Classical Texts in Psychology
Christopher D. Green
(Return to Institutions Collection index)
PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIRST MEETING OF
AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL ASSOCIATION,
, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK
MARCH 31 AND
APRIL 1, 1902.
H. N. Gardiner (1902)
First published in Philosophical Review, 11, 264-286.
Posted August 2001
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.
The American Philosophical Association was organized at a conference held in New York, November 2, 1901, with the following officers: President, Professor J. E. Creighton (Cornell), Vice-President, Professor N T. Ormond (Princeton), Secretary-Treasurer, Professor H. N. Gardiner (Smith), constituting together with Professors A. C. Armstrong (Wesleyan), G. M. Duncan (Yale), W. G. Everett (Brown), and J. C. Hibben (Princeton), an Executive Committee to invite such persons as they deemed eligible to join the Association, to draft a Constitution, and to arrange for a meeting for the reading of papers and the transaction of business, to be held in New York some time during the Easter holidays. The meeting was held in Earl Hall, Columbia University, on Monday and Tuesday, March 31 and April 1, 1902. Forty members were present.
At the business meeting on Monday afternoon, March 31, the Association adopted the following
Article I -- Name and Object.
1. The Name of this organization shall be The American Philosophical Association.
2. Its Object shall be the promotion of the interests of philosophy in all its branches, and more particularly the encouragement of original work among the members of the Association.
Article II -- Membership.
1. Candidates for Membership must be proposed by two members of the Association and recommended by the Executive Committee before their names are voted upon by the Association.
2. There shall be an Annual Fee of one dollar, failure in payment [p. 265] of which for three consecutive years shall ipso facto cause membership to cease.
Article III -- Officers.
1. The Officers of the Association shall be a President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary-Treasurer, who shall be elected by the Association at each annual meeting.
2. There shall be an Executive Committee composed of seven members. The officers mentioned above shall be ex-officio members of this committee; the four other members of the committee shall be elected, two annually, each for a term of two years.
3. At each annual meeting the Executive Committee shall make nominations to the Association for the offices of President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer, and also for two members of the Executive Committee. Any member, however, shall have the right to present other names in nomination, and to have those names voted upon, provided that such nominations are seconded by at least two other members of the Association.
Article IV. -- Meetings.
1. There shall be an Annual Meeting of the Association at such time and place as may be decided on at the previous annual meeting, or, in case no such decision is reached, at such time and place as the Executive Committee may determine.
2. Special meetings may be called by the Executive Committee at any time and place that they may deem advisable.
3. At each annual meeting the Executive Committee shall present a report of the Progress of the Association.
4. The Executive Committee shall arrange the Programme, and direct all other arrangements for the meetings; in particular, they shall have the power to determine what papers shall be read at the meetings.
5. A majority of its members shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Committee.
Article V. -- Amendments.
Amendments to this Constitution, which must be submitted in writing, may be made by a vote of two thirds of the members present at any meeting subsequent to that at which such amendments have been proposed.
After the adoption of the Constitution, it was voted to ratify the selection of officers made by the Conference in November; [p. 266] also that the two members of the Executive Committee to retire be determined in the Committee by lot. The members so retired were Professors Duncan and Everett.
The relation of the Association to the Western Philosophical Association was referred to the Executive Committee to confer with the Executive Committee of the latter Association and to report at the next meeting.
At the meeting for Unfinished Business held on Tuesday after-noon, April 1, thirty-one new members were elected. These, together with the persons who had joined the Association on invitation of the Executive Committee, were made charter members of the Association. The list of members is printed at the end of this report.
The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President, Professor A. T. Ormond (Princeton), Vice-President, Professor A. Meiklejohn (Brown), Secrtary-Treasurer, Professor H. N. Gardiner (Smith); also, as members of the Executive Committee, -- for one year, Professors A. C. Armstrong (Wesleyan) and J. G. Hibben (Princeton), for two years, Professors W. Caldwell (Northwestern) and D. Irons (Bryn Mawr).
It was voted to accept the invitation to affiliation with the American Society of Naturalists and other societies proffered by Professor Cattell, and to hold the next meeting in Convocation Week in Washington. A recommendation of the Executive Committee was adopted suggesting that the readers of papers present the substance of their papers in as brief and direct a form as possible, omitting introductions and prefaces, and aiming not to exceed twenty minutes in the reading of the paper, so as to allow as much time as possible for discussion.
With the consent of the editor, Professor Creighton, it was voted to have the reports of the proceedings of the Association printed in the PHILOSOPHICAL REVIEW, the abstract of each paper to be limited to 400 words.
