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1. Disclaimer of the " Correspondence" theory of Truth, - - - - 3 

(i) An expression which might be misleading, 4 

(ii) Emphasis on the interest or purpose of the judgment as expressed 

in a progression towards system or individuality, ■ - " 5 

(iii) Immanence of the criterion of coherence. Its relation to com- 
prehensiveness, ---------- 6 

(iv) De facto correspondence no argument for correspondence being the 

criterion, - 7 

2. View of the present logical situation, --------7 

(i) The movement of the last half century, ------ 7 

(ii) The misconception which governs the movement, - - - - 8 

(iii) Defects of the Genetic Theory according to a recent exposition. 

Dualism, Occasionalism, Adaptationism, ----- g 

(iv) The transition from Psychology to Logic, 13 

(v) Useful emphases in the new theory, and their erroneous limits, - 14 

3. The opposite aspect of the recent movement. The Pluralist Realists. 

Contrast and connection with the Genetic Theory, - - - - - I5 

{a) The problem of " internal " or rather " relevant " relations. Defence 

of relevant relations, - - - - - - - - -15 

{p) Premature though just rejection of Identity in Difference. Absolu- 
tism of the Plurahst Realists, - - 17 

(f) The conditions of Error ; degree of partiality of truth combined with 

its acceptance as whole truth, - 18 

{d) Source ofthevraisemblance of the Pluralist-realist doctrine. Analysis 

of connection between truth of fact and truth of system, - - 19 
(i) The lie which is true in fact, ------- 20 

(2) The true conclusion from false premisses, - - - - 21 

(3) The region of current facts, 22 

(4) Even in this region, an admitted dependence on system of 

judging mind, --------- 23 

(5) The higher regions of knowledge. Here "the facts" as simple 

standard destroyed. Critical system is the standard, - - 24 

(6) Transformation of the " facts " — their advance as developed 

into a system of reality ; their influence, importance and 
consequences are part of them, ------ 25 


n ^: \ i 1 -^ 



4. In what sense the standard of coherence fails, 26 

(i) Its one failure consists in its being a theory, i.e. in region of truth or 

discursive thought, 27 

(ii) But there is no truer truth, although truth is not quite true, - - 28 
(iii) Thus coherence as a theory cannot be judged by correspondence 

to any higher truth, 29 

5. Our apparently solid world— a reservation on the doctrine that thought 

is purely discursive and relational, - - 29 

6. Is not this solid world, then, a standard for truth of correspondence ? No, 

because it is plastic in view of the whole. Coherence the sole test and 
certainty. Reality not in withdrawal but in advance. The arduousness 
of reality, 3^ 

Truth and Coherence 

[^Adapted frotn Bk. II. Ch. IX. of the forthcoming 2nd edition of the 

author s " Logic."] 

I. The main current doctrines of truth have been conveniently 
designated in recent discussion as the theory of Coherence and the 
theory of Correspondence respectively. I should hardly have thought 
it necessary to explain that I cannot for my own part conceive how 
the doctrine of Correspondence can be adopted as a serious theory, 
were it not that in an elaborate criticism ^ of the first edition of my 
logic it has been urged that I have myself adopted it.^ 

The genetic theorists have discovered the failure of the corre- 
spondence theory, and believing some of us to be old-fashioned, they 
attribute it to us and then attack it. But we think, or at least, I 
think, that no logician really of the first rank, such as those whom I 
follow, ever held it, and that our critics are belated in awaking to its 
impossibility. However, whether the misconception is my fault or 
my critic's, it will be well to make a short restatement of my view. 
The details of the criticism will all, I think, settle themselves if the 
radical misconception is explained. But I shall further take occasion 
to express my own interpretation of the present position in the 
philosophical world with reference to logical theory, which offers 
certain highly suggestive antitheses. 

^ Cf. " Bosanquet's Theory of fudgment" by Miss Thompson, Chicago Decennial Publica- 
tions, 1903. I may note that for myself I entirely disclaim the epithet ' epistemological ' 
which Professor Dewey frequently employs in his introductory essay. For I understand it to 
imply a theory of cognition in which truth and reality are treated as external to one another, 
in fact, some form of the correspondence theory. He is indeed discussing Lotze, and not any 
writer with whose views I am in agreement. But I am not sure how far his criticism is 
meant to stretch, and it is better to guard oneself. 

^ Under all the circumstances, this supposition recalls to me a vulgar story current in my 
youth, of a doctor who, finding himself unequal to treating the patient's actual ailment, 
proposed to inoculate him with a quite different malady, " for," he said, " I'm death on 


(i) I will say at once that there is just one expression in my book 
which in my opinion may have given some sort of colour to what I 
must call my critic's fundamental error. It is the phrase in which I 
stated the relation of Reality, as the subject to be defined, to thought 
as the process of defining it. I said ^ : "It is an essential of the act 
of judgment that it always refers to a Reality which goes beyond and 
is independent of the act itself" Such an expression, taken by itself, 
or in a treatise framed on wholly different lines from my Logic, would 
not have been inconsistent with a conception of reality as an existent 
world external to our thinking, in resemblance or dissimilarity to 
which lay the truth or falsehood of our ideas. But in criticising a 
work which takes for its watchword the saying that " The truth is the 
whole," offering this as the solution of the difficulty that a world 
outside thought cannot be laid hold of by thought, this does seem to 
me a gratuitous misconception. And further, I think it is one which 
not only every paragraph of the general theory, but still more the 
whole progress and structure of the book disowns. 

Reality is independent of the judgment in two senses. There is, of 
course, an ultimate Reality ; a higher experience than ours ; we must 
postulate that, if we do not mean to accept e.g. all individuals' worlds 
of experience as separate and unconnected. When I spoke of this 
Reality as independent of our act of judgment, as it is in an enormous 
proportion, I did not mean to exclude the truth that our judgment, 
in an infinitesimal degree, contributes to sustain it, and forms an 
element in its life. Of course the two are in this sense not inde- 
pendent ; but this has nothing to do with Correspondence. 

