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PRAGMATISM
A

NEW NAME FOR SOME OLD WAYS
OF THINKING

PKAGMATISM A NEW NAME FOR S0:ME OLD WAYS OF THINKING POPULAR LECTURES ON PHILOSOPHY BY WILLL^^M JAMES f NEW IMPRESSION LONGMANS. AND MADRAS 1921 . LONDON BOMBAY. CALCUTTA. GREEN AND FOURTH AVENUE & 39 30th STREET. CO. NEW YORK PATERNOSTER ROW.

1914^ August. 1919 April. 1916 September. 1910 1910. March.^^^ its LJ- COPYRIGHT 1907 BY WILLIAM JAMES ALL RIGHTS RESERVED First Edition June./-/ . October. April. 1913 January. 1921 /e^-^' /r. March. November.^ei. 1907 Reprinted July (twice). March. 1907 February. 1909. 191 1912. September. . 1908 March. November.

A J TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN STUART MILL FROM WHOM I FIRST LEARNED THE PRAGMATIC OPENNESS OF MIND AND WHOM MY FANCY LIKES TO PICTURE AS OUR LEADER WERE HE ALIVE TO-DAY ivi584a7{) .

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I believe. Much futile controversy might have if been avoided. our critics had been willing to wait until w^e got our message fairly out. like the it so-called it is — I do not name. They are December. and in January. that resulted. without developments or notes.PREFACE The lectures that follow were delivered in at the Lowell Institute in Boston November and York. I much unconcerted have sought itself to statement has to unify the picture as it presents my own eyes. 1906. but apparently too late to change — seems to have itself rather sudair. denly precipitated out of the A num- ber of tendencies that have always existed in philosophy have all at once become conscious of themselves collectively. at Columbia University. in New printed as delivered. and this has occurred in so many countries. and of their com- bined mission. and from so many different points of view. The pragmatic movement. and avoiding minute controversy. vii . dealing in broad strokes. 1907.

XV. John Dewey's Studies in Logical Theory' are the foundation. p. iv. 113 and 465. Probably the best statements to begin with however. xv. in Mind. 2 4^'^ Serie. vi. 293. Humanism. J. C. and in the Journal of Philo- sophy. vol. 7. xviii and xix. vols. I therefore give him a few * references. . p. Schiller's in his Studies * in i. pp. articles Also by Blondel and de Sailly in the Annales de Philosophie Chretienne. he will doubtless wish to read farther. see 1898. vol. are F.' especially the essays numbered V.PREFACE If my lectures interest any reader in the general subject. vii. French language. also ical Read by Dewey y the articles in the Philosoph- Review vol. Revue de Metaphysique. in the and the fine articles Roy and 9. Milhaud: by Le vols. 197. To avoid one misunderstanding at viii least. In America. and 3. Papini announces a book on in the Pragmatism. to be published very soon. Furthermore. 8 le Rationnel. His previous essays and in general the polemic literature of the subject are fully referred to in his footnotes. S.

PREFACE let me say that there is no I logical connexion it. between pragmatism. Harvard University. One may entirely reject and still be a pragmatist. as understand 'and a doctrine which I have recently set forth as 'radical empiricism. . 1907. April.' its The latter stands it on own feet.

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65.. facts. it. 17. An objection. equivalent to 'humanism. 73. Rationalistic criticisms of 66. 39. Pragmatism unstiff ens discussion. The problem The Eucharist. Earlier views of mathematical. How true far the concept of the Absolute is must be 75. 88. 15. Spencer as an example. 89. it The Pragmatism as a method. Schiller's More 58. LECTURE What Pragmatisivi IMeans squirrel. 4. History of the contrasts with method. 64. 77. Pragmatism as Barrenness of mediator between empiricism and transcendental idealism. philosophizing. as an example. I. Prag- matism as a theory views. 21.. 46. 43. . II 43 45. 79. is I DileiMma in Philosophy 3. logical. Rationalists and The tender-minded and Most men wish both facts and religion. called true. The layman's Leibnitz dilemma. Swift on the optimism of Pragmatism as a mediating system. 3 Chesterton quoted. 27.' 54. LECTURE sidered III Some Metaphysical Problems Pragmatically Con85 of substance. How and intellectualism. 31. M. 51. idealists. Older truth arose The 69. Rationalism gives religion without 19. 57. The the good in the way of belief.. 16. 23. of truth. the tough-minded. Older truth always has to be kept account of. Reply: philosophies have characters like men. xi Locke's of per- . a factor in all Everyone has a philosophy. and natural truth. 34. Berkeley's pragmatic treatment of material substance. 71. Empiricism gives facts without religion. rationalism Its character and aflSnities. Temperaempiricists.CONTENTS LECTURE The Present ment 9. A 'corridor theory. 7. The formation of new beliefs. 35. on the damned. The unreality in rationalistic systems. 'humanistic' doctrine.' 55. 56. 60. The clash of truths. and are liable to as summary judgments. 52. 59. recent and Dewey's 'instrumental* view. 85. religion. similarly. 12.

119. The question is what prag- design. Rationalistic is treatment of it. 170. 122^ these problems is what do the alternatives LECTURE The One and the Many Total 130. Conclusion: We must oppose monistic dogmatism and follow the empirical findings. They came grad- ually into use. 197. One story. Kinds. sense concepts.' 115. unless he promise more. Its relations to 'ac- countabuity. 149. 133. The matic issu^^ stake in promise. The problem of design.' 178. 139. Valueof pragmatic method. ll 14.' 192. Earlier Prehistoric ancestors discovered the ways of thinking remain. 148. Space and time. Question of one origin. The problem all of 'free-will. Its One subject of discourse. 100. Absolute monism. 127. reflection. The problem of materialism. 'Things. 103. the world one in many ways. Wh^t does agreement with reality mean? 198-217. 96. common 179. IV . Verifiability means xii . 165 How our knowledge grows. Vivekanda. 185.' 116. Pragmatic treatment. 134. Pragmatic comparison of the two principles. 167. It means verifiability. 92. is Pragmatically consid- ered. 'Cause' and 'law. 201. 93. One time and space. oneness and manyness are Greneric oneness. Various types of union discussed. 160. 90. 173. Common sense one stage in mental evolution. Impossible compared more 'true. List of them. One purpose. 113.' 180. 132. 143. One knower.CONTENTS sonal identity. 177. LECTURE V Pragmatism and Common Sense Noetic pluralism. Its parts interact. 156. 145. 152. 'God' no better than 'Matter' as a principle. to say which is the LECTURE VI 197 Pragmatism's Conception of Truth The polemic situation. 109. 140. and 2) philosophic. co-ordinate. 127 Philosophy seeks not only unity. 180. 131. Free-will a cosmological theory. The 'critical' stages: 1) scientific with common sense. but totality. 132. 169. 166. Rationalistic feeling about unity. 138. 174. 137. 'Design' 'per se is barren. due to geniuses.

213. Com- pleted verifications seldom needful. 202. Pragmatism is melioristic. 293. 'tender' The and the 'tough' types of Pragmatism mediates. 278. VIII 273 Whitman's poem 'To You. friend's letter. 284. Supposed healthy and the morbid reply. 207. Tough-mindedness rejects them. etc. Motives for this. 'Possibility* defined. religion. LECTURE Pragmatism and Humanism The Three 244.' 274. with previous truths. 226. sorts of reality of on 'Humanism. LECTURE Pragmatism and Religion Utility of the Absolute. 287. Absolutely independent To is 'take account' is hard to find. 291. Rationalist objections. reality VII 239 Schiller notion of the Truth. 223. Pragmatism mediates. Why should anything he? 288. 224. 297. ambiguous. Rationalism affirms a transempirical world. A genuine alternative. 276. them.CONTENTS ability to guide us prosperously through experience. 209. 283. wealth. Essence of pragmatism's contrast w^ith rationalism. . 214. Rationalist objections. 229. 218. 260.* 242. We may The create reality. 'Eternal' truths. which any new truth must take account. 239. to Truth grows. Three views of the world's salvation.. Two ways of taking it. It is expedient thinking. Truth is a good. 264. 210. like health. 257. 290. 222. 286. The Reply past. with language. given. 220. 273. My Necessities versus possibilities. 282. Consistency. choice before creation. 266. 262. 248. The human contribution is ubiquitous and builds out the 259. 245. 250.

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I THE DILEMMA IN PHILOSOPHY .

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but to more important know the enemy's is phil- osophy.^-"^^'^V-:^ There are sorae people — _ / and I am one of them — who think that the . ladies . j . Chesterton in this matter. We think the ^question notjwhether the theory of the cosmos^affects matters.LECTURE I THE PRESENT DILEMMA IN PHILOSOPHY In the preface to that admirable collection of ' ^ ^ essays of his called Heretics/ ^rites these words *' : Mr. ' 3 . but whether in the^long run anything thenj. I/^^^v^ /^ know and gentlero en ^have jt p hilosophy eacl^ and all of you and that the LAJl^^^^ ^ most interesting and important thing about you y that ^ou." I think with else affects * ^ Mr. Qiestertoi^. but more think it is his philosophy. most practical and important^ thing about a man is still his yiewofjhe universe We still think it is that for a landlady considering a lodger important to important to know know his income. We that for a general about to fight an enemy important to still know the enemy's numbers.

I wish to fill you with sympathy with a contemin poraneous tendency lieve. am about is For the philosophy which is so im- portant in each of us litis not a technical matter. which I profoundly be- and yet I have to talk like a professor to you who are not students. I have no right assume that in the many of you are students of the cosmos classroom sense. yet here I stand desirous of iliteresting you in a philosophy which to no small extent has to be technically treated. it determines the perspect- ive in your several worlds. You know the same of me. No faith in anything of that cheap kind! 4 I . sense of what It is ourjnore or less dumb life ihonestly and deeply means. And yet I confess to a certain tremor at the audacity of the enterprise which I to begin. AYhatever universe a professor believes in must at any rate be a uni- verse that lends itself to lengthy discourse. .PRAGMATISM is the way in which. is A universe definable in two sentences some- thing for which the professorial intellect has no use. only partly got from books seeing it is our individual way of just and feeling the total push and pressure to of the cosmos.

— flashes of brilliant light relieved against of us.THE DILEMMA larize IN PHILOSOPHY try to have heard friends and colleagues philosophy in this very popu- hall. or good see and and how every one in the place pricks up his all ears. Philosophy's results concern us most vitally. Let a controversy begin smoking-room anywhere. I fancy. even though neither we nor the disputants understand them. about free-will evil. thrill. and the results were only partially encouraging. There in it^ust be confessed. We in a get the problematic we feel the pre- sence of the vastness. So is my enterprise a bold one. Cimmerian darkness! None all understood that he said — yet here I stand. The founder of pragof lec- matism himself recently gave a course tures at the Lowell Institute with that very word in its title. or God's omniscience. — they brought good audiences. making a very similar ven- I risk it because the very lectures I speak of drew is. a curious fascination hearingj^eepjthingsjalked about. ture. and then technical. and philosophy's queerest arguments 5 . but they soon grew dry.

fer ing upon us philosophers. It bakes no bread. its manners. These illuminations at least.' as has been said. fas aut nefas. of darkness and the contrast-effects and mystery that accompany them.PRAGMATISM tickle agreeably our sense of subtlety and in- genuity. its doubting and quibbling and dialectics. you some news Philosophy is at once the^most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits. is ^iy^jMAAJi/\}^ The history of philosophy to a gr eai-e^tent te mp£ra- that of a certain cla s h of human ^^ ments. to try to impart to of the situation. as its and repugnant challenging. it give to what says an interest that is much r^ U ck}j^i^^^ '^ more than professional. Believing in philosophy myself devoutly. and believing also that a kind of new dawn is breakI feel impelled. It it works in the minutest crannies * and opens out the widest vistas. Undignified as such a treatment may '^*tV . often people. but it can inspire our souls with courage. no one of us can get are to common along without the far-flashing beams of light it sends over the world's perspectives.

Wanting reit. even though they may far excel in_the him in dialectical ability. he tries.THE DILEMMA IN PHILOSOPHY seem to some of my colleagues. and considers ' in his heart in it. it. when philosophizing. It loads the evidence for him one way or the other. so he urges impersonal reasons only for his conclusions. Yet his temperament any really gives him a_ stronger bias than of his more strictly objective premises. philosopher is. to sink the fact of his temperament.' them incompetent and not in the philosophic business. a universe that suits he believes in any presentation of the universe that does suit He feels men of opposite temper to be out of key with the world's character. Tempera- ment is no conventionally recognized reason. just as this fact or that principle would. Yet forum he can make no claim. I shall have to take account of this clash and explain a good many of the divergencies of philosophers by Of whatever temperament a professional it. to su7 . on '* the bare ground of his temperament. He trusts his temperament. making for a more sentimental or a more hard-hearted view of the universe.

and be dissatisfied with 8 . Locke. and end by following the fashion or taking up^with Jhe beliefs of the most impressive philosopher in our neighborhood. see them in his own peculiar way. and I accordingly feel free to do Of tively course I am talking here of very posiof radical idiosyn- marked men. I to clearness this rule if am sure it would contribute we should break it. in these lectures and mention so. who have set their stamp and likeness on philosophy and figure in its history. Plato. Most of us have. We hardly know our SQme ol own preferences in abstract matters. of course. Hegel. There arises thus a certain insincerity in our philosophic discussions : the potentest of all our premises is never mentionfid. in But the one thing that has counted so far is philosophy straight that a man should see things.PRAGMATISM perior discernment or authority. Spencer. whoever he may be. are such temperamental thinkers. men cracy. each one present very moderately. we a fixture of opposite ingredients. no are very definite intellectual temperament. u§ are easily talked out of them.

rians and anarchists. authorita- and-eas^ persons. so it a difference rather of emphasis yet it breeds antipathies of the most pungent character between those who lay the emphasis differ- ently . In manners we find formalists and freeIn government. government. and You recognize these contrasts as familiar. . In literature. in philosophy we have a very t^^r r^^ ^nailar contrast expressed in thp ' pajy p f rationalist ' and ' em p iri oist / f acts iii_all 'empiricist' their crude meaning^your lover of variety. well. In romantics. art. 'rationalist' meaning your devotee to abstracL§iid_eternal princi^^ live No and one can an hour without both is facts principles. Q^' Now ment marks is the particular difference of tempera'/Y^^^T*"*^'**^ that I have in mind in making these re. purists or_ art.THE DILEMMA any opposite way IN PHILOSOPHY There is of seeing them."^^^-W^^*"^^^"^ one that has counted in literature. and we shall find it extraordinarily con- 9 . classics academicals^ ancJLrealists. and manners as well as in philosophy. no reason to suppose that this strong tempera- mental vision is from now onward to count no longer in the history of man's beliefs.

10 Empiricists on the .' Well. More the simple and massive than are usually of men whom the terms are predicated. For every is sort of permutation and combination nature. Lgelect types of combination that nature offers v^ry frequently.possible in human I now pro- ceed to define more fully what I have in mind when I sp^k of rationalists and empiricists. by adding to each of those titles some secondary qualifying characteristics. and if . but by no means uniformly.PRAGMATISM venient to express a certain contrast in men's ways of taking their universe. and I select them solely for their convenience in helping me to my ulterior purpose of charac- terizing pragmatism. These terms make the contrast simple and massive. Historically we find the terms 'intellectualism' and 'sensationalism' used as synonyms of 'rationalism' and 'empiricism. nature seems to combine most idealistic frequently with intellectualism an and optimistic tendency. I beg you to regard my conduct as to a certain extent arbitrary. by talking of the •'empiricist' and of the * rationalist' temper.

his aflSrmations.THE DILEMMA other hand are not IN PHILOSOPHY materialistic. so I but there much it. and the empiricist will fatalist — I use the terms most popube of larly current. and makes whole a collection calling — is not averse therefore to itself pluralistic. Rationalism usually considers itself is more religious than empiricism. you will practically recognize the two types of mental make-up 11 that I mean if I head . is what is called a man and w^hen the individual empiricist prides himself on being hard-headed. w^hile the may be more sceptical and open to I will write these traits I think down in two columns. Rationalism is always It starts moBistic from wholes and universals. The rationalist finally will dogmatic temper in empiricist discussion. and makes much of the unity of things ^ Empirof the icism starts from the parts. uncommonly is and their optimism apt to be decidedly con- ditional and tremulous. this claim. to say It is about merely mention a true claim w^hen the individual rationalist of feeling. In that case the rationalist will usually also be in favor of what be a is called free-will.

Empiricist (going by ' by principles ') facts ') ^i^^Ui*/^«ir?w^J) i. Pluralistic. characterized as I have written them down. It suf- our immediate purpose that tender- minded and tough-minded people. Irreligious. Each of you probably knows some well-marked of each type. Religious. Dogmatical.1^^^^ » PRAGMATISM by the ' the columns * titles * tender-minded and ' tough-minded respectively. Pessimistic. whenever as individ- uals their temperaments have been intense. other. example and you know what each example thinks of the example on the other side of the line. Sceptical. Free-willist. Fatalistic. ^ Optimistic. They have a low opinion of each Their antagonism. has 12 . Sensationalistic. Pray postpone for a moment the question whether the two contrasted mixtures which I have written down are each inwardly coherent and self-consistent or not to say — I shall very soon have a good deal fices for on that point. The Tender-minded. / Idealistic. i>^>itf»^c-^/^ Materialistic. J Monistic. Rationalistic (going * The To ugh-minded.^tj^^^ju^X^^r'^^ < Intellectualistic. do both exist.

— let us adopt a sort of pluralistic is Everything of course 13 necessarily . of course facts. Each type itself . Most have a hankering sides of the line. indubitably one if you is it look at it one way. few of us are tender-foot Bostonians pure and simple. is Their mutual reaction very much like that that takes place when Bostonian tourists mingle with a population like that of Cripple Creek. forms a part of the philosophic atmosphere to-day. but as indubitably at it many. believes the other to be inferior to in the but disdain in one case it is mingled with amusement. in philosophy.THE DILEMMA IN PHILOSOPHY formed in all ages a part of the philosophic It atmosphere of the time. — give us of Principles are good — give us plenty of The world in is principles. The tough think of the tender as sentimentalists and softheads. Now% as I have already insisted. It is both one and many monism. if you look in another. and few are typical Rocky Mountain of us toughs. lots for the good things on both Facts are good. the other has a dash of fear. callous. or brutal. The tender feel the tough to be unre- fined.

Our children. never straight- ening out his system. and yet of course our wills are free: a sort of free-will determinism sophy. .PRAGMATISM determined. are alfor facts It is most born scientific. Jiever '^re^as^many rnen of a decidedly empiricist j^rocliyity in existence as there are at the pre- sent day. but the whole can't be evil so practical pessimism may be combined with metaphysical optimism. But some of us are more than mere laymen in philosophy. but living vaguely in one plausible compartment of it or another to suit the temptations of successive hours. your ordinary philosophic And so forth — layman never being a radical. But our esteem has not neutralized in us 14 all religiousness. We are worthy of the name of amateur athletes. inconsistency and We cannot preserve a good intellectual conscience so long as we keep mixing incompatibles from come to the first positively im- opposite sides of the line. one may say. and are vexed by too much vacillation in our creed. And now I portant point which I wish to make. is the true philo- The evil of the parts : is undeniable.

Our scientific temper is devout.^w of philosophy is an empirical philosophy that enmigh^and_a not r eligious is jLjr(j' om-A religious philosophy that not huJjCa^^^-^ empiric al en ough for your pur pose. A very large number you here present. and the 'conflict blast. If you look to the quarter ^ where facts are most considered in you find the whole tough-minded program operation. And being an in amateur and not an independent originator philosophy he naturally looks for guidance to the experts and professionals whom he finds of already in the field. situation to be. {^ . Now take a man of this type. of you.? Now what kinds actually offered to do you find )iXj}^ Kjuun^ meet your need You fin d^^ '. he wants science. unwilling after the fashion mix a hodge-podge system of a common layman. between science Either it and religion' in full is that Rocky Mountain tough 15 of a Haeckel with his . and what does he find his Lord He_ wants facts. possibly a majority are amateurs of just this sort.THE DILEMMA IN PHILOSOPHY itself almost religious. in this blessed year of our 1906.? but he also wants a_religion. and let him be to also a philosophic amateur. ^^.

tion of man's importance. but ^ ^ ^LMlx^/ ^ui-tt . or Spencer treating the world's history as a redistribution of matter and motion solely. what is as is inert by- higher is explained by what ever as a case of * lower and treated for- nothing but' — nothing but You something else of a quite inferior sort. get. Ideals appear products of physiology. in short. he he an absorber. it it is who must accommodate truth. She who stands firm. she must never show her face inside the temple.PRAGMATISM materialistic jest at it is monism. Eor^ hundred and ment fifty years past the pro- 6ciw^ egress of science has seemed to mean the enlargeand the result huM^ of the material universe dirninuis W\/^^i^-<r>J~~->. his ether-god and his your God as a 'gaseous vertebrate'. Let him record submit to inhuman though be. The what '^^^/j\ one may call is the growthj^i^^atumhsticj^r^ tivistic feeling* Man is no lawgiver it is to nature. and it! The romantic spontaneity and is courage are gone. a material'stic universe. and bowing door: religion politely out at the front — she may indeed continue to exist. in which 16 . himself. the vision materialistic and depressing.

By the radical wing of religious philosophy I mean the so- called transcendental idealism of the Angla- Hegelian scho ol. ? what do you find Religious philosophy in our day and generation is. men and Royce.THE DILEMMA IN PHILOSOPHY only the tough-minded find themselves congenially at If home. of the dogmatic scholastic theism still taught rigorously in the seminaries 17 . the other has more the more fighting a slow retreat. This philosophy has greatly influenced the more studious It is members of our protestant ministry. pantheistic. now. however. That ^theism remains. on the other hand. the Cairds. of is two main types. the philosophy of such as Green. through one stage of conces- sion after another. It is the lineal descendant. and undoubtedly it has al- ready blunted the edge of the traditional theism in protestantism at large. Bosanquet. among us English-reading people. One of these more radical air of_ and aggressive. of religious and take counsel the tender-minded philosophies. you turn to the quarter for consolation.

James Martineau. this is Fair-minded and candid as is philosophy not radical in tem- per. It lacks prestige in con- sequence. Ij a. and those of the scienti- evolutionists and agnostics. a thing of compromises. to For a long time it used be called among us the philosophy of the It is Scottish school. the men that give us this kind of a philosophy.' fic on the one hand.PRAGMATISM of the catholic church. but does nothing active enthusiastic with them. the it facts of cerejor bral physiology. Professor Bowne.c- vcepts the facts of Darwinism. what I meant by the philosophy that has the air of fighting a slow retreat. that all seeks a modus vivendi above things. It eclectic. These two systems are what you have to choose between if you turn to the tender-minded _ school. It lacks the victorious and aggressive note. Professor Ladd and you others. whereas absolutism has a certain prestige due to the more radical style of it. must feel themselves rather tightly squeezed. on the other. And if you are ^he lovers of facts I have 18 . like. Between the encroachments of * the Hegelians and other philosophers of the Absolute.

the it. absolute that mind which they show us mind makes our universe by thinking might. You have to go to the is world which he has created to get any inkling of his actual character: he the kind of god that has once for all made that kind of a world. single actIt is ual particular from the notion of patible with com- any state of things whatever being true here below. for aught they to the contrary.THE DILEMMA IN PHILOSOniY^ supposed you to be. overl^iJ|i. as sterile a And the theistic God is almost principle.^u>K^^. everything that lies on that side of the line. . The more absolutistic philo- sophers dwell on so high a level of abstraction that they never even try to come down. You escape indeed the materialism that goes . have made any one as well as this. Abso- lutism has a certain sweep and dash about 19 it. with the reigning empiricism but you pay for your escape by losing contact with the concrete parts of life. you find the trail of ihe^^^TU^^^^ serpent of rationalism. of a million other universes just You can deduce no it. The offer us. of intellectualism. lives The God of the theistic writers on as purely abstract heights as does the Absolute.

PRAGMATISM while the usual theism are equally remote is more insipid. You want a system that will combine both hings. in short. but that will make some positive connexion with this actual world of finite human lives. What you want is a philosophy that will not only exercise your powers of intellectual abstraction. you find a philosophy that indeed out of may call itself religious. piricism with else You find emor inhumanism and rationalistic irreligion. I am not sure how many of you live close enough to philosophy to realize fully last what I mean by this tle reproach. whether of the religious or of the romantic type. And_this is then vour dilemma : you find the two parts of your quaesitum hopelessly separated. the spirit of adaptation and accommodation. so I will dwell a lit- longer on that unreali ty in 20 all rationali stic . but both and vacuous. the scientific loyalty to facts and will- ingness to take account of them. but also the old confidence in human values and the resultant spontaneity. but that keeps all definite touch with concrete facts and joys and sorrows.

muddy. clean and noble. Purity and . painful and perplexed. The world to which is your philosophy-professor introduces you simple. began by saying had always taken for granted that when you entered a philosophic classroom you had to that he open relations with a universe entirely distinct left from the one you behind you in the street. that you could not possibly occupy your mind with them at the same time. The contradictions from it. logical necessities cement 21 parts. to have so to do with each other. of real life are absent Its architecture is its classic. he said.THE DILEMMA is IN PHILOSOPHY -ZT^ ^ systems ^y which your serious believer in facts so apt to feel repelled. I wish that I had saved the first couple of pages of a thesis which a student handed a year or two ago. Principles of reason trace its outlines. clearly that I me to They illustrated my point so sorry I can not read am them you now\ This young man. who was a graduate of some Western college. The two were little supposed. The world of concrete personal is experiences to which the street belongs multi- tudinous beyond imagination. tangled.

their surprises and cruelties. Rejinement intellectualist philo- what characterizes our sophies^ They exquisitely satisfy that craving for a refined object of contemplation which is so powerful an appetite of the mijid. on their awful bewilderments. temperament. 22 . is I may use the word tem- perament here. and then to tell me whether 'refined' is the one inevit- able descriptive adjective that springs to your lips. But I ask this you in all seriousness to look abroad on colossal universe of concrete facts. stitute for Its it is it. a if way of escape. on the wildness which they show. a sub- a remedy. hill. upon a c lassic sanctuary in which the rationalist fancy may take refuge from the intolerably con- fused^and gothic character which mere facts present. another thing altogether. utterly alien to the temper- ament is of existence in the concrete. It is no explanation of our concrete universe.PRAGMATISM dignity are of what it most expresses. It is a kind marble temple shining on a In point of fact it is far less an account of this actual world than a clear addition built it .

true philosophy that hreathes^^out nothing but refinement will never satisfy the epapiricist temper of min. and practical men shaking phiK osophy's dust off their feet _ and following the call of the w^ild. Let me quote a specimen of what I mean.d. So we find men of science preferring to turn their backs on meta-. falls to Leibnitz to consider the 23 . in of which he sought to justify the ways God to man.THE DILEMMA IN PHILOSOPHY Refinement has enough. Truly there is something a little ghastly in f^^jh^*' /)* « the satisfaction wdth which a pure but unreal •U- ^^ system a rationalist mind. Yet if you wish for superficiality incarnate. you have only ten ' to read that charmingly wTit' Theodicee of his. It will seem rather a monument of artificiality. Leibnitz w^as ^^^\ji a rationalist mind. and to prove that the world we live in is the best of possible worlds. But a^ its place in things. wath infinitely more interest ^j^*^ will fill \)\ in facts than most rationalist minds can show. Among other it obstacles to his optimistic philosophy. physics as on something altogether cloistered and spectral.

The God. as big as ours or bigger. we once consider the real magnitude of the City of God. in our human than that of those saved.. Even then. and even the notion tipodes gave for them pause.' little book. But to-day. The rest of the world them consisted of some shining globes and a few crystalline spheres. he assumes as a premise from the theologians. had It them that only our earth of our an- inhabitants. But he failed to compass the extent of the kingdom of the heavens. it is infinitely greater. tho follow that these need all it has to does not is be men. That case.. this and then proceeds to argue in way. whatever be the limits that we Universe may grant or refuse it to the we must recognize in a countless number of globes. Our earth 24 . Coelius Secundus Curio has written a Amplitudine Regni Coelestis. 'De re- which was printed not long ago.PRAGMATISM number of the eternally damned. ancients had small seemed to ideas of the works of . it which have just as much right as support rational inhabitants. he says evil will "The appear as almost nothing in if comparison with the good.

. Now bited by none but all these suns7?2a?/be inha- happy creatures.THE DILEMMA only one IN PHILOSOPHY among all the six principal satellites of our sun. may there not be a great space beyond the region of the stars. . be replete with happiness and glory. since only a satellite of one among them.? space. immense . and nothing obliges us to believe that the number of damned which good is persons is very great. surrounding And this . since there no reason to suppose that there are stars every- where. As the fixed stars are suns. being which we are yet the evils that almost w^hich lost in is nothingness compared with that to us. . all this region. What now becomes Earth and of to its of the consideration of our ? denizens Does less it not dwindle something incomparably than a physical point. with the distance of the fixed part of the Universe which Thus the we know. for a very jew instances suffice for the utility evil. but unknown obliged to admit. and 25 all we . and samples draws from Moreover. since our Earth is but a point compared stars. may . one sees how small a place among it is visible things our earth takes up.

nor at the is reparation of the injury. The damned draw to themselves ever new 26 . It is thus that the torments of the damned continue. even as beautiful music or a fine piece of architecture satisfies a well-constituted mind. This justice in founded satisfac- pure fitness. away from and that the rewards of the blest continue.. even tho they serve no longer to turn any one sin. . in even tho they confirm no one good ways. which finds a certain tion in the expiation of a wicked deed." Leibnitz continues elsewhere '* There is a kind of justice which aims neither at the at furnishing amendment an example of the criminal.PRAGMATISM know lying in this almost-nothing.. and which God has reserved for himself at many junctures. The to this punitive Socinians and justice. but wise lookers-on. Hobbes objected is which properly vindictive justice. nor to others. and all not only the offended party. It is always founded in the satisfies fitness of things. it follows that the evils may be almost-nothing in com- parison with the goods that the Universe contains.

" Leibnitz's feeble grasp of reality is too obvi- ous to need comment from me. the more unequitably grounded gives us is is the glory of the blest. The opti j mism of present-day rationalism sounds ust Rs^hgJ]i:iS£ to th^ fp<"t-l^ving min*^ The actual universe is a thing wide open. And do to not me that to show the shallow- '>^!r - ness of rationalist philosophizing I have had ^^^^^^^\^^^ ^itc^^-'^'^^^ go back to a shallow wigpated age. and systems must be 27 . fljl. makes systems. facts are . Both . all for God made things harmonious in perfection as I have already said. What he /J\ a /^^ »-' • a cold literary exercise. blest attract ever fresh joys progress in good.THE DILEMMA penalties IN PHILOSOPHY and the by their unceasing by their continuing sins. founded on has the principle of fitness. but rationalism closed. . It is evident that no realistic image of the experience of a damned of his soul had ever approached the it portals mind. Nor had is occurred to him that of ' the smaller the number samples of the ' genus 'lost-soul' whom God throws as a sop to the eternal fitness. whose cheer- ful substance even tell hell-fire does not warm.

but I confess that I sympathize a good deal. and some of you. ' of city reporter's items cides. will sympathize heartily with his dissatisfaction with the idealisti c optimisms ' pamphlet on He begins his Human Submission w ith a series now in v offlie. Swif t. deaths from newspapers (sui- from starvation. For instance ** After trudging through the snow from one hope of end of the city to the other in the vain securing employment. and with his wife and six children without food and ordered to leave in their home an upper east-side tenement- . I find a fine example of revolt against the airy and shallow optimism osophy in a of current religious phil- publication of that valiant an- archistic writer Morrison little I.PRAGMATISM For men far off in practical life perfection still is something This finite is and in process of achievement. is for rationalism but the illusion of the and relative: the absolute ground of things a perfection eternally complete. I know. and the of like) as specimens our civilized regime. Mr. Swift's anarchism goes a farther than mine does.

THE DILEMMA IN PHILOSOPHY life house because of non-payment of rent. These of the Universe. writes Professor Royce (The World and 29 . Thoroughly his Corcoran returned to find his wife home night to and children without food and the notice of dispossession on the door.' says a writer in a recent English review. Swift goes on] filled an encyclopedia might easily be with their kind. but he was too weak from illness. Corcoran lost his position three weeks ago through illness. and during the period of idleness his scanty savings disappeared. trial and was forced with the shovel. "The before records of many more such . John Corcoran. to quit after an hour's Then the weary task of looking for employment was discouraged. to-day ended his by drinking carbolic acid. On lie the following morning he drank the poison. a clerk. [The very presence is of ill in the temporal order the condition of the perfection of the eternal order. few I cite as an interpretation 'We are aware of the presence of God in his world. last again resumed. Yesterday he obtained work with a gang of city snow-shovelers. cases me [Mr.

