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V

Presented by

PRINCETON,

N.J.

&

5-V(7.n\eU (7ib\DoV

BL 200

.A32 1888

''l8?6:i9Sr'^

Ellingwood,

Scientific theism

SCIENTIFIC THEISM

SCIENCE.
E
se
'1

mondo

laggiii

ponesse mente

Al fondamento che Natura pone, Seguendo lui, avria buona la gente.

DANTE:

Paradiso, VIII. 140-142.

And if On

the world below wonld


the foundation which
is

fix its

mind

laid

by Nature,

Pursuing that, 'twuiild have the people good.


Longfellow's Translatiok.

THEISM.
La
gloria di Colui che tutto

muove
risi)]ende altrove.

Per r universo penetra, e


In una parte piu, e

meno

DANTE:
The

ParaDISO,

I.

1-8.

glory of Him who moveth everything Doth penetrate the universe, and shine Iji one part more and in another less.

Longfellow's Translation.

ORGANIC SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY

NOV 7

SCIENTIFIC THEISM

BY

FRANCIS ELLINGWOOD ABBOT,

Ph.D.

THIRD EDITION.

BOSTON
LITTLE, BROWN,

AND COMPANY

1888

Copyright, 1885,

By Francis Ellingwood Abbot.


All rights reserved.

University Press:

John Wilson and Son, Cambridge.

Cfte

allotoeD

iMemorp

Etwtitx anU true,

bjit!j

lobe's 'Uttp totstiom biise,

E\]ou

taufifjt'st tf)e (S:f)ilO tl)c free,

pure CrutJj to frabc,


to pri5c;

IHore tban
^nti
2rf)S

eartfj's
tfje

golU

tJje

golO of

oD

nob

ilHan, bjfjo tnlg burneU to tjabe


rchjarH, bjttf} bltntJcK eges
galtr,

jog for
tfje

fji's

Hags

toon

un^reUctr,

on

t!)jj

grabe.

NOTE TO THE THIRD EDITION.

I DESIRE to express
public, both at

my

acknowledgments

to the

home and

abroad, for the favor with


this,

which

it

has received a book so abstruse as

and

so condensed in thought as to be intelligible only

by

very thoughtful and patient readers.

If the call for

a third edition had not been so sudden and unexpected, I should have added

an appendix, contain-

ing further explanations in connection with certain


really valuable criticisms,

such

as those of Dr. J. F.
" of

Clarke, in the "

Unitarian Keview
P. Torrey, in the "

March, 1886

Professor H. A.
of

Andover Eeview

"

May, 1886

Ex-President John Bascom, in the

"New
"La

Englander" of April, 1887; M. Eenouvier, in

Critique Philosophique " of Dec. 31, 1887; and


Carrau, in Chapter IX. of his "
" (Paris,

M. Ludovic

La Phi-

losophic Eeligieuse en Angleterre

1888).

But perhaps
treatise,

it is

better as

it is.

A larger

and

fuller
if

to be eventually completed and published

viii

PREFACE,

persistently adverse circumstances do not forbid, will

furnish the needed explanations in the only form


satisfactory to

my own

mind,

that of a constructive
by the
science.

philosophical system, founded on the theory of universals

which
is

lies latent in

the scientific method, and


practical

which

strikingly illustrated

work-

ing of Darwinism in

modern

That nothing

short of such a philosophy can effectually oppose the

agnostic tendencies of the unscientific but widespread

modern phenomenism,

or furnish an adequate founda-

tion for the profounder

and better-instructed theism


it, is

which will inevitably replace


viction,

my

strongest con-

a conviction
of

only deepened by the failure

of so

many

my

critics to

understand what they

were trying to

criticise.

For instance.
April
9,

Prof. Josiah Eoyce, in " Science " of

1886, represents the

main purport

of this

book

to be

"the well-known idealism of Plato,"


.

so

the "objective idealism


well."

which we

all

know

No

answer could be made to such a criticism

as that, except the answer


critic:

which Kaiit made

to a like

"A

glance at this line soon showed

me

the

sort of criticism likely to ensue,

much

as

though some
having

one

who had never seen

or heard of geometry,

found a Euclid, and coming upon various figures in


turning over
its leaves,

were to
is

say,

on being asked

his opinion of it:

'The book

a systematic guide

"

PREFACE.
to

j^

drawing; the author uses a peculiar language, in order to give dark, incomprehensible directions, which
in the

can

end teach nothing more than what every one effect by a fair natural accuracy of
eye, etc'

Until a

new and

better book can be got ready, the

present one
it is

may

as well go out once

more

for

what

really worth.
F.

K A.

Cambridge, March

1,

1888.

PREFACE,

The foundation and immediate


little

occasion of this
is

book,

whose

size,

trust,

no necessary

measure

of its usefulness,

was

a lecture given before

the Concord

Summer

School of Philosophy, July 30,


:

symposium" on the question " Is Pantheism the Legitimate Outcome of Modern Science?" The other lecturers on this subject were Mr. John
1885, in a "
Fiske, Prof. William T. Harris, Eev. Dr.

Andrew

P.

Peabody, Prof. George H. Howison, and Dr. Edward

Montgomery.

the lectures
lecture,

of the last

two gentle-

men
the
is

being read by

Mr. Thomas Davidson.

The

contents of
first

my own

entirely re-written from

page, constitute less than one third of

what

here printed.

The

real

origin of the book, however,

was two

articles published in
lievievj,

1864 in the North American


still

while

it

was

under the scholarly care


of Professors

and joint
Paissell

editorial

management
Charles
''

James

Lowell and

Eliot

Norton,

one

in the

July number on

The Philosophy

of Space

xii

PRE FA CE.

and Time," and the other in the October number on " The Conditioned and the Unconditioned."

Some

of the criticisms here

made on Mr. Herbert


of

Spencer's philosophy, for

much

which

have the

highest admiration, were embodied in a general article

on his First Principles, entitled "Positivism in

Theology," and published in the


Christian
a special

now

discontinued
;

Examiner

in Boston,

March, 1866
of

and in

and elaborate review


in

his Principles of

Biology, published
for October, 1868,

the

North American Review

under the caption " Philosophical


of

Biology."

To both

these

articles

Mr. Spencer
in-

made

replies,

which to

my mind

were eminently

adequate and
Prof. E. L.

unsuccessful,

to the former, through

Youmans,

in a subsequent issue of the

Christian Examiner, and to the latter in a special

pamphlet, entitled Spontaneous Generation, and published

by D. Appleton and Company

in 1870.

make
more

these references in fairness to Mr. Spencer,

that those
fully.

who wish may


of
;

investigate

the subject

The theory
of

Phenomenism
of

versus

the

theory

Noumenism

the theory of Idealistic Evolution


Eealistic Evolution
;

versus the theory

and the

Mechanical theory

of Realistic

Evolution versus the

Organic theory of Eealistic Evolution,

these

are

the vital philosophical problems of our century, and


their solution
vital

must determine and decide that


problem
of

of the

religious

Theism, Atheism, and

Pantheism.

The

discussion ot these problems con-

PREFACE.
stitutes

xiii

the substance of this book;

and I must

express

my

belief

(not, I

trust,

without becoming
belief unreservedly

modesty, for I submit

my own

to the final verdict of the universal reason of

man-

kind) that
since
it

it

formulates a philosophical revolution,

substitutes the philosophized scientific

method
In the

for the

now

accepted phenomenistic method, in the

settlement of all philosophical questions.

opening lecture of the " symposium

"

above men-

tioned, Mr. Fiske referred to the " revolution effected

by the

influence of
(I

modern

science

upon modern
only),

philosophy"

quote from memory


is.

but did
it

not show what this revolution


is,

To show what
book.

and

to

what

it

leads in the sphere of religious

belief, is

the special object of


of a

my
of

For a quarter
conviction

century

it

has been
all

my

growing

that the

solution

the problems the principle

named can only be accomplished by


of
its

the

Objectivity of Kelations, together with

correlative

and derivative principle


In

of the

Per''

ceptive Understanding.
Philosophy of

my

article

on

The
(as

Space

and

Time,"

published

already stated) in the North American Review for July, 1864, occurs the following passage, which not

obscurely hints at these two fundamental principles


of a
"

reformed modern philosophy

Now

the five modifications of extension above

described [magnitude, form, position, distance, and


direction] are all relations

among the

limits of ex-

tension

and, inasmuch as relations cannot possibly

xiv

PRE FA CE.
follows that extension alone, and
is

be objects of sensuous perception, but only of a


higher faculty,
it

not

its

modifications,

immediately cognized by

sense.

Whether these
is

relations can in

any way be

cognized immediately, or only by a process of inference,


it

unnecessary here to inquire


if

suffice

it

to say that,

we

really

know the

objective relations
of

of things, there

must be some faculty


book
lies in its

pure and

immediate cognition of relations."

The novelty
method,

of this

acceptance, on
scientific

the warrant of

modern science and the

of the fact that

we

do " hioiv the objective

relations of things,"

and

in its attempt to develop

the necessary philosophical implications and conse-

quences of this
philosophy

fact,

which phenomenistic modern


denies.

steadily

From

1864

to

the

present time, I have followed the clew of the two

fundamental principles above emphasized, and have


been guided by them to results which,
prove to be
of incalculable
if

true,

must
This

importance and influence,

not only in philosophy, but also in religion.

thin volume was written at Nonquitt Beach in five

summer weeks; but


think
of a
it

it

took

five

times five years to


of a small portion

out.

It is a

mere resume

comprehensive philosophical system, so far as I


it

have been able to work


ing, discouraging,

out under most distractof

and unpropitious circumstances


for this reason I

many

years

and

must beg some


of

indulgence for the unavoidable incompleteness

my

work.

It is not the last

word

hope

to say

on

PREFACE.
philosophy,
if

XV
;

this

word

is

kindly welcomed

but

that remains to be proved, and in the afternoon of


life

the time

is

growing

short.

Hegel argues

that, just as the other sciences start

with the subjective presupposition, or postulate, of


the existence of their object-matter, so
that philosophy
it

would seem

must

start

with the subjective preits

supposition, or postulate, of the existence of


object-matter, thought
of the

own

But he denies the parallelism


maintains that, though phiinitial

two

cases.

He

losophy must start with some


"

position

or

immediate standpoint,"

this

immediate standpoint

must, in the course of the science, be converted into


a final result; and that in this
exhibits
circle "

manner philosophy
or
" self-returnins:

the
{ein

form

of

a closed

in sich ziirilckgehender Kreis), whose


its

curve sweeps back to


meeting, effaces
it.

starting point, and,

by
of

"

The only

end, act,

and aim
its

philosophy
notion,

is

to

attain to the
to its

notion of

own
self-

and thus
1

own
that,

self-return

and

satisfaction."

might perhaps claim

even by this Hegelian


be adjudged to be a

canon, Scientific Eealism

may
is

true philosophy, notwithstanding Hegel's other canon that " every true philosophy

Idealism."

For the

existence of the Eeal Universe, which the scientific

method
1

in its empirical use apparently presupposes

Werlce, VI. 25, 26.

2
(

"Jede

wahrhafte

Philosophie

ist

deswegen

Idealism us."

Werke, VI. 189.)

xvi
as a

PREFACE.
mere
postulate,

and which I adopt


of

as

my own
scientific

initial

position
is

on the warrant

the

method,
lative
"

at the

end
in

( 87) explained as a specu-

final

result
'

the
'

Eternal

Creative Act:
,

The absolute full-filling of Thought-in-itself therefore, or the embodiment of the Ideal in the Eeal, is

the eternal self-legislation of Tliought-in-itself into

Though t-in-Being
tem
Universe."

of the subjective relational sys-

into the objective relational system of the Eeal

In thus

" attaining to

the notion of

its

own

notion,"

my

philosophy

may

be justly said to

constitute a closed or " self-returning circle."

But
method
of the

the
is

apparent

postulate

of

the

scientific

no postulate, no " subjective presupposi-

tion," at all.

On

the contrary, the presuppositions

method are formulated objective perceptions they are made on the authority of the perceptive understanding ( 50), which is every whit
scientific
;

as valid as that of the philosophic reason,


"

is

itself

presupposed

"

by the
and

latter,

needs no higher sanc-

tion than

itself,

at last, as the

supreme organon
it-

of Verification,
self to its

summons
Here

the philosophic reason

own

tribunal for the judicial valuation of


lies

its " final results."

the profound difference

between

scientific

realism and philosophical idealism,

stated as follows in the text ( 69):

"Hegel subindeed

limely

disregards

the

distinction

between Finite
latter
object.
it

Thought and
creates,

Infinite

Thought: the
its

while the former finds,

And,
follows

since

human

philosophy

is

only

finite,

PREFACE.
that no true philosophy
finite
is

Xvii

Idealism, except the In-

Philosophy or Self-Thinking of God."


attention
to these

call

points

here, that

the

Hegelian antipathy to "presuppositions"


lead
tific

may

not

any

of

my

readers,

when they

see that scien-

theism rests ultimately on the presuppositions

of

the scientific method, to lay


I venture to ask

down my book
to read
it

in

disgust.

them

through

to

the end, and to consider thoughtfully whether

there

may

not be truth, after

all,

in results

which

are undeniably at variance with current philosophic


opinions.

In conclusion, I would say to

my

critics

"

May

you be

fair

and just enough to take pains

to under-

stand before you criticise!

For then I shall be

only too glad to profit by your criticisms."


believLQg
this age

And,
in

that

there

are
lost

innumerable minds
faith

which have

in

the old with-

out finding faith in the new, I would say to


readers:

my
may

"May

the hard-won thought of

my
it

little

book be so clearly truth to your minds, that


the Infinite Soul of All!'*

bring you renewed peace, serenity, and repose in

F. E. A.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, September 15, 1885.

CONTENTS.
PAGE

INTRODUCTION

PART

I.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


CHAPTER
I.

THE PRESUPPOSITIONS OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD.


1.

Science a Totality of Established Truths

....
...
Presupposed

59

2.
3.

These Truths rest on the

Scientific

Method
its

60

The

Scientific

Method

rests

on

Realism
4.
5.

62

Its Realistic Presuppositions Stated


Scientific

64

Realism not the "Philosophy of

Common
65
.

Sense"
6.

Scientific
Scientific

ReaUsra not a "Begging of the Question"

67 70

7.

Realism Opposed by Philosophical Idealism

8.

Issue between Philosophy and Science as Plienome-

nism and Noumenism

71

XX

CONTENTS,

CHAPTER

II.

THE THEORY OF PHENOMENISM.


PAGE
9.

Statement of the Theory

74

10. Its Principle the Subjectivity of Uelations

....

76

11.

Its

Method

the "

Immanent Method,"

or Analysis

of Subjective Representation
12.

11 79

Criticisms of

Phenomenism
:

13. 14.

Pirst Objection

Phenomenism Disproved by Science


is

79

Reply

of

Phenomenism: Science

Knowledge

of

Phenomena Alone
15.
16.

79

This Reply a Misrepresentation of Science

...

80

Phenomenism
Science

is

Scepticism and a Secret Poe to

82
itself

17. 18.

Second Objection: Phenomenism contradicts


It gives a It gives a

84 84
85

Noumenon-Universe
Noumenon-Representation

19. 20.

It gives a
It gives

mere Hypostasis

of Thought-Pmictions

86

21.

an Impossible Principle, since "Phenomena

Alone " instantly become Noumena

87

CHAPTER

III.

THE THEORY OF NOUMENISM.


22.

Kant's

Two

Oppositions

89
89

23.
24. 25.

Kant Subjectivized Relations


Kant's Inversion of the Meaning of "

Noumenon "

90
93

Greek Objectivism

CONTENTS.

XXI
PAGE
97
.

26.

The Inversion Explained The


Inseparability of
Intelligibility of

27.

Noumenon and Phenomenon


Things

99
101

28.

The

29.

The Fundamental Opposition between Phenomenism


and Noumenism
102
''

30.

True Meanuig

" Phenomenon/' " " and Experience


of

Noumenon/*
102

31.
32.

The Noumenon no

Unintelligible " Substratum/'

105

But the

Intelligible

and Immanent Relational Con107

stitution of the Tliing-m-itself


33.

Necessity of a Perceptive Understanding

.... ....

108

3tt. 35.

Theory of Noumenism Stated


Synoptical Tables
:

109

Two
Oppositions

Table Table
Table

I.

Kant's

113 114
115

II.

Phenomenism

III.

Noumenism

PART

n.

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


CHAPTER
IV.

THE PRINCIPLES OF SCIENTIFIC THEISM.


36.

The Coming Philosophy

of the Scientific

Method
.

119

37.

The Noumenistic Conception

of the Universe
.

120 121

38. 39.

The Noumenal Universe Known by Science


The Universe
Infinitely Intelligible

123

40.

Infinite InteUigibiHty of the

Universe the Corner-

stone of Scientific Theism

125

xxii

CONTENTS.
PAGE

41. Unscientific Character of Plieuomenism


42. 43.

....

125

Whatislutelligibility?

128 128 128

Nothing

is

Intelligible

but Relations
its

44.

The

Thing-in-itself,

and

Principle of Individuation

45. Chaos an absolute Unreality

130

46.

Infinite

Intelligibility

of the Universe lies in the

System of Nature

132
?

47.

What

is

Intelligence

133 133
.
.

48.

How

to

Answer

this

Question
the Faculty of Relations

49. 50. 51. 52. 53.

The Understanding

is

134
135

The Perceptive Understanding

The Conceptive Understanding


The Creative Understanding
Intelligence
is

138
143

either the Discoverer or the Creator

of Relational Systems

144
all

54.

Identity of Intelligence in

Forms and Degrees

147 150

55..

The Universe

Infinitely Intelligent

56.

The Universe an

Infinite Self-Conscious Intellect

155

CHAPTER

V.

THE UNIVERSE: MA.CHINE OR ORGANISM?


Discovery
Divine Revelation

57.

Scientific

is

157
157

58.

Nature a Perfect System

59.

Monadology and Materialism conceive Nature


Imperfect System

as

an
158

60. 61,

The Organism the One Perfect System

....

160

Man

creates

Machines

the

Universe creates Or-

ganisms

161

CONTENTS.
62. The Organism

xxiii

Finite and
Come

Infinite

PAGE 163
165

63.
64.

The Fact

of Evolution to Consciousness in

God God

does not "

Man "

166
168

65.
66. 67.

does not "Exist Outside of Space and Time "

Idealistic Evolution

169

Soliloquy of the

''

Consistent Idealist "

....
Verified

171

68. 69.

Inconsistent Idealism

177

Science

Rejects

Idealism,

and

is

itself

Realism

178
:

70. 71.

Realistic Evolution

Mechanical or Organic
Partial, the

180

The Mechanical Theory


Universal

Organic Theory

181

72. Their Coincidence


and

tlieir

Divergence

....

181 182
1S5

73.
74.

Machine and Organism


Nature either Wholly Organic or Wholly Inorganic

75.

Both Machme and Organism Teleologically Constituted Systems

1S6

76.

Concept of the Machine

187
itself

77.

The Mechanical Theory Destroys

by Denying
.

Teleology and Refusing to be Dualistic

189 19q

78. Concept of the Organism

79.

80.

The Organic Theory finds the One in the Many The Mechanical Theory only Exists by Begging
.

193

the Question, and Presupposing the Truth of

Teleology

I94
Herbert Spencer

81.

Illustration in

I94
196

82.

Illustration in Ernst

Haeckel

83.

Inevitable Decadence of the Mechanical Tlieory, and Inevitable Rise of the Organic Theory

....

199

xxiv

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

VI.

THE GOD OY SCIENCE.


PAGE
84.

The
His
His

Infinite Creative Life of


Infinite

God
Will

202 203
.
.

85. 86. 87. 88.

Wisdom and

Infinite

Infinite Beatitude

and

Infinite

Love

204
205

His

Infinite

Moral Rectitude and Holiness


of Evil

The Problem

207
208

89. Condensed Review of the Argument


90.

The
Is
it

Scientific

Idea of God
?

209

91.

Pantheism

210
211
of

92.

Personality of

God

93.

The Transcendence and the Immanence

God

213

94. "Head "and "Heart "in Religion 95. The Lament of Ralph Waldo Emerson

214
215

96.

The Essential Religiousness of

Scientific

Theism

216

GENERAL SYNOPSIS

ARGUMENT FOR

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

I.

The roundation
Scientific

of Scientific Theism

is

the Philosophized

Method.

II.

The

Ground-Principle
is

of

the

Philosophized
of
the

Scientific

Method
per
se.

the Infinite

Intelligibility

Universe

1.

What
Ans.

is Intelligibility ?

Intelligibility is the

Possession of an

Imma-

nent Relational Constitution.


2.

What

is

Intelligence ?
is

Ans. Intelligence
(1)

The Sole Discoverer of Immanent Relational


Constitutions.

(2)

The Sole Creator


Constitutions.

of

Immanent

Relational

(3)

Identical
logical.

in

all

Forms, and in

all

Teleo-

xxvi
III.

SYNOPSIS OF ARGUMENT,
The
Infinite
Intelligibility

of the

Universe proves

its

Infinite Intelligence, because only

an Infinite

Intelli-

gence could create an Infinite Relational Constitution.

IV. The synchronous

Infinite Intelligibility

and
it

Infinite Intelis

ligence of the Universe prove that

an

Infinite

Subject-Object, or Infinite Self-conscious Intellect.

V. The Immanent Helational Constitution of the UniverseObject, being Infinitely Intelligible,


lutely Perfect
1.
2.

must be an Abso-

System of Nature

therefore

all.

Not Chaos, which would


Not
a mere

be no System at

Multitude of Monads or Atoms,

which would be an Unintelhgible Aggregate of


Systems.
3.

Not

a mere Machine, which

would be an Imper-

fect
4.

System.
is

But a Cosmical Organism, which


Absolutely Perfect System.

the

only

VI. The

Infinitely IntelHgible

and Absolutely Perfect Organic


is

System of Nature proves that the Universe-Object

the Eteraal, Organic, and Teleological Self-Evolution


of the Universe-Subject

the Eternal Self-Realization


Thought
in

or

Self-Fulfilment

of

Creative

Created
se.

Being

the

Infinite Life of the

Universe per

VII. The

Infinite
se

Organic and Organific Life of the Universe


it

per

proves that

is

Infinite

Wisdom and
Love

Infinite
Infinite

Will

Infinite Beatitude,

and

Infinite

Rectitude and Infinite Holiness

Infinite

Wisdom,

SYNOPSIS OF ARGUMENT.
Goodness, and Power
the Living

xxvii
Person

Infinite

Spiritual

and Life-Giving God from "VYhom All

Things Proceed.

VIII.

Therefore, the Philosophized Scientific


the only Idea of

Metl",od creates

God which can


Scientific

at

once satisfy both

Head and Heart; and

Theism creates the

only Real Reconciliation of Science and Religion.

INTRODUCTION.'

In the Preface to the Second Edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant has this remarkable passage "It has hitherto been assumed that our cognition must conform to the objects but all attempts to ascertain anything about these a priori, by means of conceptions, and thus to extend the range of our knowledge, have been rendered abortive by this assumption. Let us, then, make the experiment whether
:

not be more successful in metaphysics, if we assume that the objects must conform to our cognition. We here propose to do just what Copernicus

we may
.
.

did in attempting to explain the celestial movements. When he found that he could make no progress by

assuming that

all

the heavenly bodies revolved around

the spectator, he reversed the process, and tried the

experiment of assuming that the spectator revolved, while the stars remained at rest. We may make the same experiment with regard to the intuition of objects. If the intuition must conform to the nature of the
1
it

Reprinted from the London


title,

Mind

for October, 1882,


:

appeared with the

" Scientific Philosophy

where Theory of

Human

I^owledge."
1

2
objects, I

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

do not see how we can know anything of them a priori. If, on the other hand, the object conforms to the nature of our faculty of intuition, I can then easily conceive the possibility of such an a priori
knowledge.
.

This attempt to introduce a complete

revolution in the procedure of metaphysics, after the example of the geometricians and natural philosophers, constitutes the

aim of the Critique of Pure

Speculative Keason."

Lange, in his History of Ifaterialism (II. 156), thus alludes to the foregoing passage, and correctly states the conclusions logically deducible from it "Kant himself was very far from comparing him:

self

that

with Kepler; but he made another comparison He comis more significant and appropriate.

pared his achievement with that of Copernicus. But this achievement consisted in this, that he reversed the previous standpoint of metaphysics. Copernicus dared, 'by a paradoxical but yet true method,' to
seek the observed motions, not in the heavenly bodies, but in their observers. Not less 'paradoxical' must
lightly

appear to the sluggish mind of man, when Kant and certainly over^turns our collective experience, with all the historical and exact sciences,'^ by the simple
it

assumption that our notions do not regulate themselves according to things, but things according to our notions. It follows immediately from this that the objects of experience altogether are only our objects; that the whole objective world is, in a word, not absolute objectivity,

larly organized beings, while,

but only objectivity for man and any simibehind the phenomenal
veiled in impenetrable darkness."
1

world, the absolute nature of things, the 'thing-initself,' is

The

italics

are ours.

INTRODUCTION.

Now when the great Kant, whose towering and consummate genius there is no one to dispute, founded the Critical Philosophy on this cardinal doctrine that
" things conform to cognition, not cognition to things," and when he claimed thereby to have created a mighty

"revolution" in philosophy comparable only with that


of Copernicus in astronomy, did he really occupy a

new

philosophical standpoint, or really adopt a


?

new

philosophical method

No.
ized,

On the contrary, he merely completed, organand formulated the veritable revolution which

was
tury

initiated in the latter half of the eleventh cen-

which was by Eoscellinus the Nominalist, condemned in his person by the Kealist Council of Soissons, revived in the fourteenth century by William of Occam, and finally made triumphant in philosophy
towards the end of the fifteenth century, not so much by the inherent strength of Nominalism as by the weakness of its expiring rival, Scholastic Kealism.

The essence
universals,

Nominalism was the doctrine that or terms denoting genera and species,
of

correspond to nothing really existent outside of the

mind, but are either mere empty names (Extreme Nominalism) or names denoting mere subjective concepts (Moderate Nominalism or Conceptualism). Nominalism distinctly anticipated the Critical Philosophy in referring the source of
tions (and thereby of all
all

general concep-

human knowledge),

not to

the object alone or to the object and subject together, but to the subject alone it distinctly anticipated the
;

doctrine that "things conform to cognition, not cognition to things."

Since genera and species are

classifi-

cations of things based on their supposed resemblances

and

differences, the denial of all objective reality to

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

genera and species is the denial of all objective realof ity to the supposed resemblances and differences
things themselves
;

the denial of

all

knowledge of the

relations of objects is the denial of all knowledge of the objects related; and this denial is tantamount
to the assertion that things-in-themselves are utterly

unknown.

Wrapped up
nalism,

in the

essential

doctrine of

Komi-

therefore,

was the

doctrine that
;

things-in-

themselves are utterly unknown that the knowledge of their supposed resemblances and differences is dethat "things rived only from the supposing mind
;

conform to cognition, not cognition to things;'^ in short, that the only knowledge possible to man is the

knowledge of the a priori constitution of his own mind, and the relations which it imposes upon things (if they exist), totally irrespective of what things
really are.

than that the Critical Philosophy did but logically develop the prime tenet of Nominalism, formulate it successfully, and expand

Nothing can be

plainer, then,

it

This, a self-consistent philosophical system. The Kant. of merit true the and this alone, was
to
^'

revolution " by which philosophy was


its

made

to trans-

fundamental standpoint from the world of things to the world of thought, and in consequence of which modern philosophy in both its great schools has inherited an irresistible tendency towards Idealism, had been substantially effected and definitely
fer

established

some four hundred years before. Kant did but bring to flower and fruitage the seed sown by Roscellinus,
Nominalism.

and his

Critical

Philosophy

was

only the logical evolution and outcome of Mediaeval

INTRODUCTION.

By

into a great

Kant's masterly development of Nominalism philosophical system, it has exercised

upon subsequent speculation a constantly increasing In truth, all modern philosophy, by tacit agreement, rests upon the Nominalistic theory of uniHence alone can be explained the fact, so versals. patent and so striking, yet so little understood or even inquired into, that both the great schools of modern philosophy, the Transcendental and the Assopower.
ciational, equally exhibit in its full force the

to Idealism latent in that theory.

tendency Nominalism logi-

cally reduces all experience, actual or possible, to a

mere subjective

affection of the individual Ego,

and

does not permit even the Ego to

know

itself as

a nou-

menon. The historical development of the Critical Philosophy into the subjective idealism of Eichte, the objective idealism of Schelling, and the absolute idealism of Hegel, only shows how impossible it is for that philosophy to overstep the magic circle of Egoism with which Nominalism logically environed itself. No less striking is the inability of the English school to escape from the idealistic tendencies inherent in

one of the innumerable aliases by which Nominalism


eludes detection at the bar of contemporary thought
for Locke's successors, Berkeley,
Mills, Bain, Spencer,

its

purely subjective principle of Association

Hume,

Hartley, the

and

others, drift towards Ideal-

ism as steadily as Kant and his successors. It is, in fact, logically impossible to draw any but idealistic conclusions from the premises of Nominalism and those, too, idealistic conclusions which cannot stop

short of absolute Solipsism.

That modern philosophy

in

both

its

great branches

irresistibly tends to Idealism is a position that will

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
Dr. Krauth, in his admirable

scarcely be disputed.

of Human Knowledge of this general grounds the sums up thus (p. 122), and admitted tendency, while yet not perceiving that in the last analysis they are all reducible to the
edition of Berkeley's Pidncix^les

almost universal acceptance of the Nominalistic view of genera and species, with its implied negation of
the objectivity of relations
:

"It [Idealism] rests on generally recognized principles in regard to consciousness. Its definition of
:

consciousness

is

the one most widely received


its

the

mind's recognition of
lute

own

conditions.

It main-

tains that the cognitions of consciousness are abso-

their degree, knowledge.

and that nothing but these is, in In all these postulates the The great mass of thinkers agree with Idealism.
infallible,
is the common foundation developed philosophical thinking Idealism declares that, while con-

and

foundation of Idealism
of nearly all the of all schools.

sciousness

is

infallible,

our

interpretations

of

it,

on which we base
nearly
here.
all

inferences,
all

may

be incorrect; and

thinkers of

schools agree with Idealism

No

inference, or class of inferences, in

which

a mistake ever occurs is a basis of positive knowledge. Hence, says Idealism, only that which is directly in consciousness is positively known, and nothing
is

directly

in

consciousness
general

but

the

mind's

own

states.

Therefore
has
this

we know nothing more.


conviction

So composses-

pletely

taken

sion of the philosophical mind, that even antagonists of Idealism, who would cut it up by the roots
if

they
it

could

cut

this

up,

that

could be

done."

have not pretended (The italics are all Dr.

Krauth's.)

INTRODUCTION.
The
no
the strength of Nominalism

" strength of Idealism/' thus described by Dr.


is

no more, and special relations of things, conceived by the mind and expressed by
Krauthj
less.

If all the general

general terms, exist in the

mind
;

alone, nothing

is

knowledge of things Nominalism, thereis knowledge of their relations. fore, is the original source of the definition of knowledge adopted by Idealism, as shown above that is, the contents of consciousness alone. Inasmuch, more-

known

of things themselves

for

over, as the notion of a

common consciousness

is itself

a general notion, and consequently destitute of all


objectivity, nothing is "knowledge,'' so defined, that
is

outside of the individual consciousness.

Beginning

with ISTominalism, therefore. Idealism must end in Solipsism, on penalty of stultifying itself by arbitrary self-contradiction. This was the path marked out for
the Critical Philosophy by inexorable logic, and Fichte was more Kantian than Kant himself when he resolutely pursued it. Solipsism is the very reductio ad absurdum of Idealism, yet it is the rigorously logical consequence of its own definition of knowledge, which

again

is

the rigorously logical consequence of the

Nominalistic view of universals.


further quotation from Dr.

On

this

point,

pertinent

Krauth

will be extremely

"While Idealism has here a


which
it is

speculative strength,
it

not wise to ignore,

is

not without
for its

its

w^eakness, even at

this very point,

history

shows that it is ra.rely willing to stand unreservedly by the results of its own principle as regards consciousness. If it accept only the direct and infallible knowledge supplied in consciousness, it has no common ground left but this that there is the one train

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

of ideas, which passes in the consciousness of a parA consistent Idealist can claim to ticular individual.

know no more than


consciousness.

this

that there exist ideas in his


know

He

cannot

that he has a sub-

stantial personal existence, or that there is

any other
as

being, finite or infinite, beside himself.

And

many
we

Idealists are not satisfied with maintaining that

do not know that there is an external world, but go further, and declare that we know that there is not an external world, they must for consistency's sake hold that an Idealist knows that there is nothing, thing or
person, beside himself.
Solipsism, or absolute Egoism,
is

with the exclusion of proper personality,


inference,

the logic

of Idealism, if the inferential be excluded.


in

But

if

any degree whatever, be allowed, not only would the natural logic and natural inference of most men sweep away Idealism, but its own principle of knowledge is subverted by the terms of the suppoIdealism stands or falls by the principle that sition.
no inference is knowledge. We may reach inferences by knowledge, but we can never reach knowledge by
inference"
(p.

123).

Against both schools of modern philosophy, therefore, committed as thej^ both are to the definition of knowledge drawn from Nominalism and ending in
Solipsism,

the charge of

logical

inconsistency and

self-contradiction

may

be fairly brought, just so far as

begins with that

they hesitate to follow up the path to cloudland which definition. But any philosophy

which hesitates to be

logical forfeits all claim to the

respectful consideration of mankind. The great Koscellino-Kantian " revolution "

by which Nominalism was made to supplant Scholastic Realism, and philosophy to transfer its fundamental

INTRODUCTION.

standpoint from the world of things to the world of


thought, was a revolution which logically contracts
"

human knowledge

''

to the petty dimensions of indi-

vidual self -consciousness


constitution of the
effect reduces it to

renders

it

valueless as to
cl

things themselves and valuable only as to the


individual's

own mind

and

priori
in.

a grand hallucination. Like the French Eevolution, the Nominalistic revolution can live only by the guillotine, and decapitates every perception which
solipsist,

pretends to

bring to the miserable

shut up in the prison of his own consciousness, the slightest information as to the great outside world. Defining knowledge as the mere contents of
consciousness, it relegates to non-entity, as pseudoknowledge, whatever claims to be more than that. Under its sway, philosophy is blind to the race, and

What wonder that, in on their right to reduce theory to practice, philosophy is so often found pandering to the moral lawlessness of an Individualism that sets mere personal opinion above the supreme In human soethical sanctities of the universe ? for ciety, individual autonomy is universal antinomy with Yet, the law that binds only one binds none. Nominalism for its root. Idealism for its flower, and
beholds the individual alone. the hands of those

who

insist

Solipsism for

its fruit,

how can modern

philosophy,

teaching in both its great schools that the individual mind knows nothing except the states of its own consciousness,, discover

any law that


all

shall

nized authority over

consciousnesses ?

discovery

it is

hopelessly incompetent.
philosophical

have recogFor such a So far, therehas

fore, as the social

and moral interests of mankind are


situation

concerned, the present

become simply

intolerable.

10

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

principle of cognition

Fortunately for the future of society, however, the embodied in the Nominalistic definition of knowledge has never obtained general

assent outside of the circle of purely speculative The protest of " common sense " against it was even taken up by the Scotch school in the name

thought.

of philosophy itself

but the same Nominalism which


philoso]3hy paralyzed the Scotch
its

paralyzes
school,

all modern and the protest died on

tongue.

Without
in-

any

conscious protest,

however, though with an

" stinctive hostility to " metaphysics

and

to the phi-

losophy which

it

confounds

with " metaphysics,"

physical science has immovably planted itself on a new definition of knowledge, and fortified it impreg-

nably against

all
it

comers; and, on the principle of

establishes, universal science, carrying up the physical and the mental into the higher unity of the cosmical, is even now beginning to build

cognition which

a temple of truth destined to be coeval with the

human
1.

race.

Modern Philosophy defines knowledge as the recognition by the Ego of its own conscious states. 2. Modern Science defines knowledge as twofold,

individual knoivledge, or the mind's cognition of


own
of

its

conscious states plus


it is

its

cognition of the

Cosmos

which

a part, and universal knowledge, or the


cognitions of the

sum

of all

human

Cosmos which

have been substantiated by verification and certified by the unanimous consensus of the competent. This latter definition may never have been formulated before, but
it

is

tacitly

assumed

in all investiga-

tions conducted according to the scientific

and the results


invalidated,
if

method completely would be of that method

the definition itself should be essen-

INTRODUCTION.
tially erroneous.

11
its

Science does not present

truths

as anybody's "states of consciousness," but as cosmical facts, acknowledgment of wliicb is binding

upon all sane minds. The principle of cognition on which it proceeds is utterly antagonistic to the ISTominalism which denies all objectivity to genera and it is drawn from Realism alone, not the species Scholastic Eealism of the Middle Ages, but the Scientihc Realism or Relationism which will be explained below. Nominalism teaches that things conform to Scientific Realism cognition, not cognition to things
:

teaches that cognition conforms to things, not things It is futile to seek a reconciliation of to cognition.
these positions
insoluble.
''
;

the contradiction

is

absolute

and
as

Modern
which
;

philosoj^hy counts

nothing

known

"

is

sciousness

modern

outside of the individual conscience presents as " known " a

which only an insignificant within the narrow comprised to-day be can fraction
vast mass of truths, of
limits of a single consciousness,

and which in their

totality can be contained only in the universal

mind Under the influence of the all-prevailing Nominalism of the present day, philosophy has, and must have, its beginning-point in the individual Ego
of man.
;

under the influence of its own unsuspected Realism, science begins with a Cosmos of which the individual Ego is merely a part. The one is exclusively and
narrowly subjective, just so far as it is logically faithful to its own clearly proclaimed principle of cognition the other is objective, in a sense so broad as to include the subjective within itself. In truth, so far was the old battle of Nominalism and Realism from
;

being fought out by the end of the fifteenth century, that it is to-day the deep, underlying problem of

12

SCIENTIFIC THEISM,

life of
it

problems, on the right solution of which depends the philosophy itself in the ages to come. But let

not be forgotten that the old Eealism of Scholasticism is by no means the new Realism of Science the former perished as rightfully before Nominalism as
;

'

Nominalism itself will perish before the latter. That the scientific point of view is a thoroughly objective one, and that the cosmical facts discovered by science can by no means be made to vanish in the
universal solvent of Nominalistic subjectivism, easily
appears.

One

or

two

illustrations will suffice.

Prof. Jevons, in the Princi2:>les of Science (3d ed.,

pp.

8, 9), thus speaks of the objective validity of mathematical formulae


;

A mathematician certainly does treat of symbols, but only as the instruments whereby to facilitate his reasoning concerning quantities and as the axioms
"
;

and rules of mathematical science must be

verified in

concrete objects in order that the calculations founded

upon them may have any


the things themselves.
terior objects
.

validity or utility,

it

follows

that the ultimate objects of mathematical science are


.
.

Signs, thoughts,

and ex-

may
is

be regarded as parallel and analo-

gous series of phenomena, and to treat any one of the


three series

equivalent to treating either of the

other series."
Prof. Tyndall, in his Light and Electricity (pp. 60, thus illustrates the unhesitating and uncondi-

61),

tional objectivity with

which the science of physics

presents

its

truths, as facts
:

and actually known Cosmos


"

of a veritably existent

justification of a theory consists in its exclucompetence to account for phenomena. On such a basis the Wave Theory, or the Undulatory Theory

The

sive

INTRODUCTION.
of Light,

13

now

makes
stance
it

its
is

and every day's experience only This subfoundations more secure.


rests,
. .
.

called the luminiferous ether.


;

It fills space

surrounds the atoms of bodies it extends, without solution of continuity, through the humors of the
of vibration.

eye.