This Reality then shows itself in our world of experience in a way 
which is independent of our act of judgment in a second sense. For 
our immediate experience, our feeling, our possession of a contact 
with a world, has individuality in a mode which as a mode of experi- 
ence^ our judgment cannot confer or originate, but can only attempt 
to restore by a secondary process when its unity is transcended. The 
contact in feeling has existence and quality together, and primarily is 
satisfactory and self-contained, though carrying a sense of diversity 
which challenges analysis in judgment, but is as such independent of 
interpretation through judgment. 

* Vol. i. page 104. ^ For its content is modifiable. See below, pp. 30 ff. 


I We construct our world as an interpretation which attempts to 
■ restore the unity, which the real has lost by our making its diversity 
I explicit. This construction is our intellectual world. It is a form of 
reality, possessing some of its characters, and there are other forms, 
higher and lower. But none of them can be a world external to our 
thought and yet acting as its standard. The thing is a contradiction 
in terms, not because of the metaphor of externality, but because of 
the vital autonomy of the thought-system. 

If we ask, how we know our interpretation to be true or false, to 
possess or not to possess the character of reality, so far as its 
discursive form allows, the answer comes from the principle of non- 
contradiction, which is only another form of words for the principle 
that the Truth is the whole. This could easily be shown at length.^ 
The important point is that the principle of non-contradiction is 
positive and constructive ; its force cannot be evaded by a logical 
quietism, by saying nothing. For you cannot get away from the 
world. If you try to say nothing you are in contradiction with a mass 
of experience, not with a presumed external world, but with what 
enters into your own being ; and you further leave it in contradiction 
with itself. 

(ii) Our doctrine of truth is therefore whollyjmmanent. There is 
no external standard, and, of course, no possibility ot applying it if 
there were one. The criterion - identifies itself absolutely with that 
imposed by the doctrine of coherence.^ And the structure and nisus 
of the treatise is a simple embodiment of this principle. It is a pro- 
gressive interpretation of the 'this'; the contact with reality in 
which we possess both existence and quality. It is an advance from 
one form of individuality to another ; from individuality which has 
never gone beyond itself to individuality which has experienced 

^ I hope to go over this ground in much greater detail in a forthcoming work of a more 
metaphysical character. 

- We have been warned that a criterion is properly a label, extraneous to the character 
which it indicates. But any such criterion in highly organised matters is a bad, i.e. highly 
fallible criterion. And it is well to insist that in such matters the only sound criterion is the 
character itself or some important element of it. 

*See the author's Knowledge and Reality, p. 331 (publ. 1885), for a criticism of the 
simile of the foundations of knowledge. This criticism is always decisive of a writer's 
attitude to the correspondence theory. Cf. Bradley, Mind, 71, 335. 



contradiction and is being approximately restored as an explicit 
system of non-contradictory content. It is a product of the interest 
and purpose to explain all that you can ; to push the explanation 
further and further in response to the demand for removal of contra- 
diction in the relative whole of experience at every stage. This 
interest and purpose is the clue pursued by the effort of judgment 
from beginning to end. It is the special and distinctive cognitive 
interest. And a treatise like the one in question endeavours to trace 
in its genesis the system developed by the action of this interest, 
which is of course inclusive of all more special stimuli and occasions. 
The whole interpretation, as referred to the individuality that 
appears solid, but therefore only implicit, in the ' this,' possesses the 
character of reality, viz. individuality, not perfectly, but in the 
degree in which the form of finite thought can achieve it.^ We 
know this by the fact that this character, the character of a syste- 
matic whole, is the condition of our possessing a world of experience 
at all. If we let a contradiction stand, we possess so much the less 
of reality. Something cancels something, and we are the poorer and 

(iii) Immanence is the absolute condition of a theory of truth. It 
is this that makes the fundamental contrast between the coherence 
and the correspondence theory. As I said at the beginning of the 
Logic, truth is individual.'^ This is only another form of words for the 
principle of non-contradiction, the principle that the truth is the 
whole, and the doctrine that coherence is the test of truth and reality. 
Truth is then its own criterion. That is to say, it can only be tested 
by the more of itself. Your completest system at the moment cannot 
be further tested. You can only test it further when you are in a 
position to make it more complete. Then what interferes with its 
greater completeness must go. 

Is it necessary to say a word about comprehensiveness ? Sometimes 
we are told that our criterion is mere formal consistency. This can 
mean nothing but that the critic has not thought the matter out to the 
bitter end. By coherence or consistency we mean the consistency, so 
far as attainable, of the whole body of experience with itself. Nothing 

' Need I say that errors in the personal thought-process are expected and admitted ? 
2 Vol. i. p. 3. 


less would satisfy the law of individuality or the necessity of non- 
contradiction. But in this interpretation of consistency comprehensive- 
ness is obviously included. 

(iv) One word more about correspondence. If an identical principle 
operates in different worlds — e.g. in the experiences of different 
spiritual beings, the products are likely to correspond. And I notice 
a tendency^ to aid the process of inoculating us with the malady which 
is not ours, by insisting on this obvious truth. If the fundamental 
principle of reality is operative in the sphere of finite thought, of 
course this sphere will show a character that possesses certain common 
features with those of other spheres or of the ultimate real. But if 
correspondence,^ ix. identity in certain characters of a system, must 
result, that is no argument that correspondence is the criterion for 
either system. If two men add up a sum right and therefore the same, 
that does not mean that the sums are right because they are the same, 
or that one man has copied from the other. Of course, there is a 
reality which is more than an individual's thought. There is, at least, 
the thought of other individuals. And undoubtedly these will corre- 
spond, i.e. will show a structure identical in principle but different in 
details. But that is nothing against the character of both being 
immanently determined. 

I shall return in a later section to the question in what sense the 
coherence theory fails. 

2. I will now venture to state what I believe to be the cause and 
tendency of the peculiar logical movement of to-day. 

(i) It is plain that the last half century has brought to philosophy in 
general a great revival of interest. This revival has coincided with a 
marked increase of the tendency, traceable in European thought ever 
since Rousseau, to emphasise the philosophical value of feeling, of 
practice and action in the plainest meaning of the words, and of what 
has come to be called, in an almost technical sense, " life " and " living." 
The movement has conceived itself as a sort of democratic revolution 
in the things of the mind, ^ and is obviously connected with the change 

^ See even Joachim in The Nature of Truth, p. 174. 

