainted. Jfhat is to say. he him might be a constituent of the judgment. come into a friend s mind when thus the description actually in the mind is accidental. and body That is. Let us take some illustrations. even proper names. the description required to express the thought will vary for different people. if he made a judgment about himself. as simply standing for a certain object. the thought in the mind of a person using a proper name correctly can generally only be expressed explicitly.if we replace the proper name by a description. Suppose some state Assuming that there is such a thing as direct acquaintance with oneself. we will suppose) with Bismarck s body. the case is What this person was acquainted with were different. jpHis body as a physical his still more and mind. or for The only thing different times. But if a person who knew Bismarck made a judgment about him. Here the proper name has the direct use which it always wishes to have.!^ The essential point is that he knows that the various descriptions all apply to the friend s . the mind connected with these sense-data. Moreover. they were known by descriptionj&It is. name is as the constant (so long rightly used) is _the object to which the name applies.

orj)fjiere jind there. we &quot. present. If. we shall be compelled. &quot.KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE 217 same in spite of not being acquainted with the entity. who did not know Bismarck. the first German Empire was an astute diplo we can be assured of the truth of our matist. in some way or &quot. in question. if our knowledge about the thing described is not to be merely what follows logically from the description. entity When we. other. and so on. however. v Such reference is involved in any mention of past. but we can make no judgments concerning this man which involve knowledge about him beyond what the &quot. For example. But. To some it will recall travels in Germany. Thus it would seem that. for the sake of illustration.&quot. say. the description in our minds will probably be some more or less vague mass of historical knowledge far more. description gives.&quot. sidered psychologically. than is required to identify him. to some the look of Germany on the map. and future (as opposed to definite dates). apart from the fact about the actual acquainted . let us assume that we think of him as the first Chancellor of the German Here all the words are abstract! except Ger Empire. or of what others have told us. But if we are to obtain a description which we know to be applicable. in most cases. to bring in a reference to a particular with which_we _a_re_ acquainted. man/ The word German will again have different meanings for different people. at some point. Chancellor of the . &quot. make a judg ment about him. only judgment in virtue of something with which we are Con usually a testimony heard or read. apart from the information we convey to others. the most long-lived of men is a description which must apply to some man. a description known to be applicable to a particular must involve some reference to a particular with which we are acquainted. &quot.

the proposition there described is is still described and is This proposition. itself. the thought we reall^haye contains the one or more par ticulars involved. WhaL_ejiables us &quot. but about the actual thing described/ is to say./ . But we know that there is an object B called Bismarck. and that B was an astute diplomatist. the object communicate we employ is that we a true proposition concerning the actual Bismarck. I suspect that even the Universe. where which was Bismarck. . the of places- London. descriptions which similarly involve.^^JcCcY It would seem that. when we make a statement about something only known by description. on the contrary.d otherwise consists wholly of con cepts.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC *i8 Bismarck. which gives importance to our judgment. namely. iq. where we are concerned not merely with what does exist. not in the form involving the make our description. we we could.&quot. to make the judgment which like. if Bismarck alone can make. no reference to actual particulars is involved. we often intend to statement. known but we are not acquainted with the proposition | and do not know it. involves such a connection with particulars. England. start from some one or when more particulars with which we are acquainted. and that. is what interests us the same. but with whatever might or could exist or be. We can thus describe the proposition we should like to affirm. In this we are necessarily defeated. All names the earth. in spite of the varying descriptions know B to is namely. since the actual Bismarck is unknown to us. which is to be true. Europe. B was an astute diplomatist. as considered by metaphysics. In logic. the judgment of which he himself is a constituent. however we may vary the description (so_long as the description is correct). should That when we say anything about Bismarck. though we know it is true. Solar System used.