' says F. Now what does thinking about the excome to. and philosophy.PRAGMATISM the Individual. ) . 385) . while those who of live and feel know truth.] ' The Absolute is the richer for every discord and for all the diversity which it embraces. 204). ii. H. these slain that is He means that men make the universe richer. It is the per- sonal experience of those best qualified in our circle of knowledge to have experience. But while Professors Royce of guileless thor- and Bradley and a whole host oughfed thinkers are unveiling Reality and the Absolute and explaining away evil and pain. And the mind — not yet the mind of osophers and of the proprietary — but mankind class phil- of the great mass of the silently thinking 30 men and . Bradley (Ap- pearance and Reality. this is the condition of the only beings known to us anywhere in the universe with a developed consciousness of what the universe is. it perience of these persons directly compared to it ? and personally feeling as they feel The philosophers are dealing in shades. to tell us what is. What these people experience is Reality. It gives us an absolute phase of the universe.

It is in the mental world what atoms or sub-atoms are in the physical. help- lessly existing in their monumental vacuity. primary. is coming They are judging the universe as they have hitherto permitted the hierophants of religion and learning to judge them. men. facts invincibly prove religion a nullity. This Cleveland workingman. indestructible. is Its time up. of this world's after millions of years of opportunity and twenty centuries of Christ. It cannot all be glozed over or minimized away by treatises the on God. And what all it blazons to man is the imposture of philosophy which does not see in such events the consummate These factor of all conscious ex- perience. . Man will not give religion two thouto try is sand centuries or twenty centuries more itself its and waste human time. and Love. it. killing his children is and himself [another of the cited cases] this one of the elemental stupendous facts of modern world and of this universe. its own record ends 31 . . probation ended. This is one of the simple irreducible elements life.THE DILEMMA feeling IN rillLOSOPIIY to this view. and Being. ** .

Part Second. the verdict of every seriously inquiring amateur in philo- sophy to-day who turns to the philosophy-pro- fessors for the wherewithal to satisfy the ful- ness of his nature's needs.' of us philosophers. 1905. I thank you."^ is the reaction of an empiricist rationalist bill of fare. . 82 Liberty Press. for after all. pp. tho possibly less is tensely charged with feeling. Human Stibmisnon. He becomes of us Tender or tough.' 'Religion. Empiricist writers give him a materialism. It is mind upon the lute an abso- *No. rationalists give him something but to that religion 'actual thus the judge finds things are blank. 4-10. religious.' says Mr. he us wanting. is at this point that my own solution begins ^ Morrison I. the mind whose dissatisfactions are fatal in the long run. Swift. Swift.' And such. his the typically of perfect mind. the mind sum whose decriticisms mands and It is greatest.PRAGMATISM Mankind has Such not aeons and eternities to spare for trying out discredited systems. 'is like a sleep-walker to whom actual things are blank. None may the treat his verdicts is disdainfully. Philadelphia.

what a barbaric disjunction! And. and when every possible sort of combination and transition obtains bounds. it can preserve the richest nj^c^withjacts. like the inti- empiricisms. I prefer at the present moment to return a little on what I have said. but at the same time. Yet. and some of you felt I know to be such. I offer the ^ kinds of demand^J[t^can remain religious like the rationalisms. ^\i you to any of you here are professional philo- sophers. on the stroke of the clock next time. when philosophy is all com- pacted of delicate intellectualities and subtleties and scrupulosities. what a brutal caricature and within its reduction of highest things to the lowest possi33 .THE DILEMMA IN PHILOSOPH Y^^^ti::^ oddly-named thin^ F"^gmatism as a philosophy that can satisfy both to appear. will doubtless have my discourse so far have been crude in an unpardonable. I hope I may be able to leave many of of you with as favorable an opinion of it as I preserve myself. nay. in an almost incredible degree. Tender-minded and tough-minded. in general. I will not introduce pragmatism I will begin with bodily now. as I am near the end it my hour.

What a childishly how stupid it is to because they offer treat the abstractness of rationalist systems as a crime. rather than as prolongations of the world of facts. how can she be anything else than a place of escape from the crassness of reality's surface ? What better thing can she do than raise us out of our animal senses and show us another and a nobler that great home for our minds in framework of ideal principles subintellect divines ? tending all reality. and to damn them themselves as sanctuaries and places of escape. if philosophy is to religious. I feel the full force of the indict- 34 . which the How can principles and general views ever be ? anything but abstract outlines Was Cologne cathedral built without an architect's plan on paper ? Is refinement Is in itself an abomination ? concrete rudeness the only thing that's true? Believe me.PRAGMATISM ble expression flict is it to represent its field of con- as a sort of rough-and-tumble fight hostile between two temperaments! external view! And again. Are not all our theories just remedies ? and be places of escape And.

' 'who The books of all the great philosophers are like so many men. If/^. he when the student work- may often forget the foris est for the single tree. how[j ever coarse and sketchy. The details of systems may be reasoned is out piecemeal. IN PHILOSOPHY is t^^^^ . Our sense of an essential personal iSavor 35 . the mind always performs big summarizing act.THE DILEMMA ment. write Not only Walt Whitman could touches this book touches a man. philosophers can treat the abstractly. with that strange simple note of individuality which haunts our memory. its and the system forthwith stands over against one like a living thing. like the wraith of the man. it will prove to have life use. and ing at a system. literally true. . The picture I have given indeed monlike all strously over-simplified and rude. In point of fact the picture I have given is. and always f will. But its ^ • yT abstractions. they of the universe ^^^^f^^<^^*^^ of must not complain an ab- stract treatment of the life of philosophy itself. Tern- peraments w^ith their cravings and refusals do determine men in their philosophies. when a friend or enemy of ours is dead. But when the labor accomplished.

PRAGMATISM in is each one of them. is. *da Gott die Menschen schuf hinein. musty schoolroom product. some fellow creature Once reduced by learnreverts to to these terms (and all our philosophies get re- duced to them in minds made critical ing) our commerce with the systems the informal. *Statt der lebendigen Natur. as w^hen a person presents himself as a candidate for our favor. that wooden. to be is What the system pretends a picture of the great universe of God. human reaction We grow as peremp- tory in our rejection or admission.' lous — that nebuthat sick concoction. We measure feel it. What it — and how oh so flagrantly! intensely — is the revelation of flavor of odd the personal is. that straightthing. laced that crabbed artificiality. to the instinctive of satisfaction or dislike.' we say. that 36 man's . typical but indescribable. the finest fruit of our own accomplished phil- osophic education. the total character of the universe as we against the flavor of the philosophy proffered us. and one word is enough. our verdicts are couched in as simple adjectives of praise or dispraise.

and a fifth too artificial. Locke. 37 . One be too dapper. But great expertness not necessary for the epithet to come. or what not. a third too much he of a job-lot of opinions.THE DILEMMA IN PHILOSOPHY dream! Away with it. They will don't just cover his world. another too pedantic. At any rate and we know off-hand that such philosophies are out of plumb and out of key and out of 'whack. Spinoza. Few own people have definitely articulated philosophies of their own. a fourth too morbid. but it is on the resultant Expertness in definiteness of impression itself is that we react. philosophy measured by the our summarizing reactions. Plato. Away with all of them! Impossible! Impossible! Our work over the details of his system is indeed what gives us our resultant impression of the philosopher. But almost every one has his peculiar sense of a certain total character in the universe.' and have no business to speak up in the universe's name. by the immediate perceptive epithet with which the expert hits such complex objects is off. it and of the inadequacy fully to match of the peculiar systems that he know s.

truly.PRAGMATISM Mill. more than personal ways of my hearers. It if many curious would be an obvious absurdity such ways of taking the universe were act- ually true. and the outline it- already suggests that result. Caird. and outlines of buildings invented on paper. outlines of buildings that are fat. our philosophies finally victori- shall ultimately The ous way of looking at things will be the most of completely impressive way to the normal run minds. philosophers have to reckon with such feelings it on your will part. Hegel ! — I prudently avoid names names are little nearer home — I am sure that to many of you. these reminders of as falling short. Ongword mor^^:^ namely about^ilosophies ligcessarnyJb^eJng-abstr^a^tjoiUli^ There are outlines and outlines. but h does not necessarily 38 . We peat. I re- be by them that be judged. self is An outline in meagre. with the aid of ruler and compass. In the all last resort. conceived in the cube by their flat planner. These remain skinny and emaciated even when set up in stone and mortar.

you and I perhaps.? Why ? does Spencer call out so much reverence in spite of his weakness in rationalistic eyes Why should so many educated men weakness. the essential mea* yj rj^<^ &j2. in general the vagueness of all his ideas.THE DILEMMA IN PHILOSOPHY suggest a meagre thing. His dry schoolmaster temperament. Why. the hurdy-gurdy monotony of him. but at any rate his books try to mould themselves upon the 39 particular . The case of Herbert S£ence2L& system is much to the point here. his lack of education even in mechanical principles.tu%ejt> greness of what alistic is suggested by the usual ration- ^ philosophies that moves empiricists to their gesture of rejection. his and fundamental if whole system wooden. as knocked together out of cracked hemlock boards yet the half of — and in England wants to bury him Westminster Abbey. It is ^ . His principles may be all skin and bone. his prefer- ence for cheap makeshifts in argument. who feel that wish to see him in the Abbey notw ithstanding ? Simply because we feel his heart to be in the right place philosophically. Rationalists feel his fearful array of insufficiencies.

The pragmatistic philosophy of which I hope to begin talking in my next lecture preserves as cordial a relation with facts. it neither begins nor ends by turning of doors I positive religious constructions out it — treats them cordially as well. . it hope I may lead you to find just the medi- ating way of thinking that you require. and. unlike Spencer's philosophy. It means the for the empiricist mind. he emphasizes facts. the citations of fact never cease. all his The noise of facts resounds through chapters. and right kind of thing that is enough. turns his face towards their quarter.PRAGMATISM shape of this particular world's carcase.

II WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS .

.

being with a camping party M r^ ^ a in the mountains. is . the squirrel moves as posite direction. Everyone had taken on sides. and was obstinate. but no matter he goes. while over against the tree's opposite side a human moving fast being was imagined to stand. pute was a squirrel to be clinging to The corpus of the dis- —a live squirrel supposed one side of a tree-trunk. This human withow ness tries to get sight of the squirrel by rapidly round the tree. but does he go round the squirrel unlimited leisure of the wilderness.^. The resultant metaphysical problem now is this: Doesjtlujnmi^o goes round the. so that never a glimpse of him is caught. I returned to find every from a solitary ^i^^^^J^ one engaged in a ferocious metaphysical dispute. discussion had been worn threadbare.LECTURE Some ramble II WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS years ago. round the ^tree. and the numbers 43 . fast in the op- and always keeps the tree between himself and the man. s(fuirrel_g rjriQt ? He sure enough^_andjthe squirrel on the In the tree.

then right of him. *' right. his and back turn^ ^way^ is Make the distinction. frpna the north of mean to the mssing him to the east. Mindful of the scholastic adage that whenever you meet a contradiction you must make a distinction^ I immediately sought and is found one. first in front of him." depends on what you practically viean If_you by * going round' the squirrel. as follows: "Which party I said. and then jiorth of him again. when to I apit peared therefore appealed to me make a majority. Each side. be keeps helly turned towards the jnan all the time." 44 . then behind him. then to the west. and there no occasion for any farther dispute.PRAGMATISM both sides were even. for by the compensating squirrel movements the makes. for he occupies these successive positiojis. obviously the man does^o round him. You as are both right and both wrong according *to you conceive the verb go round' in one practical fashion or the other. But if on the contrary you mean being on the left. then to the south. then on his Irpnt again^it fails to is and finally in quite as obvious that the man his go round him.

saying they wanted no quibbling or scholastic hairsplitting. it is ^ a I tell this trivial anecdote because pe-L^ to culiarly simple example of what I wish now P^UX^^/U^'"^ a^/JJLru. speak of as thepra gmatic method^ The prag-j-^ inatic method is primarily a method of settling J metaphysical disputes that otherwise niight be \ interminable^_Is^ the world one or many ? ? — fated or free ? — material or . What difference if ? would it practically make to \ any one this notion rather If than that notion I were true no practical difference whatever c^n be traced. The pragma ti c method s:iich_cases is to try to interpret each notion by tracingits^respective practical consequences. spiritual — here f are notions either of which may or may not hold in [ good of the w^orld and disputes over such no- tions are unending.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS Although one or two called of the hotter disputants my speech a shuffling evasion. T^henever a dispute serious.practically the same thing. w^e ought to be 45 . then the alternatives mean.' the majority seemed to think that the distinction had assuaged the dispute. * but meant just plain honest English round. is and all dispute is idje.

meaning and * action. then.PRAGMATISM able to show some practical difference that side or the other's being must follow from one jight. that there in no one of them so fine as to consist anything but a possible difference of practice. 1879 46 . from which our words 'practice' practical' come. The Jk ^SE?L_!?_ ^^^^^^^ from the same Greek word wpdyixa. In an article entitled 'How ^ to Make Our Ideas Clear. vii). all is And is the tangible fact at the root of our thought- -^^^1 distinctions. To attain perfect clearness in our thoughts of an object. Charles j Peirce in 1878.' in the * Popular Sci- ence Monthly' for January of that year Mr. Peirce. said that. __ A glance you D ^^^^^-^^ ^ at the history of the idea will show still better what pragmatism means. after pointing out that our beliefs are really rules for action. Translated in the Revue Philosophique (or January. * we need only consider what conceivable (vol. we need only determine what conduct duct is it is fitted to produce: that con- for us its sole significance. to develop a thought's meaning. however subtle. It was first introduced into philosophy by Mr.

It lay entirely unnoticed by any one for twenty years. By its that date (1898) the times seemed ripe for reception.' 47 . It is evident that the term applies itself conveniently to a number of tendencies that hitherto have lacked a collective it name. the 'pragmatic On hands of. sometimes with contumely. w^e find movement' spoken sometimes with respect. Our whether immediate conception of these or remote. the principle of pragmatism. — what sensations we are effects. until I.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS effects of a practical kind the object may in- volve it. brought forw^ard again of it it and made a special application to religion. and at present the all fairly spots pages of the philosophic journals. in an ad- dress before Professor Howison's philosophical union at the university of California. and that has ' come to stay. This is the principle of Peirce. then for us the whole of our con- ception of the object. so far as that conception has positive significance at all. seldom with clear understanding. is to expect from and what reactions we must prepare. The word it * prag- matism' spread.

PRAGMATISM To ple. though he had not called it by that name. is and meaning." different. thing. the rival views me an pra< practical. I their meaning am accustomed this : to put questions to respects my classes in were way In what if w ould the world be different true. "and that influence for us." he is wrote me.' Their properties seemed equally consist- ent with the notion that an instable hydrogen 48 . Chemists have long wrangled over the inner constitution of certain bodies called * tautomerous. the illustrious Leipzig chemist. had been making perfectly ciple distinct use of the prinin his of pragmatism lectures on the philosophy of science. other than Ostwald for usjione^ in a published lecture gives this example of what he means.^ Jf this alternative or that I can find nothing that would then the alternative has no become ^nse. I found a few years ago that Ostwald. "All realities influence our practice. take in the importance of Peirce's princiit one must get accustomed to applying to concrete cases. That same there is.

" says Ostwald. Franklin: it. 1905.' while an- other insisted on an 'elf as the true cause of the phenomenon. Controversy **It raged. 1903. 6. matism than Ostwald's in an address by Professor even if W. 4 u.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS atom oscillates inside of them. difference of and the quarrel was as unreal as if. "I think that the is sickliest notion of physics. but never was decided. still Architecten-Vereines.' that it is ' the science of masses. one party should have invoked a * brownie. Nr. would never have begun." is ^ It astonishing to see how many philosoph- ical disputes collapse into insignificance the moment you subject them to this simple test of tracing a concrete consequence.) 49 . even a student does not wholly get it. a student gets ether. For it would then have appeared that no fact could possibly ensue. I find a more radical pragS. molecules. January 2. is that physics is the science of the ways of taking hold of bodies and pushing them!" (^Science. There can be I " 'Theorie und Praxis. theorizing in primitive times about the raising of dough by yeast. or that they are instable mixtures of two bodies. *'if the combatants had asked themselves w^hat particular experi- mental fact could have been made different by one or the other view being correct. if and the And I think that the healthiest notion.' Zeitsch. des Oesferreichischen Ingenieur u.

they were it Not until our time has gen- become conscious of a universal I mission.PRAGMATISM no difference anywhere that does n't make a differen ce elsewh ere^ no difference in abstract truth that does n't express in concrete Jact_ and in itself in a difference conduct consequent upon that fact. The whole ^'function of philosophy ought to be to find it out what definite difference will make to you this and me. somewhere. Socrates was an adept at Aristotle used ley. Berkecontribu- and Hume made momentous by its tions to truth means. if world-formula or that world-formula be the true one. imposed on somebody. and I hope I may end by inspiring you with my 50 belief. some- how. . eralized itself. Thereis absolutely nothing new in the pragit.' it But these forerunners in fragments: in pragmatism used preluders only. at definite instants of our life. pretended to a conquering destiny. it methodically. matic method. believe in that destiny. Locke. and somewhen. ^adworth Hodgrealities are son keeps insisting that they are * only what of known as.

and the pretence of finality in truth.aniLarigins^ He turns towards concrete- ness_and_adec[uacy. against dogma. He turns away fram solu_fix£. Vci but it represents it. But the . air means the open as and possibilities artificiality.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS Pragmatism represents a *^ ^ MT^ perfectly familiar (^X^gJ^"^^^^ attitude in philosophy. 51 . It is it does not stand for any a method only.d abstraction tions^ron^ and insufficiency. from principles. as it seems less to me. A prag- matist turns his back resolutely and once for all upon a lot of inveterate habits dear to pro- fessional philosophers. of nature. closed syste ms . both in a more radical and in a objectionable form than it has ever yet assumed. At the same time special results. from verbal bad a^^rJQii reasons. towards facts. general triumph of that method would mean what I called in an enormous change last lecture the in my 'temperament' of philosophy. That means the emtemper regnant and It piricist the rationalist temper sincerely given up. the empiricist attitude._and pretended abso- lutes . towards act- ion and towar ds po wer.

would in fact work absolutely hand vV in hand. in have always hankered and you know what a great part have always played. tA^ You know how men after unlawful magic.' Absolut'?. or whatever of power may be. or the formula of incantation that binds him. genie. That word names the universe's principle.' 52 .PRAGMATISM Teachers of the ultra-rationalistic type would be frozen out. Science and metaphysics would come much nearer together. jW*^"^^ Metaphysics has usually followed a very primitive kind of quest. and having their names.' 'Matter. If magic words his you have name. he held al- them subject to his will. of which the key must be sought in the shape of some illuminating or power-bringing word or name.' 'Energy. much as the courtier type is *4^ frozen out in republics. 'God. as the ultramontane y^tP^^ A^fi* type of priest is frozen out in protestant lands.' are so 'Reason. and to possess it is after a fashion to possess the universe 'the itself. you can control the the all spirit. Solomon knew the names the spirits. afrite. So the universe has ways appeared to the natural mind as a kind of enigma.

swers to_eni gmm^»J^ don't lie '^^'^^^i^^^ ' ^ ^ ^^ £fl2LJ:gjl_We f back upon them. You must bring out of each word it its practical cash-value. har- monizes with cies. make nature over again unstiffens all our sets by their aid. than as a program for more work. It less as a solution. we move forward. many ancient philosophic tendenwith nominalism for instance. Pragmatism theories. then. You are at the end of your meta- physical quest. and more particularly as an indication of the ways in which existing realities may be changed. you cannot look on any such word as closing your quest. on occasion. util- It agrees in always appealing to particulars. /But if you follow the pragmatic method. with itarianism in emphasizing practical aspects. with positivism in its disdain for verbal 53 . Being nothing essentially new. limbers them up and each one it at work.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS many solving names. and. set at work within appears the stream of your experience. You can rest when you have them.

and all must pass through if they want a practicable way of getting into or out of their respective rooms.PRAGMATISM \ solutions. but only an ^ttitude^l. In a fourth a system of idealistic metaphysics is being ex- cogitated. knees pray- ing for faith and strength in a third a chemist investigating a body's properties. Innumerable chambers open out of In one you may find a man writing an atheistic volhis ume. like a corridor in a hotel. As the young Italian pragmatist Papini has well said. in the next some one on . stands for no particular results. at the outset. It its has no dogmas. But. useless questions and metaphysical abstractions. . it. i^ethod means. you see. TJi^_atiLt*jde ol looking away 54 . are anti-intellectualist tendencies. and no doctrines save method. in a fifth the impossibility of meta- physics is being shown. « No particular Jesuits then. Against rationalism as a pretension Jy^ > and ^ a method pragmatism is fully armed and it mili- T tant. so far. itJiesjnJ:hG midst o f o ur theories. orientation is w hat the pragmatic . at least. But they all own it the corridor. f) ^ - U • All these.

&up^ last *i posed necessities.^d. after first pav- ing the way. so I can be very brief now.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS pom -first things. to make it clearer One of the most successfully cultivated is branches of philosophy in our time what is called igd uctive logic^Jh e study of_the_conditio ns under which our_s ciences have e vol\. ' categories . so I ask for your doubled attention for a quarter of an hour. as meaning also a certain a still theorjiolJruth^l mean to give a whole lecture to the statement of that theory. but I shall presently exit / X abundantly enough by showing how works on some familiar problems. Writers on this subject have begun to show a singular unanimity as to what the laws of nature and elements of fact mean. brevity is But re- hard to follow.L.! hope in the later lectures. principles. Meanwhile fhf> tUX^iUU4^ word-pragmati sm has come to be used_jn wider sense. when formu55 . If much remains obscure. consequences^ Jacts^ (S)fl t' Sui So much for the pragmatic method! You 3^ tJj^^^^LAj ft^ • may say that I have been praising it rather than explaining plain it it to you. and of looking towards things^ fruits.

His mind also thundered and reverberated in syllogisms. the notio n has gained gro und that jgagst^ jger56 . he made the law of the sines .yA^ PRAGMATISM lated ists. the laws. were dis - covered .a s the scien ces have developed ia^tfeei. He made Kepmade laws for the planets to follow. He also thought in conic sections. JBiit. ness. and fixed the distances beall tween them. by mathematicians. and devised and when we rediscover any one of these his wondrous institutions. physicists and chem- Wh^^ ^^^ ^^^^ mathematical. he velocity increase proportionally to the time in falling bodies. families he established of the classes. things. for light to obey when refracted orders. He thought the archetypes of their variations. lo p^icaU and first natural uniformities. we seize his mind in its very literal intention. and genera plants and animals. and geometrized ler's like Euclid. men were so carried away by the clearand simplification that resulted. beauty that they believed themselves to have deci- phered authentically the eternal thoughts of the Almighty. squares and roots and ratios.

as well known. but of any one them may from some point is of view be useful. and all many rival formulations are proposed in the branches of science that investigators have become accustomed theory that is to the notion that no absolutely a transcript of reality. as some one them. have grown so is numerous that there no counting them . They are only a man-made language.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS The so l^"^*^^"^^^^^^^ Jiaps-alL-of our laws nre only apprnvimjitions- ^ laws themselves. Mach. Their great use old facts and to lead to to summarize new ones. Poincare. Duhem. a conceptual shortcalls hand. of those you who are students of. Ruyssen. and languages. If I mention the names of Sigwart. Pearson. in which we w^ite is our reports of nature. Thus human necessity arbitrariness has driven divine from scientific logic. Milhaud. Schiller 57 and^ewey appear . this Riding now on the front of entific logic wave of sci- Messrs. will easily identify the will think of addi- tendency I speak tional and names. tolerate much choice of expression and many dialects. moreover. Ostw^ald.

any idea that which we can will carry us ride. This ' the instrumentar vie w of truth taught so suc- cessfully at Chicago. thejyiewLlhat4ruth4ft-our ideas_means_ JJimr__pQW£r 4e^ Sreriiy!-^)^^ gated soJ3rilliantly-. so to prosperously from any one part of our experience to any other part. ^Everywherg. in all truth.. true for just so much. Dewey. . simplifying.so far as they help^s to get into satisfactory relation with other part^ ofj)ur experiences to summarize them and get ^ about among them by conceptual short-cuts instead of following the interminable succession of particular phenomena. these teach- V t ruth' " in our ideas and ' — - — beliefs in means » .atjQxford. true is in so far forth. linking things satisfactorily./. the same thing_that_i^means_ scienre. ' PRAGMATISM with their pragmatistic account of what truth signifies. ^ u yj ^ everywhere ers say. working securely. that ideas are_biil parts of p ur e xperi- jmt_m. they say./ Messrs. It means. true instrumenta lly. Schiller and their reaching this general conception of 58 allies. nothing but (which themselves ence) beco me true this. is saving labor. Any idea upon speak.

he hears of ible. its and produce great results by summating through the ages. Somebody contradicts them . The process here is always the same. to a strain. effects 0^ ^H^L^^^^ The observable process which Schiller and ^irv-Mx-^cA-^ particularly singled out for generaliza. or variation type. — and then to all making it apply to times. or change of dialect by incorporation of new words and pronunciations generalize it. stranger. the successful stroke was always to take some simple process actually observable in operation tion — as denudafrom parental by weather. but he meets a rience that^puts-JJiem.e^ the familiar one by which any individual /qsJaa^ settles into new opinions.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS have only followed the example of geologists. In the establish- ment of these other sciences. Thejnd ividual h ag^ a stock of new expe-_ oId_ppinions already. say. ' 59 . The mind result is T^hich his till_jhen had been j. or in a reflective moment he or discovers that they contradict each other.*/ Dewey tion is ^i. facts with which they are incompat- or desires arise in him which they cease an inward trouble to to satisfy. biologists and philologists.

but conceiving that in ways as familiar as the case leaves possible. violating all our preconceptions. would never pass for a true account of a novelty. He saves as much of it as he can. cause and ^ 60 . stretching to them just make them admit the novelty. It pres is then adopted as the true >^- jL Vy^ i-. space. minimum of disturbance some idea that mediates between the stock and the new experience and runs most felicitously them into one another and ^^^ ^W^ .jb » expediently. This new idea one. and then that (for they change very variously). scratch round industriously till We should we found someviolent revolu- thing less excentric. So he tries to change first resist this opinion.vV-* a minimum enough of modification. for in this matter of belief we are all extreme conservatives. tions in The most Time and an individual's beliefs leave most of his old order standing. until at last some new idea comes up which he can graft upon the ancient stock with a of the latter.PRAGMATISM and from which he seeks iiigLhis4>reYiQus to escape by modify- mass of opinions. An outree explanation.

WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS
effect,

nature and history, and one's

own
is

bio-

graphy remain untouched.

New
new

truth

ahvays

a go-between, a smoother-over of transitions.
It

marries old opinion to

fact so as ever

to

show a minimum

of jolt, a

maximum of
*

con-

tinuity.

We
its

hold a theory true just in propor-

tion to

success in solving this

problem of

maxima and minima.' But
this

success in solving

problem

is

eminently a matter of approxit

imation.

We

say this theory solves

on the

whole more
that

satisfactorily

than that theory; but

means more satisfactorily to ourselves, and

individuals will emphasize their points of satisfaction differently.

To

a certain degree, there-

fore, everything here is plastic.

The
ularly

point I
is

now urge you

to observe partic-

the part played by the older truths.
it

Failure to take account of

is

the source of

much

of the unjust criticism levelled against
is

pragmatism. Their influence
trolling.

absolutely confirst

Loyalty to them
it is

is

the

principle
;

in

most cases

the only principle
of handling

for

by

far the

most usual way

phenomena

so novel that they would
61

make

for a serious re-

PRAGMATISM
arrangement of our preconception h to ignore

them

altogether, or to abuse those

who bear

witness for them.

You

doubtless wish examples of this process

of truth's growth,

and the only trouble

is

their

superabundance.
truth
of
is

The

simplest case of

new

of course the

mere numerical addition

new kinds

of facts, or of

new

single facts of

old kinds, to our experience

— an addition that
Day

involves no alteration in the old beliefs.

follows day,

and

its

contents are simply added.

The new

contents themselves are not true, they
are.

simply come and
about them, and

Truth

is

what we say

when we say

that they have

come, truth
formula.

is

satisfied

by the plain additive

But often the day's contents
arrangement. If I should
shrieks
it

oblige a re-

now

utter piercmg
this platform,

and

act like a

maniac on
you

would make many

of

revise

your ideas as
*

to the probable

worth of

my philosophy.
moment

Ra-

dium' came the other day as part of the day's
content,

and seemed

for a

to contra-

dict our ideas of the

who^e order of nature, that
62

WHAT PRAGMx\TISM MEANS
order having come to be identified with what
called the conservation of energy.
sight of
is

The mere
indefinitely

radium paying heat away

out of

its

own pocket seemed

to violate that
If

conservation.
tions

What

to

think

?

the

radia-

from

it

were nothing but an escape of
in-

unsuspected 'potential' energy, pre-existent

side of the atoms, the principle of conservation

would be saved. The discovery

of

*

helium' as
to this

the radiation's outcome, opened a
belief.

way

So Ramsay's view

is

generally held to
it

be true, because, although
ideas of energy,
it

extends our old
of altera-

causes a

minimum

tion in their nature.
I

need not multiply instances.

A

new

opinit

ion counts as 'true' just in proportion as

gratifies the individual's desire to assimilate the

novel in his experience to his beliefs in stock. It

must both lean on old truth and grasp new fact; and
its

success (as I said a
is

moment

ago) in do-

ing this,
ciation.

a matter for the individual's appreold truth growls, then,
it is

When

by new

truth's addition,

for subjective reasons.

We

are in the process

and obey the reasons. That
63

PRAGMATISM
new
idea
is

truest

which performs most

felic*

itously

its

function of satisfying our double

\/
y
a/

iirgency. It

makes

itself true, gets itself
it

classed

as true,

by the way

works grafting
;

itself

then

^

aJ

upon the ancient body

of truth,

which thus
activity of

grows much as a tree grows by the
a

new

layer of

cambium.
general-

Now Dewey and Schiller proceed to
ize this observation

and

to apply

it

to the

most
were

ancient parts of truth.
plastic.

They

also once

They

also

were called true for

human
still

reasons.

They

also

mediated between
in those

earlier truths

and what

days were novel

observations.

Purely objective truth, truth in
of

whose establishment the function

giving

human

satisfaction in

marrying previous parts
role

of experience with

newer parts played no
to be found.

whatever,

is

nowhere

The reasons why
they
to

why we

call things true is the

reason

are true, for *to be true'
this marriage-function.

means only

perform

The

trail of

the

human

serpent
;

is

thus over

everything.
find merely;

Truth independent
truth

truth that
to

we
hu-

no longer malleable
64

WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS
man
need; truth incorrigible, in a word; such
truth exists indeed superabundantly

— or

is

supposed to

exist

by
it

rationalistically

minded

thinkers; but then
of the living tree,

means only
its

the dead heart

and

being there means
its

only that truth also has
*

its

paleontology, and
stiff

prescription,'

and may grow But how

with years of

veteran service and petrified in men's regard by
sheer antiquity.
plastic

even the oldhas been viv-

est truths nevertheless really are

idly

shown

in

our day by the transformation of
ideas, a transforma-

logical

and mathematical
to

tion

which seems even
ancient

be invading physics.

The

formulas are reinterpreted as

special expressions of

much wider

principles,

principles that our ancestors never got a glimpse
of in their present

shape and formulation.
gives to all this view of truth
for this doctrine
fairly to

^
^

\f^yL^
aidiC

Mr.
the

Schiller
of

still

f

name

'Humanism,' but,
of

jL^^^^f-y^

too, the

name

pragmatism seems
it

be

in the ascendant, so I will treat

under the

name
/

of

pragmatism

in these lectures.

Such then w^ould be the scope of pragmatism
first,

a method; and second, a genetic theory
65

PRAGMATISM
]

of

what

is

meant by truth. And these two things
topics.
will,

must be our future

What
I

I

have said of the theory of truth

am

sure,

have appeared obscure and unsatis-

factory to most of you
I shall

by reason

of

its

brevity.

make amends
'

for that hereafter.
'

In

a lecture on

what

I

common sense I shall try to show mean by truths grown petrified by
In another lecture I shall expatiate
in

antiquity.

on the idea that our thoughts become true

proportion as they successfully exert their go-

between function. In a third I
hard
it is

shall

show how
from ob-

to discriminate subjective

jective factors in Truth's development.

You

may
and

not follow
if

me

wholly in these lectures;

you do, you may not wholly agree with
will, I

me. But you
as serious,

know, regard

me

at least

and

treat

my effort

with respectful

^ r^

,

You will probably be surprised to learn, then,
that Messrs. Schiller's

"^^Y^
^^•^
*

and Dewey's

theories
ridi-

have suffered a hailstorm of contempt and
cule.

All rationalism has risen against them.