A vote of thanks was passed to Columbia University, and especially to President Butler and to Professor H. G. Lord, for the hospitality and accommodations afforded to the Association at the meeting. [p. 267]
A reception was given to the Association on the Monday evening by President and Mrs. Butler in the Avery Library. President Butler also gave an address of welcome at the session on Monday afternoon.
ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS.
The Purposes of a Philosophical Association. (Address of the President.) By JAMES EDEIN CREIGHTON. This paper appears in full in this number (May, 1902) of THE PHILOSOPHICAL REVIEW.
Poetry and Philosophy. By RALPH BARTON PERRY.
Whatever may be the general or fundamental relationship between poetry and philosophy, some poetry is philosophical; and, accordingly, the discovery and understanding of the philosopher-poet, is one means of introducing and defining the philosophical point of view. The poet may be characterized, though not differentiated, by saying that he is one who appreciates and who expresses his appreciation so fittingly that it becomes a kind of truth and a permanently communicable object. The philosophical point of view in poetry will be found by examining the intellectual factors of poetry. Of these the simple and more obvious is sincerity or clearness of representation, the rarer and more difficult is apprehension of the universal in the particular. Walt Whitman speaks his feelings with truth, but in general manifests no comprehensive insight. Shakspeare[sic] has not only sincerity of expression but an understanding mind. He has a knowledge not only of particular experiences, but of the constructive principles of human nature, and a consciousness full and varied, like society itself. But there is a kind of knowledge possessed by neither, the knowledge sought by co6rdinating all aspects of human experience. Though neither Whitman nor Shakspeare can properly be so-called, Wordsworth is a philosopher-poet; and is such because the detail of his appreciation finds fundamental justification in a world-view. Dante is the supreme philosopher-poet. His ideals and appreciation of life, like those of Wordsworth, are the expression of a contemplation of the world in its unity and essence. [p. 268]
The philosophical point of view, as found conspicuously in Wordsworth and Dante, is the point of view from which there appears, in the very nature of all things, a reason why one thing is better than another. The wisdom of the philosopher is the knowledge of each through a knowledge of all. The philosopher proper and the philosopher-poet are distinguished by their respective forms of subjective activity. The philosopher-poet is he who visualizes a fundamental interpretation of the world. The philosopher, on the other hand, must render such an interpretation articulate to thought. That which the poet divines, the philosopher must calculate. The restoration to immediacy of the philosophical thought-structure is accomplished in part by poetry, but more completely by religion, wherein the universal is not only seen but also served.
Some Recent Criticism of the Philosophy of T. H. Green. By WILLIAM CALDWELL.
An estimation of the extent to which Green's philosophy is affected by such recent criticisms as those of Sidgwick (the 1901 criticism), E. B. McGilvary, A. E. Taylor, and others, in distinction from the older criticism of A. S. Pringle-Pattison, A J. Balfour, Sidgwick (the 1884 criticism), and also a more detailed criticism of the views of A. E. Taylor (in his Problems of Conduct) regarding the 'metaphysical' ethics of Green. The proper point of departure for a criticism of Green's Prolegomena is the contention of Sidgwick that there are different elements (e.g., the' Kantian,' the 'Neo-Hegelian,' the polemic against sensationalism, 'Spiritualism,' and the position that the 'ethical self' is the resultant of influences that come from the eternal world) in Green's teaching, and that it is difficult to reconcile some or all of these. All these elements, however, must be recognized, and particularly the fact that it is a 'spiritual' rather than a merely 'epistemological' self that figures in the ethical portions of the Prolegomena (the larger portion of the book). Neither Green nor any of the 'Hegelian' moralists found ethics upon the 'subject-object' relation, and it is Green's 'spiritualism' that has been the most influential phase of his teaching. Some of Green's recent critics, therefore, [p. 269] might have sought to emphasize some of the important ethical, philosophical, theological, and (even) psychological facts implicit in his idea of an eternal consciousness 'reproduced' in us. It is F. H. Bradley and A. E. Taylor, rather than Green and the 'Neo-Hege ians' (the expression, to be sure, is misleading) who have made an automatic engine or a thing-in-itself of the criticism of the categories -- of the logic of experience. Mr. Taylor's method of seeking some one rational or empirical category from which to evolve the phenomena of conduct is irrelevant. So far as Green and ethics are concerned, what Green teaches is that the ethical judgment (or the phenomenon of motivation) is impossible, save when seen in a quasi 'dualistic' light, due to the reflection of a suprasensible principle upon the 'empirical' self. In contrast to this dualism within the moral consciousness, Taylor's ethical investigation suffers from a dualism between the moral consciousness and something else -- the scientific or 'descriptive' consciousness, the attempt to reduce supposed 'external' reality to rational intelligibility. Ethical facts are not phenomena of description, but of valuation -- a position Taylor stumbles upon accidentally in his effort to get at the fundamental ethical fact. His intellectual and emotional discontent with ethical phenomena and with the science of ethics is therefore gratuitous and irrelevant. Nevertheless, his method and results may have value as showing the error of attempting to found morality upon complete self-consciousness or upon 'pure experience,' as he terms it.
