The Philosophy of the Act

Essay 31 Miscellaneous Fragments

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THE undertaking is to work back from the accepted organization of human perspectives in society to the organization of perspectives in the physical world out of which society arose. The difficulty is found in the fact that the physical sciences present a situation out of which the human animal and his society have arisen. They seem, therefore, to offer to knowledge a world which antedates the social perspective and to present the conditions for their appearance. It has indeed been the procedure of science to explain society in terms of things which are independent of social characters and to represent the social situation as one that has been fortuitous and utterly unessential to the existence of that out of which it has arisen. Relativity offers the suggestion that every situation has its own history, that the past which determines the present is from another standpoint determined by the present.

2. There are three recognized systems of organization of perspectives. The first is that of mechanical causality, which lies, however, within a system, such as is indicated by the principle of action and reaction, or the principle of least action. The second is that of life, or of living organisms, which also lies within a system, that of form and environment. The third is that of human intelligence, usually called that of consciousness.

In the first the organization of perspectives involves either contortions in space-time, which alter the invariance theory for measured properties and of the proper times of each historical route, or else the intersections of different time systems. The principle is the invariance of natural law, whatever the theory of measured properties may be, or whatever the simultaneities

(607) between events may be. This, however, is rather a condition for an ordered nature in the absence of absolute space and time, i.e., after abandonment of the classical theory of dynamics. The positive contribution of relativity is the variance in the order of the passage of events, i.e., the possibility of alternative pasts and futures. Thus the Copernican doctrine provides a different historical route for every particle in the world from that which obtained under the Ptolemaic doctrine. In each system the same necessity obtains, the necessity of natural law, but the world within which the laws obtain may vary. The past determines the future, but there is a choice of pasts, i.e., from the standpoint of the special principle of relativity there is a choice between alternative orders of events, while from the standpoint of the general principle of relativity there is a creative advance.

3. A perspective can be recognized as such only when lying in a field within which it is no longer a perspective. The railway lines approach each other in a perspective only because they are parallel.

It is the nature of our experience that it consists of perspectives that are recognized as such. The whole apparatus of vision in so far as it relates to objects operates through perspectives. If this were not the case, that which affects us as visual would not be an object but would be simply a stimulus. The fact that responding to the stimulus led to a contact experience would not identify the stimulus with the contact experience as the lasting reality of that stimulus. The two would be successive experiences, the one leading to the other, as a signal apprises one of the approach of a train without the identification of the signal with the train.

Visual perspectives imply a field of congruence of an object with itself, no matter what its dimensions may be as visually given at varying distances. This field of congruence is the area of manipulation of the human individual where the seen and contact dimensions remain approximately identical.

The community of the different perspectives does not immediately enter into the separate perspectives. This entrance im-

(608) -plies, first, that the fulfilment of the process of one perspective is dependent upon community of action within the common field and, second, that the individual or organism involved in one activity tends to carry out the other activities belonging to the common action and so enters into their perspectives.

4. If we admit such a thing in nature as the price of stocks, we can admit the mathematician's abstractions. But the price of stocks answers to actual buyings and sellings, while the abstractions back of the transformations answer to such characters as the interval which is only a constant that appears in the calculation of a happening from different standpoints. It never appears in any experience. Still, nature has the characters which express these constants and a mathematical structure which answers to the processes of the mathematician's mind, and there is no reason for denying passage in one respect if we admit it in the other. My point is that, if we take perspectives or environments seriously and take passage seriously, the references in the doctrine of relativity are to the so-called mental processes by which these are carried out, recognizing that answering to these processes there are aspects of nature which succeed one another in the same fashion as they do in thought. 1 suppose a plain way of saying this without philosophic implications would be that the relativist had discovered not a Minkowski world but a new and more accurate method of measurement.

The problem which has just been presented is that of the organization of perspectives,[1] in its most difficult form, for the perspectives in relativity are mutually exclusive, and the solution 1 have suggested is in terms of mind: that mind is able to organize them through a mathematical doctrine growing nut of transformations found in the development of the theory of electromagnetism, that in mind we are able to pass from one perspective to another through transformations and in that manner are able to occupy different systems, and I have as-

(609) -sumed that there are in nature aspects which answer to minded organisms. What is essential to such a mind is that it should be characterized by sociality in both its dimensions, for not only must it be determined by the different elements that go to make it up in the system to which it belongs but it must in passage be able to occupy successive systems so that it realizes itself in each as a member of the other or others. It has, of course, always been recognized that thought presented the most complete organization to which we could aspire, but it has been generally assumed that it possessed or implied a final systematic organization which would then be only in one dimension; that is, passage was not regarded as of the nature of thought, though it might be of thinking as a psychological process. But, if the universe does exist in a passing present and has before it a future which is not determined, though various conditions of it are determined, then the world that we see about us extends before us in various futures, and answering to each there is a past which is in some respects different from any other, though there are general conditions which determine them all. In deliberation the emergent is the organized choice which we make and which gives the world the future and the past which characterize it. When in the face of alternative and mutually exclusive possibilities an emergent arises which determines which possibility will be realized, the adjustment of things to the conditions which make either future possible in the selection of the future is the passage in nature which answers to the passage in the transformation in the mind of the mathematician; and it is to this situation that the constants that shake out of the relativist's calculations refer and not to a Minkowski world lying beyond any possible experience.

What is essential to mind in the sense in which I have adduced it, as carrying mutually exclusive alternatives, is that it should occupy both dimensions of sociality at once; that in its passing from the old to the new it carries along the systematic order by which it is defined. The material for systematic ordering of future and past it finds in those perceptual char-

(606) -acters which come from distance experience with their future implications, the imagery which is of the same stuff, and in the organism's responses to its own attitudes toward the future characters. This material enables a mind to foresee within the scope of any act, but that the minded organism may deliberate, may adjust its world to alternative acts, a higher phase of sociality must be attained; for the organism in taking one attitude with its structure of future and past must respond to itself as taking another attitude with its appropriate structures, and it is this phase of sociality which is the implication of the self. The principle of sociality[2]is as dominant here as in the lower phases of its expression; the principle is that the nature of something in one system affects its nature in other systems that it occupies. It is this which issues at the human level in systematic thinking.

5. The social organization of perspectives arises through the individual's taking the role of the other within a social act whose varied phases are in some sense present in his organism. When, therefore, he has within the social act stimulated himself to act as the other, he has aroused the beginnings of the act of the other in its relationship to his own act and the whole process. These tendencies control the expression of his response and become the generalized other, conversation with whom constitutes thought. This taking of the role of the other is possible because the social process is through the mediation of physical things. The subjective perspective is one which has become nonobjective, i.e., one in which a person finds conflict between the structure of experience as it arises in his common perspective and the common perspective that has forced him into cogredience. The subjectivity does not consist in the experience having the metaphysical nature of consciousness but in its failure to agree with a dominant common perspective which claims the individual. Thus the passage of the landscape is in the perspective of the passenger as taking place in the common

(611) perspective of all the occupants of the train, of all who are in that consentient set, but the consentient set of those without the train triumphs over that of those within the train because it organizes more completely and successfully the processes which are constitutive of the selves involved in the whole act. The separate perspective of the man within the train, with its aspect of nature as a whole, hangs there as a defeated hypothesis, not in consciousness but in a nature which includes minds as essential parts. The distinction between the defeated hypothesis and the successful hypothesis of the landscape at rest within which the train moves does not lie in the greater objectivity of the latter perspective, so far as immediate experience is concerned, but in the experimental results of acting upon the two. Both consentient sets are there in nature, but one set only can maintain itself in the conduct of the community.

What are present in both sets are the relative positions of the points of the landscape and the train, i.e., the distant stimuli are there in independence of any interpretation, of any perspective; what the successful contact experiences in the use of the physical things will be, remains to be seen. It has been customary to assume that hypotheses exist only in minds and that we discover whether one hypothesis agrees with nature which is closed to mind, except in its awareness of nature. This doctrine assumes on the contrary that the hypotheses (both the successful and the unsuccessful ones) are in nature, in other words, that the processes in mind are processes in nature. This has been recognized in the trial and error of animal forms but not in the highly developed process of experiment as found in man, though this is but a refinement upon the trial and error of biological forms which are lower than man. What makes possible the importation into nature of so-called mental processes is the recognition of different simultaneities of the same events as existent in nature. They are existent as the relations between things from the standpoints of the different percipient events or organisms. The perceptual reality of the distant stimulus lies in the future. It is wrenched from that futurity in reflective con-

(612) -duct in so far as it is made simultaneous with the manipulatory area. The simultaneity of a mirage is there in nature as a possible relation. The physical thing water is that which answers to the completion of the act of drinking that is aroused by the visual stimulus of the shimmering sand. We establish the perspective of water there in the relation to our here. The filling of the distant stimulus with the resistant and thirst-satisfying water is primarily what we term imagery in the organism. If we find water, we affirm the reality of what is called imagery as that which was there all the time, simultaneous with the manipulatory area. If there is only sand, we assert that it was imagery and may regularize the implication by admitting that in the other case it was, as water, only in consciousness. A consistent theory of perspectives, however, will recognize that the content of water was in that perspective as genuinely as the color is in the perspective of animals endowed with chromatic vision. The difference lies in the perspectives. All our perspectives are measurably hypothetical, that is, while the distant buildings and mountains are there for us as resistant objects, they conceivably may be such stuff as dreams are made of and vanish when put to the experimental test. And the wildest imaginings relate events with contents which are in nature in their reference to the organisms, but there as hypothetical or, if you like, as possible perspectives.

6. The organization of perspectives takes place in rational experience. From the standpoint of a generalized other the individual relates his experiences as peculiar to himself. How is this generalized attitude attained? Whitehead states it in the aspect which everything has to everything else, the possibility of stating a thing in terms of its relationships to everything else, such as the stating of an electron in terms of its field. In social conduct the individual takes the attitude of another in a co-operative process. If there are a number of persons engaged in the process, he must in some sense take the attitude of all of them. He accomplishes this in getting the attitude which each assumes in relation to the common end which each has. He finds

(613) an identical element in the attitude of each, which expresses itself in the different responses of the individuals. It is his ability to go from one of these attitudes to another in so far as each calls out the other that constitutes the structure of the system which imports the group into his experience.

What Whitehead omits is the presence of the other things in the experience of the individual organism. For him these relations constitute the individual but do not appear as other things in its experience; the world constitutes the thing but does not appear in the thing. In our experience the thing is there as much as we are here-our experience is in the thing as much as it is in us. Organization is being in a number of things at the same time. We attain this through participating in organized reactions of groups-the common content makes it possible to take the different attitudes and keep their relations. The organization is that of the act.