In influential quarters Mr. Schiller, in partic66

has been treated like an impudent schoolI should it boy who deserves a spanking. Such this. truth real truth. to think uncondition- The conditioned ways in which we do for think are so much irrelevance and matter psychology. remote. august. about the success suggests to the sort of coarse wath w^hich they *work. Rationalism comfortable only in the presence of abstractions. refined. Pragmatism uncomfortable away is from facts.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS ular. about their utility and satisfactoriness. exalted. - As against objective must be something non utilitarian. must be an absolute correspondence thoughts with an equally absolute of our It reality. must be what we ought ally. in all this question! 67 . Down with psychology. It haughty. mind a lame second-rate makeshift article of truth. mention this. up with logic.. not but for the fact that throws so much to sidelight I upon that rationalistic temper which have opposed the temper of pragis matism. This pragmatist talk about truths in the plural. tests are Such truths are not merely subjective.' typical intellectualist etc.

Your typical ultra-abstractionist fairly shud- ders at concreteness: other things equal. he positively prefers the pale and spectral. the rationalist unable to recognize the concretes from which his is own abstraction taken. whereas we have only sought to trace exactly why people follow it and always ought to follow it. the con- creteness and closeness to facts of the pragma- tism which they advocate 68 may be what approves . Truth. observes truth at ticular cases.PRAGMATISM See the exquisite contrast of the types of mind! The pragmatist and clings to facts and concreteness. If the two universes were offered. He accuses us of denying truth. I It is so much purer. alist it For the ration- remains a pure abstraction. nobler. to the bare name must of which we must defer. for him. clearer. all sorts of becomes a class-name for definite working-values in experience. he would always choose the skinny outline rather than the rich thicket of reality. When the prag- matist undertakes to show in detail just is why we defer. its work in par- generalizes. hope that as these lectures go on.

sister- It only follows here the example of the sciences. you ^^ V^^'^^Y^^^ . But enough of this at present ? The justificaI wish tion of w^hat I say must be postponed. It brings old It and new harmoniously converts the absolutely empty notion of a static relation of 'correspondence' (what that may mean commerce w^e must ask later) be- tween our minds and reality. now to add a word in further explanation of the claim I tism made at our last meeting. into that of a rich and active (that any one may follow in detail and understand) between particular thoughts of ours. and the great universe of other experiences in which they play their parts and have their uses. that pragma- may be of a happy harmonizer of empiricist ways of thinking with the more religious de- mands human beings. together. are liable to be kept at a distance by the small L>Hj^' \^ luUl^ . may remember me to have 69 said. 'p. interpreting the unobserved by the observed. Men who are strongly of the fact-loving temperament.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS itself to you as its most satisfactory peculiarity.

It is the absolutistic brand. with its notion of God as an exalted monarch. however. it it held strongly by the argument from reali- kept some touch with concrete Since. and reared upon pure It keeps no con- 70 . so long as design. if any. as a rule. more hopefully nowadays to- wards idealistic pantheism than towards the older dualistic theism. made up of unintelligible or preposterous ' a lot of attributes ' . but. But. recommended to our contemporary imagination.PRAGMATISM sympathy with facts which that philosophy of idealism offers from the present-day fashion them.' theism has lost that foothold. Old fash- ioned theism was bad enough. and some kind of an immanent or pantheistic deity working in things rather than above the kind them is. as I said in my first lecture. ties. spurning the dust logic. the brand of is pantheism offered if hard for them to assimilate they are lovers of facts. in spite of the fact that the latter still counts able defenders. It is far too intellectualistic. or empirically minded. Aspirants to a philosophic religion turn. darwinism has once for all ' displaced design from the minds of the scientific.

no one can does n't suffer from the faults of It is remoteness and abstractness. You cannot redescend into the world of par- ticulars by the Absolute's aid.WHAfT PRAGMATISM MEANS nexion whatever with concreteness. x\ffirming the Absolute Mind. Be they will father all what they may. and for his eternal way of thinking. Like the sick lion in Esop's fable. the Absolute them.X^-**'^^''^'^ conception. but ^^ finitely thereupon he leaves you to be saved by(Q ' your own temporal devices. to be the rational presupposition of all particulars of fact. but nulla vestigia retrorsum. it re- mains supremely ticular facts in indifferent to what the par- our world actually are. eminently call the a product of what I have ventured to 71 . whatever they may be. He gives with you indeed the assurance that all is w^ell Him. footprints lead into his den. jj^ayv^^-^^^^ Far be it from me to deny the majesty of this ^^Uxi/tiA^ ^^. which is its substitute for God. But from the human point pretend that it of view. or its capacity to yield religious comfort to a most respectable class of minds. or deduce any necessary consequences of detail important for your life from your idea of his nature.

she has no objection whatever to the realizing of abstractions. those which our minds and our experiences work out together. and as a phil- osophic disqualification.PRAGMATISM rationalistic temper. in the sense in which to be noble this real to be inapt for humble service. she has 72 no a priori preju- . so long as lars you get about among particu- with their aid and they actually carry you Interested in no conclusions but somewhere. may be a gentleman. It disdains empiricism's needs. it is noble in the is bad sense. as we but whatever the God of earth and heaven he can surely be no gentleman. devoted though she be to has no such materialistic bias as ordinary empiricism labors under. It is dapper. His menial needed in the dust of our is human even more than his dignity needed in the empyrean. it is * seems to me that when a view of things noble. Moreover. pragmatism. Now facts. is. services are trials. ness The prince of darkare told he is.' that its ought to count as a presumption against truth. In of sweat world and dirt. It substitutes a pallid outline for the real world's richness.

For how much more they are true. prove to have a value for concrete they will be true. it majestic and said yielded religious comfort to a class of minds. I called it a case in point. it But is so far as sterile. will depend entirely on their relations to the other truths that also have to be acknowledged. of transcendental idealism. it it affords such comfort. therefore. we may.' then. I myself ought to call the Absolute true *in so far forth.^p matic method. whenever we wish. in the sense of being good for so much. 73 treat the . it forms a concrete function. What do believers in the Absolute j j mean by saying that their belief affords that since. First. in the UU^ f V**^ them comfort ? They mean Absolute finite evil is 'overruled' already.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS dices against theology. we need only apply the prag. ^yhat I said just now about is the Absolute. 7/ theological ideas life. surely not per- has that amount of value. As a good pragmatist. To answer. for pragmatism. and then I accused it of remoteness and sterility. and I unhesitatingly now \fU^ But what does case ? true in so far forth mean in this /^ ra^ ^ /iA^^^UaM.

He is pained at and disregards your 74 criticisms hearing you speak incredulously of the Absolute. be we can trust outcome. for is us.PRAGMATISM temporal as sure that if it were potentially the its eternal. Farther than that the ordinary lay-reader in philosophy who thinks favorably of absolute idealism does not venture to sharpen his conceptions. much is very precious.' that the great difference in our particular experiences his being true which makes. The vidual universe is a system of which the indirelax their anxieties occais members may sionally. is is in order. if men. and. of is what the Absolute *known-as. therefore. dismiss our fear and drop the worry of our finite responsibility. to let the world feeling that its wag own way. and so He can use the Absolute for so much. — I part. In short. in which the don't-care mood also right for that. issues are in better hands than ours and are none of our business. without sin. . and moral holidays mistake not. that is his cash- value when he pragmatically interpreted. they mean that we have a right ever and anon to take a in its moral holiday. at least.

and that holidays are never in order. that is truth one species of good. and means no more than of it ? who can possibly deny the truth To deny it would be to insist that men should never relax. You touch here the very central point of Messrs. If the Absolute means this. which I can not discuss with detail until lecture. much as it profits. for be good we are the better for possess- ing it.' you *true' for this reason. But is it not a strange misuse of the will say. this. Schiller's. ^ so long as to believe profitable to our lives. you w^hat we do by its aid is itself to good. f^0ijJjuLJ That it is good. is my sixth Let say only this. as 75 usually sup- .^ To upon answer this difficulty fully is impossible at this stage of my account. you will allow the idea in so far forth. Dewey's and my own me now doctrine of truth. and not.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS because they deal with aspects of the conception that he fails to follow. for as If will gladly admit. QA-d^^ aware how odd to hear it I am well of must seem to / o^ c/y^ tx/aw some you me say that an idea is it is 'true' ^ ^7. to call ideas also word 'truth.

assignable reasons. our duty would be to shun truth. rather. 76 . so certain ideas are not only agreeable to think about. But in this world. be any life if that it is better we should if lead. indeed. we are fond practical really but they are also helpful in If there life's struggles. or the know- them were positively disadvantageous and false ideas the only useful ones.J its pursuit a duty. "proves itself to good in the way of and good. and . life. or agree- able as supporting other ideas that of. in. a category distinct from good.PRAGMATISM posed. is then the current notion that truth divine and precious. believed it would help us then would be re^iWy better for us io believe it in that idea. belief in inci- dentally clashed with othe^* greater vital benefits. could never have grown up or become a dogma. but good for our teeth. Surely you must admit this. and there be any idea to lead that which. too. just as certain foods are not only agreeable to our taste. that if there if were no good for ledge of life in true ideas. unless. The he true is the name of whatever belief. and co-or- dinate with it. and our tissues . In a world like that. our stomach. for definite.

permanently apart ? Pragmatism says no. I fully agree with Probably you also agree. comes very near believe ': to saying *what we ought to and in that definition none of you would believe find any oddity. Your suspicion it is here is undoubtedly well founded. kinds of fancies kinds of senti- and all mental superstitions about a world hereafter. I said just /p\ -fp rP^ now that what is better for us to J o^^JjfLz believe is true unless the belief incidentally clashes with some other 77 vital benefit. Ought we ever not to it is what better for us to believe is ? And better can we then keep the notion of what for us. and evident that something hap- pens when you pass from the abstract to the concrete that complicates the situation. and what is true for us. so far as the ab- stract statement goes. Now in . we should be found indulging this world's affairs.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS *What would be This sounds very better for us to believe'! It like a definition of truth. and her. but with a suspicion that if we practically did believe everything that for made about good in our own personal all lives.

my other be- Grant that it may be true in giving me it.. I personallj^ 78 just give up the . — it clashes with other truths of its mine whose account. Nevertheless. etc. as were. It benefits I hate to give happens logic of to be associated with a kind of I in which am the enemy. and merely in my own up on private person. I find that it entangles are me metaphysical paradoxes that etc. as I conceive — and let me speak now confidentially.PRAGMATISM real life what vital benefits is any particular with ? belief of ours most liable to clash What indeed except the vital benefits yielded by other beliefs first when ? these prove incompatible with the ones In other words. must run the gauntlet of liefs. it My does based on the good all me. contradicts them. the greatest enemy of our truths of any one may be the rest of our truths. But as I have enough trouble in life already without adding the trouble of carrying these intellectual inconsistencies. it a moral holiday. Truths have once for all this desperate instinct of self-preservation and of desire to extinguish whatever belief in the Absolute. inacceptable.

But we can not easily thus restrict our hypotheses. They it carry that supernumerary features. no obstructive dogmas. she will consider any evidence. and these clash so. could restrict my notion of the Absolute it to its bare holiday-giving value. It follow^s that in the religious field she is at a great advantage both over positivistic empiricism. for I fully believe in the legitimacy of ^^ taking moral holidays. I try to justify them by some other If I principle. is My disbelief in the Absolute means then disbelief in those other supernumerary features. no rigid is canons of what shall count as proof. its and over religious rationalism. see by this what meant when I called ^^^/' J ' pragmatism a mediator and reconciler and borrowing the w^ord from Papini. (uuPi I You said.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS Absolute. that she nc^^^A^t^^f^^ *unstiffens' our theories. I just ^aA:^? my moral holidays. with its anti-theological bias. with 79 exclusive interest . orelse as a professional philosopher. She completely genial. She will entertain any hypothesis. would n't clash with my other truths. She has in fact no prejudices whatever.

^ * She could see no meaning in treating as not true' a notion that was prag- matically so successful. how could pragmatism possibly deny God's existence. If theological ideas should do this. will She count mystical experiences if they have practical consequences. the noble. She will take a God who lives in the very dirt of private fact likely place to find — if that should seem a him. for her. than agree- ment with concrete reality? 80 . to fol- low either logic or the senses and to count the humblest and most personal experiences. the simple. in particular. the notion of God. and the abstract in the way of conception. field of In short. Pragmatism is willing to take anything. should prove to do it. Empiricism sticks to the external senses. what fits every part of life and combines with the collect- ivity of experience's demands.PRAGMATISM in the remote. Rationalism sticks to logic and the empy- rean. What other kind of all this truth could there be. nothing being if omitted. she widens the search for God. Her only test of probable truth is what works best in the way best of leading us.

relations of pragmatism with But you see already how democratic and endless. she is. Her man- ners are as various as rich flexible. . her resources and and her conclusions as friendly as those of mother nature.WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS In my last lecture I shall return again to the religion.

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Ill SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS PRAGMATICALLY CONSIDERED .

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So the attributes of this desk inhere in the substance 'wood. wood and wool. 85 . and the first thing I shall take will be the problem of Substance. my coat in the substance 'wool. Its modes. common properties. accidents.LECTURE III SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS PRAGMATICALLY CONSIDERED I AM now to make the familiar by giving pragmatic method more illustrations of its you some application to particular problems. Here is a bit of blackboard crayon. I will begin with what is driest. friability. But the bearer chalk. Every one uses the old distinction between substance and attribute. attributes. in spite of their differences. enshrined as it is in the very structure of human language. is is in water. — are whiteness.. affections. insolubility etc. of these attributes so much which thereupon called the substance in which they inhere. etc.' and Chalk. or use which term you will. in the difference between grammatical subject and predicate. show again.' those of so forth. properties. cylindrical shape.

we never could mo- ment. larly Simi- our thoughts and feelings are affections or properties of our several souls. the more primal subof attributes which are space-occupancy and impenetrability. but again not wholly in their right. we know of the wood is the combustibility of attributes is and fibrous structure. friability. Nominalists accordingly adopt the 86 . we should never and if God should keep sending them to us in an unchanged order. we were suspect its cut off from thein existence. for our experiences themselves would be unaltered.> of the chalk the whiteness. miraculously annihilating at a certain moment the substance that supdetect the ported them. for they are own modes of the still deeper substance * spirit. matter. A group is what each substance here form ence.' all Now all it was very early seen that is we know etc. which are substances. its known-as. they sole cash-value for is our actual experi- The substance if in every case revealed through them.PRAGMATISM and in so far forth they still are themselves counted as modes of a stance.

Behind that nothing. which we think it. etc. and the notion a substance inaccessible to us.wifh each other. and if not in names then they do not inhere in anything. T8itheT. Scholasticism has taken the notion of sub87 . Phenomena come in groups — the chalk-group. to-day. surely inhere in names.. The low thermometer supposed 'climate. The name we then way supporting the group of phenomena. nominalists say. The fact of the bare cohesion itself is all that the notion of the substance fact is signifies. — and each treat as is group gets in a its name. for instance. accounts for such cohesion by supporting as cement might support pieces of mosaic. but lay behind the day. behind the the name of. But the phenomenal properties do not really of things.' to come from something is called the Climate really only the it is name for if it a certain group of days.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS opinion that substance to our inveterate is a spurious idea due turning names human trick of into things. must be abandoned. They adhere. the wood-group. or of cohere. treated as and in general we place the facts it name. is as if it were a being.

Few would seem to have fewer pragmatic consequences for us than substances.PRAGMATISM stance from technical common sense and made things it very and articulate. cut off as we in are from every contact with them. The bread-substance must have been withdrawn. and the divine substance substituted miraculously without altering the immediate sensible properties. now feed upon very substance of divinity. with tremendous effect. once you allow that substances can separate their accidents. a tremendous difference a one than this. Substance here to would appear Since have momentous pragmatic value. and yet it has become the very is body of Christ. . no less we the who take the sacrament. it must be that the change in the substance solely. But tho these don't alter. Yet one case scholasticism has proved the importance of the substance-idea by treating refer to certain it pragmatically. I disputes about the mystery of the Eucharist. that has been made. The substance-not ion breaks into if life. from and exchange these 88 latter. the accidents of the wafer don't change in the Lord's supper. then.

seri- and it is obvious that it will only be treated ously by those who already believe in the *real presence' on independent grounds. Material substance was criticised by Berkeley with such telling effect that his verberated through all name has re- subsequent philosophy. behind the external world. and back it up by Berkeley's criticism of matter' was con- sequently absolutely pragmatistic. whom you can understand and approach.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS This is the only pragmatic application of the substance-idea with which I am acquainted. Berkeley's treatment of the notion of matter is so well known as to need hardly more than a mention. deeper and more real than it. he said. It was the scholastic notion of a material substance unapproachable by us. and you confirm his divine author* the latter ity. believe that God. 89 Matter is . Abolish that substance. sends you the sensible world directly. which Berkeley mainall tained to be the most effective of of the external reducers world to unreality. So far from denying the external world which we know. Berkeley corroborated it. and needed to support it.

he says./ Locke. we then that its get such by not being.' namely the fact that at one moment of life we remember other moments. figure. It pragmatic value means. They are that is the cash-value The difference matter is makes to us by truly being sensations. says: by But Locke suppose that God should take away the the better consciousness. so much 'consciousness. he simply tells us what it consists of. hardness and the of the term. like. should for having still we be any 90 the soul-principle? Suppose . applied a similar pragmatic criticism to the notion of spiritual substance.PRAGMATISM known as our sensations of colour. Rationalism had life plained this practical continuity in our the unity of our soul-substance. then. we lack them. I will only mention Locke's treat- ment of our 'personal identity. and the feel them all as parts of one and ex- same personal history.' its He immedi- ately reduces this notion to in terms of experience. These sensations then are sole meaning. in the It is a true name for just so much way of sensations. and later Hume. Berkeley does n't deny matter.

See how Locke.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS he annexed the same consciousness to different souls. he then finds himself the same person w ith Nestor . Can he think their actions his of own any more than the actions that ever existed? any other man But let him once find himself conscious of any of the actions of Nestor. In ment.. now for what he had done another whereof he could be made to have at all. Supposing in a man punished life. sciousness accusing or excusing. discussing from this point of view. keeps the question pragmatic "Suppose. should we. his con- nothing of.. no consciousness what difference is there between that punishment and being created miserable?" 91 . shall this personal identity is founded all the right It and justice of reward and punish- be may be reasonable to think. no one made to answer for what he knows but shall receive his doom." he says. as we realize ourselves. be any the worse for that fact? soul In Locke's day the be rewarded or punit was chiefly a thing to ished. "one to think himself to be the same soul that once was Nestor or Thersites.

One may deny matter in that sense. one a phenomenalist like Huxley. the soul is As good or much. for Locke.' is but philosophical materialism knit not necessarily up with belief in 'matter. a merely curious speculation. as strongly as Berkeley did. *true' for just so each other. then. save as the name hesions in our inner life. and most for verifiable cointo it empirical psychologists after him. They redescend it. apart from these verifiable is also inheres in a spiritual principle. and yet 9^ may be one may . it personal identity. But his successor Hume. Locke. passively tolerated the belief in a substantial soul behind our con- sciousness. compro- miser that he was.PRAGMATISM Our ticulars.' as a metaphys- ical principle. facts. solely in pragmatically definable par- Whether. consists. the stream of experience with into so and cash much and small-change value in the way of 'ideas' their peculiar connexions with I said of Berkeley's matter. have denied the soul. but no more. / The mention of material substance naturally suggests the doctrine of 'materialism.

It is in this is wider sense of the word that materialism op- posed to spiritualism or theism. its higher element. material- ism says. not by its lower.' or what 'spiritualism. Treated as often this question becomes 93 . have to record the kind of nature it and write down as operating through blind laws of is physics. as idealists contend. The highest productions of human . of exones. which alism. in a may it better be called natur- Over against stands 'theism. regardless nature be there only for our minds.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS still be a materialist in the wider sense. physical nature are The laws of what run things.' wide sense may be termed that Spiritualism says nesses mind not only wit- and records things. This the complexion of present day materialism. plaining higher phenomena by lower and leaving the destinies of the world at the mercy of its blinder parts and forces. but it by is. but also runs and operates them: the world being thus guided. Our minds in any case would it is.^ genius might be ciphered by one who had comwhether plete acquaintance with the facts. out of their physiological conditions. or not.

has no trace of grossness 94 . elevated. I remember a worthy professor who always referred to materialism as the 'mud-philosophy. held. muddy. as often may be simply a state of admiration for dislike for another kind. and since more consonant with the dignity verse to give the primacy in superior. it of the uni- to what appears as the ruling must be affirmed To treat abstract principles as final- before which our intellects may come is to rest in a state of admiring contemplation. the great rationalist failing.' and refuted. noble. of spiritualist one kind. In some well-written pages at the end of the first volume of his Psychology he infinitely subtile. Spiritualism. shows us that a 'matter' so and performand fine as ing motions as inconceivably quick those which modern science postulates in her left. explanations. spirit principle. and of abstraction. it is spirit is pure. deemed it thereby To such spiritualism as this there it is an easy answer. crass. ities.PRAGMATISM little more than a conflict between aesthetic preMatter is gross. and Mr. coarse. Spencer makes effectively. ferences.

' Mr. der suffices and so far as one's opposition to materialism springs from one's disdain of matter as something 'crass. Matter infinitely indeed and incredibly refined. material or immaterial. instead of resting in principles. Spencer is cuts the ground from under one. after this stagnant intellectualist fashion. To an abstract objection an abstract rejoin. But now.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS He shows that the conception of it. matter at any rate cooperates. It makes no of life what the principle may be. To any one have who has ever looked on or parent the the face of a dead child mere fact that matter could taken for a time that precious form. spirit. 95 . ought to make matter difference sacred ever after. let us apply the pragmatic method to the question. Both terms. pointing to that one unknowable reality in which their oppositions cease. he says. are but symbols. lends itself to all life's purposes. That beloved incarnation was among matter's possibilities. as is we too mortals hitherto have framed itself gross to cover the exquisite tenuity of nature's facts.

and to let have no future. and then a theist and a its materialist apply their rival explanations to history. make us But by hypothesis there 96 . and we will with equal success. whether we deem it to have been the work of matter or spirit whether we think a divine Imagine.PRAGMATISM / What do we mean by matter ? difference can it What practical make no^t? that the world should spirit ? be run by matter or by I think we find that the problem takes with this a rather differ- ent character. in was its author. physical forces. And first ous fact. fact. it .^ test if a world is already com- Concepts for him are things to come to back into experience with. The theist shows how a God made suppose the materialist shows. of all I call your attention to a curi- It makes not a single jot of difference so far as the fast of the world goes. things look for differences. Imagine it to end this very moment. the entire contents of the all world to be once for irrevocably given. how it resulted from blind Then let the pragmatist be asked to choose between their theories. How can he apply his pleted.

SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS is to be no more experience and no possible dif- ferences can now be looked all for. the hypothesis tical. since the whole value and meaning of the world has been already paid in and actualized in the feelings that went with it in the passing. we are adopting. in spite of their different- sounding names. Both theories by have shown their consequences and. and say he were what would be the worth there. [I am supposing. of a God if with his work accomplished and his world run down. of result. since draws no sup- plemental significance (such as our real world 97 \ . He would be worth no more than just that world was worth. with its To that amount defects. it and now go with it in the ending.] just consider the case sincerely. mean exactly the same thing. and that the dispute is purely verbal. his mixed merits and creative power could attain but go no is farther. And since there to be no future. that the theories have been equally successful in their explanations of what For is. of course. these are iden- The pragmatist must consequently say that the two theories.

come in And how. make any more it is Candidly. if Wherein should as we dropped God an hypothesis and sible. as could once for all it do who and for that much we is He the Being are thankful to him. then. that. It stands there indefeasibly a gift which can't be taken back. on the contrary hypothesis. Calling matter the cause of it retracts it no single one of the items that have made up. that the bits of matter following their laws could make we that world and do no less. experience being would God's presence living or richer.' as Browning says.* the same.^ made the matter alone responspecial deadness. But now. ? should we not be just as thankful to them suffer loss. They are the 98 . why were.PRAGMATISM draws) from its function of preparing some- thing yet to come. for our praise or blame. is The actually experienced world in its details supposed to be the same on either hypothesis. impossible to give any answer to this question. by it we take God's measure.? in what it is once for it all. nor does calling God the cause augment them. then. namely. or Where would any ? crassness. but for nothing more.

Accordingly. that could namely. Thus duct is if no future detail of experience or con- to be deduced from our hypothesis. atoms remain the only actors on the When a play is once over. if there. and the curtain down. lend it no increase of dignity. Nor would dignity come to it were he absent. Matter and God in that event mean exactly the same thing less. no more. respectively. — the power. so to — appearing speak — and and it earning such gratitude as is due to atoms. and did the stage. you really make it no better by claiming an its il- lustrious genius for it author. just as you make no worse by calling him a common hack. of just that and no other world.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS God or the atoms. and . If his presence lends no different surely can in- turn or issue to the performance. neither more nor make just this completed world — and thew^ise man is he who in such a case would most men 99 instinctively. The God. turn his back on such a supererogatory discussion. the debate between materialism and theism be- comes quite idle and insignificant. has been doing just what atoms could do in the character of atoms.

The common man and the scientist say they discover no such outcomes. that whilst yet uncompleted we speak. do turn their backs on philosophical disputes from in the line of definite future con- which nothing sequences can be seen to follow. in every genuine metaphysical debate some practical issue. and place your- selves this time in the world we is live in. it is a perfectly sound fire reproach unless the theories under can be shown to have alternative practical outcomes. the others certainly are in the right of it. delicate however and distant these may be.PRAGMATISM positivists and scientists deliberately. The is verbal surely and empty character a reproach with which If of philosophy we are but too familiar. being would be Accordingly. is involved. in the world that has a future. pragmatism be true. as against him. trifling. and if the meta- physician can discern none either. His science the is then but pompous and endowment of a professorship for such a silly. In this unfinished world the 100 . however conjectural and remote. To realize this. revert with me to our question.

to eliminate the if word by showall matter could give birth to these gains. why then matter. is just as divine an is entity as God. indeed. Those facts are in. How. indeed. ? ' is in- tensely practical and it is worth while for us to spend some minutes of our hour it is in seeing that so. there is no difference. what you mean by God. are bagged. does the program differ for us. according as we consider that the facts of ex- perience up to date are purposeless configurations of blind atoms moving according to eter- nal laws. functionally considered. or that on the other hand they are due to the providence of God? As far as the past facts go. and the good that's in them is gained. seek to eliminate to the the odium attaching word materialism. be the atoms or be the accordingly God their cause. are captured. Cease. in fact co- alesces with God. itself. to use either of 101 .SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS alternative of * materialism or theism . and even ing that. ignoring altogether the future and practical aspects of the question. these persons advise us. There are many materialists about us to-day who.

coarseness. that is bound by its laws to lead our world ever nearer to perfection. and philosophy were purely retrospective. Use a term free of the clerical connotations. and still yielded.PRAGMATISM these terms. for righteousness not only has made make we do. and a world in which a God 102 . on the other. of the unknowable energy. and. asks the further question 'what ' does the world ^promise ? Give us a matter that promises success. ignobility. after what the world has been and done. of the one and only power. instead This is of saying either God or matter. he would thereby pro- claim himself an excellent pragmatist. of the suggestion of grossness. and any rational readily as called man will worship that matter as his Mr. But philosophy finding is prospective also. Talk of the primal mystery. with their outgrown opposition. oti the one hand. it Doing practically all that a its God can is is equivalent to God. but it will for righteousness forever. the course to which if Mr. in function a God's function. and that is all need. Spencer urges us. up to date. Spencer worships It own so- unknowable power.

from such a world a God could never lawfully be missed. For. them so indifferent when taken retrospectively. has really contributed nothing serious to its relief. and Mr. for the future end of every cosmically evolved thing or system of things is foretold by science to be death trag- edy. Spencer. Spencer's carried process of cosmic evolution on any such principle of never-ending perfection as this. point. in confining himself to the aesthetic and ignoring the practical side of the controversy. though they all are certainly to thank for 103 the good hours . to wholly different out- looks of experience. name But is the matter by which is Mr.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS would be superfluous. Theism and materialism. the laws of redistribution of matter and motion. according to the theory of mechanical evolution. what a significance the question of materialism or theism immediately acquires.^ Indeed it is not. when we take prospectively. But apply now our and see prinvital ciple of practical results. * Cosmic for emotion' would here be the right religion.

which evolutionary it science foresees. 104 . Nor all will anything that be better or worse for devotion. solitude.' death will monuments' and immortal itself. will be at rest." The Foundations of Belief. Matter able will know itself * no longer. that the labor. I can not state in better than of our will Mr. p. 'Imperishdeeds. if and love stronger than death. will tolerate the race its which has for a mo- ment disturbed into the pit. and to redissolve everything that they have once evolved. You all know the picture of the last state of the universe. Balfour's words: "The energies system will decay. the glory of the sun be dimmed. and the no longer earth.PRAGMATISM which our organisms have ever yielded us and for all the ideals which our minds now frame. The uneasy consciousness which in this ob- scure corner has for a brief space broken the contented silence of the universe. they had not been. and suffering of man have striven ^ through countless ages to ^ effect. tideless and inert. are yet fatally certain to undo their work again. all his Man will go down and thoughts will perish. 30. genius. be as is.

without a memory. is This utter final tific wreck and tragedy of the essence of scien- materialism as at present understood.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS That is the sting of it. those elements of preciousness which they enshrined. Spencer believes this as much as any one. though many a jewelled shore appears. make it care for similar ideals. for products are gone. absolutely nothing remains. The lower and not the higher forces are the eternal forces. 105 when what . that in the vast drift- ings of the cosmic weather. to represent those particular qualities. so why should he argue silly aesthetic with us as if we were making objections to the prinreally 'grossness' of 'matter ciples and motion. and many an enchanted it cloud-bank dissolved floats aw^ay. without an influence on aught that may come to after. Dead and gone are they. long lingering ere be our — even as our world now joy — yet when these transient lingers.' the of his philosophy. nothing. gone from the very sphere and room Without an echo. or the last surviving forces within the only cycle of evolution which see. utterly may have of being. we can definitely Mr.

where he partial. but we then think of him as still mindful of the old ideals and sure to fruition. that it guarantees an ideal order that shall be permanently preserved. for *grossness. A world with a God in it to say the last word.' w^hat grossness does — we it. tragedy is only provisional and and shipwreck and dissolution not the absolutely final things. so that. this It to materialism is not would be of is it farcical at day to make complaint Grossness that.PRAGMATISM dismays us is the disconsolateness of its ulte- rior practical results? No. The notion of God. has at least this practical superiority over them. not a fulfiller of / ideal our remotest hopes. on the other hand. howit ever inferior may be in clearness to those mathematical notions so current in mechanical philosophy. This need of an eternal moral order is one of the deepest needs of our 106 . to bring them elsewhere is. for w^hat it is — not a permanent warrant for our more interests. may indeed burn up or freeze. now know We make comnot plaint of on the contrary. for what it is. the true objection positive but negative.

like Dante and AVordswho live on the conviction of such an owe to that fact the extraordinary tonic and consoling power in these different of their verse. emotional and practical ap-^ peals. order.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS breast. and which all the delicate consequences entail. Even whilst admitting that different spiritualism and materialism make prophecies of the world's future. . for any one as who feels and. as long men are men. worth. and the cutting off of ultimate hopes ation of spiritualism means the affirmletting an eternal moral order and the Surely here is loose of hope. Here then. in these adjustments of our concrete attitudes of hope and expectation. it will yield matter for a serious philosophic debate. Materialism means simply the denial that the moral order is eternal./ But possibly some their of you may still rally to defence. an it. of or about the metaphysical attributes God. lie their differences the real meanings of materialism and spiritualism stractions about — not in hair-splitting ab- matter's inner essence. issue genuine enough. you 107 may your- . And those poets.

but trustful also takes our joyous. all superior minds feel seriously about them. the overlapping things. is to take shorter views. I can only say that injustice is say this. The issues of fact at stake in the debate are of course vaguely enough conceived by us its at present. It Any view does not only incites our more strenuous it moments. are the truly philosophic concerns. it moments. I said of the Absolute religious : it grants us moral holidays. and the mind with of the the shortest views is simply the mind more shallow man. But spiritualistic faith in all forms deals with a world of ^promise. Re- member what this. you do to human nature. It . no concern about such chimseras as the of the world. while materialism's sun sets in a sea of disappointment. end you Well. The essence of a sane mind. and 108 justifies them. the last things. Religious melancholy not disposed of by a simple flourish of the word insanity. The ab- solute things. careless.PRAGMATISM selves pooh-pooh the difference as something so infinitely remote as to mean nothing and for a sane mind. you to feel latter if may say.

his name means the benefit of the holiday. Let us hope that they Let shall find a modus Vivendi! me pass to a very cognate philosophic problem. When they have once at least given you your God. all we have one. You remember what I said yesterday about the way in w^hich truths clash and ' try to ' *down' each other. in ad- vance of that labor. trial it.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS paints the grounds of justification vaguely enough. on trial by them and they on Our -final opinion about God can be settled only after all the truths have straightened themselves out together. God's existence has to from time immemorial been held facts. be proved by certain natural 109 Many . The exact features of the saving future facts that our belief in insures. will God study have to be ciphered out by the : interminable methods of science we can our God only by studying his Creation. The all truth of God by has to run the gauntlet of It is our other truths. the questionof design innature. to be sure. I myself believe that lies the evidence for God primarily in inner personal experiences. if But we can enjoy our God.

light its and eyes the separate means devised attainment. etc. tail. the end designed. to how little it counts for since the triumph of the darwinian theory.PRAGMATISM facts appear as if expressly designed in view of one another. Nature was ran- sacked for results obtained through separate things being co-adapted. was as held. is It strange. fit him wondrously for a world of trees. with grubs hid in their bark to parts of our eye fit feed upon. Thus the woodpecker's bill. for in- stance. and the designer was always treated was a man-loving deity. Such mutual fitting of it things diverse in origin argued design. tongue. Our eyes. leading its rays to a sharp picture on our retina. considering felt how unanimously our ancestors see the force of this argument. and the light originates in the sun. 110 Darwin opened our . The first step in these arguments to prove that the design existed. They are evidently Vision is made for each other. feet. The the laws of light to perfection.. yet see how they for fit each other. originate in intra-uterine darkness.

of one or the other. designed.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS minds to the power of if chance-happenings to only they have time to bring forth *fit' results add themselves together." they are to fit We know that they are both: itself made by a machinery designed the feet with shoes. Theology need only stretch similarly the designs of 111 God. depends upon To the grub under the bark the exquisite fitness of the woodpecker's organ- ism to extract him would certainly argue a diabolical designer. used to be a question of purpose against mechanism. Theologians have by their facts. He showed the enor- mous waste of nature in producing results that get destroyed because of their unfitness. the point of view. Here. this time stretched minds so as to embrace the darwinian and yet to interpret It them as still showing divine purpose. As the . im- possible that they should have been produced by machinery. would argue an evil rather all than a good designer. also He emphasized the number of adaptations if which. It was as if one should say " fit My shoes hence are eviit is dently designed to my feet.

to make men and to save them. The what of them mere very so overwhelms us that to establish the that of a designer for little them becomes of consequence in comparison. man's creation and per- fection. The deity.PRAGMATISM aim of a football-team is not merely to get the that were so. but rather to get this done through the sole agency of nature's vast machinery. designer is no longer the old man-like His designs have grown so vast as to be incomprehensible to us humans. us say. Without nature's stupendous laws and counter-forces. This saves the form of the design-argument at the expense of its old easy human content. but to get of conditions it there by a fixed machinery — the game's rules and so the opposing is players. would be too in- sipid achievements for God to have proposed them. we might suppose. they ball to a certain goal (if would simply get up on some dark night and place it there). let the aim of God not merely. We can with difiiculty comprehend the character of a cosmic mind whose purposes are fully revealed 112 .