The molecules of luminous bodies are in a state The vibrations are taken up by the

These ether, and transmitted through it in waves. waves impinging on the retina excite the sensation."

same point

Prof. Cooke, in his Neiv Chemistry^ illustrates the still more strikingly and emphatically,
:

with reference to the atomic theory "The new chemistry assumes as its fundamental postulate that the magnitudes we call molecules are but this is the only postulate. Grant the realities
;

postulate,

and you will find that

all
it,

the rest follows

and the 'New Chemistry' can have no meaning for you, and it is not worth your while to pursue the subject further. If, therefore, we would become imbued with the spirit
as a necessary deduction.

Deny

of the

new philosophy

of chemistry,
;

we must

begin

by believing

in molecules

arid,

if

I have succeeded

in setting forth in a clear light the fundamental truth that the molecules of chemistry are definite masses of

matter, whose weight can be^ accurately determined,

our time has been well spent." Kem ember ing that the weight of the hydrogen-

atom

is

taken as

the,

unit of molecular weight, or

microcrith, and that, according to calculations based

on the figures of Sir William Thomson, this atom weighs approximately, in decimals of a gramme,
0.000,000,000,000,000,000,000,109,312,
tillionths of a

or

109,312 oc-

gramme, one can easily perceive the

impossibility of construing this utterly unimaginable

14

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

quantity under any terms expressive of human conTo consciousness it is equivalent to absosciousness. but the " New Chemistry " demands belief lute zero
;

an actual quantity in Nature, an objectively existent reality in a Cosmos not resolvable into consciousness by any Nominalistic legerdemain. It would be superfluous to cite further passages in order to illustrate the thoroughly objective spirit,
in
it

as

method, and results of modern science, as contrasted with those of modern philosophy. All scientific investigations are founded on a theory diametrically namely, that things can opposed to that of Kant be known, though incompletely known, as they are in themselves, and that cognition must conform itself to
:

them, not they to


lation

it.

This

is

the philosophical trans-

of the principle of verification.

The Nomi-

nalism that inculcates the contrary doctrine is an excrescence upon modern philosophy, a cancerous

tumor feeding upon


its

Science has achieved all its life. marvellous triumphs by practically denying the fundamental principle laid down by Kant, and by

practically proceeding
it

upon

its

exact opposite

and

is

a scandal to philosophy that she has not yet

legitimated this practical procedure, overwhelmingly


justified as it is

by

its

incontrovertible results.

The

time has come for philosophy to reverse the Koscellino-Kantian revolution, and give to science a theory of knowledge which shall render the scientific method,
not practically successful (for that
theoretically impregnable
it

already

is),

but

The present

article is the

beginning of an attempt in that direction.


clearer the nature of the problem

glance

at the course of speculation in the past will render

which philosophy

has

now

to solve.

INTRODUCTION,
II.

15

pre-Socratic philosophy of Greece was unqualiKealism, of a naive and primitive type. The earlier Ionic philosophers, Thales, Anaximander, and
fied

The

Anaximenes, sought only to generalize the phenomena


of the outer world, as products of a single original cause or principle (dpx^) water, undifferentiated

chaotic matter

(ro

airupov),
its

air,

but

they never

dreamed of doubting

objective

existence.

The

Pythagoreans sought the causal unity of the universe in its most general relations, as number, proportion, harmony, order, law, which they conceived as at once
the abstract and concrete directive force of nature
their cosmology their

was no

less

objective than that of

predecessors.

The
Elea,

Eleatics,

menides,
illimitable

Zeno of

Melissus,
;

Xenophanes, Parmaintained the

principle of objective

Monism

their

kol

Trai/

was

every positive attribute save that of thought, while the manifold appearances under which it presents itself
to man were only mere seeming and delusion. But there was no element of subjectivism in their cosmology ; they attributed to the Cosmos permanence

and immutable Being, devoid of

without change, unity without multiplicity, as


constitutive

its

objective

principle.

Heraclitus
fire,

that the principle of all things was


ceaseless

taught as the type of

oppobut his cosmology was none the less objective because he discovered in it only change without permanence, multiplicity without
(TrdvTa x^pet), in

and universal change


;

sition to the Eleatics

unity.

Eleatic
less

Empedocles sought to mediate between the and Heraclitean views by positing four changeelements, air, earth, fire, and water, with two con-

15

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

stant forces, love and hate, and by conceding endless chano-e in the combinations and mutual relations of but he was these permanent factors of creation
;

wholly as realistic and objective as his predecessors. The Atomists, Leucippus and Democritus, offered a strictly mechanical ex^^lanation of Nature, attributing independent objective reality to the atoms which
alone remained changeless in the midst of eternal change. Anaxagoras in a certain sense summed up
all

the preceding philosophies in his own, by means

of his theory of ojaoto^epctat or semina rerum, while he introduced a new principle in the assumption of an

immaterial vov^ as the moving and guiding cause of the universe and he, too, was unreservedly objective
;

in his cosmology.

With the Sophists, however, appeared the first symptoms of true subjectivism and they may be
;

regarded as the forerunners of Nominalism, though only in a feeble, crude, and undeveloped sense. The Sophists had no system, no school, no determinate
principle save that of scepticism as to objective truth

and paradoxical acquiescence


true or equally false.
structive
distillation of
all

in all opinions as equally

Their movement was the defixed conviction in the

heats of logomachy and interminable word-quibbling. They had nothing in common save a certain unity of
spirit

and method a spirit of universal scepticism, and a method of adroit disputation by the employment of double meanings and ambiguous middle
Sceptics in philosophy, anarchists in ethics, their greatest historical merit is that of having polarized and called into activity the noble intellect of

terms.

Socrates.

ism at

all

They held no definite theory of subjectivbut the manner in which they evacuated

INTRODUCTION.

17

general terms of all fixed meaning and all objective


validity

challenged and

arrested

the

attention of

Socrates, as the true secret of their plausibility

and

bewildering success in debate.

It

was

this fact that

fixed and determined the direction taken by this mighty genius. The Sophists practically, though not
theoretically, anticipated the Nominalists in conced-

ing only subjective validity to generic and specific


terms, which constitute the very alphabet of knowl-

edge

and Socrates, piercing to the

ulterior conse-

quences of this procedure in the dissolution of all intellectual verity and all moral obligation, rose, like
his time

a giant in his strength, to combat a great tendency of which threatened to cause the fatty degener-

ation of Greek civilization, the melancholy decay of

Greek thought and

life.

The astounding
struggle
is

success of Socrates in this great

the most splendid

monument

to the

power
re-

of individual genius that the history of philosophy

can show.

Alone and unaided, he checked and

versed the Nominalistic revolution already far advanced, annihilated the Sophists as a practical power
in philosophy,

and determined the course of speculaother victory such as this was ever

tion for a millennium and a half in the direction of

Eealism.

No

won

in the annals of

human thought

and yet what

histo-

rian of philosophy has perceived,


it

much

less celebrated

dominant Nominalism of modern philosophy has given place to the dawning New Eealism of modern science a day
?

It will never be appreciated until the

perhaps less distant than

now

appears.

What

gave

success to Socrates in this vast encounter was the fact

that he planted himself on an immovable rock, the


objective significance

and validity of general terms,

18
as

SCIENTIFIC THEISM,

opposed to their purely subjective import and Even Schwegler, blind as he is to the enorvalue. mous importance of the struggle between ]^ominalism

and Kealism
he devotes
thought "
are his).

which in his History of Philoso2^hy than one page !), says of Socrates that " there begins with him the philosojohy of objective
(to

less

(p.

38,

Stirling's

translation

the

italics

explicitly declares in the Metafhysics (XII. 4) that " Socrates was engaged in form-

Aristotle

ing systems in regard to the ethical or moral virtues, and was the first to institute an investigation in

regard to the univjersal definition of these.


are
justly ascribe to Socrates

There two improvements in science which one might


. .

allude to his employ-

ment

of inductive arguments and his definition of the


. .
.

universal.

Socrates did not,

it is

true, constitute

universals a thing involving a separate subsistence, nor did he regard the definitions as such the other
;

philosophers, however, invested


subsistence."

them with a separate


attribute

But Socrates did

universal

objective

authority to

the virtues he defined;

he

refuted the Sophistic construction of them as merely subjective he repudiated the Sophistic notion that
;

nothing

good or bad by nature (<j!)uorci), but only by statute (vo>a)), and vindicated the objectivity of general terms in some sense, without reaching that
is

luminous

doctrine

of

the
it

objectivity

of

relations

which alone explains

clearly.

That Socrates con-

ceived of universals as objective realities, without arriving at any definite conclusions as to the mode of
this reality, sufficiently appears

from the subsequent

course of Plato and Aristotle, both of whom inherited from Socrates the undefined objectivity of universals,

and each of

whom

proceeded to define

it

in his

own

INTRODUCTION.
way.
nalism
feat

19

The point
let loose

to be here specially noted is the fact

that Socrates rolled

back the advancing tide of Nomiby the Sophists, accomplished the

tively valid

by means of the definition of universals as objecand real, and stamped the thought of fifteen hundred years with the impress of his own
Eealism.

The impending Nominalistic revolution having been the great questhus definitely arrested by Socrates, by him to bequeathed been tion of universals having

succeeding generations for a full and final solution, the existence of an objective outer world was a com-

undisputed premise among his followers. In particular, the assumption of the objective reality

mon and

of genera and species, as necessarily involved in that of a cognizable outer world, and as constituting the
objective ground of all general terms, became a common point of departure to Plato and Aristotle. But,

while Plato erected on this assumption his theory of Ideas, Aristotle erected on it his opposing theory of

Essences or Forms
particularly

to which reference will


below.

be more

made

Both

the Platonic and

Aristotelian points of view were fundamentally and equally objective, and equally alien to the point

occupied by modern philosophy since the triumph of Nominalism over Realism, when the tides of thought began to set irresistibly in the direction of
subjectivism.

some extent the influence of the Sophists in their theory of universals. They discarded alike the Platonic theory of Ideas and the Aristotelian theory of Forms, and were apparently the first

The

Stoics betrayed to

to proclaim distinctly the doctrine of subjective concepts,

formed through abstraction.

This doctrine,

20

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

however, did not attain in their hands a full logical development into the theory of Nominalism in fact,
;

it

did not at

all

prevent the Stoics from advancing to

the construction of a positively objective cosmology and theology of their own; and, although with a
serious logical inconsistency, they maintained on the whole an objective point of view. The Epicureans, with their doctrine of the atoms

and the truth of

all

perceptions of matter,

may

be

considered quite free from the tendency to subjectivism, so far as the present discussion
is

concerned.

The

Sceptics

the

earlier

with their " Ten Tropes,''

did not so and the later with their ^' Five Tropes " much deny the existence of an outer world as the trustworthiness of human knowledge of it, and advanced no definite doctrine respecting universals. They occupied mainly negative and critical ground, and exerted no great influence in that controversy. Their arguments mostly rest on the assumption of
Eealisra.

During the third great period of Greek philosophy,


including the
Grseco-Judaic,

the

Neo-Pythagorean,

and the Neo-Platonic schools, the predominant tendency was pre-eminently objective, since the mystical
or theosophical contemplation of a Divine Transcendent Object by means of the '^ ecstatic intuition " is

incompatible with an exclusive subjectivity.

Theoso-

phy, in fact, tends to reduce the subject to a state of

pure passivity, and to absorb him completely in contemplation of the Object of worship.

In no period of Greek philosophy, therefore, did


the Nominalistic tendency gain

much

force or headIts

way

after

it

had once been checked by Socrates.

hour had not yet come.

INTRODUCTION.
Passing now to
tlie

21
it

Christian Era,

may

be said

that the Patristic period was devoted to the development of systematic or dogmatic theology, without
interference from pagan philosophy after the closing
of the School at Athens, in a.d. 529,

by edict of the emperor Justinian. Since dogmatic theology, by the very nature of its conceptions, is unqualifiedly objective, the Patristic and in main the Scholastic periods are chiefly noticeable here as having carried the principle of objectivity to so abnormal and oppressive a degree of development as to cause speculation to rebound to the opposite extreme. The creation of a great body of doctrine held by the Catholic Church to be the absolute and unmixed truth of God, and the terrible intolerance with which the Church stamped out all dissent from this fixed standard of belief, inevitably tended to excite a reaction against it, in proportion to the mental activity of the age. Moreover, the Church had planted itself in philosophy upon the

was equally no Church. There of the theology less than against the is no room for wonder, then, at the fact that the cause of Nominalism came to be identified with the cause of intellectual and religious freedom, and the triumph of the one with the triumph of the other. Consequently it is to the Scholastic period, and to the rise of the great controversy between Eealism and Nominalism the former representing Catholic orthodoxy and the that must be traced the beginlatter heterodoxy, ning of the general subjective movement of modern philosophy, although this movement did not gain full headway till after the downfall of Scholasticism, when victorious Nominalism had time to deEealism of Plato and Aristotle
;

and

it

inevitable that the reaction should be against this,

22

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
all

velop unrestrained

the latent tendencies

it

involved.

Tennemann has significantly and truly said that this momentous controversy was " never definitely settled." The reason is that both sides were right, yet neither
wholly so; they did but bequeath to later times a problem they could not solve. Disguised as it is by new forms and new names, the immeasurably important issue between objectivism and subjectivism involved in that ancient controversy survives to-day.

Nominalism, by virtue of the truth it contained and the freedom it represented, conquered Realism in philosophy, and culminated in the splendid genius of Kant Eealism, by virtue of the truth it too contained, conquered Nominalism in science, created an army of experimental investigators of Nature, and culminated in the establishment of the scientific method, which, though as yet purely practical and empirical, demands with increasing emphasis from philosophy a theory of knowledge that shall justify Here is the explanation of the wide it in all eyes. divergence, the virtual divorce and even antagonism, which is so patent a fact to all who look beneath the surface of things, between science and philosophy. All the intellectual interests of mankind must suffer greatly, until the breach is effectually healed and the first step to the reconciliation so much to be desired must be a clear comprehension of the causes which have created the division. Hence the
;

necessity of
Scholasticism.

surveying

the

ancient

battle-field

of

The proximate

origin of the great mediaeval dispute

over the nature of universals seems to have been a passage at the commencement of Porphyry's Introduction
to Aristotle's treatise

on the

Categories,

known

at the

INTRODUCTION.

23

time only through the Latin translation of Boethius, in which these three problems were stated, but not elucidated, with respect to genera and species:
"1.

Whether they have a substantive

existence, or re-

naked mental conceptions. 2. Whether, assuming them to have substantive existence, they are bodies or incorporeals. 3. AVhether their substantive existence is in and along with the objects of sense, or apart and separable." Neglecting minor distinctions, refinements and subtilties, and without following the
side merely in

long and tedious course of the dispute, it will amply suffice for present purposes to state concisely the five leading positions maintained by different philosophers
of the Scholastic period, as follows 1, Extreme Kealism {Universalia ante rem) taught
:

that universals were substances or things, existing independently of and separable from particulars or individuals.

Ideas,

This was the essence of Plato's Theory of and Plato was the father of Extreme Eealism
Scotus Erigena,

as held in the Scholastic period.

who

died A.D. 880, was the

first to

revive this doctrine in

the

Schools,

borrowing from the Pseudo-Dionysius


(JJniversalia

Areopagita.
2.

Moderate Eealism

in

re)

also

taught that universals were substances, but only as dependent upon and inseparable from individuals, in

which each inhered; that

is,

each universal inhered

This in each of the particulars ranged under it. the theory of Aristotle, who held that the To8e

was
or

individual thing was the First Essence, while universals were only Second Essences, real in a less complete sense

than Eirst Essences. He thus reversed the Platonic doctrine, which attributed the fullest reality to universals only, and a merely " participative " reality to

24

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

Until Scotus Erigena resuscitated the individuals. Platonic theory, Aristotle's was the received doctrine and the warfare was simply between in the Schools
;

those two forms of Eealism prior to the advent of


Koscellinus.
3.

Extreme Nominalism

(Universalla

j^ost

retii)

taught that universals had no substantive or objective existence at all, but were merely empty names or words (nomi?ia, voces, flatus vocis). Though probably not the
absolute originator of this sententia vocum, as the doctrine came to be called, Eoscellinus, Canon of Compiegne,

was the first to give it currency and notoriety, and the Council of Soissons, under the influence of
the Eealist

Anselm of Canterbury, his chief oppohim in the year 1092 to recant the tritheistic interpretation of the Trinity, which he had The theory consistently and courageously avowed. of Extreme Nominalism was thus put under the
nent, forced
ecclesiastical ban.
4.

Moderate

Nominalism

or

Coxceptualism

{Universalla post rem) taught that universals have no substantive existence at all, but yet are more than

really,

mere names signifying nothing; and that they exist though only subjectively, as concepts in the mind, of which names are the vocal symbols. Abailard is claimed by some, but probably incorrectly, as the author of this modification of the Nominalistic view William of Occam, who died in 1347, seems to have
been the
it.

chief, if not the earliest,

representative of

The Encyclopcedia Britan7iica (XVI. 284, 8th ed.) " The theory termed Conceptualism, or concepsays
:

tual Nominalism,

was really the one maintained by all succeeding Nominalists, and is the doctrine of ideas
generally believed in at the present day."

INTRODUCTION.
5.

25

Albertus

(died 1274),
all

Magnus (died 1280), Thomas Aquinas Duns Scotus (died 1308), and others, fused
:

exist in a three-fold

these views into one, and taught that universal manner Universalia ante rem, as

thoughts in the mind of

God

Universalia in

re,

as the
;

essence (quiddity) of things, according to Aristotle and Universalia post rem, as concepts in the sense of

Moderate Nominalism. This is to-day the orthodox philosophy of the Catholic Church, as opposed to the prevailingly exclusive Conceptualism of the Protestant world.

Thus both Extreme Eealism and Moderate Eealism maintained the objective reality of genera and species while both Extreme Nominalism and Moderate Nominalism maintained that genera and species possess no
;

objective reality at

all.

In contrast with
as a

all

the views above presented, an-

now be stated, which, taken whole and with reference to the vitally important consequences it involves, is believed to be both novel
other and sixth view will

and
6.

true.

Eelationism or Scientific Eealism (of which may be adopted as an apt formula) teaches that universals, or genera and species, are, first,
universalia inter res
objective relations of resemblance

among

objectively

existing things; secondly, subjective concepts of these


relations,

themselves
of the
alike
in
all

determined in the mind by the relations and, thirdly, names representative both
;

relations

to

both.

and the concepts, and applicable This is the view logically implied
classifications

scientific

of

natural

objects,

regarded
But,
success
in

as

objects

of

real

scientific

knowledge.

although

empirically employed

the investigation of Nature^

with dazzling it does not

26

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

appear to have been ever theoretically generalized


or stated.

This view rests for

its justification

upon a broader

principle; namely, that of the OhjectiuiUj of Relations, as opposed to the principle of the Suhjectivlty of Relations,

which

is

of universals inculcated
distinctly

the essence of the Nominalistic doctrine by modern philosophy. Kant


of the

made "Eelation" one

four forms

of the logical judgment which determine the twelve

"categories of the understanding;"

^.e.,

the a 2yriori

forms of thought, totally independent of "things-inthemselves/' and applicable to them only so far as they are objects of a possible "experience," which,
however, reveals nothing of their real nature. This doctrine that relations do not inhere at all in " thingsin-themselves," but are simply imposed

the

upon them by form of phenomena, is strictly deducible from the ISTominalistic doctrine that general terms, by which rela-

mind

in experience as the purely subjective

tions are expressed, correspond to nothing objectively


real

and Kant's master-mind is nowhere more clearly apparent than in the subtilty and profundity with which he thus seized the prevalent but undeveloped
;

Nominalism of the modern period, and erected it into the most imposing philosophical system of the
world.
tions,

By

this doctrine of the Subjectivity of Eela-

Kant reduced the outer world to utterly unknown Dinge-an-sich, and paved the way for his still
more thorough-going
disciple,

Fichte, to

deny their

very existence, and thereby to take a great stride in conducting Nominalism to its only logical terminus,
Solipsism.

The

principle

of

Eelationism, however, rests on


:

these self-evident propositions

INTRODUCTION.
1.

27

Eelations are absolutely inseparable from their

terms.
2.

The

relations of things

are

absolutely insepa-

rable from the things themselves. 3. The relations of things must exist where the

things themselves are,

whether

objectively in the

Cosmos or subjectively
4.

in the mind.

If things exist objectively, their relations

must

exist

objectively;

but

if

their

relations are merely

subjective,

the things

themselves must be merely

subjective.
5.

There

is

ing the

objectivity

no logical alternative between affirm, of relations in and with that

and denying the objectivity of things in and with that of relations. For instance, a triangle consists of six elements, three sides and three angles. The sides are things;
of things,
relations of greater or less the angles are relations divergence between the sides. If the sides exist obbut jectively, the, angles must exist objectively also
;

the angles are merely subjective, so must the sides be also. To affirm that the sides are objective realities, even as incognizable things-in-themselves, while
if

yet the angles, as relations, have only a subjective existence, is the ne plus ultra of logical absurdity. Yet Kantianism, Nominalism, and all Nominalistic

philosophy
bility of

(if

they admit so much as the bare possi-

the existence of things-in-themselves) are

driven irresistibly to that very conclusion. In short, it is because modern philosophy rests exclusively on the basis of Nominalism, of which the
only logical terminus
is

absolute Egoistic Idealism or


rests

Solipsism, and because modern science

excluaffirm

sively on the basis of Eelationism, that

we

28

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

unqualifiedly an irreconcilable antagonism between the two just so long as their respective bases remain

unchanged.

It

seems needless, but

may

be neverthe-

less advisable, to point

out explicitly that Eelationism

carefully shuns the great error of Scholastic Eealism, i.e., the hypostatization of universals as substances,
it teaches that genera and species only as relations, and that things but exist objectively,

entities, or things

and

relations constitute

two

great, distinct orders of

objective reality, inseparable in existence, yet distin-

guishable in thought.

The philosophic value


tionism
lays
still

of the principle of Eelain

is

strikingly

illustrated
it

the

ease

with

which, applied as a key,


bare
the

unlocks the secret and


of

signification

the

ancient

unfinished

controversy

between Eealism

and and

Nominalism. 1. It shows that Extreme Eealism was right in


upholding the objectivity of universals, but wrong in classing them as independent and separable substances or things.
2.

It

shows that Moderate Eealism was right in

upholding the objectivity of universals, but wrong in making them inherent in individuals as individuals (in re) rather than in individuals as groups
(inter res).

Eelations do not

inhere in either of
all

the related terms taken singly, but do inhere in

the terms taken collectively.


3.

in

It shows that Extreme Nominalism was right denying the objectivity of universals as sub-

stances or things

(the great error of its opponent),

and right in affirming the existence of universals as names but wrong in denying their objectivity as relations and their subjectivity as concepts.
;

INTRODUCTION.
4. It

29

shows that Moderate Nominalism or Conceptuas

alism was right in denying the objectivity of universals


their

substances,

and

also
;

right

in

affirming

subjectivity as concepts

but wrong in deny-

ing their objectivity as relations. Thus every element of truth is gathered up, and

every element of error

is

eliminated, by rejecting the

four historic theories already recapitulated, together

with the merely syncretistic


stituting in their place the

of Eelationism.
siveness,

Its

fifth theory, and by subpropounded sixth theory precision, lucidity, comprehen-

and adequacy to account for all the facts, will become so evident to any one patient enough to

master it fully in all its bearings, as to warrant the indulgence of a hope that it may permanently solve the great problem declared by Tennemann to have
never been
'^

definitely settled."

III.

Scholasticism fell, the theory of Eelationism Each of the competing to no one. occurred had theories discerned the weakness of its rivals, yet could not discern its own, and was therefore unable
to
arrive at the real truth respecting universals. Consequently, as has just been pointed out, the truth was divided among them. Nominalism gradually won the ascendency among philosophers in the form of Conceptualism while Eelationism became, not indeed
;

When

a received theory, since as a theory it did not yet exist, but yet the unformulated and empirical principle of the actual practice of scientific observers, ex-

perimenters, and investigators of nature.

divorced

itself

from a true

objectivity,

Philosophy and surren-

30

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

dered itself to subjectivism in the form of Moderate Nominalism; while science, ceasing to philosophize, turned its back upon the barren metaphysics of the schools, because they could yield no objective knowledge, and learned the sad lesson of contempt for
philosophy
itself.

period of transition followed the downfall of Scholasticism, full of confusion and conflicting tendencies.

philosophies

Spasmodic resuscitation of various ancient Aristotelianism in a more accurately

known

cureanism, &c.

form, Platonism, Neo-Platonism., Stoicism, Epiensued but these revived systems

did not materially contribute to the growth of the


subjective tendenc}^, since, as has been shown, ancient philosophy in the post-Socratic periods had been prevailingly objective in all its forms.

The

true origin

of the increasing subjectivism

of

philosophy, and

therefore the true secret of the increasing repugnance of science for philosophy itself, lay in the triumph
of

Nominalism over the


its

relatively inferior

Eealism of

the Middle Ages, in

denial of all objective knowl-

edge save of particulars as isolated and unrelated^ and in its claim of a strictly subjective genesis for universals as concepts or names alone. Philosophy in
this

manner stripped the objective world of every-

thing that was really intelligible


relations of all kinds
;

genera,

species,
all phi-

while science, bereft of

losophical aid, took refuge in a rude sort of

common
all

sense and fortified itself in a spirit of defiance to


speculative thought.

Bacon's popularity rested really


:

on no stronger foundation he merely headed an unreasoning revolt against Nominalism, hardly knowing what he did, yet practically rendering an immense service by rallying the enterprising and curious spirits

INTRODUCTION.

31

" induction." He of the time about the standard of too joined in the wide-spread outcry against Aristotle and his followers, mistakenly believing that Aristotle

was really responsible for the Nominalism of the age which he vaguely felt to be the chief obstacle to The results of this open feud between sciscience.
ence and philosophy were disastrous to both in the end; for, while the latter tended steadily towards Idealism and Solipsism, the former as steadily tended towards Materialism. For the time being, however,
the revolt of science against philosophy was most
salutary.

While science adopted a purely empirical objective method, took Nature for granted, investigated things and their relations by observation and experiment on the hypothesis of their equal objectivity, and entered
on a career of dazzling conquest, without troubling itself to invent any philosophical justification for a

method

so

prolific

of

discoveries

as

to

silence

all

by the brilliancy of its achievecriticism ments, philosophy had already entered upon a path wdiich led indeed to the construction of numerous
or
cavil

subjective systems of unsurpassed ability, yet to none

that could endure.

The history

of philosophy has

been for three centuries only a succession of gaylycolored pictures, each more startlingly beautiful than the last, yet each doomed to disappear at the next turn of the kaleidoscope. While science can proudly point to a vast store of verified and established truths, which it is a liberal education to have learned and the merest lunacy to impugn, philosojjhy has achieved
nothing that
in method.
is

permanently established.
is

The cause

of this vast difference in result

a radical difference Objectivism, albeit solely empirical, has

'62

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
the glory
of

created

science;

subjectivism,

albeit

elaborately and ostentatiously reasoned, lias created

the shame of philosophy.

And

philosophy can never

redeem
until
it

itself

from this shame of utter barrenness rei)udiates subjectivism with Nominalism, its
of Scholasticism
is

cause.

The epoch

closed by the death of Gabriel Biel, the


lastic," in 1495,

regarded by some as ^^ last Scho-

when Nominalism had acquired almost


Scholasticism had
it,

undisputed sway.

Now
been, as

the essential method of

Tennemann

well expresses

to

"draw

all

knowledge from conceptions.'^ So long as Eealism flourished, and universals, as entities, were held to
possess substantial objective
existence, the analysis

of concepts, independently of experience or veritication,

was held

to yield real

tive

correlates

knowledge of their objec-

mistake impossible to the

New

Eealism or Eelationism.
destroyed the objectivity

But when Nominalism had of universals, it had also


:

destroyed the possibility of deriving objective knowl-

dilemma thus arose either it must be attained otherwise than by the mere analysis of concepts as such. But how ? In this manner was developed a new and momentous problem, that of the Origin of Knowledge, which now displaced the old and still unsolved problem of the Nature of Universals not at all fortuitously, but logically and inevitably as a direct result of the triumph of Nominalism. Nominalism had answered the old question after its own manner by resolving universals into merely subjective notions and this answer, false as it was, was accepted as satisfactory.
objective

edge from concepts.

knowledge

is

unattainable, or

INTRODUCTION.
But the acceptance of
sequences.
it

33

involved some

awkward

con-

knowledge cannot be derived from concepts, whence can it be derived ? Or is there no such thing as objective knoAvledge ? Science met these questions by boldly adopting the
If objective

principle of Objective Verification

principle

de-

pending absolutely for its philosophical justification on the theory of Kelationism, but adopted by Bacon

and the inductionists

in general as a purely empirical

method, in utter indifference to such justification. From that time forward, scientific men have quietly

assumed the objectivity of

relations,

and steadily

pursued the path of discovery in total disregard of the disputes of metaphysicians not, however, with-

out a serious loss to science itself, in the growth and spread of the false belief that science can legitimately
deal only with physical investigations,
scientific
sciences.'^

and that the

method has no

applicability in the " higher

into

But philosophy met the same questions by dividing two hostile camps. The sufficiency of the ISTomianswer to the question of universals

nalistic

they are exclusively of subjective origin


for granted
;

was

that
taken

of all

by both parties genera, species, relations kinds, were unanimously conceded to possess
Logically, this
;

no objective validity whatever.


total surrender of
all

is

the

objective knowledge

and in

the long run modern philosophy has come to accept


this result, as

shown by the almost entire unanimity modern philosophers in the opinion that thingsin-them selves, or noumena, are utterly incognoscible. But it is impossible to maintain this opinion in logical consistency, and on this point not a single logically
of
consistent philosopher can be pointed out
3
;

if

he can

"

34

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

be found, he will prove to be an inexorably rigorous Solipsist, not afraid to deny the existence of all minds save his own, no less than that of the material world.

would be refreshing to meet with a subjectivist possessed of the courage of his opinion but he would
It
;

be the terror of

all his brother-subjectivists,

perhaps a

candidate for premature interment.

The division that now arose and separated modern philosophy into two great contending parties did not concern the question whether knowledge originated in for both parties agreed the object or in the subject,

in the Nominalistic answer to

this

question,
it

but

whether, in the subject mind


the senses or in the intellect.

itself,

originated in

That was the great new question started at the recognized dawn of modern philosophy by Descartes and Locke and both parties to the controversy, both the a jyriori and the a lyosterlori schools, were equally switched off upon the false track of Nominalism that conducts to Egoism or to nothings Descartes' theory of " innate ideas " encountered a
;

vigorous rival in Locke's theory of


limited to the data of
" sensation

experience as
reflection
;

and

warfare that

and thus the two armies took position for the long is resultless still. There is not the
slightest occasion, for the purposes of this paper, to

follow the course of this dispute, or to repeat the

has been maintained.

argumentation and counter-argumentation by which it The point of view here taken is that both these famous schools have logically immured themselves in the dungeon of subjectivism, and
are utterly powerless to release themselves
;

that the

one

just as incompetent as the other to explain the " origin of knowledge " about which they have been
is
;

contending so long

and

that, like

Venus and Mars

INTRODUCTION.

35

suspended in Vulcan's cage to provoke the " inextinguishable laughter" of the Odyssean gods, they do but enact a farce at which philosophy hangs her head.
Travelling round the same circle of subjectivism in
opposite directions, these two schools are fated to
re-unite

the stand-point of Absolute Egoistic Idealism.

on the farther rim in one identical point That

is the only possible terminus of a subjectivism that, beginning with the definition of knowledge as only

the mind's recognition of

the logic of
is

its

its own own fundamental

states, dares to

principle

obey and what

the philosophy worth that contradicts itself ?

No

Ego as sole starting-point will fail to end with the Ego as sole terminus, unless he stoops to unworthy tricks or
sequent thinker
begins with the
evasions; and that
is

who

the suicide of philosophy.

The triumph of Nominalism did indeed force upon thought a new problem in the question of the " origin
of knowledge
;

" but great

is

the delusion of the two

schools which imagine the solution of that question to


lie

with one of themselves.


priori school started with Descartes* Cogito

The a
ergo

that is, with an original positing of the Ego The a posteriori an individual thinking being. school started with Locke's " sensation " that is, with an original positing of the Ego as an individual feeling being. That is essentially the only difference the difference between beginning with individual thought or individual feeling as the prior element

sum ;

as

of individual consciousness,
trivial difference indeed,

both

beginnings being

But this is a compared with the abysmal difference between both these egoistic schools, on the one hand, and modern science, on the other for here
equally and incontrovertibly egoistic.
;

36
the issue

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

namely, is a broad, deep, fundamental one whether the real "origin of knowledge " is in the Ego Knowledge itself, in or in the Non-Ego, or in both. the conception of both these Nominalistic schools, is confined to the series of changes that go on in consciousness and all their mutual discussions are mere child's-play, compared with the discussions that await philosophy the moment she comes abreast of the
;

time.

Science is to-day challenging emphatically the very foundation of both a j^riorl and a posteinori philosophies and the challenge is none the less menacing or deep-toned, because it has been hitherto uttered in deed rather than word. She denies, not by a theory
;

as yet, but

by the erection of a vast and towering


knowledge, that genera

edifice of verified objective

and species are devoid of objective reality, or that general terms are destitute of objective correlates;
she denies that Nominalism has rightly solved the

problem of universals, when that solution would in an instant, if conceded, sweep away all that she has won from Nature by the sweat of her brow. Her very existence is the abundant vindication of Relationism, knowledge as the stable and solid foundation of real
stands, of an objective universe. As the case now on philosophy has two great schools, equally founded
possibility of a reasoned subjectivism which denies the cosmos existent knowing, in any degree, an objectively on the immovably rests as it really is while science proves and cosmos, a such fact that she actually knoivs
;

which by verification the reality of that knowledge Science denies. emphatically and loudly philosophy must be all a huge illusion, if philosophy is right
philosophy
is

a sick man's dream,

if

science

is

right.

INTRODUCTION.
One
or the other
;

37

must speedily effect a total change of and it is safe to predict that the change will not be made by science. Three answers are given, therefore, to the question as to the Origin of Knowledge two by Nominalism, with its two schools of modern philosophy, and one by Eelationism, interpreting the silent method of
base
;

science.
1.

They

are substantially as follows

The

a 2^riori school teaches that knowledge has


origins, the experience of the senses

two ultimate
ing
its

the constitution of the intellect


tributing

the senses contributthat the intellect


is

and

a posteriori "matter" and the intellect conits

a priori " form

"

the source of certain universal and ante-experiential


of knowledge which cannot be in any manner derived from the senses that these principles or "forms" are themselves an object of pure
principles
;

a priori cognition, independently of experience

that

experience consists solely of sense-phenomena,


hypothetical

and sense-phenomena give no knowledge of their merely

noumenal

causes,

i.e.,

of

" things-in-

themselves."

which

is

In other words, things (if they exist at least dubious) conform themselves to

cognition; the subject


modifications,

knows only

its

own

subjective

arranged in a certain order according to a priori laws of knowledge which are only subjectively valid. This is Nominalistic Subjectivism of the a priori type.
2.

The a
;

posteriori school teaches that

knowledge

has only one ultimate origin, the experience of the senses that the intellect is indeed the source of
certain universal
edge,

constitutive principles of knowlbut that these were originally derived from

the senses, having been slowly organized and con-

'

38
solidated,

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
by the law
of the "association of ideas,"

into hereditarily transmissible

"forms"

of experience;

that there is no such thing as " pure a priori cognition/' independent of experience; that experience
consists solely of sense-phenomena, that the intellect
itself

has been slowly evolved out of it, and that sense-phenomena give no knowledge of their merely hypothetical noumenal causes. In other words, thingsin-themselves
(if

by

this theory)

which is equally dubious they exist conform themselves to cognition the


;

subject

knows only

its

own

subjective modifications,

arranged in a certain order according to a posteriori laws of knowledge, which are only subjectively valid. This is Nominalistic Subjectivism of the a posteriori
type.

Thus both

of these dominant schools thoroughly

agree in planting themselves upon the foundation of Moderate Nominalism or Conceptualism they agree
;

that universals, the genera and species by which alone

sense-phenomena are reducible to


relates.

intelligible

order,

are merely subjective concepts without objective cor-

They agree

that

things-in-thera selves

are

unknown and unknowable, and its own conscious states alone. unknown
or

that the subject

knows
either
re-

By

both schools,
is is

consequently, the principle of Kelationism

ignored;

relation itself

hj both

duced to a merely subjective category, valid only as the subjective order imposed on subjective sensephenomena, and utterly meaningless as applied to intelligible objective realinoumena; and noumena are totally ties, as presented by the various sciences

incognoscible. But when the vitally pertinent question " Why should the series of sense-phenomena, is put
:

or sensations, or consciousness in general, be

what

INTRODUCTION.
it is ?

39

Why

should the senses aud understanding

conspire to give a coherent appearance of objective knowledge, when no objective knowledge is possible ?" neither school has any reply to make. The only reply consistent with their common premises would be Fichte's reply, that the apparent objects of knowledge
are given by the subject to
itself,

according to some

inscrutable law working subtly beneath consciousness

This reply has at least the merit of consistency itself. with the ground-principles of subjectivism, and does not flinch from landing philosophy in Solipsism undisguised. But few subjectivists possess sufficient hardihood to make this consistent reply; they prefer to

"have their cake and eat it too." 3. The theory of Scientific Philosophy (by which is meant simply the philosophy that founds itself theoretically upon the practical basis of the scientific method) teaches that knowledge is a dynamic correlation of object and subject, and has two ultimate that these origins origins, the cosmos and the mind
;

unite, inseparably yet distinguishably, in experience,


i.e., the perpetual action of the cosmos on the mind jdus the perpetual reaction of the mind on the cosmos and on itself as affected by it; that experience, thus

understood,

is

the one proximate origin of knowledge;

that experience has both an objective and a subjective

and that these two sides are mutually dependent and equally necessary that the objective side of experience depends on the real existence of a known universe, and its subjective side on the real existence of a knowing mind that experience includes all mutual interaction of these, whether sensitive or cognitive, and is utterly inexplicable even as subjective sensation, unless its sensitive and cognitive elements are
side,
; ;

40

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
;

that this extended conception equally recognized the distinction of noumena destroys of experience

and phenomena, as merely verbal and not


" things-in-themselves " are partly

real

that

known and partly things are known in as far so just that, unknown; phenomenally both known are they relations, their
and noumenally, and that the possibility of experimentally verifying at any time their discovered relations is the practical proof of a known noumenal
cosmos, meeting every

demand

of scientific certitude

and furnishing the true criterion and definition of In other words, science proobjective knowledge. ceeds upon a principle diametrically opposite to that of Nominalism, already explained under the name of Eelationism. It assumes that cognition conforms
itself

to

things,

not

things

to

cognition,

that

being determines
being,

that

human

thought, not

the subject

human thought knows not only its own

subjective modifications but also the objective things

and relations which these modifications reveal. Kant did but " assume " the counter-principle and if he
;

considered his assumption as at last

''

demonstrated "
exist-

by
its

his system as a whole, science equally considers

assumption as demonstrated by the actual


its verified

ence of

and established truths

as a

body

of objective knowledge.

of

These three answers to the question as to the origin knowledge show how vast is the divergence between
science.

modern philosophy and modern

Philosophy

has never yet entirely shaken off the blighting influence of Scholasticism, even while fancying itself

wholly emancipated from it for Nominalism, no less than the old Eealism, was the legitimate offspring of Scholasticism. It was only one of the two great
;

INTRODUCTION.

41

answers, both one-sided and both wrong, which SchoPhilasticism gave to the question of universals. losophy is still Scholastic to-day; it has never yet

modernized

itself in

any true

sense,

and

it

never will

do so until it sits modestly at the feet of science, imbues itself thoroughly with the spirit of the scien-

method, and applies the principle of Eelationisni to the reconstitution of the moral sciences and the total reorganization of human knowledge. This, though a vast revolution for x)hilosophy herself, will be simply giving in her adhesion to the revolution which science made long ago, and has rendered irretific

But it will also be x^utting herself at the head of that revolution, and conducting it to conquests in regions of the highest truth of which science herversible.
self

has never yet dreamed.

