Cultural Reality

Chapter 4: The Practical Organization of Reality

Florian Znaniecki

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The concrete historical reality, as it has been determined in the preceding sections, is evidently neither the reality of common-sense reflection nor that of science. The chief feature of both the common-sense reality and the scientific reality which we miss in concrete historical reality is rationality of objects and of happenings, for in concrete reality rationality is reduced to its minimum, that is, to the possibility of objectively reproducing by thought each particular determination of an object and each particular connection between objects within a complex, and even this only approximately, without any subordination of these determinations and connections to fundamental principles. The world of historical objects taken in its concrete totality or any concrete fragment of this world is an irrational chaos, and this chaotic character appears most clearly when contrasted with the perfect rational harmony of a world conceived as an Aristotelian system of timeless "essences" or a mechanistic system of eternal laws ruling all becoming with iron necessity. However exaggerated such conceptions may be, the fact that they have ever been constructed and accepted shows that there must be in empirical reality more rational organization than this minimal rationality of single determinations and connections which we have assumed. We have been forced by the demands of philosophical method abstractly to ignore in the first part of our investigation any rational order beyond that necessary minimum; now it is time to study the origin and character of any superior rationality which reality may possess. Admitting

(146) therefore that empirical reality is primarily and fundamentally a world of historical objects, we may now ask: "How did the common-sense reality and the scientific reality originate out of this concrete world, what part do they play in it, how much objectivity do they possess, and what are their essential characters as viewed from the standpoint of complete historical experience ?"

Here we meet again, as in our last chapter, several problems of method. First of all, as against the realistic assumption of a perfect rational order originally inherent in reality, we find the idealistic claim that reality of itself, even if it has any existence independently of thought, has no rational order whatever except while and in so far as it is an actual object-matter of thought; the latter is then, in objective idealism, conceived as being a universally and timelessly actual, absolute reason, in order to account for the fact that individual thought finds some rational organization in reality independent of its own actual performances. The methodological problem implied in this opposition is evident. If all organization of reality is objectively inherent in it, we shall have to study only systems of reality in themselves without caring for thought, which can do nothing but copy the preexisting order; if, on the contrary, all organization of reality exists only as actually produced by thought, we must investigate systems of thought to reach the essence of the real order.

However, neither of these methods would be adequate. For, on the one hand, our investigation of real objects and their connections has shown that, even when an objective real complex already exists before some particular activity which reproduces it now and here, this actual reproduction not only is necessary to have the complex actually given to the individual as objectively real, but influences in some, however small, measure the complex in its objective reality, and every empirical complex, however wide and stable, however real it may be now, has originated and grown because of the

(147) agglomerated results of past activities. This is true of any real complex in so far as empirical, independently of the degree of rational organization it may possess. On the other hand, any complex produced by actual thought exists afterward, as we have seen, beyond actuality and influences more or less future activities by the objective realness which it has acquired. Since there is no formal difference between active thought as producing a new real complex and active thought as reproducing a pre-existing complex, and the same organization of reality which has been once produced by thought can afterward impose itself on thought as existing in itself, a system of objects is thus, even when first produced, a system of reality, not a system of thought. Therefore our method of investigating the rational organization of reality can be neither realistic nor idealistic: in studying real systems we must take into account active thought which produces and reproduces them, but we must take it into account not in itself, but in its real results, not with regard to its own logical order to which it subjects itself in the course of its actual development, but with regard to the rational organization of reality which it leaves after its actual performance.

The second important methodological point concerns the relation between the rational organization of reality and the irrational chaos of the real world taken in its historical concreteness. Most of the philosophies which treat reality as originally unorganized, and rational organization as superimposed by logical thought upon the original chaos, assume explicitly or implicitly that reality in so far as already objectivated and distinguished from mere subjective data, that is, the reality with which our practical or theoretic reflection deals, is always perfectly and equally rational. The old realistic conception of one absolute reality is still alive, even in the most radical idealism. Irrationality is readily granted to subjective data, and idealism willingly assumes that the empirical matter of reality is entirely constituted by

(148) subjective data; but, in so far as objective reality has been built out of these data by giving them a rational form, it is supposed to possess a perfect rational order, and if irrationality slips into our empirical reproductions of this order, as it often does, it is assumed to have its source not in the imperfect rationality of the objects and systems of objects, but exclusively in the fact that we empirical individuals, because of the imperfections of our reasons, mix subjective data into this rational order of objects. How deeply this traditional prepossession is rooted is shown by the example of Bergson who, even while limiting the objective validity of traditional rationalism, still sees in the chaos of experience a problem to be solved, and attempts to solve it by assuming, just as the German idealists, a duality of orders which produce an appearance of disorder for us because we do not distinguish them sufficiently.

It is clear that under the assumption that reality must be either rationally perfect or not be reality at all, but subjective data, the distinction between the original irrationality of reality and its rational organization has no empirical significance, is a purely formal philosophical analysis of reality into two abstract components which necessarily and indissolubly belong together. All irrationality in experience is supposed completely overcome when we pass from experience to reality. The only task of philosophy, by which its method is determined, consists then in defining the one perfect order, or sometimes the two perfect orders, which constructs reality by overcoming the irrationality of experience.

But our investigation of empirical reality in the preceding chapter has led us to the conclusion that irrationality belongs to objective reality itself, not only to its subjective reproduction, because between subjectivity and objectivity, between irrationality and rationality, between chaos and order, the passage is continuous; absolute objectivity, absolute rationality, absolute order, represent the highest limit, absolute subjectivity, absolute irrationality, absolute chaos, the lowest

(149) limit, and it is between these limits that empirical reality fully exists as concrete reality, not as mere approximation to reality; and we have seen that to be reality, it needs only to be above the lowest, not on the highest, limit. Objective rational order may indeed increase for certain parts of the concrete reality in various proportions, and for a few parts it may even approach to the highest limit; but this growth of rationality remains within the total historical concreteness and leaves a wide margin or irrationality which may perhaps—we cannot tell now whether it does or not—diminish, but can never disappear. A rationally organized reality demands (1) a rational determination of each single object within a systematically organized complex; (2) a rational organization of each particular system; (3) a synthesis of many systems under one common rational order. But none of these demands can be ever fully realized in the empirical world, for each encounters a particular difficulty which it can never completely overcome.

First of all, we have seen that no concrete empirical object is entirely devoid of the character of subjective datum; it is indubitably objective, but it never can lose all dependence on subjective experience. And because it always still roots in subjectivity, it cannot as object ever rationally be exhausted in any system, however completely the latter seems to determine it; it will always be incorporated into many other, old or new, actually reconstructed or constructed complexes, and will be thus concretely an irrational historical object. Being composed of such objects, concrete reality cannot be fully rational, however perfectly organized and unified its systems may be.

Further, however rational may be the systematic organization of any particular complex of objects, this organization evidently cannot exhaust the complex in its empirical concreteness. For we know that each actual reproduction of the complex modifies the latter, even if in only a slight measure. As a part of concrete historical reality, the complex remains

(150) for us the same with all its modifications, as long as we want to treat it as the same, for all the personal variations added to it during its reproduction can belong to it without destroying its unity, since it does not need to be in any particular way self-consistent except in so far as it claims to be systematically organized. But such variations are necessarily excluded from its systematic organization, which by its rational nature must be absolutely self-identical. An empirical complex may be a rational system, even an almost perfectly organized one, but it will be also a concrete complex, transcending its systematic organization by its concreteness; it will include besides the objects and connections demanded by its systematic rationality other objects and connections which may not at all harmonize with these demands. Historically, this impossibility to cover any concrete empirical complex by a systematic organization manifests itself very well in the fact that no rational system can last empirically without special efforts to maintain its organization, for every one of them evolves as consequence of the additions which it undergoes in varying reproductions and after a time we find instead of the original system an empirical complex to which a completely different systematic organization must' be given because the old one no longer corresponds to its empirical reality.

As to the synthesis of many empirical systems under a common rational order, it is evident that without such a synthesis reality would remain irrational, even though each particular system were perfectly rational; for the systems would be disconnected and incommensurable with each other; each would have an entirely different, unique rationality. But, as we shall see in detail later on, no rational synthesis of empirical systems can entirely overcome their variety; each system in so far as it is empirically distinct is in some measure different from others, has some exclusive rationality of its own, some peculiarity in the way in which it is organized, which is irreducible to any common order. Therefore, even if there should be one

(151) general order common to all reality, still within the limits of this order, reality would in some measure be a chaos of systems, besides being, as we have seen, a chaos of objects. This irrationality resulting from the variety of systems would be completely overcome only if the whole reality were one system of objects in which all empirically given systems were absorbed. But such an assumption, which is essentially that of Spinoza, evidently contradicts experience.

The rationality of the real world is thus not an absolute order, with logical necessity imposed at once by reason upon reality. It is an empirical, partial organization of concrete reality and must itself develop in duration and extension within the wider concrete development of the historical world; it tends continually to mold empirical reality in accordance with its own demands, but never succeeds in penetrating and ordering that chaos on the ground of which it has appeared and grown, cannot impose any of its demands, however small or great the latter may be, completely and unconditionally. Instead of speaking of the rationality of the real world, it would be more exact to speak of its progressive rationalization.

From this results the fact that in investigating the rational organization of reality we must follow the method of genetic construction. The passage from that minimum of rationality which we have assumed in the preceding chapter to the highest level of order which empirical reality can attain, must be made step by step, following the different stages of comprehensiveness and rational perfection which the real empirical systems and groups of systems found in our historical reality actually possess. We cannot, however, assume generally that the logical hierarchy of these different stages corresponds to the order of their historical development, that the entire reality which is being rationalized had to pass first through all lower stages of rational organization before a higher stage could appear at all. For if it is clear that in any continuous line of development a higher stage cannot be reached until the lower

(152) ones have been passed, still there may be in the evolution of reality many continuous lines of development independent of each other, and rational organization may be more highly developed in certain domains of reality than in others.

The third methodological problem is connected with the respective rôles of theoretic and non-theoretic activities in organizing concrete reality. This problem is important because of the old intellectualistic prepossession according to which all thought, in so far as bearing upon reality, is ultimately reducible to theoretic thought; that is, whenever our thought gets in touch with objective reality, there is some, however rudimentary, knowledge. We find this prepossession implied even in such philosophies as those which explicitly recognize the priority of "practical" activity, meaning by this term, activity which tends to modify its objects really. Thus, in Bergsonism practical activity is treated as fundamentally possessing the same kind of objective bearing as theoretic activity, so that any objective order which science or philosophy accepts is already involved in practical experience; in certain varieties of pragmatism, practical activity is supposed to use theoretic thought whenever it rises above personal data and associations of data and opposes reality to itself, so that whenever there is objective reality given as such there is knowledge.

But we have seen already that not only theoretic activity, but all activity bears upon objective reality as conscious thought upon its object-matter. Reality is accessible to our reflection even without being the object-matter of our knowledge, for reflection means not only theoretic reflection, but all actual thought which objectivates data as contents and incorporates them into complexes. It needs indeed logically organized thought in order to organize reality rationally; but we find logical thought wherever there is selection of objects and standards of validity, and there are other types of selection than those based on theoretic ideas, other standards of validity

(153) than those of theoretic logic. Non-theoretic activities are therefore perfectly able to create a rational organization of objects without the help of theoretic reflection, though, as we shall see later on, the latter greatly facilitates this task. The very fact that the practical importance of theoretic ideas is tested by practical activity proves that there is in the real world some rationality independent of theoretic reflection and which thus can be only the product of practical activity working alone. Whatever may be the part of knowledge in rationalizing the world, it certainly finds at every step some objective systematic order ready and constructed without its participation. On a high stage of culture we do see indeed the practical organization of reality mostly developing planfully, with the help of theoretic generalization and abstraction, but this development is preceded by and grafted upon a much slower and less critical development of rationality under the influence of activities which make little if any use of knowledge, and such activities are still continually going on all around us; theoretically controlled practice is still only a current in the sea of non-controlled practice.

It is this pre-scientific rationality which we must study first of all before we pass to the investigation of the rational order which science tends to impose upon the world, whether directly or through the intermediary of the practical activity which it controls. For even if historically knowledge had developed simultaneously with practice, which it evidently did not, there would be still two reasons for which the study of the practical organization of reality would be logically prior to that of its theoretic order. The first reason is implied in what we have just said, that knowledge in so far as applied in practice finds already some pre-existing rationality, and we cannot understand the part it plays in controlling practical activity without knowing what is this rationality with which theoretic control has to count. The second reason is contained in the very nature of knowledge as historical product:

(154) whatever may be the order which knowledge when ready imposes upon its object-matter, knowledge itself is also a part of the historical reality, the ideas which constitute its body are also historical objects, and the activity of which these ideas are the results is not only a theoretic activity in so far as it knows other objects, but is also a practical activity in so far as it produces and modifies these particular objects called theoretic ideas. It is impossible to understand the theoretic order which systems of ideas give to the reality upon which they bear, which they "know," without having investigated first their own rational organization which, as a product of practical activity, must possess all the fundamental characters which practical activity gives to its object-matter independently of theoretic reflection. For systems of ideas, just as any practical systems, can be produced without a reflective theoretic control of the practical activity which produces them; this control, in the form of scientific selfcriticism and philosophical reflection about methods, appears here as late or even later than in other practical fields.

We start therefore, in accordance with the methodical principles established above, by studying the practical organization of reality as a product of active organizing thought gradually developing from lower to higher, that is, from less to more comprehensive and rationally perfect forms.


It should be remembered that whatever rational organization there may be in reality, whether narrow or comprehensive, imperfect or perfect, the organization which we empirically find is always the one given by us to the systems which we are constructing in actuality from actually experienced objects and by actual reflection. We may be able to transcend this actually realized rationality by extending it, also through actual reflection, beyond the limits of the system which we are

(155) constructing, by practically postulating the possibility of its application to other empirical complexes and realizing this postulate. We may be also able to turn other ready systems into objects, to treat them as actually given contents with actually suggested meanings, and thus construct in actuality a system of systems, a system of which other systems are mere elements within the limit of present activity. But we have no means of ever discovering any rational organization which we could not actually construct ourselves, directly or indirectly, nor even of ascertaining whether there is any such rationality transcending the possibilities of our constructive activity. Of course, this construction is usually the reproduction of an organization which preceded our present activity, and we know this because a certain way of systematizing given objects often suggests itself to us with an almost invincible authority; but our reproduction is always active for the very reason that it is actual; it always implies some possibilities, however slight, of not exactly following the suggestion, of modifying or supplementing the system which we reproduce. Between reproducing and producing there is only a difference of degree of creativeness; but reproduction and production both equally involve actual construction. Construction being the only way of bringing systematic organization into experience, constructive activity, more or less creative, is the only possible source of all empirical rationality. The only systems which I can experience are the systems which I can actually construct, and the systems which I can construct are either created now or have been already actually created. If we want therefore to understand the rational organization of reality, we must study the way in which rationality is created by the activity which constructs systems of objects.