The mere word * design' by no consequences and explains nothing. must have been fitted to The argu- ment from fitness to design would consequently always apply. Or has rather we cannot by any possibility compreitself hend it. whatever were the product's character. means 4 must necessarily have been adequate. Remember that no matter what nature may the have produced or may be producing. The recent Mont-Pelee eruption. etc. the barrenest of principles. Our country had to exist and send our ships there. 113 . human and animal corpses. for example.. required all previous history to produce that exact combination of ruined houses. France had to be a nation and colonize Martinique. sunken ships. is It is The is old ques- tion of whether there design idle. that production. The real question it is what is the world.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS by the strange mixture of goods and evils that we find in this actual world's particulars. volcanic ashes. in just that one hideous configuration of positions. whether or not have a designer — and that can be revealed all only by the study of nature's particulars.

then. in . chaotic or harmonious. pending the slow answer Meanfacts. the means by which the centuries bent towards their influences showed exquisite intelligence. any conceivable character. that the whole cosmic machinery may have been designed to produce it. It carries no conit sequences. When we look at what has act- ually come. therefore. we be find actually For the parts of things must always it make some definite resultant.^ are the only serious ques- and the study of facts is the only way of getting even approximate answers. while. which realized. perfectly designed to ensure say. Pragmatically.PRAGMATISM If God aimed it. designer. in We can always of any conceivable world. either in nature or in history. gets a certain prag- matic benefit from the term 114 — the same. What design. from any one is who insists that there is a is designer and who sure he a divine one. And so of any state of things whatever.^ and what tions. does no execution. the conditions must always appear it. the abstract word 'design' is a blank cartridge. at just that result.

It is a principle. 'Design. that ant meaning. which we saw that the terms God. Returning with into experience.' worthless tho it be as a mere rationalistic principle set above or behind things for our admiration. Let me take up another well-worn contro- versy. ii^jr^e^i^i^L^rtiiZdm. Most persons who do so believe in what is called their free-will after the rationalistic fashion. That a most import- much at least of possible 'truth' the terms will then have in them.SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS fact. a term of promise.this reason. or the Absolute. If not a blind force but a seeing force runs things. we may reasonably expect better issues. J^ . becomes. yield us. if our faith concretes it into something it theistic. Spirit. This vague confidence in the future is the sole pragmatic meaning at present discernible in the terms design and designer. by which his dignity is enigmatically augmented. But if cosmic confidence is is right not wrong. Deter- 115 . better not worse. it HejQUght-feo-believe for. we gain a more confiding out- look on the future. a positive faculty or virtue added to man.

and that admiration of it as a principle of fidelity. punish. free-will So both and determinism have been 116 .?' — these preoccupations hang like a bad dream over man's religious history. who say that individual men originate nothing. the same pragmatic interpretation has been put upon it by both disputants. Thus does inter- the old legal est and theological leaven.^ whom can we whom will God punish. and. stripped of this I creative principle. who deny it. You know how large a part questions of accountability have played in ethical controversy. dignity has much to do with your But free-will has also been discussed prag- matically. He is less admirable. the in crime and sin and punishment abide * with us.PRAGMATISM minists. diminish man. that ethics aims at one would suppose that is a code of merits and demerits.? Who's to blame . To all hear some persons. strangely enough. but merely transmit to the future the whole push of the past cosmos of which they are so small an expression. imagine that more than instinctive belief in f ree- half of I you share our will.

in the eyes of * its enemies.^ But where would it be if we had free-will. our acts were predetermined. not 'prin- and where then would be our precious imputability and responsibility. how can 7. and simply tacks itself on to me. the grafting to the past If of something not involved therein. be responsible.^ rejoin the determinists. that comes not from me.'^ How to can I have any permanent still character that will stand praise or long enough for blame be aw^arded. Messrs. has seemed to ' prevent the imputability of good or bad deeds to their authors. how could we be thing. because each. 117 Fullerton and .SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS inveighed against and called absurd. will Queer antinomy on this! Free--^^ means novelty. the previous me.' praised or blamed for any* We should be agents' only. but ex nihilo. the if we merely transmitted push of the whole past.^ cipals.^ The chaplet of my days tumbles into a cast of disconnected beads as soon as the thread of inner necessity is draw^n out by the preposterous in- determinist doctrine. If a *free' act be a sheer novelty. the previous I. the free-willists say.

if he does bad acts we shall punish him. For but otherwise it pitiful. ous in him or are novelties in a To make our human ethics revolve about the is question of 'merit' a piteous unreality merits. quite apart from or other reasons. — any- how. Lif a man does good acts we shall praise him. ought not to be ashamed such principles as either Instinct dignity or imputability. is alone can know our ground we have The real for supposing free-will it indeed pragmatic. and utility between them can safely be trusted to carry on the social business of punishment and praise. child. but has nothing to do with this contemptible right to punish which has made such a noise in past discussions of ^^^ the subject. and quite apart from theories as to whether the acts result from what was previstrict sense. It is may be good ad hominem. if — V^ I God any.PRAGMATISM McTaggart have recently laid about them doughtily with this argument. "^^^ Free-will pragmatically means novelties in M ^^ 118 . whether any man. I ask you. woman with a sense for to plead realities.

SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS
in the world, the right to expect that
its

deepest

elements as well as in
the
future

its

surface phenomena,

may

not

identically repeat

and
is

imitate the past]
there,

That

imitation en masse
'

who can deny? The general uniformity
is

of nature'

presupposed by every

lesser law.

But nature may be only approximately uniform; and persons in whom knowledge of the
world's past has bred pessimism (or doubts
as to the world's

good character, which bethat character be supposed

come

certainties

if

eternally fixed)
will

may

naturally

welcome
It

free-

as

a melioristic doctrine.
at least possible;

holds

up/^

improvement as

whereas de-

terminism assures us that our whole notion of
possibility
is

born of

human

ignorance, and

that necessity

and impossibilityjaetween them

rule the destinies of the

world^
general

^^^^

Free-will

is

thus

a

cosmological

theory of promise, just like the Absolute, God,
Spirit or Design.

Taken

abstractly,

no one

of

these terms has any inner content, none of
gives us

them

any

picture,

and no one

of

them would

retain the least pragmatic value in a world
119

PRAGMATISM
whose character was obviously perfect from
the start. Elation at

mere

existence, pure cosit

mic emotion and
me, quench
if

delight, would,

seems to

all interest in

those speculations,

the world were nothing but a lubberland of

happiness already.

Our

interest in religious

metaphysics arises in the fact that our empirical future feels to

us unsafe, and needs

some

higher guarantee. If the past and present were purely good,

who

could wish that the future

might possibly not resemble them.^
desire free-will.'^

Who

could

Who

would not

say, with
like

Huxley,

'

let

me

be wound up every day
fatally,

a watch, to go right
freedom.'

and

I ask

no better

'Freedom'

in a

world already perto be worse,
that.'^

fect could only

mean freedom
to

and
be

who

could be so insane as to wish

To

necessarily
else, would

what

it is,

be impossibly aught

put the

last

touch of perfection upon

optimism's universe. Surely the only possibility
that one can rationally claim that things
is

the possibility
possibility, I

may be
is

better.

That

need hardly say,
goes,

one that, as the actual world
for desiderating.

we have ample grounds
120

SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS
<^
Free-will thus has no
relief.

meaning unless
it

it

be

a doctrine of

As such,

takes

its

place

with other religious doctrines. Between them,
they build up the old wastes and repair the

former desolations.
this

Our

spirit,

shut within
is
*

courtyard of sense-experience,

always

saying to the intellect upon the tower:

Watch-

man,
bear,'

tell

us of the night,

if it
it

aught of promise
then these terms

and the

intellect gives

of promise.

Other than
words God,

this practical significance, the

free-will, design, etc.,

have none.

Yet dark tho they be
lectualistically taken,
life's

in themselves, or intel-

when

w^e

bear them into

thicket with us the darkness there grows

light

about

us. If

you

stop, in dealing with such

words, with their definition, thinking that to

be an intellectual

finality,

where are

you.^

Stuest

pidly staring at a pretentious sham!

"Deus

Ens, a

se,

extra et supra

omne

genus, necessa-

rium, unum, infinite perfectum, simplex, immutabile,
etc.,

immensum, aeternum,
is

intelligens,"
inits

— wherein
It

such a definition really
less

structive.^

means

than nothing, in

121

PRAGMATISM
pompous robe of adjectives. Pragmatism alone
can read a positive meaning into
it,

and for that

she turns her back upon the intellectualist
point of view altogether.
all's right
*

God's

in his

heaven;

with the world!'

— That's the real
as well

heart of your theology, and for that you need

no

rationalist definitions.

Why
far

should n't

all of us, rationalists
this.^

as pragmatists, confess

Pragmatism, so

from keeping her eyes bent on the immeis

diate practical foreground, as she

accused of

doing, dwells just as

much upon

the world's

remotest perspectives.

See then
turn, as
it

how

all

these ultimate questions

were, upon their hinges; and from

looking backwards upon principles, upon an
erkenntnisstheoretische Ich, a
tdtsprinzip,

God, a Kausali-

a Design, a Free-will, taken in

themselves, as something august and exalted

above

facts,

see, I say, how pragmatism shifts

the emphasis and looks forward into facts themselves.

The
is

really vital question for us all

is,

What

this

world going to

be.^

eventually to

make

of itself?
122

What is life The centre of

SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS
gravity of philosophy
place.

must therefore

alter

its

n

The

earth of things, long thrown into
glories of the

shadow by the
resume
its

upper ether, must
emphasis
in this

rights.

To

shift the

way means

that philosophic questions will fall

to be treated

by minds

of a less abstractionist

type than heretofore, minds more scientific and
individualistic in their tone yet not irreligious
either.
It will

be an alteration in *the seat of

authority' that reminds one almost of the protestant reformation.

And

as, to

papal minds,

protestantism has often seemed a mere mess
of anarchy

and confusion, such, no doubt,
to

will

pragmatism often seem

ultra-rationalist

minds

in philosophy.

It will

seem so much
life

sheer trash, philosophically. But
all

wags on,

the same,

and compasses
I

its

ends, in pro-

testant

countries.

venture to think that

philosophic protestantism will compass a not
dissimilar prosperity.

IV THE ONE AND THE MANY .

.

Be they ing of be they true. Design. Hold a tumbler of water a above your eyes and look up its through the water at still surface — or better look similarly through the flat wall of an aquarium. in its dealings with certain concepts. spirit free-will. 127 No ray.LECTURE IV THE ONE AND THE MANY tT E saw in the last lecture that the pragmatic method. under these . the mean- them is this meliorism. the absolute mind. between abstract ideas and concrete as pragmatism conceives little it. situated on the opposite side of the vessel. You will then see an extraordinarily of a candle-flame. instead of ending with admiring contemplation. plunges forward into the river of experience with them and prolongs the perspective by their means. have for their sole better promise as to this world's outfalse or meaning a come. brilliant reflected image say or any other clear object. instead of matter. I have sometimes 'total re- thought of the phenomenon called flexion' in Optics as a good symbol of the relareali- tion ties.

it pure or penetrate it. we touch now in this part. it. Now let the water represent the world of sensible facts. and happens is to us. the water. of course. We it from however. it.PRAGMATISM circumstances gets beyond the water's surface every ray is totally reflected back into the depths again. consists are indispensable for but irrespir- able by themselves. but this one rather takes my fancy. It shows how something. We are like fishes swimming in the sea of sense. halting. as it were. and the locus of everything that lives. Both but worlds are real. bounded above by the superior element. so far as full experience goes. and every time we touch we turn back into the water with our course re-determined and re-energized. and interact. now in that. they interact only at their boundary. not itself. and only active All similes are in their re-directing function. but unable to breathe get our oxygen incessantly. and let the air above it represent the world of abstract ideas. sufficient for life in may of nevertheless be life an effective deter- minant elsewhere. The abstract ideas of which the air life. 128 .

So bear with me for an hour w^hile I try to inspire you with my own interest in this problem. central because so pregnant. Few is persons ever challenge this definition. To is believe in the one many.THE ONE AND THE MANY In this present hour I wish to illustrate the I pragmatic method by one more application. Philosophy has often been defined as the quest or the vision of the world's unity. I myself have come. wish to turn its light upon the ancient problem I suspect that in of *the one and the many. by long broodit ing over to consider the most central of all philosophic problems. I mean by this that if you know whether a man is a decided monist or a decided pluralrest of ist. for philosophy has indeed all manifested above things 129 its interest in unity.' but few of you has this problem occasioned sleepless nights. that the classification with maximum number of consequences. it. . and I should not be aston- ished if some of you told me it had never vexed you at all. which true as far as it goes. you perhaps know more about the than in if his opinions you give him any other name ending or in the the ist.

we quickly see that unity only one of them. along w^ith their reduction to system. 130 . first When a young man conceives the notion that the fact. has never lacked for praise along with your philosopher. In spite of this obvious fact the unity of things has always been considered trious. acis quaintance with reality's diversities as im- portant as understanding their connexion. philological type. your man our essentially of learning. than their variety. Paris. whole world forms one great * with et all its Compare A. Vactivite inien- iionelle de VEsprit. as it more illus- were.^ unity taken singly. Curiosity goes pari passu with the systematizing passion. Acquaintance with the de- tails of fact is always reckoned. as an indispensable of mental greatness. 79 ff.PRAGMATISM But how about the variety in things? Is that If instead of such an irrelevant matter? the term philosophy. 1905. intellect really What aims at is neither variety nor totality. of encyclopedic. mark Your * scholarly' mind. Bellanger: Les concepts de Cause. intellect is using we talk in general of our and its needs. p. but In this. Alcan.

sense. he feels as insight. Unity doesn't blind them to everydoesn't quench their curiosity for is else. as if it were.^ "- How else could be a world at Empiricists as a rule. Yet probably every it. one in this audience in some way cherishes A certain abstract monism. to treat 131 it tically and .THE ONE AND THE MANY parts moving abreast. and inter- locked. are as stout monists of this abstract kind as rationalists is are. the insight is so vague as hardly to seem worth defending intellectually. but vastly more excellent and is eminent. The thing difference that the empiricists are less dazzled. a certain emotional if it response to the character of oneness. so prevalent in educated circles that call it we might almost a part of philosophic is common we say. it Taken mon- thus abstractly as istic first comes to one. Of course the world it One. whereas there alist a kind of ration- who is sure to interpret abstract unity mysto forget everything else. all . as were a feature of the world not co-ordinate with its manyness. special facts. fall he were enjoying a great all and looks superciliously on who still short of this sublime conception.

true. 132 . but. Three' and 'seven' have. sively the I will note succes- more obvious of these ways. we pass from the vague to the definite. What is the practical value of the oneness for us. Granting the one- ness to exist. come to view. The world is One sequence. there to take hold of that we hardly know what we mean to get by it. why *one' * more excellent than * forty. and thereupon ually.^ — but how one.PRAGMATISM as a principle.worship. The is only it way forward with our notion to treat pragmatically. to to admire and worship it.^ unity be known as. Many distinct ways in which a one- ness predicated of the universe might make a difference. come to a full stop intellect- *The world is One!' — the formula may be* come a sort of number. Asking such questions.three. what facts will be different in con- What will the yes. abstractly taken.' or this first is than two million and ten' ? In vague conviction so little of the world's unity. from the abstract to the concrete. it is been reckoned sacred is numbers.

' once named. let mon- own mouth.' which expressly intends that no part shall be left out. manyness were so irremediits able as to permit no union whatever of parts. First. but what matters It still remains to in be ascertained whether they are one further or £. Are they. the world If its is at least one subject of discourse.THE ONE AND THE MxVNY 1. not even our minds could it * mean ' the whole of at once: they would be like eyes trying to look in opposite directions.' speech The Universe' !" they chuckle — ''his bewrayeth him. any more valuable sense." ! things be one in so far forth You can it ? then fling such a word as universe at the whole collection of them. has as much unity It is of discourse as a cosmos. continuous? 133 Can . so A ' chaos. ism out of his He stands confessed of Well. fact But in point of it we mean to cover the whole of by our abstract term 'world' or 'universe. for example. Such unity of discourse carries obviously no farther monistic specifications. an odd fact that manymonists consider a great victory scored for their side when " ' pluralists say *the universe is many.

PRAGMATISM you pass from one in to another. is to us. Space and time are thus vehicles of continuity by which the world's parts hang together. Our whole motor them. so far as the physical world goes. resultant from these forms life is immense. instead of being detached grains of sand? Even you can grains of sand hang together through and if the space in which they are embedded. based upon There are innumerable other paths of practical continuity among things. Lines line of mto- fluence can be traced by which they hang gether. 3. and heat-conduction are such all-uniting influ- ences. Following any such till you pass from one thing to another you may have covered Gravity a good part of the universe's extent. The practical difference of union. keeping always of your one universe without any danger falling out? In other words. you can pass continuously from number one of them to number two. in any way move through such space. do the parts of like our universe hang together. luminous and chemical influences follow 134 . Electric.

THE ONE AND THE MANY similar lines of influence. There are innumerable kinds that special things things. B loves (or hates) C. or the Chief of the Afrielse in the inhabited can Pigmies. What may be called love- systems are grafted on the acquaintance-system. lost you wish to get far- Practically. Jones know^s Robinson. etc. Brown etc. or to any one w^orld. But opaque and inert bodies interrupt the continuity here. you have then it your universe's unity. so far as was constituted by those first lines of influence. or change if your mode of progress ther on that day. as by a non- conductor. so that you have to step round them. when you choose one man wrong in this experiment. But these systems are smaller than the 135 . of connexion have with other special of and the ensemble any one of these connexions forms one sort of system by w^hich things are conjoined. But you are stopped short. and by choosing your rightly farther intermediaries to you may carry a message from Jones the Empress of China. in a vast Thus men are conjoined network ot acquaintanceship.. knows Jones. A loves (or hates) B .

PRAGMATISM great acquaintance-system that they presup' pose. the parts of which obey defin- influences that propagate themselves within it. some less so. its parts being strung on that peculiar kind of figure in relation. the system but not to facts outside of result is The innumerable little hangings-together of the world's parts within the larger hangings- together. as a offices * man may hold various and belong to several clubs. Each system exemplifies one type or grade of union. the pragis matic value of the world's unity definite that these exist. postal. not only of discourse but of operation. little worlds. and the same part may many different systems. all commer- systems. Human efforts are daily unifying the world more and more in definite systematic ways. From this all systematic' point of view. therefore. Enor136 . consular. they are superposed upon each other. networks actually and practically Some are more enveloping and extensive. all and between them they let no individual elementary part of the universe escape. We cial ite found colonial. within the w^der universe.

so far to next. instead of choosing conductors for you choose non-conductors. as they obtain. may be said that all things cohere and adhere to each other somehoiv. if you can only pick the w^ay it out rightly. if.' — meanis it ing in these respects. and just so far But just as definitely not is One.THE ONE AND THE MANY mous as is the amount of disconnexion among things (for these systematic influences and con- junctions follow rigidly exclusive paths). and there no species connexion which will not it fail. and that the universe exists practically in reticulated or concaten- ated forms which make of it a continuous of influence or 'integrated' affair. you can follow from next is You may then say that the w^orld One. so far as they of do not obtain. Any kind w^hatever helps to as make it * the w^orld one. namely. Loosely speaking. You are then arrested at your to write the very first step and have world down as a pure many from that particular point of view. every- thing that exists is influenced in some way by something else. and in general. If our intellect ested in disjunctive as had been it is as much inter- in conjunctive rela- 137 .

we now need which at the conductors and now need non-conductors.PRAGMATISM tions. God's flat on creation's day has figured in traditional philosophy as such an absolute cause and origin. Just as with space. minor causal influences among things should converge causal origin of towards one common them that in is. but sometimes is one function and sometimes the other what comes home to us most. one great first cause for all one might then speak of the absolute causal unity of the world. great point is to notice that the oneness and the manyness are absolutely co-ordinate Neither is primordial or more essential or excellent than the other. The here. the past. philosophy would have equally success- fully celebrated the world's disunion. All these systems of influence or non-in- fluence may be listed under the general proIf the blem of the world's causal unity. so. 138 Transcendental . 4. and is wisdom lies in knowing which appropriate moment. in our general deal- ings with the world of influences. whose separating a par with its of things seems exactly on uniting of them.

5. The most important among sort of union that obtains is things. but perhaps. for logic works by predicating 139 of the single in- . there are many specimens each kind. We can easily conceive that every fact in the w^orld might be singular. pragmatically speaking. In such a world of singulars our logic would be useless. that is. unlike any other fact and sole of its kind. their generic unity. just the be. Things in exist in kinds. translating 'creation' into thinking' * (or * 'willing to think') calls the divine act eternal' rather than 'first'. and it what the 'kind' implies for one specimen.THE ONE AND THE MANY Idealism. but the union of the many here is absolute. alternative has doubtless a pragmatic meaning. same — the many would not save for the One. atoms or even of spiritual units of some The go. Against this notion of the unity of origin of all things there has always stood the pluralistic notion of an eternal self-existing many in the shape of sort. implies also for every other specimen of that kind. as far as these lectures we had better leave the question of unity of orio^in unsettled.

tion 6.' for this Be- 'experiences. Every living being pursues own peculiar purposes. to reason we should be unable to from our past experiences our fugeneric ture ones. another ques- which I prefer to leave unsettled just now. Another specification of what the phrase is 'the world pose.' Absolute generic unity would obtain there were one things without * summum ings. All what not. They co-operate. With no two things alike in the world. The existence of so is much of unity in things thus perhaps the most specification moit mentous pragmatic what may mean to say *the world is if One. 'thinkables. ac- cording to the degree of their development.PRAGMATISM stance what is true of all its kind.' position. controlits ling purpose. would be candidates Whether the alternatives expressed by such words have any is pragmatic significance or not. industrial. one' may mean is unity of purthe the world An enormous number of things in subserve a common purpose. administrative.' genus under which all exception could be eventually subsumed. or systems. in 140 . exist each for its man-made military.

Where one can't crush the other out. know in this Any remay have been purposed results in advance. Men and nations start with a vague notion of being rich. say that the ap- pearances conflict with such a view. but none of the world have in all we actually point of fact been purposed in advance in their details. they different compromise. sultant. final all and climacteric purpose subserved by things without exception might conceivably It is needless to be reached. larger ends thus enveloping lesser ones. Vaguely and generally. What is reached in the end may be better or worse than what was proposed. but it is always more complex and different. but every141 . as I said in my third lecture. much of what was purposed may be gained.THE ONE AND THE MANY collective or tribal purposes. or great. Our different purposes also are at war with each other. until an absolutely single. or good. Each step they make brings unforeseen chances vistas. and shuts out older and the to specifications of the general purpose have be daily changed. and the result is again from what any one distinctly proposed beforehand. into sight.

and that a bit of danger or hard- ship puts us agreeably to our trumps. Theologians who dogmatize it find more and more impossible. We can vaguely generalize this into the doctrine that all the evil in the universe its is but instrumental scale of the to greater perfection. 142 ways. brings us no farther than the book of Job did — God's ways are not our upon our mouth. his own risk. so let us put our hands . pages of a Bradley or a Royce. is one purpose that every dogmatizes at thus detail of the universe subserves. Whoever claims saying that there absolute teleological unity. to imagine what the one climacteric purpose may possibly be like.PRAGMATISM thing makes strongly is for the view that our teleologically world incompletely unified trying to get its and is still unification better organized. We see indeed that certain evils min- ister to ulterior goods. that the bitter makes the cocktail better. But the evil actually in sight defies all human tolerance in the and transcendental idealism. more as our ac- quaintance with the warring interests of the world's parts grows concrete.

His animal spirits are too high. tell Things so as to other's a story. The world full of partial stories that other. we can no definite purpose prefell sided over a chain of events. with a start. temporarily turn my attention from my Even them a biographer of twins alternately would have to press upon his reader's attention. but we can not unify them completely in our In following your life-history. yet the events into a dramatic form. is and very analogous to teleological union. In other words the is Absolute' with his one purpose. They play hands expressively. In point of fact all stories end. not the man-like 7. run parallel to one an- beginning and ending at odd times.THE ONE AND THE MANY A God who can relish such superfluities of horror is no God * for human beings to appeal to. and a finish. interfere at points. I must own. ^^sthetic union among things also obtains. They mutually interlace and minds. Their parts hang together into each work out a climax. 143 . God of common people. is and here again the point the of view of a many is more natural one to take. a middle. see that altho Retrospectively.

like the rope's ous. so far as they are beings. has to treat the history of each single organ is in turn. to be discontinu- and to cohere only in the longi- tudinal direction. then. but to conceive of each cross- section of the rope as an absolutely single fact. We flat have indeed the analogy of embryology us. So far. they are many. But the great world's ingredients. It is man believes at his easy to see the world's history plural- istically. and mentally unites them into one solid whole. thus another barely as some- The world appears we see thing more epic than dramatic. fibres.PRAGMATISM It follows that whoever says that the whole world tells one story utters another of those monistic dogmas that a risk. harder. and to sum the whole longitudinal series into is one being living an undivided life. Even when he follows the development of his object. seem. how 144 the world is unified . Absolute aesthetic union abstract ideal. Followed in that direction the embryologist. as a rope of which each fibre tells a separate tale. cross-wise. to help The microscopist makes a hundred cross-sections of a given embryo.

kind. The many his exist only as objects for thought — all exist in his dream. and is dramas. Many kinds of difference important its to us would surely follow from 145 being true. The great monistic deiikmittel for a hun- dred years past has been the notion of the one Knower. All I say here is is rash to affirm this dogmatically without better evi- dence than we possess 8. a legitimate hypothat it system. The Absolute in has far-reaching practical consequences. kinds. which clear thinkers can not evade. That there more union is in all these ways than openly appears certainly true. thesis. lute. notion of an is tell one tale for him. purposes. as it were. . and as he knows them. and story. to some of which I drew attention my second lecture. That there may be one is sovereign purpose.THE ONE AND THE MANY by its many systems. at present. they have one purpose. as the Those who all-knower is believe in the Abso- termed. form one system. usually say that they do so for coercive reasons. This enveloping noetic unity in things the sublimest achievement of intellectualist philosophy.

I must therefore treat the notion of an All-Knower simply as an hypothesis. and the yet not greatest knower them all may know the whole of everything. 1897. some knower along with something the knowers but may in the end be irreducibly of many. *' God's conscience. farther than to say that none of them seem to me sound. 146 . no focus of information extant. the world would noetically." says its Professor Royce. or even know what he does know at one single stroke he may be liable to forget.PRAGMATISM I can not here enter into all the logical proofs of such a Being's existence. Whichever type — obtained. Empiricism on the other hand satisfied with the type of noetic unity that humanly familiar. The Conception of God. Everything gets known by else. p. 292. from which the is entire content of the universe ** visible at once. exactly on a par logically with the pluralist notion that there is no point of view.^ forms in wholeness one luminously transparent conscious this is the type of noetic unity moment" — is on which ration- alism is insists. 1 still be a universe Its parts would be conjoined by New York.

It has prac- driven out that conception of 'Subw^hich earlier philosophers set such stance' store by.THE ONE AND THE MANY knowledge. the very forms in w^hich w^e finite knowers experience or think them together. The notion of one instantaneous or eternal the — either adjective here means as the great same thing — Knower ualist tically is. but in the one case the knowledge unified. and it is a great pragmatic to achievement for recent idealism 147 have made . and by which so much unifying work used to be done — universal substance which itself. It now only as another as they name for the fact phenomena and given come are actually grouped in coherent forms. I said. in the other it would be absolutely would be strung along and overlapped. These forms of conjunction are as much parts of the tissue of experience as are the terms which they connect. Substance has suc- cumbed to the pragmatic criticisms of the Engappears that lish school. intellect- achievement of our time. alone has being in and from all and of which the particulars of experience are but forms to which it gives support.

The oneness and it the manyness of thus obtain in respects vv'hich It is neither can be separately named.PRAGMATISM the world hang together in these directly re its presentable ways instead of drawing unity from the that * inherence' of its parts — whatever may mean — it in an unimaginable principle behind the scenes. *The world is One. for their accurate ascertainment. but . so many distinct programs of scientific work. then also not junctions as One by just as many definite we find. just so far as to we as experience be cQnaatenateLi One by But (dis- many definite conjunctions as appear.' therefore. far The stream may we indeed reveal more connexion and union than we now are not entitled on pragmatic 148 suspect. verse pure a uni- and simple nor a multiverse pure its and simple. And various manners of being One suggest. Thus ness it the pragmatic question as ? 'What is the one- known ' What practical difference will all make ? it saves us from feverish excitement over as a principle of sublimity and carries us forward into the stream of experience with a cool head.

It is so difficult to see definitely what abso- lute oneness can mean. oneness of things. Only then could consider our estate completely rational. some- parts co-implicated w^e through and through. must be the more real aspect of the world. in short. w^ith its unit of being. Nevertheless there are possibly some radically monistic souls among you who one and the are not content to leave the many on a par. superior to their many- you think must also be more deeply true. The ness. The pragmatic view% you are sure. that sort of thing seems to you a halfway stage of thought. Union of various grades. and means in many all cases outer nextness only.THE ONE AND THE MANY principles to claim absolute oneness in any respect in advance. and not a more internal bond. union of diverse types. union of concatenation. that probably the majority of you are satisfied with the sober attitude which we have reached. 149 . The real universe must form an unconditional thing consolidated. union that stops at non-conductors. union that merely goes from next to next. gives us a universe imperfectly rational.

who take it The one knower involves. the other forms of conjunction. like one origin. or one knower. finally. One God" — from a Christian Science mail brings into leaflet which the day's doubt my hands — beyond such a confession of faith has pragmatically an emotional value. One Life. or. it means some one vehicle of conjunction treated as all-inclusive. one Love. or means the sum total of all the ascertainable particular conjunctions and concatenations . One Truth. it In point of fact to those always means one knower intellectually to-day. all its His world must have parts co-implicated in the one logical150 . It our pragmatistic determinations means either the mere name One. the universe it of discourse. one purpose. they think.PRAGMATISM There monistic is no doubt whatever that of thinking '* this ultra- way means a great deal to many minds. and beyond doubt the word *one' contributes to the value quite as much as the other words. lectually But if we try to realize intel- what we can possibly mean by such a glut of oneness we are thrown right back upon again. One Good. I quote one Principle.