IV.
Aristotle taught, with truth, that the proper object

of science

is

lar or individual.

the universal rather than the particuAlthough it was his doctrine that

individuals are First Essences, while species are Second Essences, and genera Third Essences, real only in

a lower sense than the former, nevertheless it was also his doctrine that the universal inheres in each
individual substance and constitutes its conceptual or Kara rov Xoyov ovo-ta). The uniintelligible essence
(J]

versal

and the individual were inseparable, and must


:

known together yet the universal, being the essence of the individual, was itself the only
therefore be

proper and real object of scientific cognition.


Translating the Moderate Realism of Aristotle into the more accurate language of Eelationism, and not

42

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
making the

forgetting to correct its capital error of

universal inhere in each individual as an individual

(m
is

re)

rather than in all the individual? as a group

{^inter 7'es),

the meaning of his doctrine

is

that science

concerned with the general relations of things rather with general laws than with the things themselves

rather than

with the peculiarities or accidents of

individual objects.

Modern

science proceeds uniformly according to this


:

incontestable principle. Says Prof. Jevons " There is no such process as that of inferring from
particulars to particulars.

careful analysis of the

conditions under which such an inference appears to be made shows that the process is really a general one,

inferred of a particular case might be inferred of all similar cases. All reasoning is essentially general, and all science implies generalization.

and what

is

In the very birth-time of philosophy this was held to Kulla scientia est de individuis, sed de solis be so universalibus/ was the doctrine of Plato, delivered
:

by Porphyry.

And

Aristotle

held a like opinion:


eKatrrov
'
. .
.

OvSefita Be rix^f] (TKOirfi to KaO'


lKa<TTov airapov Ka\ o^k iin<TTr)T6v.

to Sk KaO'

No

art treats of par-

ticular cases, for particulars are infinite

and cannot be

one who holds the doctrine that reasoning may be from particulars to particulars can be supposed to have the most rudimentary notion of what
known.'

No

constitutes reasoning
It
is,

and science."
;

case without generalizing

even a particular knowledge consists in the seizure of the relations of things, and every name
in truth, impossible to study
all

of a relation

is

of necessity a general term.

Prof.

Jevons correctly quotes both Plato and Aristotle as concurring in this fundamental principle, since both

INTROD U TION.
,

43
;

of

them occupied the standpoint

of objectivism

and

Prof. Jevons himself, as a scientific man, can occupy no other, although, as a thinker more or less infected

with the subjectivism of modern philosophy, he has not succeeded in occupying it always or with entire
consistency.

Now subjectivism reduces all science to the knowlwhich, as just edge of one individual, the Ego, shown, is no science at all. If its fundamental definition of knowledge means anything, or is faithfully

subjectivism teaches that the intelligent has no subject has no intelligence save of itself anything of existence the in believing warrant for

adhered

to,

save

itself
its

knows
own

nothing

but the

inexplicable
It reduces

order of
all

sensations and thoughts.

existence to an unrelated One, while of an unre-

lated

One no
is

science

is

possible.

In a word, subjec-

tivism, if logical, annihilates science at a blow.

no logical escape from this inference, from the subjectivist definition of knowledge. Subjectivism cannot concede the knowledge of any existence except that of the subject it cannot concede any knowledge of the subitself
There

drawn

directly

ject,

except that of

its

seriated conscious states

it

cannot concede any knowledge of these conscious states as a series, but only as single and unrelated

and
of

it

thus lands us ultimately in the scepticism

Hume.

For to generalize a

series of thoughts as

tJiought,

or a series of sensations as sensation, is to

use a general term, which, ex hypothesi, corresponds to

no existent correlative in an objective sense

the gen-

eral terms, thought, sensation, consciousness,

on the

principle of Nominalism, denote nothing real in the

thoughts,

sensations,

or

consciousnesses which are

44

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

geaeralized, but express only an act of the subject as

Apply the very same principle to the generalizing. knowledge of the subject itself which subjectivism refuse applies to the knowledge of the outer world,

that objective validity to general terms as applied to

the w^orld of consciousness which

is

refused to general

terms as applied to the world outside of consciousness,

shown irresistibly that subjectivism does not permit "knowledge" even of the subject's
it is

and
;

own
eral

term

" Consciousness " is a gen" conscious states." " state " is a general term every such
;

term denotes a relation among certain related objects and if this relation must be separated from the related objects w^hen they are outside of the subject, why must it not be separated from the related objects when they are within? Subjectivism necessarily destroys it cannot itself by its own definition of knowledge exist an instant except by denying the very principle it escapes self-annihilation only on the it asserts
;

hard and humiliating condition that it shall perpetually contradict itself. The sword with which it slays
science pierces its

own

heart.
indifself-

Nothing

is

more astonishing than the utter

ference of subjectivists to their


tions all the

own innumerable

contradictions on these vital points

self-contradic-

more amusing

in

view of their insistence

that objectivism shall be rigorously and consistently

reasoned.

Let a few instances be here noticed.

Berkeley's idealism (a direct product of the Nominalistic revolution) is usually praised to the skies as

unerringly logical and self-consistent.


material world ought to lead

Yet the same


existis

reasoning which leads him to deny the existence of a

ence of other

human minds

of

him

to deny the which there

no

INTRODUCTION.

45

proof except sight, hearing, and touch of the material bodies by which these minds manifest themselves.
Berkeley's great paralogism on this point
is

pointed
400), as

out even by his


follows
:

own

editor, Dr.

Krauth

(p.

"Berkeley
conceding
it

is

a realistic idealist, holding that the


invalid as regards matter, but

realistic inference is

as

regards mind.

He

holds

to
too,

real

substantial spirits,

God and man.

Hence,

his

monism
genus,

of species,
finite

to
is

is

only generic.
spirit alone
;

He

holds to a

monism

of

but he concedes a dualism


cause of ideas, and

infinite

Spirit, the

spirits,

the recipients of them.

strength

also his weakness.


its

But this his Every moral advanis

tage of his Idealism over

successors

secured at
its

the expense of
consistency."

its

development and of

logical

Dr. Shadworth H. Hodgson, in his Time and Space


(Introduction, p. 5), says " By the term consciousness, in this Essay,
:

is

always

meant consciousness as existing in an individual conscious being and proofs drawn from such a con;

sciousness can have no validity for other conscious


beings, unless they themselves recognize their truth as descriptions applicable to the procedure

and pheif

nomena
true,

of

their

own

consciousness.

Doctrines,

will

ultimately be recognized as such by

all

individuals

whose consciousness is formed on the same type, that is, by all human beings." Here is luminously presented the cardinal and
universal contradiction in all
of subjectivism
:

non-solipsistic

forms

The assumption that the Ego knows only the changes of its own consciousness and (2) the assumption that the Ego knows other Egos to
(1)
;

46

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
formed on the same type."

exist that are "

One

of

these assumptions necessarily destroys the other. There are countless similar self-contradictions scattered all through the writings of subjectivists, some amusing by their naivete, some ingenious in their
subtilty,

some amazing by
all sufficiently

ness, but

their evident unconscioushumiliating and mortifying

to those
self

who would fain see philosophy comport herwith the dignity of science rather than with the
of a circus-clown.

agility

One

further illustration

will suffice.

and Essays (II. 71), subjecuncompromising takes the ground of the most break to proceeds coolly tivism at the outset, and then yet style, illogical violently loose from it in the most
Prof. Clifford, in his Lectures

apparently without the least suspicion of the exhibition he thereby makes of himself as a philosopher
:

"The objective order, qua order, is treated by physical science, which investigates the uniform relaHere the word tions of objects in time and space.
object

(or

phenomenon)

is

group of

my

feelings,

which

taken merely to mean a persists as a group in

a certain manner; for I am at present considering only the objective order of my feelings. The object,
then,
is

a set of changes in
. . .

my

consciousness, and

The not anything out of it. cal science are all inferences of my real or possible feelings; inferences of something actually or poteninferences of physitially in

my

consciousness, not of anything outside

of

it."

passage,

the egoism of this and it is quite possible to build up on this basis an idealistic Solipsism which shall at least tolerably cohere with itself. But

Bald and unblushing as


it

is

is

entirely

clear;

INTRODUCTION.
Prof.
Clifford

47

immediately proceeds to crucify his


:

own subjectivism in this manner " However remote the inference


the thing inferred
set of
is

of physical science,

always a part of me, a possible


consciousness bound up in the

changes in

my

objective order with other

known

changes.

But the
feelings,

inferred existence of your feelings, of objective groupings

among them
own,

similar to those
in

among my

and of a subjective order


to

my

these inferred existences are in the very


my
consciousness, recogit,

many

respects analogous

act of inference thrown out of

as not being a part of me. I propose, accordingly, to call these inferred existences ejects, things thrown out of my consciousness, to disnized as outside of
tinguish

them from

objects,
.

things presented in
.
.

my

consciousness, phenomena.
is justified,

How

this

inference

how

consciousness can testify to the exist-

ence of anything outside of


to say
:

itself, I do not pretend need not untie a knot which the world has

cut for

me long ago. It may very well be that I am myself the only existence, but it is simply ridiculous
anybody
else
is.

to suppose that

The

position of ab-

solute idealism may, therefore, be left out of count,

although each individual


dissent from
it."

may

be unable to justify his


'-

This airy distinction of " object " and


into

eject " does

not in the least disguise the cardinal contradiction

which Prof.

Clifford, in

common with

all

sub-

jectivists

from Solipsism, falls. Ejects, as he proceeds to define them, are simply *' other men's minds " but other men's minds are only known through their bodies, and their bodies while trees and are " objects " like trees or stones stones are just as truly "ejects" from consciousness
shrink

who

back

48
as

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
are

In a word, ejects are and objects are ejects there is absolutely no distinction between them, on Prof. Clifford's own showing objects and ejects must be both objective Yet Prof. Clifford arbitrarily (it or both subjective.
other men's minds.
objects,
; ;

would almost seem wilfully)


subjectifies

objectifies

ejects

and

objects!

He

flatly refuses

to "untie a

knot" which contains the whole point in disi^ute, and which the "world" has "cut" just as effectively he coolly begs the whole for objects as for ejects question, and repudiates tlie Solipsism from which his
;

own

principles permit no rational escape.


illustrations of the self-contradiction of sub-

These
jectivism

are
is

tyijical,

not sporadic; they show

how

deep-seated

the disease under which

modern

philo-

sophy
tio

is

suffering.

Whenever

(if

ever) subjectivism
it

shall dare to be rigorously logical,

will be the reduc-

ad ahsurdum of Nominalism, and compel philosophy to adopt Eelationism and the scientific method in general.

All science

is

of the universal

all

sequent sub-

jectivism abolishes the universal, and leaves only the


individual,

solitary,

unrelated,

incomprehensible
true

Ego.

It avails

nothing to create a phantom-science


;

of the universal in a world of sensations alone

philosophy, no less than


jectivism can accept

true science,

explanation of that series of

demands an sensations which sub-

Diogenes commanded
his

only as an unintelligible fact. a certain respect so long as he


if,

actually lived in his tub; but

having fastened to
to his back,

forehead a placard, "I

am

Diogenes, and I live

in this tub," he

had then tied the tub

lived in

a house, slept in a bed, and behaved like

ordinary mortals, he would have been pelted with a

storm of

pitiless gibes

from the keen-witted Athenians.

INTRODUCTION.

49

And when
tivism to
"ejects,"

philosopliy, having tied the tub of subjecits

back, lives and lectures in a world of and expounds to them a science of the objective relations they bear to each other and to an intelligible cosmos, human nature must have radically changed if philosophy fares any better.
It all

comes to
one

this

either the truth of subjectivism


is

or the truth of science


bility of the
is

a pure illusion.

The

possi-

the impossibility of the other.

The conclusion

just stated finds

abundant corroboSubjectivism in

ration in contemporaneous thought.

philosophy has created a new type of scepticism in Urged as it were by a consciousness that science.
it

can only maintain

its

own

truth by discrediting the

truth of science, philosophy does not hesitate to under-

take the task.

Hence

it

has formulated a law of philo-

sophical scepticism under the


of knowledge," founded
into a falsity.
reality of a

name

of the " relativity

upon a truism, but distorted

unable to
Solipsism,

Unable to shake the conviction of the objective universe, and therefore take the field in its only logical form of

known

subjectivism

nevertheless

covertly
its

saps

the truth of science in a manner which hides


fatal inconsistency.
is

own

It declares that all


faculties,

knowledge

and it adroitly were unreality. A quotation from Mr. Frederic Harrison's essay on "The Subjective Synthesis" will well illustrate the
pushes this principle as
if relativity

merely relative to human

mode of its attack "The truly relative conception of knowledge should make us habitually feel that our physical science, our
:

laws and discoveries in Nature, are


creations

poems, in fact which strictly correspond


we have
before
4

all

imaginative

within the limited range of phenomena

50
us,

SCIENTIFIC THEISM,
but whicli

we never can know

of any external being.

We

to be the real modes have really no ground

whatever for believing that these our theories are the


ultimate and real scheme on which an external world
(if

there be one) works, nor that the external world

objectively possesses that organized order


call science.

which we
of the

For

all

that

we know

to the contrary,

man

is

the creator of the order and

harmony
it

universe, for he has imagined it."

This subjectivistic scepticism, be


has
its

remembered,

root
in

in

the Nominalism which universally

prevails

philosophic circles, and which has pro-

foundly affected those scientific

men who,

being more
;

than mere specialists, have


it

and shows exactly where science must seek aid from a renovated philosophy, if it is to escape suffocation by the fire-damp of scepticism engendered by its own operations. "If every genus is only a mere word,"
felt their

influence

says a writer in the Encyclopcedia Britannica,


follows that individuals
that the senses
are
at

"it

are the only realities, and

knowledge.

And

bottom the only sources of not only so, but on this theory no
is

absolute affirmation respecting truth

possible, for

such an affirmation involves of necessity a general


idea,

which ex hypothesi
is

is

destitute of real validity.

Hence we have scepticism


Harrison
genus
is

at the next remove."


literal

Mr.

an illustration of the

accuracy of

this statement.

But the case is not bettered if the " only a mere " concept, instead of " only a
;

mere word "

for

Extreme Nominalism and Conceptu-

alism (the latter of which this writer accepts) are


equally sceptical
equally
in their implications, since they disown the objectivity of relations. Only the theory of Eelationism fully meets the case.

INTRODUCTION.

51

The doctrine of the ^^ relativity of knowledge," under cover of which subjectivism makes its attack on the objective truth of science, undoubtedly rests on a truism namely, that knowledge is itself a relation between the knowing and the known, and that nothing can be known except as it is known by the
:

This, surely, is a very innocent simply means that man cannot know everything it does not at all mean that he does not know what he knows. That human knowledge of the
faculties.

knowing

proposition.

It

cosmos

is

incomplete, partial, inadequate, could be con-

troverted only by a consistent subjectivist, to

whom

simply the sum of his own sensations or consciousness, which, again, exist only as they are
the cosmos
is

known.

But the doctrine

of the relativity of knowl-

the

and profound significance to the object! vist, since it states the fact on which the total activity of science rests
fact that

edge, properly construed, has a real validity

human knowledge
is

be increased.

There

is small, and can nothing whatever in this doc-

trine to discourage science or

impugn the

solid char-

acter of its acquisitions.

From

the very nature of


is

the case, nothing but relative knowledge


Increase the

possible.

number and scope

of man's

cognitive
:

faculties till his science becomes omniscience his knowledge will still be relative, being the relation of knowing and known, and that unconditionally. In fact, " non-relative knowledge " is a contradiction in adjecto. As Prof. Terrier puts it in his Remains: " To know a thing per se, or siyie me, is as impossible and contradictory as it is to know two straight lines enclosing space; because mind by its very law and nature must know the thing cum alio, i.e., along with itself knowing it." The doctrine of the relativity of

52

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
is

knowledge, therefore,

a truism so far as

it

asserts

and object to the relaand absurdity so far falsity is a it knowledge tion of of the object by the non-knowableness the asserts it as
the co-essentiality of subject
;

subject in that very relation of knowledge. And the blade of subjectivism is shivered in its very grasp by the adamantine shield of science. Nevertheless it remains true that the progress of
science
is

retarded and embarrassed by the preva-

lence of a philosophy which secretly undermines its results, controverts its fundamental postulate of the

knowableness of the objective universe, and dooms it to an imperfect comprehension of the principles which
alone justify
its

practical procedure.

A philosophical

vindication of those principles which should establish the scientific method, so resplendently successful in its

upon an impregnable rational ways to promote the advancement of knowledge, and dissipate that cloud which hangs over the deeper thought of
empirical employment,
theory, could not fail in ten thousand

an intellectual consciousEvery attempt in this direction should be greeted with a hearty welcome. Let us review the situation, and state the problem distinctly which philosophy has now to solve.
our
ness
at

own age

the cloud of
itself.

war with

Subjectivism in philosophy takes

its

stand, conIts fun-

sciously or unconsciously, on Nominalism.

damental principle is the law, accepted by both the Transcendental and Associational schools, that things conform themselves to cognition, not cognition to things. The necessary corollary of this law is the seimrability of phenomena and noumena, phenomena
having their existence solely as modifications of the individual consciousness, and noumena either having

INTRODUCTION.
no existence at
all

53
the

or else

existing solely as

unknown and unknowable

causes of phenomena.
is

Of

these two alternatives, the former alone


consistent with the premises
since

logically

"cause"

is

of subjectivism; for, a universal term to which Nomi-

nalism denies
is

all objective validity or significance, it

a term patently inapplicable to anything beyond the sphere of subjective consciousness. Hence the final
all thoroughgoing subjectivism is absolute Idealism or Solipsism a mere cosmos of objectively causeless dreams.

outcome of
egoistic

Objectivism in science takes


principle
is

its

stand, consciously
Its

or unconsciously, on Eelationism.

fundamental

the law of Objective Verification,

that

cognition must conform itself to things, not things to

The necessary corollary of this law is the noumena and phenomena, phenomena being the "appearances" of noumena, and noumena being that which "appears" and is partially understood in phenomena and they have their inseparable
cognition.
inseparability of
;

existence, not only in the mind, but also in the

cosmos

which the mind cognizes.


ing the distinction at
all

The only utility in retainis to mark the distinction

between complete and incomplete knowledge noumena being taken to denote things-in-themselves as they exist in all the complexity of their objective attributes and relations, and phenomena being taken to denote these same things-in-themselves so far only as they are known in their objective attributes and relations. The final outcome of scientific objectivism is a constantly growing knowledge of the real cosmos as it is, in which the human mind has its proper place and activity in entire harmony with cosmical
laws.

"

54
This
is

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
the unequivocal issue between the two modes

of viewing the universe which are confusedly and half-

consciously struggling for supremacy in the

modern

mind.

Philosophy

is

prevailingly subjective, but not

restiveness

wholly so; there are occasional symptoms of secret among philosophers under the iron yoke
such as the appeal of the Scotch
School to

of JSTominalism,

Sense/^ the "Natural Kealism" of Hamilton, the " Reasoned Kealism " of G. H. Lewes, the " Transfigured Eealism " of Mr. Herbert Spencer^ the " Inferential Eealism " of Rev. J. E. Walter and

"Common

many

others, the

unmistakably objective tendencies

of the historian

Ueberweg

who

explicitly declares

that "the objective reality of relations can be affirmed

with at least as much reason as it can be disputed {Hist. Phil. I. 374), and that "the demonstrative reasoning by which we go beygnd the results of isolated experience, and arrive at a knowledge of the
necessary,
is

not effected independently of

all experi-

ence through subjective forms of incomprehensible


origin,

but only by the logical combination of ex-

periences according to the inductive and deductive methods on the basis of the order immanent in things

themselves"
even among

{Ihid.

II.

162),

as well

as of others

that might be

named

in this connection.

But no

one,

these uneasy insurgents against the estab-

lished tyranny of Nominalism, seems to comprehend

exactly what the tyranny or

who the tyrant is no one of them seems to have traced back the origin of
;

his oppression to the half-forgotten decision, arrived


at centuries ago

by the now despised Schoolmen,


;

as

to the nature of universals

and no one seems to comprehend precisely what will free him from fetters that
are invisible, yet strong as steel.

Hence every one of

INTRODUCTION.

55

which rivet them continually falls into concessions The hoslimbs. his about the fetters more closely the subbetween working tility secretly existing and and the one in even methods, jectivist and objectivist features striking and curious the of same mind, is one and will not fail to arrest of contemporaneous thought,
of philosophy. the attention of the future historians philosophy and between science

Yet
is

antagonism and injurious in the last degree, and alhes of for they are the natural complements orderintellectual the Science needs each other. alone philosophy which unity liness and systematic and basis verified the needs philosophy can create age our Hence science. of spirit thoroughly objective or nature, its in profound more problem presents no
this

really unnatural

more wide-reaching
lectual interests of

in its

bearings upon the intel:

mankind, than this How to identify science and ;philosophy, hy making science philothe foundation, method, and system of system of and sophic, and the foundation, method,

philosophy scientific. The theory of knowledge which is predominant in both the Transcendental and Associational schools
of

modern philosophy has been


preceding
pages,

clearly set forth in


its

the

traced

to

source in

the

wrong answer given by mediseval Nominalism to the questions of universals, and shown to impart even to so-called modern philosophy a thoroughly SchoThe theory of knowledge which lastic character.
underlies the practical procedure of

modern science

has also been clearly set


far as its

although only so concerned, under is fundamental principle


forth,

the

the of Scientific Realism or Eelationism, creation the involve will which of full development

name

56
of a

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
new and comprehensive
philosophical system.

The

irreconcilable antagonism of these


it

two

theories,

both to philosothe disastrous consequences of of a profound necessity phy and science, and the
revolution in the

bring it into tablished scientific method, have likewise been shown, together with the precise nature of the problem which

method of philosophy in order harmony with the now thoroughly

to
es-

philosophy has

now

to solve, in order to modernize

itself in a true sense.

All that is here possible is simply to state the problem and the general principle on which alone it can be solved a full solution of it is the great desideratum of science and philosoi^hy alike. For a full solution of it will permanently heal the breach which now disastrously divides them, and for the first time render possible the harmonious co-operation and con;

centration of all the powers of the

human mind

for

the discovery, establishment, and application of cosmical truth. What has been here done is to show that this greatest of modern problems is only, under a new form, that ancient and never satisfactorily answered question of Universals which, for hundreds
of years, absorbed the brightest intellects of Europe, to submit to the bright intellects of our own time,

together with the old half-answers to that problem


historically

known as the theories of Nominalism and Realism, a third, new, and full answer in the theory of Eelationism, and to inquire whether this theory

will not

suffice

to

bring about the greatly needed

identification of Science

and Philosophy.

PART

I.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF

SCIENCE.

PART

I.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF

SCIENCE.

CHAPTEK

I.

THE PEESUPPOSITIONS OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD.

1.

Modern

science consists of

a mass of Proorder,

positions'^

respecting

the

facts,

laws,

and

general constitution of the universe.

It is a pro-

duct of the aggregate intellectual activity of the

human
its

race,

and could no more have been produced


in

by an individual than could the language


propositions
are expressed.

which
expe-

These propositions

incorporate

the results of

universal
all

human

rience and reason, from

which

elements of pererror

sonal eccentricity,

ignorance,

or

have been

1 "The answer to every question which it is possible to frame must be contained in a Proposition, or Assertion. Whatever can be an object of belief, or even of disbelief, must, when put into words, assume the form of a proposition. All truth and all error lie in propositions. What, by a convenient misapplication of an abstract term, we call a Truth, means simply a True Proposition The objects of all Belief and and errors are false propositions.
.

all

Inquiry express themselves in propositions."

(John Stuart

Mill,

System of Logic

I.

18-19, London, 1872.)

60

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
;

gradually eliminated in the course of ages


the

they are

winnowed

grain of knowledge, from which the

chaff of individual mistake has been

blown away by

the wind of universal criticism, and comprise the


total harvest of truth thus far garnered

by man

in

the study of Nature.

All propositions respecting


its

the universe, whether in


aspect,

physical or psychical

which

at last

command

the unanimous assent

of all experts in the subjects to

which they
Truths

relate,

take rank as EstaUished

Scientific

not necesof

sarily as infallible truths,

but as truths which stand

unchallenged until the progress of discovery compels a revision, correction,

and re-establishment

them

as

still

larger

truths.

Infallible truths are


is

not for fallible man, and modern science


infallible

no more
is

than ancient science; yet science

man's
itself,

nearest approximation to the absolute truth


since
it

rests on no individual or dubious authority,

but on the highest possible authority which the


nature of the case permits
:

namely, the universal

experience and reason of mankind, voiced in the

unanimous consensus
2.

of the competent.

Now

all

the established truths which are


sci-

formulated in the multifarious propositions of


ence have been

won by

use of the Scientific Metliod.

This method consists essentially in three distinct


steps
:

(1) observation

(3) verification

and experiment, (2) hypothesis, by fresh observation and experiment.


consist
in

Observation
covery,

and experiment

the

dis-

by actual perception,

of things

and

relations

; ;

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


objectively existent in the universe,

61

and constitute

that original experience of


all

the universe in

which

human knowledge
is

begins.

Hypothesis, or the

rational interpretation of the results of observation

and experiment,

the ideal or subjective anticipa-

tion of further possible experience of the universe


in its

legitimate

scientific

use, it

is

the work of

reason and imagination combined, elaborating the


data of experience both inductively and deductively,

and inferring from already known


relations
verse,

relations

other
uni-

which may objectively


therefore,

exist in the

and which,

may
is

be experientially
the conversion of

discovered there.

Verification

sagacious hypothesis into theory and scientific law,

by means what
is

of

fresh

and corroborative experience


proved to have been

verified is hypothesis,

well-founded as inference, whenever the set of relations inferred


is

discovered

by actual experience

to

be identical with the corresponding set of relations


in the objective

universe;^ and the perception or


is

discovery of this identity, which

the essence of

all verification, proves that the constitution of the

universe and the constitution of the


are fundamentally one.

human mind
is

Experience, therefore,

the

beginning and the end of

the

scientific

method,

mediated by reason and imagination; and experience


itself is

the actual meeting, the dynamic coraction

relation, the incessant


1

and

reaction, of

the

This

is

substantially Spinoza's test of truth


{Ethica, I.

" Idea vera debet

cum

suo ideato convenire."

Ax.

6.)

62

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
its

human mind and


scientific
cess,

cosmical environment.
is

The

method, therefore,

a living organic pro-

the true and only organon for the discovery


;

of truth

and the proof

of its validity is the rapid

progress of actual discovery in the experiential study


of the universe.

3.

Now

the scientific method logically implies a


it

very definite Philosophy, which


prove, but

does not stop to


at

takes

for

granted and presupposes


of

every step.

In the course
it

many

generations of

individual investigators,
said, a vast
tific

has produced, as I have

mass

of propositions or established scien-

truths, dealing directly with the facts

and laws

of the universe itself,

not

at all

with men's ideas

of the universe, as ideas.

For instance, astronomy


various
real

and physics

make known

relations

among

real

masses moving in real space, in absolute

independence of man, his existence, and his consciousness


;

physics

and

chemistry
real

make known
molecules and
space
;

various

real

relations

among
in
real

atoms,

likewise

moving
various

real

biology
real

makes

known

relations

among
but

living organisms;

physiological
itself

psychology (which
is

sometimes mistakes
fact

for philosophy,

in

one of

many

special sciences)

makes known
organism
ethics,

various real relations between the physical system

and psychical
sociology,

activities of the individual

political

economy, jurisprudence,

make known
individuals

various real relations


in

among human
of

co-existing

state

society.

In

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


makes known

63

other words, the same scientific method, variously


applied in the
various
sciences,
(if

the word knowledge

denotes anything but an im-

possible dream) a vast mass of objectively real relations

among

ohjectivehj

real

things

things
that,

and

relations

which, although
alone,

undeniably
all

known by
depend

consciousness

do not, for

upon
as

it

in the least for their existence,


of

inasmuch
mill-

many

them

ions of ages before

are known to have existed human consciousness began.


**

An

"objective," or

objectively real," or ''objec-

tively existent " relation

must be understood simply


in

as a relation
itself,

which

subsists

the real universe

and

is

not a mere conception of the

human
it
is

mind.
tively,

relation

may
the

be

known
true.

to exist objec-

whenever

proposition

asserting

proved by experience to be
"

For instance,

the earth and the

moon
"

revolve about their com-

mon

centre of gravity

expresses an objectively real

relation, because the scientific

method has discovered

that such

is

the fact, independently of man,


is true.

that

the proposition

But the

relation

must not

be misconceived as a

"

thing," nor the affirmation of

the objectivity of the relation as an affirmation that

the relation
relates.
Tlie

is

an entity apart from the things


ohjectivity

it

known

of a relation

is

simply

the
it.

known

objective truth

of the proposition which states

But the

relation itself

was objectively
it

real before
;

the proposition which states

was conceived

it

de-

termined the proposition, not the proposition

it.

64
4. It is

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
evident, therefore, that the validity of

the scientific method, and the objective truth of the


results

won by

its

use,

depend unconditionally on

the truth of the following philosophical presuppositions,

which are never formally mentioned


any particular
stand,

in

any

particular scientific investigation, or formally stated


as part of
science,

simply and solely


all

because they are the


science

common ground on which


it

must

if

is

to stand at all,

and be-

cause they constitute the universal condition of the


possibility of experience itself
:

Presupposition
per
se,

I.

that
is

An
its

external

universe exists

is,

in complete independence of

human

consciousness so far as

existence
it,

is

concerned;

and man

merely a part

of

and a very subordinot

nate part at that.

Presupposition

II.

The universe

i^er

se

is

only knowable, but known known


not in whole.

in part,

though

Presupposition
the universe per
things

III.

The "what
the

is

known"
of

of

se is

the innumerable relations of


propositions

formulated
;

in

which

science consists
tively
exist
is

consequently, these relations objecthe universe per


se,

in

as that in

it

which

knowable and known.


:

I repeat

the validity of the scientific method, the

validity of the results

won by

its use,

and the

valid-

ity of these philosophical presuppositions,

aU stand
nothing
lies logi-

or fall together

for the presuppositions are

but a general explicit statement of what

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


truths which constitute the body of science
It is not at
lar truths,

65

cally implicit in each of the numberless particular


itself.

any one's option

to accept these particu-

and

at the

same time

reject the general

statement which merely sums them up

in

brief.

The actual existence

of a universe
its
it

independent of

human

consciousness,

actual intelHgibility,
of relations in

and
its

the actual existence in


intelligibility

which

consists,

these,

I maintain,

consti-

tute fundamental principles of a

Scientific Ontology,
scientific

presupposed at every step by the

method.

Taken together and systematically developed, these principles will found a philosophy of science, embracing not only a radically
edge, but also a radically

new theory of knowlnew theory of being. The

rapid disintegration of old philosophies, the wide-

spread and growing confusion of religious ideas, and


the universal mental restlessness which characterizes

our age, are but the birth-throes of this

new

philosophy of science.

5.

It

would be a very shallow

criticism

which

should charge

me
"

here with returning to the old


of

and unsatisfactory realism

the

Scotch

school,

known
Prof.

as

the
it

philosophy of

common
*'

sense."

Huxley,

is

true, has described science as

merely the extension and enlargement of


sense,"

common

and he
;

is

not wrong in conceivmg them as


if

both

realistic

but,

he had the Scotch school in

mind, he disregarded the profound difference of the

two with respect

to

the sources of their realism.


5

ee

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
of

The Scotch school derived the conviction


experience,
"

the

existence of an external world, not from scientific

but from a fundamental

principle

or

natural belief " originally implanted by

God

in the

constitution of the
to it a strictly

human mind, and

thus assigned

priori or subjective origin.^


it,

But

the philosophy of science will derive

not from

any a priori constitution


and elaborated by the
verified
it

of the

human mind, but


imagination, and
to

from experience alone, corrected by reason, recast


scientific

by

fresh experience,

and will thus assign

a strictly

a posteriori or

objective origin.

Further-

more, the Scotch school held, not only that the


things which
exist as

we

perceive exist, but also that they

we

perceive

them

whereas the philosophy

of science will hold that the crudities of sense-per-

ception and the confused inferences of uninstructed


1

" All the arguments urged by Berkeley aud

Hume

against the
principle,

existence of a material world are grounded upon


that

tliis

we do not

perceive external objects themselves, but certain


in our

images or ideas

own minds.

But

this is

mon

sense, but directly contrary to the sense of all

no dictate of comwho have not

been taught it by philosophy." (Reid, Intellectual Pincers of Man, Essay VI. chap. V.) " In the order of nature, belief always precedes knowledge. Even the primary facts of intelligence,
. .

the facts which precede, as they afford the conditions


edge,

of, all

would not

knowl-

bfe

original,

were they revealed to us under any


(Sir

other form than that of natural or necessary beliefs."

W.
The
(Id.

Hamilton, Lectures on Metaphysics,


is

p.

32,

Amer.

Ed.)

"

doctrine which has been called The Philosophi/ of


Lectures on Logic, p. 383.) 2 " Another first principle

Common Sense

the doctrine which founds all our knowledge on belief."

which we
ceive

distinctly perceive
to be."

is, That those things do really exist by our senses, aud are what we per-

them

(Reid,

I.

c.)

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


"common
outward
tions

67
scientific

sense" are to be corrected by

discovery, and will therefore present, as the veritable


fact,

the subtile and often recondite relaexpress.

which her formulated laws

Lastly,

the Scotch school taught the mediaeval doctrine of

Conceptualism or Nominalism,^ which logically implies that


of

the merely subjective reality of relaof science will teach

tions

whereas the philosophy

the great principle of Eelationism, which posits the


objective reality of relations as the cosmical correlate of universal concepts in the

human mind

an
and

innovation sufficient of

itself

to revolutionize
"

modernize the falsely so called

modern philosophy."

These, not to mention other important differences,


are quite

enough

to signalize the vast divergence beof science

tween the philosophies


sense,"

and

of "

common
is

and

to

show that

scientific

realism

of

type wholly distinct from that of the Scotch school.


6.
Still

criticism

more shallow, however, would be the that scientific realism is a mere groundless
a naive taking for granted by
the whole point at issue
:

assumption, an unreflective and untutored begging


of the question,
"

com-

mon

thinking

" of

namely,

whether or not an external universe can be known


as independent for its existence
1

upon human conamong


others,

"The
;

Doctrine of Nominalism has,

been em-

braced by Hobbes, Berkeley, Hume, Principal Campbell, and Mr. Stewart while Conceptualism has found favor with Locke, Reid,

and Brown.
p. 477.)

This opinion [Nominalism]


(Sir

not only true, but self-evident."

W.

appears to me Hamilton, Led. on Met.,


.

eS
sciousness.

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

On

the contrary, scientific realism has

an inexpugnable rational foundation in the triumphantly successful use of the


scientific

method by

the separate sciences, and points out that this incontrovertible success has settled the question experi-

mentally, decisively, and forever;

it

grounds

itself

avowedly on the truth


scientific

of the discoveries
;

which the
that

method has made

it

declares

the

truth of these discoveries, once admitted,


strates

demon-

that experience cannot be

the product of

consciousness alone, but must be the product of consciousness and an external universe endlessly acting

and reacting upon each other


activity of the subject, but
of the subject

cannot

be the sole
co-activity

must be the
in

and the object

dynamic correlation

and

it

declares that this interpretation of experience

must be unreservedly conceded, or else the validity of the scientific method itself must be unreservedly, boldly, and frankly denied.

The sharp
exist,

issue

is

this

either

an external world

independent of
or else

human consciousness is known to all human science is false. By no


can this issue be escaped.
If the

logical subterfuge

discoveries
eries, if

made by

science are real or true discov-

the relations they reveal in the

non-human

universe are real or true relations, then scientific


realism
is

no assumption, no begging

of the question,

no taking

for granted of the point at issue,

but the

most absolutely

j)roved truth

which the

intellect of

man

has ever wrested from the mystery in which

; ;

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


he dwells.

69

The claim

of science to be real
is

knowl-

edge of a real and intelligible universe


of the collective experience
it is

the voice

and reason

of

mankind

a claim so solidly grounded that the hardiest

sceptic

durst not call in

question the particular


is

truths of which that knowledge


It is only

the sum.

when

these particular truths are gen-

eralized as I

have generalized them,


is

only

when

the generalization

put into the form of a definite

philosophical principle of Scientific Ontology,

that

the sceptic's voice

is

heard.

But,

if

he would success-

fully challenge scientific realism as a philosophical


first principle,

he must

first

overthrow

all

the parre.

ticular truths of

which

scientific realism is

a mere

statement in general terms.

Scientific realism is

no

more an assumption than


are one

is

science itself

the two
is

and the same. The ground here taken


Method

that
Veri-

the Successful Use of the Scientific

is the

fication

and

Demonstration of

Scientific

Realism

that scientific realism can be overthrown only

by

overthrowing the
it is

scientific

method

itself;

and that

time for speculative philosophy to recognize

this position, to appreciate its

tremendous strength,
point of

and

to adopt it as its

own foundation and


of

departure.

Until

it

shall do so, speculative philoso-

phy
of

will never

become the creator


conviction, never

any deep

or

world-wide

human

mould the

faith

mankind, never command the religious allegiance

of the

many, but must remain what

it

is

to-day

the closet-amusement and intellectual luxury of the

"

70
few.

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
So long as
is
it

persists in

denying that expe-

rience
of

actual knowledge of a universe independent


consciousness,

human

so

long as

it persists

in

seeking a knowledge of Being which shall be deeper


or higher than experience can give,

just

so long

will

mankind

at large consider philosophy itself as

an ingenious boy in the backwoods

inventing a

machine

for perpetual motion,

when

all the civilized

world knows that a machine for perpetual motion


is

impossible.
7.

" But,"

it

will be asked, " do

you seriously

mean
verse

to defend the exploded doctrine that the uniis

known Noumenon ?
That
is

as a Thing-in-itself, a Ding-an-sich, a

exactly what I mean.


is

But

deny that
it

the doctrine

exploded, and
its

I also

deny that

has

ever yet been set forth in


of science is assuredly
it

true light.
of

The realism
mine; and

no invention

can no more be exploded without exploding the


fabric of science,

whole

than the foundation could

be blown from beneath the Washington

Monument

without bringing the whole majestic column in ruins


to the ground.

For the

last

two

or three centuries,

the most fashionable philosophy has played the part


of a

Japanese juggler or acrobat, and performed

logi-

cal feats requiring

no small

agility

and

dexterity,
to

yet not conducing in any marked

degree

the

advancement
cartes's

of

civilization.

Beginning with Desam,"

famous

" I think, therefore I

that

is,

with the certainty of individual

human

conscious-

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


ness as the one
speculation,
first

71
all

fact

and starting-point in

and assuming,

as regulative principle

of procedure, that

nothmg can be
if

certainly

known

except the contents of individual


ness,

human
it

conscious-

modern philosophy would,

reasoned well,

arrive at the conclusion that nothing can be either


knowrij or inferred, or conceived, as existent outside of

individual

human

consciousness.

With such a

point

of departure

and such a

rule of procedure, the only

logical conclusion is absolute solipsism, or the sole

existence of the individual thinker


inferential

every form of

realism relies

on a logically worthless
tries

inference ( 67).

But modern idealism

in a

thousand ways, ingenious as they are

futile, to esits

cape from the unavoidably solipsistic outcome of

own
its

principles, to

withdraw

all attention

from this
laws of

great intellectual sin against the

first

logic,

and

to arrive at

some mode
it

of living

amicably

with the external world which


nor master:
all of

can neither suppress

which

is

commendably amiable,

but not quite satisfactory as a substitute for clear


thinking.
8.

Now

the root of modern idealism, whether

in

its

transcendental or experiential form,

theory of Phenomenism

the

is

the

theory that nothing


all

can be

known

except "phenomena," and that


for their existence

phenomena depend

on individual
this

human
phy,

consciousness

alone.

It

is

theory of
philoso-

phenomenism, the

life-principle of

modern

which most formidably opposes the theory

72
of

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
Noumenism
(scientific realism or scientific ontol-

ogy), the life-principle of

modern

science.

