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286
IDEALISM


but it is not content to assert its existence side by side with rigidly determined sequence. It carries the war into the camp of the enemy by seeking to demonstrate that the completely determined action which is set over against freedom as the basis of explanation in the material world is merely a hypothesis which, while it serves sulhciently well the limited, purpose for which it is devised, is incapable of verification in the ultimate constituents of physical nature. There seems in fact nothing to prevent us from holding that while natural laws express the average tendencies of multitudes they give no clue to the movement of individuals. Some have gone farther and argued that from the nature of the case no causal explanation of any real change in the world of things is possible. A cause is that which contains the effect (“ causa aequat effectum ), but this is precisely what can never be proved with respect to anything that is claimed as a real cause in the concrete world. Everywhere the effect reveals an element which is in discoverable in the cause with the result that the identity we seek for ever eludes us. Even the resultant of mechanical forces refuses to resolve itself into its constituents. In the “ resultant " there is a new direction, and with it a new quality the component forces of which no analysis can discover)

It is not here possible to do more than indicate what appear to be the valid elements in these two conflicting interpretations of the requirements of a true idealism. On behalf of the older it may be confidently affirmed that no solution is likely to find general acceptance which involves the rejection of the conception of unity and intelligible order as the primary principle of our world. The assertion of this principle by Kant was, we have seen, the corner-stone of idealistic philosophy in general, underlying as it does the conception of a permanent subject not less than that of a permanent object. As little from the side of knowledge is it likely that any theory will find acceptance which reduces all thought to a process of analysis and the discovery of abstract identity. There is no logical principle which requires that we should derive qualitative change by logical analysis from quantitative difference. Everywhere experience is synthetic: it gives us multiplicity in unity. Explanation of it does not require the annihilation of all differences but the apprehension of them in organic relation to one another and to the whole to which they belong. It was, as we have seen, this conception of thought as essentially synthetic for which Kant paved the way in his polemic against the formalism of his continental predecessors. The revival as in the above argument of the idea that the function of thought is the elimination of difference, and that rational connexion must; fail where absolute identity is in discoverable merely shows how imperfectly Kant's lesson has been learned by some of those who prophesy in his name. Finally, apart from these more academic arguments there is an undoubted paradox in a theory which, at a moment when in whatever direction we look the best inspiration in poetry, sociology and physical science comes from the idea of the unity of the world, gives in its adhesion to pluralism on the ground of its preponderating practical value.

On the other hand, idealism would be false to itself if it interpreted the unity which it thus seeks to establish in any sense that is incompatible with the validity of moral distinctions and human responsibility in the fullest sense of the term. It would on its side be, indeed, a paradox if at a time when the validity of human ideals and the responsibility of nations and individuals to realize them is more universally recognized than ever before on our planet, the philosophical theory which hitherto has been chiefly identified with their vindication should be turned against them. Yet the depth and extent of the dissatisfaction are sufficient evidence that the most recent developments are not free from ambiguity on this vital issue.

What is thus suggested is not a rash departure from the general point of view of idealism (by its achievements in every field to which it has been applied, “ stat mole sua ”) but a cautious inquiry into the possibility of reaching a conception of the world The most striking statement of this argument is to be found in Boutroux's treatise De la ronlingence des luis:le la nature, first published in I§ 74 and reprinted without alteration in 1905. The same general line of thought underlies James Ward's Naluralism and Agrloslzczsm (2nd ed., 1903), and A. I. Balfour's Fogmdations of Bel1ef(8th ed., 1901). H. Bergson's works on the other hand contain the elements of a reconstruction similar in spirit to the suggestions of the present article.