The Æsthetic Element in Human Nature. By E. HERSHEY SNEATH.
Man is constitutionally æsthetic. Anthropology and psychology testify to this fact. The former calls attention to the universal manifestation of the æsthetic. The latter finds in man native capacities of æsthetic judgment and feeling. The prominence and importance of this element in human nature is seen in the influence which it exerts on every form of man's activity and unfolding. (a) It greatly affects his bodily life. Bodily well-being is largely the result of efforts prompted by æsthetic considerations. Cleanliness which makes for this end is probably as [p. 270]much a matter of æsthetics as it is of hygiene. The superb physical development of the ancient Greeks was mainly attributable to æsthetic considerations. (b) The æsthetic greatly influences the social life. The relation of the sexes lies at the basis of society, and this is materially influenced by beauty of face, form, conduct, and spirit. Man's relations to his fellows embody themselves in conventionalities and customs often cast in æsthetic mould. (c) The political life, also, is greatly affected by the æsthetic. Æsthetic considerations are at work in the origin, maintenance, and development of the Commonwealth. Social order, unity, harmony, etc., appeal to man æsthetically as well as politically. Permanent anarchy is as æsthetically impossible as is[sic] is politically impossible. Again, political authority and power, manners and institutions, clothe themselves in æsthetic garb. National feeling seeks the æsthetic as a means of expression-hence we have our national music, poetry, painting, architecture, and sculpture. (d) In the cognitive life, the influence of the æsthetic is manifest in the æsthetic momenta in human knowledge. Scientific generalization is something more than mere logical inference from bare fact. Æsthetic considerations play a part in such generalizations. This is true also of philosophy. Man insists on interpreting the ultimate nature of reality from the standpoint of values. (e) The moral life reveals the influence of the æsthetic. It is the beauty of virtue and the ugliness of vice which greatly affect our attitude toward them. The moral idea itself is essentially an æsthetic one. (f) The religious consciousness could hardly express itself without the æsthetic. All of the fine arts are utilized by religion for this purpose. The æsthetic is also the source of much religious thought and feeling. (g) Finally, the prominence and importance of the æsthetic is seen in its large contribution to human pleasure, and in its mitigation of human pain.
The Functional View of the Relation Between the Psychical and the Physical. By H. HEATH BAWDEN.
There are two types of explanation of the relation between the psychical and the physical: the ontological and the teleological [p. 271] or functional theories. The ontological are either causality theories or theories of parallelism. According to the causality theories, mind and matter are either causally interactive, now the one and now the other being cause or effect (interactionism), or matter is the cause of mind (materialism), or mind is the cause of matter (spiritualism). According to theories of parallelism, mind and matter are either two independent orders of existence which stand side by side parallel and concomitant without being causally related (a sort of preëtablished harmony), or they are parallel and concomitant manifestations of one underlying reality which is unknown and unknowable (agnosticism). All these ontological views land us in irresolvable contradictions, such as that brought out in the controversy between the interactionists and parallelists over the principle of the conservation of energy. Each party to the controversy seems to present irrefutable arguments, granting the premises (viz., that the distinction is an ontological one).
It is therefore suggested that the premises are false, that the psychical and physical are not distinct realms, or orders of existence, but correlative abstractions within the one concrete knowable reality of experience. All experience, just because it is a living reality, is capable of growth or transformation. It is not an eternally fixed entity, but a changing expanding life with a developmental history. This experience is psychical when and where it is growing, at the nodal points of tensional change, which are the points which become focal in consciousness. Experience is psychical where it is undergoing reconstruction. Experience is not psychical all the time and everywhere, but only at critical points, and under conditions of organic tension, only at points of transition and adaptation in the process of growth. What constitutes the psychical quality of an experience is not some ontological distinction of substance. The distinction is a purely instrumental or methodological one. Experience is one reality and is organic throughout, and this duality is a teleological or functional division of labor. This is as far from subjective idealism as it is from the opposite error of materialism.