This pro-

found and fundamental issue between Phenomenism

AND NouMENiSM lies of modern thought


;

at the
it is

bottom

of all other issues

the " previous question " in


;

all

philosophical controversies

it is

the imperfectly
turning-point,
self-

seen, yet uneasily

and vaguely
in

felt

or

strategical

centre,
all

the

movement and

marshalling of
tinctively

warring tendencies in the


;

dis-

modern mind

it is

the pitched battle-field


intellectual

in a struggle

which must end in a vast


of

revolution,

wrought by the influence

modern science
philosois,

upon

so-called

modern philosophy, by which

phy
to

will

become truly modernized


its old,

taught, that

exchange

worn-out, and merely traditional

Method of sterile subjectivism for the new Scientific Method so prolific of objective discoveries. For Phenomenism is the historical product of the
Scholastic

Kantian

"

Apriorismus

"

the Kantian " Aprioris-

mus"
nalism

is
;

the historical product of mediaeval

Nomi-

and mediseval Nominalism


as

is

the historical

product,
plicable

by a violent and extravagant reaction exhistorical

polarization,

of

the

earlier

mediaeval Eeahsm, which the Catholic Church had

borrowed from Plato and

Aristotle,

and had rendered


it

intolerable in the Renaissance


service
of

by abusing

to the

oppressive

and

unintelligible

dogmas.^

This indisputable genealogy of phenomenism shows


that

the issue between


1

it

and noumenism

is,

in

See the Introduction.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


truth, the everlasting issue

73

between the past and

the present, and that all the interests of modern intellectual progress are involved in its right decision.

Consequently,
attention to
to do

it

is

necessary to devote considerable


it

it,

although

will be impossible here


salient points of so

more than touch on a few

vast a subject.

74

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

CHAPTEE

11.

THE THEORY OF PHENOMENISM.

9.

Stripped

of unessential particulars, the of

advanced and fully developed form

most phenomenism
positions
:

may

be tersely stated in these

five

main

1. The universe is only a phenomenon, and not noumenon or thing-in-itself.

2.

This phenomenon-universe, like every minor


is

phenomenon,
sentation,

only a mental conception or repreits

deriving

whole existence from

the

representing consciousness alone, and determined by

and depending upon absolutely nothing which


external to that consciousness.
3.

is

For philosophy, the sphere

of

Being

is

strictly

identical with the sphere of the phenomenon-universe,

and therefore with the sphere


tion;
to a

of

human

representa-

no inference either to a noumenal subject or

noumenal object
are

is

philosophically permissible.

All the categories, even those of Eeality, Existence,

and Being
the actual

itself,

mere forms

of relation wdthin

content of

human

representation,
it.

and

have neither validity nor application beyond


sole legitimate

The

aim

of philosophy, limiting its scope

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


to investigate these

75

both as Theory of Knowledge and Theory of Being,


is

immanent

relations of repre-

sentations as such,

and rigorously

to

exclude

all

hypotheses as to possible realities not actually contained within them.


4.

Since

all

the categories by which representa-

tions are internally determined, including the cate-

gory of Eelation, are themselves determined a priori by (and hence deducible from) the nature of the

human

understanding,^

all

possible

relations

are

merely immanent determinations of human representations, schematized by the pure understanding

and the transcendental imagination acting in In other words, no relations are possible

concert.

in

any

noumenal world which may


resentations.
exists, it

be external to the repif

Hence, even

noumenal world

must

possess in itself a non-relational or

chaotic

constitution,
locr
se.

and therefore remam forever


a noumenon-universe,
possibility, is

unintelligible
5.

The existence
even
if

of

how-

ever,

an abstract
groundless,
is

an utterly
assumption.

inconceivable,

and

useless

The noumenon
unity of the
1

a mere hypostasis of the abstract

" thing,"

which abstract unity

is

nothing

"weil der Verstand des Menschen ronNatur so organisirt wlrd,

dass" u. s. ID. (Krug, EncyHopadlsch-j.hilosophisches Lexilon, I. 730.) This "natural organization of the human understanding" is to phenomenism an ultimate and inexplicable fact. In this fundamental point, phenomenism imitates the ''naive realism" which for it rests at last, no less tlian the Scotch it professes to despise
;

school,

on the assumption of an ultimately inscrutable constitution

of the

knowing

faculty.

76

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
?

but the d priori form of representation in general

by hypostasis,
is

this

mere a priori form


Consequently, there

of

thought

illegitimately converted into a self-subsistent entity


is

or "thing-in-itself."

and can
non-

be no perceptive understanding or intellectual intuition (intelleduelle Anscliaimng)

by which

tliis

entity

may be

cognized.
is the theory which phenomenon without

10.

In short, phenomenism
is

teaches that the universe

a noumenon, existing in the act of the individual


consciousness which represents
sents
it, it,

and while

it

repre-

but otherwise having no existence which


;

can be either known, inferred, or conceived


consequently, that science
of actual experience
is

and,

valid only in the realm


is,

valid, that
true

only as explain-

ing the order and connection of actually existent


representations,

whose

explanation

must be
formu-

sought only in
universe.

themselves, and not

in a self-existent

In other

w^ords, all the relations

lated in the propositions of science are absolutely

created

by the mind which formulates them, and

exist only in that

mind

they do not exist in any

universe independent of
istence in the

it,

but have their whole ex-

human

representations of w^hich they

themselves are merely immanent determinations.^

The
lies in
1

rational foundation of this

whole theory, then,

the principle that relations have no objective


.

"Materialism

builds

its

theories

upon the axiom of the


is

intelligibility of

the world, and overlooks that this axiom


in

at

bottom only the principle of order


tory

phenomena."

(Lange, His-

of Materialism,

II. 166,

Boston, 1880.)

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


realitij

11

whatever, hut exist solely

and

exclusively as the

creative ivork of the

human
of

tmderstanding.
is

This ex-

clusive Subjectivity of Relations


essential

the genetic

and

principle

distinctly laid

phenomenism, although not down as such by phenomenists, and

them to be the fundafor mental logical ground of phenomenism itself, schools all by inherited the reason that it has been
evidently not discerned by
of

modern philosophy from mediaeval Nominalism,


to a It constitutes, for all
of

and hence has never been subjected hitherto


closely critical examination.^
that, the

whole pith and substance


chief

phenomenism
of

and

its

future significance in the history


it

philosophy; for

is

the germinal presupposition

from which

all

the other principles of

phenomenism

have

been logically derived,

and without which they


or even intelligible

would have no inner coherence


meaning.
11.

advanced form which has been presented above, the theory of phenomenism is based and substantially, though with various modifications

Taken

in the

improvements, on the Kantian philosophy; and


1

it

Even M.

Fr. Paulhan,

who

writes an article on "

La

Eealite

des Rapports" in

La

Critique Philosophique for April 30, 1885,

has
:

stand on phenomenism to destroy his own argument by taking his " Nous nous pla^ons ici sur le terrain du phe'nome'nisrae qui voit I'ombre changeante les faits, quels qu'ils puissent etre, non pas

dans mais une realite vraie, et fuyante d'une substance inconnaissable, s'occuper." It is manila seule re'alite' dont on puisse, en somme, only the phenomenal fest enough that M. Paulhan is defending noumenal reality of relations in the representation, not their
reality

in the thing-in-itself.

78

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

meets us everywhere in the philosophical literature


of

the day.
that

Prof.

Windelband says
of

of

it:

''This
is

thought,

outside

representation

there
is

nothing with which science has to deal,


gift of

Kant's
thinkdis-

the gods to

man
is

although to

common

ing, to wdiich

nothing

more familiar than the


and
thing-in-itself, it

tinction of representation

must

appear to be what Jacobi, the champion of


thinking, called
it

Mhilism."
of

common
is

And

again: "This

Immanent

Metliocl

the

theory of knowledge

now

justly considered to be Kant's

supreme achievein this " im-

ment."

Eiehl goes so far as to declare that the

Kantian philosophy essentially consists

manent method"
ject

of discarding both

noumenal submetaphysical

and noumenal

object

as

mere

dreams, and refusing to consider aught beyond the


bare representation itself. Fortlage, on the other hand, formulates this method as an attempt " to
resolve all cognitions into the process of cognizing,"

and characterizes
as the Scientific
of the

it

as "completed scepticism."
rests

Just

Method

on the presupposition

Objectivity of Eelations, so the


rests

Immanent

Method

on the presupposition of the Subjec;

tivity of Eelations

both presuppositions are assumed

without proof, and constitute the rational ground


of their respective methods, the pivotal principles of

Noumenism and Phenomenism

as.

rival theories of

1 See the valuable article by Prof. W. Windelband, of Zurich, " Ueher die veischiedenen Phasen der Kantischen Lehre vom Diiuj-

an-sich," in the
I.

ViertAjahrsschrift filr wissenschaftUche Philosophie,

224-266, Leipzig, 1877.

TEE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


knowledge.
of

79

What, then,
?

shall be said of the theory


?

Phenomenism

Is it true

12. I consider the theory of

phenomenism

false,

root

and branch,

false in relation to the opposite


is

theory of noumenism, which

proved true by the

existence of science as actual and indisputable knowl-

edge of a noumenal universe, and false in


cause
it

itself,

be-

contradicts itself in a
all

most astounding way.

Omitting here

other

criticisms,

and reserving
case for the
if

these for another occasion, I rest

my

present on these two


substantiated,
13.
is

objections, either of which,


decisive.
is

overwhelmingly
objection to

The
is

first

phenomenism

that

science

actual knowledge of
its

a noumenal universe,

and therefore refutes by

bare existence the phe-

nomenism which denies the


edge,

possibility of such

knowl-

on

the sound principle of the


esse

old logical

maxim: "Ah
14.

ad posse

valet,

2^osse

ad

esse

non

valet, eonsequentia."

To break the

force of this argument, pheis,

nomenism,

of course, maintains that science

and

claims to be,
alone,

nothing but knowledge of phenomena


it

that

neither has, nor professes to have,


of

any knowledge
discovery of

noumena.

It denies that

"the

new relations between phenomena with-

in the sphere of consciousness " can " either prove or

disprove the existence of that noumenal something

which was the object


brilliant
polemic."'
is

of

the keen Irish Bishop's


that

It

strenuously contends

Nature

nothing more than a "system of sense-

80
ideas
:

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
"

that

is,

a merely suhjedive synthesis of real

sensations

mutually related and reduced to order in

representation

by means

of the

schematism
all

of the

pure understanding, and not at


thesis
its

an

objective syn-

of real relations in a universe independent for

existence

on

human

consciousness.

It asserts

that "investigation of the laws of Nature proceeds

upon a

basis of

observation

and experiment, and


to do with
(^.e.,

observation and experiment have

the

immediate object
here

of

knowledge"

as evidently thing,

intended, not the

objectively existent

but the purely subjective mental representation of


the thing, the Vorstcllung), " and in no case with the

'substratum' or

'

thing-in-itself.'"

It

affirms

that

"the only difference in the views of Nature taken

by the ordinary
idealist
is,

scientific realist

and the consistent

that the one regards objects as actually


of

existing

between the intervals

his

perception,

while the other attributes to them a merely potential

existence"

{i.e.,

regards

them

as actually non-

existent,

the perception absolutely creating

them and

the cessation of perception absolutely annihilating

them

as actual existences,

which
j^^^^^ipi)-^

is,

of course, the

only possible meaning of the Berkeleian principle


that the
15.
esse of

objects is

Now
if

the conception of science here pre-

sented,

it

were not so common in phenomenistic

1 The quotations in this paragraph are all taken from an ingenious article by Prof. G. S. Tullerton, entitled "The Argu-

ment from Experience against Idealism," in the Journal of Speculative


Philosophy, October. 1884.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


literature,

81

and

if

it

were not unfolded with such

evident gravity, seriousness, and naivete, would be


aptly characterized as mere caricature, travesty, or

broad burlesque.

Every one

of

the

propositions

which formulate the


and constitute
is, if

results of the scientific method,

in their totality the


all,

body

of science,

valid at
is,

valid of " things-in-themselves,"

that

states

relations

among

objective

realities

which

have

indeed
yet

been

discovered

by human

perception,

no
their

more
on
is

depend

upon

human
motion.

perception
the
fable

for

existence

than the coach in


fly

depended

the

for

its

That, and that only,

what every

scientific

man

means by
nant,
if

his statements,

and he would be indig-

told to his face he did not

mean

it.^

By

means

of consciousness, science discovers

permanent

relations

among permanent
itself.
it will,

things which depend on

consciousness for nothing whatever, except for the

discovery
covery,
if

Phenomenism may deny the


but not distort
it
;

dis-

it

has no right

to pervert facts
1

and misrepresent science by preis

The

" order of Nature "

never understood

b}^ strictly scien-

tific

men

in the sense of the "

which is the interpretation Virchow, in Schliemann's New

mere order of my representations," put upon it by phenomenism. Prof.


Tlios,

refers to his

own

'*

Gcwohnlieit

der kdltesten Objrcflvitat." Prof. W. B. Taylor, in his masterly essay on " Kinetic Theories of Gravitation," published in the Sviithsonian Report for 1876, says:

"Our

beliefs should

always be based
Prof. L. E.

upon, and conform


Hicks,

to,

the observed order of Nature."

who

fills

the chair of geology in Denison University, says in

his Critique of Design Arrjiimeiits, p. 17:


isted before the science

"The

external order ex-

which

is

based upon

it."

Volumes could

be

filled

with precisely similar statements.

82

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

tending that the discovery relates merely to subjective

human

representations,

when

it

relates in truth

to an objectively real
16. It is

and

self-existent universe.

solemn

trifling

or elegant pleasantry

of
its

this

sort

which has degraded philosophy from


scientia
still

once proud rank of


to

scieiitiaritm,

and
of

threatens

degrade

it

further

to

that

ignorantia scientiarum.

The friendship which pheis

nomenism
form

professes for science

a false and treachis

erous friendship; for


of the ancient

phenomenism

the modernized

Greek scepticism, and has merely


things " (afcaraXriyjrLa,

given to the crude Pyrrhonic formula of the "unintelligibility

of

all

rravra

iarlv aKaraXTjirrd, nihil sciri potest, ne illiid

ipsum
in
of

quidem)
the

more

subtile
of

and
the

refined

form

modern doctrine
"

" unintelligibility

things-in-themselves
an-sich).

{Uncrkennharkeit

dcr

iJingc-

To both the ancient and modern scepticisms science makes one silent reply: she points to her undeniable discoveries and the method by
which they have been won,
proof that knowledge of
attainable
as

the unanswerable
is

the noumenal universe


Certain
it

by

experience.

is

that

phe-

nomenism, the thoroughly systematized form which


scepticism has assumed in

modern

times, lays the

axe at the very root of

all scientific

knowledge

of

the universe, by astutely and covertly seeking

to

transmute

it

into

purely ideal product of the


all

human

mind, devoid of

truth

or applicability
its

beyond the human mind

itself.

But

blows will

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


continue to
fall

83

without

effect,

until

it

shall first

have attacked and destroyed the

scientific

method.

Unwilling to attempt openly, however, so formidable


a task,

phenomenism
method and
secretly

prefers to

assume the guise

of
tlie

friendship, to concede ostensibly the validity of


scientific
its results,

and then

to under-

mine

it

by interpreting these

results

as

" the discovery of

new

relations

between phenomena
In other words,
for their

loithin the sphere of consciousiiess."

since such relations

must depend absolutely

existence upon the continuance of the consciousness


in

which they are discovered, and must therefore

cease to exist the

moment they
denies,

cease to be perceived,

phenomenism covertly
can
effect

notwithstanding her

professions of friendship, that the scientific

method

any discovery

of

any

fact that does not


itself.

begin

and end with

human

consciousness

Consequently,

when

science (as she does) formulates

countless relations as objectivehj real in the universe

per

se,

phenomenism, not venturing

to

contradict,

misinterprets and misrepresents


jectively real in the

them

as

only

sitb-

hu7nan mind.

Despite

all dis-

guises,

secret

phenomenism thus shows itself to be the and irreconcilable foe of science, and appears
calls
it,

as

what Fortlage
if

" completed scepticism."


is

In short,
if

phenomenism
true,

true, science is false;


is

science

is

phenomenism
The
first

false

and every

attempt to show the contrary misrepresents one,


or the other, or both.
objection, therefore,

that

phenomenism

is

refuted by the bare existence

84

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
convinced

of science, is substantiated for all wlio are

that science

is true-;

but

its full

strength will hardly


is

be

felt

before the theory of

noumenism

positively

developed.
17. The second nomenism is that

objection to the theory of pheit

suicidally

contradicts

itself,

inasmuch as
gether,
18. In

it

claims to get rid of

noumena
else.

alto-

and ends by giving us nothing


the
first

place, it maintains that " the


is

phenomenon-universe
tion, deriving its

only a mental representa" a " mental representation

whole existence from the represent-

ing consciousness."
is

Now

nothing but the act of representing, just as a thought nothing but the act of thinking, or as a men-

is

tal

image

is

nothing but the act of imagining;

its

existence consists in
act,

the actual continuity of the


ceases.

and ceases when the act


phenomenism, which

Moreover, the
according

" representing

consciousness,"
rejects

likewise,

to

the supposition of
is

a noumenal subject

behind the consciousness,


;

nothing but the act of representing

for nothing else


is

remains when the noumenal subject

suppressed.

Consequently, the statement with which


if

we

began,

we now

substitute in

it

these strictly equivalent


:

expressions, will read as follows

"

The phenomenonits

universe is only an act of representing, deriving

whole existence from the

act of representing."

Con-

sequently, the phenomenon-universe,


to

thus reduced
its

a mere act of representing, derives

whole

existence from itself

is

therefore absolutely self-

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


subsistent and depends on nothing beyond itself
is

85

therefore a self-existent or self-caused reality, or


sui.

causa

Thus phenomenism, pretending

to give

us a phenomenon-universe, has given us in fact a


universe which
for, if
is

pure noumenon, and nothing else


is

a causa sui

not a pure noumenon, nay, a


is it ?

very noumenon noumenoncm, what

Phenome-

nism, therefore, strange to say, ends by giving us a

noumenon-universe
19.

after all

In the second

place, the

Greek sceptic Karto

neades, founder of the third

Academy, knew how

analyze the representation (^ (fyavTaa-ia) without denying the reality either of the representing consciousness
(o cj>avTa(Tiov/jL6vo<=:)

or of the represented thing (to


real

(fiavracTTov)}

Phenomenism, however, conceding


it

existence to the representation, denies

both to the

representing
thing.2

consciousness and to the represented


representation,

Hence the pure


noumenal

since

it

really exists, yet can exist neither in a

noumenal

subject nor in a
in itself

object,

must
be,

exist really

in other words,

must

and be known
on nothing
der darauf sich
die Vorstellung

to be, a self-existent entity dependent


1
*'

Um die Unmoglichkeit eines Kriteriums und


Ueberzeugung darzuthun, analysirt er

stiitzenden

und

findet, dass dieselbe ein Verhaltniss liabe,

sowol zu

dem Gegen(Erd-

stande, durch den,als zu

dem

Subjecte, in

dem

sie entsteht."

mann, Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie, I. 164.) 2 "Die Beziehung unserer Vorstellungen auf ein vorstellendes Subject und auf ein vorzustellendes Object sind in dem reinen
bereits

Thatbestand des Vorstellungsin hakes nicht enthalten, sonderu Deutungsversuche zur Erklarung der Vorstellungen, die sine durch die Categoric der Causalitat, die andere durch diejenige
der Substantialitat vermittelt."

(W. Wiudelbaud,

1.

c,

p.

259.)

8Q
outside of

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
itself.

But that

is

a noumenon, iu the

very sense in which phenomenism most vigorously


denies
its reality.

Once more,

therefore,

phenome-

nism, promising us a representation which shall he

pure phenomenon, ends by giving us a noumenonrepresentation after all


20.
all

In the third place, phenomenism

is

severe on

attempts to convert abstractions into entities by

that delusive process of thought called hypostasis.

"The

tenets of the old metaphysic," says Windel-

band, "consisted in the hypostasis of the

priori
;

forms of thought {Hypostasirung

cler

Denkformen)

the assumption of things-in-themselves in general

is

the hypostasis of the ground-form of


tions."

all representa-

And

he declares
is

"

The hypostasis
of
all

of the

thought-forms

the

essence
;

dogmatism."

The warning
the retort
hypostasis

is

salutary

but phenomenism imme-

diately proceeds to despise


is

and disregard

it.

For
if

cogent and unanswerable that,


the
thought-forms
is

tlie

of

inadmissible in

the old metaphysic, the self-evident hypostasis of the


thought-ads, or thovght-funcMons,
sible
is

no

less inadmis-

in

phenomenism

itself.

The representation

cannot possibly be conceived as anything else than


a mere act or functioning of the mind, a mere act

and, by abstraction, to elevate this mere act or function into a self subsistent phenomeof representing
;

non-in-itself
bility of

is

to hypostatize

it,

beyond the

possi-

cavil or reply.
is

The

'

Hypostasirnng der

Denkformen"

at least

no worse than the Hyposta-

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


sirung der Denkacten
at least
as
;

87
is

the phenomenon-iu-itself
thing-in-itself,

bad as the

in fact, it
distincif

becomes a
tion

thing-in-itself, since there

is

no

between phenomenon and noumenon,


of

the

possibility

separating

them

is

once conceded.

Self-existent representations, or

phenomena-in-them-

selves, are strictly indistinguishable

from noumena,

or things-in-themselves.

Not

only, therefore, does


to give us

phenomenism, having promised


alone,

phenomena
but also
it

end by giving us noumena

alone,

caps the climax of self-contradiction by creating

its

noumena through the selfsame


old

process which, in the

metaphysic,

it

gravely reprehends and repro!

bates the

process of hypostasis

21. Thus, turn

which way

it

may, phenomenism

proves

itself utterly

unable to escape from the nou-

mena it abhors, and powerless to hold fast by "phenomena alone;" /or " i^hcnomeyia alone''' instantly

become noumena.

In vain

it

struggles

to

evade the necessity of confessing that


the self-existent
at all
is
:

man knows

the bare fact that anything exists

demonstration of the fact that something

exists of itself,
sarily

and the one

fact

is

no

less neces-

known than

the other.

The

essential

and

avow^ed purpose of phenomenism, namely, to conceive the universe as only a


fore,

phenomenon,

is,

there-

quixotic, impossible,

and self-contradictory to
It

the very verge of absurdity.


ized with a

cannot be characteraccuracy than

more thoroughly
in that

scientific

by a passage

charming story-book, Alice in

88

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

Wonderland,

designed,

it

is

true, for children, yet

not without occasional instiuction for philosophers.


Alice has repeatedly encountered the famous and ever-

grmning
"
'

*'

Cheshire Cat," and at last exclaims

I wish

you would
;

n't

keep appearing and vanishgiddy.'


it

ing so suddenly

you make me quite

"'AH
ished
tail,

right,' said

the Cat; and this time

van-

quite slowly, beginning with the end of the


grin,

and ending with the


it

which remained some

time after the rest of

had gone.
grin,'
's

"'Well!

I've often seen a cat without a


;
'

thought Alice

but a grin without a


in all

cat

It

the

most curious thing I ever saw

my

life.'"

When

philosophy becomes

fairyland,

in

which

neither the laws of nature nor the laws of reason

hold good, the attempt of phenomenism to conceive


the universe as a jjlienomcnon icithout a noumcnon

may

succeed, but not before

for

it

is

an attempt
satisfied,

to conceive " a grin without a cat."


therefore, that

Being

phenomenism

is

the most inconsistent

and unphilosophical theory

to be

met
to

in the

whole

history of philosophy, I turn

now

the

opposite

theory of noumenism, or scientific realism.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE,

89

CHAPTER

III.

THE THEORY OF NOUMENISM.


22.

Kant

occasionally opposes the

phenomenon
noumethe

{die Erschcinung) to the

non-phenomenal (das Nichtto the

Erscheinendc), but

far

more frequently

non

or thing-m-itself {das Ding-an-sich).

Now
;

first is

a true, the second a false opposition

and the

reason

why he

failed to see that these

two opposideep in the

tions were not one

and the same

lies

ground-plan of his system,

nay,

in the far older

nominalistic theory of universals, of

which

his sys-

tem

is simply the historical and logical culmination. This point must be at least briefly explained, for it

concerns our subject vitally.


23.

The general purpose


is

of

the

Critique

of

Pure Reason
of

to investigate the origin

and laws

pure a priori

knowledge, the possibility and


far too hastily

reality of

which Kant

assumed, inasit,

much

as all

the instances he gives of

if

keenly

scrutinized, betray at once the presence of strictly Under the influence of the empirical elements.

traditional

and

still

prevalent Nominalism, which

reduces all general terms to mere subjective concepts

and by implication denies the

possibility of

objective relations as their cosmical correlates,

and

90

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

more particularly under the influence of the nominalistic Hume, whose incomplete subjectifying of
the
causal relation

stimulated

Kant's profounder

genius to develop this partial subjectivism into a


universal

and

systematic

"

Apriorismus"

Kant

found himself logically compelled to consider the


category of relation
validity,
itself
it

as of

purely subjective

and

to see in

merely one of the four

priori forms of the logical

judgment (Quantity,
determine the

Quality, Eelation, Modality) which

twelve

"

categories " or " pure concepts of the under-

standing."

Into these categories or a priori forms


if

of thought, as

into moulds, the formless matter of


is

sensuous intuition

run, and

thereby enabled to
All relato be

take the form of definite representations.


tions, as such, were thus conceived by

Kant

exclusively subjective in origin and nature, and to

be impressed, so to speak, on the data of sensation


as an exclusively subjective element in all cognition
of

objects of experience.

In this manner the

far-

reaching principle of the Subjectivity of Belations, derived from the old nominalistic theory of universals

and simply reduced by Kant

to a scientific form,

became incorporated as a
the Kantian system
;

vitally essential part in


for the first time,

and then,

was the foundation laid for a thoroughly systematic


theory of phenomenism.
24.

Now
else

relations as such are the specific

and

only direct objects of the intellect or understanding.

Nothing

can be properly said to be understood

; :

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.

91

nothing else can even be affirmed, because every


proposition without exception
is

simply the stateits

ment
ject

of

some determinate
its

relation between

sub-

and

predicate.

Consequently,

all relations

having been resolved by Kant into a purely subjective

addendum

to the objects of experience presented

to the senses, the external

world became straighteverything

way

absolutely
;

stripped

of

which

is

intelligible

things in themselves, being left utterly


to

unrelated

either

each other or to the

human
but to

understanding, lapsed into the condition of virtual


non-existence
;

nothing remained
itself as
if

possible

view the universe in

an utterly inscrutaindeed
it

ble and unintelligible blank,


all

existed at

which

unintelligible existence Kant,

indeed,

affirmed, but

which his successors have either gravely

doubted or boldly denied.

Now

these facts perfectly explain


originally, in
is

how
came

the word

noumenon,^ which
signified " that

Greek philosophy,
to

which

intelligible,"

mean

in

Kantian and post-Kantian use the exact opposite


" that

namely,

which

is

unintelligible."

This total in-

version in the meaning of one of the most important

words

in the philosophical vocabulary

is

certainly a
fact

most

extraordinary, significant,
I venture to assert that
vo4ui,

and instructive

and
1

no satisfactory explasignified to perceive with the


the

The Greek
of

even
the

in

Homer,

mind, as well as with


objects

eyes.

In Plato, ra voovfxcua were

intellectual perception,

and hence,

in general, " the intelligiliterally

ble

" although the derivative vot]t6s


intelliyibilis.

more

corresponded

to the Latin

92
nation of
it

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
can be given except the revolution of
rise of

thought by which, through the

nominalism,

the principle of the objectivity of relations was sup-

planted by that of the subjectivity of relations.


Socrates,

To

Plato, Aristotle,

and the schools derived


realities, either

from them, relations were objective

separable or inseparable from objective individual


things
;

they were in no sense impressed on objects


in the act of cognition
;

a priori by the understanding


the things intelligible.

they belonged to the things in themselves, and made


This
is

the essential purport

both of the Platonic Theory of Ideas and of the


Aristotelian

Theory

of

Essential
koct/jlo^

Forms, whence
votjto^

arose the distinction of the


koo-jjlo^

and the
and the
in itself,

aLo-6r]T6<;,

the mundits

intelligihilis

mimdus

sensibilis

one and the same world

as differently related to the understanding


sensibility, yet equally

and the

within the compass of both.


purport even of the Greek

It is
"

no

less the essential


;

Skepsis

" for

the fundamental difference between

the ancient and the modern scepticisms, unnoticed

even in the best histories of philosophy, yet easily detected behind their statements, lies in the fact
that ancient scepticism rested on the assumption of

the objectivity of relations, while modern scepticism,


or

phenomenism,

rests

on that of the subjectivity


in
detail

of

relations.

To show

this

would require
purpose
;

more space than can here be spared


yet a few facts

for the

may

be cited which sufficiently and


it.

unmistakably indicate

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


25.

93

Pyrrhon,

the

founder of the (improperly

so called) sceptical " school," developed the general

philosophical doubt occasioned by the mutual conflict of

the various dogmatic systems of his time into

what may be termed a negative dogmatism, whose


chief tenet

was the
of

total incomprehensibility or
(a/caraXTz-v/r/a).

un-

intelligibility

things

This tenet

was avowedly based on

the

observed conflict of
rrj^;

human
(jxovia^)

opinions
;

{^la rrjv avrtkoylav^ ck

Bia-

and

this

observed conflict of

human

opin-

ions can evidently be construed in only one way,

namely, as an actually

existent relation of antagonism,

objective to and independent of the observer, yet

actually perceived and


of inference.

known by him
is

as a

ground

Pyrrhon, therefore, as

self-evident,

denied neither the objective reality of things, nor the


objective reality of their relations, nor the subjective
reality of

some mode

of discovering at least the par-

ticular

objective relations on
:

which he based

his

general conclusion

on the contrary, he manifestly


it

assumed

all this,
itself.

without noticing that

upset the

conclusion

What

he denied was the possireal relations of things

bility of discovering
are,

what the

on account

of the absence of
;

any trustworthy

criterion of truth

and what he affirmed was that


certainty, because to

nothing can be

known with

every affirmation respecting things as they are in

themselves

its

negation can be opposed with equal


tcro<i

plausibility or strength (iravrl Xoyro X070?


KeiTai).

avrt-

This last proposition

Sextos Empeirikos,

94

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
" as it

with the addition of


<f>aiveTaC) in

appears to

me "

(w?

iixol

order to avoid even negative dogmatism,

declared to

be the ground-principle of scepticism

{^PX^ T^? cr/c67rTifcr]<;), It was, therefore, only on the naively conceded reality of actual and perceptible relations in the intelligible world, as objectively existent
aiKi really discoverable,

although curiously enough

claimed to be undiscoverable, that the Pyrrhonists


inculcated

abstinence
of

from

all

assertion

(d(f)aoria)

and suspense

judgment (iiroxv) respecting the

constitution of things as they are.

The Academics Arkesilaos and Karneades substantially

agreed with Pyrrhon,

but,

in

order

to

escape an absolute deadlock in the world of action,

allowed probabihty
in

(Trt^ai/or?;?) as

a practical guide
"

common

life.

Ainesidemos brought the

Skepsis
it

"

to its highest pitch of perfection


as denial, or even as
tigation.

by conceiving

not

mere doubt, but rather as invessceptic does not permit himself

The true

to maintain,

like the Academics, that


;

there

is

no
a

certainty,

but only probability

that would be

dogma
ing at

he affirms not, denies not, doubts not, but


;

investigates
all,

the essential thing


to

is

to maintain noth-

and

permit to oneself the use of no


" perhaps," " I

expressions

more dogmatic than


"it
is

do

not decide,"

possible,"

"it

may

be or

may

not be," and so forth.


fixedness of conviction

This settled hostility to that

which

is

the inevitable result


scientific verification

of all positive experience


is,

and

perhaps, the chief point of union between the

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


ancient " Skepsis " and modern phenomenism:
the most marked
itself
it

95
is

characteristic of both,

and reveals
habit
of

in

phenomenism

as

that

diseased

mind which abhors nothing so heartily as fixed conclusions, stigmatizes them under all circumstances
as
''

dogmatic," and insists on treating even verified


as a
"

scientific truth itself

mere hypothesis."
to
this

In

order to give

philosophic

form

tendency,

Ainesidemos

drew up

the

famous ten "Tropes"

{rpoTTOL tt}? (7/ce>e?), or universal grounds for the

sceptical suspense of judgment,

which were

after-

wards reduced
ticeable

to

five

by Agrippa.
fact

The most nois

and paradoxical

about them

that

every one of them involves a distinct and unequivoevery cal recognition of the objectivity of relations
:

one of them
things

is

based on the observed differences of


in

disagreements
in

the constitutions of difof the senses

ferent animals or
in

men, in the testimony


institutions,

general,

human
of

customs,

laws,

superstitions, or opinions, in the various conditions

and circumstances
Nay, the eighth

human

life itself,
ri),

and

so forth.
in fact

(o diro

rov Trpo?

which

covers the ground of the entire ten, explicitly alleges

the constant changes in the relations of things to

each other and to

us (relations, therefore, which

must be both
the permanent

real

and perceived)

as a reason

why

constitution of the things

themselves

cannot be certainly known.

And

Sextos declares in

terms that not only phenomena

{(^aivofieva), hut also

noumena

(voov/neva), are legitimate objects of seep-

96

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
:

tical investigation

the result of which investigation

being to find equal strength {laoadeveLa) in opposite


conclusions as to both, the " Skepsis
"

conducts to

the desired suspense of judgment and consequent

peace of

mind {drapa^ta).
plainer, therefore,
itself,

Nothing can be

than the fact


then,
all

that the Greek scepticism

the other schools of Greek

much more, philosophy, were


less

founded upon the principle, assumed rather than


criticised

and proved,
intelligibility
;

of the objectivity of relations

and the
or

of

noumena no

than of

phenomena

and that

this principle of

objectivism

noumenism is the profoundest distinction between Greek and modern philosophy, inasmuch as the
almost universally based on the principle
or
of

latter is

subjectivism

phenomenism.

Alike to tranall

scendental idealism, experiential idealism, and

other forms of nominalistic philosophy in general,


relations

have become mere subjective

realities,

indis-

herent in the representations and absolutely


severed from the world in
decapitated trunk,
to
is

itself,

which,

like

now

so far gone in decay as

be

indistinguishable

from absolute nonentity.


aban-

While, however, modern philosophy has well-nigh

unanimously followed in

Kant's footsteps,

doned the old Greek foundation of the objectivity of


relations,

and adopted the mediaeval foundation


nominalism or the subjectivity
still

of

scholastic

of relations,

modern

science

stubbornly occupies the old

Greek ground

of realism,

and by her amazing, ever-

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE,


multiplying discoveries has already rendered
it

97

an

absolutely impregnable fortress for the philosophy


of the future.
26.

We

are at

last, therefore,

in a position to

understand

how

it

happened that Kant, confessedly

the greatest genius in philosophy since Aristotle,

came

to

confound the true opposition between the

phenomenon and the non-phenomenal, on the one


hand, "with the totally false opposition between the

phenomenon and the noumenon, on the other hand. In both the Greek and the German philosophies, the
phenomenon
apparent
is

is

the Apparent, to which


;

the ISTon-

a true opposite

in the

Greek philosophy,

however, the noumenon

is

the Objectively Eelated

and
it

Intelligible,

while in the

German philosophy

has become, as I have just explained, the Objec-

tively Unrelated

and Unintelligible.
is

Consequently, in the Greek philosophy, there

no fundamental opposition between the phenomenon and the noumenon, since the Apparent and the
Intelligible are quite compatible predicates of Beingin-itself
;

in fact, they are indispensable


it,

and insepa-

rable predicates of

inasmuch

as only the

Apparent
no

can be intelligible and only the Intelligible can be


apparent,

inasmuch,
German

furthermore, as there

is

contradiction, but perfect compatibility, between Be-

ing and Appearance or between Being and Thought.

But, in the

philosophy, the

noumenon havphenome-

ing become identified with the Objectively Unrelated

and Unintelligible, or

''thing-in-itself," the

98

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
identified

non became naturally and inevitably the merely Subjectively Eelated and
"representation;"
in

with

Intelligible, or

other

words,

phenomena

be-

came wholly detached from the world of Intelligible BeincT and wholly transferred to the world of Ideal Thought. Nothing could be further from the truth,
as

modern
is

science

interprets
of

it;

but that, neveridealism in a

theless,

the history

German

nutshell.

false In this manner an unavoidable opposition, from premises the drawn logically but in itself,

latent in Nominalism, the mediaeval

and

scholastic

philosophy grounded on the assumption of the subjectivity of relations,

has

grown up and become

established in
ance,

thing-in-itself

Germany between Being and Appearand representation, noumenon

and phenomenon. Kant's second opposition between the phenomenon {Erscheinung) and the noumenon (Ding-an-sich) was, therefore, logical enough in his

own system and


words

quite legitimate in his


therefore,

own

use of
first

interchangeable,
the

with his

opposition between

phenomenon {Erscheiming)

and the non-phenomenal {NicM-Erscheinende). None the less unfortunate, hojvever, have been the consequences of the grave error originated by his creation of this false opposition

between the noumenon


deepened the chasm

and the phenomenon

for it has

between modern philosophy and modern science, and prevented the incalculable good which would have
resulted from
their

cordial

co-operation.

For, in

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


both the Greek and the
the universe, there
is

99

scientific

conceptions of

no opposition whatever be-

tween the noumenon and the phenomenon; on the


contrary, they are absolutely inseparable predicates
of Being-in-itself, or the universe as

both self-existent
itself

and

intelligible.
its

And

philosophy

can never
as the
cul-

recover

ancient

influence

and position

supreme intellectual power


ture,

in civilization

and

until

it

has

thoroughly revolutionized

and

modernized

itself

by adopting unreservedly the nouscience.

menism
27.

of

modern

While phenomenism,

therefore,

cleaves

to

the

German

conception, and views the universe as

phenomenal only,

that

is,

as a purely subjective

representation without any noumenal object,

nouand

menism
nal.

cleaves to the old Greek conception,

views the universe as

both phenomenal and noume-

Here

is

brought out with perfect distinctness

and clearness the fundamental difference between phenomenism, or German subjectivism, and
menism, or ancient Greek and modern
objectivism.

nou-

scientific

The former assumes,

utterly without

warrant in reason or experience, the actual separahility

of the

phenomenon and noumenon,


Vorstellung),

resolves

the phenomenal universe into the merely subjective


representation
reality
(

and denies

all objective

to

the

noumenal universe

{Din(j-an-sich)\

while the latter assumes, as a datum guaranteed by

both reason and experience in the


the actual inseparability of the

scientific

method,

phenomenon and the


100

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
finds

noumenon, and
verse per

them

to be not only compatible,


of the uni-

but co-existent and necessary, predicates


se.

And

the ultimate origin of this fundalies in

mental difference
subjectivity

the difference between the


of relations, as the only
of Universals, of

and

the objectivity

two possible forms


which must

of the

Theory

upon

rest at last the

Theory

Knowledge.

According to noumenism, therefore, the noumenon


is

Intelligible Being, the


is

mundus

intelligibilis ;

the
sen-

phenomenon
sihilis;

Apparent Being, the mundus


different yet entirely
jper se

and these two are

com-

patible conceptions of the one universe


is

which

actually

known by

science.

Phenomenism, being

essentially

an affirmation

of the incompatibility of

Eeal Being and Ideal Appearance, is the victim of the false opposition between the two which the

Kantian philosophy derived from mediaeval Scholasticism; and philosophy can never become truly
modernized until
thereby ridding
it

discards

phenomenism

altogether,

itself of

the numberless contradic-

tions latent in this mistaken theory.

