Suggestions Toward A Theory of the Philosophical Disciplines
In the Psychological Review (Vol. III, pp. 357-70), Professor Dewey maintains in his discussion of the Reflex Arc that the sensation appears always in consciousness as a problem; that attention could not be centered upon a so-called element of consciousness unless the individual were abstracting from the former meaning of the object, and in his effort to reach a new meaning had fixed this feature of the former object as a problem to be solved. The illustration used is the well-worn one of the child and the candle. He has burned his fingers before in dealing with a moving bright object, and he has played with bright objects. There are then at least two tendencies to action, that of withdrawing the hand from the object that burns, and that of reaching out for a plaything. In the conflict between these two tendencies the bright yellow dancing something is shorn of its objective meaning in the child's former experience, and he is trying to learn what it is. While it is thus deprived of its objective value, while it is no longer a stimulus to action, it may become a sensation. But with knowledge of its real nature it ceases to appear in this form in consciousness. It can be sensation no longer until it again becomes the center of a problem episode in experience. I may have carried Mr. Dewey's doctrine beyond the statement given in the article on the Reflex Arc, but I think that the statement represents what Mr. Dewey would admit. At least such a statement is possible from the standpoint which Mr. Dewey takes, and admitting it for the sake of discus-
(2)-sion, I wish to point out what its bearing upon the different philosophical disciplines may be.
The assumption made here is that all analytical thought commences with the presence of problems and the conflict between different lines of action. The further assumption is that it continues always to be an expression of such conflict and the solution of the problems involved; that all reflective thought arises out of real problems present in immediate experience, and is occupied entirely with the solution of these problems or their attempted solution; that this solution finally is found in the possibility of continuing the activity, that has been stopped, along new or old lines, when such reflective thought ceases in the nature of the case. I shall not attempt to prove this to be true, but simply try to see where metaphysics, psychology, deductive and inductive logics (I refer here to the procedures of these sciences, not their general theories), ethics, aesthetics, and the general theory of logic would fall within a reflective process so stated.
The order of the disciplines stated above implies a dialectic within the act, which I wish to confess to at once. Metaphysics I wish to identify with the statement of the problem. It may take psychological form or not. If the result of the recognition of the problem is only to bring to consciousness the meaning of the object in terms of past experience, we get the universal —the ideal—and the use of the object thus defined can be systematized in a manner which is described in deductive logic. If, on the contrary, we abandon the old universals—the interpretations involved in the objects as we have constructed them—and frankly look forward to a new meaning, the immediate experience can claim only subjective validity, and we have the subject matter with which psychology deals. The use of this material to reach the new universal is evidently the procedure of inductive logic. The application of either of these methods to conduct as a whole, in their relation to the ideal or to the larger self to be attained, fulfils the function of ethics, while aesthetics deals with the artistic representations of the object either as ideal or as a phase in the process of development. Finally, the general theory of the intelligent act as a whole would fall within that of logic as treated in works such as that of Hegel.
Where our conscious activity finds itself unable to pass into an objective world on account of the clash between different tendencies to action, we are thrown back upon an analysis of these spontaneous acts and therefore upon the objects which get their content from them. I wish to emphasize this latter assumption which is indeed in accord with some of the best psychological analysis of the present time. It is otherwise stated as the teleological nature of the concept, and affirms that the meaning of the object is derived entirely from our reaction upon it, or, in other words, our use of it. 