7. The epistemological problem is found in the objectivity of that which is subjective. The problem of relativity is found in the subjectivity of that which is objective. The solution of the epistemological problem is found in the recognition of the objectivity of the apparatus by which we reach the subjective, and the necessity of accepting the natural history of the individual and the community within which this apparatus was acquired. The solution of the relativist's problem is found in the recognition that the emergent value which the individual organism confers upon the common world belongs to that world in so far as it leads to its creative reconstruction. In so far as the world is passing into a future, there is an opportunity for that which is not objective to become objective.



The whole history of science has presented the succession of one hypothesis after another; each hypothesis was rational, and, when it was embodied in experience, was a necessary order, but

(614) a succeeding hypothesis showed that it was but an alternative. To be sure, the evidence that the later hypothesis carried with it was something which was new from the standpoint of the old world. It is the natural assumption of the new situation that this new element was always there and, therefore, that the rational order of this hypothesis was at work with its necessity. But there can be no question that the new was new in the experience of the world into which it came. Metaphysically we assume that these experiences were subjective in so far as they excluded the presence of the element which appeared as novel, that these elements were actually present, and therefore the necessity which obtains with the new hypothesis was operative under the old hypothesis, though it was not recognized. In the same manner we assume that there is present in the universe an indefinite number of elements which are novel from the point of view of our hypothetical explanation of it, and which determine beyond our recognition what is taking place. In this manner we put the characters which are future 1 into the timeless universe and ascribe futurity with its essential novelties only to our experiences and make our experiences dependent upon this universe.

The possible alternative view is that each perspective is real in itself. It is physically real in the experiences that the individuals have who are there. These experiences are, then, hypothetically interpreted, and the judgment of reality is passed in so far as the hypotheses work. What conception can we form of the universe in so far as it is not present in that hypothesis? If we regard the universe as something that is simply there, and exhibiting itself in a series of events which are already necessarily involved in what is there, subjectivity, illusion, or some sort of imperfect reality is implied in the different views which have obtained as to this universe. What our judgments primarily demand is a universe that is of a certain sort, and in the nature of the case that universe which explains our situations has a past, and a necessary past which necessitates the present. That past, however, is hypothetical, and the proof of the hy-

(615) -pothesis must be found in some present. The pasts are continually changing with changing hypotheses. What we appeal to is some present. It does not disturb us that we look forward to a continually changing set of pasts which new hypotheses will bring with them. As long as we can have the present setting its stamp of approval upon our new hypothesis, we are willing to accept the past which the hypothesis implicates. There seems, however, to be behind this complaisance of ours the assumption that there is, of necessity, a wholly real universe within which arise these different hypotheses, and which tests them and thus brings us continually nearer to a goal, perhaps at infinitywhich would be a hypothesis which would be entirely adequate and would therefore never change. The implication of this metaphysical assumption is that this universe is not in its reality subject to time. Nothing new could happen in it. Novelty would be simply the expression of our inadequacy, and that inadequacy would not be a part of the reality; it would be extra and imperfect impression. Absolute idealism hopes to deal with this by making the imperfections simply finite reflections of the whole, which lose their inadequacy when they are co-ordinated in the infinite. It denies the existence of the inadequacies and thus banishes the novelties from the universe and logically conceives the universe as timeless. If we bring the novelties into the universe, we must bring them in the form of experience in which they do appear, not in the terms of the past in which they were not present. The difficulty in doing this is that we at once construct a past in which they are present.



In generalizing the perspective to include not only the environments of all biological forms but also aspects of the universe in so far as it is patient of all enduring structures and processes, one assumes that the organism in this generalized sense not only selects its field in the sense of possessing susceptibilities giving rise to the emergence of qualities but also selects the succession of events itself. Thus a plant selects chem-

(616) -ical and electromagnetic successions, thus giving rise to the emergence of growth and the life-process. The question arises whether these emergents are surface phenomena of the type of statistical results which present uniformities and continuities that are but an outward seeming of inward necessities. Or is it possible that the resultant emergents have results that are due to their emergent character?

The passing present, compounded of the past which is determined by the interpretation of the present and the future which comes to us as alternative possibilities, is what we have. The past is always necessary, but the past which is there is not necessary, i.e., is dependent upon the future which determines the present and its interpretation. It is the emergents that determine the selection of the futures and, hence, the pasts that are their so-called causes. The values are absolutes that arrive. The pasts that succeed one another could never be prophesied from one another. Nothing is lost, but that which arrives that is novel gives a continually new past. A past never was in the form in which it appears as a past. Its reality is in its interpretation of the present. No one would be surprised if he learned that the picture of the universe which our great-grandchildren will have will be as different from ours as ours is from that of the medieval period. We are fairly confident that what we have will pass in some form into the doctrines of the future, but the interpretation will vary with the emergent values which cannot be prophesied.


The formation of opinion takes place through conversation of individuals with members of groups to which they belong or through that inner conversation of thought which is outer conversation imported into the mind.

The molding influence of the group over the individual is generally and variously recognized; what is referred to here is the dependence of the individual upon the different component parts of the group to which he belongs for the language symbols,

(617) the expressions, by which he can recognize and refer to meanings and characters of objects. As examples of this dependence, one may cite the entrance of the scientific medical practitioner and health officer into the life of the man on the street and the absence of the scientific biologist, as evidenced by the growing willingness of the man on the street to consider and discuss infectious diseases and insanity in terms of modern science rather than in terms of traditional custom, while his nonacquaintance with the scientific biologist accounts for his inability to assimilate the evolutionary appearance of man with his ideas of an intelligent and moral order of the world. There is no greater resistance in the one case than in the other, but in the one case he has become familiar with the terms and the facts and uniformities which they indicate, while he lacks this mental apparatus in the other case. It should be noted that the press tends to use the mental apparatus of the average man to which it appeals for its circulation rather than to break into and enlarge that apparatus. Unless one is definitely seeking to enlarge one's knowledge, one generally reads what speaks one's own language.

If we are to understand the process by which the scientific methods and their results get into popular thought and practice, it is necessary to recognize not simply the conflict of interests of different groups but also the social conditions which determine the accessibility of men to new ideas and the terminology which indicates them.

Recognizing, then, that a man's reverie and thinking are an inner conversation that goes on in terms of his outer conversations with the groups of which he is a constituent part, it is suggested that study of this grouping from this standpoint is of importance.

Such a study would recognize, first of all, that that information does not break into and become a part of mental apparatus unless it is couched in the language of current social conduct. Thus the protection of one's family and one's self from a pre-

(618) -vailing epidemic makes the bacillus and its life-history a part of the world of the average man.

Such a study would investigate the types of social conduct in which are determined the apparatus of conversation and thinking, and especially the social ways in which this relatively fixed conduct with its apparatus of vocabulary and ideas is invaded by new forms of conduct with the consequent enlargement and change of this apparatus.

It is evident that such group conduct and the consciousness within which it takes place orients itself most readily over against hostile groups and individuals. Thus the labor group thinks in terms of its battle with the capitalists, the church group in its opposition to organized vice or scientific heresy. These attitudes close the minds on one side to the ideas and their symbols that mediate the conduct of the other. Patience of a new symbol and its meaning appears when, some new phase of conduct has made it a part of daily life.

This presents, then, a pattern of ideas which answers to organized social conduct of groups, and in which the ideas and their symbols are defined by the function of interaction of members of the group, and to the incidence of new types of social conduct which force in new co-operative acts and the symbols and ideas that mediate them. Such patterns would be found, for example, in the conduct of labor groups. Their ideas of protection of their wage scale and the conditions of labor are organized about collective bargaining, which inevitably brings with it the ideal of the closed shop to render the procedure entirely effective, together with the control of the number of apprentices and the elimination of pacemakers, and the strike as the effective weapon in the warfare -with the hostile capitalistic employer.

Government control of such industries as that of the railroads brings in an unwilling recognition of a public interest that must be taken account of in some conditions in determining wages and conditions of labor. Efficiency engineering brought out a hostile reaction to the effort to standarize methods of work to

(619) produce the largest results, and so introduced another type of possible control. In the clothing industry a procedure of a board constituted by both the union and the employers to decide conflicts between them in accordance with mutually recognized principles brought with it the language and conception of a common body of ideas belonging to the operations of labor and the employer that has its place in the system by which the laborer protects his wage and his working day. It is in this fashion, that of new sorts of social conduct arising within an organized body of social conduct, that new ideas slowly make their appearance in men's minds. It would be of interest to look at men's minds as such patterns of conduct together with the symbols by which these composite social acts are carried out, symbols that answer to certain values and meanings in situations and in things; and to recognize the manner in which such patterns of social conduct are changed by the breaking-in of new forms of conduct with their symbols and ideas. For this purpose we would be called upon to present the various organized groups in the community, the patterns of whose conduct present the patterns of men's minds and, on the other hand, to indicate the new forms of social conduct that invade these and bring their new mental contents with them.


The problem is to learn and control the conditions of individual and social conduct.

Conduct, so far as it is stated in terms of the health of the individual and that of the community, has found and, in fact, has accepted a control. Of course, this is true also of the physical conduct of the individual and of the community, that is, the entire acceptance of the scientific conception of a mechanical physical environment has given a method by means of which the conduct of individuals and of social groups with reference to their physical surroundings can be governed. It is true that the individuals and the groups do not always so govern their conduct, but it remains true that they nevertheless recognize

(620) and accept the method of the physical sciences as providing a method which should always be employed in control of what we may call purely physical conduct. While this is not so universally involved in intelligent biological conduct, that is, while unreasoned tradition and such cults as Christian Science still uphold a dogmatic instead of a scientific method of biological control of conduct, it is still true that it is always possible eventually to force upon the community and its individuals scientific medical control when its results can be experimentally justified.

What remains as yet without a method of scientific control is the conduct of the individuals and the groups as selves, i.e., those social structures out of which individuals arise and of which they come to be the constitutive elements. In politics, law, ecclesiastical, and, for the most part, in educational conduct, our methods are not those of experimental science but remain dogmatic, and the same is true of individual conduct as presented in the field of ethics. Experimental schools, juvenile courts, theoretically (and only theoretically) democratic political institutions, and ethical culture societies in the field of religion are sufficient indications that, if it were possible to apply scientific method with evident success within this field of social conduct, it would advance as irresistibly there as it has in physical and biological conduct.

The problem suggested above is to determine what are the obstacles in the way of the development and acceptance of an experimental method in social conduct so far as this is the conduct of selves, both as individuals and as groups.