We have seen in studying the object that any connection whatever actually established between two given objects implies an actual modification of these objects, a new variation

(156) of meaning given to the first of them and a new variation of content given to the second. In a word, every actual connection between objects is practical, meaning by this term, productive of some reality. The actual construction or reconstruction of a complex of objects is merely a series of such elementary practical connections. Since a system of objects in so far as empirical is a rationally organized complex, the actual organization of a system must thus be also practical in its essential features. The difference between an unorganized complex and a rationally organized system can manifest itself empirically, in the course of their actual construction, only by a practical unity, a practical order which the system possesses and the complex lacks. The practical modifications of the objects composing the system must be subordinated to some fundamental modification of reality produced in the course of actual experience and reflection, and this subordination must be the source of all rational organization of the system.

Now, there is only one way in which such a subordination can be effected: it is the conscious creation of a new object with the help and on the ground of pre-existing objects, which constitutes the task of every intentional activity. For the essential feature of the latter is that it tends to introduce, with the help of a single, more or less multiform but unified, series of activities, some empirically ascertainable real modification into a certain sphere of the empirical reality; that it tends to produce a status empirically different from but as real as the status which constituted its starting-point. This new status must include a new content—otherwise it would not be empirically given; and a new meaning connecting this content with others—otherwise it could not be real. This is enough to characterize it, within the limits and from the standpoint of the actual organized and intentional activity, as a new object, though if we look at it from the standpoint of the whole concrete empirical reality beyond the limits of the actual

(157) intentional activity, it may be either a mere insignificant variation of some already existing historical object or a whole system of objects which for the present purpose is treated as one object; and the creation of a new object requires the use of several pre-existing objects as concrete real ground, whose partial modifications are made to co-operate in producing the content and the meaning of this new object. Intentional creation requires thus a selection of certain particular objects and an organization of actual practical connections between these objects in view of a certain common result; it requires, in a word, the actual formation of an organization of objects.

For instance, even such an elementary intentional activity as the consumption of food creates a content which within the limits of this activity is new—the set of experiences which constitute this particular "experience of satisfied hunger." This content receives a definite meaning by being actually connected with the body as given to the acting individual, a meaning which characterizes it as organically real and distinguishes it from a merely imagined experience of satisfied hunger. This activity clearly needs for the realization of its intention, for the production of this relatively new object, that several pre-existing objects be selected, for instance, various parts of the body involved in the perception, apprehension, preparation, and consumption of food, the food itself, and probably also some other objects within the individual's sphere of experience; and it needs also that these values be so connected and their actual modifications so combined as to produce together this one particular result. Or take an example where the whole question appears still clearer, the production of a piece of furniture by a carpenter. Here the new content, the size, shape, color, resistance, weight, etc., of the piece of furniture, has to be determined on the ground of definite previous experiences, by analogy or contrast with definite existing contents, such as models, properties of the raw stuff from which the piece of furniture is to be composed,

(158) etc. This content acquires the meaning of a physical object by all the connections with the carpenter's body, his instruments, his materials, his environment, etc. All these objects necessary to give the new object its sensual content and its physical reality have to be intentionally selected out of the whole complexity of the carpenter's experience and actually organized with the special view of creating this one particular object; their interconnection for the given practical result is superadded to all other connections which existed between each of them and the rest of empirical reality, and thus without ceasing to be concrete historical objects, they become elements of a specific organization within which they are really ordered in a special way.

This practical actual organization of objects for the creation of a new object evidently does not mean that active thought, ignoring the concrete chaos of empirical reality, follows a pre-existing and ready rational system, but that it gradually evolves a rational system out of the more or less chaotic complex or group of complexes empirically given to it. At any stage of this evolution we find a vague empirical complex within which some rational order is more or less definitively outlined, but in which there is much which does not belong to this rational order, many objects that are not needed for the production of this particular new object as already determined, many connections that do not co-operate for the particular result which is intended. Only when a certain result has already been achieved, when the activity has been finished, we can say in looking retrospectively upon the past evolution of this activity that it has selected the very objects and all the objects necessary to produce this particular result; that it has organized them rationally in the only way by which this result could be obtained. But as long as we are actually constructing this organization, it does not exist for us in any form as an order of pure reality objectively ready and independent of our experience and reflection: it has to be

(159) actively produced from the chaos of our present sphere of concrete empirical reality. This holds true even when the organization which we are actually constructing is merely a reproduction of some pre-existing and fixed system; the latter can actually exist for us as a system only by being gradually built within that part of the concrete historical world which is actually accessible to us, thanks to an active selection of objects and an active systematization of these objects, and this selection and systematization are always practical, have always some actual modification of our reality in view. And since a system, however perfect, however objective and impersonal it may be when taken abstractly and exclusively in its objective rational order, is also always an empirical complex; it is dependent on its actual reproductions for the empirical preservation of its rationality in the concrete evolution of the historical world. In other words, any rational system of objects, just as any particular object, can be historically real, can remain within the domain of actual interests only by being actually reproduced; otherwise, though having once been constructed it always possesses existence, it gradually loses realness. The practical organization of objects in actuality is thus both the source of new systems and the ground of the realness of old systems. We shall take it here in its first rôle with regard to the new systems which originate in it; but we must remember that it remains always the empirical background of every one of those stabilized and more or less perfect existing systems whose internal rationality we are going to investigate.

The essential feature of all actual organization of objects is thus evidently its dynamic character. The system which activity gradually constructs for the creation of a new object, including this new object itself, is evolving in its totality during the whole period of it,; actual formation. In 5o far as thus evolving, it cannot be exactly assimilated to any pre-existing rational organization of the real world; it is not

(160) a part of an objective rational reality. On the contrary, in order to be incorporated into it, objects must be taken out of all pre-existing complexes, rational or not, to which they belong; all their pre-existing connections must be ignored except those by which they are fit to become the elements of the actual dynamic organization, and which ones among their connections may be thus utilized for the present purpose can be discovered only by actually reproducing them. We must therefore, in studying the actual dynamic organization of objects, carefully avoid the error of ascribing to it such characters as only ready systems can possess.

Thus, first of all, it must be realized that, though the actually established organization of objects implies intentionality, it does not imply finality. The latter develops indeed by degrees, and we shall follow its development; but it develops on the ground of the former under certain special conditions. All we mean by calling a certain activity intentional is that it makes such a selection among the objects which are its object-matter and gives to the selected objects such modifications as to have these modifications combine in producing a new object, which, in the measure it is produced, takes its place in the set of the selected objects as part of the same sphere of reality. But this does not imply yet the existence of a conscious aim; that is, the determination in advance of the object which is going to be produced. The conception of the aim has arisen on the ground of the dualism of object and subject, of real things and subjective unreal representations. The aim is taken as the future real thing represented before being realized, and activity is conceived as the realization of this unreal representation, so that the aim is supposed to be ready before activity begins and to determine the latter. In fact, however, at the moment when the aim is "represented," activity has been already going on for some time and this "representation" is its result in so far as achieved at that moment; the further realization of this representation

(161) is the continuation of the same activity, its second part which would be impossible if it had not been preceded by the first part.

We shall see later in detail why and how does the continuous empirical activity become thus divided into two parts, and how the first part, the creation of the "representation," becomes qualified as "subjective," "unreal," and not belonging to the activity proper. The general reason for this division lies in the very progress of practical organization of concrete reality, and the division is justified from the standpoint of practice and of science in so far as subservient to practice; but this division can be understood only if taken on the more primary ground of concrete empirical reality and thought. 'From this more fundamental standpoint, it is clear that although the "represented" aim has less realness than the "realized" aim, the difference is only one of degree. Only nothingness is unreal. The active development by which the aim becomes defined and its content and meaning partly determined, is in its nature, even if not always to the same degree, a development as creative as the further realization of this aim by which it will become a material or social object. Some reality is produced which was not there before; but it is produced step by step, from non-existence to the less real existence of the "representation," from that to the more real existence of a materialized technical product, of an accomplished work of art, of an established social institution, etc. We may divide, practically or theoretically, this production into sections and the division may be very real, but there always remains a continuous undercurrent uniting the separated sections. Fundamentally, in view of this essential continuity of the action, the "represented" product is the same concrete object as the fully realized product, only taken at a lower stage of its realization. The picture which the artist has drawn in his imagination and the picture which afterward appears upon the canvas are one and the same picture; the

(162) conception of a political institution germinating in the consciousness of a statesman and the ready political institution realized in the state are objectively one and the same historical object, the political institution at different stages of its becoming.

Thus, to say that the future result can be in some way given before being realized is from the standpoint of concrete reality equivalent to the proposition that something can exist before existing. The future result is given only in the very measure in which it is realized. The aim cannot pre-exist in consciousness at a moment when it has not yet begun to be realized, for its appearance in consciousness is precisely a part of its realization. The provisional determination of the content and meaning of the aim to be attained is already a partial attainment of this aim, for this attainment from the beginning to the end is precisely nothing else but a progressive determination of the content and meaning of the new object. If the future object is at a certain moment represented by analogy with some pre-existing, formerly experienced object, this means that this pre-existing object with some of its content and meaning is introduced into the actually constructed organization as a material for the creation of the new object; that the content and meaning of the latter are by this very introduction determined in certain respects on the ground of pre-existing reality and are already in some measure realized. The determination is not definitive; we do not know yet what use subsequent acts will make of this material, precisely because the mere introduction of some pre-existing object as a model for the new object is not enough to determine the whole content and meaning of the latter; it gives only a provisional and partial determination, which will become definitive and complete only after a more or less long, series of creative acts, and only the totality of these acts will determine the new object as more or less similar or dissimilar to the preexisting object taken as a model; that is, as material which,

(163) together with many other materials, will contribute to make the new object.

Another serious mistake which must be avoided in characterizing the practical organization of objects in actuality is stating the problem in terms of an ideal or real adaptation between the active being and the pre-exiting reality. The conception of ideal adaptation is inherent in the current belief that the active subject consciously selects in advance, from among pre-existing objects, those which, by their nature as determined independently of the present activity, are apt in themselves to be the means for the realization of the end which, though set freely, must be set so as to be attainable with such means as reality puts at the subject's disposal. The theory of real adaptation treats activity as causally determined by the given conditions, objective and subjective; the organization of objects in activity is a product of the reciprocal adaptation between the subjective and objective conditions, the individual and his environment.

Each of these conceptions is based on a misunderstanding. If we take the active being in the idealistic sense as the conscious subject, the source or the synthetic unity of actions, then it does not adapt itself to any reality; nor does it adapt any reality to itself, because it is the very activity which takes the existing reality for its object-matter, and the concept of adaptation cannot be applied at all to the relation between activity and its object-matter. By taking reality as its object-matter, the active subject modifies it, and if in a certain case a certain object appears in his present activity with the character of an end and other objects with the characters of means, it is because by modifying them he has actively given both these characters to the respective objects simultaneously and with reference to each other, because by determining an object as something which actually is being reached by him with certain means he has made it an end, and by determining, vice versa, some objects as something with the help of which

(164) a certain end is being actually reached by him, he has made them means. We cannot speak even of an adaptation of both the end and means to the pre-existing rational organization of reality. For, if we take the standpoint of the total empirical reality, the determination of an end and of the means for its attainment is simply an addition made to this reality, a creation of some new contents and meanings, not an adaptation to anything. If, on the other hand, we take into consideration the specific organization which is expressed in the subordination of means to the end and the combination of the means, this order is not a result of any adaptation to the pre-existing organization of reality, for it is, on the contrary, a creation of a new organization outside and in some measure in spite of the pre-existing one. Objects are not ends or means before being used as such actually. We shall see later under what special circumstances activity does create an approximately teleological systematic organization, an ideal combination of definite means for the attainment of a definite end; but whenever it does this, it must first of all isolate objects from the rest of reality; it must ignore the systems in which they participate so as to incorporate them into the new actual system.

If we pass now to the modern realistic concept of adaptation, it is clear that the active individual as biological or psychological being may be distinguished by the observer from his material or social environment when we take him merely as element of a reality given to our scientific reflection. But for "his own" activity, that is, for the activity which has its source in his actuality, "he," his body or his social personality, is a part of the reality given to his active thought as an object-matter. He does not adapt his body or his social personality to his environment or his environment to them, because his body or his social personality—or, snore exactly, certain parts of his body or of his social personality—are for the present activity elements of the system which this activity

(165) organizes, and of which other elements are drawn from among the material objects surrounding his body or the social values constituting the cultural reality of his group. The practical significance which all these objects, the individual's own person included, have for his activity as pre-existing conditions, as possible object-matter of his active thought, does not depend on what they are assumed to be by the scientific observer who takes them as elements of an absolute, objective, rational reality, but on what they empirically are for the acting individual himself to whom they are given as components of that section of the concrete historical world which constitutes this individual's particular sphere of reality. The practical significance which these objects assume when already used by present activity depends on the latter, which thus, far from being determined by the pre-existing conditions, either as reconstructed by the observing scientist or as given to the individual himself, determines itself these conditions in its own particular way, ignores most of them, and shapes those which it has selected as its object-matter into a new systematic organization.

There is indeed adaptation in intentional activity, but it is not adaptation between the active being and reality, only between pre-existing reality and the new object which is being created. On the one hand, the new object must be adapted to the pre-existing reality in order to become real itself; since there is no absolute creation possible, since every creation needs some material, the new must adapt itself to the conditions imposed by the old in the measure inversely proportionate to the creative power and originality of the activity which produces it. On the other hand, the pre-existing reality must be adapted to the new object in order to be able to include the latter; since every activity is relatively creative, brings something new, the old must adapt itself to the new in a measure directly proportionate to the creative power and originality of the activity which modifies it. In unorganized

(166) creation this reciprocal adaptation becomes immediately realized by each act, since each act is independent and does not have to combine with others; in organized activity, reciprocal adaptation between the old and the new becomes a complicated task whose importance grows with the importance of the total modification of empirical reality which has to be realized by one organization of co-operating acts.

But the task is not imposed upon activity from the outside and in advance; it is undertaken and fulfilled by activity itself and within its own limits. The measure and the manner in which the new object has to be adapted to pre-existing reality depends on the choice which we have already made among pre-existing objects in order to determine the content and meaning of the new object from the standpoint of past experience; the measure and the manner in which pre-existing reality has to be adapted to the new object depends on the content and meaning which we have already given to the latter. The task is undertaken and fulfilled gradually and continuously in the very course of activity.