Kestore the

true

opposition between the

phenomenon and the


phenomenon
Greek prin-

non-phenomenal;

restore the Aristotelian principle

of the necessary inseparabihty of the

and the noumenon;


ciple,

restore the universal

unconsciously assumed rather than consciously


critically justified, of the objec-

comprehended and
tivity of relations
;

add

to these the incontrovertible


scientific

discoveries achieved

by the

method

in con-

seq^uence of its adoption of these very principles,

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


and the whole
with
its

101

of

cause, philosophy revives,

modern phenomenism collapses and man is once


which he can
increas-

more

at

home

in a universe

ingly know.
28.
it is

For whatever

exists is intelligible, because


is

or

may
are,

be apparent; only Non-Being


it

unintel-

ligible,

because

must
be,

forever remain non-apparent.

There

and can
:

no

"unintelligible things-inis

themselves " so far phenomenism


right.

unquestionably
necessarily inas unquestionof

telligible

But things-in-themselves are and so far phenomenism is


:

ably wrong.

So understood, the dictum

Hegel

would be true: "Whatever is real is There exists no " Unknowable," Spencer


trary notwithstanding; the only

rational."

to the conis

"Unknowable"
is

the non-existent.

Human

intelligence

a light in
rays shoot
brightness
illu-

the midst of a boundless darkness;


indefinitely far in all directions,

its its

and

grows, fed by a marvellous internal source of

mination whose limits have never yet been ascertained.

Whoever presumes
or

to set impassable bounds,


of the darkness

whether deduced from the nature


per
per
se
se,

from the nature

of the glin.-mering light


it

to the area over which

may

shine, is guilty

of that

worst vice in philosophy

dogmatism,
ist,

or

the conceit of knowledge without the reality.


crease the light infinitely,
1

In-

and
;

it

would expel the


das
10,

"

Was vernunftig

ist,

das

ist

wirklich

und was wirklich

ist

vernunftig."

(Hegel, Werke, VIII. 17.

In his Werke, VI.

makes a mistaken reference to from himself as " S. XIX." instead of p. 17.)


Plegel himself

this passage, quoted

;;

102
infinite

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
darkness
is
:

the only reason

why

the infinite

darkness

not absolutely expelled by the light of


is

human

intelligence

that the

light is so small.
is

The existence

of the

Unknown

a legitimate in-

ference from the fact of the constant increase of

human knowledge; but


that which
is

to affirm the
"

existence of
is

^er

se

the
it

Unknowable "

to affirm

and deny knowledge of


Agnosticism

in one

and the same breath

and, of all dreary inventions of


is

human

pedantry,

when it elevates this concept of a Known Unknowable into self -destructive a mock deity, and founds upon it a mock religion. Is
the dreariest,
it

not time to lay this

*'

Cock-lane Ghost" of the


to the

Unknowable, and return

grand seriousness

and simplicity
29.

of

Greek objectivism?

From

all this it follows that


is

phenomenism,

on the one hand,

founded upon the Suhjcctivity

of Relations and the Separahility of

Noumenon and
and the

Phenomenon
is

while noumenism, on the other hand,


Ohjectivity of Belations

founded on the

Inseparability of

Noumenon and Phenomenon.


words phenomenon and noumenon,

30. This last principle is involved in the bare


definitions of the

as respectively " that

which

is

apparent " and

"

that

which

is

knowable or known."

That which
that which

is

appar-

ent must be so far

known

is

known

must be
they are

so far apparent.

Consequently, noumenon

and phenomenon reciprocally contain each other


merely different
determinations
of

that

which is; and these determinations are as insepa-

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


rable as color

103

and form in an object


exist; the

ever appears must


the

of vision. Whatphenomenon without

absurdity .1

noumenon is at once an impossibility and an The case of dreams, hallucinations, inis

sane delusions, and so forth, occasions no difficulty

whatever, for nothing

ever the object of an illusion

which has

not, at least in its separate elements,

been

noumenally as well as phenomenally experienced.

The dream or
tion,

delusion, therefore, in

no wise

differs

from the picture created by the sane waking imaginaexcept that the dream-synthesis
is

not, as is the

case with the picture-synthesis, regulated


tellect.

by the

in;

false appearance

is

no

real appearance

by the very terms


ideal only,

of the hypothesis, it is false, unreal,


,

not Erscheinung but


is
;

ScJiein.

What

dis-

tinguishes appearance from apparition or delusion,

Erscheinung from Schein,


tirety
of

congruity with the enis

experience

there

no positive

test

of

knowledge or

criterion of truth save universal

hu-

man

experience,

which constitutes the

final

appeal

of science itself.

But appearance may be


appearance
is

either real or ideal.

Eeal

the appearance of the noumenon-object


;

in experience

ideal appearance

is

the appearance of

the noumenon-subject in consciousness; in either

noumenon and phenomenon are inseparable, and the phenomenon depends upon the noumenon, since every appearance must be of that which is
case,
1

"

Was

erscheinen
I.

soil,

muss

als seiend vorausgesetzt

werden."

(Krug, Lexikon,

835.)

104

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

both existent and intelligible. If, as happens in misdelusions, ideal appearance in consciousness is is this (and taken for real appearance in experience
the whole fact covered

appearance

"),

what truly
in

by the expression "false appears is the noumenonfunctions

subject, disordered

its
is

and disguised

from

itself

the mistake

a mistake of inference as
if

to causation, a

wrong

interpretation of facts, and,

curable at
versal

all, is

to be cured

by the appeal
is
it,

to uni-

human

experience.

Consciousness

always

a part of experience, but only a part of phenomenism confounds with the whole.^

which
Experi-

ence itself, as conceived by noumenism, and as confirmed by science, is the joint product of two equally

important

factors,

noumenon-subject and noumenon-

object, the actual co-existence, union, and interpenetration of real appearance and ideal appearance,
as above defined.
ideal

Phenomenism misconceives it appearance alone (Vorstelhmg), and even


;

as

in

this abolishes the noumenon-subject

it

thereby

irre-

trievably mangles the fact of experience,

first,

by

denying in

it

the real appearance of the noumenon-

object, and, secondly,

by denying even

in the ideal

appearance the existence of the noumenon-subject.


1 "Die aus dem genannten Bediirfnisse hervorgehende Entstehung der Fhilosophie hat die Erfahrung, das unmittelbare (Hegel, und raisonnirende Bewusstsein, zum Ausgangspunkte." Werke, VI. 18. Mr. William Wallace, in his Logic of Hegel, first beginnings of p. 15, translates this passage as follows: "The

philosophy date from these cravings of thought. departure from Experience; including under that

It

takes

its

name our imit.")

mediate consciousness and the processes of inference from

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


Science, as actual

105
se,

knowledge

of the universe per

is demonstration of the fact that real appearance of the noumenon-object and ideal appearance of the

noumenon-subject are actually welded or fused toExperience is the chemical gether in experience.
union, so to speak, of the noumenon-object and the

noumenon-subject, the former appearing really and


the latter appearing ideally, in a positive third which is neither one nor the other of the two elements
alone, but a positive coalescence of both essentially
different

from either; objective existence and sub-

jective consciousness meet in an actual relation of

action

and

reaction, or

mutual
of

co-activity,

which

constitutes the relation

human

knowledge

the

actual empirical unity of


ject

and

object,

knower and known, subHence all Thought and Being.


arises in

human knowledge
and that
falls to

experience
is

in all ex-

perience the activity of Being


of

the logical jprius,


;

Thought the
of "

logical posterius

and the
"

Kantian assumption
the ground.

pure a priori knowledge

In other words, consciousness

itself originates

only in experience, and experience

originates

in

the influence of that which can be


;

known upon that which can know but that which can know must exist before it can be influenced, and
is

so far truly
31.

d priori.
repudiates the fundamental

Noumenism thus

dualism which compels phenomenism to set nou-

menon and phenomenon, being and


stance and quality, over against

appearance, sub-

each other as not

106

SCIENTIFIC THEISM,
are),

only distinguishable in thought (which they

but also as separable in fact (which they are

not),

and grounds

itself

on the fundamental monism which

posits the objective identity

and merely subjective


grossly caricalatter conceive

difference of the two.

Phenomenism
it

tures

noumenism, when
"

makes the

the
"

noumenon

as a mysterious

and incomprehensible
qualities can
;

substratum

from which phenomenal

be peeled off one by one, like the coats of an onion

and

it

wins a cheap enough victory over a man-of-

straw antagonist,
is left of

the

when it triumphantly inquires what onion when the coats are all gone. The
phenomenism
itself,
it is

ground

of this absurdity lies in


;

not in noumenism for

the former, not the latter,


of

which assumes the separability


nomenon,

noumenon and phe-

it

is

the former, not the latter, which

detaches phenomena from the world of Being, transfers

them

to

the world of Thought, and thereby

reduces the
"

noumenon to nonentity as an impossible substratum." Noumenism, on the contrary, vetoes


first

the

step in this royal progress towards nonsense,


of

and maintains the absolute inseparability

nouthe

menon and
stantial

phenomenon, characterizes

it

as

quintessence of unreason even to suggest that, sub-

Being can possibly or imaginably be stripped

of all or

any one

of its qualities, or that its qualities

can possibly or imaginably be transferred to Thought.

The inherent changeableness of phenomena is a fact which militates against noumenism no more than for, on either theory, pheagainst phenomenism
;

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.

107

All phenomena, hownomena constantly change. ever, must either inhere in noumenal Being as their ultimate origin and ground, or else must originate de nihilo and return in nihilum} To phenomenism,
therefore, their constant changes
plicable, because conceived

are utterly inex-

by

it

as utterly without
;

origin

that

is,

as absolutely ultimate facts

while

to

noumenism they

are at least partially explicable,


it

because conceived by

as effects or self-manifesta-

tions of causative or self-manifesting Being,

permais

nent and one.

So far as recognition of the

Many

concerned, therefore,

phenomenism and noumenism

stand on precisely the same level; but, so far as


recognition
of

the

One

is

concerned,

noumenism

possesses an immeasurable philosophical superiority,


if

philosophy

is

indeed a search for the

One

in the

Many.
32.

Noumenism,
same
It revives,

then,

conceives

the

universe

as, at the

time,

noumenal and phenomenal


far higher form, the

both.

though in a

ancient Greek principles of the objectivity of relations

and the inseparability


finds

of

noumenon and pheintelligible


se

nomenon, and

the noumenal or

character of the

universe per

to consist in its

Immatunt Relational Co7istitution. It beholds in the modern scientific method the perfection or culmination of actual

human
1

experience, the source of all


"
gigni

De

nihilo nihilum, in nihilum nil posse reverti."

(Persius, Sat. III. 83, 84.)

108

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
and
It

actual discoveries of truth, and the " promise

potency

"

of illimitable discovery in the future.

concedes the claim of science to have already dis-

covered an " objective synthesis


universe per
se,

" of

relations in the

existent not merely

when they

are

perceived by man, but just as


of his perception
;

much

in the intervals

and

it

not only repudiates, but

reprehends, the essentially strategical policy of phe-

nomenism
'*

in

misrepresenting and
of

belittUng

this

objective

synthesis "

cosmical relations as a

mere
tions

" subjective

synthesis " of

human

representa-

policy

which proves that phenomenism


little scientific

stands in need of either a

illumina-

tion or a Httle ethical instruction.


33.

Further,

noumenism argues
se,

that,

if

science

has succeeded in discovering objective relations in


the universe per
totally independent
for

their

existence on man, his representations, or his consciousness in

any sense

of the

word (and
it

it

is

an

inexcusable belying of science to say of


less

anything

than

that),

then there must be in the

human

mind some adequate and appropriate intellectual faculty, or function, by which they have been discovered.
is

It argues that, since the

noumenal universe
there

actually

known by man

(the results of science


fact),

being the self-evident proof of that

must

be in

man

a Perceptive Understanding capable of ap-

prehending these indisputably discovered objective


relations.

It is not practicable

in this connection
this highly impor-

to do

more than barely touch on

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


tant
subject,

109
50.

which

is

developed further in

Enough

to say here that

what philosophy and psy-

chology have to do, as the most urgently needed


service they can render in the present condition of

thought,

is,

not to deny the undeniable as phenome-

nism

does,

but patiently to exert their utmost

in-

genuity to investigate and discover what this

now

unrecognized

mode

of

knowing

is.

34. The main positions of the theory of noumenism may now be presented synoptically in the following summary 1. The universe is both a noumenon and a phe:

nomenon, indissolubly one.


2.

It

is

noumenon because
sCy

it

exists

and

is of,

intelligible in itself {per

an

sich),

independent
its

yet knowable by, the


ableness
or

human mind; and


character

knowin
its

intelligible

consists

immanent
3.

relational constitution.

It

is

phenomenon because
in
part, not
it.

it

is

apparent
;

and actually known,


science
4.
is

in

whole

and

the knowledge of
is

Every phenomenon
is

necessarily a

noumenon,
universe

and every noumenon


nomenon.
constitute the so far as
it is

an actual or possible pheof the

The actual phenomena

Known

the universe per

se is

known

actually related to man's consciousness.

The merely
stitute the

possible

phenomena
;

of the universe conse is

Unknown
is

the universe per

so far as

it

potentially

that

unknown

is,

not yet actually


But, inasmuch as

related to man's consciousness.

110

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
is

no reason

discoverable, either in
se,

human

conscious-

ness or in the universe per


actual relationship

why

the sphere of this

may
all

not be indefinitely extended,

and inasmuch as
intelligible,

noumena are necessarily per se the Unknowable per se is a figment of


is

imagination which

intrinsically self-contradictory,

and therefore an offence

to reason, unless

it

is

con-

ceived as the Non-Existent or the Nonsensical

The human mind includes a perceptive understanding, by which the relational constitution of the universe per se has been already, to some extent,
5.

discovered and
science.

formulated in the propositions of

Its function is to

apprehend the particular


in the universe per
se,

objective relations

immanent

so far as they are presented to

human

consciousness.

Consequently, the concept of experience must be so


far enlarged as to include, not only the activity of

the senses, but also the activity of the perceptive

understanding

(intellection,

intellectual

perception

or apprehension or intuition).

Science has thus had

a strictly experiential origin, and been built

means

of that

posteriori

knowledge

of

up by noumena of

which Kant merely assumed, without proving, the


actual impossibility.

This theory of noumenism


logical

is

nothing but the

development

of the philosophical presupposi-

tions

which were presented at the outset


It has been

as scientific

realism.

worked

out,

both in general

scope and special detail, far more than can here be

even hinted.

But enough has been

said to

show

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.


that

Ill
in
its

modern

science contains, lying

latent

hitherto empirical " scientific method," a whole phi-

losophy
as the

and that the

stability of

all its

results,

" objective

synthesis " of a universe

which

is

not the product of man, but the producer of man,

must depend
ern science

in the last analysis

upon the soundinfluence

ness of that philosophy.

Whatever

mod-

may

be to-day exerting on the religious


it

thought of mankind, and whatever influence


hereafter exert,

may

must proceed, not from the

single

sciences as such, but solely from the possible phi-

losophies which
as a

men may

imagine to underlie them


of this
fail

whole

and the philosophical students


if

nineteenth century must be blind indeed,


to see the incalculable

they

importance of developing this

necessary scientific philosophy according to true and


just principles.
to

The

single sciences as such conduct


;

no universal philosophical conclusion

and

for

this reason scientific specialists are confident in pro-

testation that " science has nothing to do with religion."

But the

sciences as a whole, above all the

universal scientific

method which has produced them,


which the phi;

constitute the only foundation on

losophy of the future can be reared


profoundly believe,
of all things

and

if,

as I

human thought

is

the architect
of
its

human, then what the philosophy


to be, that also will

the future shall prove


rehgion.
35.

be

The appended

tables, epitomizing the results


little

of the first

three chapters of this

book, will

112

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

conveniently exhibit the relations of the theory of

noumenism
The
first

to

the theory of

phenomenism and

to

the history of philosophy in general


table, in particular, will

render clearer

the general argument of 22-26, and explain the

proximate historical origin in Kantism of the phe-

nomenist principle of the separability of noumenon

and phenomenon

while the second and third tables

will facilitate comprehension of the profound


irreconcilable
differences

and

between modern science


If

and
issue

(so-called)
is

modern philosophy.

sharp

the necessary condition of every important

advance in knowledge, these tables will well repay


careful study.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.

113

THREE TABLES
ILLUSTEATING

TEE ANTITHESIS OF PHENOMENISM

AND NOmiENISM.
TWO

I.

KANT'S
1.

OPPOSITIONS.

True Opposition.
versus

Phenomenon

Non-Phenomenon.
the Non- Apparent.
Nicht-Erscheinende.^^)

The Apparent

versus

("Die Ersclieinung versus das

2.

False Opposition.
versus

Phenomenon

Noumenon.

Ideal Appearance
{^^

versus

Real Being.

Die Erscheinung versus das Bing-an-sich.^')

3.

Hence, in the Kantian system,

Non-Phenomenon = Noumenon.
C^

Das Nicht-Erscheinende
8

= Das

Ding-an-sich.")

114

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

II.

PHENOMENISM.

MEDIAEVAL NOMINALISM: GERMAN SUBJECTIVISM

MODERN PHILOSOPHICAL IDEALISM.


^^Apriorismus!'

1.

Ground-principle of the Theory of Universals:


Subjectivity of Relations.

Hence
2.

Ground-principle of the Theory of Knowledge:


Separability of Noumenon and Phenomenon.

Immanent Method = Analysis

of

Subjective Eepresentation.

RESULTS.
Noumenon

= Objectively

Unrelated and Unintelligible

Real Being =: Non-Being.


(" Das Nicht-ErscheUende

= Das

Ding-an-sich.'')

Phenomenon

= Ideal Appearance of Subjectively Related

and Intelligible Representation.


("Z)ie Erscheinung

= Die

Vorstellung")

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.

115

III

NOUMENISM.

GREEK OBJECTIVISM: MODERN RELATIONISM:

MODERN
^^

SCIENTIFIC REALISM.

Almost eriorismus."

1.

Ground-principle of the Theory of Universals:


Objectivity of Relations.

Hence
2.

Ground-principle of the Theory of Knowledge;


Inseparability of Noumenon and Phenomenon.

Scientific

Method

= Analysis

of Objective Experience.

RESULTS.
Noumenon

= Objectively Related and Intelligible Real of the Being = Immanent Relational Constitution
Thing-in-itself.

Phenomenon
and

= Real

and Ideal Appearance of Objectively

Subjectively

Related

and

Intelligible

Real

Being

= Real

and Ideal Appearance of the Noumenal

Thing-in-itself.

PART

II.

THE RELIGION OF

SCIENCE.

PART

11.

THE RELIGION OF

SCIENCE.

CHAPTEE

IV.

THE PRINCIPLES OF SCIENTIFIC THEISM.


36.

What,

tlien,

must be the

religious

outcome

of the philosophy logically


in,

presupposed by, or latent


?

the universal Scientific

Method

For more than twenty years I have


into the obscurity of the future

tried to peer

and discern the

large

outlines of this religious philosophy fated to come.^


I

have sought

to discover

them, not by the compara-

tively superficial process of forming


est generalization,"

merely a " wid-

which

is

simply detecting more


scientific re-

comprehensive relations in already won


sults,

but by going back and

down

to that underlying

scientific

method which
its

is

the creator of all these

results,

pondering

deeply hidden and fundamental


its

presuppositions, drawing out

subtile implications,

and penetrating into the


pervading
^

interior recesses of its allscientific

spirit.

For the

method

itself is

See

article

on " Positivism

Christian Examiner, Boston,

in Theology," published in The March, 1866.

120

SCIENTIFIC THEISM. made by man, towering


other achievements;
it

the grandest discovery yet

immeasurably above
is

all his

the mother of all achievements, all investigations,

all discoveries,

nay,

exists

immanently in them

all

as their innermost process


all their

and law, and gives them

meaning;

it

is

man's nearest approach to

that secret laboratory of Nature whither her marvellous constructiveness

must be tracked back

to its

birthplace in the eternally creative unity of Being

and Thought. The issue of this long meditation has been the " philosophy of science " of which only
a few of the most prominent features have been

sketched in Part

First, yet

enough, I

trust, to give

some conception

of the

groundwork

of that

mode

of

viewing the universe, that Weltanschauimg, w^hich


remains to be unfolded as
"religion of science."
37.
is

my

anticipation of the

Grasp that conception

clearly.
is,

All Being
or

essentially intelligible,

and either

may

be,

apparent.

The Known
is

is

actually apparent Being

the

Unknown

potentially

apparent Being; the

unity of the
nite

Known and
"
is

the

Unknown
them

is

Infi-

Being, which comprehends

both.

"

Unknowable

nothing

but ISTon-Being

the
own

The

Non-Existent and the Nonsensical.^


" consciousness of the

The pretended
is

Unknowable "

nothing but
of

the consciousness of our

own

finitude,

our

depressing failure, our weariness, sadness, and pain,


1

"

But nonsense never can be understood."


I.)

(Dryden, Hind and

Panther, Part


THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.
when we
totality
strive to

121
its

comprehend

Infinite

Being in

with our intrinsically

finite

powers,

of our

own
into

bewildered and half-terrified


ourselves,

shrinking

back

when we

consciously confront the

awful and overwhelming mystery of the Unknown.

Sound
phere;

dies

beyond the boundary


thought

of

our

little

atmos-

sight fails
;

beyond the horizon


itself

of our little

field of vision

expires in the bound-

less vacuity

of the

Unrevealed.

But nowhere
Of

in

Being

is

there any positive barrier to stop the slow


of

and gradual extension


and vigorous

human Knowledge.
is

all

forms of dogmatism, the most abhorrent to a sound,


sane,
intellect
set

the presumptuous

audacity which dares to


"limits of knowledge,"

up flimsy a priori

or Eomulus-walls, to be at

once overleaped with a laugh by the


Science,

Eemus

of

and which,

if

it

only could, would slay

him

for the deed.

38.

However narrow may seem the


infinite,"
it
is

territory

which science has already won from the


formless

" void

and
com-

immeasurably

vast,

pared with the actual or possible acquisition of any


individual
of reality.
;

and

it is

real in the highest conception


is

The ground on which we stand

honest

and

stable ground,

no treacherous quicksand threatif

ening to engulf us

we

stir

hand or

foot,

a
if

tiny

floating island in the ocean of the infinite,


please,
itself.
is

you

but an island every whit as real as the ocean


Science maintains that the universe
existence,
it

knows

actual

perish

who

or

what may,

122

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

affirms the uttermost reality of its

own

conquests,

claims to have solved by victorious wit not a few of

the Sphinx-riddles propounded to


Weltgeist,

and
of

mankind by the
its

testifies
it

that

it

finds the universe

intelligible

wherever

can bring to bear

unfail-

ing

method
its

research

and discovery.

It

indig-

nantly spurns the sophistry which would explain

away
nist's

hard-won cosmical truths as the phenome" representations "

merely subjective

real
It

while he wakes, potential only while he sleeps.


refuses this proffered

kingdom

of man's dreams,

and

vindicates for itself a higher office than merely to

introduce into his

little

phantasmagoric world the


it

coherency, connection, and order which

is

labo-

riously discovering in the universal world of Nature.

Nature herself

is

what

science explores

and

studies,

not the mere domain of


consciousness
is

human
it

"representation;"

the means

uses,

but knowledge of

consciousness is not the end it seeks and attains. The phenomenist, who, reversing the precedent of

the

Hebrew

legend, imagines himself to have swal-

lowed the universe, or who escapes the somewhat

awkward immodesty
nists, is

of this

assumption by sharing

the glory of the feat with a host of fellow-phenome-

shut down, however reluctantly, to this


either science
is is all

di-

lemma:
exists

one huge illusion, or else

consciousness

able to apply itself to that

which

beyond

its

own

limits,

and

to discover in the

noumenal world

relations

which there

exist in total

independence of that which merely discovers them.

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


dilemma

123

The inconsequent phenomenism which shrinks from


this
is

entitled to

no serious consideration
is

consequent phenomenism
science.

the pure negation of

39. It

is

no a priori assumption,
or

resting on
of

contempt

for experience

the rashness

overis

confident speculation, to hold that the universe


intelligible

through and through, whether within or

without the confines of actual

human knowledge.
is

On

the contrary, this conclusion


itself,

a pure induction

from experience

and the absolutely strongest


For every
has been a

induction which experience can yield.


discovery, nay, every perception, ever

made by man

from the very birth


conversion of the

of

human

intellect,

unknown

into the known,

a demonintrinsically

stration, therefore, that the

unknown
is is

is

knowable.
learned ;

All knowledge

acquired gradually, or
itself

and

" to

learn "

to

convert the

unknown
experience
all

into the
itself,

known.

The

totality of

human

therefore, the entire experience of

men
this

in all ages

and

all climes, is

the foundation

of

overwhelmingly convincing induction that

the

unknown is knowable per se. What other truth won by man can boast a warrant more absolute?
This undeniable KnoivaUeness of the Unknown, this
experientially proved Intelligibility of Infinite Being,
is

a fact in which there

is

unspeakable courage and

hope

for the truth-hungry thinker,

who, when the


that his conthat depends

grin-without-a-cat theory assures

hun

sciousness can never

know anything

124

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
itself,

not for existence on

has
:

all

human

experience

on his

side,

when he
it
;

replies

"

The universe depends

not for existence on


sciousness on

my

consciousness, but

my

conof it

science has taught


is

me much
if

already

and philosophy

an impostor,

she can-

not

me how, and help me to learn more." Dream as phenomenism may, the fact stands
tell

firm,

if

there

is

any firmness

in

modern

science

and the
se

modern
is

scientific

method, that the universe per

independent of man, yet thoroughly knowable by


as far as

man
wit

man
there

has wit to

know
it all.
it

it.

Make

his

infinite,

and he would know


all
is

The universe
the All
is

in itself

of

it,

and

is

is

intelligible

through and through.


that

There

bound-

lessly

much

man

does

not yet

know, but

absolutely nothing that cannot in itself be known.

In every phenomenal experience, both he and the


universe noumenally appear,

knowing, and

it

as the

has been shown in


sarily

he as the noumenon noumenon known; for (as Part First) the noumenon neces-

exists

in

the

phenomenon.
to

Phenomenism,
gibberish,
it

therefore,
"

reduces

itself

mere

mere
takes

sound and fury signifying nothing," when

the Appearance wholly

away from the universe and


it

puts

it

wholly in consciousness, thereby annihilating

the very experience which

assumes to explain.

Hence the

doctrine

of

the "Unknowable," which

has no foundation whatever except the theory of

phenomenism,
reason,
if

is

the concentrated essence

of un-

made

itself

the foundation of a philosophy

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


and,
if

125
is

this philosophy

founded on nothing
it

then

made

the foundation of a religion,

becomes thereby

the concentrated essence of superstition

the worThe

ship of the Non-Existent and the Nonsensical.

KnowaUe Unknoivn
hnoivable
is

is

one thing

the

Known Unis

a very different thing.


is

The former

the doctrine that what

now unknown may


knowable

yet

become known, and


it is

is

therefore

in itself

the strongest possible induction from experience.


latter is the doctrine that
itself is

But the
able in

what

is

unknow-

now known

it is

the strongest pos-

sible contradiction in terms.

In short, the

Known

Unknowable
40.

is

an absolute myth, and the Agnostiit is

cism founded upon

a parvenu mythology.
or the

Noumenism,
modern

therefore,
scientific

philosophy

latent in the

method, establishes
self -existent

the fundamental principle that

Being,
infi-

whether known or unknown,


nitely knowable, that
ligible
finite

is

absolutely and

the universe

jper se is intel-

through and through, and thought just as far as


finite

transparent

to
go.

thought can

This great principle of the Infinite Intelligibility of


the

Universe
its

is

the corner-stone of Scientific Theism


is

and
fied,

warrant

universal

human

experience, puriscientific

consolidated,

and organized in the

method.
41.

Few

scientific specialists, I admit,

show any
of their

philosophical comprehension of their

own method;
Those

but

this is the fault, not of their

method, but

specialism,

and

it

will cure itself in time.

126
scientific

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

men who

possess a native largeness

of

thought too marked to be belittled and defeated by


the cramping tendency of exclusively particular investigations will be the
first to

welcome a philosophy
itself

which

shall frankly

and consistently ground


itself to

on

the scientific method, and prove

be a truly

faithful interpreter of the scientific spirit.

To such

as these, the doctrine of the infinite intelligibility


of the universe in all its boundless extent will be

neither

more nor

less

than that

of the objectivity
;

and discoverability

of all natural truth


it

and

it

will

be seen to be what

is

the philosophical
is

con-

firmation and justification of their already practical

conviction that all scientific knowledge

genuinely

objective experience of a universe not dependent for


its

existence on the mere continuance of perception.


"

Their not undeserved contempt for " metaphysics


will then be restricted to the baffling

and

sterile

philosophy which identifies

all scientific

knowledge

with mere subjective

representation,

and thereby
the infinite

extinguishes the possibility of knowing a real external world.1


intelligibility,
hility,
1

Noumenism maintains
phenomenism the
^er
se.

infinite unintelligi-

of the universe

Between these two

"

lichen

Die Art der Beweise ist es, welche dem naturwissenschaftDenker jenen iustinctiven Widerwillen gegen die Philosopliie

einflcisst,

jenen Widerwillen, der sich zu unserer Zeit, wo auf alien Gebieten des Lebens der Realismus iiber den Idealismns triumbis

phirt,

zur souverainen Verachtung gesteigert hat."


Unbewiissten,
:

(Von
Hart-

Hartmann, Philosophie des

I. 9,

ed. 1882.)

Yon

mann

himself takes for his motto

" Speculative Resultate nach

inductivnaturwissenschaftlicher Methode."

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


principles

127
middle

there
AVhicli
of

is

no

logical
is

or

rational

ground.

of

the two
scientific

the more faithful

interpreter

the

method

and

spirit?

Large-minded

men

of

science, especially

those of

the rising generation


contagious,

who have

escaped the subtile,

and widespread influence which pheexerts even in scientific circles, will have

nomenism
no

difi&culty in

answering that question, and detect-

ing the sophistry in the phenomenistic use of the

word "phenomena."
pearance of
subjective

For by

"phenomena"

the

theory of phenomenism means only the ideal aprepresentation, while

by the
of

same word science means the


ohjective being ;

real appearance

and

scientific

men who

once under-

stand the profound difference between these two


things will never concede that the laws of Nature
are valid only in the former sense of
this

much

abused word.

Hence

it is

hardly presumptuous to
themselves, whether pre-

believe that scientific

men

pared to go with

me

further or not, will at least go

with

me

thus far without the slightest hesitation,


is

admit that noumenism

the only just and philo-

sophical interpretation of the scientific method,

and

concede the truth of the principle that the universe


p}er se, as

discovered

by the use
the

of that

method,

is

infinitely intelligible.

Clearly conceiving
conceives
it,

universe as noumenism
as guide the fun-

then,

and following
of

damental principle

the infinite intelligibility of

Nature, the unprejudiced and thoughtful

mind

is

128
led, I

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
think irresistibly, to momentous conclusions.
it

But, before proceeding to apply this principle,


is

necessary to determine precisely what

we

are

to

understand by "intelligibility," and also by "inis " intelligibility " ?

telligence."

42.

What, then,

43.

Strictly speaking, nothing is intelligible

but

relations, which I have already called the specific and

only direct objects of the understanding or intellect


( 24).
its

Kow

there

is

no

relation but in

and with

terms

it

no relation but in and with the things


is

of

which

the relation.

Things and their

rela-

tions, though necessarily distinguishable, are abso-

lutely

inseparable in

Being and in Thought.

It

was the great


ceive
of

defect of the old Scholastic Kealism


if

to treat relations as

they were things, and con;

them

as separate entities
Scientific

it is

the great merit

the

new

Realism to treat things and

relations as

two

totally distinct orders of objective

reality, indissolubly

united and mutually dependent,

yet for
44.

all

that utterly unlike in themselves.


{joZe
is

The thing

tl,

hoc aliquid uniim numero,

das Ding, das Etivas)


correlated

a unitary system of closely

internal

forces,

and manifests
motions
it it
;

itself

by
the

specific qualities, actions, or

the qualities,
;

actions, or motions constitute

a a

phenomenon

system of relations constitutes


stitutes, that
is,

noumenon, con-

both the real unity of the thing and


This immanent relational
is,

its intelligible

character.

constitution of the single thing

according to the

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


"

129

theory of noumenism, the true "principle of individuation


{i^rincipium individualitatis
est

quodvis
;

in-

dividwwm

omnimode determination)
all

perception

never exhausts or discovers


or determinations

the single relations

which

it

includes, although pro-

longed attention always discovers more and more


of
is

them

it is

never

known

wholly, which, however,


it is

no reason

for

denying that

known

in part

by

science.

Scientific
ato77i

discovery has

thus far stopped

with the

and the person,

as the practical limits

of its analysis of

the universe into


Einzeldinge)
;

single

things
it-

(jjLovdhe^, Einzelivesen,

the universe

self is

the All-Thing (Allding); between these exis

tremes

a countless things

multitude of
masses,

intermediate

composite

(molecules,

compounds,

species, genera, families, societies, states, etc.).

The

systems of internal relations in

all

these various

things vary immensely in complexity and comprehensiveness,

in

fact,

the

complexity and com-

prehensiveness of the system determines the grade


of

the thing in the scale of being; but in every

case the

immanent
its

relational constitution oi the thing

constitutes

real

unity, quiddity,

noumenal

es-

sence, substantial
intelligible

form, formal cause, or ohjcctively

character.

Notw^ithstanding the confus-

ing influence of the theory of phenomenism, a more


or less incomplete perception of this profound truth
asserts
itself

in

philosophers
instance,

of

widely divergent
Fichte, on

tendencies;

as,

for

Kant and

the

one hand, and George Henry Lewes, on the


9

180
other hand,^

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

who
its
it

all

agree in the acknowledgment

that, so far as it is

knowable, the thing essentially


of

consists

in

own system

internal

relations.

Consequently,

may

be taken as a generally conis

ceded truth that nothing


tions.

intelligible except rela-

And

intelligibility itself

as an attribute or

predicate of things,

may now

be defined, in the lan-

guage of the schools, as the possession of a determinate essential or substantial form


of

in the language
rela-

noumenism, as

the possession of

an immanent

tional constitution, or

system of internal

relations.
is

45.

From

the

fact,

however, that nothing

intelligible except relations, it is not to

be inferred,

and does not


in

follow, that all relations are intelligible

themselves alone.

There are relations of

dis-

order, discord, or chaos,

no
is

less
life,

than of order, hardisorder


is

mony, or cosmos.

Order

death

and disorderly
death.
1

relations constitute the possibility of


alone, disorderly rela-

Taken by themselves
sincl

"

Dagegen

die innern

nomenon im
ed. Hart.)

Raume

nichts, als Verlialtnisse,

Bestimmungen einer substantia phrrund sie selbst ganz und


(Kant, Werke, III. 228^

"In der Form besteht das Weseu der Sache [forma dut hiess er bei den Scholastikern), sofern dieses durch VerVI. 480.) " Alle diese Vernunft erkannt werden (Fichte, Werke, 443.) haltnisse mit einander sind das Ding."
esse rei,
soil."

gar ein Inbegriff von lauter Relatiouen."

(Ibid.

I.

"

To know a

tbing

is

to

know

its

relations

it

is

its

relations."

"The

(Lewes, Problems of Life and Mind, 1st Series, p. 59, Amer. ed.) thing is its relations." (Ibid. p. 89.) All these statements,

of course,

must be taken,

if fairly
is,

interpreted, in a phenomenistic,
as referring only to the things

not noumenistic sense,


of purely

that

phenomenal experience.

to things as at once both

But noumenism extends them phenomena and noumena.

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


tions are absolutely unintelligible
;

131

they are relations

that do not
tionship,

relate,

mere undoing

of intelligible rela-

mere dissolution

of system,

mere nonsense
its

they are the absolute defeat of intelligence, and

only possible defeat; they could not in any wise


exist, if

they had to exist by themselves alone, for


is

independent existence
they do not exist
lies

necessarily intelligible.
alone,

But

by themselves

and herein

the only possibility of their existing at all;

they can only exist in dependence upon, and as


parts
of,

a larger inclusive system

which

is

itself

intelligible,

and

in

which they themselves become


to be relations of
disorder.
is

intelligible

by ceasing

In

other words, disorder, discord, or

chaos

not

possible as such except relatively to the particular

system in which

it arises

it is

not

itself relatively

to the larger inclusive


ticular

system in which this par;

system

is

merely a part

it is

an incident

of

the finite alone, and cannot reach to the

infinite.

For instance, the decay

of

an organic

cell is disorder
cell,

and consequent death


yet order and
life

to

the system of that

to the system of the

whole organ-

ism, since without the incessant disintegration

and
the

excretion of

its

exhausted

cells the
itself
is
;

whole organism
and, again,

could not live

and renew

decay of the whole organism

disorder and con-

sequent death to the system of that organism, yet


order and
life

to

the

system

of

animate Nature,
of its

since without the disintegration

and excretion

exhausted organisms the system of animate Nature

132

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
itself.

could not live and renew

So the ravings of

a maniac are nothing but unintelligible disorder to


the unscientific listener, yet intelligible and orderly-

enough

to

the

sagacious physician,

who

sees that

they are to be rightly related, not to the system of

common human

experience, but to the vaster system

of physiologico-psychological laws,

which

is

the con-

dition of the existence of

common human
relations

experience,

and

of

which even pathological


illustrations.

relations are only


of

normal

Thus

disorder,

disease, or death,

when viewed from


Chaos per
se
is

a higher standlife,

point,

become

relations of order, health, or


se
is

and
For

therefore intelligible.
possibility;

a stark im-

cosmos per

alone

possible.

chaos per

se is

an absolute unreality, or pure Nonis

Being; chaos as a relative reality

simply un-

comprehended cosmos, or Being

as

the

Knowable

Unknown, and

is

possible

only in relation to the

finite intelligence

which

fails to

comprehend

it.

An
it

actual universe can exist only on condition that

be cosmos, and not chaos; for an actual universe

must be
that

self-existent,

and

self-existent chaos

would

be nothing but
is,

self-existent

universal disorder

is

a self-existent system of non-system, which

flat

contradiction in terms.

46.
of

Hence our

critical

examination of the fact


once more to results

disorderly relations

leads
as

substantially the

same

our former results: (1)


if

that no thing could be intelligible,


exist
;

it

did not

(2) that

no thing could

exist, if it

were not


THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.
intelligible
;

133
exist

and

(3) that
if

no thing could either

or be intelligible,
relational

it

did not possess an

immanent
results

constitution.
:

To

state

these
is

in

more general terms


of

(1) existence

the condition

of intelligibility; (2) intelligibility is the condition

existence
is

(3)

an immanent relational constitu-

tion

the condition both of intelligibility and of

existence
sibility,

their aboriginal
constitution
as

common ground

of pos-

and therefore the absolute ground of the The immanent identity of Being and Thought.
relational
to be the

such,

therefore,

is

seen

common

or middle term between Being

and

Thought,

at

once

the

ground-form

of

all

determinate

existence

and the grand master-key


Finally,
to apply these
the infinite intelli-

of all philosophy ( 84).

results to the

problem in hand:

giUlity of the universe, as the infinite, eternal,


existent All-Thing, lies

and

self-

in

its ^possession

of an

infinite
is

and immanent relational System of Nature.


47.

constitution.

This

the

The next question


?

to ask is

what

is

" in-

telligence"
48.

Phenomenism, the philosophical outcome

of

the

Kantian Kritikismus, holds that the nature of


determined by the d priori

inteUigence must be

analysis of the knowing faculty {Erhenntnissvermogen), and that the nature of the object of knowledge

the

"what

is

known"
this

must

be determined by

the results of

priori

analysis.

Tennemann

has

weU pomted

out that the essential method of

"

134

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
all

Scholasticism was to draw

knowledge from the


from

priori analysis of
its

concepts; and Kantism lumi-

nously manifests

own

genetic

derivation

Scholasticism by this essential method of drawing

knowledge from the a priori analysis of the Noumenism, on the contrary, conceiving faculty.
all

the philosophical outcome of the scientific method,

holds that the nature of intelligence

must be
"that

deter-

mined by the a

posteriori analysis of the object of


of

knowledge; that the constitution

which

knows
''that

"

can only be learned from the constitution of


is

which

known;"

that actual experience

is

the sole revealer of either, and in experience the subject is revealed only so far as it actually experiences.