THE ONE AND THE MANY
sesthetical-teleological

unit-picture

which

is

his eternal

dream.
the absolute

The
picture

character of
is

knower's

however so impossible

for us to re-

present clearly, that

we may

fairly

suppose

that the authority w^hich absolute

monism unw^ill

doubtedly possesses, and probably always
possess over
far less

some persons, draws
intellectual

its

strength

from

than from mystical

grounds.
ily,

To interpret absolute monism worthMystical states of mind in

be a mystic.

every degree are shown by history, usually tho

not always, to

make

for the monistic view.
to enter

This

is

no proper occasion

upon the

general subject of mysticism, but I will quote

one mystical pronouncement to show just w^hat
I
is

mean. The paragon of

all

monistic systems

the Vedanta philosophy of Hindostan,

and

the paragon of Vedantist missionaries was the
late

Swami Vivekananda who visited our land
of

some years ago. The method
is

Vedantism
not reason,

the mystical method.

You do

but after going through a certain discipline you
see,

and having

seen,

you can report the
151

truth.

PRAGMATISM
Vivekananda thus reports the truth
his lectures here:
In

one of

"Where

is

there any

more misery

for

him

who

sees this
of

Oneness

in the universe, this

Oneness

life,

Oneness

of everything?

.

.

,

This separation between

man and man, man
from nathis

and woman, man and
tion, earth

child, nation

from moon, moon from sun,
is

separation between atom and atom
really of all the misery,
this separation
is

the cause

and the Vedanta says
exist,
it is

does not

not real. It

merely apparent, on the surface.
is

In the
in-

heart of things there
side

unity

still.

If

you go

you find that unity between
races

man and man,
and
are
all

women and children,
low, rich

and

races, high
:

and poor, the gods and men
too,
if

One, and animals

you go deep enough,
to that has

and he who has attained
delusion.
.
.

no more
delu-

.

Where

is

there any

more

sion for him.?

What can
is

delude him.?

He

knows the
everything.
for him.?

reality of everything, the secret of

Where

there any
?

more misery
traced

What

does he desire

He has

the reality of everything unto the Lord, that
]52

THE ONE AND THE MANY
centre, that Unity of everything,

and that

is

Eternal Bliss, Eternal
Existence.

Knowledge, Eternal

Neither death nor disease nor soris

row nor misery nor discontent
In the Centre, the

There
no one
for.

.

.

.

reality, there is

to

be

mourned

for,

no one

to

be sorry
the

He He

has

penetrated

everything,

Pure One, the
the

Formless, the Bodiless, the Stainless,
Know^er,

He
is

the great Poet, the Self-Existent,

He w ho
serves."

giving to every one what he de-

Observe how radical the character

of the

monism here
come by
is

is.

Separation
it is

is

not simply overexist.

the One,

denied to

There
It

no many.

We

are not parts of the

One;

has no parts; and since in a sense
ably are,
it

we undeniOne,

must be that each

of us is the

indivisibly

and

totally.

An

Absolute One, and

I that One,
which,

— surely we
it

have here a religion
a

emotionally

considered, has

high

pragmatic value;
osity of security.

imparts a perfect sumptuin another

As our Swami says

place

"When man

has seen himself as
153

One

with

PRAGMATISM
the infinite Being of the universe,

when
all

all

separateness has ceased,

when

all

men,
all

wo-

men,

all

angels, all gods, all animals,

plants,

the whole universe has been melted into that

oneness, then
fear
?

all

fear disappears.
?

Whom

to

Can

I hurt myself

Can

I kill

myself ?

Can

I injure myself?
will
all

Do

you fear yourself?

Then
cause

sorrow disappear.
?

What can
Existence of
disappear;
all

me

sorrow

I

am
?

the

One

the universe.
of

Then all jealousies will
be jealous
Against

whom

to

Of myself ? Then

bad

feelings disappear.

whom
?
. .
.

shall I

have this bad feeling ? Against myself
is

There
out

none

in the universe

but

me

kill

this differentiation, kill out this superstition

that there are

many.

*

He who,
One

in this
in this

world of

many,

sees that

One; he who,

mass of

insentiency, sees that

Sentient Being; he

who
ity,

in this

world of shadow, catches that Real-

unto him belongs eternal peace, unto none " else, unto none else.'

We
music:

all
it

have some ear for
elevates

this

monistic
all

and

reassures.

We

have

at least the

germ

of mysticism in us.
154

And when

THE ONE AND THE MANY
our
idealists recite their

arguments for the Abunion admitted

solute, saying that the slightest

anywhere
with
it,

carries

logically absolute

Oneness

and

that the slightest separation adlogically

mitted

anywhere

carries

disunion

remediless and complete, I cannot help sus-

pecting that the palpable

weak

places in the

intellectual reasonings they use are protected

from

their

own

criticism

by a mystical

feeling

that, logic or

no

logic, absolute

Oneness must

somehow

at

any

cost be true.
at

Oneness overrate.

comes moral separateness
passion of love

any

In the

we have
total

the mystic germ of

what might mean a
life.

union of

all

sentient

This mystical germ wakes up in us on

hearing the monistic utterances, acknowledges
their authority,

and assigns

to intellectual con-

siderations a secondary place.
I will dwell

no longer on these

religious

and

moral aspects of the question

in this lecture.

When

I

come

to

my final

lecture there will

be

something more to say.

Leave then out

of consideration for the
insights

mo-

ment the authority which mystical
155

may

PRAGMATISM
be conjectured eventually to possess; treat the

problem

of the

intellectual

One and the Many in a purely way; and we see clearly enough
criterion

where pragmatism stands. With her

of the practical differences that theories

make,

we

see that she

must equally abjure absolute

monism and

absolute pluralism.
its

The world

is

One
any

just so far as

parts
It is

hang together by

definite connexion.

many

just so far

as any definite connexion fails to obtain.
finally
it

And

is

growling

more and more

unified

by those systems

of connexion at least

which

human
to the

energy keeps framing as time goes on.

It is possible to

imagine alternative universes

one we know, in which the most various

grades and types of union should be embodied.

Thus

the lowest grade of universe would be a

world of mere withness, of which the parts were
only strung together by the conjunction 'and.'

Such a universe
our several inner

is

even

now

the collection of

lives.

The

spaces and times

of your imagination, the objects

and events

of

your day-dreams are not only more or
coherent inter
se,

less in-

but are wholly out of definite
15G

there might be inert towards everything else. They coexist. Or gross mechanical influences might pass. much higher grade. and refuse to propagate its influence. to an absolute 'many' that we can We can not even imagine any reason all why they should be know^n less. They form 'things' and are and can be classed. but in no order and in no receptacle. Such worlds would be 157 far less uni- .THE ONE AND THE MANY relation ^vith the similar contents of else's sit any one mind. but no chemical action. Our various reveries now as we here compenetrate each other idly without influencing or interfering. Yet we can imagine in a world of things and of kinds which the causal interactions with which we Everything are so familiar should not exist. But add our sensations and bodily and the union mounts to a actions. and we can imagine even together. they were known as how they could be known one systematic whole. of 'kinds' too. Our finds audita et visa and our acts fall into those receptacles of time and space in which each event its date and place. if together. being the nearest approach conceive.

the world we now live in would appear the thinkers in that world to have been of an inferior grade. if our minds should ever become tele- pathically' connected. but no customs or tions that should systematize it. If such an hypothesis were legitimate. but no minds. life limited to acquaintance. so that ately. Again there might be complete physico-chemical interaction. or social . with no social life. but altogether private ones. or we knew immedi- could under certain conditions know to immediately. institu- but no love or love. inferior tho might appear when looked at from the higher grades. For ' instance. each what the other was thinking. it open for our be lawful to conjectures to range may we wonder whether the various kinds of union now realized in the universe that inhabit may not possibly have been successively evolved after the fashion in which we now see human systems evolving in consequence of human needs.PRAGMATISM fied than ours. 158 . or minds. No one of these it grades of universe would be absolutely irrational or disintegrated. With the whole of past eternity in.

Papini. drawing of The had theory of the Abto solute. and this way of holding a doctrine does not easily go with reasonable discussion and the distinctions. time. that pragmatism all tends to unstifjen our theories. In other words the notion of the * Absolute' would have to be re* placed by that of the tions Ultimate." in his book Humanism. 204. Schiller's essay "Activity p. has faith. you ought to see w^hy I said in from my second lecture. entitled Mr.^ After discussing the unity of the universe in this pragmatic way. and as if any one who questioned it must be an idiot.THE ONE AND THE MANY total oneness would appear at the end of things rather than at their origin. first in the order of being and ^ Compare on the Ultimate. 159 . borrowing the word my friend G. The One and All. in particular. affirmed be an article of dogmatically and exclusively.relations — the maxinamely — but their would be positively reversed. and Sub- stance. as almost at times to be convulsive.' The two no- would have the same content mally unified content of fact. The world's oneness has generally been affirmed abstractly only. The temper of monists has been so vehement.

amply satisfied. would ruin Absolute unity brooks no degrees. colossal. however great. and unit- ing things in the bonds of mutual necessity. The amount may be enormous. how could it allow of any mitigation slightest suspicion of of its inner rigidity? The pluralism. the minutest wiggle of independ- ence of any one of of the totality its parts from the control it. of real union.PRAGMATISM of knowing. The independence. How much of union there may be is a question that she thinks can only be decided empirically. would be fatal as a cholera-germ. to the Absolute as Pluralism on the other hand has no need of this dogmatic rigoristic temper. however small. — as well might you claim it absolute purity for a glass of water because contains but a single little cholera-germ. of a part. free play of parts on one another. is but absolute monism 160 shattered if. she is real novelty or chance. some however minute. grant some separation among some some tre- mor of independence. and will allow you any amount. Provided you things. . logically necessary all lesser itself. however infinitesimal.

and follow pluralism's more empirical path. and perhaps always remain so.THE ONE AND THE MANY along with all the union. it is clear that pragmatism must back on absolute monism. must be is sincerely entertained. Things. there has to be granted incipient nas- the slightest modicum. she admits. one knower. one and a universe con- solidated in every conceivable way. pending the empirical ascertainment of just what the balance of union and disunion among things may viously range herself be. in which common. Some day.sense we find things partly joined ' and partly disjoined. the most cency. of a world still. us with the This leaves world. its it Since absolute monism forbids being even considered seriously. Meanwhile the opposite imperfectly unified to hypothesis. with origin. and their 161 . may turn out to be the most acceptable of all hypotheses. of a separation that is not * overcome/ / final Pragmatism. This latter hypothesis pluralism's doctrine. branding as irrational from the turn its start. even total union.' then. must ob- upon the pluralistic side. or the most residual trace.

PRAGMATISM * conjunctions' — what do such words In mean. pragmatically handled? I will apply the pragmatic of philosophizing my next lecture. to the stage method known as Common SensCo .

PRAGMATISM AND COMMON SENSE .

.

so as good pragmatists we have to turn our face towards experi- /'V ence. and that hypothesis is reduced now- Dfj tA^ ' adays to that of an omniscient knower who one sees all things without exception as forming single systematic fact.^' the question which each kind of union and each kind of separation asks us here. but only as an*"7C^C/ /c hypothesis. towards a study of the special kinds of union which the universe enfolds.' [A) Absolute oneness remains. But the knower in ques- tion may still be conceived either as an Abso- lute or as an Ultimate. towards 'facts. and over against the hypothesis of him in either form the counter- hypothesis that the widest field of knowledge that ever was or will be still contains some 165 .LECTURE In the last lecture V PRAGMATISM AND COMMON SENSE we turned ourselves from the usual way of talking of the universe's oneall its ness as a principle. We found many of is these to coexist with kinds of separation equally real. sublime in blankness. *How far am I verified.

of a world of additive constiis tution. may be eternally incomplete. Since we are bound to treat it as respectfully as noetic monism. of information always Some bits may escape. and at all times subject to addition or liable to loss.PRAGMATISM ignorance. we find that our pragmatism. may be that some parts of the world are connected so loosely with some other parts as to be strung along by nothing but the copula and. But view leads one to the farther hypothesis that the actual world. They This might even come and go without those other parts suffering any internal change. tho inally nothing but a method. . until the facts shall have tipped the orig- beam. pluralistic view. has forced us It to be friendly to the pluralistic view. The 166 very fact that we de- . This is the hypothesis of noetic pluralisv^ which monists consider so absurd. instead of being complete 'eternally. and flagrantly so.' as the monists assure us. It is at any rate incomplete in one respect. is one that pragmatism unable to this rule out from serious consideration. may be legitimately held.

growing now. Later. But while these special ideas are being added. its let us suppose. be^in jvith.COMMON SENSE bate this question shows that our knowledge is incomplete at present and subject to addi- tion. To take the nearest possible example. is ' our subject for Sense. growth may involve considerable modification of opinions which you previously held fications are apt to to be true. our knowled ge ^row^ JThe spots may be large or small. consider these lectures of mine. or distinctions. But such modi- be gradual.' Commoa C^/^ m ^>t^ ^^^^-^^^^^^-^ ^^^^-^'i^iTxt ^ To spots. In respect of the knowledge it contains the world does genuinely change and grow. or points of view. Your is knowledge of pragmatism. the rest of your knowledge 167 . Some general remarks on knowledge completes plete itself the way in it which our does com- itself — when which — will lead us very conveniently into this lecture. is \Miat you first gain from them probably a small amount of new informa- tion. but all the knowledge never grows over: it some old ^ knowledge always remains what was. a few new definitions.

and only gradually will you 'line up' your previous opinions with the novelties I am trying to You instil. till and We won't go home added to morn- ing' in a rich baritone voice. But we them spread unaltered as as little as possible: we keep beliefs.>^^ thus grow in spots. the spots spread. listen to me now. novelties which experience brings Our minds . between older beliefs and the along. with cer- tain prepossessions as to my competency. but were I suddenly to break to begin to sing ' off lecturing. as much of our old knowledge. I suppose. HM^'*^^^^ as many of our old prejudices 168 and . and these affect your reception of what I say. and in general bring about a re- arrangement of a number of your ideas. and like let grease-spots.PRAGMATISM stands still. but would oblige you to define me differently. not only would it that new fact be your stock. its and some- times painfully so. and modify to some slight degree their mass. Your mind in such processes is strained. and that might alter your opinion of the pragmatic philosophy.

or our other 'vestigial' peculiarities. it stains the ancient mass. We The patch and tinker more than we novelty soaks in. there no reason all to assume that it has very not been so at ancient times. it happens relatively seldom that it is the new fact is added raw. It follows that modes all of thought may have of thinking survived through the later changes in men's opinions. they may remain as indelible tokens of events in our race-history. but is also tinged by what absorbs ates. our ear-bones. it. Like our five fingers. Our ancestors may 169 at certain . The most primitive ways may not yet be wholly expunged. Our past apperceives and co-oper- and in the new equilibrium in which each step forward in the process of learning terminates. New truths thus are resultants of new experiences and of old truths combined and mutually modifying one another. More usually as one embedded cooked. our rudimentary caudal appendage. might say. or stewed down in the sauce of the old. this is And since the case in the changes of opinion of tois day.COMMON SENSE we can. it renew.

My thesis now is this. but you can't get the of the medicine or whiskey that first filled wholly out. that our fundamental are discoveries ^.^wa^of thinking about things of^^exceedingly rewMe_a^ have been able to "preserve all themselves^throughout the tirrw* experience of subsequent They form one great stage of equilibrium in the human mind's development.PRAGMATISM moments have struck into ways of thinking which they might conceivably not have found. but the ground-plan of the first architect persists — you can make great You may rinse taste it changes. and rinse the bottle. 170 . it. you must your keep the key to the end. the continues. When you You may begin a piece of music in a certain key. but you can not change a Gothic church into a Doric temple. alter house ad libitum. might be final. and after the fact. But once they did inheritance so. upon but have never succeeded in this displacing Let us consider as if it common- sense stage first. the stage of common sense. Other stages have grafted themselves this stage.

his gumption. it Were we different lobsters. unimaginable by us to-day. intellectual means forms or categories of thought. freedom from excentricity. In philosophy it it means something his use of certain entirely different. what the Germans All our conceptions are call Denkmittelf means by which we handle 171 . or bees. would have proved on the whole as serviceable for handling our experiences mentally as those which w^e actually use. If this sounds paradoxical to any one. a man's his common sense means his good judgment. let him think cal figures The identi- which Euclid defined by intrinsic relations w^ere defined by Descartes by the relations of their points to adventitious co-ordi- nates. the result being an absolutely different and vastly more potent way of handling curves. of analytical geometry. to use the vernacular word.COMMON SENSE In practical talk. might be too (we can not dogmatically deny this) that such categories. might be that our organization would have led to our using quite modes from It these of apprehending our experiences.

' This notion of parallel ' manifolds with their elements standing recip' rocally in 'one-to-one relations. and the sense manifold is also such a system.' is proving so convenient nowadays in mathematics and the older logic as to supersede classificatory more and more conceptions. Kant speaks as being in intention a gewilhl der der wahrnehvito unify by to erscheinungen. a rhapsodic ungen. and then to use by which we 'keep tab' on the impressions that present each is themselves. we have of it first to discover what its first it is. There are many conceptual systems of this sort. is thereby 'understood. 172 But obviously .PRAGMATISM facts by thinking them. or of concepts mentally classified. Find a one-to- one relation for your sense-impressions anywhere among the concepts.a mere motley which we have our wits. When referred to some it possible place in the conceptual system. and in so far forth you rationalize the impressions. What we usually do is first frame some system serialized. Experience merely as such doesn't come ticketed and labelled. connected in some intellectual this as a tally way.

for example. The The fancied. The same Kinds or different. Minds. {BJh-^ j h- The ing old is common-sense way by a of rationaliz- /^^^. p.COMMON SENSE conyou can rationalize them by using various ceptual systems. In Boston.(^u-^^f^^ them set of concepts of which the t£^6M-^ most important are these: Thing. Causal influences. Subjects and attributes. when taken by themis The word weather a good one to use has here. real. the only law being that 173 if . the weather almost no routine. Bodies. One Space. We are now so familiar with the order that these notions have lasting weather of it woven for us out of the everour perceptions that we find hard to realize how little of a fixed routine the perceptions follow selves. One Time. C^7^X^/^ .

intellect- But the Washington weather-bureau ualizes this disorder ive bit of by making each successIt refers it Boston weather episodic. or space. or of causes. of wind. Weather-experience as it thus comes to Boston is discontinuous. it may change three times a day. or things. as a candle-flame goes out. on the history of which the everywhere are strung as beads are strung upon a cord. or of permanent subjects and changing predicates. and chaotic. or kinds. it. 174 and it . to its place and moment in a continental cylocal changes clone. but the baby looks not for has *gone out' for him. They know no more of time. common people know It of continental A baby's rattle drops out of his hand.PRAGMATISM you have had any weather will for two days. Now it seems almost certain that young children and the inferior animals take all their r UA^' experiences very much as uninstructedBoston- ians take their weather. than our cyclones. or thoughts. rain or sunshine. In point of temperature. as world-receptacles. you probably but not certainly have another weather on the third.

. or why presently while lying at his feet you forget him and begin grunt and dream of the chase — all that is an utter mystery.COMMON SENSE comes back. he should be loved. providential. .' Let me quote here a pas- sage from my colleague G.' whose permanent existitself ence by he might interpolate between its successive apparitions has evidently not oc- curred to him. idea comes back when relit. and a certain vital rhythm . evident that they have no general tendency to interpolate * things. every event . Out It is pretty mind. It is moves wholly by inspiration. why he has come again. Santayana's book. while sniffing about contentedly. utterly unconsidered. scenery. the poor brute asks for no reason why why to his master went. The being a 'thing. out of It is the same with dogs. of sight. "If a dog. when you replace as the flame of its it in his hand. every act unpre- meditated Absolute freedom and absolute helplessness have met together: you depend wholly 175 . sees his master arriving after a long absence . with them. Such ex- perience has variety. its story might be told in dithy- rambic verse.

and whereas each moment had been filled formerly tures with nothing but its own adven- and surprised emotion. favor. each moment life of experience becomes conseof the rest. yet that unfathomable agency not distinguishable from your . for of none . [But] the figures even of that disordered their exits drama have and and their entrances. In proportion as such understanding advances. their cues can be gradually discovered of fixing his attention of events. quential and prophetic The calm its places in are filled with power and spasms with resource. 59. because sees beyond.." Even to-day and philosophy are still laboriously trying to part fancies from realities * The Life of Reason : Reason in Common Sense. Means can be looked for to escape from the worst predica- ment. p. each now makes for the lesson of room what went before and ^ surmises what may be science the plot of the whole. own life. the basis or it issue wholly hidden no event can disconcert it altogether.. 176 . 1905. No emotion can overis whelm the mind. by a being capable and retaining the order .PRAGMATISM on divine is . .

cepts but in their finished shape as condifferent they are how from the loose un- ordered time-and-space experiences of natural men Everything that happens to us own duration and extension. ' ' The categories of thought and things are indispensable here ' — instead of being gory. nated historically and only gradually spread. and not only do our 177 . and in primitive times they made only the most incipient distinctions in this line. But w^e soon lose all our definite bearings. that its one Space in which each thing has position. of which we may not imagine the use to have thus origi<^» ' . Men believed whatever they thought with any liveliness. rf\ /That one Time which we in w^hich each event has its all believe in and -^ " definite date. these abstract notions unify the world incom- parably.' There is not a cate- among those enumerated. realities wx now call certain experiences only 'thoughts. and they mixed their dreams with their * realities inextricably. and ! brings its both are vaguely surrounded by a marginal 'more' that runs into the duration and extension of the next thing that comes.COMMON SENSE in our experience.

so far from being the intuitions that Kant said they were. are constructions as patently artificial as any that science can show. Constantinople. but live in plural times and spaces. in reality I utterly fail to feel the facts which the map symbolizes. the whole past being churned up together. On a map I can distinctly see the relation of London. Cosmic space and cosmic time.' of which the thing remains the 'subject' — w^hat a straightening immediate of terms list of the tangle of our experience's flux and sensible variety does this suggest! And it is only the smallest part of his 178 . The great majority of the human race never use these notions. the same with spaces.PRAGMATISM children make no distinction between yesterday we adults It is and the day before yesterday. confused and mixed. interpenetrant and durcheinander. but still do so whenever the times are large. where I and Pekin / to the place am./ Permanent 'things' again. the *same' thing and its various* appearances' * and * alterations'. the different kinds' of thing. w^ith the 'kind' ' used finally as a predicate. The directions and distances are vague.

loss.COMMON SENSE experience's flux that any one actually does straighten out by applying to it these con- ceptual instruments. w^e Once also of know that whatever is of a kind is that kind's kind. for finding our w^ay ' among the many! The manyness might con- ceivably have been absolute. In such a w^orld logic would have had no application. we can travel through the universe as if with seven-league boots. Outof them all our lowest and then most ancestors probably used only. 'uj Kinds. no one of them occurring twice.' But even then if you had asked 'thing' that interval. and sameness of kind sally useful denkmittel — what colosExperiences '* . Brutes surely never use these abstractions. 179 . the notion of *the same again. or considered matters in that light. vaguely and inaccurately. them whether the same were a had endured throughout the unseen they w^ould probably have been at a and would have said that they had never asked that question. ized and civil- men use them in most various amounts. all might have been singulars. for kind and sameness of kind are logic's only instruments.

' in relaxed.' But law is a comparatively recent invention.{jpjJ^ s(A^ PRAGMATISM Causal influence. L ijjV| iU» the substantial or metaphysical sense — no one escapes subjection to those forms of thought. blame?" — any illness. From this centre the influences has spread. f another of these magisterial notions of com- ^ '}^ mon sense.' as something than the is and more than the wholly unreal. they persist. less The actual 'possible. namely. Criticise fly is them to as you may. substituting the entirely different denkmittel of 'law. if anything.' 'body. critical and we pressure back them the moment 'Self. OJ^ seems tion. the common-sense denkmittel are 180 . and influence reigns supreme k^ rt in the older realm of common sense. or what. or disaster. to have been an antediluvian concep- for we find primitive is men thinking that almost everything influence of significant and can exert some sort. In practice. The search for the more to definite influences seems to have started in the is question: for '*Who. or untoward search for causal * thing. Hume and Science' to- gether have tried to eliminate the whole notion of influence. again! This.

crit- No one stably or sincerely uses the more ical notion. as a permanent unit-subject that * supports' its attributes interchangeably. With these categories our hand. still in- thinks of a * thing' in the com- mon-sense way. 'Things' do even when we do exist. Common a sense appears thus as a perfectly definite stage in our understanding of things. Every one. we make our plans and connect all plot together. We intercept it on its way whenIt is the ever we hold up an opaque 181 screen. . in stage that satisfies an extraordinarily successful think.COMMON SENSE uniformly victorious. Their 'kinds' also 'qualities' are Their what they act by. Our later and more critical philosophies are mere fads and this fancies compared with natural mother- tongue of thought. shed their quality of light on every object in this room. and these also exist. not see them. and the remoter parts of experience with what lies before our eyes. and are what These lamps we act on. of a group of sense-qualities united in by a law. however structed. way the purposes for which we exist.

names the night they may have been verified by 182 the immediate . But when we look back. it is only the highly sophisticated specimens. or Darwin. who have of not ever even suspected common sense being absolutely true. among our race even. It is the sensible that migrates into the water in which we boil an egg.PRAGMATISM very sound that my lips emit that travels into heat of the fire your ears. Berkeley. no reason appears why it may not have been by a pro- cess just like that to by which the conceptions due Democritus. they fully discovered may have been success- by prehistoric geniuses whose of antiquity has covered up. It suffices for all the necessary practical ends of life. and we can change the heat into ness coolthis by dropping in a lump of ice. and. the minds debauched by learning. At stage of philosophy all non-European men without exception have remained. achieved their similar triumphs in more recent times. In other words. and speculate as to how the common-sense categories may have achieved their wonderful supremacy. as Berkeley calls them.

COMMON SENSE facts of experience which fact to fact they first fitted. seems proved by the exceedingly dubious limits of their application to-day. of assuming the laws of in the and remote to conform to the formation that small and near.? whose handle and ' blade are changed the same 183 ? Is the ' change- .' what are they. * Space' a less vague notion. and then from and from man all to man they may have spread. until language of rested on them and we are now incapable thinking naturally in any other terms. Such a view would only follow the rule that has proved elsewhere so vast fertile. We assume for certain purposes one 'objective' ter fluit. but that they began at special points of discovery ally and only gradu- spread from one thing to another. Time that aequabili- but we don't livingly believe in or ' realize is any such equally-flowing time.? Is a constellation properly a thing? or is an army ? or an ens rationis such as space or Is a knife * justice a thing. we can observe at work For all utilitarian practical purposes these conceptions amply suffice. but things.

and kinds are definite in number. apart from their use in steering our discourse to profitable issues. but what they mean. you find it impossible to say within just what limits of fact any one of them shall apply. A 'thing' for inis stance in is a being. of * ' the a human kind ? Is telepathy a fancy or 'fact'? The moment you pass beyond the ' ' practical use of these categories (a use usually suggested sufficiently by the circumstances of the special case) to a merely curious or speculative way of thinking. does not appear.PRAGMATISM ling.' An ens a subject a sub- which A subject is discrete. has tried to eternalize the common-sense categories by treating them very technically and articulately. distinctions and These eternal. 184 . The peripatetic philosophy. stance.' whom Locke ' ' so seriously discusses. qualities 'inhere. are fundamental and As terms of discourse they are indeed magni- ficently useful. or ens. Substances are of kinds. being the support of attributes. obeying ration- alist propensities. If you ask a scholastic philosopher what a substance apart from its may be in itself.

The invisible things' are now impalpable things . her ether. her atoms. your Galileos. Daltons. her magnetic and the * like.COMMON SENSE he simply says that your fectly intellect knows per- what the word means.(Uryi^^^fU^ ^ and Berkeleys and Hegels. tirytthdj^ Not merely 5iic/t intellects either — your Humes ^XinitA^ practical ob. only curious and have forsaken the in general terms common-sense level for * what iOrMjuhii^ may be called the critical' level of thought. /^^ (^^^^(Ut/jfjj/i comes about that lects intellects sihi permissi.^t^Mjcj^. to result Or else the whole naif conception of thing gets super- seded. days. have found it impossible to treat the naifs sense-termini of mately real. intellect its (^vlA clearly is But what the the w^ord itself knows onlyi^^ ^^ ^^ and steering function. Fara. and the old visible common-sense things are supposed from the mixture of these invisibles. common sense as ultiAs common sense interpolates her constant 'things' between our intermittent sensations. but servers of facts. so science exfrapolates her world of * primary' qualities. So it ^. intelidle. and a thing's name 185 is interpreted as . beyond the common-sense world. fields.

philosophy. hypothetical things that such men have vented. our ways of escaping bewilderment in the midst of sensation's irremediable flow. But the scientific tendency in tho inspired at tives. havoc is made of everything. Galileo gave us accurate clocks and accurate artillery-practice. are 186 .PRAGMATISM denoting only the law or regel der verbindung by which certain of our sensations habitually succeed or coexist. defined as they have defined them. Science and critical philosophy thus burst the bounds of common sense. first critical thought. critical primary ones alone remain. by purely intellectual mo- has opened an entirely unexpected range of practical utilities to our astonished view. With science naif realism ceases: 'Secondary' qualities be- come With unreal. new medicines and Ampere and Faraday have endowed us with the New York The in- subway and with Marconi telegrams. The common-sense categories one and all cease to represent anything in the way of being. they are but sublime tricks of human thought. the chemists flood us with dye-stuffs.

187 .COMMON SENSE showing an extraordinary fertility in conse- can dequences verifiable by sense. him to will more and more enable intellect wield. and presto. The scope tical control of nature newly put into our hand of thinking vastly exceeds the by scientific ways on scope of the old control grounded sense. Locke. his wealth like a child in a bath-tub. Hegel. that his fixed nature as an may not prove adequate to stand the strain of the ever increasingly tremendous functions. Hume. so far gives us no new range of practical power. we can then bring about consequence is the conditions. common even fear so that Its rate of increase accelerates limit. no one can trace the that the being of one may man may be crushed by his own ism organpowers. who has turned on the water and who can The philosophic stage of criticism. which his almost divine creative functions. Our logic under duce from them a consequence due certain conditions. Berkeley. Kant. the of the practhere before our eyes. He may drown in not turn it off. much thorough in its more negations than the scientific stage.

stages or types of thought about the world we live in. There are thus at least three well-character- ized levels. neither consolidation nor augustness are decisive marks of truth. because got innings ally. and made it all language into its Whether or science be the more august But stage may be left to private judgment.PRAGMATISM have all been utterly sterile. however. not practical. for neither with Berkeley's tar- water nor w^ith Kant's nebular hypothesis had tenets their respective philosophic anything to do. so far as shedding any light on the details of nature goes. Common sense it is its more consolidated stage. It is impossible. those of another stage another kind. If common sense were 188 . ^ The satisfactions they yield to their disciples are intellectual. to is say that any stage as yet in sight absolutely more the true than any other. first. and is even then we have to confess that there a large minus-side to the account. and I can think of no invention or discovery that can be directly traced to anything in their pe- culiar thought. and the notions of one stage have one kind of merit.

and Descartes. however definitely conceived. seek to stereo- type the forms the talked with.' why should they have excited so much criticism within the body of science itself? Scientific logicians are saying entities on every hand that these and their determinations. 189 .COMMON SENSE true. w^ords our secondary qualities) lasted the year of our hardly out- Lord 1600. People w^ere already tired of them then. and Galileo. why should science have had to brand the secondary qualities. with his 'new philosophy. to which our world owes all its living interest.' and etheric world. were es- more 'true. as false.' gave coup de grace. ' them only a little later their But now if the new kinds the corpuscular sentially of scientific thing. to human family had always make them definite and fix Substantial forms (in other them for eternity. common sense's college-trained younger sister. and to in- vent an invisible world of points and curves. and mathematical equations instead? should it Why and have needed to transform causes activities into laws of 'functional variation'? Vainly did scholasticism.