A primary, if not the primary, difficulty is to determine the data, or facts, in terms of which the social problem may be stated. Logically a statement of the difficulty may be presented in terms of the distinction between means and end. The physical statement is in terms of means, i.e., in terms of necessary conditions-necessary in the sense that they must be anticipated as giving the fixed order to which any course of conduct must conform. The biological statement takes on as completely

(621) as it can this character, i.e., biology moves toward physics and chemistry as its 'deal of method. In so far as this is true, biology cannot state the end in conduct. As surely as entelechies have disappeared from the natures of physical objects, with the result of opening the door to a far greater control of the physical world, so will they disappear from the biological object with the result of giving a still greater control over living processes. It is only when we have been able to abstract from the function of organs or animals or plants that we have been able to control the function or the life. In so far as the function-the end-is of the nature of the object, it is a given end and cannot be an end to be secured. If digestion is the very nature of the physical and chemical processes in the alimentary canal, it is not something that can be set in operation, on the supposition that it is to be fostered or reinstated. For such ends it is necessary that we should seek a series of absolutely necessary physical and chemical processes going on, which by controlling we can bring about a result which is foreign to their nature, to which as physical and chemical processes they are indifferent. We can advance life only through a scientific account of living objects, in which account life and death have the same reality and in which the loss of life is no loss of content. Now facts which are themselves ends come into existence with mind, and in the history of society they constitute as essential a part of the field of inquiry as the physical and biological conditions under which men have developed. Logically the form which the end takes is that of the solution of the problem which appears in mind. This general form, however, is only a demand that conduct shall continue (the conduct which has stopped because of the inhibitions resulting from conflicting tendencies to act) and that the resulting form of the action shall give expression as far as possible to opposing tendencies. Such an end is, however, entirely formal and as such does not appear in conduct. The ends that appear are the hypothetical reconstructions of the field of objects, from which arise the definite undertakings of so-called self-conscious beings. The end constitutes no difficulty as long

(622) as it is an end only and an unquestioned end. If an inventor is seeking an instrument in unquestioned demand, or a scientist is seeking the cause of some as yet inexplicable event, whose control is an object of desire, they wish to see only necessary events and objects which can be entirely depended upon in the construction of the hypothetical instrument or cause with which their minds are occupied. But when one is faced by a conflict of ends-with the ethical problem-or when the true social problem appears, in which the voluntary conduct of individuals is an essential part, then we are faced by conditions of conduct which are not necessary. This situation presents the fundamental obstacle to the application of the scientific method. It is but another way of stating this difficulty to say that the difficulty lies in finding or clearly defining the facts or data of the ethical or social problem, for while the facts in a problem are exceptions to a law or form of order which has in the past been accepted, and are not as yet recognized as subject to a law or form of order which we are occupied in discovering, still they are quite rigidly defined in terms of the order of things which have not been affected by the problem in question.


1. There is an incongruity between the meaning of the world as it has been stated in religious and philosophical thought and the meanings which appear as the result of the application of scientific intelligence to the solution of concrete social problems.

The former have been brought into experience by means of the universality of emotional and logical attitudes. These universal emotional attitudes found their expression in the universality of an ideal community which could only be made concrete in the sacrifice of the conflicting interests of individuals in existing societies and by the submission of the individual to the Deity in the realization of a fundamental attitude of sin. Both sides of this attitude called for the expression of the meaning of the world in terms of the renunciation of concrete values except as these could be found in the identification of one's self with

(623) the interests of all others, and in the sacrifice of individual aims and purposes to the will of God. The meaning was therefore defined almost entirely in the emotional expansion which placed in the unknown end a value which indefinitely transcended all known values. It was a sublimation of sacrificed ends and purposes. On the intellectual side it appeared in a faith which transcended knowledge. On the logical side it appeared in the affirmation of the universal rationality of the world, in the conception of a supreme order which was imperfectly recognized in the visible and tangible world, but which brought all detail of existence into logical connection in the attainment of a supreme end. While this order could be found in the laws of nature, the order of the supreme mathematician, the mind was utterly unable to follow out the intricate relations of events and realize what the relations of means and ends must be in the divine mind. Again knowledge had to bow before faith, and any attempt to formulate the rational meaning of what transpires broke down except when such meaning was given by divine inspiration. Such a faith was the sublimation of a necessary ignorance which is only emphasized by the recognition of natural law and the ability of the finite mind to read some of the transcriptions of the supreme mind.

2. In the history of human society rational conduct of the individual has arisen out of the control which the individual attained over his impulses through the community attitude, the acquirement of which has made him a member of the community, and then in the reconstruction of the community order from the standpoint of the generalization of its ends and procedures.

The attitude of men as they became rational toward nature was first seeking its assistance or placating its hostility, as the habitat of the community. Nature was defined in terms of the habitat of the community. As the rationalizing individual rose above the present social order in his criticism or idealization of it, he rose above the view of nature as the habitat of his immediate community to that of a nature which was the home of a better community. Out of this sprang the conception of a given

(624) society to be attained-the religious quest, the conception of a divine principle of the world which fashioned nature to support and favor this achievement, the conception of the widest possible society (a society of reason) which because it was rational included all minds and provided a universe of discourse, and the conception of an entirely rational world which was the habitat of such minds. The socially narrow structure of the Greek city, which could not be generalized to take in the race of men, was the seat of the discovery of the reason in its most universal form. Because of the hopelessness of the fixed Greek city-state as the form of an ideal community of all men as rational, the Greek conception of mind was impoverished. It could compass only the abstract reason and so later opened the door to mysticism. It was only the abstract reason that could be socialized, and this only in the impersonal.

3. To convert a morality into a metaphysics, into a science of fact and truth, is to attempt to avoid choice. The good things are not the stable while the evil are the illusory, but the function of conduct is to render the good as stable as possible and the evil as unstable as possible. "Reality" traditionally conceived is what existence would be if our preferences were justified-in which case search and struggle would be unnecessary. As the precarious remains, the dialectical problem of reconciling the two realms of existence and illusion is substituted for the metaphysical problem of knowing the traits of existence. There is a substitution of the dialectical problem of the simultaneous existence of the finite and the infinite for that of dealing with the contingent. The result is the regulation of life in accordance with a cult rather than the understanding of its actual conditions. Thus the ultimate of reason is the ability to behold nature as a complete mechanism which generates and sustains the beholding of the mechanism. The theory of absolute experience finds evidence of the perfect, the stable, the good, and the infinite in immediate experience-and then dissolves this immediate experience into illusion. Starting from absolute experience , it then arrays itself in the relative finite illusory experi-

(625) -ence-and yet makes its logic that of consistency. The contradictions indicate that the characters of the stable and the contingent are in conjunction and interpenetration. Such a union is the condition of all satisfactions. Without it there could be no good, for good is "better than." Precariousness of nature is a precondition of all ideality as well of loss and trouble. Aesthetic objects come with unbought delight and thus have a peculiar pleasure; but, if there were no pleasures bought with intelligent effort, there would be no aesthetic pleasures. They are dependent upon this contrast.

4. The organization of social perspectives in human society takes place through the self, for it is only the organization of a group as the attitude of the individual organism toward itself which gives rise to the self, and it is the activity of the self, so constituted toward and in the group, that is responsible for the peculiar organization of a human community. This principle may be stated in this fashion: The consciousness of a situation is the embodiment of the structure or pattern of that situation in the reaction of the individual to it, and the indication of the structure or pattern to the individual in whose reaction it Is embodied. While the relation to the situation is that of stimulus and response, it is simply there, i.e., the relation to the response does not enter into the content of the stimulus. The "what it is" is not essential to its mere thereness.

That which creates the duties, rights, the customs, the laws, and the various institutions in human society, as distinguished from the physiological relationships of an ant nest or a beehive, is the capacity of the human individual to assume the organized attitude of the community toward himself as well as toward other-. The attainment of this attitude on the part of the individual is responsible for the appearance of a situation in which new values arise, especially within which society deals with the individual as embodying the values in himself. This situation is expressed in the appearance of institutions, e.g., the church, government, art, and education.

5. There have been two attitudes of the American which have

(626) largely determined his reaction to science-the philosophy of history given by Puritan theology and the will to understand the physical world about him that he might control it. Back in his mind lay some version of the plan of salvation as his interpretation of the world, and he believed that knowledge is power.

Both of these attitudes were sympathetic to the mechanical view of nature which grew out of the Newtonian natural philosophy. God was the superwatchmaker of Paley, whose mind and purpose were revealed in the operation of natural laws. Furthermore, it was only in the field of invariable natural laws that the inventor could successfully operate. Evolution , in so far as it suggested the origin of mind in nature and distorted the received account of creation, was at first unsympathetic.

The whole development of social institutions has, however, moved away from the theological interpretation and has found the meaning of life in the present rather than in the past and in the future. A metaphysics of the type of pragmatism was a natural American outgrowth. It is entirely in harmony with the will to power through the understanding of nature.




Does metaphysics necessarily present the universe as a whole, as a unit? Or is there a type of metaphysical thought that may be in some sense descriptive of the world so far as it comes within the range of our thought? Can we find out the essential characters of the world as they enter into our experience without attempting to present the universe as a whole? Such an approach would not necessarily carry with it the presention of the universe as a whole. It might be a question whether we really can think of the universe as a whole. Without attempting that, however, we could try to discover the essential natures of the objects about us. The general tendency in later thought in re-

(627) -gard to these values has been to take them out of the universe as such, considered as a whole, and to try to bring them into our actual conduct, our actual life, thus presenting a less transcendental view. That is, our philosophy has ceased to be otherworldly in its character; it is something that can be found in experience. Especially important is the necessity of bringing those values that have been given to other worlds into life itself. The values that have attached to the universe as it transcends the individual should be brought into the actual experience of it. The conception of these values involves thinking of the life of the individual as related to some process that goes beyond itself and trying to find there the values that should control conduct in experience itself. It would find the import of such functions as those of knowledge and skepticism in conduct itself.


1. Appearance is the adjustment of the environment to the organism-that is, the effect which the environment has upon the organism because of the characteristics of the organism. Reality is the effect which the environment has upon the organism when the organism has responded to the primary influence of the environment upon the organism.

2. We must recognize that ancient thought took into account different degrees of reality. One thing could be more real than another. According to modern philosophy, there is a distinction between existence and subsistence. Existence is that which can be located in space and time, and subsistence refers to objects which are not so located and are yet objects of thought. But the scientific attitude, which is the dominant one, assumes a reality which is uniform. If we have an experience in which we see something that is not real, we are not referring to a something that has a lesser degree of reality than something else. We are referring to the solution of an inadequate inference; something seems to be something else, but it is not. Through the mists something looks like a tree, but it turns out to be a cow. As a tree, it is not real, but we do not assume that it has a lesser

(628) degree of reality than the cow that we finally come in contact with. On the contrary we assume that its character as a tree is just as real as the cow, only that it is to be found partly in the vague configuration and mists which are just as real as anything else and partly in our states of consciousness-which, of course, are just as real as the actual cow. We have drawn false conclusions from them, but they have the same degree of reality.