Hence
comes

it

argues that the question,


in order,
is it

*'

what

is

known

first

and the
?

question, "

what knows

it ? " or, "

how

known

"

comes afterwards.^

49.

The

fact, therefore,

that no objective reality

(apart from Space, Time,


1

and Force, the universal

is only possible in relation to an object, an act of one kind or another only by special relation Thus the object at once determines the to a particular object. existence, and specifies the character of the existence, of the (Sir W. Hamilton, Lect. on Met., p. 158.) intellectual energy."

"

and

An

act of knoAvledge

it is

" It will not suffice for psychology to throw the

07ius

prohandi,

e.

g.

the proof that

we have a

'faculty* of Intellectual Intuition, on

supporters of the systems of speculation contemplated.


tion
is

The

quesits

one concerning the


It will not

contents of experience,

not concerning

conditions.

do to say,

we
;

curing us such and such experiences


experiences

have no 'organ 'for prowe must first inquire what

and then will follow the question, what 'organs' are those by which they are procured." (Dr. Shadworth H. Hodgson, art. on " Philosophy and Science," in the
actually have,

we

London Mind, Vol.

I.

p. 233.)

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE,


conditions of all reality)
is

135
except

actually

known
is

things and their relations, and that all that


of the things

known

themselves

is

their unitary systems of

internal
is

relations,

in

other words, that nothing

known

of the universe

per
is

se

except

its

immanent

relational

constitution,

proof of the fact that


the

the knowing faculty


intellect,
is

itself,

understanding or

nothing but the Faculty of Relations.

Knowing
sciousness
of

is
;

by no means the whole


neither
is

of

human

con-

the knowing faculty the whole

the

human mind.

But our present argument

does not require an exhaustive psychological classification of the contents of

the functions of the


strictly to that

human consciousness or of human mind; it limits itself


is

which

germane

to the matter in

hand, and this demands only a brief account of the

knowing faculty

as such.

The

intellect or understanding, then, is that

mode

of energizing
relations.

by which the human mind deals with


with them in three distinguishsaid,
:

It deals

able ways,

and may be

therefore, to discharge

three distinct functions


analytical
cal
;
;

(1) perceptive, intuitive, or

(2) conceptive, reproductive, or syntheti-

and

(3) creative, constructive, or teleological.

50. (1)

The perceptive use


intellectual
its

of the
is,

understandintellectual

ing

is

essentially intellection

that

apprehension,
intuition
;

observation,
is

intellectual

and

object

always one or more of

1 This last expression, " intellectual intuition {die intpllectnelle Anschauung]" is used here in a sense substantially identical with

136

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

the particular relations which in their totality com-

pose the
thing in

immanent
itself.

relational
acts

constitution

of
;

the the

The thing

upon the mind

mind, as sensibility and understanding, reacts upon


itself as affected

by the thing, and subsequently,


itself;

as

will,

upon the thing

and the
is

result of this

primary action and reaction


ception of the thing.

the percept, or per-

The perceptive understand-

ing

is

always indissolubly associated with sensuous

intuition in perception; the sensibility apprehends

particular unrelated qualities, the understanding ap-

prehends their particular relations

but the two are

necessarily as inseparable in the act of perception


as the
cutting.

two blades

of a pair of scissors in the act of

Inasmuch, however, as only related quah-

ties are intelligible,

and as

all relations of qualities


it is

in the thing belong to its relational constitution,

evident that the thing can be understood, not by the


sensibility,
its

nor even by the sensibility and under-

original

nition of the

meaning in Kant, who denoted by it the a posteriori cognoumenon by a perceptive or intuitive understanding.
denied the
its

Kant

himself, however, in consequence of his assumption of the

exclusive subjectivity of relations, logically enough

actual existence of such a faculty in man, though he admitted

purely hypothetical

existence

in

possible

higher

intelligences.
self-

Fichte used the expression to denote the "pure immediate


of the Absolute as at once a Real-Ideal,"
scendentalists, as

intuition of the I," Schelling to denote the "non-sensuous intuition

and New England TranTheodore Parker, to denote the " immediate intuiBut these mystical meanings of the expression have tion of God." no more to do with the precise, strictly limited meaning assigned
to
it

in the text, than has the earlier mystical voctv or <pp6vr}(ris of


visio,

Plotinus, or the experimentum, intellectualis


of Scotus Erigena.

or intuitus gnosticus

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.

137

standing together, but only by the understanding


alone.

For instance, the object


form (which

of vision
is

is

formed

color

color (reflected rays of light)


;

perceived by

the sensibility

is

nothing but a system

of relations of outlines, boundaries, or


of extension) is perceived

mere

limits
;

by the understanding
or " seen," far
fact, is

the
"

object of vision

is

perceived,
eye,
is

more by
"

the

mind than by the


at
;

in

not

seen

by the eye
the senses
tion to
to
zero.

all.

Sight

the most intellectual of

in the other senses, the ratio of percepin smell almost


is

mere sensation diminishes,

In other words, the pure sensibility

not an intellectual function of the


therefore, of the

mind no

part,

knowing

faculty.^

Now
in itself

the actually acquired knowledge of the thing


is

never exhaustive

the quantity and qual-

ity of it are proportional to the

power

of observation

and degree
the thing

of attention

bestowed upon the thing;


be learned.

more always remains


is

to

The study

of

the essential work of the perceptive

understanding, which explores the thing's immanent


relational constitution,
of
1

and discovers more and more


continues.

it,

the longer the exploration

This

" Ni notre imagination ni nos sens ne nous sauroient jamais

assurer

d'aucune

chose,
I.

si

notre

entendement

n'y intervient,"

may, therefore, Mental Vision, or as the Perception of Relations." (Lewes, Problems of Life and Mind, 1st Ser., p. 341, Boston, 1874. In a footnote, Lewes quotes Whewell as saying in 1849: "If we were allowed to restrict the use of this term, we might
(Descartes,
GEuvres,
164, ed. Cousin.)

"We

define Intuition as

conveniently confine

it

to those cases in

which we necessarily appre-

hend

relations of things truly, as soon as

we

conceive the objects

distinctly.")

138
perceptive

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
exploration of the

immanent
is

relational
;

constitution of the thing in itself


all perceptive use of the

Analysis
is

and

understanding

essentially

analytical.

Analysis, therefore, succeeds in individu-

alizing the thing,


its

when

it

has discovered enough of

immanent

relations to render the system of these

relations intelligible as a
it

whole

in

a word,

when
be
the

has discovered the real unity or substantial form


the thing.
as
the

of

And

Analysis

itself

may now
made hy

defined

experiential

discovery,

perceptive understanding, of the

immanent

relational

constitution, or unitary system, of the thing in itself

51. (2)
is

The conceptive use

of the understanding

essentially reproduction, or the formation of con-

cepts out of the percepts of individual things.

The

conceptive understanding unites perceived relations,


after the pattern of the real systematic unity dis-

covered in the thing by the perceptive understanding, into

permanent thought-systems, which persist


after the disappearance of the percepts
it

in the

mind

and these thought-systems, or concepts,

coins into

words, for use in the intellectual commerce of mankind.

Words

are

mere symbols, but concepts are


they are relational

not

symbols at all;
far

systems

identical, as

as

they go, with the immanent

relational systems of the things analyzed

and

dis-

covered by the perceptive understanding.


are the

Eelations
;

common
is

essence of concepts and things


"

as

already pointed out ( 46),


constitution

an immanent relational

the condition both of intelligibility

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE,


and
of

139

existence,

their aboriginal

common ground
of

of possibility,

and therefore the absolute ground


"

the identity of Being and Thought."


is

no such thing as

symbolical conceptions

Hence there " and


;

the doctrine of symbolical conceptions, of which so

much
itself

is

made

in the

"Synthetic Philosophy,"

is

a "pseud-idea."

The only truth

in

it

lies in

the fact that all concepts are only partial repro-

ductions of the relational systems of things, only


silhouette

likenesses

or

outline

sketches

(so

to

speak), since, as
of analysis

has just been explained, the


is

work
never

by the perceptive understanding

exhaustively completed, and the work of synthesis

by the conceptive understanding


plete to precisely the

is

therefore incom-

same

extent.

But that
it

this

work

is

genuinely successful as far as

goes,

and
is

that the relational constitution of the concept


identical to this extent
itself,
is

with that of the thing in


scientific

proved to the satisfaction of the


it

mind, whenever

receives the corroboration of fresh

experience in scientific verification.

Now
class.

concepts are of two sorts

the concept of

the individual thing, and the concept of the kind or

The concept

of the individual thing is the

joint

work

of the

sensuous imagination and the conpercept of the


of the sensuous
in-

ceptive understanding, just as the

individual thing
intuition
tellectual

was the

joint

work

and the perceptive understanding, or


intuition
:

the sensuous

imagination re-

produces the sensuous intuition, and the conceptive

140

SCIENTIFIC THEISM,

understanding reproduces the intellectual intuition;


and, in this reproduction of the percept of the indi-

vidual thing as a concept, the sensuous imagination

and the conceptive understanding are just as indissolubly associated in activity, as were the sensuous
intuition

and the perceptive understanding in

its

original production.
thing, therefore,

The concept

of the individual

may

be called the impure concept,


the image.
is

the image-concept,

or, shortly,

The conwork

cept of the kind or class, however,


of the conceptive understanding,

the sole

and may be called

the pure concept, the concept proper, or the universal


notion.

For, in

the individual thing, the


is

object of the understanding


tion

a relational constituof

immanent

in

an actual unity

sensuously

perceptible and imaginatively reproducible qualities

which

is

actually presented to perception

whereas,

in the kind or class, the object of the understanding


is

a relational constitution

immanent

in

an actual

unity of

many

individuals as a group or species,


is

which, however,
to perception.
fore,

never actually presented as such

This relational constitution, thereall


;

cannot be reproduced in an image at

it is

immanent

in the group as a group, in the species

as a species, but not in the group or species as a


strictly individual thing.

While, however, the species


to sensuous

as such furnishes

no percept

intuition

and no image
not, therefore,

to the sensuous imagination,

and canit
is,

be a strictly individual thing,

for all that,

an individual thing

of a higher order,

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


inasmuch as
it

141

possesses a relational

constitution

immanent

in the totality of its individuals as a selfis

related whole, although this totality


to perception in its real unity.

never presented
if

Nay,

the species

as a whole, that

is,

as an assemblage of all the init,

dividuals composing
ception, then
it

were ever presented to per-

would yield both a percept and an

image

but, just as the percept

would be a percept
any "generic
indi-

of the assemblage, so the of the assemblage,

image would be an image


of

and not

vidual"

which

is

a sheer absurdity.
is

Hence the
all,

pure concept, or universal notion,

no image at

and the puzzle how

to

form mental pictures corre-

sponding to "general terms" has caused a deplorable

waste of philosophical ingenuity.

No

such pictures

are possible, not even with the help of that curious

nonentity, the " generic individual."


notion, or concept proper,
is

The universal
system
individ-

a pure thought-system

of relations, reproducing only the objective of

relations of

resemblance among

many

uals,

never
;

the image or mental picture of one

individual

it

reproduces the relational constitution


the
species as

immanent in
none
of the

species,

which includes,
peculiar to the

relations

or qualities
;

individual as an individual

and

it is

the synthetical

work
is

of the conceptive understanding.

Such, also,

the concept of the abstract quality, the abstract


abstract

action, the

motion, and so on

all

these

are concepts of relations, dropping out of consideration the things related,

and capable

of still higher

142

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

abstraction as relations of relations, of innumerable

grades of remoteness from individual things.

In

all

such cases, the conceptive understanding simply

re-

produces systems of relations in thought which the


perceptive understanding has previously discovered
in being.

There

is

no limit to the generalizations,

classifications, abstractions,

and

so forth,

which the
fix

conceptive imderstanding

may

thus permanently

or coin in concepts, words, and definitions. ^

They

are all syntheses of real relations, discovered origi-

nally by the analyses of the perceptive understanding,


1

and subject

to the necessity of verification in

tive one.

The analogy between the word and the coin is a very instrucMan is an immanent relational constitution, or unitary
;

system, of internal forces

and the expenditure of these forces

takes the two phenomenally distinct directions of labor and thought.


society arises the necessity of the exchange and thought-products, and hence the necessity of symbolic representatives or readily exchangeable measures of them. As symbols, the coin is the measure of labor, and the word is the measure of thought. Language is the money of intellect unworded thought is its bullion, but worded thought is its exchangeable currency. Thought itself is the original mental wealth but, if unworded, it is like gold undug in the mine, which is practically useless even to the possessor until mined and minted. In the intellectual commerce of society, words alone are available property. Consequently, whoever is indifferent to accuracy in the use of words is an unskilled laborer in the intellectual world a trader ignorant of, or indifferent to, the value of the coins he gives and takes; and commercial failure would be the instant fate of him who in business should confound the eagle with the dollar and the dollar with the cent. Hence the vulgar reproach against philosophy that it is mere

From

the fact of

human

of labor-products

hair-splitting in words, or profitless trickery in verbal subtilties,

is

simply a proof of vulgar ignorance.


philosophy

The

student of science or
dis-

who

should despise or neglect the subtile but real

tinctions of technical terms

would speedily become a

scientific or

philosophical bankrupt.

THE
fresh

RELIGIOl"^

OF SCIENCE.

143

experience; they not only perpetuate these

discoveries,

but also furnish indispensable

instru-

mentalities for the further scientific exploration of


objective
reality.

Hence

intellectual

reproductive
of eva-

synthesis, or the combination

and conversion

nescent objective percepts into permanent subjective


concepts,
is

the special function of the conceptive

understanding.
52.
is

(3)

The

creative use of
:

the understanding
is

essentially telcological

that

is, it

the free conis

struction of ends
ideal

and means.

The end

a purely
is

system of relations in the present which


;

to

be realized in the future

the means

is

a purely

ideal system of relations in the present

by which

the future end


realization
of

is

to be realized

and the objective


systems of
the blindly
impli-

these purely

subjective

relations

is

effected

by the

will,

which

is

executive faculty or function of the


citly
ing.

mind and

obeys the directive mandate of the understand-

When

the understanding takes the suggestion


feeling, the general

of its

end from

end

it

creates is

the attainment of (egoistic or altruistic) happiness,

and
that

its
is,

principle of action
fidelity to the

is utility

or expediency

is it

tion of the
tion of its

mind

itself

immanent relational constituwhen it takes the suGf^es;

end from the higher reason (which


tlie

the supreme Faculty of


creates
ness,
is,

Ideal), the general

end

is

the attainment of truth, beauty, and goodits

and

principle

of action

is

justice

that

fidelity to the

immanent

relational constitution of

144

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
se.

the universe per

There

is

no necessary antagoof action

nism between these two ultimate principles


antagonism
arises

only

when

the lower or partial

principle usurps the authority of the higher or universal principle

when

feeling asserts

an unnatural

and

illegitimate

supremacy over the higher reason.


therefore,

The understanding,

and not the


intellectual

will, is

the true Faculty of Freedom

freedom

when

the immediate end

is

the knowledge or appli-

cation of

truth (science, philosophy, and the me-

chanical arts), sesthetical freedom

when

the immediate

end

is

the possession of beauty (literature and the

fine arts), practical or

moral freedom when the imlife

mediate end

is

the conduct of

or the achievement

of virtue (praxis, morality, religion).


it

For example,

creates

innumerable objective relational systems

in tools, machines, dustrial


arts;

and other inventions of the

in-

pictures, sculptures,
all
;

musical instruof

ments, buildings, books,

works

the

higher

imagination, in the fine arts


civil,

institutions of all sorts,

political, military, philanthropic, ecclesiastical,

in

human

society;

plans

of

conduct, schemes

of

social reform, religious organizations,

and

so forth,

in the sphere of moral


short,
all

and

religious activity,

in

the

instrumentalities

and

enginery of

human
53.

civilization.

Now,

in all this multiform self-activity, the

creative understanding appears as the ahsolutc origi-

nator of systems of relations.

It pervades all other

uses of the understanding, whose functions are dis-

TEE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


tinguishable only, not separable.
true, is a

145
it is

The

percept,

system of relations created by the joint

activity of the thing

and

subject,

and the understanding, object noumenon known and noumenon knowand interacting
in the

ing, co-existing

phenomenon,

real appearance, or 'actual experience.

But the con-

cept
tion

is

the perpetuation
of the percept
;

that

is,

the ideal recfea"

and the end and the means


and concepts in
creations^
free,

are combuiations of percepts


ahsolutely
iieWy

and purely

ideal

subse-

quently realizable by the

will.

Thus the perceptive


recreates

understandiQg discovers objective systems of relations


;

the conceptive

understanding

or
its

reproduces

them

the creative understanding, in

pure activity, recombines them, and thereby freely


creates

new

subjective

systems of relations.

The

supreme
is

construction of the creative understanding

Mctliod,
;

which

is

also the highest perfection of

teleology

for it is the adaptation of

means

to ends,

not for a single act or judgment, but for the universal series of acts or judgments.

Hence, method
actu, the
is

being the highest potency of intellect in


essentially teleological nature of all intellect

plainly

apparent.

In

all its functions,


is

the essential act of the under;

standing

judgment

and judgment

is

always the

affirmation

(including, of course, negation) of the

objective existence, or fitness to exist objectively, of

systems of relations.

Eeasoning, or the continuous


is

activity of the understanding,


10

the strictly teleo-

146
logical

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
combination of judgments of objective exist-

ence to produce a final judgment of precisely the same character. The percept is, originally, the judg-

ment

or affirmation of the objective existence of par-

ticular relations in the thing, and, finally, of their

real unity in its relational

system as a whole

the
is

concept, or the reproduction of the final percept,

the judgment

or re-affirmation of the objective exist;

ence of the relational constitution of the thing

the

end

is

the judgment or affirmation of the fitness of

a purely ideal relational system to exist objectively,

and the means

is

the judgment or aftirmation of the

fitness of another purely ideal relational

system to

exist objectively, in order to produce the objective

existence of

the
is

end.

But

this

is

not

all.

The

understanding

the absolute originator of systems

of relations, not only in thought,

but also in being.


its

Acting in conjunction with the will as


subordinate,
it

executive
in

masters forces

which

exist

the

outward world, and constrains them to reproduce relational systems which have absolutely no origin
but the understanding
itself.

This

is

the

manner

in

which the mind,


thing

originally acted

in perceptive experience, reacts ultimately


itself in teleological construction.
is
;

upon by the thing upon the


For instance,

the ship, as a ship,

the teleological creature of the


its

understanding alone

materials and forces are


its

derived solely from external nature, but


real unity as a ship, its

idea, its

immanent
it

relational constiof

tution,

without which

would be a mere mass

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


timbers and cordage or material
still less

147
formed,
is

derived solely from the understanding, wliicli has


absolutely created
it

as a
is

means

to its

own

ends.

The

ship, as

such,

nothing but this immanent

relational constitution, this real unity of relational

system, this substantial form

and, in virtue of this


is

internal system alone, the ship


itself.

truly a thing in

Hence the

ship, as a thing in itself, is a sys-

tem

of objectively real relations created absolutely

in the world of actual existence

by the understand-

ing and the will.

And

the general result of our in

vestigation of the nature of intelligence

may now

be condensed into this brief definition, to be interpreted in the light of what precedes
:

Intelligence is

that luhich either discovers or creates relational systems

or

coristittttions.

54.

It only

remains to show, under this head,


is

that the nature of intelligence, as such,


in all possible forms

identical

and

degrees.

Any

organism, however low in the scale of being,


sufficient intelligence to select its

which has

food,

choosing the nutritious and rejecting the


tions,

innutri-

or
its

to fly

from

its

enemies, or to seek shelter


its

from the weather, or to seek


thereby

mate,

proves
which

possession of a perceptive understanding,

or the capability of discovering systems of relations


objectively
real
to
itself.

Any

organism

manifests the ability to act for a purpose or end,

however simple, proves thereby

its

possession, not

only of a perceptive, but also of a conceptive and

148

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

creative, understanding.

Many

of the

lower animals

manifest rudiments even of the higher reason, the


faculty of the ideal, so far as they

show themselves
So

capable of self-sacrifice for the sake of others.


far as

modern
is

investigations go, they tend to prove

that

mind

everywhere mind, essentially identical


degree.
If

in kind,

however various in
infinite, it

man's under-

standing were
it is,

could not cease to be what


faculties

no matter what new


;

might be added

to

it

it

would

still

be essentially that w^hich cogrelations, or it

nizes

and deals with

would cease

to

be mind altogether.
inosculating and
tions

The network

of relations, the

interpenetrating systems of rela-

which

in their totality
of

compose the immanent


still

relational constitution

the universe, would


infinite

remain to be known
should not

and the

mind which
infinite

know them would be simply


Knowledge
itself
;

stupidity and ignorance.

can be
finite

nothing but knowledge of these relations

knowledge
There
itself,

is

knowledge

of a part of them, infinite


of

knowledge could only be knowledge


is

them

all.

thus no essential difference in knowledge


in

or

the knowing faculty,


;

whether

it

be

finite or infinite

the difference

is

in the nature of
infinite.

the object of knowledge, as finite or

Hence
nature,

man's present intelligence,

if

only infinitely expanded


its essential

without the slightest change in

would be thereby rendered adequate


comprehension of the absolute All
exists
;

to the absolute

and,

if

there

anywhere or anyhow an absolute and

infinite

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


mind,
its

149 with

essential nature

must be

identical

that of the

human mind,
if,

differing in degree alone

and not

in kind,
is

as has just been shown,

mind

or

intelligence

that which either discovers or creates

relational systems.

In only two unessential respects


differ

could an infinite intelligence


intelligence:
perceptive

from a

finite

an

infinite

understanding would be
conceptive
;

and

creative,

but not

and while,
its

to the finite intelligence, the material of


tion

percep-

and creation must be given from without, this material, to the infinite intelligence, must be given
from within.
For, on the one hand,
it

is

only the

non-continuance or evanescence of the percept which


renders the concept a necessity of finite intelligence
the conceptive understanding
is

merely a remedy for

the defect or finitude of the perceptive understanding;

and

an

infinitely

perceptive

understanding

would

itself

discharge the essential function of the

conceptive understanding, since a permanent percept

would be indistinguishable from the concept and


render the latter superfluous.

On

the other hand,

the fact that the finite intelligence originally deals with relational systems only in that which is given
to
it

from without results likewise from

its

finitude

as such;

an

infinite

mind would

necessarily origi-

nate from within both matter and form of the relational systems which, as an infinite perceptive

understanding,

it

would

intuitively

comprehend.

Hence there must be


the
finite

unessential differences between


infinite

and the

intelligence;

but the

150

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
which either
"

definition of intelligence itself as " that

discovers

or

creates

relational

systems

remains

equally applicable to both, and hence the principle


stands unshaken that the nature of intelligence, as
such,
is

identical in all possible forms

and

degrees.
;

If this is "

anthropomorphism,"

it

matters not

hard

names never yet changed a


tion remains as before or true
?

false

principle into a
;

true, or a true principle into a false

and the quesitself false

is

the principle

And

this principle of the essential identity

of the nature of intelligence in all possible

forms

and

degrees,

following
or

so

clearly

and necessarily
of the

from the

scientific

noumenal conception

universe, seems to be undeniably true.


55.

Having
?

at last arrived at answers to the

vitally important subsidiary questions, "


telligibility
"

What
?

is in-

and

"

What

is

intelligence

" it is

time

to

resume the thread

of our

main argument.

It has

been shown

( 46) that intelligibility, as an attribute

of the thing,

consists in

the possession of an im-

manent
and
of

relational constitution,

and that the

infinite

intelligibility of the universe, as the infinite, eternal,

self-existent All-Thing, consists in its possession


infinite relational constitution.

an immanent and

It has likewise been


itself is

shown

( 53) that intelligence

that which either discovers or creates rela-

tional systems or constitutions,

and that the nature

of

intelligence, as such, is identical in all

possible forms

and

degrees.

What

is

the unavoidable inference or


?

conclusion from

these principles, as premises

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


This

351

that

the infinitely intelligible universe

must

he likeiuise infinitely intelligent.

The
existent
" other
ence.

infinitely

intelligible

universe
since

is

the

selfis

totality

of
it

all

Being,

there
its

no

"

to

which

could possibly owe


is

existself-

But that which

self-existent

must be
it

determined in

all its attributes;

and

could not
it

possibly determine itself to be intelligible, unless

were likewise
is

intelligent.

Self-existent intelligibility
self -intelligibility
is

self-intelligibility,
:

and

self-

intelligence
itself

or,

that w^hich intelligibly exists through


intelligible
to
itself,

must be

and therefore

intelligent in

itself.

To express
ence,

this

thought in

less

abstract terms
its

the universe, being the sole cause of

own

exist-

must be likewise the


intelligibility

sole

cause of all the


its

determinations of that existence, and therefore of

own

that

is, it

must be the absolute


its

author or eternal originator of


relational constitution.

own immanent
" ab-

Intelligence, as the creative

understanding, has just been shown to be the


solute originator of systems of

relations;" and no
is

other origin of relational systems

either

known
So

in

experience or conceivable in hypothesis.

far as

experience and reason can go, therefore, the intelligibility or relational

system

of the universe., considered

as an effect,

must
This

originate in the intelligence or

creative understanding of
as

the universe, considered

a cause.

is

substantially the

meaning

of

Spinoza's famous distinction of natura naturans

and

152

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
and
of Prof. Caporali's distinction,

7iatura naturata,

identical with Spinoza's, of natura fatta


che si fa.

and natura

It does not

mean
is

causation or creation at

any

particular time,

but the eternal self-causation


involved in the reality of

or self-creation
Infinite

which

Being as Eternal Self -activity, actus imnis,


;

or causa sui

and

this is a conception which, as

we

saw

in Part First,

phenomenism
no
less the

itself is

powerless

to escape.

And

it is

conception towards

which, as pure cosmical dynamism, modern science


is

steadily tending

more and more.


Na-

Hence immanent
ture
is

the existence of an intelligible, infinite, and


relational constitution or system in

the highest possible or conceivable proof that


is

Nature

intelligent

and the stronger the proof


stronger
is

of

the system, just so


intelligence.

much

the proof of the

The absolute

invariability of natural

law,
is

which

is

the logical corollary of natural system,

thus essential to the conception of an immanent

relational constitution as the real unity of the uni-

verse

the possibility of miracle, as a suspension of

natural law, would be the disproof of an infinite intelligence.

Now,

as

was shown

at the outset (4),

the scientific conception underlying, or lying latent


in, all

empirical use of the scientific

method

is

that

the universe, as a whole, has an


constitution,
relations of

immanent

relational

and that
which
it is

all

the countless

particular

the real unity are actually or

potentially discoverable

by observation, experiment,

hypothesis, and verification.

No

scientific investi-

: : ;

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.

153

gation could possibly ever have been instituted, ex-

cept on the conscious or unconscious assumption of

the scientific discoverability of these relations


that
is,

;per se

of

known,
a

that

the scientific
is,

knowableness
existence
in

of

the unof

of

tlie

Nature

relational

system which includes, not only the


less the

known, but no
lessness.

unknown

in all its

bound-

The whole progress


of that

of science, discovering

more and more


which
brought to

intimate relational system

finds place for every


light, is

new

fact as soon as it is

a cumulative proof, mounting


" ob-

almost to mathematical demonstration, that the


jective synthesis "

or system of

Nature

is

the most

real of all realities.

Yet

this system, as has just

been shown,

is

the strongest possible proof of infinite

intelligence in the universe.


self-relatedness
in

System

whole and in part

all-inclusive

has, even

conjecturally,

no possible origin except intelligence

and an

infinite system, inclusive alike of the

known

and the unknown, can have no


intelligence.
all
;

origin but in infinite


is

Chance, or

fate,

no hypothesis at

it

is

the mere absence, the mere negation, of


;

all

hypothesis

intelligence

is

the only hypothesis in

the

field, for intelligence,

as the creative understand-

ing, is the
1

only experientially
it

known
man
of

or hypotheti-

"It would be with


is

as witli that

whom

Gassendi
!

speaks, who, half asleep,


*

and hearing four o'clock struck, said


it

This clock

mad

lo,

four times

has struck one o'clock

'

The

man had

not force of mind enough to reflect that four times one Those who explain tlie world by a o'clock makes four o'clock.

fortuitous concourse of atoms give evidence of a power of synthesis

about equal to this."

(Janet, Firial Causes, 1883, p. 28.)

154

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
Yet the system
;

cally conceivable origin of system.


of

Nature

is

the surest fact of science


;

it

has,

and

known
tem
is

must have, an adequate cause and the only cause to man which is ever the originator of systhe creative understanding.

All experienced

systems which cannot be referred to the creative


understanding in
together,
as

man and

the lower animals belong


of

mere parts

the

one total system


relational constitu-

known

to exist as the

immanent

tion of the universe.


It will not do to say that

man

discovers a multi-

plicity of relational systems in

Nature which have

evidently no origin in an originating understanding,

and that system


tems

as such, therefore,
;

is

no proof

of

originating understanding
is

for not one of these sysall

independent

they are

dependent yarts,

not indejjendent wholes, and only constitute elements


in the one vast system of Nature itself,

which

in its

absolute unity alone explains


intelligible.

them

or renders

them
of

There

is

one,

and only one. System


of

Nature; there are many system-products


because

man,

man

is

many, but only one system-product


Nature
is is

of Nature, because

one.

The simple question


a

shall this one system, as


intelli-

known

fact,

be referred to anything but


cause of innumerable other

gence, the

known
To

known

systems?

this question
if

but one reasonable anis

swer can be given,


of reason.

experience

the true guide

Consequently, the immanent and infinite


se,

relational constitution of the universe 'per

verified

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.

155

by experience as far as experience has gone, and confirmed by reason as far as reason can go, is the
one grand and decisive proof that
ligibility

the infinite intel-

of the universe can have no possible origin hut

the infinite intelligence of the universe itself

56.
see
if

Now

let

us put two and two together, and


four.

they

make

Our

results thus far are (1)

that the universe per

se is infinitely intelligible,
is

and

(2) that the universe per se

infinitely intelligent.

Unite these two truths, and the third truth follows

with

irresistible certainty that the universe


self-consciousness.

per

se is
is

an

infi7iite

For that which


of

in-

telligible is

an actual or possible object


is

knowl-

edge
of

that which
;

intelligent

is

an actual subject

knowledge

and that which


intelligent
is

in itself is at once

intelligible

and

an actual subject-object
This actual identity

a
is

living self -consciousness.

of subject

and

object,

or

"

transcendental [experiI,"

ential] synthesis of

Being and Knowing in the

precisely what constitutes the mystery, and yet


fact, of all

the undeniable

consciousness

Urthatsache
infinitely

des Bewnsstseins).
intelligible

The

universe, then,
intelligent

is

and
it

infinitely

at

the same

time; since

includes all

that exists, and there-

fore excludes the possibility of

any other object


its

of

knowledge than
sequently,
it

itself, it

must be

own

object

con-

must be an actual and


an
then,

infinite subject-

object, that

is,

infinite self-consciousness.

Thus

far,

we seem

to

have been led by a

very straight path, assuming only the validity of the

156
scientific

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
method and
of

the philosophical presupit,

positions logically involved in


result that the universe per
conscious Intellect, which,

to the
is

momentous
Self-

se

an Infinite

though

infinitely

removed
the conI see

in degree,

is

yet essentially identical in kind with

the

human

intellect.

This result, then,

is

stitutive principle of Scientific

Theism

and

no

way

to escape
itself.

it,

except by repudiating the scientific


this result is

method

But

by no means an

ultimate one.
ter,

Let us, then, conclude this long chap-

and in the next go on and see whither the road


are travelling will conduct us.

we

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.

; ; ;

157

CHAPTEE
THE UNIVEESE
57.
:

V.

MACHINE OE ORGANISM

The immanent
se,

relational constitution of the


is

universe per

then,

the

mode

in

which the

universe-suhject, or Infinite Self-conscious Intellect,

thinks and creates and reveals


object,

itself as

the universeof

or infinitely intelligible
it is

System

Nature

and, so far as

yet known,

modern physical and


it.

psychical science

is

the knowledge of
is

From
;

the

side of the finite, science

human
is

discovery

from

the side of the infinite, science

divine revelation

there could neither be discovery without revelation

nor revelation without discovery; and science thus


appears as the intellectual mediator between the
finite

and the
fore,

infinite.

The philosophy
of

of science, there-

when
of

at last developed

and matured by the


of

universal reason

the race, will be the supreme

wisdom
but
life

Man

and the self-evident word

God.

All this seems discouragingly abstract and

lifeless

and

light appear as

we go
still

on, following the

course of this objectified divine self-thinking in the

System
58.

of Nature,

with science

as our guide.

The System

of Nature, as the real unity of

all existent

things in the All-Thing,

must

be,

not

158
only infinitely

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
intelligible,

but also absolutely perIt

fect, in every sense

of the word.

must be

per-

fectly

adapted to the conditions and laws


It

of Being,

else it could not persevere to be.

must be perfectly

adapted to the conditions and laws of Thought, else


it

could not be intrinsically understandable and proIt

gressively understood.

must be

perfectly adapted
in part,

to itself, perfectly self-related in

whole and

perfectly self-constituted as an infinite relational sys-

tem, else
Finally,

it it

could neither be nor be understood ( 46).

cannot be imperfect in comparison with

any other and superior system, whether within or


without
itself
;

for outside of itself there is


it,

nothing
is

with which to compare

and inside

of itself there

no

partial or finite

system which does not absolutely

derive from the universal or infinite system whatever


little
is

perfection

it

may

possess.

In short, whatever

imperfect carries in

its

own

imperfection the seed

of death

must

at last decay

and altogether cease


its

to

be

but whatever exists eternally proves

own

absolute perfection

by the bare
of

fact of its eternity.

Hence the System


59.

Nature must be absolutely

perfect in every conceivable sense of the word.

The conception
an

of the universe, therefore, as

nothing but "


ings
"

infinite

multitude of sentient be-

(monads, monadology), or as nothing but ''an


multitude of non-sentient beings" (atoms,
is

infinite

materialism),

a distinctly inferior and imperfect con-

ception, and, consequently, cannot correspond with the


fact.

It is

not one system at

all,

but an unintelligible

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


a^^regate of systems.

159

It is a conception intermediate

between the conceptions

of

cosmos and chaos,

infinite
;

order and infinite disorder, Being and Non-Being

it

posits the objective existence of particular relations,

but abrogates that

of

the

total relational

system

through which alone they could objectively exist;


it

establishes the

Many, but
it

abolishes the

One

it

lacks all principle of real unity,


principle of self-existence;
ideal unity,
bility.

and

therefore all

lacks all principle of


intelligi-

and therefore
thus destroying
it

all principle of

By

all real

and

ideal unity

of the universe,

represents the universe as so imit

perfectly self-related that, as a system,

would be
of the

immeasurably

inferior to each

and every one

monadic or atomic systems which are contained within


it,

and which, notwithstanding, must derive


than themselves
is

their

higher perfection from this universal system less perfect


;

for,

although the universe, as


intelli-

a whole,
gible,

not conceived as self-existent or


or

each monad

atom
is

is

necessarily so conceived,

and thus the part


whole.

conceived as superior to the


itself,

The conception

therefore,

is

essentially

a hybrid conception, a cross between cosmos


chaos, a philosophical chimera, a
dissolves the

and

monstrosity, and

complex unity

of the universe into a

mob

of

disorderly elements.
be,

As

a perfect system,
self-

Nature must

not an infinite multitude of

existent units, forever clashing

and colliding in a

turmoil at once hopeless and eternal, but an infinite


relational constitution, in

which not only the

infinite

160

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

multitude of the units, but also the infinite unity of


the multitude, are, logically and ontologically alike,
reconciled and conserved.
60.

The

universe, then,

is

a self -existent,

infi-

nitely

intelligible,
is

But what
eral, is

and absolutely perfect system. a perfect system? A system, in genin

that

which many parts are correlated


.

closely

enough to constitute a rational whole


it is

and,

purely as system,
portion to the

more

or less perfect in pro-

closeness,

complexity, and compre-

hensiveness of this internal correlation.

There are

countless grades of perfection in the finite systems

known
itself,

each may be perfect in may be perfectly adapted to its own immanent end and its own place in the general
in

human

experience

inasmuch

as it

whole, yet at the same

time relatively imperfect,

inasmuch

as the degree of closeness, complexity,


its

and
be

comprehensiveness in

mternal correlation

may

greatly inferior to that of other finite systems.


over,
it is

More-

incredible, in the light of

itself,

that the vast and limitless

human experience Unknown should

not conceal from man's perception countless grades


of perfection

in

systems as yet unrevealed to his


But, so far as his knowledge
of

prying eye and mind.


goes, the

supreme perfection

system

is

realized in

that system of systems

the
lives

OrgoMism.

All other

known systems
this,

are

immeasurably

less perfect

than

because the organism

and

grows.
;

Nothing

but the organism either


edge of
life

lives or

grows

the knowl-

and growth

is

derived from

it

alone

life

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE,


and growth are
it,

161

its

essential marks,

and constitute

within the sphere of

human

knowledge, the one

perfect system.
61.

Now,

in our analysis of the

knowing faculty
that the

and of the nature of intelligence,

we found

supreme function of the understanding was the teleoThe creative understandlogical creation of system.
ing of man, however,
is

powerless
it

to

create

the

organism, or one perfect system;


itself

cannot project

into the world of external existence in

any

hio-her form than that of the Machine, or relatively

imperfect system, because


material over which
control.
it

it

deals only with given

can exercise only a limited

Even

its

highest ideal creations are never

emancipated from dependence on the merely given


all

human knowledge

is

drawn from experience


all

of
is

the given Outward, and

human

construction

mechanical recombination

of the material it yields.

The

fine arts

themselves are only members of the


:

great sisterhood of the mechanical arts

the statue,

the painting, the orchestra, the cathedral, nay, the


book, are only machines for producing certain effects
in

the

human mind.
the mind
;

The
;

industrial arts minister

to the wants of the

body

the fine arts minister to

the wants of

but both are simply departarts,

ments

of the

mechanical

and equally ultimate


create
in-

in the production of machines.

Hence the
for the

finite

understanding can
artificial

numerable mechanical or
enlargement
of its

systems as means

own

life,

but never organic

162

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

systems as means for the creation of life in itself. If it ever should, it would only prove itself more
divine than
incf
its
it

seems.

But the

infinite

understandof

which

creates both the form

and the matter

own

constructions, creates organisms, and, rightly

interpreted (as will appear below), organisms alone.


It

was a profound saying


with

of Strauss, essentially iden-

tical

Aristotle's doctrine of the eVreXe^eta, that


its

"life is

an end that creates


realizes itself."
^

own means from

with-

in

and

The

Infinite Self-conscious

Intellect eternally creates the Infinite

Organism

of

Nature,

that

is,

the

universe as subject (natura


object
self-

naturans) eternally

creates the universe as

{naUim
life
is

naturata), because

self -existence or

eternally a

self-sufficient

end that

realizes

itself,

an end in
;

itself
it

that

is

not a means to any

further end

and

creates finite organisms because


is

even dependent
a self-sufficient

life

likewise, at
realizes

least

in

part,

end that

itself.
is

In other
its

words,

life,
:

whether

infinite

or
"

finite,

own
"

justification

you

fulfil

your

being's

end and aim

by

living your

own

life in all

genuineness and ideal


is,

fulness by truly

fulfilling,

that

" full-filling "

it

and you are wise indeed, if less depth of meaning and the vastness
1

you know the boundof universal

"Das Denken kann

in

diesen Forschungen nicht eher zur

Befriedigung gelangen, als bis es, den ganzen Standpunkt dieser ausserhalb der Natur entworfenen und ihr eingepflanzten Zweckbeziehungen verlassend, die Idee des Lebens als den sich von innen herans seine Mittel schaffenden, sich selbst verwirklicbenden

Zweck

begreift."