Ostwald and Duhem. Heaven only knows. We can cipher with them. literally real. we are witnessing a curious reversion to the sense common men as way of looking at physical nature. in the philosophy of science favored by such Mach. with a we compare view to true. these teachers no hypothesis is According to truer than literal any other in the sense of being a 190 more copy . only artificial short-cuts for taking us from one part to another of exfruitfully perience's flux. if I understand the matter rightly. telling which is the more absolutely Their naturalness.PRAGMATISM should not be held for they existed . life. There is no ringing conclusion possible when these types of thinking. but we must not be their dupes. their up as distinct tests of their veracity. they serve us wonderfully. and as a result we get confused. Common . It is as if but in reality they are like co-or- dinates or logarithms. all start nomy. their intellectual ecofruitfulness for practice. philo- sophic criticism for a third but whether either be truer absolutely. Just now. sense is bettei' for one sphere of l science for another.

in formulas matchless for their simplicity and fruitfulness for human fail to use. to be compared solely from the point of view of their use. hold their own all- with most physicists and chemists. and the only we know for these logicians. Energy' is the collective name (according to Ostwald) for the sensations just as they present themselves (the movement. not economy. we are enabled the correlated changes which they to describe show us. So measuring them. or light. But the hypersensible and the corpuscles vibrations. sensible reality.COMMON SENSE of reality. The only literally true reality thing is. I am dealing here with highly technical 191 . the flux of our sensations * and emotions as they pass. in spite of its appeal. It seems too economical to be sufficient. They are all but ways of talking on our part. it magbe) netic pull. may after be reality's key-note. all Profusion. philosophy. is reality . They are sove- reign triumphs of economy in thought. or may when they are measured in certain ways. whatever heat. * No one can admire the energetic' entities.

The whole notion reflex- of truth. There no simple test available for adjudicating off- hand between the claim to possess divers types of thought that it. ultra-critical science. f \jjjJ\JJ^ There are only two points that I wish you to aJ ^' retain from the present lecture. which at this point is this. all seem insuflSciently true in some It is regard and leave some dissatisfaction. which naturally and without to ion we assume mean the simple duplication reality. present one. or energetics. hardly suitable for popular lecturing. and in finishing the add but a few words. critical or idealistic philosophy. The first one . common science or corpuscular philosophy. and in which All the my own better for my competence is small. I shall face that task in will my next lecture. however. conclusion. Common and sense. is by the mind of a ready-made and given proves hard to understand clearly.PRAGMATISM matters. for at present definite notion of we have no what the word may mean. evident that the conflict of these so widely differing systems obliges us to overhaul the very idea of truth.

and of other excentric geniuses whom the example of such men inflamed. and neither 193 . but gradually communicated. and used by everybody) by which our forefathers have from time immemorial unified and straightened the discontinuity of their diate experiences. Retain. We have seen it. this sense. Galileo. of their being so universally used and its built into the very structure of language. reason to suspect to suspect that in spite of their being so venerable. each so splendid for certain purposes. yet all conflicting still. suspicion about common is this. Berkeley. immeinto and put themselves an equilibrium with the surface of nature so satisfactory for ordinary practical purposes that certainly it would have lasted forever. The other point Ought not the exist- ence of the various types of thinking which we have reviewed. but for the excessive intellectual vivacity of Democritus.COMMON SENSE relates to common sense. categories may after all be only a collection of extraordinarily successful hypotheses (historically discovered or invented single by men. Archimedes. I pray you.

to awaken a presumption all favor- able to the pragmatistic view that ries our theo- are instrumental. and the either to expel the others decisively. suggest this pragmatistic view. rather than revelations or gnostic answers to some divinely instituted this world-enigma ? I expressed view as clearly as I could in the second of these lectures. the value for some purposes inability of of each thought-level. Certainly the restlessness of the actual theoretic situation. are mental modes of adaptation to reality. May there not after truth? be a possible ambiguity in .PRAGMATISM one of them able to support a claim of absolute veracity. which I hope that the next lectures may soon make all entirely convincing.

VI PRAGMATISM'S CONCEPTION OF TRUTH .

.

only a pragmatist could have told him the particular go of I believe that our contemporary pragmatists. Schiller and Dewey. is the point where a and simple statement should be made. but it!' want you his me the Had it. that here. especially Messrs. and that when people put them impatiently to tell him off with vague verbal accounts of any pheinterrupt I nomenon he would particular go of by saying. 197 . have given the only is ten- able account of this subject. It lish a very tick- subject.LECTURE TRUTH VI PRAGMATISM'S CONCEPTION OF When Clerk-Maxwell was a child it is writ- ten that he had a mania for having everything explained to him. question been about truth. of truth has But the Schiller-Dewey view so ferociously attacked been by rationalistic phil- osophers. sending subtle rootlets into all kinds of crannies. clear if anywhere. and hard to treat in the sketchy way that alone befits a public lecture. 'Yes. and so abominably misunderstood.

true. with ualists ' reality. First.' when reality is taken as something for our ideas to agree with. a new theory then it is at- tacked as absurd. It means their 'agreement. this lecture wish that first might help it beyond the stage in the eyes of j many of you.' and what by the term 'reality. is a f property of certain of our ideas. In answering these questions the pragmatists are more analytic 19ci and painstaking.' Pragmatists and both accept this definition as a matter of course. as any dictionary will you. claim that they themselves discovered doctrine of truth is at present in the three stages. finally its seen to be so important that adversaries it. with Our these first of symptoms of the second stage I having begun in certain quarters. tell Truth. the . is is admitted to be it but obvious and insignificant. They begin to quarrel only after the question is raised as to what may precisely be meant by the term 'agreement. you know.' as falsity means their disagreeintellect- ment.PRAGMATISM I fully expect to see the pragmatist view of truth run through the classic stages of a theory's career.

yet it passes real- muster. and when you speak of the its time-keeping function' of the clock. Like other popular views. perceive that there is a problem here. or of ticity. and you get its just such a true picture or copy of dial. The popular copy notion that a true idea must this its reality. for ity. Our true ideas of sensible things do indeed copy them. Shut your eyes and think of yonder clock on the -vvall. and .' it is spring's 'elas- hard to see exactly what your ideas can copy.THE NOTION OF TRUTH intellectualists more offhand and is irreflcctive. But your idea of its ' works (unless you are a clock' maker) is much it less of a copy. one follows the analogy of the most usual experience. in no way clashes with the it Even though ^ should shrink to the mere still w^ord works. Where our ideas cannot copy definitely their what does agreement with that object idealists mean? Some seem to say that they are true whenever they are what that God means we ought to think about that object. You object.' that word serves * you truly. all Others hold the copy-view idd through.

you discussion. invite pragmatistic of the But the great assumption intellectualists is that truth means essentially an inert static relation. ' is the truth's cash. you have obeyed your categorical imperative." its it says.^ f How will the truth be realized? What experi- ences will be different from those which would obtain . in short. You're in possession. there's an end matter. asks usual question. you know. to You are where you ought be mentally. on the other hand.value in experiential terms ? / The moment pragmatism 200 asks this question. and nothing more need follow on . Pragmatism. When you've got your of the true idea of anything. j its ** Grant an idea or belief to be true.PRAGMATISM speak as if our ideas possessed truth just in proportion as they approach to being copies of the Absolute's eternal way of thinking. see.' that climax of your rational destiny Epistemologically you are in stable equilibrium. These views. if the belief were false? What. h f being true make in any one's actual life. '*what concrete difference will . i ' . you have fulfilled your thinking destiny.

^ valid- They hard again signify certain practical consequences of the verified to and validated idea. truth. corroborate and verify. The It truth of an idea not a stagnant property to inherent in it. through the acts and other ideas which they instigate. False ideas are those that the practical difference true ideas. It is find any one phrase that characterizes these consequences better than the ordinary agreement-formula being what — just such consequences in we have mind whenever we say that our ideas 'agree' with reality. This thesis is what is have to defend.THE NOTION OF TRUTH it sees the answer: True ideas are those that we can assimilate. That is to us to have of that. is is made true by events. Truth happens an idea^ Its veri becomes true. Its validity is the process of its yalid-ation. validate. its yeri-fication. They up lead us. for it we can makes is is not. the meaning it is all that truth I known-as. into or to. namely. a process: the process its namely of verifying itself. But what do the words verification and ation themselves pragmatically mean. in fact an event. 201 . therefore.

This function of agreeable leading is what we mean by an account trivial. Let begin by reminding you of the fact that the possession of true thoughts means everywhere the possession of invaluable instru- ments of action. or a stunt' self-imposed itself by our intellect. can account for by excellent practical reasons. We live in a world of realities that can be infinitely useful or infinitely harmful. and that our duty truth. satisfactory. other parts of experience with which we ing feel all the while among our potentialities transitions — such feeling be— that the original The connexions to point ideas remain in agreement. so far to gain from being a blank command from * out of the blue. The importance beliefs to human life of having true is about matters of fact a thing too notorious. harmonious. 20C . is idea's verification. and come to us from point as being progressive.PRAGMATISM or towards. it Such an first vague and it sounds at it quite but has results which will take the rest of my me hour to explain.

I save myself. If towards other lost in the vital I am woods and starved. of ideas that shall be true 203 . it and find what of the looks like a cow-path. so far from being here an j end in itself. indeed. Their objects are. and then fiable. human is ^ for if I do so and follow it. is utmost importance that I should think of a habitation at the end of it.THE NOTION OF TRUTH Ideas that tell us which of them all to expect count as the true ideas in this primary sphere of verification. and the pursuit of such ideas is a primary human duty. The practical value of true ideas thus primarily derived from the practical importance of their objects to us. The pos- 11 session of truth. not important at all times. Yet since almost any temporarily object may some day become important. will my idea of it. however veri- be practically irrelevant. the advantage of having a general stock of extra truths. The true thought is its useful here because the house w^hich ject is is ob- useful. and had better remain latent. I may on another occasion have no use for the house. is only a preliminary means satisfactions.

store such extra truths is obvious. You it is can say of cause it is it then either that 'it is *it is useful be- true' or that true because useful. Whenever such an extra truth becomes practically relevant to one of our emergencies. We away in our memories. would never have acquired a class-name.^ ideas would never have been singled out as such. least of all a name suggesting value. of refer- and with the overflow we fill our books ence. it passes from cold-storage to do it work in the world and our belief in grows active.PRAGMATISM of merely possible situations.' Both these phrases mean exactly the namely that here is same thing. useful the name True for its completed function in experience. From this simple cue pragmatism gets her general notion of truth as something essentially bound up with the way in in which one moment our experience it may will lead us towards other moments which be worth while to have 20^ . unless they had been useful I from the outset in this way. /I'rue is the name for whatever idea is starts the verification- process. an idea that gets fulfilled and can be verified.

THE NOTION OF TRUTH been led to. Primarily. statement. The ob- advent the significance's verification. but I beg you to retain essential. for it is Our experience meanwhile is all shot through with regularities. meaning nothing but eventual verification. One bit of it can warn us to get ready for another bit. ible is manifestly incompat with waywardness on our part. they will lead him nowhere or else connexions. in these cases. Truth. 205 make false . When a moment true. the truth of a state of this function of a leading that is mind means worth while. can 'significant ject's * intend' or be of is that remoter object. that in our experience. inspires us with a thought that means that sooner or later we dip by that thought's guidance into the particulars of experience again and make advantageous This is con- nexion with them. beliefs play fast AVoe to him whose and loose with the order which realities follow in his experience. a vague enough it. of any kind is whatever. and on the common sense level.

^ such unverified truths as this abort- No. Indirect as well as direct verifications pass muster. lowing our mental image of a house along the cow-path. kinds. Such simply and fully verified leadings are certainly the originals and prototypes of the truth-process. for they form the overwhelmingly large V number of the truths we live by. multiplied or substituted one for another. You and make it I consider it to be a 'clock. mean verification-process essentially. for instance. we actually come full to see the house. common-sense dates. ought call we then to ive. we raean such as Fol- either things of sent. we . activities. places. we get the image's verification.' altho no one of us has seen the hidden works that one. sensibly prerelations. Where circumstantial evidence 20G is sufficient. or else common sense.PRAGMATISM By 'realities' or 'objects' here. yonder object on the wall. but they are all conceivable as being primary verifications arrested. Experience offers indeed other forms of truth- process. Take. We let our notion pass for If truths true without attempting to verify. distances.

just as bank-notes pass so long as nobody refuses them. if everything runs on harmoniously. lead us into the surroundings of the objects they envisage and . They turn us toioards direct verification. lives. regulating it. Just as we here assume Japan to exist it without ever having to been there. But this all points to direct face-to-face 207 . 'pass. is we are so sure that verification possible that we omit Truth it.THE NOTION OF TRUTH can go without eye-witnessing. the length of our lecture by tion of the assumption here to The its verifica- means leading no frustration or contradiction.' so long as Our thoughts and beliefs nothing challenges them. so to we assume that thing be a clock. Yeri&abilwheels and w^eights and pendulum verification. We use it as a clock. because thing works do so. and are usually justified by all that happens. in fact. every- we know conspiring with the belief. and nothing interfering. is ity of as good as For one truth-process lives that completed there are a million in our function in this state of nascency. for the most part on a credit system. then.

So that directly verified our ideas when we have once selves free to apply about one specimen of a kind. proved so by its conduct fitting everything it meets. I yours of another. A mind that habitually it. without which the fabric of truth collapses like a financial system with no cash-basis whatever. w^ithout will pausing to verify. Another great reason time — beside economy of — for waiving complete verification in life is the usual business of in kinds that all things exist is and not all to singly. Indirectly or only ^potentially verifying processes may thus he true as well as full verifica208 . and getting no refutation. But beliefs verified concretely by somebody are the posts of the whole superstructure. verification of You accept my one thing.PRAGMATISM verifications somewhere. We trade on each other's truth. Our world found once for have that peculiarity. discerns the kind of thing before and acts by the law of the kind immediately. we consider our- them to other specimens without verification. be a 'true' mind in ninety-nine out of a hundred emergencies.

once true. Truth here has an eternal * 209 . of fact are not our only stock Relations among purely mental ideas form another sphere where true and liefs false be- obtain. always true. common-sense level of matters which we are alone considering. But matters in trade. More- over. and so on. ' of all con* ceivable 'whites' and * grays' and causes.THE NOTION OF TRUTH tion-processes . name either of definitions or of prin- It is either a principle or a definition 2. They work as true processes would work. All this on the of fact.' The objects here are mental objects. or unconditional. Their relations are perceptually obvious at a glance. that 1 and 1 make that 2 and 1 make 3. does from black that when the cause begins to act the effect also commences. and no sense. give us the same advantages. and claim our recotjnition for the same reasons. When they are true they bear the ciples. it that white differs less from gray than . Such pro* positions hold of all possible ones.verification is necessary. of those same mental objects. and here the beliefs are absolute.

truth affair of leading. of logical and mathematical under the respective terms of which the sensible facts of experience eventually arrange themselves. failed to get truth of everything of that If you then. is This marriage of fact and theory is endlessly fertile. you would say that you had classed your real objects wrongly. Our ready-made framework for all sorts 210 . concretely.!/ we have subsumed our objects ideal rightly. nevertheless. apply to It is but a case of ascertaining of its the kind. so that our eternal truths hold good of realities also. If you can find a concrete thing any- where that * is *one' or 'white' or *gray' or an effect. an We relate in one the abstract idea with another.' then your principles will everlastingly it. What we say here already true in advance of special veri- fication. to get truth rightly. framing end great systems truth. In again this is realm of mental relations. and then applying the law kind to the particular object. for if You you can but name are sure the kind your mental relations hold good kind without exception.PRAGMATISM character.

The hundredth decimal its the ratio of the circumference to is dia- meter. of 77. one may have computed If we should given it is ever need the figure in our dealings with an actual circle we should need to have it rightly. tightly. Between the coercions and those of the sensible order of the ideal order. for the same kind of truth that those rules else- w^here calculate. fast We can no more play and loose with these abstract relations than we can do so with our sense-experiences. Our ideas must agree with be such facts realities concrete or abstract. our mind is thus wedged realities. under penalty of endless inconsistency and frustration. intellectualists can raise no protest. predetermined ideally now. coerce us. be they or be they principles. we must treat them consis- whether or not we like the results. They tently. tho no it. 211 . calculated by the usual rules.THE NOTION OF TRUTH of possible objects follows from the very struc- ture of our thinking. The rules of addition apply to our debts as rigor- ously as to our assets. So far.

PRAGMATISM They can only say that we have the skin of the matter. to agree means to copy.' ities ? copies. and that of many realities our ideas can only be symbols 'Past time. Primarily. as things that new of. no doubt. but that the we saw mere word 'clock' its would do instead of a mental picture of works. Here it is that pragmatism and intellectual- ism begin to part company. or to be put into such 212 . ideas of ours must no of less take account the whole body other truths already 'agree? in our possession. then. either concrete facts. or abstract kinds of thing and relations perceived intuitively between them. — how can our mind ' copy such real- To it ' agree in the widest sense with a reality to be can only mean guided either straight up to or into its surroundings. They fur- thermore and thirdly mean.' 'power.' 'spon- and not taneity. But what now does realities is ment' with such threefold mean — to use again the definition that current. barely touched Realities mean.

To copy a indeed. in fact. one it. hold true of that Thus.THE NOTION OF TRUTH working touch with it as to handle either it it or something connected with disagreed. we exchange ideas. They set up sim- ilar verification-processes. we lend and borrow 213 verifica- . that fits. The essential thing is the process of being guided. that doesn't entangle our progress in frustrations. very important is way of agreeing with but it far from being essential. and adapts our life to the reality's whole setting. names are just as 'true' or definite 'false' as mental pictures are. reality. will agree It will sufficiently to meet the requirement. elsewhere. All human thinking gets discursified. Any idea that helps us to deal. and lead to fully equivalent practical results. whether practically or intellectually. tically! better than if ive Better either intellectually or pracoften agreement will only And mean the negative fact that nothing contradictory from the quarter fere with the of that reality in comes to inter- way which our ideas guide us reality is. with either the reality or its be- longings.

As true as past time itself was. for example. We throw ourselves out of whatever truth that entire --\ system of speech and fact may embody. stored up. available for every one. but to. just as in Hence. The stream of time can be remounted only verbally. arbitrary. get them from one another by means and made of social intercourse. All truth thus gets verbally built out. they agree with these verbalities and we can know that our ideas of the past are true. Yet effects. or verified indirectly by the present prolongations or if effects of what the past harbored. — those of past as of Cain and Abel. and from of speech all its connexions with the universe and fact down to the present time.' we do.PRAGMATISM tions. Names once understood mustn't If they must be kept We now call Abel *Cain' or Cain 'Abel. The overwhelming ideas admit of fication majority of our true no direct or face-to-face verihistory. we un- gear ourselves from the whole book of Genesis. so true was Julius Caesar. 214 . we must talk consistently we must are think consistently: for both talk and thought we deal with kinds.

which some- body's ideas have copied. passes but all indirect verification. They lead away from excenfoiled tricity and isolation. True as the present is. clash general freedom for its from and contradiction. useful verbal ideas lead us into as and conceptual quarters w ell as directly up to useful sensible termini. The untrammelled its flowing of the leading-process. is guaranteed by coherence with everything that's present. They hu- lead to consistency. itself That past time its was.THE NOTION OF TRUTH so true were antediluvian monsters. Such is the large loose way in which the pragmatist interprets the w^ord agreement. the past was also. all in their proper dates and settings. roads lead to all Rome. and in the end and eventually. 215 He . from and barren thinking. true processes must lead to the face of directly verifying sensible experiences somewhere. Agreement thus turns out an affair of leading it is to be essentially that is — leading True useful because into quarters that contain objects that are important. stability and iflowing man intercourse.

must derange combelief as little mon sense and previous it as possible. were made n't atoms or electrons. but we must literally. Yet las in the choice of these man-made formu- we can not be capricious with impunity any more than we can be capricious on the common-sense practical level. It is. of conduction He lets it cover any process to a future from a present idea it terminus.PRAGMATISM treats it altogether practically.' It is only a measuring the sur- face of phenomena so as to string their changes on a simple formula. 216 . as if reality of ether. provided only It is run prosperously. and must lead to some sensible terminus or other that can be verified exactly. and that means some- thing extremely difficult. only thus that 'scientific' ideas. We must find a theory that will work. flying as they do beyond common realities. think so The term way of 'energy' does n't even pretend to stand for anything 'objective. sense. for our theory must mediate between tain all previous truths and cerIt new experiences. can be said to agree with their as I have already said.

we begin to taste the milk in the cocoanut. and the is squeeze so tight that there is little loose pla^ any hypothesis. Our rationalist critics upon 217 here discharge their batteries us.' Clerk-Maxwell somewhere says it would be 'poor scientific taste' to choose the more complicated of two equally well-eviw^ill denced conceptions. but consistency both with prefact is vious truth and with novel always the most imperious claimant. if I may be allowed so vulgar an ex- pression. and to reply to them will take . and for subjective we choose between them reasons. Our theories are wedged as nothing else is. taste included. I have led you through a very sandy deserf But now. we follow * elegance' or 'economy. Vse choose the kind of theory to which we are already partial. and you with him. the all agree Truth in science is what gives us maximum possible sum of satisfactions. and controlled Yet some- times alternative theoretic formulas are equally compatible with then all the truths we know.THE NOTION OF TRUTH To for 'work' means both these things.

w^ealth. I can imagine a rationalist to talk as follows: ** Truth is not made. are life. ence. just as health. us is Truth for simply a collective name for verification- processes. of processes of leading. names and for other processes connected with it also pursued because is pays to pur- sue them. / Our account of truth is an account of truths in the plural. etc. Truth \ made. ' "^ ^ Here rationalism is instantaneously up in arms against us. wealth in the course of experi- and strength are made. that they pay. and having only this quality in com- mon. but with which 2 any rate we are now in the kind of commerce vaguely designated as verification. just as health. being a unique relation that does not wait upon any process. They pay by guiding us into or towards some part of a system that dips at yl numerous points into sense-percepts. realized in rebus." he will say. but shoots 218 . strength. "it abso- lutely obtains.PRAGMATISM us out from all this dryness into full sight of a momentous philosophical alternative.. which we may copy mentally at or not.

a clock true already. namely. like all essences of it and natures. which of our ideas already has possessed the wondrous quality. and one great 219 . as they partake of falsity or of irrelevancy. one verificaits tion serves for others of kind. merely our lame ways of ascertaining after the fact. is Our belief that yon thing is on the wall no one verify in the it. thought true that possesses there be verification.THE NOTION OF TRUTH straight over the its head of experience. it In our world. abounding as lar kinds does in things of simi- and similarly associated. The quality itself is timeless." The whole tirade is plausibility of this rationalist al- due to the fact to which we have ready paid so much attention. Thoughts partake directly. whether or not You pragmatists put the truth's being cart before the horse in making reside in verification-processes. It can't be analyzed away into pragmatic con- sequences. its These are merely signs of being. and hits reality every time. altho whole history of the world should quality of standing in that is The bare transcendent relation what makes any it.

PRAGMATISM use of knowing things to is to be led not so much them as to their associates. Dass grad' die Reichsten in der Welt. the facts become only a sort of second- ary coincidence with the rich man's essential nature. the fact that in such a world innumerable ideas work by better by their indirect or possible than their direct and actual verification. Truth or ante else rem means only it is verifiability. then. Vetter Fritzen. an independent prior behind the reality as its and placing it explanation. It antedates them. a case of the stock rationalist trick of treating the reality as name of a concrete phenomenal entity. obtaining ante rem. "Wie kommt es. then. 220 . The quality of truth. especially to human talk about them. Das meiste Geld besitzen " ? Hanschen Schlau here treats the principle 'wealth' as something distinct from the facts denoted by the man's being rich. pragmatically means. Professor Mach quotes somewhere an epigram of Lessing's: Sagt Hanschen Schlau zu Vetter Fritz.

tho in this init stance we are more inclined to think of as a principle and to say the is man digests and sleeps so well because he so healthy. health also a lives m rebus. made act. that wealth is but a name for con- crete processes that certain men's lives play in and not a natural excellence found Messrs. Truth exists ante rem just as much and The as little as the other things do. It is name for processes. are. Like wealth. that go on happily. etc. I think. sleep. and decidedly inclined as an excellence pre-existing in the man and explanatory of the herculean performances of his muscles. With * truth' most people go over the border entirely. We know a part in. following Aristotle.. and treat the rationalistic account as self-evident. AYith strength' ' we more rationto treat it alistic still. But really all these words in th are exactly similar. circulation. as digestion. but not in the rest of us. Rockefeller and Carnegie.THE NOTION OF TRUTH In the case of wealth' we * all see the fallacy. scholastics. much of the distinction between habit and 221 .

or always digesting. as we know. just as I the right ' is only the expedient in the way of I our behaving. Ex- \ perience. * man All such qualities sink to the status of habits' between their times of exercise. The 'absolutely' true. But those matter. has ways of boiling over. good sleeping and digesting. and expedient of course. and making us correct our present formulas. in the long run and on the whole all for what meets expediently the all experience in sight won't necessarily meet farther experiences equally satisfactorily. and similarly truth becomes a habit beliefs of certain of our ideas intervals of rest and in their from their verifying activities. or a strong always lifting weights. Wy I ' The true. Expedient in almost anyfashion. But a healthy man need not always be sleeping. any more than a wealthy man need be always handling money. activities are the root of the whole and the condition of there being any habit to exist in the intervals. among other things.PRAGMATISM Health in actu means. of is only the expedient in the ' way our thinking.^ to put it very briefly. 222 meaning what no far- .

were expedient for centuries. and be ready to-morrow falsehood. We live forwards. 'Absolutely' they | are false. but human experience call has boiled over those limits. using the past tense. and might have been transcended by past by present thinkers. and. but backw^ards. we understand a Danish thinker has said. or true within those borders of experience. they will be realized together. theorists just as they are When new experiences lead to retrospective judgments.THE NOTION OF TRUTH ther experience will ever alter. for we know that those limits were casual. ishing-point towards which is that ideal vanthat all ^ we imagine our temporary truths It will some day converge. The present sheds a backward 223 . scholastic metaphysics. aris- Ptolemaic astronomy. totelian logic. Meanwhile we have to to-day by what truth live we can to call it get to-day. even tho no past thinker had been led there. all if these ideals are ever realized. runs on all fours with the perfectly wise and with the absolutely complete experience. w^hat these judgments utter was true. and we now t ^ these things only relatively true. man. euclidean space.

and towards the future. possibly to be established some day absolutely. towards concrete- ness of fact. Men's beliefs at any time are so much experibeliefs are themselves ence funded. who knows the This regulative notion of a potential better truth to be established later. So far as both it reality means experienceable truths reality. turns its face. to which the half-true ideas are all along con- tributing their quota. Like the the absolute truth will have to be made. half-truths. made as a relation incidental to the growth of a mass of verification-experience. it and the men gain about are everlastingly in ^24 . for the next day's funding operations. and having powers of retroactive like all legislation.PRAGMATISM light on the world's previous processes. ^ I have already insisted on the fact that is . They in may have been truth-processes for the actors them. ^^ and become matter.^ truth made largely out of previous truths. parts of the But the sum total of the world's experience. They are not so for one later revelations of the story. pragmatist notions. therefore.

THE NOTION OF TRUTH process definite tion. meanwhile are not is They simply Truth the function of the 1 I beliefs that start and terminate amonoj them. for instance. acceleration varies with distance. growth. true. which (the facts again create or reveal is new truth word * indifferent) and so on indefinitely. is coil and ball of rolls the product of a double . it — mutation may be — but towards a still ^ muta- Mathematicians can solve problems with two variables. due as The it is case is like a snowball's I to the distribution of the snow on the one | hand. truth. as it So the whole up. The facts' themselves are. and to the successive pushes of the boys 225 . In the realm of truth-processes facts come independently and determine our beliefs beliefs provisionally. -^ of mutation goal. they bring into sight or into exist- ence new facts which re-determine the beliefs accordingly. influence. and as fast as so. On the Newtonian theory. Truths emerge from facts but they dip forward into facts again and add to them. but distance also varies with acceleration. But these they do make us act.

it doesn't exist. and our psychological ascertainments are in mutation allow. truth of truth — so much rationalism will itself bu t never that either reality or it self is mutable. it holds or ob- belongs to another dimension from that of either facts or fact-relations. a reflexIt ion merely. in short. tains. and ready-made from insists. 226 . static. Reality stands complete all eternity. inert. is rationalism it and the agreement of our ideas with that unique unanalyzable virtue in us. it is It ad ds nothing to the conte nt difference to reality makes no supervenient.PRAGMATISM on the other. t heir tr uth As that intrinsic has nothing to do with our experiences. of experience. to the epistemological dimension — and with that big word rationalism closes the discussion. with these factors co-determin ing each other incessantly. point of difference between is being a rationalist and being a pragmatist Experience is in mutation. them of which she has already told excellence. belongs. I t itself. The most fateful now fully in sight.

Philosophical Review. become apparent meanwhile in my I wish to close this lecture ity by showing that rationalism's sublimit does not save from inanity.THE NOTION OF TRUTH Thus. * be re- ^ Truth is a name for all those judgments A. 288.' is( and thinks that when an abstraction once named. instead of accusing pragmatism of desecrating it the notion of truth. 227 . to define themselves by it. ** Truth is the system of propositions to which have an unconditional claim cognized as valid. we own an oracular solution. When. saying exactly w^hat they understand by the only positive attempts I can think of are these tw^o: 1. xiv. True to her invet* erate habit. namely. E. just as pragmatism faces forward to the future." 2. p. rationalism reverts to principles. vol. Taylor. you ask rationalists. in the The tremendous pregnancy consequences for life way of of this radical difference of outlook will only later lectures. so does rationalism here again face backward to a past eternity.

you handle them pragmatic- What do you mean by 'claim' here. finitions They are absolutely true. and of obligations on our part to agree. They are his life evidence merely. but absolutely insignificant until ally. they say.PRAGMATISM which we find ourselves under obligation to make by a kind of imperative duty. Der Gegensiand der Erkenntniss. chapter on *Dio * Urtheilsnothwendigkeit. relative to each thinker. of course. they are no part of the ^ of H. and to the accidents of his life. rationalists But the who talk of claim obligation expressly say that they have nothing to do with our practical interests or personal reasons. and what do you mean by 'duty'. Rickert. . We feel both the claims and the obligations. and feel we and them for just those reasons.* The first is thing that strikes one in such detheir unutterable triviality.^ As summary names for the concrete reasons why thinking in true ways is overwhelmingly expedient and it is all good for mortal men. right to talk of claims on reality's part to be agreed with. Our reasons for agreeing are psycho- logical facts.

etc. all its claims ante- personal motivations what- Tho neither man nor God word would should ever ascertain truth. or for flowers. That life transacts itself in a purely logical or epistemological. Philosophy and ilar instances. for beautiful painting. common life abound in simThe sentimentalist fallacy' is * to shed tears over abstract justice osity.THE NOTION OF TRUTH truth itself. beauty. because the circumstances make them mind: vulgar. There never was a more exquisite example of an idea abstracted from the concretes of experience and then used to oppose and negate what it was abstracted from. dimension. my brother had no enthusiasm for fine architecture. and date and exceed soever. Thus of I read in the privately printed biography rationalistic **It an eminently was strange that w^ith such admiration for beauty in the abstract.as distinguished from a psychological. the still have to be defined as that which ought to be ascertained and recognized." And in almost the last philosophic 229 . and gener- and never to know these qualities when you meet them in the street..

verified. All the while is their nature. . The payments true ideas bring are the sole why of our duty to follow them. which ought is to be. . . but ex- perience shows that can not. Our obligation to seek truth part of our general obligation to do what pays. of claim Truth makes no other kind and im- poses no other kind of ought than health and wealth do. solely ideal. Both extract a quality of experience. Rea- son conceives that ought to it exist. Reason deformed by experience. It is the It nature of truths to to be validated. can not be.PRAGMATISM work I have read. Identical whys exist in the case of wealth and health. pays for our ideas is be validated. All these claims are conditional. . . 230 . . becomes contrary to rea- The rationalist's fallacy here is exactly like the sentimentalist's. As soon as reason it enters experience son. I find such passages as the is it following: "Justice ideal. Truth. from the muddy particulars find trast it and so pure when extracted that they conall its it with each and muddy instances as it an opposite and higher nature.

ought to shun the But if we treat all this abstraction literally it and oppose see to its mother soil in experience. We can not then take a step forward in our actual thinking.^ eternal claim on or is it sometimes irrelevant. untrue beliefs as perniciously in the long run as true beliefs work beneficially. We ought to think the true. what a preposterous position we w^ork our- selves into.^ 231 .THE NOTION OF TRUTH the concrete benefits we gain work are what we mean by calling the pursuit a duty. which now? When may for battle * a truth go into cold-storage in the encyclopedia ? and w^hen shall come out ? Must I constantly be repeating the truth twice of its two are four' because recognition. the quality *true' may thus be said to grow absolutely precious and the quality untrue' absolutely damnable: the * one may be called good. imperatively. we false. Talking abstractly. this truth When ? shall I acknowledge and when that ? Shall the acknow- ledcrment be loud — or it silent ? If sometimes loud. In the case of truth. uncon- ditionally. the other bad. sometimes silent.

claims abstractly to be recognized. my answer may indeed be true. so far acknowledge ditional. Truth r with a big T. because I truly ? — or may I sink and ignore them unit. the pragmatistic treatment of truth sweeps back upon us in its fulness. but con- crete truths in the plural need be recognized is only ^ when their recognition expedient.PRAGMATISM Must my thoughts have them in order to dwell night and day on my personal sins and blemishes. A truth must always be preferred to a falsehood when both relate to the situation. truth as little of a duty as false- hood. and in the singular. be a decent social and not a mass It of is morbid melancholy and apology ? quite evident that our obligation to truth. is from being uncon- tremendously conditioned. If you ask I tell me what o'clock it is you that I live at 95 Irving Street. Our duty . of course. but you don't see why it is my duty to give it. A false address would be as much to the purpose. is but when and neither does. With this admission that there are conditions that limit the application of the abstract imperative.