which compose what is judgM. that the actual person who was Julius Caesar is knowing what about. The chief reason for supposing the principle true is seems scarcely possible to believe that we can make a judgment or entertain a supposition without that it it is that we are judging or supposing we make a judgment about (say) Julius Caesar. like Many to us is by known particulars. knownBy&quot.KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE 219 be seen that there are various stages in the there is removal from acquaintance with particulars It will : Bismarck to people who knew him/Bismarck to those of him through history K the man with the iron mask. I take to be judgments say that this or that a : a relation of a entities mind to several entities. advocate this principle. and case of propositions how which at will it I first be plain propose to why I meet the sight contravene it.ac^aint The^Tundamental epistemological analysis of propositions containing descriptions the in principle is this : Every proposition which we can understand must be comare acquainted. many universals. e. further. To begin with proposition a judgment. or of which we understand. the longest-lived of men^-^Tfiese are progres with particulars. . are only k description^T But here. as in the case of particu knowledge concerning what is known by description is is~ultlmately reducible to knowledge concerning what a nc e \S lars. posed wholly of constituents with which we FronTwhat has been said already.g. sively further removed from acquaintance who only know and there a similar hierarchy in the region of universals. it may But before going be well to explain what I mean when I is a constituent of a judgment. I the judge :- . If. Let us begin with the reasons for supposing the principle true. as an occurrence. namely. it is If plain not a constituent of the judgment.

&quot.&quot. we have not enough knowledge Supposing. that the relationship of supposing might be merely that of presentation. the constituents are myself and A and love and B and judging. and Meinong is right.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 320 A ioves B. &quot. In this view I now think I was mis taken. like judging. My reasons for this view have been set forth elsewhere. which is called my (upposing that A loves B. the judgment as an event consists in the existence. Thus. 2 is can suppose that A loves B. there is a complex whose terms are myself and A and love ind B. understanding a proposition. That is between to say. I formerly supposed. B. 1 and I shall not certain repeat them here. . I should say that there another relation possible between me and A and love and B. but the several constituents of the judgment or assumption are in a many-term relation to the mind. But myself and judging are constituents shared by all my judgments thus the distinctive constituents of the particular judgment in question are A and love and B. affect the_ab. at the time me and A and when I love and judge. we understand the proposition Amoves B. But my present view depends upon the theory that both in judgment and in assumption there is no single Objective. but the modification which I believe it to require does not &quot. Meinong. Coming now to what is meant by . Wittgenstein that this theory is somewhat unduly simple. passim. * Cf.Qve argument [1917]. of a specific four-term that relation. at a certain moment. of terms of the relation are called the constituents of the proposition enunciated Thus the principle which I supposed. I have been per Philosophical Essays. Assuming this view of judgment. Ueber Annahmen. and whose relating relation is judging. ffihus we often understand a When we &quot.&quot. The other proposition in cases where term relation. contrary to Meinong s view. be re-stated as follows \KWhenever a may 1 The Nature of Truth. the constituents of the judgment are simply the constituents of the complex which is the judgment. called judging. suaded by Mr. is a manywhich a mind is one Term. in the above case.

) But although ideas I may think the theory that judgments consist of in some such way. / Returning now to Julius Caesar. and indeed contending. we must substitute for the proper name a description made up of some of the I thing? I know about him. was e. The . But at this point it is necessary to examine the view that judgments are com ideas. upon Julius Caesar that We may mean by my &quot.KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE supposing or judging occurs. the terms relation of the mind supposing or judging to 221 which by the relation of is related supposing or judging must be terms with which the mind in This is merely to say that we question is acquainted. principle is seems to It I shall. a judgment or a supposition without know that we are making our judgment or sup make cannot ing what it is position about.&quot. &quot. principle. and that it is the posed of something called &quot. that in order to discover what is actually in my mind when judge about Julius Caesar. &quot. I assume that it will be admitted that he himself is not a constituent of any judgment which I can make. (A description which will often serve to express my thought is the man whose &quot. as a guide in analysing judgments that contain it descriptions. &quot. in and use me that the truth of this evident as soon as the principle what follows. For whatever else I may have forgotten about him. idea of is a constituent of my believe the plausibility of this view rests a failure to form a right theory of descriptions.g. is understood assume the . name was Julius Ccesar. I judgment. schoolboys. of Julius Caesar the things that that he conquered Gaul. yet I have been suggested think the theory itself is fundamentally mistaken. it is plain that when I mention him I have not forgotten that that was his name. and is a plague to I idea know about him. therefore. assassinated on the Ides of March. Now I am admitting.&quot.