In this point of view we return in a sense, though in a new sense, to the primitive and common-sense view, not of a material [p. 272] body and an immaterial soul, but rather of an acting, feeling, thinking -- a psychophysical -- organism.
The Atomic Self. By GEORGE STUART
It was the aim of this paper to examine what may be called the philosophy of the plain man touching the nature of the mind and its relation to the body. The plain man is usually ready to maintain; (1) That the mind exists within the body; (2) that it acts upon and is acted upon by matter; (3) that it is a substance with attributes; (4) that it is non-extended and immaterial.
It was pointed out that the first three of the above propositions conceive the mind alter the analogy of a material atom, and that this view of the mind is a semi-materialistic survival of an ancient materialism. It is prevented from being consistently materialistic by the fourth proposition, which embodies the scholastic reaction against materialism. It was further pointed out that, when emphasis is laid upon the fourth proposition, the positive content furnished by the first three appears to be blotted out.
(The paper will be printed in full.)
The Concept of the Negative. By W. H. SHELDON.
A logical study of the negative should ask: (1) how much information the negative judgment gives; (2) whether negation is only our attitude, or objectively valid. The thesis is: (1) Sometimes a negative judgment gives quite definite information; (2) in some cases the negative is factual. As to (2), Lotze and Bradley have given the two reasons for denying factuality: (a) a negative term lacks concreteness; (b) it is only removal, and lacks content (provisional answer). As to (1), logicians have assigned more and more information to the negative judgment, giving this result: As the universe of discourse is narrowed, negative judgment gives more definite, concrete information. Thus reason (a) tends to vanish. Answer to (1) then: where the field is narrowed to only two alternatives, negation gives concrete information. Now to answer (2). If (a) vanishes, how about (b)? (b) forgets that negation is not mere removal, for it has always a positive ground. (b)'s real motive is that negation is a comparison which we make between two facts. I now define a [p. 273] case where negation is not comparison between two facts. A point in a finite region of conceptual space is defined by an infinite series of negatives (dichotomies) The point is not given (positive), but is the result of applying negatives to the given region It has a positive basis, but is not a positive fact itself for perception[sic] or for definition. We do not first posit it, then compare it with others by negation. Now such a conceptual entity it is useful to believe, as enabling us to understand the relativity (all negation being relative) between any position and the rest of space. For it is a geometrical axiom that positions are relative to one another. Therefore, such a negative may claim objective validity as much as any useful concept of science -- e.g., causation -- may claim it.
A Study of the Logic in the Early Greek Philosophy Being, not-Being, and Becoming. By ALFRED H. LLOYD.
The early Greek philosophers, being under the spell of a particular point of view, namely, the naively physical and cosmological point of view, and being at the same time engaged in a search for objective truth, were finally led "into strange unearthly places where even paradoxes, seen and unseen, lost their wonted terrors." Always a particular point of view because subjective and one-sided and very persistent must end in paradox, which alone is both-sided and objective. Witness the well-known paradoxes of Heraclitus. He, however, only exposed or proclaimed what was present however unconsciously, in the opposites of Eleaticism, -- Being and not-Being, the One and the Many, the Infinite and the Finite Plenum and Vacuum, Rest and Motion; for opposites are always (a) self-opposed, reproducing each one within itself the very opposition that separates them, and (b) double in meaning. As regards the self-opposition the One, if not the Many, could be only empty or formal, and so was virtually, or intensively, or potentially plural; the Infinite if not the Finite, was only another finite, and so on and as regards the duplicity, the One and the Many were double with extensive and intensive, or actual and potential unity and plurality. Being [p. 274] and not-Being with reality as physical and as ideal or logical, Plenum and Vacuum with the fulness or unity of matter and of mind, Infinity and the Finite with quantity and quality, or quantity as mass and quantity as ratio, and Rest and Motion with motion or rest as physically absolute and as only relative, or as extensive and as intensive, or as in a space of quantity as mass and in a space of quantity as ratio. But this self-opposition and duplicity of the Eleatic opposites shows the inner logic by which Heraclitus's concept of Becoming, as the union of Being and not-Being, is to be justified and understood. Becoming was neither any mere physical process nor any purely idealistic principle of dialectic; rather it was the always equal struggle of the physical and the spiritual, of body and mind; it was the poise of consciousness, at once sensuous and rational; only-and this is the important qualification-for mind, for the spiritual or rational, Heraclitus and his contemporaries had only the indirections of physical abstraction and paradox. How could Becoming be anything else, when the opposites that were its recognized factors, were themselves alive with all the conditions of dualism?
