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A WORLD OF PARTICULARS

53

intelligence

world of

the objects that it defines and distinguishes, these The scientific relations must be external. They do not enter into or and its form part of the intrinsic character of the objects. The exclusive objects, it is argued, remain the same whether they are particulars. in or out of these relations; and whether in or out they retain all their singularity and particularity. The world which arises on this view of the intellect is a collection of particular facts and events, contingently connected by external laws, which are empirically discovered. The laws do not constitute the facts. The facts owe nothing to their being parts of the same universe. The laws are not constitutive principles; and facts are not samples of principles, nor their manifestations and embodiments. The laws are merely names we give, as the result of experience, to the repetitive constancy of temporal events; they are mere notions of our own and they correspond, rest on, point to no objective realities. Universals do not exist. They are mere generalizations. Particulars are the only realia." It is regarded as the characteristic and the good fortune of natural science that it recognizes this truth, and seeks Modern no ultimate and universally constitutive principles. leaves room That extravagant ambition and impossible adventure philosophy it leaves to philosophy and religion. Commerce with by limiting the ultimate and perfect is primarily, we are told, the concern of the heart, that is, of the feeling and willing self. For it is evident that the heart when it desires, the self when it feels and wills, reaches outwards, escapes from its isolation, seeks and often finds fulfilment and realizes itself in and by something other than, different from itself. The self possesses and is possessed by its object. The object is thus deprived of its obstructive otherness. It becomes man's partner

Science

for

its own aims.

in the enterprises of life.

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Man's world is in him and he is in his world. And this process is at its highest and completest when the object of desire and of the practical devotion of will, the object whose "otherness" or strangeness or aloofness it overcomes is the perfect or best, the ultimate object of desire and man's resting-place. The fullest revelation of man and of the range of his desires and will is thus to be found in Religion. It is Religion that brings out most clearly man's natural intolerance of fixed limitations, or, in other words, reveals most fully the implications of infinitude that dwell in him.

The time is not yet for us to examine this view of man's reason. But I may indicate that it identifies the intelligence with "the understanding," confines its operations to finite and therefore particular objects, makes the domain of reason a separate territory and its problems at once inevitable and unanswerable, and finds the progress of the natural sciences to issue from the limitation of their aims. At present I shall simply deny the validity of the distinction, and I shall maintain that the intelligence in all its operations, even the simplest, is more and other than a particularized faculty. It reaches over and enters into, or rather finds itself in objects; just as the desires, or the theoretical and practical reason of man are held to do. All its actions refute the view that the object is alien, and a mere other," limiting the self. Let me

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illustrate this truth.

If we observe the ordinary attitude of the ordinary man, in his dealing with objects, we shall find that he takes for granted that once understood they may be the

1 See Preface to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.

THE WORLD MAN'S HELPMATE

55

the view

as dealing

ticulars and

as a

them.

means of extending his power. He assumes, in fact, Rejection of that objects are of use, if he can only find what they of the mean. Objects are often, possibly always, capable of intelligence being man's helpmates, and effective partners. In with parthat spirit the farmer ploughs his fields, sows his corn, of the world and awaits the harvest, confident of the co-operation collection of of his world in the fulfilment of his natural needs. He can overcome the dualism, bring his world over to his The world as side, make it an extension of his own capacities. His instrument whole practical life is a refutation of the sheer opposi- mate in his tion and antagonism of nature and spirit. The natural and spiritual uses of objects and their spiritual affinity are enterprise. not recognized so readily. They reveal themselves only very gradually, and are more unobtrusive and easily overlooked.

What man long seeks from, and finds in his world is animal maintenance. He does not realize the part that his world plays in making him_ self—or what an empty and impotent self were left him were the results of his intercourse with his world and his fellow-men taken away from him. Objects somehow guide man's enquiries, refuse their help to ignorance and resist misconstruction. They awaken mind, create and satisfy man's intellectual hunger, which is not less legitimate than his moral aspirations or religious yearnings, nor less a condition of his wellbeing. Religion and science will be reconciled when it is realized that their domains overlap in this way, and are, in fact, the same.

man's

and help

spiritual

pendence of

At first sight, no doubt, the demand of the intelligence is for Truth and nothing else, and that of religion The indeis for the Good. Nevertheless, they coincide. There the Truth. is nothing good which is not true or real, and there is nothing ultimately and finally true which is not good.

They must coincide, for they are both alike Universal. The real as a whole, and as a harmonious whole, is the object of each. Moreover, the authority of each is final. Truth must vindicate itself, even as goodness must justify itself. It must be valid in its own right, and only reason can substantiate what reason avers. The appeal to utility or value of any kind is out of place. Nothing must be accepted as true simply on the ground that it is profitable or useful. After all, the pragmatic theory rests on an assumption whose Truth is vital to it, namely that, in the last resort, imply each nothing "works" except what fits into a rational universe or a universe that satisfies the intelligence. It is its own intrinsic content and systematic wholeness which gives to Truth all the certainty it can have.

Truth and

Goodness

other, and Religion demands

both.

Now Religion demands the absolute in both these forms, and, as a consequence, it demands that they shall be reconciled. In other words, Religion could not survive a fundamental discrepancy between the Good and the Real or True. It must be the experience of their ultimate agreement. In fact, the consummation of religion is the practical discovery that in the life which is dedicated to the Best and also in its world, value, truth and reality are at One. To demonstrate the possibility of their coincidence is the final purpose of philosophy; to experience it as a practical fact is the soul of religion.

But the difficulties are as great as they are obvious. If we profess such a faith, we are asked at once"What shall we say of pain, sorrow, sin, the agonies of the innocent and the prosperity of the wicked--or in a word, of the whole scene that man's history presents? Is the Bad not real?"

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cannot, the

observation

reality of

At first sight Religion, and the intelligent observa- Religion tion of the facts of life, seem to give answers which intelligent cannot be reconciled. The former, apparently, must of facts must, deny the reality of evil, and the latter must admit it. admit the And I need hardly add that solutions of the difficulty evil. have, on both sides, taken the form of compromises. The perfection and self-determining infinitude which the intelligence, no less than religion demands (if, that is to say, it must assume that the Universe is a Cosmos), has been attributed to the Absolute; but not to God. The God of Religion is spoken of as limited either in power or in goodness or in both. He is man's leader in the fight against evil. Moreover, the perpetual nature of the struggle, or its inconclusiveness and the uncertainty of the issue, are supposed to add zest and even reality to the moral and spiritual adventure, and to give God something useful to do. On the other hand, the reality of evil has been weakened or denied by means of a distinction drawn between what exists and what is real. The assumption on which this doctrine rests is that the real must be Attempts at compromisfixed, and changeless. But it is a costly distinction: for ing the it involves the relegation into a domain that is neither contradicreal nor unreal of all finite things. They are, but they religion and are appearances or phenomena": and so far, I have never learnt the meaning of these terms, for it fluctuates according to the necessities of the moment. But this method does not help religion: for "the good " becomes as passing, and on this view, as unreal, as evil. Indeed, both the world of the intelligence and that of morality, both truth and goodness, turn into phenomenal appearances, that is, into things which manage to exist without being real, and which in

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tion of

the intellect.

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