Democritus assumed ultimate atoms, and it was the atoms themselves in their relationship to one another which from his standpoint constituted reality. From Aristotle's point of view reality is reached in the individual thing; and the individual thing is that which is not mere potentiality but is an actualization. Our science has kept those two attitudes more or less together. On the one hand, the world is made up of physical particles in relation to one another, and that constitutes for science the reality of the world. In the meantime the forms of different animals and plants are the things in which we are vitally interested. These the physical scientist has dealt with in terms of the abstractions that he has made from them. By getting the statement in this highly abstract form of the physical particles and their relations, he is able to get hold of certain definite conditions for the appearance of the individual forms. What the mechanical statement of matter does for us is to give the abstract physical conditions under which what for Aristotle was the real can exist. As a scientific statement it is not concerned with the philosophical implications of its content. Science has set up the ultimate atoms of Democritus as against Aristotle's teleological view of nature. Aristotle had to understand the world teleologically in order to understand its process. So he states it in nonmechanical terms and by means of that gets controls on the side of what has been called "consciousness." We have kept that view but also a Democritean world in which can be found dependable laws.

3. The pragmatic statement as over against the realistic statement conceives of knowledge as a phase in the process. It is simply a part of natural processes; hence there is no need to

(629) explain how reality is real only in so far as it is reflected in the knowledge process. In order to get reality, we do not have to show that knowledge must reflect that reality. The central position of knowledge in reality is avoided from the pragmatic standpoint-the question whether a thing can be there as a possible object of knowledge. In order that a thing may be there, it does not have to be knowable. The realistic doctrine assumes that it does.

4. As Whitehead points out in referring to Hume's argument, Hume did not present the problem that is involved in dreams. You have a vivid dream, a nightmare; you are being tossed by a wolf. There is great vividness; yet there is no doubt that the experience is unreal. The different degrees of vividness have nothing to do with reality or unreality. It is neither the vividness, nor the multitude of detail, nor the corroboration of others that insures reality. The test is in the fitness of the phenomenon in the spatial and temporal structures in which one is living, in the significant structure of things. Hume does not recognize a certain unity of space and time, of the structure of things, which is the test of reality.


1. For an adequate interpretation of Hume, Kant's reaction to his statement of the problem seems to me essential, that is, Hume robs experience of all objects and leaves nothing but impressions and ideas. Now our experience has both, and there may be some assumed implications in these objects, as distinct from our impressions and ideas,. which are unjustified, but actually there are objects in experience. There is a chair there, and we distinguish from it the color which we feel as a sensation. This is a datum, and the object is an object with its unity, and not only with this unity but with its duration. There is a something in experience which is there and which has to be accounted for, and which is not accounted for by breaking it up into ultimate elements. There is a whole taking place which has to be there in experience before we can get the separate experiences

(630) that for Hume are simply associated together. Kant's criticism is that Hume made an inadequate analysis of experience itself.

2. When we have the parts into which we have broken up the whole, we cannot make a new whole out of the parts. There must have been some sort of a whole out of which the parts came. Analysis always implies a something that is already there to be analyzed. Our experience does start off with wholes of things that are there-chairs, tables, etc. Then these may be analyzed into definite parts.

3. From the point of view of a functional psychology, the different characters of a perceptual object call out a unitary response. If one sees salt, one responds in terms of the use of salt; if one gets the taste of salt, one responds to it in a similar fashion. Any one of a set of different stimuli will call out a unitary response, although the characters themselves simply stand out as separate characters without having any organization among themselves. That there is no unity among the stimuli is true of our perceptual world to a large degree. The unitary responses that belong to an object are called out by separate stimuli which in themselves have no relationship to one another. The sound of a voice or a step will serve to call out unitary responses to an individual. The field which belongs to the perceptual can be viewed simply from the standpoint of conduct in bare recognition. In that field there is no value to be obtained in the organization of the material which goes to make up a sensuous object into a whole. One does not organize one's material under those circumstances into the content of an object. The difference of the organizing attitude from bare recognition lies in the bringing-out of all characters that are essential to the treatment of the content or that are essential for identification. But in bare recognition of an object that organization is implied; one does not think about it.

4. Kant has, in general, stated that the form must be a form of the mind and must be antecedent. Yet we have in biology the possibility of accounting for the origin of a form. Goethe recognizes the appearance of different functions and different

(631) forms of a function, which appear as an arm in the human being and as a fin in the fish. There is a digestive process which is a function of digestion, and there is a unity which belongs to the function, that is, which is responsible for the appearance of forms. The species themselves can have arisen in their specific characters because of the life-process. In the beginning of embryology we start off with certain functions that are there and are supposed to develop into the structure that then arises. The form arises out of the development of the function. This relationship of the function, the form, and the conception is by no means satisfactorily worked out.


1. If what is seen in experience is always a thing in some stage of development, then its unity is always there. That is, a thing does not result from an additive process, and we must not attempt to explain what it is that holds together a group of separate elements. Or, if there is an indefinite number of elements in the universe, then we must account for the selection of a certain number of them in the isolation of a certain thing, and then the unity depends on the reaction of an organism. Whether we approach it in this way or in Aristotle's way it will always be the same thing but in different stages of development.

2. James's statement that unity is just something that is there seems to characterize our experience until we meet with problems. When a problem does arise, then the unity is gone so far as the content is concerned. That is the very nature of the opposition of the content; it is gone, and yet in a certain sense the form of that unity remains. You have perceived this something a-, a certain object. The unity of that object is dissipated. You have associated it with a certain experience, let us say that hazy, filmy thing which we call a tree, but now you have broken down that connection and yet you have an object. What is it? Not simply a separate element that may be there but something that was there and something that you are now trying to account for. You keep the form of it as something that

(632) has to be reconstructed. You set up a hypothesis. It is true, as Kant states, that the unity of the hypothesis is the unity of your object in that experience. But that is not your attitude with reference to other objects. You do not always assume that your hypothetical structure, your organization of the object, is responsible for the unity of the object. When that is the case, you undertake to form an object, but the other objects about you seem to be unified just as they are. Kant has brought out a character of the object as such, which is logically antecedent to the actual content that goes into it in the sense that the hypothetical is antecedent to the object; but that is not the attitude which we assume toward everything else. The Kantian assumption, on the other hand, is that all our experience, in so far as it is a cognitive experience, is of the same character, that the appearance of objects in experience implies just such a construction as this.


1. The universal remains distinctly logical for Aristotle and is not a substance so far as it exists in the mind as a meaning. If Aristotle had been a behaviorist, he would have interpreted his logical form as an attitude which could realize itself, thus presenting the possibility of different realizations. He was not a behaviorist, and hence he could not get away from the universal as separable from the thing. Potentiality may seem to solve the problem, but he still has matter left over, and matter which is separable from the essence of the thing. He has that essence on his hands, and he can never satisfactorily deal with it. He does not put it in a world of ideas with Plato, and he is not willing to view it as a concept. Yet it is a problem, for he must talk about it and think about it.

If Aristotle had had modern biology, if he had been able to define digestion in terms of a living process, then he would have had the same interest in retreating from the specific form to a universal which might be considered a higher one than the mathematicians among the Platonists had in retreating from the

(633) things that lay in the "betwixt and between" up to universality. But Aristotle, in so far as he is following out the lead of his biology, gets nothing in going from the forms to the process out of which the forms spring. The universals of a purely classificatory biology are really less than the particulars, while genuine universals are the sources of them. One does not get this specific lion out of the mere idea of animality, but one can take a life-process which must run its course in a certain environment and see how some life-processes will come to take on the form of a lion, and how some that of an ox, and how they exist in their relationship to one another. There is no control, no productiveness, in advancing from the specific form up to the genus. Hence the Aristotelian metaphysics and Aristotelian logic are really the logic and metaphysics of the individual thing. This is where Aristotle finds reality in its highest degree of development. If he had been able to isolate living processes, he might have discovered a reality which would have been greater from one point of view than the reality that is found in the particular thing. And he would have been forced to abandon the Greek distinction between universal and particular. Given a process that must carry itself on, must get to sunlight and to the stuff in carbonic gas, we can approach any particular form and ask how the process is there carried on. We cannot take a definition of animality and get any basis for the discussion of different animals. But with a life-process that can be stated chemically and physically we can see what particular situations give rise to particular living forms. Hence our account of particularity does not appeal to the irrational as does Aristotle's when it appeals to the irrationality of matter.

Biology becomes effective after it sets up the physiological process, which is the same in the ox and the tiger, and shows how they become these different forms by taking the living process as such in its definition and showing it as it appears now in this form and now in that. By giving this higher universal of the process, it gives man more control than it otherwise would. just as in mathematics, given a locus of points, we can deal

(634) with the conic section in ways which would not otherwise be open to us, so here we get a statement of life that we can trace through different forms and account for structure in terms of function.

2. From the Hegelian standpoint the particular is in opposition to the universal, and as such it is false; it is wrong; it is evil. But there is no place in the dialectic for that which answers to the exception. It is perfectly true that such data get their reality, their truth, from the point of view of a later interpretation, when they cease to be data and become mere instances. What, it seems to me, Hegel overlooks is the function of the data in the statement of the problem. The data from the scientist's standpoint present the conditions under which any problem can be solved. Of course, when the problem is solved, they have lost this value. Then we can say that the particular instances are gone; they are sunk in the universality of the law. Take the exception in the position of the planets and the sun in their reference to one another. Though we may-have a statement of the actual position of those planets on a photographic plate, we may not yet know what they mean. Until we know what they mean, we simply have to measure them as so many spots. Our whole statement of the cognitive process lies in the particularizing of these elements. If other experiments establish them, of course, all of this particularity disappears. They are just instances of the law, without that value which they had before. So far as I can see, there is no place for this value in the Hegelian dialectic.

3. The weaving into the web of science of the experiences of the individual does not in any sense rule out what we would call the personal factor in knowledge itself. The ideal may in a certain sense remain the same. That fact was in one sense what may be regarded as Hegel's great discovery. In that sense his is a restatement of Descartes' position, though he attempts to work it out in a definite answer in terms of a logical process. It is the first time that the self had been definitely given a function in the experience of reaching the truth. The self up to this time has been regarded as more or less of a hindrance in the problem.

(635) It represents that which is particular as over against that which is universal.

4. In the field of observation the individual finds problems of sensuous experience. He finds something counter to the situations of past experience, involving problems for which he cannot get solutions by tracing logical implications. He must state his problem in terms of a hypothesis which he has worked out, but the new hypothesis cannot be stated merely in terms of logical implications presented in accepted meanings. A hypothesis must be found which is different from the interpretation that could be given with previous information. The rationalistic method can never give a statement of the situation in which a new hypothesis arises.