Every new determination of the new object with the help of that set of pre-existing objects which we have already selected from the concrete empirical reality as the particular field of our action forces us to modify this field, to introduce some more objects into it and to establish some new connections; and this modification of the already given field of action forces us to determine in some new way our new object. The latter is a dynamic, gradually constructed center of a dynamic, gradually effected, partial systematization of preexisting reality, a center whose own determination in content and meaning continually increases with the growth of the sphere organized around it and which reciprocally, with the growth of its own determination, becomes more and more important as a basis for the selection and determination of the objects constituting this sphere. Whether this systematiza-

(167) -tion of pre-existing reality constitutes an important new addition to the rational organization which already existed within the historical world before the action started, or whether it only reproduces with slight variations a fragment of this organization, depends on the relative concrete novelty of the object which is being created; and vice versa, the degree of novelty of the new object when viewed from the standpoint of the total historical reality depends on the degree of novelty of the organization of old objects developed during its creation. The ultimate reason of the relative novelty of both is the relative originality of the action.

Examples of such a gradual reciprocal adaptation between the old and the new are particularly clear in all those activities in which the creative effort is not chiefly concentrated in the first, inventive and organizing, part of the action, as it is in certain industrial activities, but has to be continued up to the end. Thus, a social reformer who wants to create a new institution must continually adapt the content and meaning of this institution to the existing social reality, and continually modify social reality in adaptation to the institution as already formed. The institution becomes the center around which and with regard to which he organizes social objects as they gradually become utilized for the realization of his intention. In the beginning the new social value is mostly determined in its content from the standpoint of the meaning given in the course of this activity to certain pre-existing social values: it has to satisfy certain needs which the social reformer has observed in society; it has to be similar to or different from certain other institutions which he knows; it has to possess certain characters which make it realizable with the help or in spite of the hindrance of some existing beliefs, laws, customs, traditions, economic values, social personalities, etc. Gradually, as the content of the new institution becomes realized, it imposes more and more definite demands on the pre-existing reality; the social reformer, in order to give the

(168) new value its full social meaning, has to modify the content of other social values, arouse new needs in society, supplementing those which the institution was at first meant to satisfy, modify in some measure old beliefs, customs, traditions, and laws, raise funds, publish articles, obtain the cooperation of influential personalities, train social workers, etc. Similarly, for a literary man who writes a novel, the novel becomes both an expression of reality and a basis of reinterpretation of reality. In the beginning it is mostly the content of the novel which is determined on the ground of the observations which the writer selects and to which he gives an aesthetic meaning as material for his work; in the measure that the new content grows in concreteness, it acquires in turn an aesthetic meaning by forcing the writer and later his readers to look upon reality in a new way, to see in it such contents as nobody saw before.

The difference which we find in the foregoing examples between a first period of activity during which the content of the new object is determined to fit pre-existing objects and a second period in which the content of pre-existing objects is modified to fit the new object, evidently does not mean that the new is at first exclusively adapted to the old, and afterward the old exclusively adapted to the new. For when, in the first period, old objects are given new meanings by being used to create the content of the new object, this is already a modification of pre-existing reality just as much as if these old objects were given new contents; and when, in the second period, the new object is given a new meaning by having the content of old objects modified for its sake, this is still a continuation of the creative activity as important for the new object as a determination of its content. The fact is that in every creation of a new object a determination of content must always precede a corresponding determination of meaning, since meaning cannot exist without content; and the more complex and rationally organized empirical activity becomes,

(169) the more it tends to separate these two tasks, to create first the whole content of the new object and afterward only to realize it as an object in giving it a meaning with reference to other pre-existing objects. The separation is never complete; from the very beginning the new object acquires some meaning and up to the end its content continues to grow. And yet, though the difference between the first period and the second is only a matter of degree, there is a relative prevalence of the creation of content in the first and of the creation of meaning in the second period; and, although the gradation between these periods is continuous, this difference may lead to a partial but distinct division under the influence of a factor which we shall investigate at once. In so far as the division is performed, activity assumes the subjectively finalistic character which originally it did not possess. The first period, that during which the content of the new historical object is created, is then characterized as the determination of an aim; the second period, when this content acquires reality with reference to pre-existing objects, is the realization of this aim.


The factor which leads to this distinction between the determination of an aim and the realization of this aim is the use of instruments.

We remember that the power of direct creation which an individual act of thought possesses by itself with regard to those historical objects whose content and meaning have been developed and fixed by innumerable past activities, is very limited. The modification which an act by its own creative influence alone can introduce into an old and rich reality is relatively small; it may indeed modify in a marked way that particular variation of a historical object which is given to the individual in his actual sphere of reality, but since this variation itself is only an insignificant part of the total content and meaning of this object, which extends over many individual

(170) here's and lasts through many individual now's, the modification will be almost lost in the total evolution of the concrete historical object. There are indeed objects which are less real and with regard to which the direct creative power of the act manifests itself more clearly. Such are, for instance, new intellectual and aesthetic objects. But even there the individual cannot give to the product of his act the full degree of realness which other, already existing objects of this kind possess without at least the help of words, spoken or written, or some other sensual symbols.

The instrument is an object which permits us to overcome this limitation. Its essential rôle is to intensify the degree of realness of the modification which active thought produces by putting at the disposal of the latter the accumulated results of innumerable past activities; it is an object intermediary between thought and other objects. This rôle would be impossible if it were not for two characters of the empirical world: first, that the concrete object has both content and meaning and its content is the product of activities different from those which produce its meaning, it is the expression of different connections; secondly, that the world of objects is not an absolute reality, that objects and connections are not all on the same level, but present innumerable gradations as to their realness, all the way from a momentary personal "illusion" to the oldest and most fixed "material thing." Thanks to the first character of the object, a modification of the content of an object may prepare the ground for a completely different modification of its meaning by which the content of another object will be affected, and thus the first object may become the medium of an indirect influence upon other objects. As a result of the second character of the empirical world of historical objects, the content of an object may be not only the expression of different connections, but of connections less real than its meaning; it may possess a smaller degree of realness, so that a relatively small and there-

(171) -fore easy modification of the former may open the way for a modification of the latter, which is much more important from the standpoint of the historical reality in general, has a wide influence upon other objects, and thus helps produce at once some deep and very real modification in the content of these other objects. An activity which uses instruments can reach a more real effect with less creative power than if it had no instrument at its disposal, for it profits by the fact of the coexistence in the instrument of a relatively easily modifiable content with a highly extensive and fixed meaning, and it thus obtains, by using the modification of the former as a basis for the modification of the latter, an increase of the realness of its results. Moreover, it can use a whole series of instruments so arranged that a relatively smaller modification of each preceding instrument leads to a more important modification of each succeeding instrument, and the degree of realness of the modifications thus produced may grow indefinitely from the minimum found in a modification of the present personal "image of an object" up to the widest and most important material or social changes.

Examples illustrating this effect of instruments of various degrees of complexity are easily found in all spheres of activity. Take, for instance, a political institution. Its content is constituted by a small number of social personalities whose political character is defined by the constitution; its meaning consists in all its national prestige and legal influence, in the suggestion of all the acts performed by all the members of the nation in accordance with the demands which the institution puts upon them. By influencing this small group of political personalities, we can give to a social act which we want to perform the whole social realness of the institution as real background and produce through its intermediary an effect upon the social and political life of the country greater than the effect which we could produce by acting on the social group directly, in the very proportion in which it is easier to

(172) influence a few political leaders than to change the meaning which the political institution has in the eyes of the nation.

The human body is a system of instruments—central and peripheral nervous systems, muscles, bones, etc. — which by a series of gradations increase the real efficiency of active thought from the minimum of an actual connection of personal data to the high degree of a material movement. Systems, somewhat different in their construction and starting at the point where the organic system ends, that is, with an act manifested by a movement of the body, are found in technique where a proper synthesis of a series of instruments permits us to put a train into motion or to light thousands of street lamps by merely pressing an electric button with a finger. Here we see with particular clearness how an insignificant and therefore not very real modification of an instrument, because of an agglomeration of results, leads to a modification possessing an incomparably higher degree of realness. Different again in its secondary characters but similar in its essential significance is the part played by the mathematical symbol in which the idea of some physical law is formulated; the concept of the law, by being symbolically expressed, exercises through the intermediacy of its formula an influence upon the entire system of physics which its creator could never give it directly by acts of theoretic thought alone.

In interpreting these examples on the ground of concrete experience, we must, of course, put provisionally aside all the explanations which the sociologist, the biologist, the physicist, the logician, may give from the standpoint of his conception of reality about the way in which the instrument acts. Thus, from the physical standpoint there is no growth of reality occurring between the pressure of a button and the movement of a train or the appearance of street lights in a city; there is only a process of transformation of energy started by the pressure, during which the total quantity of energy in the world

(173) remains the same. But this explanation is already the product of a long evolution, first of practical systems, secondly of systems of theoretic ideas drawn from the practically systematized reality. The rejection of creation is the essential principle of physical explanations, whereas creative growth is the essential feature of the empirical world. From the standpoint of present empirical activity, the modification produced in the instrument with the help of a movement of the human body is incomparably less real than the modification produced in other objects with the help of this instrument, and a naïve observer who does not yet know anything about the principle of conservation of energy and is not accustomed to see such an accumulation of results will invariably express his astonishment at this accumulation in searching for more original activity than that actually performed. In fact, within the limits of the present action the instrument cannot possibly be defined as a mere medium transferring modifications; it must be conceived as increasing the realness of the modification.

Even physical science cannot deny that it does perform this role, only it tries to explain it away by assuming that the accumulation of reality noticeable between the beginning and the end of the instrumental action is due to the fact that action draws into the system of objects which it uses to attain its result some pre-existing real power stored in the outside world, which is interpreted as utilizing ready energy. But this presupposes that activity finds its means ready in pre-existing reality which, as we have seen in the preceding section, is false. "Utilizing the energy" of an outside object is precisely using this object already as instrument within the action to obtain an increase of reality. The object has acquired the character of an instrument only by being incorporated into a dynamic practical organization of objects; it is not used as instrument because it possesses utilizable energy but is characterized as possessing utilizable energy because it can be used as instrument.


Another scientific assumption concerning the instrument must be also excluded from the fundamental empirical definition of the latter: it is the principle that the modification produced in the instrument must be of the same order as the modification produced with its help in other objects; that to produce physical change with the instrument it is absolutely and always necessary to act physically upon the instrument; that a social effect must have necessarily a social cause (Durkheim) ; that an influence which is psychological in its consequences must be psychological in its nature; that scientific ideas can be affected only by logical reasoning, etc. As a matter of fact, the modification produced with the help of the instrument is always different from that produced in the instrument, since it is based on different connections. The range of the differences is quite indefinitely wide. Empirically, the pressure of a button is probably as much different from the appearance of electric light as is the "desire to walk" from walking, or the plan of battle constructed by a general from the attack performed by his soldiers, or the modification of symbols in a mathematical formula from the modification of scientific ideas to which it indirectly leads.

In concrete experience objects are not absolutely divided into physical and psychical, social and ideal. This division of reality into different orders is a product of rational systematization, and we shall study it presently. But it is only superimposed upon concrete reality; it only partially determines concrete objects; any concrete object can belong to all these orders. Since from the standpoint of concrete experience the modification of an instrument may be indefinitely different from the modification of another object which, is produced with the help of this instrument, it is contrary to all fundamental characters of empirical reality to assume that an action may not, by using instruments, pass from one order Of reality t0 another. The consequence of this assumption is well known: it is the introduction of impassable gulfs between the "physi-

(175) -cal" and the "psychical," between either the physical or the psychical and the " social," between the physical, the psychical or the social, and the "ideal" domain. But activity crosses these gulfs all the time and this fact can be understood only if we realize that it is precisely the instrument which permits it to do so, because every instrument as real object is real in several domains at once. Thus, the influence exercised by the psychical upon the physical and vice versa is possible only because our oldest and primary instrument, our body, is originally, as a part of concrete reality, neither psychical nor physical, and thus can become in a rationalized reality a part of both the psychical and the physical orders and serve as intermediary to any activity which passes from one of these orders to the other. The influence of the physical or psychical upon the social, and reciprocally also, presupposes that the chief instruments of all social activities—other human personalities—are originally neither physical nor psychical nor social, but can belong to all three orders by various connections and thus an activity which uses them can pass freely from the social order into the physical or psychical order or vice versa. Finally, the influence which physical, psychical, social activities have upon the order of theoretic ideas and vice versa is possible only because the primary instrument of theoretic activities—the symbol—is neither physical nor psychical nor social nor ideal originally, but can by its various sides belong to any one of these orders and thus serves as intermediary between the ideal and the social, the psychical, or the physical creation.

Before we pass to the investigation of the part played by the instrument in the practical rationalization of reality, we must take into consideration the point that the use of an instrument is not determined in advance by its concrete nature alone. There is, as we know, no rational connection whatever between the content of an object and its meaning, and no way of telling in advance how its meaning will

(176) be affected by a certain modification of its content. Two instruments, or the same instrument at different moments, may lead to completely different results when directly modified in a similar way, and, on the contrary, may lead to similar results while being modified each in a different way. It must be realized also that a modification of the content of an instrument does not bring automatically any modification in those objects upon which we want to act through this instrument; it only creates in the instrument a basis for a new act which on account of this basis will be able to produce a more important modification in some other object than it could do without it. We shall see later under what special circumstances a causal sequence of changes develops, so that a change of one object leads to a change in another object without—or, more exactly, almost without—the help of a new act. But this is not the original condition. The introduction of an instrument does not diminish the amount of activity; on the contrary, where only one act was necessary, the instrument requires two at least; only it increases the importance of the results in a much higher proportion. Once introduced the instrument may be perfected, and it is this perfecting which has the effect of diminishing the amount of activity necessary to have the instrument work. Originally activity must rationalize the instrument along with the rationalization of the reality for which the instrument has to serve. It must establish a fixed correspondence between a certain change of the content and a certain change of the meaning of the instrument by determining both of them with reference to each other; it must direct the change of the meaning by turning the instrument to a specific use, by taking it as intermediary for the production of specific changes in specific objects; in a word, it must make it a definite instrument by introducing it, together with other objects, into the dynamic organization constructed for the creation of a new object.


