Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/130

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develop in response to the "order" of nature;[1] but this response is itself only another term for causation, and must, in order to ensure consistency, itself be interpreted like other cases of causation. But this means that everything is brought within a causal "order" which is held to be only assumed but not proved or provable. And yet it would seem that the very attempt to ground this general view presupposes the contradictory position, namely, that there is a causation, a necessary connection, a unique determination and "order," which are more than assumed. That there is this causation is, however, a view quite compatible with the discontinuity view previously advanced.

Professor Brooks is seemingly not aware of this last possible supplementation of his view, but yet he says nothing which would contradict it. By it the causal connection, discontinuous though it be at certain points, the "order," etc., are more than assumed; although assumptions may be made about them, they are factual.

In accordance, now, with this whole general position, Professor Brooks (rightly) finds freedom quite possible logically because, as a fact, it is quite compatible with "order," and does not mean disorder, nor yet ultimate necessity. "We know we are free to do as we like; and we also know there are reasons why we like to do as we do." Briefly "The reduction of all the phenomena of life to mechanical principles would show that our likings and dislikings are what they might have been expected to be," and "would not disprove the reality or the value of any one thing we discover in our nature."[2]

Quite in line with all this is also the "immanent teleology" which Professor Brooks accepts and which may be made clear by a quotation both apt and amusing: "He who admits that cats are part of nature, and that skill in catching mice is important to the race of cats, must admit that nature is, so far, useful to itself."[3] Thus the teleology falls within the "order" of nature, is quite compatible with it, and indeed applies to a special group of phenomena within this (assumed) causal order. Either description may be made and both are correct.

Concerning the other philosophical aspects of Professor Brooks's writings much need not and indeed can not be said. To be sure, all through the Foundations he is continually quoting from some philosopher, or is raising some philosophical problem, but further than this he does not go. He does not contribute very much at least to the solution of these problems, but, rather, chooses certain statements and points of view of the philosophers as contributing to his own views. But he thus at all times reveals the heartiest sympathy for the results of the philosopher's reflections. "Whether it is desirable to place a prohibi-

  1. For example, in the chapter on "The Mechanism of Nature."
  2. Foundations, pp. 310-12.
  3. Ibid., p. 305.