It would follow from this recognition of the nature of the known object that the conflict of two uses or reactions in the same instance would inevitably lead to an analysis of the activities themselves, if a complete abandonment of the action did not take place. However, the analysis would not at first be of the activity as a psychical state. The question would be what the real nature of the object is. A case of doubt as to the identity of a person just met, representing conflicting tendencies to greet him as an acquaintance and to treat him as a simple passer-by, does not at once suggest to us his form with its color and other qualities as a series of sensations, though this is implicitly involved. We are busy in the study of the object, finally perhaps placing him as one whom we have not met before, but who bears a striking resemblance to some one of our acquaintance. This involves the bringing to consciousness the idea of the friend, his form and features, gestures and bearing, while the more or less unsuccessful attempt to make this image coalesce with the form before us, tends to emphasize the points of contrast, that is to form another image which is not able to represent the object before us satisfactorily. While we do not question the objective validity either of our mental pictures of the friend, or yet of the reality of the impression of the man whom we are in the presence of, there is little tendency to advance to the subjective character of the state of consciousness. Furthermore, if the image which is called up is one which represents fixed habits, especially those bearing pronounced moral sanction, we may affirm the reality of these ideas as over
(4) against the seeming contradiction before us. Such instances are found often enough in our lives. Every question of expediency is apt to lead to such a result. A moral line of conduct has become identified with certain objects. For example, the right to the use of what is termed property being once fixed, the expenditure of it in luxuries while others may be starving arouses, when the problem is felt, first of all the idea of property itself as it is represented in all the business transactions of life. This may be affirmed in spite of the contradiction between it and the tendencies to demand assistance for the suffering. The presence of such conflicts, between habitual interpretations of the meaning of the goods of life, and opposite lines of conduct with reference to them, tends to the conscious formulation by most of us of a moral code in more or less abstract terms. If we are able to live pretty consistently up to such a code, and to ignore the contradictions that persist, we have not yet reached the point of metaphysics.
A metaphysical situation implies that the problem persists and cannot be ignored. To affirm the reality of the idea, i.e., the meaning of the object in terms of past experience— our own or that of the community— we must deny to certain elements of experience, interpreted also in terms of the past activity, the like reality. A theological dogma may, for example, affirm the reality of our teleological interpretation of experience, and at the same time deny reality to the mechanical interpretation which the physical sciences suggest. Or, in the type of metaphysical thought found in Plato, the reality of the idea may be affirmed at the expense of that of our entire sensuous experience. Metaphysics is then a statement of an essential problem in permanent form, in terms of the reality of an idea or system of ideas and the unreality of that which conflicts with it. The solution of the problem carries with it the disappearance of the problem and the metaphysical system at the same time. The conception of an immanent deity, making possible, for example, the harmonizing of the teleological and mechanical interpretations of nature, up to that point solves the problem and banishes the metaphysical deus ex machina from the system of thought. Of course this change will not necessarily affect
(5) other metaphysical features of theology. But in case it is accepted, special providences would be no longer necessary to explain what happens. Our modern teleological psychology which finds the unity of the object and of the world in our own activity, dissipates the conflict between the one and the many which lies at the bottom of the problem with which Plato was struggling. A psychological interpretation of experience makes it possible to affirm both the reality of the one, and the reality of the multitudinous elements that go to make up the object, and in so doing deprives the metaphysical system of its raison d'être.
The presence of such an idea, whose reality is maintained over against conflicting elements in experience, requires that we should rigidly distinguish in experience what is real and what is to be ignored or denied. We must be able to apply the idea, and the dominance of the idea cannot but bring to consciousness the method by which this must be done. Deductive reasoning is nothing but the organization of one's world upon the basis of certain ideas, implying that we either deny the existence of that which does not accord therewith, or else ignore it. When, however, the technique has in this manner been made conscious, it may be used to aid us in the application of universals which are not necessarily metaphysical. Thus while deductive logic had its rise as the organon of a metaphysical system, and served to separate the real from the unreal, it becomes a general organon that is applied universally, serving to separate not the real from the unreal but the known from that which is to be ignored for the time being only.