There is one fundamental difference between the instrument and all other objects which activity uses in organized creation. While active thought is perfectly free in dealing with any empirical objects, can give them any determination, and connect them in any way whatever, its possibilities become limited when it begins to use instruments. It puts upon the instrument a demand whose realization no longer depends on actual thought alone, but on the pre-existing real nature of the instrument, for it is a demand to have certain specific characteristics of a real object, the agglomerated results of past creation, help actual thought produce at once new results which would require otherwise a series of innumerable acts lasting for a very long period of time. It is clear that only a few objects possess the required characteristics; the higher the demand which thought here puts upon reality, the more difficult its satisfaction and the more limited the possibilities of the activity which has made its results dependent upon this satisfaction.

Thus, in the organized plurality of acts producing a certain new object, there is a marked difference between acts which use instruments and those which do not. The latter, though some are more original and others more influenced by the past, are nevertheless entirely free; they may select any objects as ground for the construction of the new object and establish between them any connections whatever; each following act is only required to co-operate with the preceding acts so as to reach a common result; but neither the result nor the manner of this co-operation is in any way determined in advance or conditioned by pre-existing reality. Whereas the acts which use instruments to attain their results become bound by their own claims. They are not bound absolutely, for the use of the instrument is, as we have just seen, not absolutely determined in advance and a certain range of possibilities left; but this range is no longer unlimited. An instrumental act is also required only to co-operate with other acts in producing

(178) a common result; but the nature of this result and the way in which it shall be reached are in some measure at least conditioned by the pre-existing nature of the instrument. A given instrument can reach a certain result only with a limited variety of material, and, having at its disposal a given kind of material, it can reach only a limited variety of results. And vice versa, if we want to realize by instrumental activity a certain result on the ground of a given material, we must use a certain specific variety of instruments. The partial result obtained by one act with the help of a certain instrument and on the ground of certain materials imposes a definite condition on other acts which can co-operate with it only if they supplement it and do not destroy its work. Thus, with every step, even that range of possibilities which each instrumental act originally possesses when performed independently of other similar acts, becomes more and more narrowed, until finally toward the end of a complicated instrumental action, everything, materials, instruments, and results, is quite unconditionally determined.

This differentiation between non-instrumental and instrumental acts largely coincides with that between acts constructing the content of the new object and those which give it a meaning with reference to other objects by modifying the content of the latter. Though the content of the new object becomes in some measure enriched even by acts whose chief intention is merely to make this object, with its content once given, fully real by incorporating it with the help of instruments into pre-existing reality, still it is possible to construct most of this content without the help of instruments. Thus, the content of the new piece of furniture which the carpenter makes acquires some additional characters in the course of these acts which, without trying to determine its shape, color, size, etc., tend only to materialize physically the determination reached before. We can in a large measure "represent" what a house which we want looks like before having started to

(179) build it, we can outline mentally the organization of an institution and make the choice of its leaders without having yet tried to realize it socially, we can imagine the content of an emotion before having produced the conditions which will make it psychologically real, etc. On the other hand, though the meaning which we give to this content by connecting it mentally with pre-existing objects, by representing the house built in a certain place with certain materials and tools and by certain workers, by reflecting how the institution can be socially realized in the existing social, political, economic conditions, is already a beginning of its realization, still this realization can be fully achieved only by producing such real modifications in pre-existing objects as actual thought cannot create directly by the mere power of its acts, and therefore most of the activities by which the meaning of the new object is created and this object incorporated into pre-existing reality as a part of it are instrumental activities. Thus a difference of nature is superimposed upon the difference of degree which distinguished the two periods of organized activity: creation of the new content and its realization in the objective world.

The separation of these two periods becomes deepened with every repeated use of the same instruments which fixes the practical significance of each of them and determines more and more definitely the ways in which their influences can be combined so as to reach a common result. Of course, their repetition is not absolute. The efficiency of an instrument depends on the stability of that old and fixed meaning on which its use is based, and this meaning has to be modified in some measure every time the instrument is actually utilized since this is precisely how new results can be produced with its help. Every given instrument must therefore gradually lose this original meaning; it becomes used up, destroyed. But the new and ,,pecitic meaning which it has acquired in the course of the very activity which has been using it as an instrument, the meaning of being a certain particular instrument

(180) with which definite results can be obtained, may become attached to other similar objects—a phenomenon which is particularly clear in the case when many copies of an artificial instrument are especially made with the help of other instruments, but which is found also when a certain class of natural objects, such as stones for example, on the ground of their similarity become permanently qualified as instruments to be used for certain purposes. However fixed may become a certain way of using an instrument, other ways are of course always possible. A technical tool may serve in emergency as a weapon; a weapon, as a technical tool. But when a certain kind of practical activity requires a combination of several instruments, with the growing fixation of the use of each of them, the number of possible combinations may become very small. When thus, into a certain dynamic system several definite instruments are introduced, the further development of this system becomes at once very limited; the content of the new object which can be realized by this combination of instruments, the nature of the old objects which will serve as material for this realization, are no longer left to the free determination of active thought but are settled with reference to the possibilities of realization implied by the choice of the instruments.

The status of the dynamic practical organization of objects at the moment when instruments have been chosen, the realizable content of the new object settled, and the ground upon which its realization will go on defined with reference to the given combination of instruments is what we call the situation. The situation separates the period during which the content of the new object is constructed from that which is filled chiefly by the realization of this content; it corresponds more or less exactly to that stage when activity ceases to be limited to the sphere of experience of the agent and by beginning to use instruments enters at once into the full objective reality. All the elements of the practical system are, or are supposed to be,

(181) already there and interconnected, but the more difficult part of activity, that in which the latter makes itself dependent on reality, is still to be performed. Only because all the objects necessary for this part of activity are supposed to have been already selected, already incorporated into the practical organization, the many partial practical problems concerning the adaptation of the old to the new which activity was to put and solve in succession during its second period, are now put all at once with reference to one another and constitute one complex problem: how to realize this definite new content with these definite instruments and materials which are actually at our disposal. The whole subsequent activity is expected to give the solution of this problem.

The situation is thus both personal—" mental," and supra-personal—physical, social, objectively psychological, ideal. It is the product of non-instrumental acts of thought selecting and connecting pre-existing objects and creating the content of the new object, and at the same time it is the foundation of instrumental acts which will use these selected and connected pre-existing objects and construct the meaning of the new object. Because the complex problem facing activity in the given situation appears essentially as a problem of realization, from the standpoint of this problem a natural distinction develops. All those elements of the situation which are given as real ground for the solution of the problem, first of all the instruments and materials whose pre-existing realness is expected to serve as a basis for the task of realization which activity is going to undertake, appear as real and supra-personal pay excellence; the fact that they had to be selected out of the whole concrete reality and especially determined for the present use by active thought is ignored as irrelevant for the problem of realization as already defined. On the other hand, those elements whose complete realization is expected to come only as the result of instrumental activity, first of all the new object, are treated as still unreal and sub-

(182) -jective; the fact that they have been realized in some measure by active thought while the situation was constructed and that there would be no situation at all without this partial realization, does not count from the standpoint of the actual problem, since it is precisely the insufficiency of this realization which calls for instrumental activity. We have thus a distinction and .opposition appearing on the ground of the situation: objective reality, constituted fundamentally by the instruments and the materials as determined with regard to the instruments, is opposed to subjective representation, whose nucleus is the content of the new object. In so far, however, as the realization of this representation is precisely the expected solution of the actual problem from the standpoint of which the distinction is made, the representation appears as a future reality to be brought into existence by action, as the aim imposed upon instrumental activity.

From this standpoint of the problem involved in the situation, which is the usual standpoint taken by commonsense reflection about activity, it does not matter at all how the situation has been reached. The whole first period of activity, creation of the aim and organization of the situation, is left outside; the situation, which is both a result and a starting-point, is taken only as a starting-point, is defined exclusively with regard to the future, not with regard to the past. Its imperfectly realized elements being excluded as subjective, its fully real elements, those which will constitute a basis for the solution of the problem, acquire a type of rational determination which in its essential characters becomes the most important constitutive part of our commonsense view of reality and if not the only, at least the primary, real foundation of our scientific conceptions.

It is evident on the ground of the preceding discussion that the more definitively is the organization of the situation conditioned by the nature of the instruments and of the materials upon which these instruments are going to be used, the less

(183) are these instruments and materials and their connections dependent upon the present course of experience and reflection. The whole situation at the moment when it is ready and is going to be solved appears as self-existing and self-determined, with all its objects objectively present at once and all their connections settled. Since for the co-operation of instrumental activities which are to realize the given aim it is indispensable that the character of every object, instrument or material be fixed with reference to all other objects, the determination of the objects in the situation is completely reciprocal and, the situation being ready, simultaneous. Under these circumstances, the way in which objects and their connections are given is quite different from what it is in the course of the development of activity. The object, when introduced into the dynamic actual organization which activity produces step by step, becomes indeed determined in its content specifically with reference to all other objects with which it serves to realize a common result, but as this determination is gradually achieved in the course of activity, the evolution which the content undergoes appears as an actual, more or less intentional, modification by which a certain side of the content is pushed forward, experienced more and more consciously, whereas other sides are neglected, drop into the background. For instance, when a painter begins to paint a landscape, each of the objects included in this landscape acquires its aesthetic significance step by step in the very course of the artist's activity, and it is a special and usually consciously fulfilled task of the artist to bring forward such features only as will permit it to contribute in combination with other, also selectively determined, objects to the production of a harmonious aesthetic work of a certain style. This analysis of the content, this distinction of those particular characters which are important from the standpoint of the practical system, appears as achieved when the situation is settled. These particular characters, which in concrete

(184) experience were rather one-sided determinations of the content as a whole than distinct components of the content, which were merely different, more or less special aspects which the concrete object was given in different connections, now in a definitely fixed situation become separate constituent parts of the content, properties of the object. The more definite the situation is, the more the objects included in it lose within its limits that indefinite and evolving complexity of content which belongs to concrete historical reality, and become, of course, only within the limits of the situation, stabilized things with a limited number and variety of uniformly determined properties which are objectively inherent in them and exhaust the reality of the things as elements of this situation.

A similar evolution is undergone by the connections between the objects included in the situation. During the actual dynamic organization of a practical system, of all the possible connections which the meaning of an object suggests, a few acquire a predominant importance. They are those which have to be modified for the present purpose. Certain suggestions become analyzed out of the complex meaning of the object. But this analysis is active and conscious; the connections become isolated in the course of the very acts which are using them. Thus, in pursuing the realization of a new social value, out of the whole complexity of connections existing between the personalities and the institutions which we are using, we pay no attention to most and take only those which we need; we qualify the total social meaning of these personalities and institutions in a special way for the present purpose. This analysis, which is still rather a qualification of the total meaning of the given object than a clear separation of isolated connections from others, appears as pushed to the end in a situation. Here the meaning of each object is reduced to a definite number of specific suggested connections and the rest is left out of the situation; and in the very measure in which the situation is ready and objective, these

(185) connections no longer seem dependent on actuality. Being the only ones possible within the limits of the situation and, from the standpoint of the practical problem, each of them fully determined, they appear as rooted in the reality itself, as existing in fact between the objects, as completely real conditions which active thought has simply to accept. A connection which is supposed to exist fully between the objects and does not need to be reproduced in actuality is a relation. Thus, in the definite situation objects no longer become interconnected but aye interrelated. The specifically determined meaning of each object by which it actually leads us to other objects has no longer the character of a suggestion for creative activity; it is no longer a meaning, but appears merely as the consciousness of the existing relation; it is a subjective possibility of recognizing a relation, not an objective possibility of reproducing a connection. For instance, the spatial arrangement of material objects which for concrete activity is a suggestion and a possibility of organic movements, of passing from one object to another, in a stabilized situation acquires the character of a system of spatial relations; the possibility of exchanging socially a value against other values, which is originally merely a suggestion of social action, in economic situations becomes an objective economic relation between these values and is symbolically expressed in their relative price.

In the situation a foundation is thus laid for this rational determination of reality which the Aristotelian logic assumesthing, property (quality, quantity, or state), and relation being the three fundamental categories to which the Aristotelian ten categories can be reduced. The particular form which this determination assumes with regard to various objects depends on the character of the situation, on the nature of the instrument, materials, and aim. The things may be physical bodies with physical properties and relations, or social personalities with political properties and relations, or

(186) economically determined values, or psychological entities (emotions, volitions, perceptions, remembrances, etc.) qualified by specific properties which make their various classifications possible and interrelated as elements of a consciousness; or they may be theoretic concepts in which the elementary ideas composing them play a part similar to that of physical properties in physical objects, and whose relations are those of subordination and subsumption, etc. We shall see later how various types of this rational determination become standardized. But their fundamental character is always the same, because it results from the general practical origin of every rational organization and from the particular conditions which organized creation imposes upon itself whenever, in order to shorten its duration and to increase its real efficiency, it makes use of instruments.

Every situation is apt to be approximately reproduced. The reproduction, unless specially aimed at and regulated, a question which we shall discuss presently, is dependent on the reappearance of similar real conditions in concrete reality, and since the latter is continually evolving, the similarity of conditions and therefore also the reproduction of the situation is always only approximate. The dynamic practical organization in which the situation, as a fixed and completely objectified status, has its origin can never spontaneously repeat itself, for either some of the objects which enter into its composition or some of the connections actually established between these objects differ from case to case; and when neither the aim nor the way to realize it are fixed in advance, any variation appearing in the course of concrete activity leads to new variations, which accumulate and grow with every step. Therefore in the activity which has perhaps preserved most of the original concrete character—in artistic creation—there is the least uniformity, as long as this activity is not subjected, like other activities, to minute technical demands connected with the use of specific and highly determined

(187) instruments. Indeed, it is the use of instruments which not only stabilizes the dynamic system into a situation, a static problem to be solved, but also increases the chances of repetition. This is, of course, again only a matter of degree. Neither does each instrument in particular remain exactly the same, nor is a given combination of instruments which necessitates a stabilized situation ever reproduced in experience without special regulative measures. It is easier to have a certain combination—one of the few possible combinationsof a limited number of instruments reappear approximately similar in concrete activity, than one of the unlimited possible combinations of an indefinite number of concrete objects which are not instruments. When once a combination of instruments is approximately reproduced, the situation reappears in its fundamental outline. There may be wide differences of detail in the content of the aim, in the selection of the materials, but the problem of realization of the aim is put in a similar way and with regard to this problem the aim and the materials undergo a similar determination.