and. however. in judging. Such a view. I say that we must substitute for &quot. and on is utterly obscure. adequately discussed. rather than any supposed purely mental entities. so far as I discoverable nothing by inspection warrants the intrusion of the idea between the mind and the object. idea. When. are constituents of the complex which is the judgment. acquaintance is wholly a relation. arid with the corollary that. suspect that the view is fostered by the dislike of that it is felt the mind could not know relations7)and unless the mind there were something &quot. in order . see. not demanding any such constituent of the mind as is supposed by advocates &quot. This is. its constituents must be constituents of the mind of the person judging. attain to the things^w. some description of Julius Caesar. ofcourse. can this view. &quot. ^^he^^ntrajy.^! hold that reason to believe that. there is in us something which can be called the idea of the object. &quot. a large question. veil in between us and outside knowledge. idea who has of something outside the idea.&quot.} The relation of mind. the actual objects concerning which we judge. therefore. I &quot. since the relation of idea to object will have to be explained by supposing that the idea the object.Julius Caesar&quot. since a mental event.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 222 view seems to be that there which the may mind be called the of the person &quot. some mental is existent &quot.e are supposed to be knowing about. and so on ad infinitum. itself I has an idea of therefore see no when we are acquainted with an object. and one far from our subject if it were wnich would take us I therefore content myself with the above indications. But in judgment this is view ideas become a we never things really. and that. but only to thq(ideasx)f those things. object. leads at once to a vicious endless regress.in objects which could be called the state of knowing the object. of ideas.

This conclusion. is also forced which must now be upon us by briefly re viewed. and that one was assassinated. Any right analysis of the judgment. must break up this phrase.was&quot. the man whose name was Suppose our description is our Let Ccesar&quot.) are concepts with which we are_ ac quainted. becomes Vjhe man whose name assassinated. judgment be Julius Caesar was Julius to discover the meaning of a &quot. It is common to distinguish two aspects.] Here Julius Casar is a noise or shape with which we are acquainted. _ &quot. to be further explained namely that 1* the man whose name was Julius must not.&quot. The judgment the man whose name was Julius C&amp. logical considerations. the constituents of the judgment. This. Thus ou judgment is wholly reduced to_ con Then assassinated. which we have reached from considerations concerned all with the theory of knowledge. as a whole. it was Julius Ccesar was stituents with which we are acquainted.&quot. be a constituent of our judgment. therefore. and all the other constituents of the judgment (neglecting the tense in &quot. requires a proviso. and not treat it as a subordinate complex which is part of the judgment..zar was assassinated may be interpreted as meaning one and only one man was./ KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE 223 judgment nominally about him. &quot.&quot. &quot. Here it is plain that there is no constituent corresponding to the phrase the man whose name was Julius Cczsar. however. &quot. Ccesar &quot.&quot. that is to say.lt. f&quot. there no reason to regard this phrase as expressing is Thus a constituent of the judgment. meaning ahd . this phrase must not. have a meaning which enters into the judgment. and we have seen that this phrase must be broken up if we are to be acquainted with shortly. I am not saying that we must substitute an idea. but Julius Caesar himself has ceased to be a constituent of our judgment. called Julius Casar. as a whole.