The next step in the dialectic of reflective consciousness is found in the conscious solution of the problems which are registered and systematized in metaphysics. A successful solution implies the recognition of the reality of all elements that enter into the experience. Such reality implies further, in logical terms, that all elements shall fall under universals whose validity is recognized; for all our knowledge is through universals and must be through universals. In psychological terms, it implies that the concepts of the object, representing the values of past reactions, though they are now in conflict, shall be so harmonized that the values of each may appear
(6) in a new concept, that each type of reaction shall be represented in the new activity. For example, if the problem, which is implied in the essentially metaphysical substance of imponderable ether, is to be solved, both the elements which are implied in the energy of mass (which should appear in any medium as physics has defined media, but which is denied in imponderable ether) and that of vibration must receive universal validity, or otherwise stated, and assuming that a theory of energy could solve the problem, a new method of treating all physical phenomena, a new reaction which involves all that is true in all our processes of physical measurement and determination must take the place of those which have come into conflict in this instance. If the conflict is not a mere mistake, and if it is necessary within our known world, it can be overcome only by the appearance of a new universal or habit of reaction. In the second place, the solution of a metaphysically stated problem can be achieved only by admitting, at least for the time being, the inadequacy of the old and so its lack of objective validity, and advancing toward a new universal whose objective validity cannot yet be recognized, with the hope that in this way a new known world shall arise in the place of the old. This, of course, holds only for the conscious solution of the problem. Countless necessary problems have arisen in the history of human society that have reached solution in the gradual appearance of new conceptions and the adaptation of old methods of action, which have thus become equal to situations in which irrepressible conflict first existed. The solution that we are referring to here is not this unconscious change by which one generation differs from the next with no historical sense of wherein this difference lies and with no anticipation of further fundamental change. It is the consciousness of the change that is the essential step in the dialectic of reflective consciousness. Furthermore, just as the metaphysical situation has given a technique in the statement of the problem, with the inestimable advantage that flows from it, so the consciousness of the process by which we change from the old universal to the new carries with it the acceleration which always accompanies the addition of reflection to any instinctive activity.
As indicated above, the necessary result of consciously advancing to the solution of an inevitable problem in human experience is the acceptance of a position midway between the old universals, whose validity is abandoned, and the new universal, which has not yet appeared. And this is a result that affects implicitly the whole world of knowledge; for that world is an organic whole in which no necessary part can be changed without involving all the rest. To assume the attitude, therefore, of solving a necessary problem, implies a willingness to completely invalidate one's known world. I am willing to admit that, even in an age of conscious progress, such an attitude is not explicitly taken by very many who are honestly attacking problems in a scientific spirit, that they not only make many reservations within which they do not expect scientific inquiry to reach, but also that they fail to recognize their known world as an organic whole which cannot be changed in essential parts without changing in toto. However, within the province where they do apply the scientific method they are ready to make the Cartesian clean sweep of all objective validity, and having adopted the method they cannot consistently hesitate to continue it as fast as they recognize that the province affects the whole.
In the third place, in the presence of the conflict we reach universals which are the result of abstraction from the immediate conflicting elements. The child has before him that which is neither the object which burned nor yet the plaything. It is something behind each and true of each—a bright moving object we will say. It carries with it a certain amount of the reality of each. It is in so far objectively valid. A primitive metaphysical attitude may maintain itself here as it did among the early Greek thinkers. It is that out of which they both or all spring, if the young child could only become metaphysical (and there is an early period within which the child is markedly so and is in search of pure being). But if he wishes to know, not that out of which they both spring, but which of the two it is, and if he insists on finding out how he can distinguish between the two, he makes the bright moving object merely the starting point of a scientific investigation. In doing this he must ascribe to it, hypothetically, different values for