5. We observe particulars only in cases of exceptions. We are always seeing in things contents which we do not define as particulars, since perception always has some sort of a pattern which must be taken as universal. Yet the universality which we perceive in the individual can not be mere similarity. Similarity has significance only as a basis for psychological interpretation.


1. According to the position of Minkowski and the relativists, there is a passage which is actually going on. It is a passage which is actually in experience itself, a passage which cannot be divided into instants. We have the experience of continuous passage, not simply of passage from the simple experience of one instant to that of another instant. If one takes an anesthetic, one has an experience and then a later experience, but that which is left between does not answer to experience. We can conceive of an individual living in one instant after another and never having an experience of passage at all. In that case the significant instants will eliminate one another. Only if there is passage can memory give the past instant as the past of a present. The bare succession of instants gives no ground for pastness and memory, nor does the mere fusing of one experience with another give passage.


2. The ultimate criticism which is to be made of Hume's background of the law of causality comes back to the fact that in experience itself there does appear a process-there is a given process as a whole. A movement that is taking place, when it becomes intelligible, determines the different parts of itself as a whole. Assuming the observation of Zeno's arrow at a certain point, and at another point, and at another, and building up the motion of the arrow out of these separate positions, there would not be any succession in the experience. There would be one situation, and that would disappear; and another situation, and that would disappear. What we do have is the impression of a process whose intelligibility involves the determination of the parts of the process by the whole. The process itself is in the causal future, as Whitehead expresses it. What is taking place is what we perceive. That intelligibility of the process as a whole, as accounted for by the different stages, is what we know as the law of causation. If we know a process that is going on, then that whole will give meaning to the different stages of the process. We come back to ideal moments, or approximations of a simplicity which enables us to determine the so-called laws of nature. What we start out with is the assumption that the whole process will make intelligible the different stages in it. We understand one thing by its relationship to another.

3. The specious present is not only a passing experience in a permanent world; the specious present does actually answer to a something that is itself taking place. Motion may be a statement of it, but it cannot be absolute in its statement. It may be necessary for us to resolve that statement into terms of passage in a different system, but it remains a passage of something that is taking place. The object that is there in experience is an object that is essentially going on. Our science, as I said, has hidden this, because it has sought to get the world at a moment in order to get exact measurement. It has broken up the continuity of passage into separate instants and has taken away the continuity in nature. Science has done this, of course, in the interest of exact measurement. Natural philosophy has a state-

(637) -ment of the result in the notion that the world exists only at an instant--existence only at a knife edge. Such a statement becomes an impossibility. It cannot give the continuity of experience and the continuity of the object in which, after all, the scientist is interested. If we get that object as continuous in the world as well as in our experience, we can get the world as continuous. Then we do actually have experience of that which answers to the laws of cause and effect. The reality of immediate experience is an experience of that which is taking place and the dependence of that which is taking place on the temporal structure that belongs to it.

4. The distinction between the future and the past is that the past is what it is, while the future is in so far indeterminate that it is not yet. But there is always a relation between events, both of temporal and spatial extension and of content. This relation is of the nature of the process of what is going on. We assume that the future flows out of the past. There is not, so far as experience goes, determination, for that which has arisen takes on a character which is other than that which has occurred and as such a whole becomes a novel element in the process. The future as that which is happening determines what may take place and in so far as it lies within the temporal spread of the specious present is as determinative as the past. The possibilities of action are of the nature of determination. The future enters more clearly into determination as alternative possibilities appear. The possibilities appear as alternative reactions which inhibit one another in so far as they are different expressions of the process of the organism.

When these are there ready for expression, the opportunity for one rather than another decides the conduct, and the future becomes thus determinative of conduct. The spread of the indetermination may be increased by the holding of the alternative tendencies in their inhibition. Furthermore, the organization of these tendencies may give rise to other opportunities, that is, a new whole of action may arise which is qualitatively different from what has been.


5. Duration is a different affair from temporally ordered events. I have referred to it as a present slipping into another, and this implies a difference between one present and another, that is, it implies change-implies that the later happening is different from what preceded and that that difference is an occurrence. Difference is difference only against a background of identity. There must have been something that has changed and which can be identified as undergoing the change. If we assume a temporal process-and here I am bringing under it duration and the ordered series of events-it must be predicated both of the change and of the identity which change involves, and we reach the abstraction of a Newtonian absolute time, or the temporal dimension of extension in a Minkowski space-time, which is the condition of the change. If, however, we adopt a relational theory of time, any succession or ordered series of events awaits the appearance of the change, but the reference of the temporal process to the identical which is implied in change as well as to change does not justify us in assuming an abstract passage which is independent of change. If all change is conceived of as disappearing from the universe, all temporality would disappear as well, though the conception of this situation is likely to carry with it the process of conceiving it and the psychological process of thought. Now the continual slipping of one present into another, which is always taking place in experience, does not itself involve a temporal order, though it does involve change. Bergson has emphasized this, pointing out that the exclusion of one event from another which a temporal order of events involves is not present in mere duration, that experiences in duration interpenetrate one another. The question comes back to the objective reference of the order of events which is mentally constructed in a past.[5]


1. From Leibniz' standpoint any impression adequately analyzed would give us the entire universe. If we follow the implications of a light wave, we would be forced to come back to the molecule and electron vibrating, and so gradually to the whole universe. But I see no reason to assume that blue is made up of a billion minute perceptions. It stands there just as a unique experience.

For perception in the sense which does not involve consciousness but which does involve a relation of the world to the object Whitehead uses the term "prehension." The object prehends the rest of the world. Prehension takes in the entire universe in so far as a mass-particle expressed in terms of energy is related to or prehends every other object in its world. It is essential that there should be some sort of togetherness in nature. All these objects represent the world as it exists for this particular object or organism. We speak of certain objects as poisons, others as constituting food. These are what they are in relation to the form. We do think of them as existing objectively out there without relation to an organism. Given this attitude, the organism enters into a relationship with the world, the relation of prehension where the world takes on certain characters because of its relationship to organism. This statement of Whitehead's is Leibnizian in the sense that the world exists in relationship to the monad. There is not an entire parallel, as I see it, between Whitehead's statement and the Leibnizian statement. The striking difference is found in their conceptions of internality and externality. What Leibniz inevitably comes back to is the inevitable outsideness which is represented by perception.

2. Realists say that all relations are external. For the idealist, all relations lie inside the object; the meaning of the object is to be found in its relations. If we ask what anything is, we come back to a number of relations. But if, on the contrary, objects as meanings are not relations, they become relational only when we analyze them.



1. The whole question of the reappearance of final causes in nature is important at the present time. The biologist, when he grasps function and looks at tissues as taking part in function, remains Aristotelian, though the ideal of biological science is to make a completely mechanistic statement. If, for example, one function of the respiratory organs is getting rid of carbonic acid gas, the mechanical statement of respiration must be adequate for this function. The biologist always feels that his statement is less perfect when he leaves it in simple functional form.

2. The teleological appears with the determination of the environment by the organism. The objects that appear in the environment through this determination are the ends of the life-processes of the organism. Their effectiveness depends upon their completion of processes initiated in the organism. The mechanical as opposed to the teleological is the effectiveness of lower-level processes within the higher-level process.

Organisms which act mechanically upon one another may bring about a higher organism if the processes in the different organisms are in some measure identical, so that they have a common perspective. The perspectives which are not common are the field of mechanical operation. The common perspective tends to complete itself.[6]

3. We of the modern world could accept a catastrophe of our own institutions and assume that out of it might arise a better invention, a more intelligent control of things. The rationality of man and the universe makes it possible for us to accept defeat without despair.


1. Emergence and perspectives-these are two conceptions with which contemporary philosophy is orienting itself. The exclusion of teleological elements in favor of the mechanical view of nature is unsatisfactory from the point of view of a picture of the world. And teleology is coming in again through its

(641) analogies in our more recent philosophical doctrines. When things get together, there then arises something that was not there before, and that character is something that cannot be stated in terms of the elements which go to make up the combination. It remains to be seen in what sense we can now characterize that which has so emerged. In any compound, say water, if we take the elements hydrogen and oxygen separately, we cannot get the character that belongs to the compound in them. There is something that has happened, fluidity and the capacity for satisfying thirst. Those characters belong to water, not to its elements. Aristotle, in his theory of causes, carried that character which has happened back into the process which led up to its happening. Our statement in terms of emergence simply puts it as a resultant and does not give it any relationship to the process out of which it arose. When combinations arise, we are in a new world, but that new world has not any mechanical causal relationship to the world out of which it came. What for Aristotle is formal and final cause is coming back as an emergent.

2. In the mechanical statement which represents the lower level in such emergent evolution there is no physical object with the characters that belong to the object. There are nothing but particles. When we analyze the object as such into physical particles for the sake of control, we are doing it from the point of view of an object; but, when we have nothing but the physical particles, we have lost the character as an object. If we break up water into oxygen and hydrogen, it loses the character which belongs to it in a combination of the two. We cannot carry the water character over into the elements. If one wants to quench his thirst or put out fire, water is there to act under those particular conditions, but it is not water from the point of view of the atoms and their relationship to one another. It is of interest to see that in the doctrine of emergence as the result of the combination of elements with one another every complex as such, in so far as it is a resultant, at any time does bring with it something that was not there before.


3. There are qualities in nature which answer to other parts of nature just as there are qualities in nature which answer to man's organic nature. Dewey seemingly wants a statement which will cover both kinds of qualities, those independent of the human organism and those dependent on the human organism. What is the relation of these two kinds of qualities? When we bring the second kind in, we really have the emergence of a new kind or order. We cannot lead the one over into the other. Physical particles and blueness are not of the same order, but the second has emerged out of the first. We have an entirely new order or perspective, a new level. Emergence, relativity, and pragmatism are three conceptions which belong to this modern period.

In what sense shall we speak of the nature which existed before the advent of man? Dewey does not deal adequately with this problem. Should we speak of it as though it would have been, had man been there? Were there objects such as tables, chairs, etc., or do they come just in human perspectives? There must have been some sort of nature there before man came, and Dewey does not deal with this. Man certainly arises in nature, and his experience is that which belongs to nature itself; this does away with the old dualism of the Renaissance.