except in the case of proper names. of words which do not assign a property to an object. &quot. is &quot. for not believing the denotation to stituent of the proposition is that be a con we may know the pro position even when we are not acquainted with the denotation. consisting (at authorship and Waverley (with some relation/. 1911. though making because that the capable of a true interpretation. Thus when we say Scott is the author of Waverley or men are the same as featherless bipeds. not exist know &quot. that propositions concerning are possible even^vhen &quot. E.this&quot. is misleading I believe. will have a complex bipeds meajiing. The proposition &quot. &quot. in this sense. but merely and solely name it. containing as constituents the presence of two feet and the absence of feathers. is taken as if not a con stituent of the proposition.^) while its denotation will be the class of men. &quot. &quot. reason has been already sufficiently emphasised. in such phrases as The meaning will &quot. &quot. Jones. is a novelist that A &quot. i. of the diversity. 1 I believe duality of meaning and denotation. Mind. . which ^re strictly One reason proper names of particulars.&quot. fundamental. of meaning. and retain only &quot. &quot. I should now exclude I from proper names in the strict sense. &quot. we are assert ing an identity of denotation. namely./orr This &quot.&quot.g. C. denotation will be Scott. A New Law of Thought and its Implications.featherless least) of &quot. 1 [ This view has been recently advocated by Miss E.the author of Waverley was known to people who did not the author of Waverley denoted Scott. The denotation. 1017].MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 224 denotation. the author of Waverley.e.the so-and-so no denotation.&quot. be a certain complex. second reason so-and-so &quot. And I should hold further that. e. the has the golden mountain doei the round square is self-contradictory J3 Take. there are only two words./ Similarly &quot. January. and this assertion is wortr &quot.

is not self -contradictory. no judg actually involves the so-and-so as a constituent. object is in itself contradictory. * Mind. &quot. 1 1 Meinong. namely. . 1910. with Meinong. The real objection to such an argument is that the law of contradiction ought not to be stated in the traditional form A is not both B and not B. we are led to the conclusion that. on the ground that this ! it might. Utber Annahmen. be argued that this object. unlike the round square. but merely non-existent. by parity &quot.&quot.&quot. to those which attribute a predicate to a subject. If this is admitted. it is at once evident that is propositions about the present King of France or the round square can form no exception. does not presuppose that there is such an object. contradictory predicates concerning as (Jthe present King of France. p. July. Miss Jones 2 contends that there is no difficulty in admit such an object ting^. July. but in the form nc &quot.Dne. p. 380. The traditional form only applies to certain propositions. Scott is the author of Miss Jones 8 argues that &quot. 1 object as the round square&quot. &quot.&quot. but are just as in capable of being both true and false as other propositions. but We Meinong does not regard this as a con I fail to see that it is noJ. This. Leipzig. When the law stated of propositions. 2nd ed. that there are such If we objects as the golden mountain and the round square. Mind. 141. Indeed.. it but tradiction. of course. we have to say. ment concerning &quot. proposition is both true and false.Now however. even have although these objects do not have being.KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE 225 are to preserve the duality of meaning a^id denota tion. would not go to the root of the matter. 1910. 1910. 379. however. seems to me evident that the judgment t there is no such does not exist. the so-and-so of form. p.. to admit that the existent round square is existent. instead of being stated concern ing subjects and predicates.

we are asserting identity must not mean by denotation the mere If.) the element of mere conventionally a name for Scott here to the convention belongs separate words. first it place. &quot. to the thing named. opposed to denotation. relation of would be nearer to the &quot. considered above. as we should be if we said Scott is Sir Walter. author of Waverley is no longer arbitrary. Scott means Scott. &quot. is that author Thus &quot. (I neglect the fact. But there is some difficulty in choosing among alternative meanings of this con In the tention. the author of distinguish meaning and denotation in Scott has mean that to shall have we say Waverley. said that Scott is the author of Waverley. just as to the concept which is so called if we means this concept. Scott is merely a noise or shape conventionally used to designate gives us no information about that has nothing that can be called meaning as a certain person person. and it .&quot. nothing to do with names. &quot. which was a fact having name is what he is called. &quot. the relation of is that author &quot. the When it is are not stating that these are two names for one man. &quot.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 226 &quot. A man s &quot.&quot. the and Given what these words author and of and Waverley. then. . is the we Scott Also when say ing but not denotation. tion of &quot. Scott to Scott &quot. that would not have it was necessary for him made him be the author actually to write Waverley. should be observed that the author of Waverley is not a mere name. it we a name of denotation. really stand for But the author of Waverley is not merely descriptions. that even proper names. much had been called the author of Waverley. &quot. In fact.&quot. Waverley asserts identity of denotation between Scott and the author of Waverley. but however Scott . is the denota Scott truth to say that the meaning of The relation oi the author of Waverley. &quot. as a rule. we stand for. &quot. &quot. &quot. like Scott. .