(8) which he has as yet no sufficient objective validity. He knows that it is more than a bright moving object, but he is not sure that it is something that has burned him, nor yet that it is a possible plaything. If he could turn his attention upon it, he would have to own that it is for the time being simply an experience of his own that is confined to his consciousness, that represents experiences that have been objectively valid in the past and a possible future object. In a word, the result of consciously attempting to solve a necessary problem is to render one's world, in so far as it is affected by the problem, psychical, and the technique of the solution is psychology. I wish to insist that this consciousness does not become psychical with the mere abstraction resulting from the conflict of reactions. The bright moving object is objective. And it is conceivable that the analysis may stop here and go no further. It is only when the child refuses to accept the abstraction, and insists that his tendencies to action shall not be checked, but have the larger field for expression which will come with the new object, that the experience necessarily becomes psychical. And it becomes psychical, therefore, because the tendencies to action assert themselves, seeking to adjust themselves to each other. It is this process that falls peculiarly within the phase of attention. There is the hesitating movement of the finger toward the flame representing both tendencies, that to grasp and that to withdraw, but it is more than either. There is involved the assumption that the hand can be used to deal with hot objects, not simply to get out of their way. It is a hypothesis tested with fear and trembling. It includes both elements, both the readiness to withdraw from danger and to manipulate the distant object revealed by the eye, reacting upon each other so as to produce the action of dealing with an object in an entirely new way, and thus producing for the child a new object. Here we have the characteristics of attention, not simply the absorption in the bright moving object, but the control of different reactions upon it by each other in the production of a new type of activity including both. One finds in attention not only concentration, but that which concentration
(9) implies, control, and control can exist only where there is something definite to be done which is consciously involved in the whole doing of it. This does not take place through a statement of what the ultimate meaning of the act is to be. The child cannot say to himself, 'I must learn to handle a hot bright object.' For to him there has been no element of handling in his experience of hot objects whether bright or not. The hot object was one to be withdrawn from. And in his manipulation of playthings there had been nothing to be avoided. The two activities are here quite distinct, as therefore are the objects. The control lies in the fact that both reactions are excited at the same moment and must in some way both reach expression. The old world contained objects to be withdrawn from and those to be manipulated in play, the new world is to contain objects that are to be so manipulated that he does withdraw from the danger connected with them. Just what that object is to be, depends upon the result of the investigation. It cannot therefore serve as control. It is only the necessity of bringing both tendencies to expression in their interaction upon each other that does and can exercise such control. There is of course no place in this paper for an adequate analysis of attention. I wish only to point out that, in the attentive processes which arise at these problematic points in experience, the control which is an essential part of attention cannot be found in a world of objective validity—for, so to speak, the old is abandoned and the new is not yet in existence—but is found in the relation to each other of different tendencies to act which have been forcibly divorced from the old objects and can only find expression through the mediation of a new object. Both the subject matter of the experience and the process by which the new arises, are necessarily subjective.
We have identified the formation of the hypothesis with the psychical state. It is necessary to distinguish here between the psychical state, as it actually appears in the presence of problems, and the ghost of it which we deal with in psychological textbooks. In experimental psychology, for example, we generally deal with states of consciousness which do not appear as psychical to us in the slightest degree. What actually is taking
(10) place is the recognition of things whose objective reality we do not contest, and which we have no motive to state in terms of our own consciousness as distinct from a state of consciousness which is distinguished from every one that has taken place before. The peculiarity of a psychical state is that it is absolutely sui generis in our life. It has elements of the immediate present that mark it off from any that has gone before or will come after. From all these peculiarities we necessarily abstract in objective knowledge. When, however, that objective knowledge is at fault and we are forced to correct and feel our way to something new, we bring out vividly the peculiar marks of the immediate experience and are in the presence of that which is psychical—as that of the individual and of a particular moment in his life to the complete distinction from every other moment present or past. It is evident that in the psychological experiment we are dealing with what is generally perfectly objective. It is only by an inference that we can go from this to the psychical, and that inference is too often one that rests upon an epistemological basis not distinguishable from Hume's or Berkeley's: to wit, that we can reduce all experience to states of individual consciousness in which form we may recognize their ultimate validity. To do this, however, is to objectify the psychical state, and deprive it of the very elements that have rendered it psychical.
