Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/129

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PROFESSOR BROOKS'S PHILOSOPHY

second sense of the term and which yet, as made up of the appearance of new existents, is itself irreducible to continuity, and is uneliminable.

But it is in substance just this view which Professor Brooks accepts and defends in one way or another in a number of Lectures of the Foundations. In order to carry confirmation to the reader's mind that this is the case a few typical passages may be quoted. Thus we find Professor Brooks saying; "So far as I can see, the reduction of all nature to mechanical principles would mean nothing more than that all phenomena of nature are orderly."[1] "When we say nature is orderly, we mean each event may be a sign which leads us to expect other events with confidence."[2] "When, as commonly happens, we change will into must, we introduce an idea of necessity which most assuredly does not lie in the observed facts."[3] Of peculiar interest, since, in perfect agreement with Professor Brooks's general view as above expounded, it reveals his position as to the relation of mind and matter, is the statement that "if such a discovery (i. e., that these two worlds are different aspects of one and the same world reduced to mechanical principles) should ever be made. . . I can not see how it could possibly show that mind is anything but mind."[4] Briefly, this means that if consciousness were found to be, for example, energy, it would be that kind of energy which would have just those properties which consciousness is found empirically to have. Professor Brooks would then bring mind itself within nature, i. e., he would treat it, like other things, quite empirically, and this, I think, is the correct position. But it is a position which has interesting consequences! For, on the one hand, let his interpretation of causation and "order," etc., be remembered. Now Professor Brooks holds that this same interpretation applies also to mental events; the "order," causation, etc., here are factual only to the limited extent actually observed; beyond that they are assumptions. But what is it that makes the assumptions? Why the mind itself, which either is, by the same interpretation, simply the series of mental events, or, if not this, is something more. In the former case we have, then, that which is assumed "order," namely, mind, assuming "order" elsewhere, and so on again and again. Consistency demands, then, that it be admitted that that which may be indeterminate, namely, nature, is known by that which is also indeterminate, namely, mind! But the consistency is itself an element in this latter indeterminateness. The situation thus resulting is, of course, a perplexing one; for, to look at it from a slightly different angle, it means that Professor Brooks as evolutionist makes mind and life, with their assumed "order," etc.,

  1. Foundations, p. 289.
  2. Ibid., p. 305.
  3. Ibid., p. 294.
  4. Ibid., p. 30