&quot.KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE author of 227 &quot. &quot. &quot. &quot. &quot. but the first tells us nothing about Waverley and the second nothing about learn Marmion. When this analysis has been . the author of Waverley &quot. &quot. M. of Waverley. We &quot.&quot. would be the Thus Scott is the author of Marmion &quot. &quot. . . as &quot. M. of the author of Waver ley/ as opposed to the denotation.&quot. Waverley.&quot.&quot. and that its meaning is relevant in propositions in which it occurs. the author of Waverley asserts an identity of denotation. we must regard the as the denota denotation of the author of Waverley Miss Jones does. Thus M Then we are to suppose that Scott is the author of Waverley means Scott is the denotation of But here we are explaining our proposition by another of the same form. that Scott is &quot.&quot. &quot. tion of us what is meant by &quot. the author of the meaning of For if the to our assertion. attempt to regard our proposition as asserting identity of denotation breaks down. and it becomes imperative to find some other analysis. Hence the meaning &quot. &quot. that he wrote Waverley. since from the first we learn that Scott wrote Marmion and from the second we &quot. is certainly relevant Scott is the author of Waverley. and thus we have made no progress towards a real The denotation of like the author explanation. have thus agreed that the author of Waverley is not a mere name. &quot. &quot. call the meaning of the author of Waverley is what means. Thus the &quot. &quot. on the our If we call its meaning M theory we are examining M becomes of Scott is the denotation proposition But this leads at once to an endless regress.&quot.&quot. Thus if we are to say. same proposition as Scott is the author of Waverley/ But this is plainly not the case. M. to &quot. any other phrase with the same denotation would give the same proposition. the author of Let Waverley. relevant is Waverley denotation alone were relevant. &quot. has both meaning and denotation.

and he was Scott. &quot. does not occur. &quot.gt.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 228 we be able to reinterpret the phrase identity of denotation. This why we can understand is propositions about &quot. there is some one who wrote Waverley and Marmion. i. in Pnncipia Mathematical. &quot. some one. We are saying that there is some man who was the author of Waverley and the author of Marmion. Suppose we say the author of Waverley was the author of Marmion.e. That is to say. the&amp.&quot. It is plain that when we say Waverley is the author of Marmion. I am advocating is set forth fully. Vol. . the Waverley. in any proposition the author of Waverley.&quot.e.&quot. will certainly not saying that both were Scott we may have forgotten that there was such a person as Scott. &quot. in Mind.&quot. provided Scott is not first &quot. longer appears as a constituent of the &quot. i. without knowing who he was. 1 proposition. . which remains obscure so long as it is taken as fundamental. &quot.&quot. and he the author of Waverley when we say we mean one and only one man wrote &quot. ITT 1 The theory which logical . 1905 duction. Thus the identity is that of a variable. completed.&quot.&quot.e. of an indefinite subject. the denotation itself. Intro also. shall &quot. Here the identity Waverley. with grounds in its favour. we author of When mean &quot. but only the concept of denotation. October. an indeterminate subject (&quot. and Scott the author of Waverley has been analysed and no away. the is expresses &quot. The reason why it is imperative to analyse away the the of Waverley author phrase may be stated as the author of follows. is &quot. and no one else wrote them.). &quot. . Scott. we say the author of Waverley was a poet. man wrote Waverley. The point to observe is that. we are &quot. he between a variable. which explicitly be represented by a variable. i. Chap. I. less fully. about mentioned.&quot. &quot. one and only one was a poet was Scott &quot.