in which a place can be found at once for the idea of unity and determination and of movement and freedom. Any attempt here to anticipate what the course of an idealism inspired by such a spirit of caution and comprehension is likely to be cannot but appear dogmatic.-Yet

it may be permitted to make a suggestion. Taking for granted the unity of the world idealism is committed to interpret it as spiritual as a unity of spirits. This is implied in the phrase by which it has sought to signalize its break with Spinozism: “from substance to subject.” The universal or infinite is one that realizes itself in finite particular minds and wills, not as accidents or imperfections of it, but as its essential form. These on their side, to be subject in the true sense must be conceived of as possessing a life which is truly their own" the expression of their own nature as self-determinant. In saying subject we say self, in saying self we' say free creator. No conception of the infinite can therefore be true which does not leave room for movement, process, free creation. Oldness, Sameness, permanence of principle and direction, these must be, otherwise there is nothing; but newness of embodiment, existence, realization also, otherwise nothing is;

Now it is just to these implications in the idea of spirit that some of the prominent recent expositions of Idealism seem to have failed to do justice. They have failed particularly when they have left the idea of “ determination ” unpurged of the suggestion of time succession. The very word lends itself to this mistake.” Idealists have gone beyond others in asserting that the subject in the sense of a. being which merely repeats what has gone before is timeless. This involves that its activity cannot be truly conceived of, as included in an antecedent, as an effect in a cause or one term of an equation in the other. As the activity of a subject or spirit it is essentially a new birth. It is this failure that has led to the present revolt against a “block universe.” -But the difficulty is not to be met by running to thejopposite extreme' in the assertion of a loose and ramshackle one. This is merely another way of. perpetuating the mistake of allowing the notion of determination by an other ora preceding to continue to dominate us in a region where we have in reality passed from it to the notion of determination by' self or by self-acknowledged ideals. As the correction from the one side consists in a more whole-hearted acceptance of the conception of determination by an ideal as the essence of mind, so from the other side it must consist in the recognition of the valuelessness of a freedom which does not mean submission to a self-chosen, though not self created, law. ~

The solution here suggested is robably more likely to meet with opposition from the side of ldlgralisin 'than of Pragmatism. ' It involves, it will be said, the reality of time, the dependence of the Infinite in the finite, and therewith a departure from the whole line of Hegelian thought. (I) It does:surely involve the reality of time in the sense that it involves the reality of existence, which it is agreed is process. Without process the eternal is not complete or, if eternity means completeness, is not truly eternal. Our mistake lies in abstraction of the one from the other, which, as always, ends in confusion of the one with the other. Truths lies in giving each its place. Not only does eternity assert the conception of the, hour but the hour asserts the conception of eternity-with what adequacy is another question. (2) The second of the above objections takes its point from the contradiction to religious consciousness which 'seems to be involved. This is certainly a mistake. 'Religious consciousness asserts, no doubt, that God is necessary to the soul: from, Him as its inspiration, to Him as its ideal are all things. But it asserts with equal emphasis that the soul is necessary to God. Todeclare itself an unnecessary creation is surely on the part of the individual soul the height of impiety. God lives in the soul as it in Him. He also might say, from it as His offspring, to it as the object of His outgoing love are all things. (3) It is a mistake to attribute to Hegelthe doctrine that time is an illusion. If in a well'-known passage (Logic § 212) he seems to countenance the Spinoxistic view he immediately corrects it by assigning an “ actualizing force ” to this illusion and making it a “ necessary dynamic element of truth." Consistently with this we have the conclusion stated in the succeeding section on the Will. “ Good, the final' end of the world, has being only while it constantly produces itself. And the world of -the spirit and the world of nature continue to have this distinction, that the latter moves only in a recurring cycle, while the former certainly also makes progress." The mistake is not Hegel's but ours.. It is to be remedied not by giving up the 'idea of the Infinite but by" ceasing to think of the Infinite as of a being endowed with a static perfection which the finite will merely reproduces, and definitely recognizing the forward effort of the finite as an essential element in Its self-expression. If there be an truth in this suggestion it seems likely that the last word of idealism, like the first, will prove to be that the type of the highest reality is to be sought for not in any fixed Parmenidean circle of achieved being but in an ideal of good which while never fully expressed under the form of time can never become actual and so fulfil itself under any other. BIBLIOGRAPHY.-(A) General works besides those of the writers mentioned above: W. Wallace, Prolegomena to the Study of Hegel

(1894), and Hegcl's Philosophy of Mind (1894); A. Seth and R. B.