4. One might expect that it would be shown how these various perspectives arise out of physical processes, but that is not the case. We make the statement of this world ideally complete, theoretically, and get nothing but mass-particles, electrical particles. We find these in different time systems, but the statement remains in those terms, and the organism as the living organism does not appear in such statements. That is, one can take any living process and resolve it into those factors. Then it is no longer a living process. No distinction between life and death remains so far as the physical-chemical statement is concerned. We can resolve any living process over into these particles, but we cannot show these living forms arising out of the physical process because we cannot separate them. We could not get their perspective if we left them simply in terms of the

(643) electrons and protons. There are particles with their fields of force which extend throughout the entire universe in their relationship to one another, and when we advance to the next level of emergence, if you like, there are such values as pleasure and pain, and the sensa, but they are not part of that physical process. We must distinguish that statement from the statement one can make when one starts with observations and ends up with law. Then the data flow from the law. But we cannot say that color flows from vibrations in the central nervous system. Similarly life does not flow from the physical process. If we select certain groups in the lower level, we find no life, color pleasure and pain. The contingency between levels is of a different character from that within one level, and the causation is a causation of a different character. It is just an expectation.


1. Realists would locate color outside consciousness. But, in fact, color has relationship to an eye that is not perfect; put out the light, color vanishes-much as it does for the color-blind. There is thus a situation of multiple relationship rather than the simple relation of color and vibration. There is no transfer of color to the eye, but there is something in the retina and in the central nervous system to which the object is indebted for color. Briefly, color is related to the normal organism. The realists restored more than they suspected when they gave back the penny, for with it came color, shape, size; despite this they no longer had an object left because they were destitute of an assumption that other philosophers have used with good results, namely, that objects have characters in relationship to a percipient event.

2. Relationships of the individual to his world may be causal or logical. Vibrations, pressures, stream into an individual as causal relations. There are other relations as well, primarily logical. Our relationship to the wall extends, under certain conditions and in certain terms, to the atmosphere and the electrons; so that, to cut off or select the wall as a separate entity,

(644) we must employ the logical relationship. Tables and chairs could not exist independently of the organism, since it is placing and sitting that distinguishes them. Still no causal relationship is involved. In analogous fashion, there are certain colors in the mind with which one endows objects with no hint of causal relationship. Nature would not be colored had we no eyes; yet we do not paint on the colors with a brush. On the other hand, the organism does produce causal effects in nature. The human species in great measure determines its environment, determines what shall exist with it in causal relationship. From the standpoint of evolution such causal relationship is ignored, since, for it, the sensitivity of the organism determines its environment, its locus standi, whence emanate all motor responses. This is a logical relationship rather than causal determination and is properly termed "consciousness." A chair is a concept and a percept so long as you refer to its meaning, its character, as an enduring uniform pattern depending constantly on its relationship with the individual. Characters put into logical relationship in this manner belong to experience, yet not to the inner experience but to the field where experience takes place.

3. An organism, according to Whitehead, is any structure which we find in nature, whether it be an atom or a galaxy in the heavens. Bergson's position that it is only in the inner experience that we can reach the process as such is incorrect if the foregoing statement of Whitehead is legitimate. So far as the actual process goes, our space is permanent for us at least; and so far as it is permanent, it has lost that passage which is necessary for process. We stop the train in order to determine its velocity. We do set up this permanent space, and it is essential to the actual existence of motion. From the Einsteinian point of view, motion is subjective; it does not belong to the objective world. Back of the experience relative to ourselves lie the actual coincidences of events, and between these are intervals. The interval remains the same, but it is not the motion which appears in our experience. In Whitehead's objectivistic statement, motion exists in nature, and the world is definitely organized

(645) with reference to the organism. The perspectives do exist in nature; nature as such is an organization of perspectives. We have to recognize that these perspectives exist in their relation to the organism. If you preserve a process as the ultimate reality which is essential to the nature of the physical particles, other aspects of the world are there from the viewpoint of other organisms, and all these aspects are essential to the reality of the world. We have to recognize not only the organism but also the world as having its reality in relation to the organism. If we take time seriously, Bergson says, if we assume there is such a thing as life or consciousness, anything to which a rhythm belongs, we have to see that this is the nature of reality. The organisms have correspondent aspects of the world which exist for them. Events succeed themselves in different time systems.


1. Potentiality implies a certain process which goes on in a certain environment, and which will lead to a certain result. When we speak of a man having a potentiality for being a good thinker, or good mathematician, or good accountant, we assume that we could determine the principles of his mind in a fashion which would be applicable to it. And then we assume that, if we place such a person into a certain environment with certain stimuli, there will arise a mind of another character which we could account for as developing out of this earlier one by the same processes as those that we imply in the original mind. Our statement of potentiality tends to come back to such determinations. Of course, we may think of some entity which is a potentiality in itself. Biologists, for example, have thought of certain entities which they put into the form as that which is responsible for its development, without undertaking to state what the principles would be by which the development is carried out. But what we aim to represent in our explanation of potentiality is a statement of a process that we can understand to start with and then the way in which that process under certain conditions will become a different process.


2. Certainly, so far as physical matter is concerned, we would never be satisfied with the statement of a potentiality which cannot be conceivably translated into mechanical situations-situations that explain things that happen in terms of things that have happened. We would not willingly leave the explanation in terms of things that are going to happen. We want to make our explanations in terms of things that have happened, even explaining things that are going to happen in terms of things that have happened. In considering the artisan who has a definite idea, we can say that he proceeds by a final cause in the sense that he analyzes his end into terms of means and takes that series of means back to the point which he himself determines, and then he may go on in a mechanical fashion from one step to another. But even there we want to understand the processes, or least to explain how such an idea or end arose and how that idea is resolvable into a set of meanings. Where, for example, does a man get the idea of murdering somebody by the use of cyanide of potassium? We do not want to stop at the point where we say that here is a man with a murderous intent for the carrying-out of which he can determine the most convenient means. We want to show why it should work itself out in this set of means rather than in another.

3. The Aristotelian concept of potentiality as it starts with the substratum starts with forms from the point of view of their natures which are to be realized and are potentially present in the particle. We can say that, from the point of view of man, grass is potential cattle. That is true enough; but, in order that there may be the ox, man must treat the grass as science treats it, as made up out of atoms and molecules. He must look at the grass as an independent object, and only when he knows the rules controlling it is he able to make it potential cattle.


1. Assuming that causes are what are responsible for the world as we are able to understand it, there is no reason for not

(647) bringing in all four of these causes to which Aristotle refers. We should arrange them. There is a certain stuff there, and there are certain motions, with immediate causes for these and other motions. There is the structure of the thing itself, and then there is the final cause. And, if what we are implying in the term "cause" is that which is responsible for a thing which is capable of being known, all those elements would enter into it. There is the nature of the solar system stated in terms of velocities of different bodies making up that system. We do not make a definite statement in the name of the sun alone but rather in terms of the various planets and their velocities about the sun. So that a statement in terms of velocities, acceleration, and deceleration has become the form in which mechanical science has stated the mass, the matter, and the cause of motion, the efficient cause, and also the formal cause, for it is in uniformities of these velocities and changes of velocities that we get what would answer to the formal cause from the point of view of that science. And, of course, we also have, so far as science is concerned, the appearance of biological science and the problem of the final cause coming in in a similar but also different manner.

2. It is the enduring character of the experience that contains in it the continuity of nature, that contains in it just that connection which Hume denied. There is something that continues. If there is something that continues, that which is there at the present time is responsible for what is going to be there in the future.

According to Hume, we have the impression of one moment and the impression of another. There is no connection between them but simply a uniformity that appears when we come to state it in the past. But, if we can get the actual passage into the world and find that passage with its essential relations as something that comes into experience, then the relationships in that passage are the very nature of the objects which we see; and the continuity of mass in its route is a continuity which is a law of nature. If we say that the mass is at a certain point and is

(648) continuously there, what we are saying is that this mass is a quality which inheres at a certain route. Given that, and the relation of that past to that future is the law of that causality. It is this actual existence as a determining character in that very passage that gives assurance of it. But, extending that route in all directions, we get the law of causality, which posits a mass-particle in its causative future as well as in its causative Past.

3. We can see that this continuum which Hume denies is actually given in experience itself, although the statement given for purposes of exact measurement seems to break that experience into moments which are isolated from one another. That is, the law of causation is given. We do get this continuum with the necessary determination from one moment to another. If we can now translate from this into another system, we can say that our law of causality is actually given in the experience itself. It seems to me that this is of very great value in presenting that which Hume persistently left out of his statement; that is, in experience there is actually given a continuous process with, if you like, its laws. What we perceive is determined by the object as it appears. We cannot perceive a triangle except in terms of relations of parts, but it is the relations of the triangle that make it the object that it is in our experience. We perceive the falling body as a continuous process. It may be that, when we have to chop that movement into a whole set of separate instants and then say all we have is a uniformity of positions, we have lost all continuity of motion. But relativity restored continuity to the scientific object.

4. The substance and causality of anything in a certain sense do come together in the statement made in regard to its mass. If we hold that reality is a process which takes place, in our scientific interpretation, along certain routes, and that these routes have certain abiding characters which it is the business of science to isolate (as distinct from the more contingent characters), in such a statement substance and attribute come together. If we speak of the reality of that mass as something that

(649) exists at an instant, then we have a statement in terms of substance-then it is what it is at any instant; but, if that reality is a certain route of passage, then that character which it has at one moment is the cause of it at the next moment. We have the necessary determination of reality at one moment by what it was before.

5. What is true in a Minkowski world in which there is no permanent space is a repetition of a pattern in a certain time system, but no prehension of such a passing series into a whole which endures throughout a specious present or epoch. The endurance which does prehend the process into such a whole belongs to the phase of the act in which inhibitions give rise to perspectives in which the different completions of the act initiated in the organism select the patterns whose repetitions are irrelevant to passage and hold them in permanent spaces. In this manner the futures, or possibilities of conduct, actually enter into the structure of the field. And with the futures come the pasts which are the selections of the series which have led up to the inhibited situation and give the different directions of passage. The prehension lies in the controlling power of the act as a whole which limits and sets conditions for the completion of the process.

The causal series runs in a permanent space and in an abstracted time. The necessity is one that comes from behind. That which has taken place falls into an order in which alternative possibilities play no part. The necessity that is disclosed is a necessity which obtains in all the series of possible alternatives which spread out before the present in the future. And yet there remain these alternatives. The necessity does not reach to the point of eliminating the alternatives. Even when we face a situation in which there appears to be no alternative, as in facing unavoidable death, the facing of it implies that death has as many alternative characters as our manner of facing it carries with it. The inevitableness of death does not carry with it the determination that it will be a death of resignation, or protest, or triumph. Whatever is, is necessary; and whatever is, goes on

(650) into the future. Necessity, therefore, goes into the future, but the present is less than the future, and this addition which the passage gives is not determined by the present. If it were, there would be no means of distinguishing the future from the present.