"^ On the nature of this correspondence see Essentials of Logic, p. 18. 

' Cf. the author's Philosophical Theory of the State, Ed. 2. Introd. Nietzsche represents 
perhaps the " Saviour of Society " who attends upon some democratic movements. 


of affairs in society and politics. A supposed aristocracy of intellec- 
tualist principles is to be dethroned. Truth is to become more vital, 
more accessible, its touchstone more obvious and more easily applied. 
Life, one may say, is to be substituted for thought as the central object 
and impulse of philosophy. 

All this has had and is having the usual effect of revolutionary 
demands in philosophy.^ The new theorists are insisting on some- 
thing which was really vital in the older tradition, and the result of 
their movement will probably be a certain alteration of balance and 
emphasis in the formulation of that tradition. One can hardly suppose 
that a movement so widespread and so popular will bring with it no 
elements of gain at all. If it brought nothing but its adherents' 
interest in philosophy it would already have brought a good deal.^ 

(ii) But the movement itself, I am sure, is conducted under a mis- 
apprehension. It has hold of something very partial, and consequently 
sees and, as I have pointed out, further produces by its assumptions, a 
fundamental opposition where there is really nothing but a part unduly 
contrasted with its whole. 

Let us particularise. Genetic Logic — the treatment of thought as a 
system, or at least an aggregate, of adaptations evolved in response to 
the needs of practice, has in principle adopted and popularised the 
coherence theory of truth. This doctrine, being as we have seen a 
doctrine of immanence, is essential to all vital philosophy and logic, 
and, to the best of my belief, no other has in fact been held by any 
leader of European thought from Plato downwards.^ But by 
restricting the coherence which is to be the standard, to the coherence 
of adaptation with external action, at first (as no one can doubt) in the 
purely normal and everyday usage of the latter term, it has on the one 
hand voiced a popular demand, but on the other has precluded a real 
understanding by itself of its own philosophical position. And so it 

* Cf. the analysis. Logic, ii. pp. 228 ff., of the relation of epochs of empiricism to the 
traditional distinctions of Logic. 

2 As will appear, I believe this to be far the greater part of the gain it will bring. 

^ See, for example, my remark on Aristotle, Logic, ii. p. 222. I know that this has been 
adversely criticised, but I believe that when we consider the full meaning of apprehension by 
vov% as the sort of insight which comes, for instance, by "induction," my view will be seen to 
hold good. Cf. for example, Burnet's Ethics of Aristotle, pp. xxxvii and xlii. I may say in 
general that I should have guarded myself much more emphatically against the correspondence 
theory if I had ever imagined that it could by any mischance be imputed to me. 


strongly tends, as we saw, to assume that in the older philosophy, 
which it feels to be in some way its antithesis, the view opposed in 
principle to its own, that of correspondence to an external standard, 
must be the prevailing one. And it conducts its controversy on this 
basis, reinforcing its attitude by utilising another popular demand, that 
for actual individual endeavour and modification of things, which it is 
unable to unite (the great and ultimate test of a philosophy) with the 
belief in a perfect and timeless real. And the completer form of its 
own logical view, the coherence theory of truth, it is apt to stigmatise 
as a mere formal consistency.^ 

(iii) Thus in a very able statement^ of the contrasted positions 
of genetic and the older philosophical Logic, I seem to myself to 
find three connected misconceptions at the very basis of the whole 

First, there is Dualism. Thought is from the beginning conceived 
in contrast to its occasions. It is taken as reflective, as what arises 
now and again when we set ourselves consciously to " think." That 
is to say, this is the limitation of the thought with which the writer 
deals. Something called Constitutive thought is mentioned in 
contrast with it ; but whether this is simply the working thought 
by which we carry on unreflective life, or some theoretical construc- 
tion of a creative force in the universe, it seems impossible to tell. 
What is clear is this much, that not merely the limitation of thought 
as a distinctive form of reality which operates through ideas, but the 
special limitation of " pale reflective thought " as against " active 
endeavour," or of " abstract description " as against " living apprecia- 
tion " are accepted as formulations for the object of the new concep- 
tion of Logic.^ " Thought arises in response to its own occasion." 

^ The controversy, I suggest, is thrown completely askew if you take Lotze as typical 
of philosophical Logic. The whole statement of the issue, as based upon the contrast 
of thought in general with reality in general (Dewey in Introductory Essays to Chicago 
University Decennial Publications, 1903) appears to me thus utterly falsified. If we want 
to deal with a master of philosophical Logic why not select Ilegel or Plato, or even Green ? 
That is, if one was not going to take the obvious course of considering Mr. Bradley's whole 
position with regard to Thought and Reality. " Dewey, I.e. 

^This takes us back to the conception of thought as decaying sense, which, whether right 

or wrong, is sharply opposed to the conception of it in the masters of Idealism. I should 

] explain that Idealism, in the sense in which I use it for the philosophy, say, of Hegel, is the 

{antithesis of what is called Rationalism. But I know of no other name that would carry the 



Then, by removing only the definiteness of the occasion, which ought 
to be retained, and retaining the dualism of nature between con- 
structive and discursive thought, which ought to be removed, an 
antithesis is created against philosophical logic which assigns to it as 
its characteristic problem the relation of thought in general to reality 
in general, as the epistemological issue out of which its whole treat- 
ment springs.^ And an apparent corroboration of this attitude is 
found by giving a predominant place to an analysis of Lotze's 

This idea of the situation — I say it mainly to make my own con- 
viction clear — seems to me wholly and utterly false. The relation 
— the nature of the antithesis — is in my view altogether different 
from this. 

In Logic as I understand it, attempting to follow out at a long 
interval the practice of the masters, there is no epistemology in the 
sense supposed,- no treatment of thought in itself as opposed to 
reality in general, no question of a bridge from the one to other. 
In analysing the thought-world it holds itself to be analysing the 
structure of reality, the detailed and articulated responses by which 
the living body of experience exhibits its endeavour to approxi- 
mate as a system of ideas to a non-contradictory whole. Of course 
all these phases could be construed as responses to the environment. 
But the environment for thought is not the sphere of external action, 
but the universe of experience. The occasions which evoke responses 
of thought within specific limitations are merely a fragment of 
this total environment. The genetic theory, so it seems to me, has 
merely insisted on an arbitrarily limited fragment of the genuine 
logical theory. 