The Creative Reason in Aristotle's Philosophy. By WILLIAM A. HAMMOND.
Aristotle's theory of a creative reason is not stated explicitly in any passage of his writings, hut must be derived from his epistemology in general, from the significance of the terms 'form,' 'matter,' in his philosophy, from the development of the Socratico-Sophistic controversy regarding conceptual and perceptual knowledge, and from particular passages of the De anima and Analytics.
Aristotle adopted a mediating position between the ultra-sensualism of the Sophists and the ultra-rationalism of Plato. The totality of knowledge is neither purely empirical nor purely rational, but a composite (sunolon, as is every combination of form,' 'matter,' into a unity) of sense-experience and rational elements. In this composite, rational activity is related to sense-experience as 'form' is related to 'matter.' The sum of sense [p. 275] data constitutes the potential or passive reason, while its construction into actual rational significance constitutes the activity of creative reason. The real content of reason is given in empirical data; the formal content is given in the active reason. The con-tent, therefore, of the sensus communus regarded as rational potentiality is the nouV paqhtikoV the power which converts this potentiality into actuality, i.e., into rational forms and meanings, is the nouV poiqhtikoV. This conversion is identical with the erection of the perceptual mass of experience into a conceptual world. The subject-matter of reason is an immanent universal -- immanent at once in perceptual reality and in the reason itself. The process of the active reason is reason discovering itself in the world; this immanence of rational forms in empirical reality bridged for Aristotle the gulf between subject and object.
The questions regarding the preëxistence and immortality of the creative reason and its independence of the body, are epistemologically unessential, although of great metaphysical interest.
On Final Causes. By EDGAR A. SINGER, JR.
If nature were reducible to a mechanical system, would 'ends' be definable in terms of such a system? Could they be treated as 'causes'? Could 'teleological explanation' retain any claim to a place among the objective methods of science?
An objective method of explanation is not necessarily one that is indispensable to prediction. A method that plainly depends upon a selective grouping of the phenomena to be explained may still be objective if it can be shown to ensure an economy in the describing and explaining of these phenomena. Its objectivity depends upon the universality of the motive of selection, and not on the absence of selection.
Simple examples can be drawn from the 'special' physical sciences in which the economy of a selective method of description and explanation may be demonstrated in terms of the mechanical system within which selection is made. E.g., thermodynamics is a 'special' science because the statement of its laws involves the non-mechanical dimension 'temperature.' The mechanical reconstruction of the phenomena of heat reduces temperature [p. 276] to a function of the velocity of concealed mass-motions. Yet this reduction made, the laws of thermodynamics still remain true and its special method objective, for the reason that the science deals with the mechanical elements of the system in large groups. Temperature, namely, is a function of average velocities, and by the method of averages we are able to omit mechanical detail, while losing nothing of scientific rigor.
Turning now to the teleological method, it may be shown that in the judgment A is B, in order that C may be D, the 'end' CD cannot serve as the necessary and sufficient condition of the means AB, unless the distinction between teleology and mechanism is lost. This has happened in the history of science. The 'integral' (Hamiltonian) form of the fundamental formula of mechanics may be regarded as a teleological type in which the 'end' has been made the necessary and sufficient condition of the means. This differs from the 'differential' (Legrangian) found only in mathematical expression. Teleology, to remain distinct from mechanism, must leave something out. This it does by establishing an average relation between cause and effect. The 'end' thus serves as a condition which on the average determines the means. And this is the historical (e.g., Aristotelian) habit of thought on the subject.
To define the 'end' it is necessary selectively to group mechanical phenomena. The 'end' is then to be determined as follows; (1) It is the average effect of a group of causes, differing from the mechanical effect, (a) in that it is essentially an average and not a universal effect, and (b) in that there need be no mechanical likeness between the causes that produce the same effect. (2) In any given case the cause that accomplishes an end produces also an infinite number of other results throughout the universe. The 'end' is distinguished from these secondary results, in that causes which accomplish like ends do not produce secondary results having any resemblance inter se, except, of course, in that they all illustrate the mechanical law of the system.
From this definition of an end, the sense in which it may determine means, and so be treated as cause, may be readily deduced. [p. 277] The economy of the method depends on the success with which it omits mechanical detail and yet serves as a means of prediction. With this economy is established its objective validity.
On the Study of Individuality. By J. A. LETGHTON.
This paper considered methods and principles of a study of individuality, and the bearing of such a study on ethics and metaphysics. Judgments of individuality unite the universal and the particular, and have a peculiarly important place in science and in practical life. This is preëminently true of human individuality. If we define an individual atom, the particular evaporates in the universal. On the other hand, if we define a person the universals of the definition give individual character to the particular person. Personality is a uniquely significant union of the universal and particular, i.e., is the truest individual.