is &quot. &quot. and that some one one did. in the same sense (so far as concerns means author our present discussion) in which &quot. Thus. &quot.KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE We identity. i. &quot. of capable of truth. &quot. by the author of Waverley is to say that &quot. prepositional function. This is with the meaning of &quot. A very great of the we the many propositions naturally make about know &quot. &quot. position. actual man Scott. that a is so-and-so and else call a the we is. &quot. plainly not the case . it is in a right analysis of itself. its a certain universal. That is. &quot.&quot. meaning. &quot. &quot. : else did. We may now define the denotation of a phrase. not a constituent of this proposition. nothing denotation of the phrase the so-and-so. This is effected when the above proposition is analysed Some one wrote Waverley and no one as meaning &quot. the author of Waverley were a subordinate complex in the above proposition. &quot. but no other value is our judgment is a complex containing an undetermined constituent. the author of Waverley while the meanings (if any) of namely Scott. though phrases of which meaning. the author of Marmion and in the which have seen also that. &quot.e. in any sense meaning of a word is a constituent of a proposition in whose verbal Scott means the expression the word occurs.e. else This may also wrote Marmion and no be more simply expressed by x wrote Waverley saying that the prepositional function and Marmion. i. have a part do have a the above pro &quot. We are not identical. &quot. p . and becoming a proposition as soon as this constituent is determined.&quot. Thus the true subject i. some value of x makes it does.e. if meaning would have to be what was said to be identical the author of Marmion. a true. 229 have seen also that the common denotation. If we that the proposition a is the so-and-so is true. and no one else did &quot. and the only escape does not. &quot. &quot. the author of Waverley must disappear.&quot.

as we saw which the description occurs. Hence it naturally : comes to be supposed that the denotation is part of the But we proposition in which the description occurs. do not intend to say anything at present. any. the constituents but do not need acquaintance with propositions so. &quot. concerning which I and all. of the &quot. as practical men. whose grammatical subject denotation.&quot. propositions. true or remain false where a remain will also &quot. This is a obtain i e. we need acquaintance with of the description. in order to understand such . the so-and-so substitute for &quot. and that something : is &quot. and earlier in in such cases are only hindered by lack of acquaintance the description is merely the means we employ to get as near as possible to the denotation.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 230 &quot. both on logical and on epistemological grounds. so-and-so will stitute a for &quot. that this an is the denotation error. have seen. is . problem. we often wish to reach the denotation. remain true or remain the so-and-so.&quot. is The actual object not (unless it is (if any) which is explicitly mentioned) a constituent of propositions in which descriptions occur and this is the reason why. Hence. false if we we sub if the denotation is Such propositions so-and-so. the so-and- i.&quot. of the difficult meanings of some. The further and-so &quot. any other phrase having the same denotation. we become interested in the denotation more than in the description.e. its when applied to The first result of analysis. we something which is such-and-such. since the denotation decides as to the truth or falsehood of so statements in many Moreover. is the soanalysis of propositions concerning of the nature of thus merged in the problem the variable.&quot. There a proposition of the form alone is so-and-so. considering the relations of description and acquaintance. To sum up our whole discussion We began by dis- . is to substitute a variable as subject &quot.

&quot. are composed wholly of constituents with which we are acquainted. We have acquaintance with sense-data. is not composed of mental constituents called but consists of an occurrence whose con ideas. namely. (One at least must be a universal. we are said to hav3 knowledge of that one object by description. and to say that the objects denoted by such phrases are not constituents of judgments in which such phrases occur (unless these objects are explicitly 1 use this phrase merely to denote the something psychological enters into judgment. stituents are a mind and certain objects. when we know that the property or properties in question belong to one is . and possibly with ourselves. This con clusion forces us to analyse descriptive phrases occurring in propositions. knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description.KNOWLEDGE BY ACQUAINTANCE 231 tinguishing two sorts of knowledge of objects. I which .) When a judgment is rightly analysed. many universals. without intending to prejudge the question as to what this something is. Our knowledge of physical objects and of other minds is only knowledge by descrip tion. the objects which are con stituents of it must all be objects with which the mind to us &quot. for a constituent with which we are not acquainted is unintelligible to us. whether or not we are acquainted with the object. we found. but We have not with physical objects or other minds. the descriptions involved being usually such as involve sense-data. object and no more. know that it we when of an object descriptive knowledge with the object having some property or properties with which we are acquainted that is to say. 1 which is a constituent of it is acquainted. A judgment. particulars or universals. Of these it is only the former that brings the object itself before the mind. All propositions intelligible to us. whether or not they primarily concern things only known by description.