From this, therefore, it is separated in degree rather than in kind, 
by a further error involved in its naive Dualism ; an error for which 1 
can find no better name than Occasionalism. Thought, we are told, 
is always within the limits of a specific occasion, a specific purpose. 

^ lb. p. 6, and cf. Green's refutation of this fallacy, Prolegomena, p. 27. 

'^The explanation on vol. i. p. 3 was intended to guard me against the appearance of 
dealing with "epistemology " or "a theory of cognition," by which I mean, an examination 
of the nature of knowledge as something apart from the reality which is then taken as its 
external standard. 


It is charged against what is treated as general logical theory ^ that it 
disregards these limits, or only regards them as throwing light on the 
terms on which thought transacts its business with reality. " But in 
the end all this is incidental. In the end the one problem holds. 
How do the specifications of thought as such hold good of reality as 
such ? In fine, logic is supposed to grow out of the epistemological 
problem, and to lead up to its solution." ^ 

All this, as I see the situation, is the same old half-truth turned into 
a complete delusion. There is no discussion of a relation of thought 
in itself to reality at large. No question arising out of it determines 
the course of logical investigation. But it is perfectly true that 
thought (in a way, as we shall see, comparable to life, about which 
the same error is made) has in all its specific responses and adapta- 
tions the universe implicitly before it. Its adaptations, like those of 
an organ in an organism, are controlled throughout by a system of 
functions which is a response to something continuous in the nature 
of the environment — as in life, to the conditions of organic existence 
on our earth's surface ; so in knowledge, to the condition of belonging 
to a universe. Occasionalism, the insistence on response to specific 
occasion as the condition of thought, thus misses its underlying and 
continuous character, as the active form of totality ; the nature by 
which all experience strives of itself towards the whole. Thought 
is essentially the nisus of experience as a world to completion of its 
world. The intervals of conscious reflection are merely one of its forms 
of advance, and are not, in their paleness and meagreness, character- 
istic of thought, which is essentially organic, concrete and constructive. 
In its Occasionalism, again, the genetic theory is saying something so 
far true, but fragmentary, and is again taking it as the basis of an 
antithesis which has no existence, except as a relation of a partial to 
a more comprehensive view. 

And lastly, Dualism and Occasionalism take shape in Adaptation- 
ism. This is more than a recognition — which would be justified — 
that all thought may be regarded as a response or adaptation to 
surroundings. It consists (a) in neglect of the character of thought as a 
system of functions adapted to the removal of contradiction through- 

^ It sliould he remembered that this is not accejited as a just title for philosophical logic. 
-/l>. p. 6. 


out experience and having always this complete systematic function 
operative in controlling specific responses or adaptations ; and {b) in 
the suggestion that, considering the complete explanation of evolu- 
tionary growths to be only possible through regarding them as adap- 
tations to their environments, each to each, the antithesis of origin 
and value ought to be treated as superseded, and psychology, for 
instance, should become, in its aspect of a historical science, a service- 
able instrument in logical valuation. 

{a) As to the former of these points, it is now I think recognised 
that to consider a living organism as a mere box of patent ^ contriv- 
ances, a collection of adaptations to particular situations of environ- 
ment, is to consider it inadequately. Every adaptation is built on a 
system, and the system is determined by essential functions, which 
may be regarded if we like as a great general adaptation. But these 
functions, as a system, it must be borne in mind, constitute a large 
proportion of the environment for every specific adaptation. In every 
adaptation life is there as a whole, and has the whole nature of the 
environment in view, not as a general abstraction, but as a concrete 
whole that enters into every specific situation. So with thought. It 
is, if we like, all developed as responses ; but it is inadequately con- 
sidered if it is considered as a box of tricks. Thought never really 
forgets the universe. There is always more in it than its occasion 
brings, or rather, it makes its occasion more than it is. 

{b) And the idea that evolutionary explanation has disposed of the 
antithesis between genesis and value seems to me more particularly to 
invert the real relation. It is true, of course, that natural history is 
much interested in natural selection ; but the decisive point for 
logical theory is that natural selection is not in the smallest degree 
interested in natural history. One may fancy oneself pleading before 
the court of natural selection. " Only give me time, and I can explain 
everything ! The fact is, I was not adapted to to-day's environment, 
but only to yesterday's. That is why I am not equal to the situation." 
But the court, I take it, replies " My dear sir, in the court of history 
that would be interesting, but in this court it is wholly irrelevant. We 

^ The Mendelian theory is not quite this. But even its way of regarding an organism, as, 
if I grasp the idea rightly, a group of more or less independent factors, seems difficult to 
accept without further explanation. 


must ask you to deal with the situation of to-day, or ." It is being 

equal to the whole situation that is the criterion for Logic as for 
Morals, Past adaptations can justify no theory of to-day. Have we 
or have we not a system which gives the possible maximum of non- 
contradiction, in the construction which it puts upon the fullest con- 
ceivable experience. This is our standard for the present, and in it, 
for the past. And Professor Dewey says what seems to me equivalent 
to accepting this standard. " The historical point of view explains 
the sequence; the normative follows the sequence to its conclusion, 
and then turns back and judges each historical step by viewing it in 
reference to its own outcome." ^ Yes, but the sanction lies surely not 
with the history of adaptation, which shows a certain stage to be de 
facto the outcome ; but with the court of natural selection, which 
applies the test of adequate or inadequate adaptation, that is, of power 
or impotence to deal with contradictions, taking the whole body of 
experience together as constituting the concrete situation. This is 
the test, the test of coherence and non-contradiction, which philo- 
sophical Logic accepts; the immanent test of the presence of the 
character of Reality within the thought-form as one of the many 
branches or appearances of the real. 