The marks of the psychical state are not such that they can be universalized to form a concept in the sense here implied. The peculiar content of them resist all such generalization. What can be generalized is their position in the act, the when and the how of their appearance. What we generally refer to, when we are speaking of psychical states, as elements of the objects which are simply abstracted from the objects themselves. I speak of the color 'red,' and in so doing have in mind something that I have abstracted from red objects. To get a concrete picture of this I call to mind the visual picture of the object, if I do not look at the object itself. In either case the object is itself known as objective; for even the picture of the imagination is objective so long as it is dealing with the elements
(11) of an objective world, which is not questioned, however fantastically it is put together. What fascinates is the presence of such a picture in the midst of such an unquestioned world. The red of a sunset never seen on sea or land is not one that is necessarily psychical, but one that is replete with the emotional value which is absolutely merged in the outer world. Our world is at best one of consciousness, and no amount of analysis of this world into elements will get to the psychical state unless the conditions out of which the psychical arises are present. Elements of consciousness are not as such elements of a psychical character. Nor yet are those which can be definitely connected with particular nervous phenomena of the individual psychical states. It is not the identification of the state with the individual that makes it psychical, but it is his recognition of it as his own, his attention to those peculiarities which mark it off not only from the consciousness of any one else but also from any other state of his own life, that render it psychical. The parallelistic theory sets up the individual of experience and compares the world as he sees it with the world which our science assumes to exist free from all individual error, and tries to combine the two series. It is not denied that the individual's experience is entirely objective in its character. We are merely comparing the object of his perception with that which the scientist's methods of exact measurement reveal. I see a red house which is for me an object in a real world and in no sense psychical. The scientist measures the vibrations of light represented in that red, and shows that there is a complete gulf between the red of perception and the red of certain vibrations. He may call the one psychical and the other objective. But his observations are no more objective than is the original perception of the red house. He has taken a part of his experience which is more reliable than another and has shown that the two stand in a certain relation to each other, though it is not possible to carry this relation throughout. That one set can be related to his nervous states, or at least that its errors are more completely stated in certain nervous conditions than in the other, throws no light upon the case. An engineer who estimates from a glance the grade of
(12) a hill and then corrects his judgment from the tracing of the leveler, is not entering into a distinction between a psychical and a physical world. He is comparing two elements of his conscious world together and selecting that which experience has shown to be more reliable. Parallelism is pure epistemology and does not get within the realm of the psychical. The distinction between the immediate content of the world of perception, and the physical theory of these perceptions, does not touch that distinction which lies between the world of unquestioned validity, and the state of consciousness which supervenes when it has lost that validity and there is nothing left but the subjectivity out of which a new world may arise. This seems to indicate that there are in reality two tasks which psychology has taken up, one that of analysis of the objective world in terms of the consciousness of the objective individual—suggested in Hegel's Phænomonology of the Spirit—and the other, the analysis of the situation within which the subjective consciousness arises and the process by which it advances to the formation of the new universal. To the former class most of the psychological work that has been done belongs. It is indeed not different in purpose from that undertaken by Kant, being the study of the structure of experience as necessarily found within the consciousness of an objective individual. The other type is represented in James' chapter on the Stream of Consciousness and in some of the work that has gathered peculiarly around the process of attention.