An interesting example is furnished by the activity of nourishment. In so far as in this activity the organism, or rather certain parts of it, plays the rôle of a set of instruments, this set being very definitely fixed, every food situation is similar to all past situations; its aim, neither physical nor psychical, is the organic status of satiety; its materials are the objects which, however different from one another, are similarly determined as food. But on a certain level of hedonistic development a new type of activity evolves, in which the body is no longer a mere set of instruments for the absorption of food, but material for pleasant sensations, and food in turn becomes instrumental to the production of these sensations. The varieties of food which can be used to realize the aim of gastronomic satisfaction and the number of possible combinations of these varieties are such that for a refined gastronomer there can be no repeatable hedonistic situations;

(188) all repetition there is comes from the fact that the food as hedonistic instrument is an instrument of a secondary and derived character; its use always presupposes the use of the primary instrument, the body; the hedonistic gastronomic activity, being grafted upon the organic activity of nourishment, can develop its variety of hedonistic situations only on the uniform foundation of organic situations.

The approximate reproduction of situations has a double consequence. In so far as the repeated situations have a common organization, this organization grows in stability with every repetition, appears more and more independent of active thought, more and more objectively inherent in reality itself. At the same time the fact that the materials with which the same instruments deal vary in some measure from situation to situation and yet can be determined every time in a similar way, that, in other words, the organization of the situation can be extended to new objects, makes this organization appear as not limited to the actually given set of objects, but as indefinitely applicable to a vague class of future experiences. It should be remembered that actuality never limits itself to the present and given, whatever this present and given may be; that actual thought transcends actual experience and prepares other experiences. At every step, objective reality proves dependent on actual thought. It was dependent on it both for the character of its concrete objects and their trans-actual extension and duration; similarly, it is actual thought which constructs the elementary rational systematization of objects and then extends this systematization beyond the actual limited system. Since this system itself, once constructed, appears as independent of active thought, this tendency of actual thought to apply the organization of the situation to new objects has no longer the character of a tendency to create, but of a tendency to find, certain objects and connections. Once let it be assumed that the determination of objects in the situation is fully real and self-existing and it results that the introduction of a new object into the situa-

(189) -tion seems dependent not merely on the possibility of actually determining this object in a similar way, but on the objective possession of such a determination by the object itself. For instance, when the painter thinks of painting a landscape somewhat different from those he has painted before, his problem is chiefly one of creating, not of finding; he does not ask himself: "Are these new objects fit to be painted?" but "Can I give these new objects as my models an aesthetic meaning ? " On the contrary, when a handworker is going to use a new material to produce a technical object, his problem is chiefly, if not exclusively, one of finding and must be formulated: "Is this material fit for the production of an object of the desired kind with the given kind of instruments?"

But such an extension of the systematic organization produced in the situation to new objects makes this organization appear as applicable beyond the limits of the one actually constructed situation only in so far as it is successful, that is, as the new objects do possess the required real characters in a degree sufficient for the intended instrumental activity. In the contrary case, the situation evidently cannot be reproduced; the attempt of its reproduction is a failure. The failure can be remedied only by producing in the object the expected characters practically, that is, by making from it a different object. Since the required object must possess a degree of realness fitting it to be an element of an instrumental situation, it can be itself created only with the help of instruments; and since its required character is determined in advance, a new situation must be constructed on the ground of which the production of the required character will be at least approximately assured. This is a practical problem which leads to a further step in the rational organization of reality.


The question of failure and success in the sense in which it is commonly understood, that is, as failure or success in attaining a certain result by actually performed acts, does not

(190) exist in non-organized activity, in which each act, being independent, bears the standard of its success in itself, is always successful when performed and because performed. In organized concrete activity, in so far as it is continuous and not divided by a situation into a period of setting and a period of realizing the aim, there is already an alternative of failure or success in performing an act, because the results of this act are intended to be such as will co-operate with the results of other acts in creating a new object. But as neither the latter, nor the conditions in which it has to be created, is determined in advance but becomes determined in the very course of activity, the standard of success changes with every act, for every act by bringing something new to the determination of the content or meaning of the new object and correspondingly to the meaning or content of pre-existing objects, modifies the total result with which the results of the following acts are expected to harmonize. Moreover, the possibility of failure or success does not precede the actual course of creation but appears and develops during it. The standards of success are produced by activity itself and, while changing in nature, grow in definiteness together with the growing determination of the new object and of the ground upon which it is created.

The creation of a work of art shows this very distinctly. For instance, when a novelist has only begun to reflect about his subject, there is very little limitation imposed upon his following acts; it is already clear that those acts will have to be of a certain general type, acts of aesthetic idealization whose results are to be expressed in words; but within this wide field almost any act is permitted, for preceding activity has not yet produced anything definite that would impose upon the following acts clear conditions with which they have to count. But in the measure in which the content of the work and the domain of human life from which its materials are drawn become determined, the range of liberty left for each

(191) subsequent act decreases; the standards of success become more definite. The introduction of some aesthetic element weakening the unity of the work in so far as already produced is a failure in so far as it is not in accordance with the claim inherent in every intentional activity, that of having all the acts of a series co-operate in producing a common result. Failure and success are not yet definitely opposed; there is between them only a difference of degree. For every new act in so far as original and spontaneous has an influence on the total result of preceding acts and modifies it in some, however slight, measure. The question is only whether the new object has already so much unity and definiteness that it excludes too far-reaching modifications, can accept only a more or less definite kind of additions to its content and meaning. Certainly, the unity of the concrete historical object is, as we know, also a matter of degree; but the new object in the course and within the limits of its organized creation is not yet a concrete historical object; it is determined only with regard to the system which is being dynamically constructed for its creation, and this system, in the measure in which it progresses in definiteness, imposes on the new object growing demands of unity. Thus, there comes a moment when only very definite new acts are expected, and an act whose result does not agree with the total results of preceding acts is a failure. We could also say in this case, strictly speaking, that the whole preceding activity is a failure if judged from the standpoint of the result of the new act; but it is clear that usually it is the standpoint of the total result of preceding acts which is taken as a criterion of the success or failure of each new act and not vice versa. An artist whose work is near its fulfilment will rather reject a new aesthetic idea which does not fit into the work than the work itself; he will prefer to perform one new act instead of that which failed to harmonize with the preceding ones rather than reconstruct the entire organization and reshape his whole work,

(192) giving thus a character of failure to a long series of organized acts.

When a situation is determined, the standard of success evidently becomes more definite. Since the aim is settled and the instruments and materials selected and determined, the choice of actions which can with the given instruments and materials realize the given content is relatively small. It is not, of course, absolutely limited: the situation in concrete activity is never entirely fixed; the determination of the aim in some measure evolves during its realization, and thus there is more than one possible way of solving a practical problem on the given ground. But already the situation constitutes a criterion not for each separate act alone, but for the whole combination of acts by which the problem will be solved. In so far as the activity which is meant only to realize the aim still preserves some characters of the primary concrete action, it still remains true that each particular act succeeds if its result fits with the total result of preceding acts and fails in the contrary case; but upon this original fluid standardization of particular acts is superimposed a new and more fixed standard, bearing on the whole combination of acts composing the second, realizing period of the concrete action. This total combination of acts is either a failure or a success from the standpoint of the situation. Neither failure nor success is complete: the instrumental activity always realizes something, and this something never exactly corresponds to its aim. But in the gradation of partial failures or successes the two ideal limits of complete failure or complete success are very definitely. opposed, and an action can be judged clearly in the measure in which it approaches either of these limits.

It is manifest that a particular unique situation gives us no foundation by which we can judge the success or failure of the activity which led to its formation, of the first, noninstrumental period of action. There can be no failure, no

(193) "error," in practically determining a situation, for every situation, such as it is determined, is soluble. It is always possible to realize the given aim with the given materials, for the aim has been determined in its content with regard to the conditions of its realization; it is always possible to use the given materials for the realization of the aim, for the materials have been selected and determined for the sake of this realization; and the instruments necessary are there, for it is precisely their presence in the situation which has led to this particular determination of the aim and of the materials. The situation is ready only when all this reciprocal determination has been reached; once ready, it does not matter how it has been reached.

The activity which constructs a situation becomes subjected to the criterion of success only when the situation which is being constructed has to be similar to some past situation in spite of the more or less changed circumstances. Success and failure then depend on the existence, within the sphere of reality in which the situation has to be reconstructed, of objects whose contents and connections present the characters required by the situation. If these conditions are not fulfilled, the situation cannot be reconstructed until an auxiliary action has modified reality in such a way as the situation needs. But, since this auxiliary action has to satisfy certain definite requirements as to its result, since it has to produce an object determined in advance, it can fulfil this demand of the original situation and be successful only if it can construct for itself a situation whose solution will lead to the required result, and this is possible only if it reproduces in turn an already defined situation whose solution has proved in the past to be the needed one. Thus, with regard to this auxiliary action a problem arises similar to that regarding the original action—how to reproduce a situation. Again subauxiliary actions are required, and thus the original action may necessitate a large complex of subordinate actions; the

(194) original situation becomes a center to which, directly or indirectly, many other situations converge.

It is hardly necessary to quote particular examples of such an expansion of the practical organization of reality. Every more or less complicated political activity, every business enterprise, involves a system of situations in which the main practical problem can be put and solved in accordance with past experience and reflection only by putting and solving a number of subordinate practical problems whose solution prepares the necessary materials and instruments. It is, however, clear that if this system of situations is not organized in advance, but has to be organized in the very course of activity, the result cannot be exactly the required one, for the exact reconstruction of the main situation depends on the exact reconstruction of the subordinate situations, which in turn cannot be exactly reconstructed without the help of still other situations, etc. It is not only practically impossible to follow this development too far into detail, but by attempting a too perfect result we increase the chances of failure, for the wider the field embraced by activity the more concrete changes of empirical reality it has to face, the more unexpected and new problems it must put and solve, and the more numerous its difficulties. Therefore all activity which has to construct such systems of situations spontaneously during its development must be satisfied with approximate success and be able to redefine its main aim and its main situation from moment to moment, so as to be able to meet the unexpected and undesired, to proceed in spite of the partial failures of subordinate activities. Every politician and business man knows this. The point is that the situation could be perfectly reproduced only if during its reproduction it could be practically isolated from concrete reality and made independent of concrete historical becoming. By creating auxiliary situations when needed in the course of the reproduction of the main situation, we remove indeed from case to case the chief

(195) hindrances which reality opposes at that particular moment and at that particular place to this reproduction; but since we have to extend the sphere of our activity, we open an everwider field for future new and unexpected hindrances, due to the fact that every new element which we use is a concrete historical object with innumerable dynamic connections; thus, we introduce our situation deeper and deeper into the concrete irrational reality. This difficulty is obviated by the scheme.

The scheme can be defined as a set of practical rules determining once and forever, in all its essential elements, a situation of a certain type. An exhaustive theory of the scheme requires a general theory of activity which cannot be given here. One important point must be noticed. The rules composing the scheme are evidently not external general formulae with which activity complies as a result of a selfconscious abstract reflection, but concrete, uniform, and permanent practical tendencies inherent and manifested in activity itself and spontaneously followed by the latter. Thus, the oldest, the primary schemes are instincts, with their permanent tendency and increasing ability of reconstructing fundamentally similar situations in varying circumstances, in this essentially differing from mere habits, whose uniformity is due to the recurrence of the same circumstances already schematically arranged. Of course, a rule or a scheme may be abstractly formulated; the principles which the technician learns in school, the laws as expressed by legislation and codified, are precisely such formulae of practical schemes, sometimes obtained by induction from practical situations, sometimes deduced from other already formulated principles. But the formula of the scheme is not the scheme, just as a term is not the object to which it applies. The entire reality of the scheme lies in the very fact of its actual application and is dependent on the number and variety of concrete activities which it succeeds in regulating. The formulated rules of technique or prescriptions of law are empty words unless

(196) applied in action. In fact, the mere act of "understanding" them, of applying them mentally, is already a beginning of their application; the mere thinking of a certain organization of objects is already organizing these objects. This explains how a new, abstractly formulated rule can become a real concrete rule applied in practice: its concrete technical or social use is only an extension of its mental use which has preceded its abstract formulation in words. But it needs many activities to pass from a mental application of the scheme to its full instrumental application, from situations constructed by the technician at his desk to the situations constructed in the factory with the help of human bodies and other technical instruments, from legal rules mentally applied by the legislator to these same rules applied by the judiciary and executive to concrete social situations. The auxiliary activities necessary to pass from the "planned" schematic organization to the "effected" schematic organization are a measure of the difference of realness between a mentally realized and an instrumentally realized scheme.

The way in which the scheme makes the exact reproduction of a situation possible independently of the concrete evolution of reality is by making this situation become the aim for which other instrumental activities have to co-operate. Instead of waiting to have auxiliary situations called for from case to case whenever the main situation fails to be constructed because of the lack of certain objects or connections within the given sphere of reality, which, as we have seen, leads to numerous complications and prevents the actual result from being ever identical with the expected one, we organize in advance all the auxiliary situations necessary to have our main situation appear. Each of these auxiliary situations separately does not have then to be exactly determined in advance, does not have to produce necessarily a certain unique result which would exactly fit into the ready framework of the main situation. For various auxiliary situations can co-operate

(197) in the course of their actual dynamic organization and their results, even if each of them should not be such as the main situation requires, can be step by step supplemented by others so as to realize finally together the main situation almost exactly as needed. Thus we avoid having the difficulty which we faced in reconstructing the main situation repeated for each auxiliary situation. And we can in a large measure base ourselves on whatever practical organization of reality is actually possible. If there is a possibility of obtaining by any combination of any auxiliary situations all the essential elements of our main situation, we actually do construct the latter; otherwise we do not, but may perhaps put such auxiliary situations as are actually possible to produce at the disposal of some other scheme. It is the scheme itself which, by determining once and forever the essential requirements for a given type of situations, permits us to judge in each case about the possibility or impossibility of its reconstruction and thus spares us failures.

We find again, on a wider scale, the same type of dynamic actual organization which is at the basis of each situation in particular; only here, instead of single objects, whole systems of objects, whole situations, are the elements which we organize. The main situation is the new status which we want to produce—new, of course, only within the limits of the present activity. The auxiliary situations are the pre-existing reality on the ground of which this status has to be made real. It would seem as if, the main situation being determined once and forever by the scheme, the status to be produced were in advance imposed as an aim on activity. And yet it is not so, since its actual acceptance as an aim depends on the actual preparation of the conditions necessary for its realization. The main situation as determined by the scheme is only a model, and it depends on present organizing activity which one of the many models existing in the practical world it will accept for the situation which it tends to realize with the help

(198) of other actually realizable situations. The model situation is not passively accepted. The whole first part of organizing activity consists in actively, though only mentally, reconstructing this situation in its content, as an aim, from the standpoint of and with reference to those auxiliary situations which are possible to realize in the given sphere of reality; and vice versa, in the measure in which the content of the future situation becomes determined and approaches to a certain schematic model, organizing activity selects and reconstructs mentally, from among the auxiliary situations which are possible to realize in the given sphere of reality, those which can be made to co-operate in realizing this model situation. When thus at a certain moment our activity has definitively accepted a certain schematically determined situation as an aim to be realized with the help of auxiliary situations, it is because at this moment the first, mental, part of this activity has been finished, all the auxiliary situations necessary to realize the model situation have been selected and mentally combined into a system of situations which, gradually realized with the help of various instrumental activities, will bring the aim, the given schematic situation, into reality.