(iv) Psychology, from anthropology upwards, beginning with a 
natural history conditioned by quite other environments, leads gradu- 
ally up to a situation in which, as the proper character of mind 
emerges, the logical test by present adequacy of working supersedes 
the historical explanation by past adequacy of working in a less com- 
plete environment. " Working"; that is the apparent watchword, the 
name accepted on both hands for the test which might bring the two 
theories together. But to cover the problem of philosophical Logic it 
must take the environment as the widest conceivable experience, and 
must recognise the fact and right of cognitive interest.^ 

When once the ultimate criterion is accepted, with the extension of 
the supposed new view to its natural boundaries, that is from practical 
working to dealing adequately with experience, I cannot understand 
how the relation of Psychology to Logic should present a difficulty. 

1 lb. p. 16. 

2 The true type of the relation of Psychology to Logic is in the relation of associated 
contents— impure universals— to pure logical connections. 


I have observed above that the epistemological attitude which the 
new theory is attempting to force upon the old is nowhere, so far as I 
know, accepted by it.^ And in fact the historical method, the explana- 
tion of past phases in the light of their environment, was not derived 
by philosophy from the historical or evolutionary sciences, but rather 
by them from it.^ It is a notable characteristic of Plato, and could 
hardly have been more prominent than it is in Hegel's Phenomenology 
and in his Philosophy of Mind, It is unfortunate that there is really 
no word free from irrelevant suggestions for what we mean by Idealism 
when we apply it to the philosophy of Plato or of Hegel. But taking 
" Objective Idealism " as a more or less accepted equivalent, we may 
say that the history and estimate of thought-adaptation in relation to 
the environment has always been the peculiar pride and province of 
objective idealism. Only, the actual test of truth, of the character of 
reality in the thought-form, was by it always kept separate from the 
historical estimate of imperfect forms, the justification of which had 
shown itself, as we may say, doubly relative.^ 

(v) This, then, is one part of the logical situation as I feel obliged 
to conceive it. It is well to vindicate for Logic the sphere of Life and 
practice as against an imaginary heaven of ideas — to which, however, 
no master of thought has relegated it. It is well to bring the develop- 
ment of thought together with the conception of adapted response, 
and to apply to it the general idea of natural selection. It is well to 
vindicate for the individual mind a living share in the self-mainten- 
ance of Reality as against the idea which Plato repudiated of a statue- 
like immovable system. All these are attitudes of special emphasis 
due to the philosophical and semi-philosophical movement of the last 
fifty years. But if the reforming theorist limits practice to the sphere 
of external action, adaptation to the history oi de facto success apart 
from the principle of its determination, and our living concern with 
Reality to effecting in it ultimate change, in a time which is ultimately 
real, then his view remains fragmentary, and he has failed to grasp 
the inheritance which is coming within his reach. 

' I have explained why I think it misleading to take Lotze as a specimen for criticism. 

^ A remark of W. Wallace. I have not the reference. 

' "Relative" as falling short by the standard of our best experience; doubly relative 
because that standard is itself not absolute. 


3. Complementary to the view of truth which I have just attempted 
to explain — the view for which thought is an adaptation, and truth 
along with reality is bona fide in process of being made — is the 
reassertion of Realism in the modern world. Realism, indeed, however 
opposed to the conception of a universe in actual genesis, belongs at 
bottom to the same impulse of modernism. The very same flowing 
tide which carries with it the demand that truth shall be a mere 
adaptation to vital needs, brings also the antagonistic requirement 
that truth shall lie in a relation to simple given fact. On both sides 
we have the demand for immediacy ; here the immediacy of satisfac- 
tion, there the immediacy of apprehension. And the second, as 
we admitted of the first,^ has doubtless, even from our point of view, 
contributions to offer. The first, we hoped, would bring about a 
correction of the confusion of idealism with rationalism, and destroy 
the conception of a pale and meagre thought, identified with decaying 
sense. The latter, we hope, will undo the unhappy connection with 
mere psychicalism or mentality,^ and bring into prominence the more 
robust conceptions of a philosophy which admits true differences of 
kind within the whole. 

I propose elsewhere to attempt an explanation of the attitude 
involved, in the theory of truth which has been followed through the 
Logic, to mental states and the claims of naive realism. 

But here some remarks will be in place concerning a doctrine of 
truth which, as far as I grasp it, shares on one side only the position 
of naive realism and simple apprehension, while on another side 
committing itself to a special theory of existence with which naive 
realism has directly nothing to do.^ The doctrine of simple appre- 
hension, and the true meaning of the principle that knowledge makes 
no difference in what is known, will be spoken of in another place. 

{a) " The world is a world of many things, with relations which are 
not to be deduced from a supposed nature or scholastic essence of the 
related things. In this world, whatever is complex is composed of 
related single things. There is no identity in difference ; there is 

^ p. 8 above. 

'^See e.g. Mr. Moore's Refutation of Idealism^ cited and commented on in Joachim's 
Nature of Truth, 6i note. 

' I think that even in their theory of existence the two have an impulse in common, that 
of hardening into isolated existence purely relative objects. 



identity and there is difference, and complexes may have some 
elements identical and some different, but we are no longer obliged to 
say of any pair of objects that may be mentioned that they are both 
identical and different." ^ 

The core of the view, as is well known, is the rejection of what have 
been called " internal relations," i.e. relations grounded in the nature 
of the related terms ; and the assertion of mere external relations, i.e. 
as I understand, the assertion that relations either need not or cannot 
be so grounded.^ The phrase " internal relations " seems to me not 
quite satisfactory, as suggesting relations between parts within a given 
term. At least the view which to me appears reasonable would be 
better expressed by some such term as " relevant relations," i.e. 
relations which are connected with the properties of their terms, so 
that any alteration of relations involves an alteration of properties 
1 and vice-versa. 

The following reasons for accepting a doctrine of relevant relations 
appear to me to be unimpeached. 

(i) In a large proportion of cases the relevancy of the relations to 
the properties of the related terms involves a community of kind. 
You cannot have a spatial relation between terms which are not in 
space. You cannot have a moral relation between terms which are 
not members of a moral world. Why is it absurd to ask for the distance 
from London Bridge to one o'clock .-* Surely because the one is a 
term in space and the other in time. This is not a general argument 
that if the relation were other the terms would be other, from which 
any possible conclusion might follow.^ It is an analytic determination 
of a common positive element on which both property and relation 

^ Russell, Philosophical Essays, p. 169. I do not think it is maintained on our side that 
relations can be deduced from the properties of single terms which are in relation. I under- 
stand the point of interest to be that you cannot explain one term of a complex without 
explaining the rest. By "explaining" I mean describing without self-contradiction. Every 
complex, it must be remembered, has a special quality of its own, and every term in it a 
quality relative to that quality. Logic, I. pp. 139-40. 