The typical situation is found in the attitude of the inductive scientist in the presence of a problem. The conflict of given concepts has led to the abstraction, already described, in which what lies behind the conflict comes out as the fact of observation. I may refer again to the instance of ether, the fact of observation here being the actually given movements of heavenly bodies, with evidences of retardation or the opposite, and the transference of vibratory energy. The psychical phase appears when the scientist attempts to consciously solve the problem. This involves, first of all, the flexibility of movement by which he brings all his actual reactions into relation with each other. This freedom of movement, in which all the activities and tendencies
(13) to activity which have been confined by definite theory play without resistance into each other, seems to me the essence of subjectivity. A grouping takes place, now here and now there. To return to the illustration, the processes of exact determination of energy are stripped of the concepts of matter in terms of molecule and atom. There stands before the scientist only the multiple determinations. Energy of mass, vibration, etc., are represented only by the measurements that he undertakes to determine. Now the way in which these shall come together is not dependent upon any objective law. The only control lies in the necessity of bringing them all together. Only after they have been harmonized can the grouping take objective value. For the time being, the man is dependent upon the spontaneity of his own impulses—the genius for suggestion to which Whewell refers. This may lead, in this case, to the positing of our own measuring processes as the substantial element about which all the facts of energy shall gather. As the result of physical science has been to state, not the movement in the terms of the body, but the body in terms of the movement, we may find the ultimate motions in which bodies are to be defined in our own reactions which we recognize as giving the content to the objective world. But the point which I wish to make clear is that we have here these various motions free from any bodies objectively determined, and are free to organize them at will if we only include them all. Another illustration may be found in the attitude of the inventor, who, facing a particular problem, is left to a constructive power proportional to the freedom with which the forces abstracted from their customary objects can be combined with each other into a new successful whole. It is the power of subjectivity that comes nearer answering to what we term genius than anything else.
The technique of the process, so far as it goes beyond this perfect freedom, lies in attention, in other words, in the control which arises through the interplay of the different activities. One must feel, in that which he does, not only the immediate action, but also all the others that are involved. In the case of the child he must grasp so as to avoid the burn. I am referring
(14) to so-called voluntary attention. In involuntary attention we have simply the process already become a habit and objectified. Perhaps the most primitive illustration can be found in the mutual control of the distance sense and the contact sense in the primal intelligent act. Here the fixing of the eye and its direction we continually determined by the process of locomotion and that of manipulation, while as obviously the manipulative and locomotive processes are controlled by the eye process. In this, as in the case of the child, we have not reached consciousness of what we are doing— not reflective consciousness. This statement also does justice to the modern psychological position that the stimulus, as psychology studies it, does not set off the activity, but is the sought occasion for activities that are demanding expression.
In this spontaneity and control we have the essential characteristics of the will, and when we pass beyond the limits of scientific investigation to conduct as a whole, we enter the field of ethics. Purely metaphysical ethics would carry us back to the promulgation of old universals with the ascetic demand that we ignore or suppress all tendencies to action, that do not fall under them, as interpreted by deductive logic. As in this situation we recognize the validity of only one set of impulses, and set them in hostile array against the other, there is no escape from a doctrine that action will be determined by the comparative strength of the two factions— determinism— unless we posit a will which is not represented in any of these impulses to action— an indeterminate will. Over against these positions, it becomes possible, from the standpoint taken above, to define freedom in terms of the identification of the self as a whole with the problem and its solution. The forces are not hostile if the aim is to represent all tendencies to action in the final act. The self is not identified with one tendency or any one set of tendencies more than with another, and the problem is recognized not as one that arises simply through the imperfect character of the self, but as one that springs from the essentially inadequate nature of the world of ends presented in knowledge. It is not a conflict between the good and bad elements of our nature, but between values and the impulses that these represent, meeting on a plane of absolute
(15) equality. Obligation lies in the demand that all these values and impulses shall be recognized. The binding nature of obligation is found in the necessity for action, and in the claim made by the whole self for representation within the action; while the consequences of failure to meet the obligation are found in the sacrifice of certain parts of the self which carries with it the friction and sense of loss that is characteristic of the immoral attitude. The ideal can be defined, not in the old universal nor in attempted delineation of what the future situation should be, for in advance of the solution such a delineation is quite impossible, but in the method of meeting the problem, in the statement of all that must be recognized in the solution to be attained; as the ideal of the scientist is found in the complete statement of the various conditions that must be recognized and met in any possible hypothesis. Finally the motive, as distinguished from the mere impulse, is found in the tendency to action when brought into conscious relation with the other conflicting tendencies, striving to estimate itself over against all. As the solution is one that arises from an unpredictable suggestion from within, the spontaneity of the individual is preserved beyond all question. The so-called moral struggle is found in the identification of the self with one set of tendencies to the exclusion of others. I do not mean by this statement that the self is something standing apart from the tendencies to conduct, but that it arises through the organization of these tendencies or impulses. Such an organization as is one-sided, leaving parts of the nature unrepresented, naturally leaves behind the continuous conflict which thus becomes chronic and destructive instead of being a moment in a process of natural development. The moral struggle always implies that an organization has been in some sense accomplished; or, better, that a working hypothesis or line of conduct has been adopted which is felt to be inadequate. The struggle does not lie in the process of forming the hypothesis, but in the friction in acting upon it. If the step has been in some sense irrevocable, the feeling of loss remains in the so-called emotional state of remorse. The natural trend is, however, forward, and looks to the reconsideration of the line of conduct adopted. It is only from the deterministic
(16) standpoint that retribution is called for. For in this case there is a hostile force that must, so to speak, be reduced.