can only be analysed by breaking up the descriptive phrases. the so-and-so is such-and-such so-and-so and nothing else &quot. does not assert identity of meaning. and that the judgment cannot be explained by saying that it himself is affirms identity of denotation with diversity of meaning. introducing a vari able. author of Marmion was the author of Waverley. will and x is analysis of fresh problems. Scott not a constituent of our judgment. &quot. therefore. x is &quot. is The is. and making prepositional functions the ultimate subjects. mean that In fact.&quot. but the not undertaken in the . &quot. such-and-such is capable of truth. Such judgments. such judgments involves many discussion of these problems present paper.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC 232 This leads us to the view (recommended also on purely logical grounds) that when we say the mentioned). It also. &quot. plainly.

89 n Judgment. 125 Maxwell. 169 ff Constructions. 34 Free will. 132 Blake. 164 of. 51 Laplace. C. 23. 126. 97 ff 18. 185 ff. 174. 135 ff Kant. 81 Carlyle. 160 Locke. 62. 85. the relation Alexander. 42. conception 85. 92. 82 ff . 14 ff. the i Bosanquet. 82 Cause. 175. 220 . 76. 10. 81 ff. Aristotle. 99. Infinite. and the Meta physicians. 15. 22. 8. 76. 85. Heine. 84 ff. 97. ff Mill. 93 Faraday. 80 ff. 203 n Hume. 97. the. 94 Evolutionism. Education. 42 Gladstone. n8ff Knowledge by acquaintance. 214 ff and renunciation. 97 Logic. 125 American of. . William. 97. the. 43 Mathematics. 106 Construction of permanent things and matter. 97 Hegel. 41 Hertz. 23 Fano. 113 Bacon. 26 Berkeley. 99 Broad. Miss E. the laws 68 of. I ft ff defi : . 128. 34 Meaning and denotation. 50 ff ff. 64. 34 Realists. 177 i. 144. 193 ff Mysticism and logic. 37 ff Matter. 214 ff Leibniz. 43 Dedekind. the nature Euclid. 64. 223 Meinong. 58 ff. Georg. 78 nition ft.. 155 Darwin. 82 the mathematical. 75 ff and the infinitesimal. 105 ff IO I ff. 96. 50.INDEX and Achilles 89 the tortoise. 205 Frege. 82 ff * theorem. 22$ Calculus. ff. Macaulay and Taylor Descartes. 85 tf 97. 126 Descriptions. Bergson. Holt. 224 n. E. iSoff Christianity ff James. 219 Cantor. 28 of. 134 Heraclitus. 225 Militarism. 209 ff Good and evil. 23 Chuang Tzu. by description. 105. 100 Jones. logical. 74 ff and logic. 79. 177 ff Acquaintance. 185. 95 Malthus. 97. 91 of. 209 ff . Galileo.

201 ff Philosophy and logic. 76 Weierstrass. 21 ff. 114 ff. mological problem. 2O Sense-data. tically ff. 138 Nietzsche. sense-data and.MYSTICISM AND LOGIC *34 Necessity. 197 . ff Tristram Shandy. the iiolated. 1 1 1 Physics. . 118 ff deterministic. 157. the paradox 90 ff of. 199 Systems. awareness ff of. 198 prac . 12 ff Universals. 210 ff. 10. 125. 212 ff Ward. 80. 167 n Whitehead. 210 Peano. 175 Wolf. the prob lem in physics. and nhysics. 105 Unity and Plurality. 158 the space of. 22. 137 . 78 Sensibilia. the notion of. 50 i Time. ff ff 139 ff ff. awareness of. 158 private. 115 ff. isolated. 21 Particulars. 10. 95 Robb. 18. 82. 97 Pragmatism. logical problem. 84. 60. 18 Realism and the analytic method. the logic of. 80. 117. 180 Relatives. ff n ff. 173 Santayana. ff. 148 Space. 120 ff Reason and intuition. Zeno 89 the ff Eleatic. ff. mechanical. 141 167 ff. 76 Plato. 30. 22. 93 Perspectives. 145 Pierce. the episte 153 Parmenides. 207 ff Nunn. 7 ff. 64. 147. relatively .