^ Op. cit. p. 161. It would be important to know whether it is maintained that they 
cannot be so grounded, because then we could ask for the author's explanation of the more 
obvious cases in which they appear to be so. 

3 Op. cit. p. 166. 


(2) There is further no case in which on philosophical scrutiny ^ the 
relevancy of relations to properties is not perceptible. I do not say 
that the relation can be reduced to a fact about the one object only 
together with a fact about the other object only.^ The point of the 
relevancy of relations, as I understand it, is that each of two or more 
terms can only be understood if all are understood. "Father" and 
" Son " is a vulgar traditional instance. But I do not see that it is 
not a sound one. And in every case, I think, the basis of such a 
necessity can be shown. This or that observer may not possess the 
knowledge or the acuteness required to formulate the element which 
changes with the relation in precise detail. But it can always be 
shown what sort of thing must be relevant to the relation. So much 
so, that I cannot think this to be really and totally denied of so-called 
external relations. And I will pass on to a point of view which 
raises this question. 

(3) Relations are true of their terms. They express their positions 
in complexes, which positions elicit their behaviour, their self-main- 
tenance in the world of things. This is really the all-important 
argument. And I cannot believe that if the doctrine of mere external 
relations were completely stated, we should not find the same thing 
admitted by it, in one way or another.^ If the relations make 
no difference to the terms, it follows that things do not react or 
behave with reference to the complexes to which they belong. Yet if 
Charles I. had died in his bed, he must have died in a different bodily 
attitude from that in which he died on the scaffold. 

{b) I do not understand relations to be adjectives of their terms, y^^ 
They are not adjectives, because they involve other terms which are 
as substantive as any of which we might be inclined to pronounce 
them adjectives. Relations cannot be reduced to qualities, nor y 
qualjties to relations. Relations are just the way in which discursive 

^ I have in mind Mr. Bradley's argument in Appearance and Reality, ed. 2, pp. 572 ff. 

2 Russell, p. 191. 

^ As I understand the appearance ot this is avoided by connecting the mind with the 
relation straight, so to speak, and not through the terms. But this seems to me simply a 
bold omission of a fact in the complex. Does not the conception of a "sense" in a relation 
like love necessarily admit this? The term A is different, according to the " sense " of the 
relation of love between A and B. Or take spatial relations in the visual field. When a new 
object is inserted in the field, every object in it becomes a member of a new pattern, and so 
necessarily exhibits a new quality. 


thought represents the unity of terms which it cannot make adjectives 
of each other. As Mr. Bradley has said that they are a modus vivendi 
between predicates of the same subject whose unity we cannot really 
construe to ourselves, so it might be said they are a modus vivendi 
between terms in the same universe, of whose unity, in the imperfection 
of our experience, the same is true. 

None of the objections which have been put forward appear to me 
to touch these points. ^ 

1 quite understand that on the doctrine offered to us Identity in 
Difference must go. And I quite see for myself that it must go " in 
the end," that is to say, in any experience for which objects are self- 
contained and cease to transcend themselves. What our pluralist 
realists^ are grasping at is therefore justly anticipated. Undoubtedly 
the Real is self-complete and self-contained. But I insist on the 
words " in the end," because it is their repudiation of them ^ that I 
take to be the root of their failure. They are the extreme Absolutists. 
They are not content to have the Absolute "in the end," as we more 
modestly claim it, not meaning after a lapse of time, but in so far as 
what are fragments for us point out to us a completion beyond them. 
And there is surely a difference of completeness in different experiences. 
But they will have the absolute here and now ; and to make it handy 
and adaptable for everyday use they split it into little bits. A 
universe of tiny Absolutes; that is really what they offer us.* But if 
any of these Absolutes imply any term beyond themselves their 
absolutism breaks down. And we have tried to show that in all 
relations this is the case, 

j {c) As to error we have only to bear in mind that degree of partiality 
of the truth asserted must combine with a belief that it is the truth, 
j the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, in constituting the degree 
j of erroneousness. And also, for practical purposes and within certain 
[ limits, we let imperfect truth pass as absolute. A repudiation of the 

'Of course I am following Mr, Bradley, Appearance and Reality, I.e., though he is not 
responsible for what I say. 

^ I do not wish to use a name that will be disliked. I merely invented an appellation that 
seemed to be fair, for shortness' sake. 

2 Russell, 159, 163. 
* I suppose this is a familiar idea in the case of the Atomists and the Eleatics. Burnet, 

Early Greek Philosophy, ed. 2, p. 387. 


phrase "in the end " denies these distinctions. But surely in denying 
them it denies nearly all the facts of life. Presupposing these reserva- 
tions, what has been said in satire ^ is surely a plain truth, which only 
needs complete application to make it obvious. A man who accepts 
the view that all his judgments have only partial truth is certainly /r<? 
tanto less wrong in each of them than if he believed he had got in each 
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But obviously, 
in this form the principle is only a general warning, and cannot 
directly amend the actual partiality of what a man judges as truth. 
For this follows from determinate reasons, and in each case he must 
judge or not judge. A purely general warning cannot guide his judg- 
ment. But it can stimulate him to caution and criticism, and this is 
an obvious excellence in his whole cognitive system, which is excluded 
by the belief that partial truth can be absolute. A man who has 
grasped the warning that you must only believe about one half of 
written history is certainly /r<? tanto, i.e. if both have the same positive 
knowledge, nearer historical truth than one who thinks he may with 
safety swallow it all. And though this caution alone will, of course, 
not tell a man which half to believe, yet it will place his cognitive 
system in a much truer relation to the facts than that of a man who, 
making the same judgments as the other, believes them to represent 
absolute truth. It is the case, no doubt, that you cannot, out of 
caution, half make a judgment ; you must make it or not. But it is 
further true that to make an additional judgment, " there is a good 
deal more to learn about " this or that character or incident, puts your 
positive judgments in a proportion to the facts which is likely to be 
much more in harmony with them than if you entertained no such 
critical principle. 