6. Necessity is simply the relationship of an objective whole in passage to the parts into which we analyze it. Any whole that we can grasp of something that has taken place must, as such, have as a part of it something that has taken place. If the world is intelligible, then its passage is intelligible also. Necessity is a necessity of something that is there. What Hume did not recognize is that the something that is there is an entire passage. It is not simply a series of instantaneous impressions on the mind. It is actually something that is there as a whole. That is the causal future in it, a something going on. We have an entire process, and that process as a whole is one that represents the determination of different states to one another. It is because it is there as a fact that we have necessity. It is not a necessity that is dependent on chance, but it is a necessity of that which is taking place in the determination of the process itself. There is a something taking place that determines it.

7. The concept is taken out of the operation. We measure our simultaneity by means of certain electric lines which strike the eye at the same moment. Under certain circumstances we get entirely different simultaneities from the point of view of the observer. The concept is determined by the operation itself. We practically substitute the spring balance for the muscular experience which we have in pressing something. That is given as a something that is going on. We do that for purposes of measurement, and our operation does actually contemplate passage of this something from one instant to another. The body itself has a definite causal relationship from a past into a future. Causation is this pressing through such a period. If we get this pull which lasts through a certain period, our causation is a passage of that bit of experience of effort. Even if we get effort through a certain period, Hume denies that there exists a

(651) continuum of passage of one event after another. But we find that that sort of passage has a definite structure; empirically we get a law of causation.


1. Precariousness for science is just the condition of its problem. If we ask science to make a place for the precarious, we ask it to cut its own throat. Yet Dewey seems to imply that the precarious is on the same level as the stable, as it was for Aristotle. But modern science does not put the precarious on the level with the stable. Modern science says that the precarious cannot be known in the same way as the stable can. Everything that takes place takes place in some system; this is the presupposition of modern science. Dewey seems to have the precarious in one sense and not in another. On the one hand, he seems to agree with the viewpoint of science. Science thinks that if anything happens, there is some system behind it--though it seems to be unsystematic because we do not know its nature. From this standpoint there seems to be no place for the precarious in nature. But in the individual's experience there seem to be all sorts of precariousness. Now what is the relation of this precariousness to the presupposition of science that nothing is precarious? Science would probably say that it is only because of our ignorance that things seem precarious. But actually the precariousness is there for the individual. just what the relation of this precariousness of the individual is to the stableness which is the presupposition of modern science and which Dewey does not seem to abandon-this relationship Dewey does not adequately discuss.

Nature looked at from the standpoint of the different individuals, from different perspectives, would involve the precarious. A form adjusting itself to its environment often goes to pieces cannot adjust itself. From its point of view the world is precarious, though its life takes place in a world which might not be precarious but perfectly systematic. Now, shall we say that nature is made up of these different individual perspectives and

(652) is, therefore, precarious, as Whitehead and Russell say, or shall we regard it as physical science does, as stable? Shall we look at it from the individual point of view and call it precarious, or from the scientific point of view and call it stable? And what is the relation of these two worlds? Mechanical science also has the presupposition that living processes are all physical-chemical processes at bottom, which move in accordance with fixed laws. Now, living processes are also individual experiences, but there they have been viewed as objects selected by our consciousness and are not just physical particles. Objects or forms thus seem to be entirely dependent on consciousness. This is the implication which mechanical science leads us to. But we are now trying to get away from this and make objects and forms exist in nature as such and to see their life-processes as processes which seek to maintain themselves. Relativity is doing this for us. Whitehead assumes that there are certain patterns in nature as such and that there is a relationship between nature and these patterns, which relationship Dewey also speaks of as that between environment and form. For Whitehead a form or a pattern is in a consentient set, and it sees all nature from a certain perspective or time system. Forms in other consentient sets see the same things only from different perspectives. Dewey seems to imply the same sort of thing.

2. There are certain contingent events so far as our experiences are concerned, notably the sensuous characters of things. Though they happen under certain determinable conditions, I do not see any evidence that we might not have an entirely different basis for colors, sounds, or tastes. We might have a set of colors when certain sounds arise. The picture which the scientist present, of the distribution of physical particles in the world as carrying with it the redistribution of them at a later moment, is the picture of a world stripped of these contingent elements. When we come to these contingent elements, what we do determine are the conditions for a situation within which they occur. Then the question arises, How far is Hume's judgment in regard to expectation correct? Is there, for example,

(653) after Hume's analysis any ground for not expecting an entirely different set of sensuous qualities tomorrow? There is nothing in the scientist's own statement of the world which in any way determines what the sensuous character of the world should be. Suppose we were all color-blind. Then the world might have been white and black, and all the colors of the rainbow would have disappeared. In place of them we would have the different shades of gray. Now, there are persons who are color-blind, some of whom see only yellow and blue. But this implies certain situations which can always be assumed to lead to the conditions of the appearance of these characters. In a theory like the Hering theory of color we assume that there are certain photochemical substances in the eye. Nevertheless, it is entirely contingent, so far as nature is concerned, whether, given this photochemical substance as stated in terms of electrons and protons, these different colors do or do not appear. It is not contingent from the standpoint of the physiological processes, the accompanying disturbances in the central nervous system. But that, when these disturbances take place, a certain set of colors should appear in experience-that is absolutely contingent. The mere colors flashing in experience present no continuum at all.

3. The law of probability is relatively simple-an arithmetical affair which depends simply on the frequency of things happening. It goes back to a sort of sampling of the universe. You have a bag of beads which are variously colored, and you put your hand into the bag and pull out various colored beads. The more frequently you pull out a certain colored bead, the greater the probability that the sample you have is a representative of the various, beads and colors. In the situation in which we apply probabilities, we are looking for an order. Our probabilities can generally be based on this attitude of ours of sampling. We assume there is a certain sort of order there, and we are hunting for it. A fundamental analysis, such as Hume's, will question this assumption. If we start off with his assumption that there is nothing in any experience which gives evidence in itself of

(654) another experience following or preceding, then, of course, we cannot admit any evidence of such a structure of order as that which is implied in the theory of probability.

4. We should reduce the contingency of nature as much as we can. We should get hold of those elements which are permanent. In dealing with change, we want to get that which is uniform in the change. We want something that is irrelevant to the change that is going on. The law of gravity is irrelevant to the process to which it refers. It does not change with the process. Our intellectual processes select out and hold before us contents which could exist at an instant, if there were such a thing as an instant.


1. Man sets the universe out there as like himself, identical in matter and substance. In considering the observational field, we get characters of the object like ourselves. This shows the nature of the inside of the object. In a certain sense, one deals with an outside, but, when one gets hold of it, one has a completely congruous experience-one puts into it the attitude which helps to get at it in terms of one's self. This, in short, reveals the social nature of consciousness, and the fact that the reflective process itself employs a mechanism of social conduct.

In balancing an ax, for instance, one is establishing a cooperative relationship with it and to this extent putting one's self inside the object. Similarly the log which one cuts will cooperate at a certain point. The process is essentially social.

2. It is naturally true that the self exists over against other selves. The relation of the individual to the community is one which involves the distinction of the one from the other. The self is defined in terms of the others. So far as our scientific knowledge is concerned, this does not involve the merging of the world in the self. It is true that the mechanism of thought and the meaning of things are found in the process of communication and participation, but that does not carry for us the identification of the external social reality with the social experi-

(655) -ence. We distinguish sharply between the world and the society which arises out of certain living processes. Now it is true that in cognitive processes and in thought-processes we state this world in terms of a mechanism which is social not only in its origin but in its process. But we do not at the same time identify the reality of this other with what goes on in the social process. That Hegel should do this is implicit in his assumption that the thinking process is the whole of reality because the true proposition arises in thought itself.

3. From Hegel's standpoint the distinctions of subject and object themselves arise from the process. The self, when it knows something, does not know its own states; it knows objects. This is quite in line with the behavioristic psychology. The essential difference between the latter and the Hegelian statement is that for Hegel the process is a knowledge process.

If we take the starting-point of the appearance of the reflective attitude in society, we can locate an Hegelian moment in the social development: the self realizing itself over against the individuals of the community, so that it finds itself in opposition to the other as essentially a social being. That is, when a man finds himself in opposition to some social order, as in labor conflicts, then the attitude between labor and employer is one of hostility, which we call class war. It appears, of course, in the conflict with the employer over such control as is expressed in wages and labor conditions, but the laborer as such under those conditions has to realize himself in relation to the employer. This characteristic, as we know, appears in class war. Individuals do realize themselves definitely in their oppositions to one another. Those oppositions are the starting-point for the development of the new social order. That is characteristic of social development as such, not simply of such modern problems as labor troubles, but it has belonged to all the class conflicts of the medieval period, such as the conflicts of the feudal groups in which people were called upon to express their servitude to the overlord. They attained the new selfhood that finds itself in opposition to the feudal lord. It is characteristic of that

(656) development that a new individual realizes himself, first of all, in opposition to the lord opposed and depends upon that for the maintenance of his own self-consciousness.

4. As far as there is organized social activity, there is a distinction between the different members of the group; that is, one does one thing and another does another in this organization process, and the organized self or the generalized self of the group is the one which expresses the attitude of the others who are involved in the process. The varied activities are organized in terms of the act. In so far as the individual can fit himself into the acts of all, those attitudes of the others are organized; there is a unity. Individuals have different functions as they play different parts. That structure Hegel does not present, but rather the situation in which the individual objects to the way in which the game is played; he wants other individuals to use different rules played in a different way. Back of this, however, is the development of this self which is not on the basis of oppositions of the other to the self but is on the basis of co-operation in the response.

5. In the case of vivid self-consciousness you are actually realizing yourself in the thing itself. Take for example, the fine eater who orders the dinner and has the courses arranged in a way which answers to the succession of flavors and the succession of satisfactions which follow upon one another. His arrangement is an expression of his own impulses. He has a higher attitude than the person who through hunger gets whatever he can and devours it. The expression of it, on a finer side, is that of the youth going out into the world and seeking himself. We all go through that process, and we realize that the self we want has to be realized through experience. There is an indefinite yearning for something beyond one's self in the period in which the individual is not simply seeking for bare satisfactions but is seeking for himself in experience.


1. There is no reason for assuming that experience as suchinvolves in itself an awareness of the experience. Conscious ex-

(657) -perience, however, implies also a consciousness of the experience. It is the cognitive attitude of seizing certain elements which are held on to. But experience itself does not carry the implication of cognition with it.

Consciousness is involved where there is a problem, where one is deliberately adjusting one's self to the world, trying to get out of difficulty or pain. One is aware of experience and is trying to readjust the situation so that conduct can go ahead. There is, therefore, no consciousness in a world that is just there as there is, for example, in the matter of personal relations; here there is consciousness according as there is adjustment.