{Die Christliche Glauhenslehre,

I.

388, ed. 1840.)

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


obligation

163
implies.
is

which the

word

" full-filling "

The

creative understanding, therefore,

which

the

absolute originator of all relational systems, creates

them because that


it is its

is its

essential function
;

because

very nature to create


teleological,

essentially

as
life

all its creations are

finite

understanding,

machines, and as infinite understanding, organisms

and

all

its

creations are essentially

means

for

tlie

" full-filling " of its

own

the absolute and


is

uni-

versal end of all Being.


62.

Now

modern

science

rapidly reaching,

nay, has

almost reached, this sublime conception


living

of the universe as a

and growing organism.


of

Organisms themselves are


perfection.

countless

grades
is

of

In one sense, every organism

perfect

which

is

perfectly adapted to itself


if

and

its

environ-

ment

yet organisms so adapted,

considered rela-

tively to each other, are

more or

less perfect as

they

embrace mere or

less

of the

environment in those
life

external relations of their


as
it

own

which

constitute,

were, the actual extension of this


is

life.

Hence
it

an organism

higher or more perfect, the more

projects itself into the outer world,

and learns
;

to

subordinate outer forces to

its

own

uses

or, in its

other

words, in proportion to the strength of

creative

understanding and the consequent effectiveness of


its

machines,

that
as

is, its

relational systems of all


for

kinds, created

means

the enlargement and


of its

enrichment, the
This
is "

" full-filling,"

own

existence.

judging the tree by

its fruit," it is true,

but

164
the test
is

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
sound.

Man

has no better

title

to his

primacy among animals than the potency and vastness


of

the combinations

(relational
forces,

systems)

by

which he has mastered natural


cally

and

practi-

annexed

to his

own

being so immense a part

of the planet

he inhabits.
be conceived as an
as

Now
or

the universe has no environment to master


If,
it

annex.

then,

it

is

to

organism,
of

must be conceived
and growth are

an organism

all

whose

life

strictly

immanent, and
finite

different in important respects

from the

and
is

merely individual organism to which the name


usually confined.
lives,

The
;

finite

organism not

only

but also dies

it

lives

by drawing
uses, that
its

into itself,
is

and subordinating
itself,

to its

own
by

which

not

and

it

dies at last

inability to convert,
itself.

absolutely and permanently, this not-itself into

But the

infinite

organism

lives,

and

dies not

it lives

by eternally converting
form, and
it

itself as force into itself

as

dies not, because it has


itself

no need
its

to con-

vert the not-itself into


self-conservation
is its

because

eternal

eternal self-creation.^

Again,

1 " En effet, c'est une chose bien claire et bien evidente a tous ceux qui considereront avec attention la nature de temps, qu'une substance, pour etre conservee dans tous les moments qu'elle dure> a besoin du meme pouvoir et de la meme action qui seroit necessaire pour la produire et la creer tout de nouveau, si elle n'e'toit

point encore

en sorte que

c'est

une chose que

la luniiere naturelle la creation

nous

fait voir clairement,

que la conservation et

ne

dif-

ferent qu'au regard de notre fa9on de penser, et non point en " Mais il est certain, et c'est effet." (Descartes, (Euvres, I. 286.)

une opinion communement re9ue entre


par laquelle maintenant
il

les theologiens,

que Taction

le

conserve, est toute la

meme

que ceUe

par laquelle

il

I'a cre'e."

(Ibid., I. 172, 173.)

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


the
finite

165

organism reproduces
is

itself

only by pro-

ducing another which

not

itself,

yet Hke itself;


is

the form or relational system abides, but


to modification, because the

subject

matter changes under

the influence of kindred matter in the environment.

But the
instant,
its

infinite

organism reproduces

itself at
;

every

and does not produce another

its

form and
organ-

matter are alike eternal.


is

Again, the

finite

ism

evolved out of the environment and dissolved

back mto the environment.


tion

But the eternal evolulife of

and dissolution which constitute the

the

infinite
itself,

organism are absolutely immanent within

and do not

affect

its

eternal

self -identity.

These

difl'erences are important,


;

and should not be

overlooked
tial

they do not, however, touch the essen-

concept of the organism as that which lives and


it

grows, and leave


infinitude alike.
63. This

compatible with finitude and

conception,
Infinite

then,

of
is

the

System

of

Nature as an
ception which

Organism

the highest con-

man

has yet formed of the immanent

relational constitution of the universe per se

his

nearest actual reproduction in thought of the


nitely intelligible

infi-

and absolutely perfect system and


it is

of

universal Being

precisely the conception

which modern science


Fact of Evolution.
tion
is

is

to-day working out in that

marvellous discovery of the nineteenth century, the


It is true that the

law

of evolu-

not yet successfully formulated, and that the


it

conception of

has been thus far only imperfectly

166

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

developed; neither the formula nor the conception

has

thus far been philosophically matured in the

systems of those
it.

who have attempted

to philosophize

In

reality, the greatest battle of

modern thought
on the

turns on the further and profounder determination


of the concept of Evolution,

and

this turns

determination of the concept of the immanent relational constitution of the universe joer
se.

On

this

great question,
to say
;

phenomenism
it

has absolutely nothing


only in the scientific

the answer to
its

lies

method,
of

logical presuppositions,
is

and the theory


of

noumenism which
It is

the logical development

these presuppositions into a determinate philosophy


of science.

my

deep conviction that the

final

issue of the battle will be the

permanent and uniOrganism.

versally recognized establishment of the conception


of

the System of Nature as an Infinite

Science has not yet reached the fulness of this conception, but
it

lies implicit in

the scientific method

as the flower lies implicit in the bud, and,


it

whenever

shall

have become

explicit, science will liave be-

come philosophy
64.

itself.

Now

this

organic

conception of

Nature
the idea,

clearly reveals the crudity

and

falsity of

often
in
1

broached, that

"God comes

to consciousness

Man."i
Cf.

it is perfectly true that the


Werke,

system

of

Hegel,

nothig,
befreit.

ehe

der Geist

XIII. 48: "Es sind viele Wenduugen zum Bewusstseyn seiner kommend sich

Nach

dieser allein
ist

der Philosophie
betrachten."

On

wurdigen Ansicht von der Geschichte der Tempel der selbstbewussten Vernunft zu this and similar passages Von Hartmann well

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


Nature, self-evolved as the objectified divine

167
tliouglit,

has risen with incalculable slowness from the unconscious to the conscious; but the whole process

remains utterly unintelligible, nay, an absurdity or


self-contradiction, unless the evolution of

the uni-

verse as Divine Object

is

viewed as the work of the


Suhject,

universe

itself

as Divine

that
S'pace.

is,

as the

Infinite Life of

God in Time and


is

No more

can be evolved than


scious
scious.

already involved: the con-

could not possibly originate in the uncon-

The notion
*

of

"God's coming to consciousness


Infinite Self-conscious

in

Man,

if

it

means that no
before

Intellect

existed

man

appeared, arises from

non-perception of the great principles already explained


:

namely, that an

infinitely intelligible syseffect,

tem, as a strictly intellectual


origin but
strictly

can have no

an

infinite creative understanding, as its

intellectual

cause,
infinite

and

that,

if

infinite

intelligibility

and

intelligence

co-exist

as

eternal attributes in one sole and self-caused existence, as they

must

in the universe of Being, then


infinite subject-object, or

that universe
Infinite

must be an

Self-consciousness.

Intellect

itself

is

the

only known, knowable, or imaginable cause of


gible system
;

intelli-

and Nature, the universal system


I.
'

of

says, Philosopkie des Unhewussten,

23, ed. 1882: "

Der Hegel'sche
.
. .

Gott als Ausgangspunct


Gott
als

ist

erst
'

Resultat

ist

'

fiir

sich
ist

und unbewusst, nur Die und bewusst, ist Geist.


an sich
'

Theorie des Unbewussten

die nothwendige,

wenn auch
ist."

bisher

meist nur stillschweigende Vormissptznn'j jodos ohjectiven odor absoluten Idealismus, der nicht unzweideutiger Theismus

168

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
is

objective relations,
of infinite

just as necessarily the product

mind, as philosophy, the universal system


product of

of subjective relations, is necessarily the


finite

mind.

Hence

it is

shallow and poverty-struck

thinking which conceives that


infinite
finite

God

is

originally not

self-consciousness, but
in
;

merely comes to a
thus
fails

consciousness

man and which

to see that the evolution of the universe-object, as


intelligible system, is explicable

only by the universe-

subject, as intelligent origin of that

system or

infinite

creative understanding.
65.

The organic conception

of

Nature reveals
falsity of the

with equal clearness the crudity and


idea, also often broached, that "

God

exists outside of

Space and Time."

Space and Time are not

known

at all except as the universal conditions of all existence,

as

absolute forms of all Thought because,

and only because, they are absolute ground -forms


of
all

Being.

Kant's theory of the exclusive subd,

jectivity of

Space and Time, as pure

priori forms

of sensuous intuition, is utterly untenable

and

self-

destructive.^

The noumenism
non
of

of the scientific

method

establishes their necessary objectivity, as condiciones


sine quibus

noumena

themselves.

The uni-

verse as divine object, and therefore the universe


as divine
subject, are

thus absolutely conditioned


far

on Space and Time, which,

from being positive

determinations or limitations of Being, are only the


1

See

my

article

on " The Philosophy of Space and Time," in

the North American Review for July, 1864.

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


blank forms of
fore,
its possibility.

169
thereis

The attempt,

to

deduce Space and Time from God


all

the

destruction of

intelligibility in

the philosophy

which
"

attempts

it.

In

fact,

the

statement that
" is

God

exists outside of

Space and Time


in

a double-

barrelled

contradiction

terms; for the "exists,"

a verb of present tense, presupposes the very Time

which the "outside


" exists outside "

of

Time"

denies,

while the

presupposes the very Space which

the

"outside of Space" denies.

All existence as
neces(if it

necessarily presupposes

Time

as all matter

sarily presupposes Space;

and the statement

had any conceivable meaning) would


since

affirm at the

same time absolute atheism and absolute acosmism,


for,

God and

the universe are one,


it

it

would

deny

all real

existence to both in denying

of either.

Not even
Time
;

the phenomenist, however, pretends that

the universe as such "exists outside of Space and


"
if

he subjectifies Space and Time, he no

less subjectifies the universe,

and himself conceives

the former as conditioning the latter in representation or thought.

outside of

To claim, then, that " God exists Space and Time" is, on any hypothesis,

at least to banish

God from

the universe altogether,

and condemn man


" without

to be, in the

most

literal sense,

God

in the world."
it

But

it is

a waste of

criticism to
chaotic.
66.

expend

on a conception so dismally

The

fact of
it, is

evolution, independent of

all

theory about

to-day established beyond reason-

170

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
modern
to the
science.

able doubt as a permanent result of

The conception of evolution


Aristotle,

is

at least as

old as

who, in equal opposition

eternal

'flux" of Herakleitos

and the eternal

''rest" of the
is

Eleatics, taught that transition from that which

not yet to that which is, or development, was the only reality. Prior to the spotless and immortal

Darwin, however, whose epoch-making book was


the

foundation

of

modern

scientific

evolutionism,

the most

influential
of

form of the development theory


Evolution,

was that
as a

Idealistic

the

evolution

of the universe as a

phenomenal representation, not


and always has

noumenal fact. The trouble with Idealism


it

is,

been, that

never dares to be strictly logical


its

never dares to march straight, from

premise in
its

the Cartesian " Je pense, done je suis" to


logical conclusion in solipsism.

only

Even Schopenhauer,

who
the

starts off

so boldly in his
1

"The world
the

is

my
of

representation,"

shows

his

timid inconsistency in
existence

very same

sentence, admits

other thinkers, infers a world


is

from which escape

the one thing needful, and thus lands us in an

intellectual pessimistic

quagmire to which his halt-

ing Idealism has been the guiding will-o'-the-wisp.

A
1

valiantly logical Idealism might, perhaps, be

ir-

refutable,
"
'

but
ist

it

would certainly be absurd; for


ist, gleich den Axiomen wahr erkennen muss, sobald er
'

Die Welt

meine Vorstellung

Euklids, ein Satz, den Jeder als

ihn versteht

wenn

gleich nicht ein solcher, den Jeder versteht,


(

sobald er ihn hurt."

Werke,

III. 4.)

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


a dialogue between two
the other to be merely a
"

171

solipsists,

each conceiving

thing in his

own

dream,"
Idealism

would be the very climax


to be a dialogue at

of the comical.
it

ought to be a monologue;
all,

has no rational right

unless after the fashion of

Dr. Johnson, who, coming to breakfast one morning


in an ill-humor because

he had dreamed overnight

that he was beaten in argument, could not be consoled until he


his antagonist

remembered that he had been both


and himself in one, and had therefore
all.

only beaten himself after


selves as overhearing

Let us imagine ourwill style the

what we

" Consistent Idealist." 67. Soliloq_uy of the

"I think, therefore


original

I am.

cannot doubt this


in

and necessary starting-point


;

my
if

philosoI

phizing
I am.

for,

if

I doubt, I
itself

think,

and,

think,

By doubt
start.

am

brought back to this


it

very starting-point, since from

my

doubt

itself

must

My

philosophy must evidently begin

with this immediate knowledge of myself as thinking and existing, knowing and being, in one indivisible reality
;

my
as

first

fact

must be that

of

my own
itself to

consciousness

immediately manifesting
identity of

itself in a real

knowing and
only a given
;

being.

can in no

way account
it;
is

for this first fact,


it is

any more
fact,

than I can doubt

for
is

which no reason

assignable

it is is

a fact which

indubitable simply

because

it

immediately
devise

self-

evident; any reasoning I could

would beg

172

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
it

the question, since


fact it

would presuppose the very


;

was seeking

to explain

exist reasoning

'

I cannot prove that I

can only reason.

Consequently,
first

can get neither behind nor below this

fact

as

my
"

rational foundation in philosophizing.


is

But

this

I think, therefore I am,' the

whole

of

my

first
is

fact?

Perhaps I have
it.

left

something
philosophy

out which

really part of

If so,

my

will be all wrong.

Let

me

scrutinize this first fact

more keenly.
"It
is

self-evident

that I cannot think without

thinking somethmg.

My
my
;

thinking

is

an

activity,

and must act on an

object.

What

is this
?

something,
I

this necessary object of

thinking

Whenever

think, I discover that I always think a world,


in part
is

now
not
say,

and now

in

whole

'

I think a world,' then,

the general formula of all


to say,
'

my

thinking.

It is

enough
'

I think, therefore I

am

;
'

must

I think a world, therefore I am.'


'

But why must

I not say,

I think a world, therefore I


It

am and

the

world

is

'

seems as

if

must, smce both I and

the world are in

my

consciousness.

"But

no.
;

I do not find that I I

am

conscious of

any world
the world
in
;

am

only conscious of myself thinking


is

as distinct from myself, the world


all.

not

my

consciousness, after
is

My

thought of the

world

only

my own

thought,

only
it

my own

representation; I do not find in


itself,

anything but

anything but thought, anything but reprenot find that I

sentation; I do

know any

object

! ;

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


of

173
itself.

my

thought as distinct from


but

my

thought

It is evidently nothing

my

mere representation.
it

Indeed, I do not
sentation
of
'

know why
;

I should call

'

repre-

at all

it is

certainly not a representation

any

reality outside of myself that I can

imme-

diately know.

In the pure content of

my

thought,

nothing

is

presented,

and therefore nothing can be


alone.
If it is a repre-

represented, except myself

sentation at
of

all,

then,
I

it

must be
to

a representation

myself

though

do not recognize the likeness


be represented as an
in reahty

The world, which seems


object distinct

from myself, can be


all.

nothing
;

other than myself, after

Very
keep

well, then
it

when

I say 'representation,' I will

clearly in

my

mind
cases,

that this expression

must mean,

in all possible

nothing whatever except a 'representation of

myself

never

a representation of anything other

than myself.

My

thought always gives the Me,

never the Other.

"But somehow, notwithstanding my


reasoning, I find myself in difficulty.

irrefutable

This repre-

sentation of the world I have just been demonstrat-

ing to be only a representation of myself.


all that, it quite obstinately refuses to

But, for

put on the

appearance of a representation of myself as I otherwise


give

know myself. It quite me either a front-view, or

obstinately refuses to
a side-view, or a back-

view, or an over-view, or an under-view, of myself


it

most obstinately
I

persists in giving

me

a view of
all,

myself which

cannot get otherwise at

in

174
giving
I

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

me

a view which, but for

my

good reasoning,

should certainly believe to be the likeness of an


Well, then,
if

Other.

I cannot really knovj

it

as

an

Other,

may

I not at least infer it as

an Other, and
?

thus get out of

my awkward
it
?

difficulty

May

not

thus, without committing suicide as a reasoner, logically attribute to

a semi-known, but real, existence

external to myself

May

I not infer that this exaffects

ternal existence in

some inscrutable way

my
and
and

own
be!

existence, determines
as I do
?

my

representations,

makes me think

What
out of

a relief that would

What an

easy

way
in

my

difficulty,

what an easy explanation


annoying
world
"

of this puzzling

and very
of

obstinacy

my

representation

the

Let

me
'

be cautious, however, and not destroy

the foundation of
ference
of

my
is,

whole philosophy.
after
all,

This

'

in-

mine

only another of
is

my

representations; and so, of course,


ferred.
I
I

the thing in-

am

not conscious of the thing inferred


it.

am

only conscious of myself as inferring


is
;

My

thought of the thing inferred

nothing whatever
contains nothing

but merely
but

my own
thought
is
;

thought
it

it

my own
it

does not contain the thing

inferred;

nothing but myself once more.


It
is

In

short, the inference refuses to infer!

just as

obstinate as the representation of the world.

The

representation refuses to represent, and the inference


refuses to infer.

Neither of them has the least pity


If I could say

on

my

perplexity.

now

that the thing

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


i7iferred is

175

an Other, I could just as well have said


is

at the outset that the world represented

an Other.

Either would be the complete sky-high explosion of

my

philosophy.

must

stick to

my
and

principle
it

and
sing.

deny that Other, whatever siren song

may
calls

My
me
"

whole philosophy
So be

is

at stake,

it

upon

to be heroically logical at this critical point.


it,

then

Whatever I

think, or represent, or

infer, or imagine, or believe, contains

Me, and no Other,


is

as

hoth

svljjcct

and
is

object

that
its

Idealism,

and
its

anything else

nothing but

phantom and
into

sham.

The philosophy which admits


is

my thought
and not

any Other whatever


Idealism.

essentially Eealism,

As an
is

Idealist, 1

must confess that whatI

ever I infer

myself in disguise.

cannot break

out of the closed magic circle of


thinking.

my own

mere

My

representations of the world, of the

inference, of the thing inferred, are only representations of Myself.


I

must, then, be something more

than I imagined!

My

consciousness cannot be the


in

whole

of

me

there

must be

me an

unconscious-

ness too, out of which these obstinate representations


of the

Other are involuntarily produced.

do not

voluntarily or consciously produce them, yet they


obstinately persist in appearing.

Very well: they

must emerge out of some unsuspected depth of my own being, in obedience to some force or law of my own being which I do not consciously comprehend.
It is clear that I

am immensely

greater and grander

than

I at first suspected or

imagined

;;

176
"

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
But some
of

my

representations wear the guise

of intelligent beings like myself; they seem to talk

with me, deal with me, act upon me.


they do or say, however,
sentation ; and
at
is
all,

"Whatever

is

nothing but
if

my

repre-

my representation,

am

an Idealist

can be nothing but myself.


;

The conclusion
they are unreal

irresistible

these other intelligent beings I call

mankind
ception,

exist only in

my

thought
;

except as I give them reality

they exist in

my

per-

and are annihilated in

my

non-perception

they have absolutely no being but in


tion
;

my

representa-

their esse

is

percipi.

am

their sole Creator,

as I

" I

as

am the sole Creator of the world itself. am equally their Destroyer. I represent them dying, and therefore I am the Creator of Death.
I

But

cannot represent myself as dead

that
is

would

be the representation of something which

not Me,

but an Other; I cannot create that; therefore, I cannot


die.

Death

to

me would

be the non-representa-

tion of myself; all


I

cannot

my representations are of myself; represent my own death or non-being I


;

can only represent myself as living, and not dead

and

all

that I cannot represent


Therefore, all the

is

to

me
;

absolute

nothing.

representations I call

men
self.

die

when

I cease to represent

them

but I shall

never

die,

because I cannot cease to represent mythe Eternal.

am

"Infinite Space and


sentations,

Time

are

no

less

my

repre-

and therefore I create them.

Infinite

Being

itself is

my

representation,

and I

creat^^

that

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


too.

Ill

As

a unity of conscious

I create the world, mankind, Space, Time,


self; tions,

and unconscious powers, God himbut

for all these are nothing

my

representa-

and
I
:

all

my
all

representations are nothing but

myself.

the All

am am

that I create.

Hence

I myself

the Infinite, I

am

the Absolute, I

am am

the Eternal, I

am

the only true


at
this

God
and only
and

"Having

arrived

satisfactory

logical conclusion

from

my

Idealistic principle,

having triumphantly and successfully swallowed the


universe, I will
68.

now

take a nap."
of a "consistent

Such would be the soliloquy and


it is

Idealist,"

modestly suggested as an objectBut, alas,

lesson in logic to inconsistent Idealists.

the "consistent Idealist"


ideal being
:

is

himself an absolutely

he

is

nothing but "

my

representation,"

and

have never met him either in real literature

or in real Hfe.

The

real Idealist I

meet

is

always

inconsistent

always
;

dilutes

his

Idealism with a
it it

dash of Eealism

he boldly apphes

to the

world

of matter, but never dares to apply

unflinchingly

to his fellow-men in general, or to his interlocutor

in particular; he

boldly applies

it

to

Space and
as has

Time, but seldom or never to God.

Now,

been said above

" a valiantly logical ( 66),


it

Idealism

might, perhaps, be irrefutable, but

would certainly

be absurd;" and few would deny that the above But any philosophy soliloquy ends in absurdity.

becomes absurd and unworthy

of intellectual respect,
its

when

it

wilfully shirks the logic of


12

fundamental

178
principles

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
and makes arbitrary exceptions
in
to

them
as

and

real Idealism,

different

way,

is

just

absurd as solipsism.
is

The only "consistent Idealist"


;

the solipsist himself


soliloquy

there

is

no other
if

and our

overheard

shows what,

he could be
if

found, he would say.

But the
"

solipsist himself,

he ventured to say

it to

"an Other" than


Other's
"

himself,

would thereby concede that


and therefore

existence,

forfeit the laurels

due to his courage

and consistency so long


the determined

as he only soliloquized.

In
only

silence of the solipsist lies the

irrefutability of Idealism.

Eeal Idealism

is

already
is

refuted,

if

the detection of self-contradiction

refu-

tation

but
?

who can

refute a

man who
of

refuses all

dialogue
69.
its

The whole plausibiHty


its

Idealism

lies

in

assumption of

unscientific "first fact:"

the

Idealist

begins with his

individual
or

consciousness

alone as

the only certain

indubitable

datum,
con-

while science begins with universal


sciousness and the universe
cartes,
it

human

has discovered.

Des-

who unwittingly launched modern philosophy


voyage by his
" I

upon

its Idealistic

think, therefore

I am," was himself a Conceptuahst, a product of the

Extreme Nominalism which was championed by Eoscellinus and his companions hundreds of years before ^ and Kant and his successors, men of mighty
;

"

De meme,

le

nombre que nous considerons en

gene'ral, sans

faire reflexion sur

aucune chose creee, n'est point hors de notre pensee, non plus que toutes ces autres ide'es ge'ne'rales que dans i'e'cole on comprend sous le nom d'universaux." (Descartes, (Euvres,

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE,


modern philosophic thought.

179

genius, could but follow the general direction thus

imparted to

all

Hegel,

the greatest of

the post-Kantian Ideahsts, says:

"Thought, by

its

own

free act, seizes a standpoint

where

it

exists

for

itself,

and generates and

its

own
is

object; "1

and again: "This

ideality of the finite


;

the chief

maxim

of philosophy
is

for that reason


^

every true philosophy

Idealism."

This

is

the

absolute sacrifice of the objective factor in human Hegel sublimely disregards the distincexperience.

between Finite Thought and Infinite Thought: the latter, indeed, creates, while the former finds, ite
tion
object.
it

And, since human philosophy


is

is

only

finite,

follows that no true philosophy

Idealism, except

the Infinite Philosophy or Self-thinking of God.

But

all

modern

scientific

thought has, in spite

of Bacon's

seeming hostility to Aristotle's influence,


Cutting,

substantially held the Aristotelian ground.


like Alexander, the

Gordian

knot, it has, like Alexit

ander, conquered a world:


as inclusive of object
to construe
it,

construes experience

and subject both, and refuses


the exact point of divergence
ordinairement cinq universaux,

as Idealism does, as inclusive of the

subject alone.
III. 99, ed. Cousin.)

Here

is

"On compte

genre, I'espece, la difference, le propre, et Taccident." This principle of Conceptualism denies by neces(Ibid., III. 101.) sary implication the objectivity of relations, and therefore of all the

a savoir,

le

by the scientific method. Logic and history alike show that every possible philosophy is built either on the sul)jectivity or the objectivity of relations, and the world
objective relational systems discovered

will yet find out this fact.


1

Werke, VI. 25.

Werke, VI. 189.

180

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
Idealistic

between the

and

Scientific
;

Hypotheses, for

hypotheses they equally are

the truth of perception

cannot be logically proved.


increase of
scientific

But

if

the wonderful

human knowledge by
then there
is

the use of the

method be not
and

verification of the original

scientific hypothesis,

no such thing as
is

verification,

all

human knowledge
if

a melan-

choly

lie.

70.

To-day, then,

science can establish any-

thing,

it

has established the principle of Eealistic

Evolution, to the complete


ciple of

overthrow of the prin-

Idealistic Evolution;

and

scientific realism

treats the evolution of the universe, not as a

merely

phenomenal

fact,

but as a fact which

is

at once both

phenomenal and noumenal.

Let us take up once


at this point,

more the thread

of our

argument

and

go on to determine the conception of Universal


Eealistic Evolution in a

way

that shall satisfy the


alike.

demands

of science

and philosophy
others
are

Two
tion,

possible views of Universal Eealistic Evolu-

to

which

all

logically

reducible,

present themselves for consideration: namely, the

Mechanical and the Organic.

The triumph

of the

profounder view at last will be the determination


of the concept of the

immanent

relational constitu-

tion of the universe per se as either a Machine or an

Organism.

The one theory conceives the universe


and seeks
;

as a machine,

to

explain

it

on simply

mechanical principles

the other theory conceives

the universe as an organism, and seeks to explain

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


it

181
of

on organic by which

principles.
all

The

eternal warfare

ideas

intellectual progress is effected

centres to-day in the

struggle

between these two

opposing theories or tendencies.

What

has nou-

menism, the genuine philosophy of


respecting

science, to say

them

71. First of all, this


itself

affirms

reality of

that, just as noumenism phenomenism that affirms (the phenomena), and affirms also what phe:

all

nomenism

denies (the reality of noumena), so

the

organic theory of evolution affirms all that the me-

chanical theory affirms (the facts and principles of

mechanism), and affirms also what the mechanical


theory denies (the facts and principles of teleology

and the absolute

failure of

mechanism

to explain the

universe without them).

In other words, the me-

chanical theory covers only a part of the facts, while

the organic theory covers


72.

them

all.

Both theories accept the


relational

fact of

an objective
of

and

intelligible

constitution

Nature,
its

totally independent of

human

representation for

existence;
consistent

both, therefore, so far as they are self-

and worthy

of philosophical recognition,

accept without question the principles of noumenism,

and are equally bound

to accept their logical results.

Both, furthermore, accept the fact that this objective


relational constitution of

Nature

is

a veritable sys-

tem, in which all the parts are so closely correlated


as to constitute a rational whole.

divergence begins.

But here their The mechanical theory denies

182

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
is

that the system of Nature

a perfect system, and

heaps up proofs
of evil of
;

of its

imperfection in the existence

the organic theory affirms that the system


is

Nature

perfect within the limits of possibility,


evil results

and claims that the existence of absolute conditions and logical


existence as such

from the
of finite

necessities

does

not, therefore, prove

any

avoidable or real imperfection in the system of NaFurthermore, the mechanical theory takes, as ture.

type of the actual system of Nature, the machine while the organic theory takes the organism. It is
evident enough that the mechanical theory conceives

the real and rational unity of Nature in a far lower and cruder form than the organic theory; for the

organism

is

a machine plus a great deal more, and

yields a concept of far higher closeness, complexity,

and comprehensiveness
73.

of internal relationship,
of content.

and

therefore of far superior richness

No

little light is

and

relative value of

thrown upon the nature these two theories, viewed as

mere hypotheses, by a critical analysis of the two fundamental concepts on which they are based, and to which, despite all special pleading, they must be
ultimately reduced.
lives

The

fact that no

machine

either

or grows, while

emry organism both

lives

and

grows, shows

at once the formidably embarrassing,

nay, the overwhelmingly crushing, difficulty under

which the mechanical theory labors, in trying work out an intelligible and complete concept
evolution as the
life

to
of
for

and growth of the universe

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


the very concept of evolution as
life

183
is

and growth

essentially organic, has been derived only from the

organism, and

is,

in truth, utterly incompatible with

that rigid exclusion of all but mechanical principles

which

it

is

the specific purpose of the mechanical

theory to establish.
this theory deals

All

is

easy enough, so long as

with the purely physical or me;

chanical facts of Nature

but, the

moment

it

ap-

proaches the domain of biology,

its difficulties

begin,
of

and soon grow so formidable,


even

in

the domain

psychology, sociology, and ethics, that the theory


itself,

the hands of really able champions,

obtrusively and hopelessly breaks down.


is

The

fact

that the extension of the idea of evolution to the

inorganic world, and to the

system of Nature as

a whole, betrays unmistakably the inward (though

perhaps unconscious) pressure of the organic idea in


the scientific mind; and hence nothing but intellectual confusion has resulted, or possibly could result,

from the attempt to

conceive

evolution
it

as
is

exclusively mechanical.

No

wonder, then, that

impossible to find an ostensibly mechanical interpretation of

Nature which does

not, the

moment

it

approaches biology, yield to the temptation of surreptitiously

introducing organic elements into

its

professedly mechanical system, and thereby demonstrate its inability to

remain faithful to the facts

without surrendering
This result
the case.
is

its

own fundamental

principle.

simply inevitable from the nature of

It is the fault of the facts,

which

persist

184

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
The concept
of
is

in not being purely mechanical.

evolution, applied to the universe as a whole,

necessarily the concept of

it

as a living
facts,

and growing

whole;

it

must include

all

physical no less

than biological and


of
life

psychical, under this concept


;

and growth

and the concept

of

life

and
are

growth, in which alone the


absolutely reconcilable,
is

Many and

the

One

essentially

and necessarily

that of the organism.

The search
in the

the

Many and

the

Many

for the One in One has been from

antiquity the essential task of philosophy; and I


feel perfectly safe in asserting that

no idea ever has

been or ever will be found which shall absolutely


reconcile the

Many and
itself.

the

One except

the idea of

the organism

Most

certainly the idea of the

machine, no matter

how

elaborated or

how expanded,
of

can never be made by any degree of ingenuity or

acumen

to cover those facts

which are

supreme
as deeply

interest to philosophy,

and which are just

inwrought into the warp and woof of the universe as


the plainest facts of chemistry, physics, or mechanics.

When

Alexander von

Humboldt,

in

his

Kosmos,

called the universe

"a

living whole," he

showed a

flash of philosophic insight in a purely scientific

man

which puts to shame the obtuseness


one reputed philosopher.^
1

of

more than
science,

Science

itself, as

heit,

ist fiir die denkende Betrachtung Eiuheit in VielVerbindung des Mannigfaltigen in Form und Mischung, Inbegriff der Naturdinge und Naturkrafte als ein lebendiges Ganze." {Kosmos, I. 5, 6, ed. 1845.) (Compare Hegel, Werke, VII. 38: " Die Natur ist an sich ein lebendiges Ganzes.")

" Die Natur

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


is

185
fact

now brought

face to face,

by the established

of universal

evolution, with a question, also of fact,

which yet admits only of a philosophical solution namely, is this universe a machine or an organism 1
74.

The old

distinction of

Nature as " organic

and inorganic,"
cated, has

conceived as two departments of

existence which can be really and exactly demar-

become utterly discredited and outgrown,

as a distinction
artificial,

which

is

intrinsically misleading,
It
is

and

false in itself.

no longer possible
run between

to point out

where the

line is to be

animal and plant, or between living and non-living


matter.
skill

The old fence


to rebuild

is
it.

down, and no

man

has

enough

But what follows?


:

A
the

most momentous
universe
is

consequence

namely, that

either wholly organic or wholly inorganic.


it

Which
ory.

shall

be?
"

"Inorganic!"
"
!

says the me-

chanical theory.

Organic

says the organic the-

The one would


up
to

level all things

down

to the
all

grade of the machine; the other would level


things

the grade of the organism.


itself as

The one

would explain the organism


complicated machine
;

merely a more

the other would explain the


less

machine

itself as

merely a lower and

developed

form of the organism


created

as

an

artificial

organism
issue
is

by the natural organism.


and
it

The
not

vital one,

is

hotly fought to-day all over the


is

civilized world,

wherever thought
There
is

swamped

in

mere brute

existence.

no

possibility,

how-

ever, of finally settling this

profound and vital issue

186

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
to

by appealing

any discoveries made by the empiri-

cal use of the scientific

method

nothing but the

settlement of what was called at the outset ( 8) the


" previous question "

of

phenomenism and noumenphilosophizing of the scien-

ism,
tific

nothing but the method


itself,

will ever lead to a

permanent

settlement of the question

whether the universe


wholly inor-

must be viewed
ganic.

as wholly organic or

And

on the right settlement of this question


all

at last

depend

the highest ideal hopes, all the


all

highest moral

interests,

the highest religious

aspirations of mankind.^
75.

But the

close comparison or analysis of the

two concepts

of the

machine and the organism

still

remains to be made.
If the results of our inquiry into the

nature of
are
valid,

intelligence,

in

the

preceding
is

chapter,

every relational system

a product of the creative

understanding, and every product of the creative

understanding

is

essentially

a means

or

an end.
re-

Now

both the machine and the organism are


systems
;

lational

that

is

agreed.

Both

of

these

relational systems are teleologically constituted, as

means

or ends

but that

is

disputed, since the

mod-

ern mechanical theory stoutly denies

all teleology,

even in the structure of the organism.


1

Analysis,
lay to

"

But

this I

do say, and would wish

all

men

to

know and

heart, that he

who

discerns notliing but

Mechanism

in the

Uni-

verse has in the fatalest


altogether."
(Carlyle,

way missed the secret of the On Heroes, Hero- Worship, and the

Uni^-erse

Heroic

in

History, p. 160,

New

York, 1872.)

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


however, shows that
teleology
of the
is

187
deeply
as

just as

wrought into the system


into that of the organism,

machine

itself

and

is

the only possible


if

explanation of either.

Consequently, even

the
that
is

mechanical theory
every organism
is

is

correct in maintaining
its

a mere machine,

contention

tantamount
organism
is

to

an unconscious confession that every

teleologically constituted,

tantamount,
is

therefore, to

an unconscious, yet absolute, surrender


idea.
it

of its

own fundamental
The machine
is

This criticism

fatal one, but I will

waive

for the present.

76.

a system in which the parts


is

are so related that the whole, as a cause,


to the
effect
;

adapted

accomplishment

of purely external ends, as


of these

an

and the pure externality

ends proves
exist,

an external mechanist, in whose mind the ends

and by whose hand the machine has been made

what

it

is,

in order to accomplish those ends.

It

does not effect those ends

by

itself,
;

but only as used


it

by the mechanist
itself,

to effect

them

does not form


;

repair

itself,

or reproduce itself
;

it

exists only
artificial
is

by another, and
the

for another

it is

purely

work

of art for

purposes of

art.

Such

every

machine certainly known by man to be a machine,


from a simple nail to a vast railroad system
only concept of
it
:

the
is

drawn from human experience


to

that of a means adapted

exhrnal ends.

So over-

whelmingly strong

is

the induction based on this


flint,

experience that a mere bit of

rudely resembling

the head of an axe or arrow, and dug out of a deep

188

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

excavation together with innumerable other stones,


carries conviction to every civilized

mind

that this

crude machine

is

demonstration

of the existence of

prehistoric savages,

by whom

it

was fashioned,
itself

as a

means,
itself.

for

chopping or slaying, as an end external to


is

The machine, however,

an organism
were,

of lower grade,

an

artificial extension, as it
as,

of

the living organism;


is

for instance,

the car-

penter's tool

an extension

of

the

human

hand,

creatively conceived
tively

by the human mind and creawrought by the human hand itself. But the
not explain
itself,

tool does

much

less the

hand;
tool.

while the hand and the mind do explain the

In

short, the

machine
is

is

an

irresistible proof of the

mechanist, and
able without

both inexplicable and inconceiv-

him; while, on the other hand, the


in
art,

machine and the mechanist together constitute


truth only a larger organism which has, by

ex-

tended the boundaries of

its

own

existence.

Conse-

quently, the machine, though in no sense an organ-

ism in

itself alone, is yet, in

a very true sense, an

organism of a lower grade, inasmuch as the true or


living organism has

annexed

it

to itself as a con-

quered province of the


it

not-itself,

and

so far given
strictly sub-

a temporary and imperfect, though

ordinate, organic being.

Hence

it

is

clear that the

machine cannot be made


organism alone

to explain the organism,

but, on the contrary, can itself be explained


;

by the
itself,

it

does not exist as an end in


to an end external to

but solely as a means

itself

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE,


and
it

189

becomes an organism

of a lower or non-living

grade, only

when used by

a true or living organism

as an artificial extension of itself in the execution of


its

own
77.

organic ends.

Now, when the mechanical theory


it

applies

this

concept of the machine to the philosophical

explanation of the universe,

must

of course con;

form

to the requirements of philosophy

it

must not

logically violate the essential nature of the concept


it

employs.

Consequently, as a mere machine, the

universe should be conceived by the

mechanical

theory as simply a means to an end, and as implying, like every other

machine,

its

own

external

mechanist.
logically

The only way


philosophically,

to realize
is

this concept,
it

or

to

complete

by

conceiving

God

as the external mechanist or crea-

tor of the universe,

and the

" glory of
it.

God
is

"

as the

end

for

which he has created


its

Hence the mepure and


is

chanical theory in absolute Dualism


of
;

only logical form


its

and

Dualism

in the

form

an old-fashioned,

artificial,

truly mechanical,
If,

and

wholly outgrown type


trary, the

of theology.

on the contele(as,

mechanical theory, in order to deny

ology, discards

Dualism and professes Monism


it

curiously enough,
philosophies),
it

does

in all

modern mechanical
itself to

thereby reduces

the utterly

unreasonable and unintelligible position of declaring


the universe to be a means, yet a means
to

no end

For the machine


to

is

essentially nothing but a

means

an external end, as has just been shown; and

190

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

there can be no end external to the universe.


this

From
The
old-

conclusion there
theory,

is

no possible escape.
logical,
is

mechanical

when
and,
if

either

fashioned supernaturalism, or else natural teleology


of the

Paley type

it

presumes to stigmatize
is

its rival as "

anthropomorphism," the retort

crush-

ing that

it

is

the mechanical, not the organic, theory

which likens
the

the universe to the

machine

that

is, to

"

work of men's hands!'


sarcasm.

It

would be
"

safe for

the mechanical theory not to indulge itself in that


particular

As

a professedly

Monistic

Philosophy of Evolution," this theory philosophically


destroys itself

by adopting the machine


;

as its con-

cept of the universe


if

for the concept of the

machine,
is

applied logically to the universe as a whole,

the

necessary denial of Monism.

And,

finally, since

both

the machine and the organism necessarily presuppose


teleology

and are equally inconceivable without


a

it,

the
:

mechanical theory of evolution utterly breaks down


its

denial of teleology
78.

is its

suicide as

philoso'phy.