These pragmatists destroy ards. people thought existence. and Dewey now explain what people mean by truth. Pent tist the pragma- more than any one else sees himself to be. w^ho so well as feels the he immense pressure of objective control their opera- under which our minds perform tions ? If any one imagines that 233 this law is lax. A favorite formula for de- Mr. When Messrs. as this be not an impudent slander. Schiller's doctrines and mine is that we are persons it who think that by saying whatever you find it pleasant to say and calling truth you fulfil every pragmatistic require- ment. between the w^hole body of funded truths squeezed from the past and the coercions of the w^orld of sense about him.THE NOTION OF TRUTH to agree with reality is seen to be grounded in a perfect jungle of concrete expediencies. they are accused of denying all its existence. critics say. When matter's Berkeley had explained what people that he denied Schiller meant by matter. . objective stand- and put foolishness and wis- dom on one scribing: level. I leave it to you to judge whether in.

would be pleasant.' He is treated as one who if it believes in calling everything true which.PRAGMATISM let him keep its Emerson.' claim 'unconditional' or one that I can make neither 234 . We commandment one day. The notion 'agree' with it. were true. Schiller says the true is that which ' works. but simply because 'transcendent.' Thereupon he is as one who limits verification to the lowest material utilities. high time to urge the use of a philosophy. of a reality calling on us to and that its is for is no reasons. I have honestly tried to stretch my imagination and to read the best possible into the rationalist conception. critics to little imagination in The unwillingness of some of our silliest is read any but the of possible meanings into our statements as discreditable to their imaginations as anything I know in retreated cent philosophic history. says have heard much of late of the It is uses of the imagination in science. need more imagination Our own critics certainly of realities. Dewey says truth is what gives 'satisfaction. but it still meaning I have to confess that completely baffles me.

I might as well have remained uncopied. to be copied." So here: but for the honor of the thing. I would claim' * I were allowed If you suggest the possibility of my claim- ing that a mind should come into being from out of the void inane and stand and copy me. and then if to imagine what more to. but can conjure up no motive. but when we get beyond copying. if it ** Faith.THE NOTION OF TRUTH head nor tail of. I might as well have come on foot. I try to imagine myself as the sole reality in the world. 235 . wasn't for the honor of the thing. or W hat what if good good it it would do me w^ould do that mind to copy me. further consequences are expressly and in prin- ciple ruled out as motives for the claim (as they are by our rationalist authorities) I can not fathom. I can indeed imagine what the copying might I mean. Copying is one genuine mode seem of knowing (which for some strange reason our contemporary transcendentalists to be tumbling over each other to re- pudiate). When the Irishman's admirers ran him along to the place of banquet in a sedan chair with no bottom. he said.

to say that his argumentation in that chapter in so generally able a writer. seems to me to mark the bankruptcy of rationalism when deal- ing with this subject. solely is whatever agrees with truth. imagined for abstraction. Neither content nor motive can be it.' I under the head of what he Suffice it can not discuss his text here. This fantastic flight. Reality is whole notion of truth being founded on agreement with according to him. Joachim's candid confession of failure in his book The Nature of Truth.^ It is an absolutely meaningless Surely in this field of truth matists it is the pragare the and not the rationalists who more genuine defenders rationality. ^ of the universe's I am not forgetting that Professor Rickert long ago gave up the reality. or any other processes pragmatically definable. and truth founded on our primal duty. is so feeble as to seem almost incredible . the what of the agree* ment' claimed becomes as unintelligible as the why of it. together with Mr. sition Rickert deals with part of the pragmatistic pocalls ' Relativismus.PRAGMATISM and fall back on unnamed forms of agreeing that are expressly denied to be either copyings or leadings or fittings.

VII PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM .

.

veiling rather than revealing what its profundities are supposed to contain. the Dialectic Spirit. the notion of the Truth. Polarity. For popular tradition. the Oversoul. the Idea. Law. conceived as the one answer. better if the the answer be oracular.LECTURE What VII PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM hardens the heart of every one I ap- proach with the view of truth sketched last lecture is in my that typical idol of the tribe. By amateurs in philosophy and professionals alike. Nature. so as itself to aw^aken wonder as an enigma of the second order. Matter. such as God. the Self. the universe fied is represented as a queer sort of petri- sphinx whose appeal to men consists in a monotonous challenge to his divining powers. Process. the admiration that draw them from this men have lavished on oracular role. 239 . All the great single-word answers to the world's riddle. to the one fixed enigma which the w^orld is believed to it is all propound. the One. Reason. determinate and complete.

a mere useful summarizing phrase or the like the Latin Language Law. words: "In everything. determin- ing them unequivocally and requiring them But the slightest exercise of reflexion to obey. It never occurs to most of us even later that the question 'what is the truth?' all is no real question (being irrelative to conditions) is and that the whole notion of the truth an abstraction from the fact of truths in the plural. makes us I see that. talk about Common-law judges sometimes the law. in a schoolmasters talk about the way to make their hearers think they mean entities pre-existent to the de- cisions or to the words and syntax.o . in science. morals is and religion.PRAGMATISM The Truth alistic : what a perfect ! idol of the ration- mind I read in an old a gifted friend who died too — from young — these letter art. there must be one system that right and eve7'y other wrong." How charactersuch a chal- istic of the enthusiasm of a certain stage of youth! At twenty-one we rise to lenge and expect to find the system. instead of being principles 2. and latin tongue.

fresh facts: truth. or between the correct and in- correct in speech. is unrolling. just as idiom grafts on previous idiom. and the judge will twist them into fresh law. But imagine a youth the courtroom trying cases with his abstract notion of 'the' law. or a censor of speech loose let among the theatres with his idea of 'the* 241 . eternal tice. and law on previous law. in detail and in no other way do distinctions false in belief ever itself between the true and the grow up.PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM of this kind. new slang or meta- phor or oddity that hits the public taste. truth. is — and presto. — and our mind finds a new we pretend that the All the while. that the one previous jus- grammar or truth are simply fulgurating in and not being made. Given previous law and a novel case. Distinctions between the lawful ful in and the unlaw- conduct. Previous truth. however. a new idiom made. have grown up incidentally among the interactions of men's experiences . Previous idiom. Truth grafts it on previous modifying itself in the process. both law and latin are results.

all our formulas have a human twist. of * and proposes the name an un- Humanism' for the doctrine that to ascertainable extent our truths are man-made all products too. Mr. Schiller applies the analogy to beliefs.PRAGMATISM mother-tongue. at and language fairly boil away from them the least touch of novel fact. questions. pro- hibitions. idioms. Human motives sharpen our human is satisfactions lurk in all our answers. and what progress do they make? Truth. or a professor setting up to lecture alistic on the actual universe with his ration- notion of 'the Truth' with a big T. truth are but abstract names for its results. are so many new creations that add Far themselves as fast as history proceeds. This element that so inextricable in the products Mr. Laws and languages at any rate to are thus seen be man-made things. it Schiller sometimes seems almost to leave an open question whether there be 242 . penalties. law. law. Our rights. beliefs. wrongs. These things make themselves as we go. words. language. forms. from being antecedent principles that animate the process.

This is Mr. Schiller admits as emphatically as any one the presence of resisting factors in every actual experience of truth-making. and with which it has perforce to 'agree. less to define it is what we make it It is fruit- it by what originally it is was or by is ^ what it. it is apart from us ." he says. I mean to defend the humanist position in I will insinuate a this lecture. p.' All our truths are beliefs about 'Reality'. Mr. the worldis plastic. and stopping only when we are decisively rebuked. acting methodically on that assumption. and has exposed him to severe attack. 60.'' He adds if that we can learn the limits of the plasticity only by trying. . 243 . as a thing found. and in any particular belief the reality acts as some- thing independent. *'is es- sentially vkr].PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM anything else. of which the new^-made special truth must take account. Schiller's butt-end-foremost it statement of the humanist position. "The world. so few remarks at this point. it. . not * manu- Personal Idealism. what made of Hence . and that it we ought to start as were wholly plastic.

as something that our beliefs must also obediently take account is iherelations that obtain between our sensa- tions or between their copies falls into in our minds. our theories of their source relations. Over and quantity we have I T/i^?/are neither true It is as good as no control. lecture. this point of the flux of our sensa- Sensations are forced upon us. order we know not whence. as those . names we give them. ^ and the view is part of reality from tions. coming their nature. they simply ar^. Let me here recall a bit of my last 'Reality' is in general what first truths have to take account of. that and nature and remote true or not. 244 . Taylor in his Elements of Metaphysics uses this excellent pragmatic definition. nor false. may be The of second part of reality. only the only what we say about them.PRAGMATISM factured. Both sorts of rela^ Mr. 1) the rela- This part two sub-parts: tions that are mutable and accidental. I. of date and place and 2) those that are fixed and essential because they are grounded on the inner natures of their terms.

and. ' ' But it is the latter kind of fact that reality forms the more important sub-part of for our theories of knowledge. This third part is new a inquiry less much obdurately resisting factor: giving way. according as 245 we lay the .' are perceived whenever of their sensible terms are compared . Now ity however fixed these elements be. Take our sensations. Inner relations namely are 'eternal. note. it often ends by In speaking of these three por- tions of reality as at all times controlling our belief's formation. and them our thought so-called — mathematical and logical thought p y — must eternally take account. Both are facts. but which we attend and make emphatic in our conclusions depends on our own interests. upon them). of real- may we still have a certain freedom in our dealings with them.PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM tionare matters of immediate perception. I in am only reminding you of what we heard our last hour. is The third part of reality. That they are trol. is undoubtedly beyond our conto. additional to these perceptions (tho largely based the previous truths of which every takes account.

This We it is who have to speak dumbness of sensations has led such intellectualists as T. tails. Both and the relational parts of real- the sensational ity are dumb. for them. The own .' So. the lawyer finds most expedient to give. but pragmatists refuse to go so far. H. quite different formulations of truth result. defeat. they say absolutely nothing about themselves. differently. 246 . for an I optimist philosopher the universe spells victory. pleasit and then has passively room to whatever account of his ant or unpleasant.PRAGMATISM emphasis here or there. A sensation is rather like a client who has given his case to a lawyer to listen in the courtaffairs. and the which depends on us. Green and Ed- ward Caird to shove them almost beyond the pale of philosophic recognition. What we that of say about reality thus depends on the perspective into which it is its we throw it. for a pessimist. but the what depends on the which. for it p a Frenchman spells a * defeat. spells * We read the same facts Waterloo/ with the same fixed de- a 'victory' for an Englishman.

geometries. class them in this way or in that. they have already their ity which I the acts of impressed real- mental forms on that whole third of have called 'previous truths.' Every its hour brings new percepts. in each and all of which the form and order is in which the whole cast is flagrantly man-made. By our ex- and omissions we trace the field's its by our emphasis we mark its foreground it and background. 247 its own facts of . facts Thus. choice. or arithmetics. relation and arrange them We read them in one serial order or another. our minds exert a certain arbitrary inclusions tent. even in the field of sensation. to say nothing of the new which men add to the matter of reality by their own lives. This applies to the 'eternal' parts of as well : reality we shuffle our perceptions of intrinsic just as freely. treat one or the until other as more fundamental. by our order we read in this direction or in that. but ourselves. our beliefs about them form those bodies of truth known as logics. We receive in short we carve the statue the block of marble.PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM Hence.

there. but the whole of our past dealings is with such facts ous truths. then. It is already funded in the previ- therefore only the smallest first and recentest fraction of the ity that two parts of real- comes to us without the human touch. but we never grasp what we grasp 248 always some . As a matter we can hardly take in an impression at in the absence of a preconception of what impressions there may possibly be.PRAGMATISM sensation and relation. before any belief about the presence had arisen. or to some imagined aboriginal presence in experience. as- or in some way adapted. evanescent. When we human hard is talk of reality 'independent' of it thinking. to the humanized mass already of fact all. the merely ideal limit of our minds. and that fraction has immediately to become humanized similated. in the sense of being squared. reduces to the notion of what just entering into experience else and yet to be named. to be truly taken ac- count of. It lutely is what abso- dumb and it. We may glimpse is it. It seems a thing very to find. before any human conis ception had been applied.

and f . To the genuine 'Kantianer' Schiller will alto ways be Kant as a satyr to Hyperion. If so vulgar an expression were allowed us. Bradley's words) but don't possess perficially this Su- sounds Kant's view. us where it They may make comes from and 249 theories that all about it. core of reality. it we might say that wherever we find ]Mr. and categories gradually forming themselves in nature's presence.PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM substitute for it which previous human think- ing has peptonized and cooked for our con- sumption. vXrjy which only to be made is That sible Mr. has been already faked. but between categories fulminated before nature began. Schiller's belief about the senit it. about the sensible core of in its They may ture. think to get at independent na- by peeling off the successive man-made tell j wrappings. it. We like * encounter' (in Mr. Other pragmatists beliefs may it reach more positive reality. the whole chasm between rationalism and empiricism yawns. This calls is what Schiller has in reality a mind when he independent is mere unresisting over by us.

and others believe in the core and bravely try to define Schiller treat all it * it. or 250 .TRAGMATISM if these theories work satisfactorily they will be is ( true.' Which be the the truer of these diverse accounts.^ On the one hand there will stand reality. but in the these will know the non-human element. but only our belief about it will contain human elements.' still teaches that the core Professor Bergson. Dewey and is as a limit. Strong. If the impossibility prove permanent. or of it others comparable with them. The transcendental idealists say there no core. on the other an account of it which it proves impos- sible to better or to alter. Does the only sense in which there can be knowledge of anything. the truth of the account will be absolute. river make its banks. them for heaven's to it! let them grant us access Not reality. Heymans. sake reveal it. Other content of truth than I this can find nowhere. is reality and truth Scholasticism 'matter. unless one that finally proves the most satisfactory. Messrs. the finally completed wrapping being in one. If the anti-pragmatists let have any other meaning. being reality.

or as the product of 3 or as 26 jplus l. You can take a chess-board as black squares on a white ground. We conceive a given reality in this way or in that. You can take the number 27 and 9. Let this stand as a first brief indication of it the humanistic position. In many familiar objects every one will re- cognize the human element. as the cube of 3. to suit our purpose. of which one will be just as true as another. as a hexa- .or 100 minus 73. which w^ill lead to a acquaintance with the subject.PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM do the banks make the river? Does a man more be to in the walk with his right leg or with his left leg essentially? Just as impossible may it separate the real from the human factors growth of our cognitive experience. I will try to make plausible by a few fuller illustrations. is You can treat the adjoined figure as a 251 star. or in countless other ways. and the reality passively submits to the conception. and neither conception a false one. or as white squares on a black ground. as two big triangles crossing each other. Does seem parait doxical ? If so.

reality tolerates the addition. they fit it. some them might much surprised at the partners we had given them. hanging together by their All these treatments are true treatments — the sensible that resists upon the paper of them. the Great Bear. and the if stars patiently suffer us to do so. as six equal tips. while they build 2o2 . etc. or the Dipper. We name None the same constellation diversely. for all are applicable. them constellations. All the additions agree' it with the reality. as Charles's Wain.PRAGMATISM gon with triangles legs set up on its angles. We carve out groups of and call stars in the heavens. no one line You can say of a that it runs east. or you can say that it runs west. of the names will be false. and the line per se accepts in- both descriptions without rebelling at the consistency. and one will be as true as another. In all these cases we humanly make an and that ' ad- dition to some sensible reality. — though of they knew what we were feel doing.

So an 'army. If I wish to ennoble the heavens by ' the constellations I see there. to suit our human ence' is purposes.' My friend Frederick Myers was humorously indignant that that prodigious star-group should remind us Americans of nothing but a culinary utensil. have no use at present for its individual units. to call you 'audi- ence' is an accidental w^ay of taking you.' of a 'nation. it is 26 plus 1. If the 27 is a number I dollars which I find in a 1. we carve out constellations. drawer w^here If it is had of left 28. now of attentive.' But in your own eyes. so I don't consider them. ladies and gentlemen.PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM out. depends altogether the human use of it. Which may be on of treated as the viore true. this whole 'audi- one thing. W hat shall we call a thing anyhow quite arbitrary. For me. No one of them is false. The indi- permanently real things for you are your 253 . * Charles's Wain' would be more true than Dipper. which grows now I restless. for just as ? It seems we carve out everything. it is 28 minus the number inches in a board which I wish to insert as a shelf into a cupboard 26 inches wide.

To an anatomist. is an American schoolroom made on into one by the reaction of our schoolboys his waitings. Many of the predicates of things express only the relations of the things to us and to our feelings. Our nouns and adjectives humanized heirlooms. those persons are but organisms. Caesar crossed the Rubicon. We create the predicates also. then. and was a to menace Rome's freedom. say the histologists cells. again. and the real things are the organs. Such predicates of course are human also additions. not the but their molecules. He pest. and in the theories we build them into.PRAGMATISM vidua! persons. We break the flux of sensible reality int<? things. You human are all see how naturally one comes to the humanistic principle: you can't weed out the contribution. their Not the organs. The added predicate is as true of him as the earlier ones. so much as constituent cells. at our will. jects of We create the sub- our true as well as of our false pro- positions. say in turn the chemists. the inner order and ar- 254 .

what we notice determines what we do. with our additions. We fall build the flux out inevitably. One witness names calls the Great Bear calls one them Charles's Wain'. intellectual consistency being one of them. AYe plunge forward into the field of fresh experience with the beliefs our ancestors and we have these made already.' Which human addition has made the 255 best universe of . ' .PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM rangement is wholly dictated by human con- siderations. determine what we notice. altho the is stubborn fact is remains that there true of it a sensible flux. what we do again determines what we experience . and nothing and else but three human * wit- nesses stars ' their critic. rise or in value ? Are the additions worthy or un- worthy ? Suppose a universe composed of seven stars. and biology follow massive f^' cues of preference. Mathematics and lo^ric themselves are fermenting with physics. astronomy human rearrangements. is: The great question does it. so from one thing to another. what first to last to seems from be largely a matter of our own creation. one them the *Dipper.

But may not our themselves descriptions. life In our cognitive as well as in our active are creative. this suggestion by the ^It is identically our pragmatistic conception. just the opposite of the true one. stands ready-made plete. both to the subject 253 and . a relation reality between and our minds which may be Reality. made a deep sug- We naively assume. Lotze has in several places gestion.PRAGMATISM the given stellar material ? If Frederick Myers were the * critic. be reality. and com- and our intellects supervene with the one it simple duty of describing as it is already. we naturally think. Lotze asks. than for the very pur- pose of stimulating our minds to such additions as shall enhance the universe's total value. which reminds one of great Lotze. 'Die is erhohung des vorgefundenen daseins^ a phrase used by Professor Eucken somewhere. he says. we We add.^ important additions to itself And may not previous reality be there. far less for the purpose of reappearing unal- tered in our knowledge. he would have no hesitation in turning down' the American witness.

The world its f stands really malleable. and awaits part of complexion from the future. Signore Papini. now in sight throughThe essential contrast is and that for rationalism reality is ready-made complete from all eternity. it opens of man's divinely- The import out its of the difference is between prag- | matism and rationalism whole extent. is On the one side ^ [ the universe it is still absolutely secure. grows fairly dithyrambic over the view that creative functions. To some of us it proves a most inspiring notion. it. while for pragma- tism its it is still in the making. waiting to receive final touches at our hands. understanding gathers round 257 It is accused . on the other its pursuing adventures. \Ye have got into rather deep water with this humanistic view. Like the kingdom it of heaven. and it is no wonder that misit. the leader of Italian pragmatism. suffers human violence willingly. / Man engenders truths upon No one can deny that such a role would add both to our dignity and to our responsibility as thinkers.PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM to the predicate part of reality.

would have to any end. title. to The for to deceive. however perverted. yet malleable.' wittily the make- believe. morally 'will was 'will iniquitous. All the essay. to be the truth that he will have 'reality. it Will to Believe. he underto *hold if stood his own doctrine. Bradley. is on it personally. if and any however resolved of mad.' as only some one it so. idea. I once wrote an essay on our right to believe. Mr. which controls our thinking as an energy that must be taken * account' of incessantly (tho is not necessarily merely copied) diflScult evidently a situ- one to introduce to novices.' it. were proposed as substitutes The alternative between pragmatism and ra- tionalism. if for example. The ation reminds me of one that which I have personally gone through. it neglecting the pounced upon the Psychologically was impossible. says that a humanist. I unluckily called the critics. in the shape in ii which we noxc have before us. I insist be rational.' The humanist view something resisting. is no longer a question in the theory 258 .PRAGMATISM of being a doctrine of caprice.

tive is The rationalist mind. full of false readings. eternally complete. one real one. is A If radical pragmatist on the other hand a happy-go-lucky anarchistic sort of creature. ralism and monism here come back upon I will develope their differences during the remainder of our hour. and then the various finite editions. On the rationalist side we have a universe in many editions. So the metaphysical hypotheses of pluus.PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM of knowledge^ it concerns the structure of the uni* verse itself. growing in all sorts of places. radi- of a doctrinaire and authoritais complexion: the phrase 'must be' ever on be its lips. /And first let me say that it is impossible not at to see a temperamental difference work in the choice of sides. distorted and mutilated each rival in its own way. The bellyband of its universe must tight. On the pragmatist side we have only one I | edition of the universe. cally taken. the infinite folio. unfinished. especially in the places where \- thinking beings are at work. he had to live in a tub like Dio- 259 . or edition de luxe.

To rationalists this describes a tramp and vagrant world. such a whole there be. but the whole of them. with neither elephant nor tortoise to plant the sole of 2C0 its foot . or to a fanatical believer in the divine right of the people. or as * simplified spelling' might affect an elderly schoolmistress. finite experience as such is homeless. secures the issue of It can hope salvation only from its own intrinsic promises and potencies. truth grows up inside of the finite experiences. Now the idea of this loose universe affects your typical rationalists in much the same way as 'freedom of the press' might affect a veteran official in the Russian bureau of censorship. All homes' are in finite experience. adrift in space. Nothing outside of the flux it. They if * lean on each other. leans on nothing. PRAGMATISM genes he wouldn't mind at loose all if the hoops were and the staves let in the sun. appears as backboneless and devoid of principle as * opportunism' in politics appears to an old-fashioned French legitimist. It affects him as the swarm of It protestant sects affects a papist onlooker. For pluralistic all pragmatism.vft.

tighten this loose universe. a dog without a collar in the eyes of most professors of philosophy. ? according to the professors to support the finite many. The authority of * the State. a trunk w^ithout a tag. for such a part than the Filipinos for self-government. to tie to unify and anchor it.PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM upon.' and that of an absolute 'moral law. something eternal and unalterable. a world delivered to our opportunisms and our private judgments! Home-rule for Ireland ^Ye're would be a millennium no more are *fit fit in comparison. In other spheres of life it is true that we have got used to living in a state of relative insecurity.' Such a world It would not be is respectable philosophically. itself and holy church has resolved into * meeting-houses. It is a set of stars hurled into heaven without even a centre of gravity to pull against. A universe its with such as us contributing to create truth.' have resolved themselves into expediencies. The mutable in experience must be 261 . What then would Something it to. Something un- exposed to accident.' Not so as yet within the philosophic classrooms.

live This is We upon the stormy it surface. appointed and provided. ideals here The negatives that haunt our below must be themselves negated This alone makes the the resting deep. This is Wordsworth's 'eternal peace abiding of endless agitation. called tender-minded in my first think themselves obliged to postulate. principles. 262 . there must be a de jure duplicate fixed and previous. Behind our de facto world.PRAGMATISM founded on immutability. without chance of variation. I This what the men of and in general all the men whom lecture. exactly this. for grapples rocky bottom. is what the tough- of that lecture find themselves moved to call a piece of perverse abstraction-worship. our world in act. every smallest item. universe solid. reality claim. in the absolutely Real. every drop of blood. but with this our anchor holds.' at the heart This is Vivekananda's mystic to you. reality to which is that makes the timeless defeat can't happen. One of which I read This is Reality with the big R. stamped and branded. And minded this. with all that can happen here already there in posse.

PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM
The tough-minded are the men whose alpha and omega are facts. Behind the bare phenomenal
facts, as

my

tough-minded old friend

Chaunccy Wright, the great Harvard empiricist of

my

youth, used to say, there
insists that

is

nothing.

When a rationalist
there
is

behind the facts

the ground of the facts, the possibility

of the facts, the tougher empiricists accuse

him

of taking the

mere name and nature
it

of a fact

and clapping
entity to

behind the fact as a duplicate
it

make

possible.

That such sham
is

grounds are often invoked

notorious.

At a

surgical operation I once heard a bystander ask

a doctor
*

why

the patient breathed so deeply.
is

Because ether

a respiratory stimulant,' the

doctor answered. 'Ah!' said the questioner,
as
if

that were a good explanation.

But

this
kills
j

is like

saying that cyanide of potassium
it

because

is

a 'poison,' or that
it is
'

it

is

so cold

to-night because
five

winter,' or that

we have
from
j

-|

fingers

because

we

are

'pentadactyls.'

These are but names

for the facts, taken

the facts, and then treated as previous

and

explanatory.

The tender-minded
263

notion of

aa

PRAGMATISM
absolute reality
is,

according to the radically
this pattern.
It

tough-minded, framed on just
is

but our summarizing

name

for the

whole

spread-out and strung-along mass of pheno-

mena, treated as

if

it

were a different

entity,

both one and previous.

You see how differently people take things. The ^\orld we live in exists diffused and distributed, in the

form

of

an

indefinitely

numer-

ous

lot of eaches,

coherent in

all sorts of

ways
per-

and degrees; and the tough-minded are
fectly willing to

keep them at that valuation.

They can

stand that kind of world, their temits

per being well adapted to

insecurity.

Not

so the tender-minded party.

They must back
born into by 'an-

the world

we

find ourselves

other and a better' w^orld in which the caches

form an All and the All a One that

logically

presupposes, co-implicates, and secures each

each without exception.

Must we
of the

as pragmatists be radically toughtreat the absolute edition
?

minded ? or can we

world as a legitimate hypothesis
it is

It is

certainly legitimate, for

thinkable, whether

264

PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM
we
take
it

in

its

abstract or in

its

concrete

shape.

By
ter'
is

taking

it

abstractly I

mean

placing

it
*

be-

hind our

finite life as

we

place the

word win-

behind to-night's cold weather. 'AVinter'

only the

name

for a certain

number

of

days

which we find generally characterized by cold
weather, but
for our
it

guarantees nothing in that

line,

thermometer to-morrow may soar into

the 70 's. Nevertheless the

word

is

a useful one

to plunge forward with into the stream of our

experience.

It

cuts off certain probabilities

and

sets

up

others.

You can

put away your

straw hats; you can unpack your arctics. It
is

a

summary

of things to look for.

It

names

a part of nature's habits, and gets you ready for
their continuation.
It is

a definite instrument

abstracted from experience, a conceptual reality that

you must take account you
totally
is

of,

and which
realities.

reflects

back into sensible

The

pragmatist

the last person to deny the

reality of

such abstractions. They are so

much

past experience funded.

But taking the absolute
265

edition of the world

PRAGMATISM
concretely

means a
it

different hypothesis.

Rait

tionalists take

concretely and oppose

to

the world's finite editions.
ticular nature.

They

give

it

a par-

It is perfect, finished.
is

Everyevery-

thing

known

there

known along with
want

thing else;
otherwise.
is

here,

where ignorance
is

reigns, far

If there

there, there also

the satisfaction provided.

Here

all is

pro-

cess; that

world

is

timeless.

Possibilities ob-

tain in our world; in the absolute world,
all

where

that

is

not
is

is

from eternity impossible, and

all

that is

necessary, the category of possi-

bility

has no application. In this world crimes
regretable.

and horrors are

In that totalized

world regret obtains not, for 'the existence of
ill

in the

temporal order

is

the very condition

of the perfection of the eternal order.'

Once more,
stractly, or

either hypothesis

is

legitimate
uses.

in pragmatist eyes, for either has

its

Ab-

taken like the w^ord winter, as a
of past experience that orients

memorandum
lute
it is

us towards the future, the notion of the abso-

world

is

indispensable. Concretely taken,

also indispensable, at least to certain minds,
206

flWH

PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM
for
it

determines them religiously, being often

a thing to change their lives by, and by changing their lives, to change whatever in the outer

order depends on them.

We

can not therefore methodically join the
in their rejection of the
finite

tough minds

whole

notion of a world beyond our

experience.
is

One misunderstanding
identify
it

of

pragmatism

to

with positivistic tough-mindedness,
it

to suppose that

scorns every rationalistic

notion as so
that
it

much

jabber and gesticulation,

loves intellectual anarchv as such

and

prefers a sort of wolf- world absolutely unpent

and wild and without a master or a

collar to

any philosophic classroom product whatsoever.
I have said so

much

in these lectures against

the over-tender forms of rationalism, that I

am

prepared for some misunderstanding here, but
I confess that the amount of
it

that I have found

in this very audience surprises

me, for

I

have

simultaneously defended

rationalistic

hypo-

theses, so far as these re-direct

you

fruitfully

into experience.

For instance

I

receive this
267

morning

this

PRAGMATISM
question on a post-card
sarily a
* *
:

Is a pragmatlst neces-

complete materialist and agnostic?"

One of my oldest friends, who ought to know me better, writes me a letter that accuses the
pragmatism I
out
all

am recommending

of shutting

wider metaphysical views and condemn-

ing us to the most terre-a-terre naturalism. Let

me

read you some extracts from

it.

"It seems to me,"

my

friend writes, **that
lies

the pragmatic objection to pragmatism the fact that
it

in

might accentuate the narrow-

ness of narrow minds.

" Your

call to

the rejection of the
is

namby-

pamby and
spiring.

the wishy-washy
it

of course in-

But altho

is

salutary

and stim-

ulating to be told that one should be responsible for the

immediate issues and bearings of
I decline to

his

words and thoughts,

be de-

prived of the pleasure and profit of dwelling
also
is

on remoter bearings and

issues,

and

it

the tendency of pragmatism to refuse this

privilege.

"In short, it seems

to

me that the limitations,

or rather the dangers, of the pragmatic tend2G8

after lectures. whether taken 269 . there . And of course every- thing can be expressed. I for my part refuse persuaded that we can not look beyond the obvious pluralism of the naturalist and the pragmatist to a logical unity in which they take no interest.PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM ency. is no pragmatic use bearings to be in trying to express it has no — for them.' — — after a fashion. they say. * theoretically. the notion of a world ante rem. that is. are analogous to those which beset the unwary followers of the * natural sciences." How tism I is such a conception of the pragmaadvocating possible. and that.? am it my first and second offering I have all along been expressly as a mediator between If tough-mindedness and tender-mindedness. disdain for all feel an infinite pity and students of philosophy and meta- physics whomsoever. and many of their devotees. and in terms of chemistry and physics. everything except the vital prin- ciple of the whole. smugly content with the data that their weiirhts and measures furnish.' Chemistry and physics are eminently pragmatic.

can be to shown have any consequences whatever for our has a meaning. for pragmatism. or concretely as the hypothesis of an Absolute. aboriginal. be the subject of my next and final lecture. . meaning. If the life.PRAGMATISM abstractly like the word winter. and most real. that perfection eternal. it it meaning works. to will have some truth that ought all be held to through possible reformulations. and will works To examine how. it has a perrelig- fectly definite iously. The is absolutistic hypothesis.

VIII PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION .

.

in which I to had opposed tough- mindedness tender-mindedness and recom- mended pragmatism as their mediator. indeed. as things to take account of. no meaning and no But if reality they have no use. Toughmindedness positively ness's hypothesis of rejects tender-minded- an eternal perfect edition of the universe coexisting with our finite experience. is Well. they have any use they have that amount of meaning. They if have. the use of the Absolute proved by the w^hole course of men's religious history. On pragmatic principles we can not reject if any hypothesis flow from it. consequences useful to life Universal conceptions. And the meaning with will be true if the use squares well life's other uses. Remember 273 . The eternal arms are then beneath.LECTURE VIII PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION At the close of the last lecture I reminded you of the first one. may be as real for prag- matism as particular sensations are.

but I understand you. Let fore me read there- some of those verses entitled *To You' by Walt Whitman — 'You' of course mean- ing the reader or hearer of the poem whosoever he or she Whoever you may are. be. but I love none better than you. of the Atman — not indeed particular spirit- we can make no It is emotional and always best to discuss things by the help of concrete examples. It is it. for deductions from ual altogether. that you be I my poem. I place now my hand upon you your ear. to have made my way you long ago.PRAGMATISM Vivekananda's use a scientific use. None have done justice to you — you have not done justice to yourself. imperfect — I only find no imper- 274. I will leave all and come and make the hymns of you. . None have understood you. I have been dilatory 1 should and dumb. I should have blabbed nothing but you. whisper with my lips close to I have loved many men and women and men. None but have found you fection in you. I should have chanted nothing but you.