2. In the early definitions of the phenomena of nature there was not so much as a recognition of an equivalent of our concept of consciousness. With the emergence of Stoicism and the religions of salvation came increasing interest in the individual and, with it, a recognition of an element of "consciousness." With the later idealistic philosophies nature itself became primarily a matter of consciousness. The pendulum now swings back; we are putting an element of consciousness into nature, though in a way different from that of Aristotle; but we are not denying the nature that is absolutely there. In fine, philosophy and science are moving toward a common perspective through convergent methodology. We may expect a reflection of this in the fields of social science and of experimental psychology. At all events, nature described in terms of relationships is coming more and more to take the place of the conscious stuff which since the days of nominalism has been losing ground. More and more do we find our realities in terms of relationship and of organization of responses.

3. When one reaches a point in experience that cannot be stated in terms of established experience, there one has a psychical statement and deals exclusively with experimental data. The experience involves a psychological statement that should be distinguished from the general psychological statement. The psychological laboratory deals for the most part with universal characters; as in the case of the psychological account of the person perceiving the color wheel. When the astronomer re-

(658) -cords a star observed, he allows for a personal equation. Nonetheless, at some point, the psychological statement is merely a statement of the experience of the individual with such and such a central nervous system; it furnishes a competent statement but only to the end that the experience may be repeated. The experienced object need not be repeated, although it is something that happened to someone. One will find out what it is in the future; for the present one can only say it is something that happened to one. It belongs, therefore, to the Minkowski world of space and time. One sets out a statement of the conditions under which it happens in order to test it. In all experienced data there are such data which cannot be stated as things because, in so far as they are things, one would respond to them in the common manner. The bit of stimulating experience remains and is not a part of one's scientific world. For the time being, it remains a bit of personal experience.

4. Mind and consciousness are not coterminous. Dewey recognizes this in stating that mind is a structure of relationships within the world and that consciousness operates within this relationship. It is, therefore, the task of philosophy to restore to the world the stolen goods. Mind, in short, is persistence of past experience, but as the sense of meanings that appear in the social structure, or mental characters in relation to certain things. It is thus a statement of relationships. Color is there only in relation to the eye, but the eye is also there. Awareness, then, is the point at which one is aware of the problem in the experiment. It is something unusual, something one must define instantaneously in order to relate it to the going world and so give it meaning. It is different from the situation where one knows. There is no awareness in reverie, since for awareness there must be something taking place with dependence and perspective. In the Minkowski world there are brute perspectives without meaning in which the organism moves to or from the spatial object. In the reflective world on the contrary (the world of things at an instant) there is ultimate reality of the thing in the process through which it is approached. All other

(659) bases set up a bifurcation of body and mind. Nature is thus an organization of perspectives.

5. The functional explanation provides for the distinction between thinking as readiness to act in a special situation and the immediate factual datum, the starting-point of the act. One seeks situations where one can find one's self-situations that can be used as facts. This, however, is not consciousness; it is only where one cannot get at facts that one has consciousness.

When we can put an identical set of events into two persons or when two sets of events can be put into one person, we have consciousness properly speaking. In a like sense, if we set up different opinions about an individual object, we remain inside separate perspectives. If, on the contrary, we unite different perspectives and opinions, we have a content involving consciousness. From a conceptual situation, we can come back to a perceptual experience each could have.

Consciousness is inner conversation and is in the field of symbols. The person is equally conscious when he talks to someone else, although it is not so clear an instance of consciousness.

6. The old world of fixed and absolute time and space science has broken down, and its substitute in the form of the consentient set approximates more and more to what was called a "state of consciousness."

7. If one recognizes the body, including the nervous system, as a part of the surrounding environment, with the value which objects have directly in experience- la Bergson-then the contents which dualism has placed in consciousness will be found in things, and a large part of mind will be found - la Dewey- in the structure of the environment. What remains in the bodily structure can be stated in terms of behaviorism -- la Watson.


1. In dealing with reflection, we now seek to lift it out of the mentalistic terminology and place it in behavior. Physics and

(660) biology recognize the logical relationship existing in nature between objects carved out and nature itself, and this relationship is not put into mind. To go back to what is involved in behavior, reflection is found in that imputation of characters which is made to other individuals through the direction of attention. Such direction of attention to the object in relation with the individual is, however, only a refinement of the relationship of the form to its environment. Food, for instance, becomes an object to the animal because of previous experience, so that it exists at the present period in relationship to the individual. Selection, therefore, lies in the relationship of the organism to the world. For the logical structure of the object, selection is not responsible. Selection is rather the essential factor in the logical relationship of the organism to the environment. This type of reflective conduct may become co-operative activity. By its own conduct or act one form may call the attention of other forms to a certain character which has been selected in the relationship of the individual and his world. It does so by raising to a new level things that have taken place. In a herd of deer, when one deer discovers danger and throws up its head, others, doing likewise, catch the same scent. Here the action of one form is causally operative in bringing the object into the environment of another. So that the reflective process is working upon a process already there; a whole group is stimulated. On the other hand, when a person in a theater shouts "Fire!" he has presented something as existing; he is logically operative. It is not merely a stimulus setting off a train of events, so to speak, as is the scent in the instance of the deer. With persons "fire" means something going on, crackling, hissing, etc., somewhere. It is, in short, a hypothetical object, and the reflective process is responsible for the hypothetical content given to that world in which the individual finds himself. Gestures thus indicate existences of hypothetical character. But when a person screams "Fire!" he is not only fastening attention on a hypothetical object-he is setting up an object with definite content and leading up to a specific end: if others approach, they will be

(661) burned; if they flee, they will be saved. So that, while a gesture brings into experience certain present existences, reality lies in the future, and behavior has consequently reference to what lies ahead.

2. In a nonreflective world one sees things with no reality at the present time. In a Minkowski world conduct has nothing existing on a plane with itself; one operates with reference to things that happen to be away from one; things lie ahead spatially and temporally. On the contrary, in the reflective process one pushes things away from one's self. In short, where there are alternative conditions, it is necessary to appraise the existing situation. One gets a cogredient world with permanent things, but things hypothetically there beyond the reach of one's hand. It is this hypothetical content that forms the basis of the behavioristic statement. The time and space experience and the reflective experience thus involve fundamental differences. Objects are spatially and temporally distant, and the forms are adjusted to the distant object. Time and space experience thus involves readiness to act in a certain fashion when the form gets there; reality lies ahead. The animal may be in an attitude of seizing the prey, but the what of it belongs to the future and the consummation of the act. Against this is the reflective field of perception. Characteristic of it are the different terminal attitudes the forms may assume in relationship to the object. The reflective attitude stops action and holds the form in the situation in which it is. This, however, is not the same as when in a conflict situation an animal remains quiescent; the lower animals do not think, do not ask, "What is it?" Conflict such as there may be is overcome by a play of stimuli. Reflection furnishes a world that is simultaneous, although the distant object cannot be manipulated. In the perceptual world the object is there without the distant experience of content which reflection supplies in the terminal attitudes. Immediate experience which goes on unimpeded to its consummation has for its result this consummation, so that the experience is of the immediate perceptual object that is there. Thus objects existing for us at a

(662) distance have a character as distant hypothetical objects. Contrasted with this is the situation of grasping for something in the water: the attitude is not hypothetical; it envisages something in space and time. The situation of doubt, however, where one debates, examines all points to determine whether the "what" that one hopes it to be is actually there-this situation one gets only from a distance and where hypotheses are forthcoming to determine suitable lines of action. In grasping for the branch in the water, there is not the slightest interest in the "what" of the thing but only in the attainability of the object, be it what it may. In so far, then, as the object is hypothetical, it is of different form from the thing one reaches for while sinking. In the former case the value of the reflective attitude is to determine the condition for carrying out the action, finding a world with hypothetical content as the present condition of future action.


1. The assumption of a functional relationship between what is in the mind and that which is outside underlies the philosophic reconstruction which starts off with the thesis that the world which is out there is the condition for our states of consciousness. By formulating new hypotheses, the scientific mind itself creates new worlds. The explication of the functional relationship between mind and nature was made possible by the scientific approach. It has introduced a new type of philosophy that of a creative process which is responsible for the world. If the outer world is taken as a condition for the inner, mind becomes actually creative in experience itself.

2. Wherein lies the creative activity or the reconstructive activity of an individual In a democratic society? The individual cannot oppose himself to the whole social order and attempt to set up his own will. Wherein, then, lies that reconstructiveness? It lies, first of all, in the statement of the problem. Here is a certain situation. We all agree to that. What can be done about it? The step which can be taken under those cir-

(663) -cumstances is some project which can meet that particular problem. That, then, becomes a basis for social reaction. It has to be accepted by the community. The individual puts his program in universal form. The thing he presents is essentially a social affair which arises through his thinking, his idea. I think there is a complete parallel between the social situation and that of the scientist. The scientist has his own hypothesis, and the question is, Is it the one on which the community as a whole can act or work? The individual is trying to restate his community in such a way that what he does can be a natural function in the community.


1. The organism enters entirely into the act as a whole, and this is freedom. The action is the action of the organism and not of the separate parts. We cannot gather ourselves together when we do not feel free, and this happens frequently. But in freedom the personality as a whole passes into the act. Compulsion disintegrates the individual into his different elements; hence there are degrees of freedom in proportion to the extent to which the individual becomes organized as a whole. It is not often that the whole of us goes into any act so that we face the situation as an entire personality. Moreover, this does not necessarily spell creation, spontaneity; it spells the identification of the individual with the act. Freedom, then, is the expression of the whole self which has become entire through the reconstruction which has taken place.

2. If one is reconstructing one's situation, one's action may be called rebellion. That is the attitude of the reactionary, who believes that reformers are bolsheviks. But freedom lies definitely in a reconstruction which is not in the nature of a rebellion but in the nature of presenting an order which is more adequate than the order which has been there.


  1. See G. H. Mead, "The Objective Reality of Perspectives," Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of Philosophy (1926), pp. 75-85.
  2. For further study of the social character of nature see Mead, The Philosophy of the Present (Chicago: Open Court Publishing Co., 1932), chap. iii
  3. For a fuller exposition of Mead's theory of the status of history and the past see this volume, Essay VI, and The Philosophy of the Present, pp. 1-31.
  4. Taken, in the main, from student notes on courses on Aristotle, Bergson, Dewey, Hegel, Hume, Leibniz, "Philosophy of Eminent Scientists," and "The Problem of Consciousness."
  5. The foregoing paragraph is the concluding paragraph of the "Note to Chapter I," The Philosophy of the Present, pp. 28-31. It should follow the last sentence on P. 31 of that work.
  6. From a manuscript.

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