{d) I believe the truth to be that the doctrine of which we are speaking 
gains its vraisemblance and its apparent clearness from clinging to just 
the region of so-called plain and simple fact, the illusory hardness and 
isolation of which — really a defect of low-grade knowledge ^ — it takes 
for absoluteness. And in this region it does seem prima facie absurd 

1 Russell, p. 155. 

^ Of course no one uses the whole of his own experience in his theories. He uses what for 
some reason has struck him and seemed typical to him. I do not think it is without precedent 
that men of very high attainments should rely theoretically on very naive types of experience. 
I think analogies for this are rather common. 




to take error as partial truth. You must be, it appears, either right or 
wrong. The fact is fixed, and you are in relation with it or are not. 
There are no degrees of truth, and nothing which is truth in the 
beginning and not in the end, or in the end and not in the beginning. 
I will try to show the nature of this delusion, as it seems to me, by a 
few words on truth of fact and truth of system. 

"It is plain — that the truth or falsehood of a given judgment 

depends in no way upon the person judging [it is common ground that 

there must be a mind to judge], but solely upon the facts about which 
he judges." "Thus the judgment that two terms have a certain 
relation R is a relation of the mind to the two terms and the relation 
R with the appropriate ' sense ' [direction of the relation from A to 
B, or from B to A] ; the ' corresponding ' complex consists of the two 
terms related by the relation R with the same ' sense.* The judgment 
is true when there is such a complex, and false when there is not. 
The same account, mutatis mutandis, will apply to any other judgment. 
This gives the definition of truth and falsehood. The complex, it is 
to be remembered, is composed of single related things." ^ 

/ I wish to explain, by a comparison of judgments differently related 
to " the facts," why it appears to me that, in the first place, truth and 
falsehood depend on the cognitive system in another and more vital 
sense than is here admitted, and not on the mere presence or absence 

' of a complex of entities corresponding to the judgment, and that, in 
the second place, the facts themselves, though they are real, are not 
real in the way here asserted, as bits of reality, immediately accessible 
to apprehension, and corresponding each to each with the terms of 
our commonplace judgments. 

(i) Let us begin with Charles Reade's mediaeval physician, who, 
having a grudge against a reluctant patient, tried to have him arrested, 
laying an information that he intended to fly the country. But "his 
sincere desire and honest endeavour to perjure himself were baffled 
by a circumstance he had never foreseen nor indeed thought possible. 
He had spoken the truth. AND IN AN AFFIDAVIT." For the patient 
had fled. 

Here the doctor told a lie, but in telling it, he spoke the truth ; if, 
that is, we judge by correspondence with the facts. One might urge 

^ Op. cit. pp. 173, 184, 169. 


that his assertion, being contrary to his belief, was not a judgment at 
all, but a form of words intended to produce action in another. This 
I think is true.^ But it does not seem to me to destroy the point of 
the instance. Why could a form of words, corresponding with the 
facts, be in his mouth nothing but a lie ? Because it was contrary to 
his belief? But what does that mean ? Belief is not a chance thing, 
sprung from nowhere. It means that it was contrary to the system of 
his knowledge as determined by his whole experience at the time. 

(2) Take another case — the so-called true conclusion from one or 
more false premisses. Here again we have truth, if judged by mere 
correspondence with the hard fact. For example, on a local railway 
I know, the signals are down all Sunday. A stranger unaware of this 
practice might infer that a train is due. And it might well happen, 
three or four times in the day, that at the moment of speaking a train 
was in fact due. Judging by hard fact this judgment would be true. 
But would the man be right in his judgment .'' It is a point on which 
probably his companions might wrangle with him ad nauseam. He 
seems to have got a truth which he had no business to have got. If 
he had known a little more — possessed a little more truth — he would 
not have got it. And the truth, as he possesses it, is felt to be unsatis- 
factory, and half or more a falsehood, because its dependence is 
wrong ; that is, it is judged, as a truth, in part at least, by the system 
of judgment with which it is connected. And more than this ; it is 
infected, in its own nature, by the faults of this system. Its logical 
stability is highly incomplete ; it would be upset by a second trial ten 
minutes later, or by a most trifling bit of additional knowledge. But 
logical stability — incapability of being confronted with a contradictory 
experience — is, we shall see, the very core of truth. 

In the closer tissue of a science, this defect amounts more obviously 
to actual falsehood. The " true " conclusion participates so definitely 
in the character of the system from which it issues. theorists 
who held that agriculture is especially and peculiarly a desirable 
industry held, in this view, I suppose, what corresponded to an indu- 
bitable fact. But when they deduced it from the view that wealth is 
not genuinely produced in any other occupation, they connected it 
with grounds which destroyed its value, and made it a dangerous 

' See Logic, vol. i. p. 36. 


falsehood, by including in it an unjustified presumption against other 
forms of industry. 

Strictly speaking, there is no reason for dropping the premisses in 
stating a conclusion. And if they, being false, are retained, the false- 
hood of the conclusion, though apart from this corresponding with 
facts, is exhibited on the face of it. Here again, it is obvious that the 
truth or falsehood of a judgment depends not merely on corre- 
spondence to a complex, but on the completeness and comprehensive- 
ness of the system with which it is connected in the mind.^ Its truth 
is threatened, we have seen, both if it is at variance with the system, 
and if this system fails to give true connections, prwia facte outside 
the judgment directly in question, 

(3) Now let us take the strongest instance in favour of non- 
dependence on the cognitive system. This, it appears to me, is to be 
found in the current knowledge of facts currently admitted, forming the 
stock-in-trade of daily life and conversation, and considered out of the 
context of science or of any critical analysis.^ " Charles I. died on 
the scaffold." This judgment most people would describe pretty 
much in the language cited at the beginning of this section. It is 
true, they would say, because it corresponds to a complex of terms 
and their relation, which are or were facts or things. There is or was 
such a complex of things and such a relation between them, and 
therefore the judgment which expresses the mind's relation to it is a 
true judgment. What the facts are or were is taken as a matter of 
general agreement ; it would be held pedantic to ask where we get at 
them, how we apprehend them, what precisely they are or were, what 
meaning the judgment actually carries with it. Our intellectual 
outfit for everyday use consists of "facts" postulated in this way — the 
normal furniture of our mind ; what Plato called the world of opinion. 
We take the material hurriedly from authority and tradition ; or from 
negligent perception interpreted by authority and tradition.^ We do 

' You may say there is nothing in this but that one judgment about one complex is true, 
while another about a larger complex including the first is false. Yes, but what is shown is 
that correspondence to iis complex is not enough to make the first judgment true. 