Is there a principle of individuation? Or is the individual simply the meeting point of universals? This problem may be approached empirically, but not by the methods of ordinary psychology. The psychology of individual differences only touches the periphery of the problem. The fundamental differences lie in the grades of intensity and proportion of mixture of cognition, feeling, and conation, or cognition and feeling-mpulses. We can use these as principles of differentiation, and establish primary and secondary types by the comparative method. We have a rich store for such a study in the drama, and in fiction, and also in history. Contrasting types are Rousseau and Napoleon the First, Bismarck and Nietzsche, etc.
If we study concrete individuals in this way, we get principles of individual differentiation, but we presuppose the inner unity-the principle of individuation. What is the latter? It cannot be thought, for thought is universal. It cannot be will, for will is at best the partial expression of the inner unity, and depends on feeling-impulse for its origination, and on thought for its guidance. It cannot be a particular feeling that can be set alongside our other feelings. The principle of individuation transcends analysis. It is a limiting concept for science. The comparative study of individuality presupposes it as the limit of our analysis. [p. 278]
The individual is constituted by the union of a group of differentiating tendencies, with an inner, indescribable, and unsharable feeling of self-hood. These develop together. A person is a maximum unity of psychical differences.
Since individual types are very complex, and since the principle of individuation transcends analysis, the highest good is definable only in terms of that which is itself a limit to definition. Society cannot furnish ultimate norms of conduct. Individuality is a metaphysical principle. The absolute is determinable as the source and ground of individuality.
The Consciousness of Obligation. By E. B. MCGILVARY.
Conditional obligation is the necessity, recognized by a reasoning being, of performing an act in order to satisfy a desire. It is a concretely reasonable obligation. If the act is not performed, the man as agent is not consistent with the man as desiring and knowing. Desire alone may prompt to an act, but cannot give rise to a consciousness of obligation. Only a reasoning being conversant with the objective relation of cause and effort can recognize an obligation.
The categorical imperative is a command centrally aroused in the consciousness of a person, and exacting the performance of an act without giving reasons for the performance. Such an imperative is a fact of actual and frequent experience. But the acceptance of the fact does not necessitate the adoption of Kant's theory of ethics. On the contrary, there are two well-known psychial laws which, as veræ causæ, can be used with promise of success 'to explain the origin of the experience of unconditional obligation.
One of these is the economical tendency to abbreviation characteristic of all repetitions of reasoned processes. The recollection of reasons and even the memory that there ever was a reason may disappear, and a conviction may come to seem self-evident. So 'Do this because you want that' may be shortened to 'Do this,' and one may even come to forget that there ever was a 'because.' This process would give a categorical self-evidently reasonable imperative. [p. 279]
But a more important factor in the production of the categorical imperative is perhaps to be looked for-where no one appears as yet to have looked for it -- in the immediate tendency of a command to produce recognition of authority by way of suggestion. A pure case of this tendency is given in hypnotism, but the same tendency operates, though often counteracted, in ordinary experience. The repetition of a command reinforces the tendency. The unconditional acceptance of the moral law as absolutely obligatory is probably in large measure due to this tendency. The categorical imperative is thus largely the echo in one's own later experience, of demands formerly made of us. This reverberation of former commands, and the elided conditional obligation become self-evident, blend in the ordinary consciousness of moral obligation. Eventually reason rebels against the categorical in favor of a conditional imperative, hence egoistic hedonism, utilitarianism, biologism, perfectionism, etc.
Kant and Teleological Ethics. By FRANK THILLY.
Kant's standpoint may safely be characterized as teleological. The difference between his theory and that of the modern teleologist is largely one of method. Kant attempts to follow the old rationalistic method, to construct a logic-proof system, after the manner of mathematics, to deduce from principles that are universal and necessary (a priori) other truths having the same absolute validity. This he is particularly anxious to do in his ethical inquiries. He desires to base the truths of ethics upon an absolutely sure foundation, a task which, in his opinion, empiricism is utterly unable to perform. The moral laws must not only seem absolute to the common man, they must be proved to be so by the philosopher. In order to realize his rationalistic ideal, and to deduce every moral truth from the conception of a rational being as such, Kant is of course compelled to give this conception the content which he afterward draws Out of it, or to pretend that something follows from his so-called first principles that really does not follow at all. Thus the content of the categorical imperative cannot be derived from the conception of such [p. 280] an imperative except by the application of force. Nor is it possible to deduce from the conception of a rational being what its purpose is, unless we first read that purpose into our definition of such a being. It is of course possible to define a rational being in such a way as to make it the bearer of any kind and number of qualities we choose, but in any event the definition will ultimately have to rest upon experience in order to have any value at all.