The field of material technique is the one in which schemes have reached the widest extension and the greatest exactness. Every case of industrialization of a technical creation, that is, every case when a technical object has to be many times reproduced, requires schematizing activity, for such a multiple reproduction requires a model situation schematically defined once and forever as including very definite instruments and very definite materials, and in view of the continuous evolution of concrete reality this model situation can reappear time after time only if intentionally prepared in advance. Though a few of its elements, such as, for instance, artificial instruments, may last for some periods without very marked modifications, others, such as the physical materials, must be almost completely prepared again and again by specific,

(199) sometimes very complicated, activities, while others still, such as the organic conditions of the worker and the economic conditions imposed by his social environment, though more or less durable in their concrete historical realness, must be specially determined from case to case so as to be utilizable for this particular schematic situation.

The whole question appears with particular clearness in the early stage of industrial production when the higher form of practical organization of which we shall speak in the next section has not yet been developed; when there is neither a farreaching individual specialization nor a wide social division of labor and co-operation, and the system of economic exchange has not yet embraced the whole field of technical instruments and materials and bears almost entirely on ready products. At this stage, each individual has numerous technical schemes, numerous models of situations at his disposal, and there is no principle which would compel him to work only for one of these models, to produce only one kind of technical values; at the same time, he could not specialize thus even if he wanted, for having to do most of the preparatory activities himself for each model situation, from case to case, he is very much dependent on the existing conditions for the realization of any of these model situations. Thus, we find the technical activities of an individual on a low level of civilization depending in an approximately equal measure, from case to case, on the present demand for certain definite technical products, and on the possibilities of producing which are offered by the existing conditions given within his present sphere of reality. The existing conditions make the actual realization of certain model situations easier than that of others; the actual demand for certain products is more insistent than for others; what the individual will then actually do, what kind of model situation will be selected by his present mental activity, and made the aim of his instrumental preparatory activity, depends on the actual dynamic combination of both conditions and demanded

(200) models, and will become settled only when the individual definitively adapts a certain model to certain actual possibilities and certain actual possibilities to a certain model.

Good examples of schemes are also found in the legal field. Any situation which civil or criminal law defines and which is expected to be solved by compensation or punishment would perhaps never be empirically realized without schematizing activity. To produce a definite juridical situation we need, first, a certain concrete set of social conditions to which a certain law will be applied; secondly, a set of social and legal proceedings constructing and solving their specific situations, collecting evidence, bringing the case to the notice of the court, organizing a sitting of the court, calling the parties and witnesses before the judge, etc. It has become the special task of the lawyer to construct the schematic legal situation on the ground and with the help of these other situations—some of them already given in social life and needing only to be redefined from the legal standpoint, some especially constructed by him for the actual purpose—by determining them with regard to one another and having them co-operate in creating all the essential elements of the situation as defined once and forever by the given law. The lawyer's activity results thus in the gradual dynamic organization of a set of actually realized or realizable auxiliary situations for the production of the required legal situation; all the other situations, that is, the pre-existing social conditions to which the given law appears as applicable and the auxiliary situations which bring these conditions within the reach of the court, constitute for the lawyer the material and instruments permitting him to realize the model situation defined by the law, and they become specially adapted to this aim in the measure the latter becomes determined. On the other hand, however, just as the primitive technician has many technical schemes at his disposal among which he selects during the first, mental, part of his activity the one which he is going to actualize now

(201) and here, taking into account the demand for certain results and the actual conditions permitting him to realize some schemes more easily than others, so the lawyer is acquainted with many different laws which he can actualize, but of which only a few prove on reflection applicable to the given conditions. And even this narrow field from which he can choose the model situation that will be his aim narrows still more as the progress of legal procedure, by introducing new auxiliary situations, imposes new conditions with which the lawyer's aim must comply; so that finally the legal situation aimed at becomes completely determined for him as the one which a certain particular law has regulated once and forever. Of course, the lawyer imagines that the situation is already given in fact and that he merely discovers it and brings it under the appropriate law, but this is the usual, realistic illusion of common sense which treats the results of activity as independent of activity simply because while acting it cannot reflect about the course of activity.

The first effect of the scheme upon concrete reality is thus to produce a more or less rational system which is wider than a situation. In each particular case in which the main schematic situation must be produced there is a system of auxiliary situations created, each connected with the others by the fact that its solution becomes one of the data of the practical problem which the demand for the realization of the main situation defines, and is combined with the solution of other auxiliary situations for this common result. Of course, the particular elementary objects included in different situations are only indirectly connected with each other; the rational organization which the scheme creates is not as close as that which unifies objects within a single situation. This is precisely one of the important points about the organization of reality: there is no other direct and immediate systematization of objects except the situation, and not the single object but a system of objects, taken as an indivisible whole, is the

(202) real unit of all wider and more complicated organizations which we find in practical life. The ultimate unit of the schematic organization is the situation, and the scheme itself with all the situations which it includes can become an ultimate unit in a still wider system. Each of the various situations which are organized into a system for the production of a model situation is in the course of this actual organization objectivated as one content and connected in this character with the other, equally objectivated, situations. This organization affects each auxiliary situation as a whole; in so far as the result of this situation must be combined with the results of others for the realization of the model situation, this auxiliary situation will have to be instrumentally solved at a certain moment and at a certain place, before, after, or together with certain other situations included in the same system: in short, there is an order introduced among the auxiliary situations. However, this order does not affect directly the objects included within these situations; each of the latter has its own special practical problem to solve and its solution follows its own particular way quite independently of the use which will be made of the result once attained.

But the scheme, while leaving untouched the internal constitution of the auxiliary situations, does influence the organization of the main situation which it regulates. By making this situation a permanent aim of schematizing activities, it gives it a still higher degree of definiteness than it could reach by itself, even if an exceptional permanence of circumstances permitted it to be reconstructed again and again without the help of a schematic organization of auxiliary situations. Since the schematized situation with all its elements is determined in advance once and for all, before being actually constructed, it is given from case to case as an objectmatter of active thought, which the latter may realize or not in concrete reality, but which it should not modify in its systematic order, for such a modification would mean a

(203) substitution of another situation instead of the one required by the scheme. The composition and systematization of this situation appear thus as independent of any particular activity which reproduces it. This independence does not consist only, as in complexes stabilized by mere repetition, in a relatively strong suggestion of certain connections: the character which each element, thing or relation, possesses with reference to other elements appears as not merely given and real, but as necessary for this situation. There is from the standpoint of the scheme no other way possible of putting and solving the practical problem involved in the model situation than the one which the scheme has defined and which the auxiliary situations have to prepare from case to case. The activity which in a particular case actually will reconstruct and realize the model situation after having prepared it, is in advance deprived of all initiative; it must follow the lines traced by the scheme, precisely because all spontaneous efforts are concentrated in those preparatory activities whose common purpose is to make the exact realization of the demand of the scheme practically possible, and which would be deprived of their significance, would acquire the character of failure if the problem of the model situation for which they have worked were not put and solved in the required way.

In fact, under these circumstances there is no longer any problem left, since its solution is given in advance. When in a non-schematic situation the aim has to be realized with the help of given instruments and materials, its realization is a problem whose solution is not yet at hand, though all the data are ready. The result of the activity which is expected to realize this aim will have to comply with the conditions imposed by the situation, but how it will comply with them depends on the activity which will produce this result; iii fact it depends on the nature of the modifications which it will bring into the given materials with the given instruments.

(204) The result, at the moment when the situation is constructed, opposes itself to the materials and instruments; the latter already exist in their full content and meaning, the former is determined as to its content, but not yet as to its meaning; it is unreal as against the real situation and its realization is a task which activity will freely accept and fulfil. But when the situation is schematically objectivated in advance, the result is also objectivated in advance; the object which will be produced on the ground of the situation is as much defined, both in its content and in its meaning, as the instruments and materials with the help of which it will be realized; its level of realness is the same. Of course, —while we are preparing the ground for a reproduction of the model situation, the solution of this situation does not possess full realness, is only mentally real; neither does the situation itself yet exist otherwise than mentally. The situation and its solution together constitute one aim of our preparatory activities. The materials and instruments necessary to produce a certain object and this object which will be produced with their help, with all their contents and meanings, are given at the moment when we prepare their realization as one content which our preparatory activity will make real. The result to which the future situation will lead is as definite, as completely characterized as this situation itself.

When preparing the realization of this situation, we do not separate the question, "How will this situation be solved?" from the question, "How will this situation be constructed?" The two questions are melted in one; we prepare the construction of the situation in view of the definite result to which we want this situation to lead; we prepare the result in preparing the situation. The determined situation appears as necessary to produce the determined result, and no other but the determined result can be produced when the determined situation is constructed; this occurs whenever and wherever this situation is prepared and actualized.

(205) Thus, the actual dynamic finality of the aim is supplanted by a trans-actual static finality of end and means. The realization of a definite set of means is always and everywhere necessary for the realization of a certain end, and only a certain definite end is objectively realizable on the ground of a certain set of realized means. The situation and its solution being once and forever determined by the scheme and indefinitely reconstructible, the reciprocal determination of end and means is independent of any particular actualization of this whole system; it is based on the objective nature of end and means as determined by the scheme and becomes thus a relation of finality.

This is not all. Since the result of the instrumental activity which will solve the schematized situation is determined in advance, the modifications of pre-existing objects which by their combination will produce this result are also determined in advance. There is only one way of reaching the given end with the given means, and every step in this direction must be such as required; activity has no choice. The act ceases to count as act of creation bringing a new content and meaning into the world; it counts only because it starts, at a given moment and in a given place, an occurrence which is already fully determined in its objective nature, and has only to be realized once more in the given circumstances. The act would not count at all if the situations determined by the scheme were not parts of the concrete empirical world and, though meant to be identical in their composition and organization, did not differ from one another by their appearance at different now's of the concrete duration and at different here's of the concrete extension. As it is, acts are still necessary to realize empirically in actuality the modifications required by the schematized situation; but what is essential from the standpoint not of actual experience, but of the rational order of the situation itself, is only the determined nature of the modification, its real, not its ideal side. When a

(206) technical worker modifies a given material in a schematically prescribed way, it does not matter at all from the standpoint of the technical situation what he wants and thinks in doing it, what are the factors which have brought him to perform this action there and then, how much conscious effort and how much habit is involved in this action, etc.; what counts is a certain movement of his body which leads to certain movements of technical instruments, which lead in turn to a certain modification of the material.

As these modifications are completely determined with regard to the definite situation and to the result to which this situation is expected necessarily to lead, their character is no longer the same as in concrete activity; the situation being constituted by things with definite properties and relations, each modification is a disappearance from the situation of some property or relation and an appearance of some other property or relation. It does not matter that concretely those characters of objects which disappeared continue to exist as contents and meanings in memory, though with less realness, whereas those which appeared did not exist at all before being created, so that the act produces really more than it destroys: from the abstractly rational standpoint of the scheme which determines both the situation and its solution there is no difference of realness between destruction and production. Both ideally subsist forever in the scheme as equally necessary stages for the attainment of the end; both really appear whenever the scheme is applied in the concrete development of experience, and being fully determined in advance can bring nothing new except the mere fact of their appearance. They correspond to each other and presuppose each other, so that their appearance is one indivisible fact which, viewed from the standpoint of the means is a destruction, but viewed from the standpoint of the end is a production, and from the standpoint of the relation between end and means is a substitution of one property or relation for another, that is, a

(207) change. In so far, now, as this change is supposed to be only started in its actual appearance but not created in its objective nature by an act of thought, its progressive realization on the ground of the teleologically determined situation is a real process.

Each particular process is a necessary link of the development leading from the situation to the result, from the means to the end. The connection between processes is not dynamically created in the very course of activity, like the connection between creative modifications which are made step by step to combine in a common result, but is determined for all of them once and forever by the schematic definition of the means and the end; all that activity is supposed to do is to actualize this objectively existing connection. Each process has a definite position in a series of processes, the ground of which is that a definite process requires a definite status to start with, and except for the first process which starts with the given situation, each of the following ones is based on the status reached by the preceding one.

This does not mean at this stage of rationalization that the following process is the effect of the preceding process, since each process needs still an act of thought to be started; but it means that the following process cannot be started unless the preceding one has occurred. Since the whole series is objectively necessary for the realization of the given end with the given means, each process is objectively necessary for the following one. Supposing therefore the activities demanded by the scheme actually performed, supposing the schematic situation constructed and developed up to the end in accordance with the scheme, the whole series of processes is fully and exclusively determined in its actual development by the teleological system of means and ends, and each process within this series is fully and exclusively determined in its appearance by the following process for which it has to prepare the necessary status. In a word, the following process

(208) is the final cause of the preceding process, since if we presuppose a whole series of teleologically determined processes actually developing, every process in particular has no other direct ground for its appearance but the following process, though all of them together are grounded not in the end alone (which therefore is not a final cause) but in the total organization produced by the scheme. We see that the Aristotelian concept of final cause is, like many other ancient conceptions, quite unjustly neglected by modern thought, since it corresponds to a very real and very important empirical connection which is covered neither by the concept of aim, nor that of end, nor can it be reduced to that of mechanical cause.

When the realization of an end requires several distinct parallel series of processes, each of these series is teleologically necessary for each other and the connection of final causality is reciprocal between any two of these series.

It is evident that the practical possibility of applying the principle of objective teleological determination to schematized activity depends on the degree of perfection to which schematization has been pushed in actual life, on the efficiency with which preparatory activities have been performed and organized. If the same schematic situation has been repeatedly reconstructed during a certain period, the various auxiliary situations which have been used from case to case for this purpose appear as more or less closely connected with the main situation, so that the latter becomes gradually the center of a rather vague domain of reality whose limits widen with every new actualization.