Silence. these balk others. if these conceal you from others. but as good you. is No No pluck nor endurance in others. all these I part aside. the impure complexion. Whoever you are ! claim your own at any hazard These shows of the east and west are tame. premature death. they do not balk me. the unsteady eye. These immense meadows are — these interminable as they. you where none else has pursued you. You have not known what you all are — you have slumbered upon yourself your life. greed. The pert apparel.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION I could sing such glories and grandeurs about you. rivers — you immense and interminable 275 . they do not conceal you from me The shaved if face. There is is no in virtue. no beauty. but as good in you. the night. Underneath them and within them. pleasure waiting for others. compared with you. man or woman. What you have done returns already in mockeries. drunkenness. the flippant expression. or from yourself. the desk. the ac- customed routine. But the mockeries are not you. but an equal pleasure waits for you. 1 pursue I see you lurk. the deformed attitude. There is no endowment in man or woman that in is not tallied in you.

but there are two ways of taking both useful. passion. One is the monistic way. it enemies compare to a spiritual this opium. back. Master or mistress your own right over Nature. male or female. ennui. low. The glories and grand- eurs. its you are picks way. of indifferentism. the mystical way of pure cosmic emotion. Verily a fine and moving poem. it Yet has pragmatism must respect way. find an unfailing suflficiency Old or young. But pragmatism sees another ^7G way to be re- .PRAGMATISM You are he or she who in is master or mistress over them. Look back. death. ignorance. dissolution. whatever you are promulges rejected by the rest Through birth. it. ambition. Whatever may happen to you. rude. nothing scanted. burial. elements. even in the midst of your defacements. in any case. the is means are provided. is on your true principle famous way of being! This the Its of quietism. whatever you may appear to be. they are yours absolutely. losses. what Through angers. for massive historic vindication. pain. The hopples fall from your ankles — you itself. lie inwardly you are safe. life.

can at that glory's partner. then. encoursatisfy. of so brave a total world. You least appreciate. think only of the high. may mean your better posspecific sibilities phenomenally taken. 277 . But first the background of the way it is the static One. Both ways flux. while in the second way means possibles and it in the plural. then. ennui. the pluralistic ing the poem. it In either w^ay of taking the poem. or the effects redemptive even of your It failures. whatever you thus make yourself. to which sung. genuine possibles. furnish the audience. through angers. life Identify your therewith. upon yourself or others. way of interpret- the hymn is The you so glorified.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION spected also. ages fidelity to ourselves. both sanctify the portrait of the human Both paint the you on a gold background. to the possibilities of may mean your loyalty others whom you admire w^illing to and love so that for you are it is accept your own poor life. w^hatever its you thus most deeply are. applaud. has all the restlessness of that conception. ignorance. losses. picks way. Forget the low in yourself.

you should against the positively set first up the second way likely way. yet no one in can accuse of tough-mindedness if. Altho second way seems prosaic and earth-born first in comparison with the it way. You would be accused of denying nobler conceptions. believe." writes my friend and corre- spondent. and of being an ally of tough-mindedness in the worst sense. Let me read you an additional extract now. any brutal sense of the term.PRAGMATISM Noble enough is either way of reading the poem. It shows a vague- ness in realizing the alternatives before us which *'I I think is very widespread. It sets definite activities in us at this work. you would very be misunderstood. '*in pluralism. Yet as pragmatists. but plainly the pluralistic way it agrees with the pragmatic temper best. for ately suggests immediof an infinitely larger number the details of future experience to our mind. I believe that in our search for truth we leap from one floating cake 278 . the letter from a You remember this member of audience from which I read some ex- tracts at our previous meeting.

and that by each of our acts we make new truths possible and old ones impossible. phenomena and as forming — when thus supplemented — a scheme which I of the natural- approve and adopt as I refuse to my own. 279 But how much . I of a rational unity of all things. on an infinite sea. and that if he does not do will in so far left undone. namely. that through the construction. can conceive my acts and my thoughts and my troubles as supplemented by all the other of the world. and for my part be persuaded that we can not look beyond the obvious pluralism ist and pragmatist to a logical unity in which they take no interest or stock. in imagination and by reasoning.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION of ice to another. I believe that each man be is responsible for making the universe this it better." Such a fine expression of personal faith warms the heart of the hearer. only my on one condition. I "Yet and at the same time am willing to en- dure that my children should be incurably sick and I myself suffering (as they are not) stupid and yet w^ith brains enough to see stupidity.

I regard the writer of the letter as a genuine pragmatist. and taking it only as a possible terminus ad quem. in a pluralistic-melioristic which way. He appears to me as one of that numerous I class of philosophic amateurs 280 whom spoke of . Obviously here the writer faces ward into the particulars of experience. He supposes at the same time that the pragmatist. because he criticises rationalism's abstract One. unity of their He speaks of what he calls the rational things. but as a pragmatist sans le savoir. supplemented. he interprets But he believes himself to face backward. is cut off from the consolation of believing in the saving possibilities of the concrete many. interpretation of the world's poem? by His troubles become atoned for when thus suppleviented. He fails in short to distinguish between taking the world's perfection as a necessary principle. when all the while he really means possible empirical unification. that is. all he says. the remedies that the other phenomena may for- supply.PRAGMATISM does it clear his philosophic head ? Does the writer consistently favor the monistic. or the pluralistic.

and abstractly it accuses pluralism of conflicting with (for the bare names do conflict). this essential Most of us remain in vagueness. a or a last ? Does it make you tainly look forward or w^hile if lie back ? It is cer- worth not to clump the two things together.^ ante rem or in rebus ? Is solute or it a principle or an end. for discriminated. without being too careful as to how they agree or disagree. but in the interest of clearheadedness well that some of us should go farther. this absolutely real world. cidedly diverse meanings for 281 . and it is well that we should it is . as wishing to have all the good things going. this unity that yields the moral inspiration and has the religious value. things' is it 'Rational unity of all so inspiring a formula. they have delife. an abfirst an ultimate.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION in my first lecture. that he brandishes off-hand. altho concretely he means by it just the pragmatistically unified and ameliorated world. so I will try now on to focus a little more discrim- inatingly this particular religious point. to be taken Is it monistically or pluralistically. Is then this you of yous.

a twi- light realm. said to transmute the entire category of possibility into categories more secure. a guarantee that the upshot shall be good. rationalism invokes its absolute principle of unity. and all bad things imand may be possible (in the eternal. necessary therefore to begin by focusing that word. a limbo into which 282 . as a ground of possibility for the it many facts. all Taken in this way. the absolute makes good things certain. and those who are contented be. Emoand limiter of tionally. sees it as a container possibilities. less real than more real than non-existence. Intellectually. existence. * upon What may the word possible definitely mean ? To unreflecting men it means a sort of third estate of being. One sees at this point that the great religious difference lies betw^een the men who insist that the world must and shall be.PRAGMATISM ^Please observe that the whole dilemma revolves pragmatically about the notion of the world's possibilities. The whole religion It is is clash of rationalistic and empiricist thus over the validity of possibility. a hybrid status. with believing that the w^orld viay saved. namely).

does make some farther difference in terms of actual fact.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION and out of which / realities ever and anon are made to pass. and if any one neces- sary you can contradict him too. any one actual you can calls it contradict him. not When you that say a thing is possible. follows that there is nothing extant capable of preventing the pos- sible thing. But these privileges of contradiction don't amount to much. possible therefore in the bare or abstract sense. AYhen is you say that a thing does that it possible. what difference make ? any one if It makes it at least this difference if calls impossible you can concalls it tradict him. they are 283 . .^ It if makes at least this negative difference that it the statement be true. The absence of real grounds of things interference may thus be said to make not impossible. the only ing is to satisfy us. Here. Such a conception is of course too vague else- and nondescript where. as way to extract a term's mean- to use the pragmatic method on it. But most possibles are not bare.

but that ditions of production of some of the con- the possible thing concretely possible actually are here. as say. or other enemies are about exists. or not. Thus a (1) that Aicken means: the idea of chicken . skunks. or well-grounded. the fewer preventing conditions can find. and (3) that at least an actual egg Possible chicken means actual egg — plus actual sitting hen. . or incubator. contains no essential self-contradiction (2) that no boys. When it the con- ditions are entirely complete. this notion to the salvation of What is does it pragmatically ? mean some do to say that this possible It means that of the conditions of the world's deliverance actually exist. The more of them there are you existent. ceases to be a possibility. and turns into an actual fact. Let us apply the world. we It What does this mean pragmatically? means not only that there are no preventive conditions present. the better-grounded 28-i is the salvation's . what As the actual conditions approach combecomes a better-and- pleteness the chicken better-grounded possibility.PRAGMATISM concretely grounded.

we are and ought to be unhappy when we regard it as exposed to every enemy and open to every life-destroying draft. the more probable does the fact of the deliverance become. at pos- Now life it would contradict the very our minds must be spirit of to say that indiffer- ent and neutral in questions like that of the world's salvation.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION possibility. tho has hitherto figured less as a doctrine than as an attitude in human affairs. Pessimism was only 285 re- . Nevertheless there are unhappy men who think the salvation of the world impossible. Optimism would be the doctrine that thinks the world's salvation inevitable. Midway between the two may be called the doctrine it there stands what of meliorism. So much for our preliminary look sibility. Theirs is the doctrine in turn known as pessimism. Any one who pretends to be himself down here as a fool and do wish to We all minimize the inse- curity of the universe. Optimism has always been the regnant doctrine in Euro- pean philosophy. neutral writes a sham.

and she can not possibly close her eyes to this fact: and should the tion residual conditions come. Every such ideal realized will be one vation. You may tion' in interpret the like. moment in the world's sal- But these particular ideals are not bare abstract possibilities. they 286 .PRAGMATISM cently introduced by Schopenhauer and counts yet. It treats it as a possibility. salvareality. word ' salvait any way you and make as diffuse and distributive. would become an accomplished Naturally the terms I use here are exceedingly summary. which becomes more and more of a probability the of salva- more numerous the actual conditions tion It become. for example. or as climacteric and integral a phenomenon as you please. in this is Take. any one of us room with the ideals which he cherishes and willing to live and work for. few systematic defenders as Meliorism nor im- treats salvation as neither necessary possible. is clear that pragmatism must incline towards meliorism. Some conditions of the world's salvation are actually extant. They are grounded.

why where we seem to ourselves to make ourselves and grow. a gap that into. our act.^ ^Vhy may they not be the actual turning-places and 287 . the parts of which our knowledge is the most intimate and complete. Does our act then create the world's salvait tion so far as it makes room gap ? for it itself. finally. so far as leaps into the Does create. not the whole world's salvation of course. our things. and rationalists in spite of the whole crew of and monists. Why should we not take them at their face-value. are the parts of the world to which w^e are closest. I ask not? Our acts. ? become actual What now are the complementary conditions They are first such a mixture of things as will in the fulness of time give us a chance. our turning-places. of whatever brand they be. for we if are their live cham- pions and pledges.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION are live possibilities. and conditions will the complementary ideals come and add themselves. we can spring and. but just so much extent of this as itself covers of the world's ? Here I take the bull by the horns.

anywhere. the 2r8 . and where can any reason be looked for save in the material pressure or the logical compulsion of the total nature of the world ? There can be but one real agent of growth. and insists that they can't just come in spots. and that agent is the integral world if itself. How can new being come in local spots and patches which add at themselves or stay ently of the rest? away random. where grow in we I catch fact in the making. single parts should grow per one talks of rationality — and of rea- sons for things. or seeming growth. independfor There must be a reason in the last resort our acts. It may grow But if all-over. w^hat kind of a reason can there should come at ultimately be all ? why anything and Talk of logic necessity and categories of the and the absolute and the contents whole philosophical machine-shop as you will. growth there be. so that nowhere the world may any other kind of way I than this? Irrational! J we are told. but that se is irrational.PRAGMATISM growing-places which they seem to be. of the ' world — w^hy not the w^orkshop of being.

reason. and compared with material causes and logical necessities are spectral things. it. from compromise to compromise. and it is. We 289 approach the wish- ing-cap type of organization only in a few de- . — demanded. to give relief to no matter how small a living fraction of the world's mass. In short the only fully rational w^orld w^ould be the world of wishing-caps. and. exactly as he calls for no other condition being required. the wishes of the individual are only one condition. This is it it may be. without having to consider or placate surrounding or intermediate powders. only gets organ- ized gradually into what may be called second- arily rational shape. This lute's is the Abso- own w^orld. It is is that some one wishes demanded. He calls upon the phenome- nal world to be.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION only real reason I can think of why anything it to should ever come be here. In our world. So Being grows under all sorts of resist- ances in this world of the many. the w^orld of pathy. Other individuals are there with other wishes and they must be propitiated first. where every desire is tele- fulfilled instanter.

Take the hypothesis seriously and as a live one.PRAGMATISM partments of a faucet. We to travel and we buy a In these and similar cases. ticket. we hardly need to do more than the wishing is — the world rest. is unwarranted. the condition being that each several agent does I offer its own * level best. saying: "I am going to make a world not certain to be saved. life. erative a social scheme of co-opto work genuinely } be done. with real danger. yet It is may win through. We want want we telephone. Will you join the procession Will you trust yourself 290 . you see. of a What we were was the idea world growing not grally but piecemeal by the contributions of several parts. It it a real adventure. Suppose that the world's au- thor put the case to you before creation. rationally organized to do the is But and a this talk of rationality a parenthesis discussing inteits digression.' you the chance of taking part is in such a world. Its safety. We want water and we turn information and We want a kodak-picture and we press a button. a world the perfection of which shall be conditional merely.

of for the creator. rather than be part and parcel of so fundamentally pluralistic and irrational a universe. I say. Yet perhaps there are some w^ould not morbid minds in every human collect- 291 . and loyalty to our old nurse Nature would forbid us to say no. of the sort. in you would do nothing There is a healthy-minded buoyancy most of us which fit. would therefore welcome fiat to the proposition and add our the fiat . feel bound to reject it as not safe enough ? Would you say that.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION and trust the other agents enough to face the risk?'' Should you in all seriousness. Most of us. * The world proposed would seem rational' to us in the most living way. such a universe would exactly therefore accept the offer We would — ** Top! und schlag world auf schlag!" It would be just like the w^e practically live in. you preferred to relapse into the slumber of nonentity from which you had been momentarily aroused by the tempter's voice ? Of course if you are normally constituted. if participa- tion in such a world were proposed to you.

sense consists. The peace and at such rest. and to them the prospect of a universe with only a fighting chance of safety would probably make no appeal. Nirvana means safety from this everlasting round of adventures of which the world of the buddhist. We mistrust the chances We want a universe where we can on our father's neck. for this is The hindoo and more experience. and arms are everlasting and heart. There are all. All are one with with God all is well. of things. essentially their attitude. is the security desiderated moments security against the bewil- dering accidents of so much finite experience. are simply afraid. life just give up. afraid of afraid of life. moments are sick of discouragement in us of self life when we and tired of vainly striving. fall and be absorbed into the absolute as a drop of water melts into the river or the sea. And is to men of this complexion.PRAGMATISM ion. and we fall into the attitude of the prodigal son. Our own breaks down. The 292 . religious its monism comes with sick soul consoling words: '*A11 needed and essential — even you with your God.

Using our old terms of comparison. my fourth lecture that I believed the monistic-pluralistic alternative to be the deepest and most pregnant question 293 . So we see concretely two types of religion in sharp contrast. of self-surrender. They would call it moralistic. to and would apply the w^ord monistic scheme alone. Many per- sons would refuse to call the pluralistic scheme religious at all. within their breast. whether in the world of finite appear- ance you seem to fail or to succeed. have been pitted against each other as incompatibles frequently enough in the history of human thought.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION beneath. moralism simply makes refrigerates the very heart their teeth chatter." There can be no doubt that when last sick men are reduced is to their extremity absolutism Pluralistic it the only saving scheme. religious the Religion in the sense in the sense of and moralism self-su£Bcingness. We stand here before the final question of I said in philosophy. we may say that the absolutistic scheme appeals to the tender-minded while the pluralistic scheme appeals to the tough.

Of course as human beings we can be healthy sick souls In minds on one day and on the next. to be a 'no' in our relations should confess an ulti- We mate disappointment: we could not remain healthy-minded and sick-minded in one indivisible act. and epic history in no wise short-circuited by which the severalness eter- some essential oneness in were already 'taken up' beforehand and nally 'overcome'? If this were so. and as amateur dabblers perhaps be allowed to philosophy we may what- call ourselves monistic pluralists. it and were made up could only be saved piecemeal and de its facto as the result of their behavior. or free-will determinists. w^e should have to choose one philosophy or the other. There would have with the possible. We could not say 'yes. yes 'to both alternatives. really of a existed distributively lot of caches. if the world were if it really pluralistically constituted.PRAGMATISM that our minds can frame. or 234 . Can is it be that the disjunction a final one ? that only one side can be true ? Are a pluralism and monism genuine ? incompatibles So that.

? Doesn't the very 'seriousness' that life we attribute to losses mean that ineluctable noes that there are genu- and form a part of it.? ' n't the fact of no stand at the very core ' life.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION ever else may occur to us of a reconciling kind. all I can say is that my own pragmatism offers 295 no objection to my taking sides with this more .^ lean not speak officially as a pragmatist here.^ Is all 'yes.? May May not the notion of a world al- ready saved in to stand idyllic? . the question is forced upon us of frankly adopting either the tender or the robustious type of thought. and that something permanently drastic and bitter always remains at the bottom of its cup. But as philosophers aiming at clearness and consistency.'^ toto anyhow. yes' in the universe. ine sacrifices somewhere. and feeling the pragmatistic need of squaring truth with truth.? Is no price to last be paid in the work of salvation? Is the word sweet Does of . be too saccharine not religious optimism be too Must all be saved. In particular this query has always come home to me: May not the claims of tender-mindedness go too far.

' * I am willing open to to think that the prodigal-son attitude. and find its disseminated and strunfr- along successes sufficient for their rational 29C . should be real losses and and no total preservation of all that I can believe in the ideal as an ultimate. and as an extract. is not the right life. is. not the whole. and final attitude towards the whole of I am willing that there real losers. In the end it is our faith and not our logic that decides such questions. without therefore backing out and crying no play. and I deny the right of any pretended logic to veto my own faith. The possibility of this involved in the pragmatistic willingness to treat pluralism as a serious hypothesis. I find myself willing to take the universe to be really dangerous and adventurous. the dregs are left is behind for ever.PRAGMATISM moralistic view. of fact countless As a matter human imac:- inations live in this moralistic and epic kind of a universe. but the possibility of what poured off is sweet enough to accept. not as an origin. When the cup is poured off. us as it is in many vicissitudes. and giving up the claim of is total reconciliation.

then perfectly possible to accept sin- cerely a drastic kind of a universe from which the element of 'seriousness' pelled. it overboard and getting beyond helping its to make a uni- verse that shall forget It is very place and name. many a gallant bark. this acceptance of lost loss as unatoned for." Those puritans who answered yes * ' to the ques- tion: Are you willing . throwing it.' or preserved in the whole as an element essential but 'overcome.^ to be damned for God's glory were in this objective and magnanof escape it imous condition of mind. a genuine pragmatist. when we were Weathered the gale.' It is by di'op- ping it out altogether. There is a finely translated epigram in the Greek anthology which admirably expresses this state of mind. The way from evil on this system is not by getting 'aufgehoben. even though the self: sailor.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION needs. it seems to me. Bids you Full set sail. element might be one's "A shipwrecked buried on this coast. is not to be ex- Whoso does so is. lost. He 297 is willing to live on .

if need be. What now which he actually are the other forces trusts to co-operate with ? him. but the original polytheism of mankind has only imperfectly and vaguely sublimated and monotheism itself. ^primus inter 'pares. in the midst of all the shapers of the great world's fate. human and 238 humanistic may have left the impression on many . w^as religious so far as and not a scheme of classroom instruction for the metaphysicians.? consider- ing have always believed Their words may have sounded monistic when they said ''there is no God but God". I fear that my previous lectures. has always viewed God as but one helper. such as religious men of the pluralistic type we have been in. confined as they have been to aspects. for the realization of the ideals which he frames.PRAGMATISM a scheme of uncertified possibilities which he trusts. But are there not superhuman forces also. willing to pay with his own person. itself into it monotheism. in the stage of being which our actual universe has reached. in a universe of such a type his fellow They are at least men.

you will perhaps exempt my own an pragmatism from the charge I firmly disbe- of being atheistic system. torily in the widest sense of the true. if On pragmatistic prin- the hypothesis of God works word. I have shown I small respect indeed for the Absolute. Now w^hatever its residual difficulties it may be. ciples. experience shows that certainly does work.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION of to you that pragmatism means methodically leave the superhuman out. at the I can not upon a whole theology but when I end of this I last lecture. lieve. that our human 299 experience is the highest form of experience extant in the uni- . tell you that have written a book on men's religious experience. and until this moment spoken of no other have superhuman hypothesis but that. myself. which on the whole has been regarded as making for the reality of God. But I trust has that you see sufficiently that the Absolute nothing but its superhumanness in common satisfacit is with the theistic God. it and that the problem termine it is to build out and de- ' so that it will combine satisfactorily | with start all the other working truths.

that higher powers exist and are at work to save the world on ideal lines similar to our own.PRAGMATISM verse. just as many of the dog's ideals. I believe rather that we stand do to the in much the same relation to the whole of the universe whole of as our canine and feline pets human and whose . / You ligious. so we may well on the proofs that religious experience affords. and cat's ideals coincide with our and the dogs and cats have daily living believe. proof of the fact. life. So we are tangent But. for we do not yet is know certainly which type of religion going to work best 300 . They inhabit our drawing-rooms libraries. They take part in scenes of significance they have no inkling. Pragmatism has to postpone dogmatic answer. They A are merely tangent to curves of history the beginnings and ends and forms of which pass wholly beyond their ken to the wider life of things. istic see that if pragmatism can be religion called re- you allow that can be plural- or merely melioristic in type. will finally is But whether relig- you put up with that type of ion or not a question that only you yourself can decide.

but mixed as that the type of of us are. and you will need no religion at all. are in fact to bring the evidence in. If radically tough. you will take up with more monistic form form. The various overbeliefs of men. you find that what I take the liberty of calling the is pragmatistic or melioristic type of theism exactly what you require. their several faith-ventures.PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION in the long run. . the hurly-burly of for the sensible facts of nature will be enough If you. with its of religion: the pluralistic reliance wil^ on possibilities that are not necessities. curity not seem to afford you se- enough if you are neither tough nor tender in an most extreme and radical sense. the radically tender. it may seem to you But pluralistic and moralistic as religion that I have offered is good a religious synthesis as you are likely to find. Between the two extremes hand and tranof crude naturalism on the one may scendental absolutism on the other. what are needed will You probably make your own ventures sev- erally.

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INDEX .

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De\\^y. f. 34. in nature. 231. 24. Accountability. 89. 185. Desire creative of reality. 172. 21. 109-115. its tism. Berkeley. 13. pp. 212 305 . see 'truth. of human A priori truth. 182. 145. Caird. 19. universe of. 75. the Greek. 104 189 f. Clerk-Maxwell. 263. 30. f. Creative functions f. Cause. level of thought. Abel. 186. 199. de- Absolute truth. 233. 252 Belief. 'Dipper. Lecture Cain. of philosophy. 197. value. Concepts. relation to truth. 87. 150.' Classroom philosophy. Absolute edition of the Climate. 150 f 270. Claim. truth as Ix^liefs. 214. 212. 297. Cowpath. its inaccept- 76 ability. its Chesterton. 171. 233. Constellations.INDEX Abbey. its barrenness.' Critical philosophy. Bradley. 15-20. result of successive discoveries. Dilemma I.' 173. Common ideas. 13. Lecture V. 210. 39. Damned. 268. 17. Cripple Creek. f. vs. Conjunctive relations. 159. 172. 255 287 f. Antholog}'. 73 282. 254. 265 f. BOWNE. its 'categories. Agreement with Corridor-theory. C^AR. 54. 249. human. 128. the great. the 'Ultimate. Abstract their fined. their use. 17. a. Absolute. 233. 30. 142. 182. 'Critical' f. 174. 252 Caprice. 258. 128. 19. 214. 224. reality. 147 to the given. Baby. 258. Clash of 3. Charles's Wain. the. 213. Additions. especially. world. 211. 287. 235. sense. Design Leibnitz on the.' the. 255. excluded by pragma- Discourse. f. 170. Abstractness as a vice in philosophizing. bosanquet. BALForn. 71. f. 209. 133. 227 f. 246. 214. 252 f Copy-theory of truth. 78. mind. 265. Ancestral discoveries. 289. 18. 252 f. 170. Boston. 57. Criticisms 258. 51. Westminster. f. 203. 116. Bear. use. a definite stage in evolution. of pragmatism. 180.

67. 299. Dog. Football-game. 218. and of nature. 75. Empiricism. the 165. 70. Laymen in philosophy. 216. Energy. Law. Franklin. see 'rationalism. 80. Haeckel. Imputability. 175. 12. 100. Kinds. 222. 14. ix. 225. Identity. pragmatism loves them. Ideals. matter as a principle. EucKEN. 194. 12. 50. 242 f Huxley. prehistoric. the sentimentalist's. Knowledge. 97 f. Knower. Idealism. moral. 185. Intellectualism. attacks on prag- Fallacy. 246. scholastic defini- Laws 5Q. 89. '6i)Q Hegel. supposed choice offered us by. 117.' pecially. 113. 90 f. 226. 74. 104- Ladd. 18. 268. 172. 256. out. Escape. Free-will. Fitness. 'Absolute'. empiricism holds by Instrumental view of truth. Good. 68. law tific as a scien- 115. 121. History of pragmatism. 23 Green. their neglects to relation truth. 119. as creative. of thought 101 f. 53. 188192. 200. Holidays. 115 f. view of truth.INDEX Disjunctive relations. 57. Lecture VH. 180. Experience. 19. 65. matism. 200.' Intellectualist them. 10. 167. mind of. Levels of thought compared. DUHEM. 72. 278. vs. sensible.' 240. '</t€. 182. 88. 51. Health. of. 46 f. Berkeley's. 191. see Eucharist. 147. Letter from member of audience. melioristic doctrine. hypothesis of world with- 96 f. . 134 f. Lessing. personal. 49. idealism 70. philosophies as places 34. God. a Kant. 172. 'radical. its relation to truth. 180. them. 17. Facts. 134 f. how it grows. Interaction of things. transcendental. 17. 286 f. 15. 290. Geniuses. Humanism. FULLERTON. of. f. Hodgson. of world with. Leibnitz. 229. tion of. concept. absolute. 150. Influence. Future. esi 9 f. 120. problem 117. 148 f. 263. 220.

245. with rationalism. critics. as a mediator. 90.' 277. f. 38. Pragmatism. 282 f. formed out of still facts and the Sa- vors pluralism. McTaggart. 276. 156. 46. 285. their with Science. 118. 138. the pragmatic. the. of. its history. Past. OSTWALD. reality of the. see 'unity. Myees. their contrast on vs. principle. 51. the One and oneness. Method. Lecf. Optimism. Meliorism. 93. Matter. 159 f. One. 291. See 'unity. is melioristic. 34. 292 con- Pluralism. 89. affinity New beliefs. 88. Many. 65 f. with reality. 4T. Qi. 286^ 307 . Manyness co-ordinate with Materialism defined. 45. f. 151 a theory of truth. 23. 54. its supposed crassness. editions.. 33. 256.INDEX Locke. Mechanism. 68. characterized. Mont-Pelee eruption. 55.: Old truths. 118. f.' Logic. Mysticism aflBrms unity. and the Many. ture II. 285 38. as a comings. genialit}'. 60 f. Lord's supper. 46 f. 90 f. 296. gives in two MiLHAUD. Berkeley on. f. IV. what it means. 159. 59. 166. 1SL\. Personal identity. with religion. its relations 246 f. 57. 149 f. 281. 259. its Names. 285. POINCARE. LoTZE. 61. 135. Papini. seeks variety as well as unity. as a method. 259. 55. noetic. Monistic sentiment. 257. 119. 127. contrasted with monism. 3 51 f. 113. Oneness. 300 f. 57. 213.CH. 214. looks future. 233. 57. 256. 265 f professors Monism. towards 122^". Spencer Peirce. 80. Philosophy. 129. Lecture VIM. Pantheism. 159. 57. 29 48. characterized. 79. their part in forming new truth. inductive. 68. Possibility. their short- God. 293. f. Lecture Pearson. 279. 70. Merit. contrast 3:s its Naturalism. a world . 74. 16. trasted with pluralism. Pessimism. must be religious. the. 45 as. 54. 98-108. 21. formation. absolute. its older truth. 37. 51. Philosophies. 161. 160. Morbid minds. 33. 57. Lecture accused of tough-mindedness. IV. Pragmatic method. its temperament. 111. Moral holidays.

accepts human its addideter- the category of. Temperament. 308 . view of pragmatism. 174. 57. of Tender-mindedness. f. 70. RoYCE. 111. his 'unknow- •truth.' a common-sense catef. 136. God. 17. 108. 90. Transcendental idealism. 212. 251. 57. 76. their True. 'matter. 29. Religion and pragmatism. total. ready made? its or still making? 257. spiritual. 264. tions. 253. Santayana. 177. 'Thing. 250. 75. f. 21. 288. free will Sensationalism. Swift on. a discovery. defined. 184 reactions of f. Punishment. Lecture VIII. Substance. its three parts. 289. our minations are the truer? 252. crete. which of Summarizing mind.' 102. 194. Squirrel. 263. characterized. 19. f. Theories. 12. 239. 17. theories of. Swift. verse. 175. my student's. characterized. 246. 240 185 249. 159. 30. 233. Thesis. 227. Rationality. 244. 10. Spencer. gory. means expedient thinking. 51 f. ditto. 115. Shoes. Reflection. is Theism. 127. 249. 12 f. their utilty. Time. 284. its 39. 52. Salvation of world. 103. as instruments. 21. philosophy. 177. Religion. rationalism leans on SCHLAU. 28. 67 f. 89. hard to find raw. two types. 263. 35. in philosophy.INDEX Principles. Taylor. 228. Selective activity of mind. 146. Reality. see 94. 12 f. Systematic union of things. a term design ditto. 244. con- Sphinx. 85. its enigma. 178. 53. 51. 91. 22. M. Promise. of. 120. in religion. 236. 246 f them. Refinement of rationalism's universe. 186 f. RiCKERT. HaNSCHER. material.' 52. 183 its ambiguity. its 22. "^0. 174. 43. 116. a discovery. 123.' able. I. 102. Sentimentalist fallacy. Sciences. Single-word solutions of worldf. 233. a species of good. Rationalism. 9 refined uni- SiGWART. Tough -mindedness. 222. 7. 239. 293 f. 21. 17. Space. 56. 300. Protestantism. 27. 229. Solomon. 295 f. its temperament. 142. 31. exists in distributive form. 65 f. 244 f Student's thesis. 183. on 259 view of truth. Sensations. Schiller. relation to desire. 291.

of. passim. 156. of abstract concepts. f. 220. on. discussed. of. Verification weakness. 39. 78.265. 202. Woodpecker. f. 128. esthetic. 133. 132. is made. generic. 159. in200. 151. 136. 148.INDEX Truth. 226. sole Westminster Abbey. Weather. of origin. the Absolute. pragmatic view ture VI. VlVEKANANDA. means lead- ing. its is function of 'leading. of system. 52. rationalist definitions Vedanta. Worth. Unity of things. 201. 75 f. the. of. vs. their 213 f. affirmed World. matically ity. 58.' 205 210. 110. Truths may clash. f. 215.* Vision designed. 151 Ultimate. absolute. quest. tellectualist view Universe of discourse. 88. 227. Schiller of. as the Truth. the. 239. 207. verifiability. . 259. Words. Lec- Hindu philosophy. 224. of Absolute. 169. 129 of. of purpose. ous grades 160. 150. vs. not philosophy's f. 151. 165. Unification unity. 172. of truth. eternal. vs. 155. it means utility. See 'old truths. what works. 201. 140. its definition. prag- Unknowable. 35. Lecture IV. two editions of 264 by God. 230 defined. vari- and Dewey 198. 218. 138. 97. Vestigial peculiarities. noetic. Wafer. pragmatic study Whitman. 139. 109. 280. of. 145. 174. 102. must be concretely 231. Wealth. 143. 209. its 203. 274. in philosophy. verifiabil- Usefulness.

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