The modern teleologist examines the laws which human beings accept as moral, and analyzes the mental states to which they owe their existence. By reflection upon experience he hopes to reach the principle or principles upon which morality is based, and may then deduce from these their logical consequences. In other words, he employs the methods followed by all sciences, and his results have the same value as theirs, no more, no less.
Epistemology and Ethical Method. By ALBERT LEFEVRE.
There is a widespread demand for the separation of ethics and metaphysics; the data of ethics should be scientifically described without metaphysical or epistemological bias. Whatever the historical justification for this may be, it is nevertheless true that our views of the ontologic significance of human personality, and of the ultimate validity of human knowledge inevitably affect our description of moral phenomena. Those who emphasize the need of a pure empirical account do not seem fully conscious of the fact that their own views are based upon more or less definite metaphysical and epistemological presuppositions.
The reason for the demand seems to lie in the epistemological foundation underlying the type of ethical theory referred to. This regards the knowing process as dualistic, and assumes the existence of facts that can be described without 'symbolic' supplementation. An empirical account is supposed to eliminate mental symbolism, and to define the facts in terms of pure experience. The postulate involved is that our primary experiences are valid for reality, whereas thought-elaboration signifies merely the addition of mental predicates or ideal contents. Verification [p. 281] thus consists in a comparison of our interpretation with the facts of pure experience, which, as 'actual' rather than 'symbolic,' must be the source of validity. On these premises, ethics is restricted to a psychological account of the genesis and development of moral consciousness and conduct. The changing character of moral practices is emphasized, and the relativity of moral obligation is an unavoidable conclusion.
An opposed theory of knowledge leads to a different 'empirical' narrative of the same facts. If consciousness takes the form of judgment, and if the knowing processes are all alike in character, the notion of experience becomes transformed. Thought-supplementation is regarded, not as something superadded to 'pure experience,' but as the essential explication of the simpler experiences. Verification, then, consists in a higher judgment of the coherence of our system of knowledge. From this standpoint, ethics is primarily concerned with the judging activities of self-conscious beings, and the lasting distinction of right and wrong.
The argument is not intended to militate against the value of the genetic method. Genesis, however, may be taken at different levels. We may give a genetic description of a sequence of mere particulars, or on the other hand, of the way in which a conscious self realizes its own nature as active intelligence and moral personality.
The Epistemological Argument for Theism. By EDWARD H. GRIFFIN.
In discussing the problem of theism, much use is made, at the present time, of considerations that may be termed epistemological. "The kernel of the ontological argument," says Pfleiderer, "belongs to the theory of knowledge generally, and amounts to this, that we are obliged to assume the being of God as the ground and guarantee of the truth of our own thinking." This line of thought has been a favorite one with those who have discussed the higher problems of philosophy under prepossessions derived from Hegel.
The excessive prominence given in the Hegelian metaphysics [p. 282] to the purely cognitive aspects of experience is a peculiarity from which important consequences follow; the questionable features of systems of this type are mainly due to this misleading simplification. Professor Royce has defended, with much rigor and skill, his intellectualistic ontology against the charge of overlooking the element of will. But it is surely difficult for one who would define the term 'God' by the use of the attribute of omniscience alone, whose theory "unites both your act and the idea that your act expresses, along with all other acts and ideas, in the single unity of the Absolute Consciousness," to reach a view of the relation between God and the world which does justice to the concept of creation, and to secure to the human will its due prerogatives. The theory of 'the eternal consciousness,' developed in the Prolegomena to Ethics is an instructive illustration of the dangers to which this phase of speculation is liable. The theory of knowledge is not a sufficient basis for metaphysics. We are feeling and acting, as well as knowing, beings. A completely adequate world-theory must recognize the emotional and volitional factors of experience, as well as the intellectual.
The use of the process of thought as an analogue after which to construct the idea of the Absolute Being is a procedure by no means identical with that of those who use it merely as an element in the proof of theism. The epistemological argument proves only the presence of mind in the universe; it does not prove freedom, or goodness, or self-consciousness. The conclusions which it establishes may be predicated equally of the Infinite Substance of Spinoza, or of the world-soul of the Stoics. It is only one of a series, or concatenation, of proofs, and needs to be supplemented by the others. As rationality is not the whole of spirit, the analogies of thinking cannot represent, in its fulness, the concept of God. God is more than "the All-Thinker, the All-Knower."