This connection of auxiliary situations with the main situation which is left as a result of past activities must be, of course, clearly distinguished from the connection intentionally created between auxiliary situations in each particular case for the realization of the main situation. The latter brings forth, as we have seen, a rational system of auxiliary situations, whereas the former is not systematic at all, but appears as

(209) an unintentional consequence of the fact that all these auxiliary situations, though belonging to different rational systems, have served at different moments to actualize the same scheme. This connection between the schematic situation and auxiliary situations, like all empirical connections, grows in stability with each repetition; thus, the more frequently a certain auxiliary situation has been used for the realization of the main situation, the more closely it appears connected with it. Furthermore, this connection exercises a suggestive influence on future activities, so that we always tend to use in so far as possible from case to case the same auxiliary situations in preparing the same schematic situation, and introduce new auxiliary situations only when the old ones cannot be reconstructed here and now. Thus, the domain of reality which grows around. a certain model situation is constituted first of all by the most frequently used auxiliary situations. Though it is forced, by the evolution of the concrete historical reality of which it is a part, to increase in complexity and variety by having new situations included in it, it tends by virtue of its own inertia to grow in stability by having its old situations fixed by indefinite reproductions. Both its growth in complexity and its growth in stability, while opposing and counterbalancing each other, help to give the model situation, the permanent center of this domain, a background of, concrete experience and a field of concrete active influence which make this situation more and more real, more and more empirically important within the historical world.

A well-known example of such a domain of reality growing by the mere agglomeration of auxiliary situations is found in the indefinite but often very wide and strong social influence that an institution gradually obtains by the mere continuity of its functioning, quite independent of the objective importance of its social purpose anti of the teleological perfection of its organization. The mere fact that all kinds of situations, some of them repeated innumerable times, have been used at

(210) various moments as subservient to the scheme which the institution realizes, leaves an always wider and deeper mark on social reality, a mark which, however irrational it may be, is very real, as everyone finds who attempts to substitute for the old institution a new, even a more rational one. Still deeper is that irrational but real influence which our instincts leave upon our "natural" environment, though here it is rather difficult to distinguish this unintentional unification of past experiences from the intentional unification and organization of future experiences which we shall study in the next section. An instinct, like that of food, in its continual manifestations, uses innumerable auxiliary situations which embrace a large part of the personal spheres of experience and reflection and constitute together a rather chaotic objective domain; and, in so far as this domain is composed of practical situations, the objects within its limits appear no longer as concrete historical objects but as things with definite properties and relations. Since similar partial effects are produced by all other instincts, the reality of our practical life, as we have inherited it from our ancestors and reproduced it in our own past, presents several different, more or less chaotic complexes of situations superimposed upon the chaotic complexity of the primary historical reality, and our objects, which are concrete, interconnected historical objects when viewed in their total duration and extension without regard to any particular practical interest, appear as interrelated things as soon as looked upon in the light of any past satisfaction of our instincts.

The scheme, while solving the difficulties to which the reconstruction of the situation is subjected in the present and unifying many past situations, raises the problem of the future, which it cannot solve alone. There is, indeed, no certainty whatever that a given scheme will in fact be permanently maintained in the face of the changing concrete reality. In each particular case its realization depends on a

(211) more or less spontaneous and original schematizing activity, and unless some higher organization is reached, the question whether the necessary activities will be performed at all in the future is entirely unsettled. In so far as the scheme bears not merely on the situation prepared and constructed at present, but on the situations which will be prepared and constructed at other periods of concrete duration, its continuation is not implied in the actual organization of reality over which this scheme presides, but can be only postulated by practical thought. The scheme raises the problem of the future in a way which precludes the easy solutions offered by those theories which try to explain our expectation of similar experiences by our habit of seeing similar experiences regularly return and are then forced to appeal to an immanent absolute rationality of nature in order to explain how the habit is formed and why the expectation is justified from case to case. There is no regularity whatever originally existing in concrete experience; all regularity must be actively produced and maintained, and this implies an active control of the future as well as an organization of the present and a unification of the past.

The greater our claims on the future in this respect, the larger the amount of regularity which we expect, the less we can rely upon the existing order of reality to fulfil these claims and our expectations must be based upon permanent tendencies of our activity rather than upon permanent characters of its object-matter. When all we demand is to have a certain object fit in the immediate future a situation whose other components are already at hand and systematized, we are concerned exclusively with the existing real characters of this object and rely upon them; only if it fails to satisfy our demand, we introduce a more or less organized activity to modify it according to our needs. When we want to reconstruct a whole schematically determined situation which does not exist yet within our present sphere of reality, we make the fulfilment of this demand dependent in varying proportions

(212) both upon pre-existing reality and upon our activity; we do not expect that reality will have everything ready and waiting for us; we rely on our activity to supplement whatever may be lacking in the given conditions. If now we want positively to maintain a certain schematic organization during an indefinite future in the field of actual interests, if we not only expect that it will be occasionally reconstructed when and where the concrete real conditions happen to be more favorable for its reconstruction than for the actualization of other schemes, but if we demand that it be continually reconstructed in a certain section of historical reality rather than other schemes, whatever the concrete conditions happen to be, then we evidently cannot rely upon reality at all. We can expect our demand to be realized only if our activity is not merely able to profit from case to case of favorable conditions in order to actualize the scheme, but capable of permanently realizing by its own spontaneous effort all the conditions sufficient and necessary for indefinitely repeated actualizations of this scheme. This evidently requires an organization of activities wider and more stable than the one which produces a system of situations.


In all fields of practical life we find numerous examples of such a connection between schemes that the actualization of one scheme is accompanied or followed by the actualization of another, because the schematic situations are in some way permanently connected. Thus, in technique we see a factory producing materials or instruments which other factories use in their production; in the political field certain executive acts follow certain acts of legislation or jurisdiction; in the field of economics the performance of a certain professional work is followed by the payment of a fee, etc. The given actualization of one scheme constitutes an objective condition of the actualization of the other.


However, as long as this connection is merely the result of the fact that a certain schematic situation cannot be constructed in a given case without the help of another, the condition is neither sufficient nor necessary. It is not enough to do professional work in order to receive a fee; many other conditions are needed, which may be completely different from case to case, unless there is a stable customary or legal

regulation of professional work in its relation to economic schemes. Nor is it necessary to do professional work in order to receive a certain sum of money in payment, for this result may be obtained in connection with many other schemes. In fact, we are still within the limits of the problem treated in the preceding section-the problem of constructing a schematic situation with the help of auxiliary situations which prepare the ground in advance. These auxiliary situations may be either new and especially created for the purpose, or may be themselves schematic situations reproduced for the purpose with the help of still other auxiliary situations; the system of situations becomes thereby more complicated, but does not change its essential rational form. When a handworker finds that a certain material which he needs is out of stock in his town, he may order it from elsewhere and thus put into action the complex schematic machinery of transportation; but there is no essentially new form of organization of his experience involved in this case, merely an introduction of a new situation into the old organization.

But the connection between schemes may also be such that an actualization or a series of actualizations of a certain scheme or group of schemes becomes a sufficient and necessary objective condition of an actualization or a series of actualizations of some other scheme or group of schemes, and reciprocally; not in the sense that this actualization should not require every time some spontancous and original schematizing activity, some new arrangement of auxiliary situations preparing the ground, but in the sense that, in whatever way

(214) the main schematic situation may be reconstructed from case to case, it is meant to be reconstructed always whenever and wherever some other schematic situation has been or is being reconstructed, and vice versa. An agreement between employer and employee in which the latter is expected regularly to do certain work and the former regularly to pay him certain wages is one of the simplest and best-known connections of this kind. It does not preclude on either side schematizing activity; the employee must continually prepare for his work, make efforts to overcome external hindrances or his inability or his laziness, reconstruct from case to case the schematically determined situation by adapting to it his other personal experiences; the employer must periodically obtain, on the ground of other situations, the necessary money to pay the wages. But whatever may be the ways in which the respective situations are actualized, as long as the agreement lasts and excepting only very special circumstances, the regular performance of the work is considered sufficient and necessary condition of the regular payment of wages, and the regular payment of wages a sufficient and necessary condition of regular work.

A permanent connection of this kind evidently implies a practical principle superior to the schemes themselves, not merely postulating that either of the schemes be continued in general, but absolutely demanding that, whatever may be the concrete empirical circumstances, the continuation of a certain scheme (or group of schemes) A, be in the future accompanied by a continuation of a scheme (or group of schemes), B, and the continuation of B be accompanied by that of A. The significance of this demand may be in special cases qualified by various limitations and then the principle loses its indefinite bearing on all future experience, but even then the limits are self-imposed in advance and the claim remains absolute within those limits. In view of this absolute claim on certain future situations, we call such a principle a practical dogma.


In introducing this term, just as in using the terms "scheme" and "rule," we must avoid the intellectualistic suggestions which tradition seems to authorize. By dogma we do not mean a theoretically formulated principle, a concept, or a judgment, but a practical presupposition, often subconscious, a permanent attitude taken toward experiences and activities. It might seem at first glance wiser not to use such terms, which bring with them undesirable suggestions, but the disadvantage of introducing entirely new terms would be still greater; and we are justified in giving the old terms a slightly new significance by the fact that the significance which they were given in traditional definitions was not adequate with reference to the very object-matter on which they were made to bear. Thus, the rule has been taken to mean an abstract formula existing of itself and giving by its content certain indications to behavior by which the latter is influenced positively or negatively, that is, either consciously tries or consciously does not try to comply. But there is nothing which corresponds to this definition. That which exists of itself when the formula is produced is not a practical rule influencing, regulating behavior, but a set of ideas which can influence other ideas only when theoretically connected with them. The set of ideas becomes a rule of behavior only while and in so far as there actually is a behavior complying with it; it has no reality as regulating behavior except by and in this behavior itself. Similarly, by dogma, as traditionally understood, is meant the content of a religious or social belief, purely intellectual and devoid of any direct bearing on practice, from which only secondarily by a special ethical reasoning practical rules can be drawn. Now, there is no dogma in this sense; every belief is essentially practical, is the acceptance in conduct of a principle regulating a priori future practical experiences, mystical, social, aesthetic, etc., and its reality consists entirely in this active influence exercised on future activities. The abstract intellectual formulation of a dogma is something entirely different from the dogma

(216) as matter of belief; it is a set of theoretic ideas belonging not to religion or social life, but to philosophy or science. We are thus entirely justified in assuming the existence of a dogma whenever it manifests itself in its active influence, whether it has. been theoretically formulated or not. This permits us to extend the use of this term to the total field of practical life and to call dogma every implicitly or explicitly accepted principle which unconditionally determines future activities in view of the maintenance of a certain complicated practical organization of reality, making it independent of any concrete empirical conditions by the very fact that it makes it rely entirely on itself in determining the actualization of its components exclusively with regard to each other.

The demand for a certain organization of reality put by the scheme alone is hypothetical: if and whenever the schematic situation is about to be actualized, it must be prepared in advance in all its essential elements. This implies a postulate that the schematic situation will be actualized, but an absolutely undetermined and practically inefficient postulate. On the contrary, the demand put on the future by the dogma is categorical; certain schemes, dependent exclusively on each other, must be continually actualized. There is no outside reason for their actualization; the only condition on which the continuation of one of them depends is the continuation of the other. The demand of the practical dogma is not justified by anything but the dogma itself.

Genetically, the dogma has, of course, originated in some preceding organization of activities; a whole dogmatically determined system of schemes may be still a part of some other wider system, conditioned by a more fundamental dogma, just as a new historical object may be only a variation of some pre-existing historical object. But just as the nature of the historical object as empirical object consists in its own content and meaning which it has in so far as distinct and self-existing reality, so the nature of the dogmatically deter-

(217) -mined system of schemes consists in its own specific organization in so far as it is independent, self-started system. Even if a system of schemes has originated as a part of some wider system, it is also a system in itself, and we must first know it as such before we study its origin. On the other hand, even if it is in some measure an independent and selfstarted system, it may be also in some measure a part of a wider system which will then, in so far as including several other systems, be much more complex than these. Thus, a dogmatically determined system of schemes may have many degrees of complexity, a feature which it evidently shares with the object, the situation, and the schematic system of situations. What makes in each case the unity of the dogmatic system is that there is always one dominant scheme, whose continued actualization is required to constitute a continually returning aim in view of which the other schemes are required to co-operate. This dominant scheme determines the ideal conditions under which the dogma demands that the other schemes be actualized, whereas the other schemes create the real conditions under which the dogma demands that the dominant scheme be actualized.

The primary, the oldest example of a practical dogma is the principle of hedonistic selection determining the organization of objects as personal experiences of a conscious living being. This organization is dogmatically imposed upon individual life; that is, even if the search for pleasure and the avoidance of pain should have a further and original justification in the conservation of the race, all consciousness of this justification is absent in personal experience unless secondarily developed by scientific theories, and hedonistic selection appears empirically as having its ultimate reason in itself. This does not mean that all organization of objects in individual experience is in any sense reducible to it, since all the innumerable existing schemes and systems of schemes, most of which are evidently quite independent of hedonistic

(218) selection, are equally actualized in individual experience. It means simply that the hedonistic organization is one of the dogmatic organizations of individual experience, the one in which the objects are treated exclusively as belonging to the individual's personality without regard to the impersonal systems to which they also empirically belong and which are also constructed by the individual. The hedonistic organization consists in an interdependence between the dominant hedonistic scheme tending to construct situations on the ground of which pleasure can be obtained or pain avoided, and all the "instincts," inborn or acquired, each of which tends to construct specific situations on the ground of which special ends are reached. In this interdependence, just as in that which exists between the aim and the situation, all instincts are made to co-operate for the continued realization of the hedonistic scheme, while on the other hand, the nature of the hedonistic situations which are realized depends on the nature of the instinctive situations which constitute the real conditions of pleasure. Life in its biological and yet conscious significance is for each individual precisely the continual actualization of the hedonistic scheme as aim and ideal condition of all the instinctive schemes, and the actualization of all the instinctive schemes, more or less reciprocally limited and interdependent, as a material and real condition of the hedonistic scheme. The organization is, of course, neither absolutely closed nor absolutely rational; but no empirical organization ever is.

Other examples are found in technically specialized industrial activities. When instead of one scheme for the production of a certain kind of values which are made at once ready for consumption, as in handiwork and in many non-specialized industries, several schemes are substituted each of which organizes only a special side of this production so that the value is made ready for consumption only by the co-operation of all these schemes, the whole system of schemes is determined

(219) in advance and unconditionally. Each of these special lines of industry can and should continue to produce as long as, and only as long as, the other special lines produce. All other special schemes of this system are ideally conditioned by one dominant special scheme—the one which makes the values definitively ready for consumption by synthetizing the partial results of other schemes—and this scheme in turn is really conditioned by all the others. Specialization requires thus continuous synthetic co-operation, which for each branch of industry is brought into effect by the fact that the managers of the more special and therefore interdependent branches explicitly or implicitly accept, in theory and in practice or only in practice, the principle of the necessary connection to be maintained between these lines in the future, independently of outside interferences. Because in this way every special line of production depends for its continuation only on the continuation of the other lines, the continuation of the total production is unconditional, the existence of the whole system in the future is, from the standpoint and within the limits of this system itself, dogmatically imposed, not made dependent on any conditions which may appear in concrete historical development of the empirical reality. Of course, the isolation of this system from the historical world is only a tendency which may fail in its realization and the system may be prevented from continuing by the lack of the necessary objects or by the non-performance of the necessary activities; but the same is true of the isolation of any rational organization from the concrete chaos of empirical reality.