Within such a conflict, even if it is not brought clearly to consciousness, and whether the result is simply the recognition of the old universal, or the conscious organization of the new world through the psychical phase, the sensuous objects—answering to the facts of scientific observation— take on a new form or meaning. They are the stimuli to, or occasions for, activities, for the time being abstracted therefrom by the conflict itself. But they stand for those activities, are the repositories of their meaning and value. In scientific observation, they are simply the conditions for the formation of the new universal, and we lose sight of the inherent value of these objects, But, where we are unable to reach the new universal, and are obliged to remain with the elements of the problem and to express our feeling for that which is not yet attained through the statement of these objects, they gain again this representative value. This representative value of the object resulting from conflict seems to me to be aesthetic. The term 'conflict' may seem to be at variance with many features of aesthetic consciousness, but we must notice that within the attempted solution the hostility has ceased; for overt action has stopped and the state is preeminently one or calm, the absence of prejudice and rancorous feeling. We must remember also that it is by no means necessary that the conflict should take on the scientific form. The only element that comes above consciousness may be the new value of the object. This will depend upon the nature of the individual. The artist states the conditions for the solutions of his problems in terms of the sensuous objects of experience. The solution may be attained, supposing that it is attained, more or less unconsciously. Furthermore, there are certain problems that, like the poor, are always with us; for example, that between the mechanical and teleological statements of the world and its physical objects. Out of this springs decorative art and all the artistic representation of nature. In the utilitarian control of the world we lose sight of the end of this control. We fail to see the forest for the very trees. There are others connected with the primitive impulses of love and contest
(17) which are always with us; and, finally, the great moral problems never lose their eternal identity in whatever state of society they appear. The religious consciousness is preeminently one that recognizes in life a fundamental problem, while it clings to the reality of the great representative objects of conduct which the conflict has abstracted and act before us. In fact, it is allowable to define the religious object as one which, while transcending through its universality the particular situations of life, still is felt to be representative of its meaning and value. There is here indicated another characteristic of the object held in the abstraction of the unsolved problem. In so far as it carries the meaning and value of the activity which it represents in actual conduct, it calls forth as emotions the feelings that accompany such activity. The subject is much too complex to be dealt with adequately here. I wish merely to indicate that the object that stands out in the midst of the problem, not only as a condition of its solution, but also, for the time being, as representative of the meaning and value of the act, would naturally gather about itself the emotional content that is so characteristic of aesthetic and religious experience.
Finally, the dialectic of this whole process of conscious analysis and reconstruction
may be passed in review and be reduced to a technique, or at least be so treated that it
tends to become such eventually. This science—the general theory of logic—does not
deal with the statement of the problem as does metaphysics, nor with the immediate
application of the abstracted universal—deductive logic—nor with the immediate
formation of the hypothesis and its verification— inductive logic— but with the whole
appearance of the objective world in thought terms and its passage into unanalyzed reality
again. It deals therefore with the judgment and the different moments in the development
of the judgment.
George H. Mead.
The University Of Chicago.