Such

is

the concept of the machine, and

such

is
it is

the philosophical result of the attempt to


to the explanation of the universe.

apply
then,

AVhat,

the concept of the organism, and what will

be the philosophical result of the attempt to apply


that to the explanation of the universe
?

It

would
but

be impracticable, within the necessary limits of the


plan of this book, to go fully into this subject
;

enough can be said

in a reasonable

compass

to serve

our present purpose.

"

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


The organism
is

191

a system in which the parts are


is

so related that the whole, as a cause,

adapted to

the accomplishment of either external ends, internal


ends, or both.

The non-living

artificial

organism

(the machine) has

only external ends; the living

natural organism (the plant, animal,


external

man) has both


living

and internal

ends;

the

cosmical
ends.

organism (the universe) has

only internal
:

The machine has already been explained it is only means to an end, and the end is not its own, but
and which gives
it

only that of the natural organism which has created


it,

it,

by using

it,

the only

life

which

can be conceived to have.


is

But the natural

organism

created

an end

in itself,

by the cosmical organism, first, as and, secondly, as a means to an end

which

is

not

its

own, but that of the cosmical organit.

ism which has created

As an end
is

in itself, the
its

natural organism lives simply to "


life
;

full-fill "

own

as a

means

to

an end which

not

its

own, but

that of the cosmical organism,

it is

simply a machine

with reference to the

latter,

in

precisely the
is

same
to

sense in which the pure machine

a mere

means

an end

of the natural

organism
itself

itself.

The cosmical
" full-fill
it

organism eternally creates


its

simply to

own
from

life

every relational system which

thus

creates within itself,


is

whether mechanical or organic,


merely a

this

point of view merely a means to this


of all Being, and, therefore,

supreme end

machine
its

but, in freely or creatively " full-filling


life,

own

so far the natural organism freely or

192

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
full-fill "

creatively helps to "

the universal

life.

The

pure machine, then, or

artificial

organism,

is

a pure

means
is

to

an end not in

itself

the natural organism

both an end in
to

itself (" full-filling " its


is
;

own

life)

and a means
organism

an end which

not in

itself

(helping

to " full-fill " the cosmical life)


is

while the cosmical


itself

at once

an absolute end in

and an
be con-

absolute means

to this

end in

itself.

The natural organism must,

therefore,

ceived as havhig both an Indwelling or

End and an
of its

Outgoing or Extent End.


is

Its

Immanent immanent
and

end (formative and reparative)

the "full-filling"

own

life,

renders

it

at once both cause

effect of itself,

and constitutes the principle

of ego-

ism, legitimate selfishness, or self-preservation

and
and

self-development.
co-operative)
A'ersal
is

Its exient end (reproductive


full-fill "

the helping to "

the uniof

divine

life,

and constitutes the principle


unselfishness,

altruism,

legitimate

or

self-sacrifice

and

self-devotion.

These two principles show them-

selves in active exercise in all organisms

which have

reached even a low position in the scale of being.

In man, particularly, the immanent end shows


in the individual,

itself,

by the pursuit

of happiness, of

knowledge, of moral and religious culture in general,

no

less

than of lower personal aims,

in society,

by
all

the foundation and fostering of institutions of


sorts for the preservation
of civilization,

and spread and progress

and so forth; while the exient end


the reproductive and philoprogenitive

shows

itself in

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


and so

193

instincts, in patriotism, in philanthropy, in devotion

to the discovery of truth,

forth,

but above

all

in the

supreme

activity of love, veneration,

and

self-

consecration.

The way
is

in

which

this exient

end in

the natural organism

used by the cosmical organ-

ism, in the furtherance of cosmical ends irrespective


of the individual, is

manifested with especial clear-

ness in

making

it

subservient to the preservation of


life

the species and the perpetuation of

in general.

The reproductive system

is

no

benefit,

but rather a
;

detriment, to the individual as an individual

it is

a diversion of individual vitality to the service of the

general good

it

is

the subordination of the indi-

vidual to the self-preservation and self-development


of a higher individual, or relational system, in the

species or kind.

In this

is

shown how the natural

organism

is

used by the cosmical organism as a mere


for the realization of ends
interest,

machine
in

a mere means

which the individual has no individual


in

and

which he can sympathize only through a


" full-filling " of

high religious sympathy in the


cosmical
life
itself,

the

the general well-being of the

universe as a whole.
79.

Thus the organic conception extends

itself

from the atom or molecule, the simplest discoverable


machine, up to the universe of Being as a whole,
the supreme cosmical organism
;

and the idea

of the

organism, as that in which alone the

Many
all

and the
the facts
discover.

One

are reconcilable, covers

and includes

which science has discovered or may yet


13

194

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

While, therefore, the mechanical theory proves itself utterly unable to explain even its own fundamental
concept, that of the machine,

and much

less that of

the organism, without calling in the assistance of the


teleological idea

which

it

claims to reject, the organic

theory finds in this very idea the


of

"open sesame"
real

philosophy the
all

rational

and
far

unity,

not

only of

organic facts, but of all facts whatever

and

it

shows that teleology, so


fact

from being over-

thrown by the
Darwinism,
is

of Evolution or the theory of

the only

principle

which renders

either Evolution or Darwinism philosophically inIt is, in truth, the only principle which telligible. universe from within, and renders it the lights up

luminous and transparent, so to speak, from centre


to circumference.
80. If

any further proof

is

wanted

of the abso-

lute necessity of the principle of teleology in science


itself, it is

forthcoming in the fact that no mechani-

cal theory of evolution has yet appeared, so far as

my
the

knowledge
question,

goes,

which does not deny

itself,

beg
at

and surrender the whole point

issue,

by consciously
the

or unconsciously, overtly or

covertly, introducing of itself the teleological principle,

moment

it

approaches the province of

biology.

I will only

mention Herbert Spencer and


defenders
of

Ernst Haeckel, the two ablest

the

mechanical philosophy.
81.

What

is

Spencer's definition of life?


" is

"Life,"

he says, on the one hand,

definable as the con-

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


On

195

tinuous adjustment of internal relations to external


relations."^

the other hand, he distinctly and


all

unequivocally rejects

teleology, as a

principle

of scientific explanation of the universe.^

But

" ad-

justment"
tical

is

a concept which

is

absolutely iden-

with the teleological principle.

"Adjustment

of internal relations to external relations " can only

be a change in internal relations, made, as a means,


to effect a correspondence with external relations, as

an

end.
is

The change
the end
;

is

the means, the correspondis

ence

and that
and

teleology in undiluted
of
life,

strength.
teleological

The very essence


activity
;

then, consists in

this

teleological activity

must be conceived, according to Spencer, as that of


the very "

Unknowable Power " which,


ever "adjusts"

still

according

to Spencer, cannot be conceived as acting teleologically.

No machine

itself to

anything
it-

not foreseen and provided for in the mechanism


self by the mind which has suffers damage or destruction.

created
"

it

it

simply

Adjustment " has no


ad-

conceivable meaning but the adaptation of means


to ends; and,
if

the power of "adjustment"

is

mitted to be so wrought into the organic structure


as not to be referable to the organism's
sciousness, that
is

own

con-

an admission
it

that

an external
is

mind has wrought


not a

there,

mere machine,

that
Ed.
340.

that
So

the organism

Nature works

teleologi-

1 I.

First Principles, p. 84, 4th

Principles of Psychology,

293.
2

Principles of Biology,

I.

196
cally,

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
and not mechanically,
in providing beforehand,
for

in the very organism itself,

the

exigencies of

organic

life.

Thus Spencer has written

down the

absolute and irretrievable failure of his whole philosophy, as a mechanical theory of evolution, in that

one word

"

adjustment."

82. Haeckel, likewise, the bolder

and more

se-

quent thinker, does the same thing just as conspicuously in his


says
:

own

philosophy.

On

the one hand, he

"

Moreover,

we

shall have good reason to hope

that at some future time

we

shall learn to explain

the

first

causes at which

Darwin has

arrived, namely,
;

the properties of Adaptation


that

and Inheritance

and

we

shall succeed in discovering in the composi-

tion of albuminous matter certain molecular relations

as the remoter, simpler causes of these phenomena.

There

is

indeed no prospect of this in the immediate

future,

and we content ourselves for the present with the tracing back of organic phenomena to two
etc.^

mysterious properties,"

" Inheritance is the cen-

tripetal or internal formative tendency

which

strives

The italics above are as 1 History of Creation, I. 32, Amer. ed. of there printed. Prof. Enrico Caporali, in his brilliant series still Evoluzione," " Cosmica della Pitagorica Formola La articles on
publishing in

La Nuova

Scienza (which

is

the organ of the most

hopeful intellectual movement, in the direction of a truly scientific and yet truly religious philosophy, which appears within the philosophical horizon of the present), adds to Haeckel's two causes the

missing third

by which " Heredity, Adaptation, and Selection " " Selection " Caporali means, not the action of mere mechanical causes, but the teleological activity of the " Unita Madre," or Nature tre processi cosmici, {La Nuova Scienza, I. 75 " as Prolific Unity.
:

Eredita, Adattamento, e Cernita.'")

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


to

197
form the
to pro-

keep the organic form in


like the

its species, to

descendants

parents,

and always

duce identical things from generation to generation.


Adaptation^ on the other hand, which counteracts
Inheritance,
tendency,
is

the centrifugal or external formative


strives

which constantly

to

change the

organic forms through the influence of the varying agencies of the outer world, to create

new forms
Accordingly

out of those existing, and entirely to destroy the

constancy or permanency of species.

as Inheritance or Adaptation predominates in the


struggle, the specific

form either remains constant


species.

or changes into a

new

The degree

of con-

stancy of form in the different species of animals


or plants,

which obtains

at

any moment,

is

simply

the necessary result of the

momentary predominance
(or physi^

which

either of these
activities)

two formative powers

ological

has acquired over the other."

On

the other hand, Haeckel says with reference to

the Theory of Descent:


ing to this theory,

"As soon, in fact, as, accordwe acknowledge the exclusive

activity of physico-chemical causes in living (organic)


bodies, as well as in so-called inanimate (inorganic)

nature,
of

we concede

exclusive dominion to that view

the universe which

we may
is

designate as

the

mechanical, and which


cal conception."
^

opposed to the teleologi-

And,
I.

in his General Morphology of

History of Creation,

253, 254.

2 Ibid., I. 17.

So, also, pp. 69, 100, 167, 176, 262, 337

in

fact,

passim.

"

198

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

Organisms, Haeckel devotes a whole chapter to what

he

calls

the " Purposelessness, or Dysteleology," of

Nature.

Here, then,

we have

the same contradiction which


" Inheritance," the

we have
first

just found in Spencer.

of the two formative causes which he beheves

to explain the

whole

fact of

organic evolution,

is

nothing but the means by which Nature reproduces


the organic structure of the species, which
is

her

end ; and, strangely enough, Haeckel himself admits


this in the
fines

very passage above quoted, when he despecies "

Inheritance as the natural "tendency which

strives to keep

the organic form in


is

its

For,

plainly enough, the striving keeping


is

the means, and the

the end.

Could anything be more evident

than the fact that Haeckel unconsciously conceives


" Inheritance " itself as a natural teleological activ-

ity

So,
is

also,

" Adaptation," the other formative

cause,

the means by which Nature secures the

gradual appearance of

new

species,

which

also is

her end; and here again Haeckel, with amusing


unconsciousness, himself describes
*'

it

as the natural

the

tendency which

strives to

change the organic forms"

striving being the

means and the changing

the end!

Machines do not propagate their kind,


Strike out the teleological

do not inherit ancestral forms, do not adapt themselves to circumstances.


significance

from these two words, " Inheritance and they lapse into absolute mean"Adaptation," and

inglessness.

By

using them, or rather by not under-

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


standing them (for the petitio p7'incipii
is

199
in the

essential conceptions of them, as their above given


definitions

prove),

Haeckel shows once more the

utter impossibility of explaining biology without the

help of teleology, and, like Spencer, disproves his

own mechanical

theory.

Not by any chance

slips

or careless expressions, but

by the most fundamental

concepts of their systems, these two foremost cham-

pions of the mechanical theory tear

down with

the

one hand what they build up with the other, and

demonstrate the impossibility of constructing a mechanical

philosophy of evolution which shall not


it

fundamentally assume the very teleology


to reject.

professes

83.

The truth
the

is,

neither Spencer nor Haeckel

ever yet clearly conceived any form of teleology

except

old-fashioned,

dualistic,

supernatural,

and

really mechanical teleology of the Calvinistic

or of

the Paley school; neither of them has the

faintest

conception of the new, monistic, strictly


of
scientific

natural, and purely organic teleology

philosophy.
date

Their systems,
;

therefore,

are

out of
age.

already

they

are

not

abreast of

the

Haeckel shows
"

this incontrovertibly in the followit

ing passage, and

is

no

less evident in

Spencer:

mind and body, bewhich was maintained by tween force and matter, the erroneous dualistic and tcleological philosophy
The
artificial

discord between

of past times has


of natural science,

been disposed of by the advances

and especially by the theory of

'200

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

development, and can no longer exist in face of the prevailing mechanical and monistic philosophy of

our day."

(The

italics are mine.)

The

" dualistic

and

teleological " philosophy of Paley belongs indeed


;

to the past

the "mechanical and monistic

"

philoso-

phy
but

of
is

Spencer and Haeckel belongs to the present,


rapidly moving into the past
of
;

the teleological

and monistic philosophy


and the organic theory
ture,

the

scientific

method

of evolution

belong to the fu-

and Haeckel nor Spencer ever dreamed


will soon be here.

But, apparently, neither


of
that.

The

true relations of Dualism,

Monism, and Teleology

have been alluded to

earlier in this chapter ( 77),

and

it is sufficient

to refer here to that former stateof

ment.

The organic theory

evolution,

which
is

is

monistic and teleological at the same time,

the

only form of
all.

Monism which can


which
it

logically exist at
is

The

teleology

presents
in the

endocosmic,
its

not exocosmic,

immanent

universe as
it

omnipresent thought and

life,

not external to

as

that of a Mechanical Creator, workingr in material


alien to

and other than himself.

Inasmuch

as every

machine

logically implies a machinist, mechanist, or

mechanic, the mechanical theory of evolution obsti1

Ibid., II. 361.

The only theism Haeckel can

conceive

is

"the

unscientific idea of a creator existing out of matter [die unwissenschajlliche Vorstellung von einem ausserholb der Materie stehenden

und

dieselbe

Spencer shows scarcely more insight in his very shallow treatment of " the atheumbildenden Schopfer)."
(Ibid.,
I.

10.)

istic,

pantheistic,
It

and

theistic h}T)otheses " in his First Principles,

pp. 30-36.

only takes six pages, in his opinion, to exhaust that

subject

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


nately implies and requires Dualism,

201

Machine
;

Universe here, a divine Master Mechanic there


the arbitrary denial of teleology, instead of
it

and

making

Monism, unmakes

it

as
is

philosophy altogether.

The only Monism which


ological through

logically possible is tele-

and through; and Monistic TeleTheory


of Evolution, is the heir

ology, the Organic


of the future.

202

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

CHAPTER

VI.

THE GOD OF SCIENCE.

84 The immanent
se is,
is

relational

constitution

of

the universe per

then, not that of an infinite

machine, which

a self-destructive concept, but

that of an infinite self-created and self-evolving or-

ganism, which

is

the only concept capable of effect-

ing an absolute reconciliation of the

Many and

the

One.

The immanent
is

life-prmciple of this cosmical

organism

endocosmic and monistic teleology, the

omnipresent and eternal teleological activity of the


infinite creative

understanding or Infinite Self-con-

scious Intellect; for the free creation of ends

and

means

(relational

systems both subjective and ob-

been shown to be at once the essential Method of all Being and the essential Method of all TJiought, and therefore, through this unity of method,
jective) has

the absolute Ground of the Identity of Being and

Thought

( 46).

The absolute end

of Being-in-itself,
of

therefore, is the absolute "full-filling"


in-itself,

Though tis

that

is,

creation of the Real out of the

Ideal

and the absolute realization of this end

the

Eternal Teleological Process of the Self-Evolution of

Nature in Space and Time,


Creative Life of God.

in a word, the Infinite

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


85. This
is is

203

the meaning of the principle that

the universe
principle

an organism, and not a machine,


is

which

the logically necessary result of

the thorough philosophizing of the scientific method.


It

shows that the whole universe


infinitely intelligible

of

Being

is

instinct

with an

and

infinitely intelligent

Energy, working actively, in every point of Space

and every moment


ligible principle of

of Time, according to the intel-

Ends and Means

ends

that are

cosmical in their reach and scope, means that are


cosmical in their dignity and effectiveness.
It

shows
Na-

that this " Infinite and Eternal Energy from which


all things

proceed" effectively reveals

itself in

ture to the
"

human

understanding

is

in

no sense
se,

Unknowable," but essentially knowable per

and
sci-

actually

known

to the precise extent to

which

ence has discovered the immanent relational constitution, or organic idea, of

Nature

itself.

It

shows that

Nature
fest,

is

not a

"

manifestation "

which does not mani-

but rather the veritable, natural, and infinitely


of

intelligible self-revelation

the noumenal in the


relative, of the

phenomenal, of the absolute in the

infinite in the finite, of the eternal in the temporal.

It

shows that

there

is

fundamental

spiritual

identity between
essential

man and
of

the universe in point of


is

nature; that free creativeness


intellect,

the sufinite or

preme
of ends

characteristic

whether

infinite,

and

effectuates itself in the actual creation

and means,
;

as subjective or ideal relational


is

systems

that free executiveness, or will,

the neces-

204

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

sary concomitant of intellect, whether finite or infinite,

and

effectuates itself in the realization of these

ends and means in Nature, as objective or real relational systems.

This

is

the profound truth under-

lying the

crude conception of primitive religions


created

that

"

God

man

in his

own

image."

Anthro-

pomorphism and anthropopathism


errors,

are no absolute

but contain elements of truth which philoso-

phy
ish

will earnestly seek to find,

and reverently cher-

when

are

Wisdom and Infinite Will characteristic attributes of God which stand lumifound.
Infinite
se.

nously revealed in the organic or teleological conception of the universe per

But

teleology has

not yet yielded

its

richest fruit.

86. In our study of the concept of the organism


( 78),

end

the

we found

that every organism has a twofold

Indwelling or Immanent

End and

the

Outgoing or Exient End.


realization of this exient

Nature provides end

for the

of the finite organism,

so far as

it is

her

own immanent end


its

as the infinite

organism, by implanting

in every finite organism of

the higher orders the love of

own

kind, the desire

of offspring, the divine passion of maternal

and pater-

nal affection, the deep and indestructible yearning to repeat itself in that whose life is a renewal and continuation of
itself
is

its

own

in that
if

which

is

at once

both

and not

itself.

Now,

the universe of

Being

indeed an organism, nay, the one supreme and


this exient
;

infinite organism,

end,
is

it

would seem,

must needs be defeated

for there

nothing beyond

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


itself to

205

which

it

can go out, and


infinite.

it

cannot repronot, for all

duce

itself in

another

But

it is

that, lost.

This exient priaciple of the universal


this

organism,

self-abnegating

and sublimest and


in the organic

most exquisitely beautiful element


idea,

constitutes that attribute in the character of


is

God which
trust

the rational foundation of religious


love.

and hope and


in
;

For, far from vanishing


it

or

expiring

impotency,
it

reappears

with re-

doubled power
out the

diffuses itself internally through-

infinite

organism

itself,

as

deepened
it

energy and enhancement of the immanent end;


manifests
itself as

that Natural Providence of


is

Law

and Love in One which


structed, steadfast,

the support of every init

and rehgious mind;

returns,
il-

so to speak, into the

bosom

of the universe as
ineffable

limitable
in its

love

of

itself,

as

satisfaction

own

fulness, beauty,

and
the

perfection,
spiritual

and as

boundless

tenderness
of

for

offspring,

veritable "children

God,"

who

"live and

move
is

and have
but
love,

their being " in itself alone.

What

this

infinite

beatitude,

infinite

benignity,

infinite

the
of

All-Embracing Fatherhood-and-Motherthe form in which the principle of


itself in

hood

God ?
is

87. If such

exiency must show


less

the infinite organism, no


the form taken by the
of

sublime and glorious

is

principle of

immanency.

"

The absolute end


'

Be-

ing-in-itself is
in-itself,

the absolute
is,

full-filling

'

of

Thought-

that

the creation of the Real out of

206
:

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

the Ideal " this


chapter.
relational

we saw

at the opening of this last

Now

the Ideal appears as the subjective


created

system freely

by the

creative

understanding; and the Eeal appears as the objective relational

system effectuated in Nature by the


however,

subordinate realizing activity of the executive will.

The blindly executive


ing
itself

will,

is

nothing but

the objectively creative potency of the understand:

Thought

is

Force,

and Force

is

Substance.
thereis

The absolute
fore, or

" full-filling" of Thought-in-itself,

the embodiment of the Ideal in the Eeal,

the eternal self-legislation of Thought-in-itself into

Thought-in-Being

of the subjective relational sys-

tem

into the objective relational system of the Eeal

Universe.

The ground

of this realization

can only

be the inherent and uncreated


lute Ideal to

fitness of the

Be that

Abso-

is,

to

become the "Absolute

Eeal; and the perception of this absolute fitness of


the Ideal to become the Eeal

perception
Act.
itself

a profoundly
as

ethical

is

the ground of the Eternal Creative

Here, then, the infinite


essentially as

organism manifests
a

Moral Being
is

universe
of

whose absolute foundation


absolutely self-inherent

Moral Law,
that the

such

sanctity
it

creative
fabric

understanding
of creation

itself

obeys

and the whole


it
;

embodies and enforces

and the moral

nature of man, derived from this moral nature of the


universe
finite
itself,
is

the august revelation of the in-

purity, rectitude,

and holiness

of

God.

The

unspeakable sublimity of the moral nature of

man

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


is,

207

therefore, testimony to the

immeasurably vaster
it-

sublimity of the moral nature of the universe


self
;

for,

as the

atom

is

to infinite Space, so is the


to the infinite holiness of

grandest virtue of

man

God.
88. I

do not forget the problem of


is

evil

alas,

who
own

that

human can
is

forget that

But neither
Love and
without

do I forget that evil


finitude,

simply the pressure of our


Infinite
of

and that even the


relieve

Compassion could not


omnipotence

us

that

accomplishing the inherently impossible, to which


itself

cannot extend
is

for,

just as

om-

niscience, rationally conceived,

the knowledge of all

that

is

knowable, but not of the unknowable (the

non-existent or nonsensical), so omnipotence, rationally conceived, is

power

to do all

that

is

doable,

but not to do the

inherently undoable that which

involves self-contradiction or violates the necessary

nature of things.

Derivative being cannot, in the


;

nature of things, either be or become infinite

and

nothing short of infinitude could bring to us release

from

all

evil.

Evil

is

no end
an

in itself

it

cannot

exist in the universe as


in the

infinite whole,

but only

mutual relation
all

of its parts, as the inevitable


reality.

shadow-side of
avoided,
all

finite

If

it

could be

if

the finite real could possibly exist at


it

without the finitude which weighs upon


all its

and

is

the source of

woes, then might

we

justly

blame the universe


evitable.

for the evil that is

simply in-

Is it not

enough to lay

this " spectre of

208
the

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
mind
"

to

know
;

that,

without this finitude,


is

finite

being could not be

that finite being

better than

non-being
sole

and

that,

between these two grim but

possibilities, Infinite

Goodness and Love


If that is
;

itself

would choose the former?


optimism, neither
is it

not precisely
it is

pessimism

and

theodicy

enough
mind.
'

to satisfy at least one not easily satisfied

89. Let us

now review

the general course of

thought which we have


investigations,

been pursuing in these


in a brief

and gather together

sum-

mary the
tion
of

large elements of that

noumenal concep-

the universe which naturally flows from

the philosophized scientific method.


1.

Because the universe

is

in

some small measure


it

actually
itself

known

in

human
it

science,

must be

in
in-

both absolutely self-existent and infinitely


is,

telligible; that
it is

must be a noumenon because

a phenomenon.

2.

Because

it

is infinitely intelligible, it

must be
infinitely

likewise infinitely intelligent.


3.

Because

it is

at the

same time both

intelligible

and

infinitely intelligent, it

must be an
object,

infinite subject-object or self-conscious intellect.


4.
it

Because

it

is

an

infinitely intelligible

must possess throughout an immanent relational


Because
possesses an infinitely intelligible
it

constitution.
5.
it

relational constitution,
fect system.

must be an absolutely

per-

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


6.

209
it

Because

it

is

an absolutely perfect system,

cannot be an

infinite

machine, but must be an

infinite organism.
7.

Because

it

is

an

infinite

organism,

its

life-

principle

immanent Power, acting everywhere and always by organic means for


must be an
infinite

organic ends, and subordinating every event to

its

own
finite
8.

infinite life,

in
is

other words,
infinite infinite

it

must be
its

in-

Will directed by

Wisdom.
organism,
exient

Because

it

an

organic
infinite
finite.
9.

end disappears as such, but reappears as

Love

of

itself

and

infinite

Love

of

the

Because

it

is

an

infinite

organism,

its

imma-

nent organic end appears as the eternal realization


of the Ideal,

and therefore

as infinite Holiness.
it

10.
fests

Because, as an infinite organism,


infinite

thus manior

Wisdom, Power, and


three
constitute
it

Goodness,

thought, feeling, and will in their infinite

fulness,

and because these

the

essential

manifestations of personality,

must be conceived
finite

as Infinite Person, Absolute Spirit, Creative Source

and Eternal
alities

Home

of the derivative
it,

person-

which depend upon

but are no

less real

than

itself.

90.

Such appears

to

me

to be the

conception

of the universe

which flows naturally,

logically, in-

evitably,

from the philosophized


therefore, appears to
is

scientific

method;

and such,
OF

me

to be the

Idea

God which

the legitimate outcome of modern

210
science.

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
In truth,
it is

the scientific and strictly

posteriori proof of God's existence, attributes,

and

character, based solely upon the data of universal

human

experience of universal Nature, as

organized

into the living process of the scientific method,

and

upon the
method.

strictly legitimate philosophizing of that

New

England Transcendentalism^ denies


of

on a priori grounds the possibility


proof
;

any such

but the proof

itself

now

lies

before the world,

and the world


91.

will judge its conclusiveness.

The further
Pantheism,
is

question, whether this idea of

God

is

a question of the proper defiof far less significance.

nition of the word,

and

A
this
still

score of years ago I


essential

named and promulgated


Theism, and I

idea

as

Scientific

judge that to be the most appropriate designation of


it.
1

If all
" It
is

forms of

Monism

are necessarily

deemed

belief that reason in its original capacity and funcknowledge of spiritual truth, not even of the first and fundamental truth of religion, the being of God. ... I deny the ability of the human intellect to construct that ladder, whose foot being grounded in irrefragable axiom, and its steps all laid in dialectic continuity, the topmost round thereof shall lift the climbing intellect into vision of the Godhead. Between the last truth which the human intellect can reach by legitimate induction and

my

tion has no

the being of

God

there will ever

lie

'deserts

of vast eternity.'

Not by that process did any soul yet arrive at that transcendent truth; not from beneath, but from above, not by intellectual escalade, but by heavenly condescension, comes the idea of God, even by the condescending Word," etc. (F. H. Hedge, Reason in Religion, p. 208, Boston, 1865.) Dr. Hedge's distrust and fear of the understanding, or " human intellect," Avhich is shared by most of the Transcendentalists, arises from defective comprehension of the spirit, tendency, and immanent philosophical creativeness of the
scientific

method.

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


Pantheism,

211

on the ground

that

Pantheism must
rest

include all systems of

thought which

on the

principle of one sole substance, then Scientific Theism must be conceded to be Pantheism for it certainly
;

holds that the All


the Dualism which

is

God and God

the All,

that

posits Spirit

and Matter as two

incomprehensibly related substances, eternally alien


to each other

and mutually

hostile in their essential

nature,
facts,

is

a defective intellectual

synthesis of the
to the

and therefore greatly mferior

Monism

which posits the absolute unity of

substance and

absolute unity of relational constitution in one organic universe per se, and which conceives God, the
Infinite Subject, as eternally thinking, objectifying,

and revealing himself

in Nature, the Infinite Object.

Dualism
clumsy
is

is

inevitably

driven to Deism, with


;

its

makeshift of creation ex nihilo

and Deism

evoluthe only form of the mechanical theory of mechanical tion which does not flatly contradict the
concept.

Abundant reasons have already been given


but whatever cogency they

why

be the "monistic" mechanical theory should


;

rejected

may have

tells

with equal force against Dualism


the one point of teleology.
92. If,

itself,

except in

denial of
finite,

on the other hand, Pantheism is the finite or inall real personality, whether

then,

most emphatically.

Scientific

Theism

is

not Pantheism, but its

diametrical opposite.

Teleper-

ology

is
;

the very essence of purely spiritual


it

sonality

presupposes thought, feeling, and will

212
it is

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
the decisive battle-ground between the personal
of the universe.

and impersonal conceptions


is

There
if

no such thing as unconscious teleology;

it

is it

not conscious in the finite organism, as of course


is

not in the organic structure as distinguished from


it

the organic consciousness and action, then

must
and

be conscious in the infinite


the
finite.

organism which creates


are inconceivable

Ends and means

impossible, except as ideal or subjective

relational

systems which the creative understanding absolutely


produces, and which the will reproduces in Nature
as real or objective relational

systems
is

hence the

recognition of Teleology in Nature

necessarily the

recognition of purely spiritual Personality in God.

Yet Teleology, say what one

will,

cannot be escaped
it

by any device
is

in the comprehension of Nature;


in,

either openly confessed


all

or else surreptitiously

introduced into,
tion, as

philosophical systems of evolu-

has been instanced above in the systems


Teleology conjoined with

of

Haeckel and Spencer.

Dualism, however, yields only the most awkward

and
of

artificial

form

of the

mechanical theory

that
"
;

Deism, or the theory of an

external creator,
"

creation ex nihilo,

and meaningless

second causes

while Teleology conjoined with


organic

Monism
of

yields the

theory

of

evolution
so

or

Scientific

Theism,
is

which includes only

much

Pantheism as

really true and has appeared in every deeply religious philosophy since

the very birth of

human

thought.

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


93.

213

For every deeply


at

religious philosophy

must

hold

fast,

the same

time,

the two

great prin-

ciples of the

Transcendence and the Immanence of


of his
is

God; and that


its

Immanence, thought down


If

to

foundation,

Monism.
he
is

God

is

not conceived

as transcendent,

confounded with matter, as

in Hylozoism, Materialism, or Material Pantheism.

But,

if

he

is

not conceived as immanent, he

is

ban-

ished from his

own

universe as a Creator ex nihilo


Scientific

and mere
ceives
it
is

Infinite

Mechanic.
in

Theism con-

him

as

immanent

the universe so far as


in the universe so
is,

known, and transcendent

far as it remains

unknown, immanent, that


experience,
lies

in

the world of
in the world

human
which

and transcendent

beyond human experience.

This

is

the only legitimate or philosophical meaning

of the

no sense transcendent, as Hence the merely in the infinite universe iKr se. subjective distinction of the Transcendence and Im-

immanent

word transcendent alone, and

for

God

is still

conceived

in

manence
the

of

God

perfectly corresponds with that of

"Known" and
;

the "Unknown,*' as

absolutely

one in Eeal Being


nent,
is

God

is "

Known "

as the
;

Immabut he

and Unknown "


"

as the Transcendent

absolutely knowable as both the Inmianent and


It is really denial of

the Transcendent.

him

to con-

that
upon

found him
is,

with the "

Unknowable "

or Unintelligible

the Non-Existent.

Scientific

Theism does
calling

not insult and outrage the


it

human mind by

to

worship what

it

cannot possibly under-

214
stand

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.

an unreal
"
;

quantity, a surd, a square root of


is

minus one, an
a

Unknowable Eeality " which

only

synonym
it

for Impossible Eeality or


is

Absolute

Un-

reality

for that

the quintessence of superstition.

But
the

gives an idea of
of

demands

the

God which not only satisfies human intellect, but no less

those of the
94.

human

heart.

In vain will the soul of

man

strive to w^orintel-

ship, to venerate, to love, that


ligible

which has no

being

the clear idea must precede the vivid


just as necessarily as

and deep and strong emotion,


with

the fountain-head must precede the beautiful river


its

glory of smiling banks.

So long as man

is

finite,

so long indeed will the Mysterious, the Tran-

scendent, the
to of

Unknown
finite

abide, as the infinite


;

Beyond

which the
this

cannot reach

and the presence

ever-abiding

those sentiments of

Mystery perpetually excites sublimity and awe which are


all

indeed the unfailing concomitant of


ship.

true woris

But every sentiment of true worship


presented

abso-

lutely extinguished in the intelligent


clear idea
is

mind where no
of

where no luminous thought


is

shoots

its

radiance into the fathomless abyss

Being, but
darkness.

where

all

black with impenetrable

If the glorious
is

thought of a universe in

which God

at once the Self-Manifesting

and the
Self-

Self -Manifested,

the

Self-Eevealing
in

and

the

Eevealed, a universe

which the adoring Kepler


"

might well exclaim


think

in

awe unspeakable,
Thee!"

God, I

Thy thoughts

after

a universe which

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


is

215

the eternally objectified Divine Idea, illumining

the

human

intellect, inspiring the

human

conscience,

warming the human


depths of the

heart,

if,

say, this glorious


stir

thought begotten of science has no power to

the

human

soul and

lift it

up

to the sub-

limest heights of worship and self-consecration to the


service of the

Most High, then

religion
is

is

dead indeed,

and the light of the universe


But,
if

gone out forever.


of its

this

thought of God, the reflected glory


it

divine source, has, as in truth


force
life,

has, such a divine

and energy in

itself as to

soothe the woes of

and dull the pangs

of sorrow,

and minister new

strength to the soul faltering in the path of painful


duty, then religion
will yet rise
of Science.
is

not dead, but sleeping, and

from

its

bier at the

commanding word

95.

Ealph Waldo Emerson, whose great memory


of

hovers like a benediction over the heads of this

mighty and happy people, uttered, in one


latest, if

the

not the very latest, of his public addresses

(and

it

was

my

signal privilege to listen to

it),

this

dignified

lament over one


our day

of the immediate, yet I

believe transient, effects of the spread of the scientific


spirit in
*'
:

In consequence of this revolution in opinion,

it

appears, for the time, as the misfortune of the period

that the cultivated

mind has not

tlie

happiness and

dignity of the religious

sentiment.

We

are

born

too late for the old, and too early for the new, faith.
I see in those classes and those persons in

whom

216

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
accustomed to look for tendency and progress, what is most positive and most rich in human

am
for

nature,

and who contain the activity


to-morrow,
;

of to-day

and

the assurance of
acter,

I see in

them

char-

but scepticism

a clear enough perception of

the inadequacy

of the

popular religious statement to

the wants of their heart and intellect, and explicit


declarations
of
;

this

fact.

They have

insight and

truthfulness

they will not

mask
of

their convictions

they hate cant; but more than this I do not readily


find.

The gracious motions

the

soul

piety,

adoration

I do not

find.

Scorn of hypocrisy, pride

of personal character, elegance of taste

and

of

man-

ners and of pursuit, a boundless ambition of the


intellect,

willingness to sacrifice personal

interests

for the integrity of the character,

all

these they

have

but that religious submission and abandongive

ment which
.

make him sublime,


I see

man

new element and

being,
it

and
not

it is

not in churches,

is

in houses.

movement,

I hear aspirations, but

I see not

how

the great

God

prepares to satisfy the

heart in the
96.

new

order of things."

The

great seer

saw not deeply enough into


scientific spirit;

the recesses of this

new

the great

prophet of

New

England Transcendentalism read

not deeply enough that mighty striving after tnith which is born of the scientific method, and in turn
bears fruit in the bewildering scientific discoveries of
this

new

time.

He saw
new form

not the slow and obscure


of faith,

beginnings of a

sprung not from

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


of the

217

the "ecstatic intuition" of Transcendentalism, but

from a closer contact


heralded, not

human

intellect

with

the real universe than was ever possible before,

great discoveries themselves, but

voice

"

of

by the earthquake and the wind of the by the " still, small Method, which the Scientific their creator,

only those can hear


der, to meditate,

who
to

are patient

enough to ponhave rightly


of

and

muse.

If I

divined the inner character,


this philosophy fated to be, it

spirit,

and tendency

will not only " satisfy

the heart in the

new

order of things," but also (con^ )

dition antecedent to this heart-satisfaction

satisfy

the head as well.


sacrificed

to

For the head has been too long the heart in religion; and the result
satisfaction
of

to-day

is
is

the

neither.
:

Scientific

Theism
it is

more than a philosophy


it is

it is

a rehgion,

a gospel,

the Faith of the Future, founded

a faith on knowledge rather than on blind belief, arrayed more no be will heart and in which head
against

each

other in

irreconcilable

feud,

as

the

world beholds them now, but will kneel in worship the side by side at the same altar, dedicated, not to
1

thought that the

this Dante {Paradiso, XXVIII. 106-111) beautifuUy expresses love of it, vision of Divine Truth must precede the
:

and constitute the foundation of beatitude


"

dei saver che tutti

hanno

diletto,

Quanto la sua vcduta si profonda Nel Vero, in che si quota ogn' intelletto. Quinci si pub veder come si fonda
JJ esser bcato
nell' atto

che vede,

Non

in quel ch'

ama, che poscia seconda.'*

218
"

SCIENTIFIC THEISM.
God,"
still less to

Unknown

the "

Unknowable God,"
is

but to the
Science.

Known God
of

whose revealing prophet


science

For the idea

God which
is

is

slowly, nay,

unconsciously, creating
abstraction spun out of

that of no metaphysical

the cobwebs

of

idealistic

speculation, but rather that of the immanent, organific,

and supremely

spiritual Infinite Life, revealall,

ing itself visibly in Nature, and, above


in Nature's sublimest

invisibly

product human

nature and

the

human

soul.

Scientific

Theism

utters in intel-

ligible

speech the very heart, the Infinite Heart, of


itself,

the universe

and speaks with

resistless

perit.

suasion to the heart of all

who can comprehend


possesses an
lights
"

He who
Light
"

can firmly grasp the torch of this


of

self-

luminous Knowledge

God

Inner

beside wdiich all other

are wanderto be in

ing wills-o'-the-wisp, and

knows himself
by the up
clear

absolute security,

come what may,


and
his

so long as he

walks the paths


radiance
loyalty
it

of destiny

and steady

sheds,

lifts

soul in secret
infinite

and adoration

to

Him

from whose

being

all
all

human knowledge
it

itself is

a shining ray.

With

reverence and tenderness for the illustrious

dead be

spoken

I do " see how" the great

God

prepares to satisfy the heart in the


things."

new

order of

For

Scientific

Theism

is

the Philosophy

OF

Free

Religion

and the Religion of Free

Philosophy.

THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE.


Art Thou the Life
1

219

To Thee, And wait

then, do I

owe each beat and

breath,

thy ordering of lu peace or

my

hour of death

strife.

Art Thou the Light

To
Or

Thee, then, in the sunshine or the cloud,


in ray

chamber lone or
I lift

in tlie

crowd,

my

sight.

Art Thou the Truth

'

To

Thee, then, loved and craved and sought of yore,

I consecrate

As

my manhood o'er erst my youth.

and

o'er,

Art Thou the Strong

To

Thee, then, though the air be thick with night,

I trust the seeming-unprotected Right,

And

leave the AVrong.

To Thee,

then,

Art Thou the Wise 1 avouM I bring each

useless care,

And

bid

my

soul unsay her idle prayer.

And hush

her

cries.

Art Thou the Good

To Thee, then, with a thirsting heart I turn. And at Thy fountain stand, and hold my urn, As aye I stood.
Forgive the
call

I cannot shut Thee from my sense or soul, I cannot lose me in the boundless whole

For Thou

art

All.

DATE DUE