The nature of the practical dogma appears with great clearness in the political field. A state is really a wide system of schemes in action, whose continual actualization is unconditionally demanded by the dogma constitution, whether abstractly formulated and codified or existing only as actively applied in custom. Within this wide system we find a large number of more limited and partly independent systems, some

(220) territorially, others functionally, specialized. None of the political dogmas determining these particular systems, nor even the constitution, are absolutely permanent, as we know; but as long as they last, their unconditional acceptance is not only demanded but practically enforced, that is, there are special schemes included in the state organization whose task consists in continually destroying such empirical hindrances to the permanence of the system as are most easily foreseen and schematized (disobedience to law, rebellion, treason, etc.). And we can follow here very well the way in which a dogmatic system imposes upon activity the realization of any particular scheme which it includes. For example, take a rule which orders every male citizen of a certain age to join the army when called by the government. This rule presupposes an indefinite repetition of a certain situation—the determined age reached, the call of the government received, the physical means of joining the recruiting station at the individual's disposal, etc. Those few social values, with the meaning given to them by social tradition, define the problem in an identical way for every individual and of every individual the same solution is expected. But the social values supposed to constitute this situation are concrete empirical objects entering into many other connections, which would prevent the situation demanded from ever being reconstructed if its reconstruction were not imposed as aim upon individual activities quite independently of the concrete conditions in which the individual finds himself when these values are given to him. The call to join the army at a given time comes into connection with a multitude of other values—home, family, career, present pleasures, etc., on the one hand, expected hardships, possible death in battle, etc., on the other. The actual situation spontaneously constructed by each individual under these circumstances would be entirely different from the one expected and the behavior solving these particular situations would be in most cases just the opposite from the one pre-

(221) -scribed by the rule. But behind this particular rule, behind this one political scheme, there is a wide complexity of other schemes which act as social and legal sanctions of the rule, such as legal punishment, social contempt, on the one hand, and social approval, prospects. of fame, moral duty, patriotism, etc., on the other. From among the many and various situations which these terms designate the individual himself, or, in the last extremity, the executive authority, is supposed in each case to select and realize a combination which will be sufficient to construct the real conditions necessary and sufficient for the realization of the model situation as demanded by the rule. The organizing activity preparing thus under the pressure of the whole political system everything necessary for any model situation prescribed by a political scheme constitutes the basis of all political obedience.

The system of schemes founded on a practical dogma is, as we see, first of all a system of activities rather than of objects, but of activities organized essentially in view of real, not of ideal, purposes, and therefore it results, just as the concrete action which organizes the situation or as a concrete schematizing activity which actualizes the scheme, in a systematization of objects. This systematization bears, first of all, upon the totality of the schematic situations which the dogma implies. The continual reconstruction of these situations in their reciprocal dependence is unconditionally demanded by the dogma, and even if for an individual who participates in the reconstruction only one of these situations can actually become an aim at once, from the standpoint of the dogma all these situations appear as one general, permanent, and complex aim imposed upon concrete activity. The unity of these situations appears thus as no longer dependent on their actual dynamic organization, as it is in the concrete system of auxiliary situations actually constructed for the ealization of a model situation, but as given once and forever in its perfect rationality. Of course, in order to be empirically

(222) ascertainable, this unity must be actually reproducible by individual active thought in the same indirect way as a system of situations is. But it does not need to be reproduced by all the individuals who take part in its realization, nor to be reproduced by any individual in its totality. It is sufficient and necessary that some individuals, as, for instance, a group of industrial managers or political rulers, can each reproduce and actively maintain the rational organization of a part of the system, provided only such partial individual reproductions supplement one another so as to cover the total system. In the contrary case, if the system is not consciously and actively maintained in its rationality either by one individual or by several co-operating individuals, this rational organization soon loses its realness and the empirically given system degenerates first into a complex of schemes, then even into a mere complex of situations and single objects like those survivals of old institutions which exist in every society beside the vital and systematic actual organization. But in so far as the system is actively maintained and the schemes kept in their reciprocal dependence, the schematic situations appear as no longer actually interconnected, but objectively and permanently interrelated, for each of them is rationally necessary for all the others. The individual may exclude the dogmatic system from his actual sphere of reality or even impose a different system on his group, but he can neither change nor deny its rational organization in so far as the latter has been once produced. He can, indeed, make it more perfect if it is not perfect yet, but he cannot destroy its perfection when attained, though he may contribute to the destruction of the realness of the system as concrete complex of situations, or contribute to the substitution in historical reality of an irrational chaos for this rational order. For example, in industrial specialization and co-operation the technical situations constructed in different interdependent lines of production appear as objectively and permanently supple-

(223) -menting one another and constitute, with all the materials and instruments which they include, one common domain of technical reality, one definite isolated and rational section of the empirical world, which cannot be disturbed in any of its parts without being disturbed in its whole systematic unity. We may do the latter and destroy the realness of this whole branch of industry, but we cannot prevent its systematic organization from existing forever once it has been created, nor the situations, such as defined by the schemes, from being forever necessarily related with one another by the demand of industrial co-operation.

Such a rational stabilization of the system of schematic situations has a further effect upon the rationality of each situation in particular. We have seen that a scheme, by imposing the reconstruction of a definite situation as an aim, leads already to a determination in advance of the way by which this situation will be solved and thus introduces the teleological systematization of means and end, reduces the creative rôle of each act to the mere starting of a known and objectively determined process, and subjects the sequence of these processes to the principle of final causality. The situation contains already virtually its own solution, and activity is supposed merely to actualize this virtual solution from case to case. Now, when it is unconditionally demanded of a system of schematic situations that it be actualized indefinitely, even this limited rôle of spontaneous activity is ignored, and the development of the situation loses its teleological character. The schematic situation becomes determined not only in the nature of its construction and realization, but in the very fact of its construction and realization. Therefore its realization, which from the standpoint of the scheme was an ideally necessary outcome of its constitution, is from the standpoint of the dogma a really necessary result of its existence at a given time and place. From the first standpoint, the constructed situation should be realized in a way

(224) determined in advance; from the second, it must be realized in a way determined in advance. The constructed situation, in a word, is treated as including within itself everything necessary to have its virtual solution become actual, as necessarily bringing of itself a result determined in advance. Of course, activity must be always implicitly presupposed: the situation could not be constructed without the schematizing activity which selects and organizes auxiliary situations, and the schematizing activity would not continue to reconstruct the schematic situation time after time if it were not for the active influence of the practical dogma. But the situation once there, the fact of its solution is no longer a matter of choice; its existence having been unconditionally imposed upon activity and unconditionally accepted, its solution, being implied by its existence, follows also unconditionally. The whole series of modifications which will lead to the expected and demanded result are thus one complex process within which activity has nothing more to do, and which brings nothing new, since not only its nature, but its very occurrence was implied in the situation. In so far however as several objects are involved in this process and the change which occurs in one object is different from that which follows in another object, the process splits into a series, or several series, of different processes. Each of these processes, as we know, already is a necessary link of the series in the realization of a situation which is only schematically determined; but now, in the dogmatically demanded situation, its connection with the preceding and following process is no longer teleological, since the whole development of which it is a part is no longer treated as dependent upon activity, all activity having been performed in advance. The occurrence of a given process is thus no longer merely a teleologically indispensable condition of the occurrence of the following process, to which an act must be added in order to make it a sufficient condition: the whole development being presupposed as something that

(225) necessarily is going to happen and to happen in a determined way, the occurrence of a particular given process is both necessary and sufficient to have the following process occur. In a word, within the limits of the development implied by a dogmatically demanded situation each process is the efficient cause of the following process.

The principle of causality is thus the product of a highly developed practical organization, far from being the elementary and fundamental principle of all organized experience, as the eighteenth century assumed and modern idealism still continues to believe. History and sociology give us proofs enough that the original empirical attitude is to search for the explanation of each process in an act, not in another process; and an act can be neither a cause nor an effect, if we take these terms in their exact sense, as indicating a relation between real happenings. The most primitive application of the principle of causality is, as should be expected, found within schematic situations organized by the principle of hedonistic selection, the earliest practical dogma. We begin to expect definite effects from definite causes, to rely upon the natural sequence of processes, first of all within the situations formed under the control of our instincts, long before we succeed in organizing technical and particularly social situations which will then develop automatically. Any causality which we find in "nature," in the popular, non-scientific sense of the term, is always empirically a succession of processes in some instinctively organized situation which we expect—hope or fear— be realized without the participation of our activity. For there is no practical causality except within the limits of one situation, which, of course, may indefinitely repeat itself.

Not only is there no causality possible in the concrete empirical development of the historical reality, but even in a practically organized reality an unexpected disturbance of the regular sequence of processes within a situation is not originally taken as the effect of a cause but as the result of an act, unless

(226) it can be interpreted as a process constituting a part of the development of some other dogmatically demanded situation. This is also the reason why in practical life we find neither the principle of an endless series of causality nor that of the essential homogeneity of causally connected processes. Since the development of a situation has a beginning and an end, there must be in it a process which is only a cause without being an effect and another which is an effect without being a cause. Practical reflection, unless influenced by scientific or philosophical theories, calmly accepts this circumstance, easily admitting a beginning and an end of the causal series. The first process which starts the development of the situation can, of course, be only the result of an act; but the act is excluded from the situation. The last process, the last modification of an object within the situation may become the starting-point of some other series of practical modifications, but this series, which must be started by a new activity, does not belong either in the situation. So the causal series is practically closed.

On the other hand, the most various processes can belong to it. In an industrial situation which includes men as elements, the only way in which the active, ideal factor can be ignored and the development treated as causal is to substitute, while determining the situation dogmatically, for each indefinitely repeatable act a bodily movement and a psychological process, and to introduce both of them into the causal series, the first as the effect of the second, which is in turn treated as the effect of some preceding material process. In the development of a political situation psychological processes, causally determined by material, economic, and other processes as motives, and themselves causally determining material, economic, and other processes, are the most important links of the causal series. On a higher level of organization, activity substitutes indeed more and more homogeneous causal series for heterogeneous ones; it tries to

(227) reduce, for instance, the entire development of a technical situation to mechanical processes. This evolution is brought by uniformizing the instruments used in the situations demanded by a certain practical dogma. Thus, machines are substituted for men in industrial schemes, physical coercion exercised through material instruments gives way to psychological influence exercised through social personalities in social schemes, etc. This facilitates the isolation of the given system of schemes from unexpected external disturbances which may interfere with the regular development of its situations, but it does not change the rational character of this development itself. The series of processes which go on in a factory appears as equally real and causal with regard to men as to machines, if we accept it as given and abstract it from the activity which has organized it and makes it run again and again in an identical order by keeping away all disturbances; it appears as equally ideal and concretely intentional if we remove this abstraction and take it as a part of the total evolution of our experience and reflection.

The second effect of the system of schemes upon reality is that this system becomes a center of unification of new situations. Every actualization of each scheme must be brought by an intentional organization of auxiliary situations, and since it is demanded of the schemes to be actualized again and again whatever may be the concrete empirical conditions, the dogmatic system imposes upon our activity an obligation to prepare such concrete empirical conditions for the future as will permit us to organize case by case the auxiliary situations of the demanded schemes. This preparation, of course, can be always only approximate and gradual. It consists in intentionally trying to maintain for the future such a composition and organization of the domain of reality within which the dogmatic system is developing as has proved up to the present sufficient and necessary for its continual actualization. This is done by avoiding within this sphere such activities as would

(228) modify it too much and by trying to counterbalance modifications which nevertheless occur. A conscious being who stays in a given natural and social environment as long as this environment remains in some measure uniform, who gradually reaches a routine of experience and activity so as to ignore in advance, not to notice and not to use, any new possibilities which the future may bring, who actively opposes unexpected modifications brought into his routinized experience and activity and who, when too much disturbed, may even, if possible, change his environment to a similar but more fixed one, offers a good example of such a stabilization of the future on the ground of the practical dogma of hedonistic selection. The permanent localization of an industry in a certain territory, the efforts made by its managers to maintain the means of communication, the prices, the labor conditions, even the social and political organization in a status which has proved propitious for their industry, the active opposition which every innovation provokes as long as the system runs satisfactorily—all this represents well the effect which an industrial dogma has upon the future. In the political field history gives us enough examples of an intentional perpetuation of given social, economic, intellectual conditions and careful prevention of all active modifications which may, directly or indirectly, make the continual actual preservation of the existing state system difficult. The practical dogma is in every field, just as it is known to be in the religious field, a foundation of conservatism, not merely because it demands unconditionally the maintenance of a given system of schemes, but because to assure and facilitate this maintenance it tends to control the future historical evolution of that part of concrete reality within which the system exists, by superimposing upon the concrete sphere of chaotically evolving historical objects a large body of unsystematized but interconnected and repeatable situations.

We understand now how it is that our common-sense reality, while being far from possessing that full systematic

(229) rationality which science tries to give it, while always only partially and fragmentarily rationalized and divided into numerous and never absolutely perfect systems, appears to us usually as a world of things, not a world of historical objects, why its relative stability strikes us more than its continuous evolution so that evolution seems superimposed upon stability instead of vice versa, and why at most moments of our conscious life we seem to find around us objectively and statically unified spheres of reality rather than actively and dynamically connected spheres of experience and reflection. The point is that most of our conscious life is spent in schematically constructing or in realizing practical situations imposed by some dogmas; that in our common-sense reflection we usually find ourselves in the midst of some practical activity and thus our present experience mostly converges toward some definite situation; that the section of our past experience which we now remember appears in memory as centralized around some scheme; that the section of our future experience which we now expect appears in this expectation as stabilized and unified by a certain dogma. Common-sense reflection, essentially practical in its character, never gets beyond the superficial standpoint of one practical system or another, and therefore cannot reach by itself, cannot even understand if shown, the concrete empirical reality upon which all the practical systems are built as a complex superstructure, objective and real indeed, but maintained above the rushing stream of the historical world only by a continuous positive effort of active thought. This maintenance is, indeed, not a mere preservation but a ceaseless extension of the maintained systems and creation of new ones, so that practical organization continuously penetrates deeper and deeper into the concrete historical becoming and more and more of the pre-existing chaotic reality becomes practically rationalized. But as the unorganized reality also continues to grow, practically constructive activity can never master the total concrete wealth of the historical chaos.


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