The Philosophy of Religion Its Aim and Scope. By F. C. FRENCH.
The need of harmonizing human life with the ultimate ground of reality is first felt in a practical way. Hence religion. From [p. 283] this practical need springs the intellectual necessity of determining the nature of the ultimate real and its relation to humanity. There have been three main types of method in dealing with the religious problem. (1) The method of elimination seeks to rationalize religion by striking out all that is irrational. The most important example of this method is the natural theology of the eighteenth century, Spencer's religion of the unknowable is the reductio ad absurdum of this method. (2) The method of addition accepts religious dogmas as given, and seeks to supply a demonstration for them. The preëminent example of this method is scholasticism. The doctrine of the twofold truth is its reductio ad absurdum. (3) Philosophy of religion takes religion as a fact in human life to be interpreted. It finds its data in the history, psychology, and sociology of religion. Its three standpoints, the evolutional character of religion, its essentially emotional nature, and the conception of God as immanent, mark its distinction from natural theology.
Science, art, and morality are the objects of our main spiritual interests as developed by our relation to the things of immediate experience. We have also interests of a second order arising from the recognition of our relation to reality as a whole, or to that in reality which transcends experience. These are religion and philosophy, the former our practical, the latter our theoretical attitude toward the transcendent The philosophy of religion aims to meet a twofold demand: (1) Intellectually, philosophy itself to be complete must contain an interpretation of religion; (2) practically, like ethics it is a normative science, and we may rightly look to it for the formulation and clarification of standards of value. The aim of philosophy of religion is to interpret religion and formulate the standards by which we may determine its worth.
LIST OF MEMBERS,
Felix, 123 East 6oth Street,
Professor H. Austin,
Albee, Dr. Ernest, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. [p. 284]
Professor A. C.,
Professor H. Heath,
Dr. Edward Franklin,
Butler, President Nicholas Murray, Columbia University, New York City.
Professor Mary Whiton,
Cattell, Professor J. McKeen, Columbia University, New York City.
Chrysostom, Brother, Manhattan College, New York City.
Dr. William, 58
Professor George A., Northwestern
Professor J. E.,
Professor Mattoon M.,
Dr. Anna A.,
Davis, Mr. William H., Columbia University, New York City.
Mrs. Christine Ladd,
Dr. F. C.,
Professor H. N.,
Professor A. L.,
Gordy, Professor J. P., New York University, New York City.
President G. Stanley,
Hall, Professor T. C., Union Theological Seminary, New York City. [p. 285]
Harris, Dr. William T., United States Bureau of Education, Washington, D.C.
Professor J. G.,
Hodder, Dr. Alfred, 80 Washington Sq., New York City.
Professor Frank S.,
Professor H. H.,
President William DeWitt,
Hyslop, Professor J. H., Columbia University, New York City.
Jones, Dr. A. L., Columbia University, New York City.
Professor Rufus M.,
Professor Charles H.,
Professor G. T.,
Lefevre, Dr. Albert, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y
Professor J. A.,
Professor A. H.,
Lord, Professor Herbert G., Columbia University, New York City.
Professor J. E.,
Professor A. O.,
MacCracken, Chancellor H. M., New York University, New York City.
MacDougal, Professor R. M., New York University, New York City.
MacVannel, Dr. J. A., Columbia University, New York City.
Professor E. B.,
Marshall, Mr. Henry Rutgers, 3 West 29th Street, New York City.
Dr. W. T.,
Dr. Dickinson S.,
Professor W. Romaine,
Professor Alexander T.,
Professor Edward A., Catholic
Patton, President Francis L., Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. [p. 286]
Dr. George S.,
Dr. Ralph Barton,
President B. P.,
Professor M. S.,
President J. C.,
Professor F. T., Catholic
Shaw, Professor C. C., New York University, New York City.
Sheldon, Dr. W. H., Columbia University, New York City.
Dr. Edgar A.,
Professor F. Hershey,
Spalding, Mr. F. C., College of the City of New York, New York City.
Professor W. H.,
Professor J. Macbride, Columbian University,
Strong, Professor C. A., Columbia University, New York City.
Professor F. B.,
Professor Guy A.,
Thorndike, Professor Edward L., Columbia University, New York City.
Professor J. H.,
Professor Wilbur M.,
Dr. Margaret Floy,
Professor R. M.,
Woodworth, Dr. R. S., New York University, New York City.
Members are requested to notify the secretary of any corrections to be made in the above list.