'^ It is such facts, I suppose, which another school would consider to have received Social 
endorsement, and to be made true by answering their purpose. 

* Could even a scholar, for instance, as a rule, exhibit a convincing argument that the 
works ascribed to the ancient authors were really written at such times and by such persons 
as is commonly supposed ? 


not pursue their context. We do not fix their limits or analyse their 
detail. Thus we let them shrink and harden into isolated counters 
dealt with by our thought, worn and defaced by rapid and careless 
exchange. And it is of these current counters that our world of fact 
is constituted, which we take to be self-existent, independent of 
our minds, each fact independent of the others, related to them but 
unaffected by their relation, complexes which are the standard of 
truth to our judgment. If our judgment corresponds to facts as 
presented to us in these current counters in which we commonly 
believe, that is all we ask. 

(4) Now I am not suggesting that these facts are not actual, 
and that the judgments which correspond to them are not true, 
in a sense sufficient for their purpose. My contention does not 
tend to making less of the facts, e.g. to reducing them to mere 
ideas, but to making more of them, i.e. to showing that as realities 
they cannot stop at the arbitrary point we have adopted. And, 
no doubt, it follows that the mind has had much more to do 
with them already and must have much more to do with them 
as they proceed. As they stand, they are a selection out of reality 
for everyday use, carelessly handed down or observed, clipped, 
worn, their interconnection neglected. But they do well enough 
as a standard for everyday truth, and our judgments, which we 
take to " correspond " with them, do well enough as every-day 

But, even within this world of what we conceive as corre- 
spondence to hard fact, we do acknowledge differences of truth, or, 
if this language is preferred, degrees of correspondence to fact, 
according to the furnishing of the mind. " Charles I. died on the 
scaffold," we commonly assume, is not so true in the mouth of a 
child who has just learned it by heart as in the mouth of a school- 
boy who knows something of the history and significance of the 
17th century. And in neither's mouth is it so true as in that of 
a historical student to whom the 17th century is a familiar world 
and a living interest. It is not a thing which is true or false by 
touching or not touching.^ From the first, it is an appreciation of 
elements in a system, and of their determination by the system, 
^See Aristotle, Metaph. 1072 b. 21. Qi'^ya.viisv Koi voQiv. 


and is a matter of degree. Our ordinary estimate of truth fully 
admits this to be the case. 

We have been urging so far that the system of the judging mind 
is an element in truth, and also, in the last paragraph, we come in 
sight of an inference affecting the actual things or facts which are 
taken as the standard. 

(5) I will pass to an instance which clinches both these points. 
When we come to consider the knowledge of any leading historical 
authority on the period of Charles I., we find two remarkable things. 
f^ First, quite undoubtedly, and in all common usage, such a man's 
^^ judgment " Charles I. died on the scaffold " is far truer than that of 
the child or the schoolboy or the ordinary conversationalist. This 
shows how much depends on the mental system of the judging 
(^^ Secondly, when at this level we begin to look for the single 
standard of fact which we are accustomed to rely on, it is not to 
be found.i At first sight it is absorbed into the great historian's 
knowledge. For us, something picked out of that knowledge is 
the standard. Our "facts" as we used to call them, now show as 
little bits or threads of reality, which we or others for us have 
selected out of the huge web of the world as known by such an 
authority as this. Of course the facts have not turned into any one's 
mere mental system. But they seem essentially continuous with 
mental systems. We do not mean to deny that they — as much of 
them as is warranted on good authority — are real facts. What we 
are saying can only mean that he helps us to get at them. That 
is all very true : but then, when we get at them through his know- 
ledge they are hardly recognisable for what they seemed when we 
were readily passing them from hand to hand among each other. 
Now we see that even in their discovery they are not single or 

1 Compare with this the difficulty which the layman often has in asking a question such as 
a scientific man can answer. To the layman a fact appears simple or single which to the 
expert is full of distinctions and reservations. The writer once procured a meteorological 
record of temperature with a view to its bearing on a stoppage in the building trade. But he 
found, of course, different readings of several instruments under different conditions, and 
could not tell, without further enquiry, which of the temperatures was important for his 
/ purpose. The " fact" vanishes as you come nearer, as a headland breaks up into an 
intricate outline of planes and edges as you approach it in a boat. 


independent. They depend for being discovered and warranted on 
an enormous constructive work of criticism, starting from present 
experience, and continued through heaps and heaps of testimony 
and evidence, all of which is instrumental to that view of facts 
which will give the highest degree of coherence to the system so 
constructed.^ Yes, but "the facts," it will be urged. All this is 
getting at " the facts " ; but the facts were there all the same, however 
hard to get at ; and when got at, by whatever means, can be and 
are the standard of truth. Well ; but we must consider the point 
that the facts, as we currently refer to them, are not to be found 
simple of themselves, as we incline to imagine in our everyday 
exchange of them. They are not and cannot possibly be the 
working standard of first-grade thought. You may copy them in 
your judgment, when the historian has found them out for you. 
But the working standard, which determines them, is not themselves, 
but his immense critical construction. Accounts of eye-witnesses 
e.g. are nothing but material ; and, as a rule, very contradictory 

The facts, then, though bits of reality, are mediated to us by an 
immense mental construction, and are not really separable from 
this. They are not and cannot be as simple and isolated as the first- 
hand statement of truth.^ We may select certain results and make 
them up into a standard for a certain level of truth, eg. one good 
enough for examination purposes, and that different for different 
examinations. But that is simply an artificial extract. 
\ That is one point. The facts, in history at any rate, are not 
simply there, so that they can act as a given standard, correspon- 
i dence to which is truth. The primary working standard is critical 
j system, or, what is the same thing, scientific investigation. 

(6) But then there is another thing. When we get our facts, 
our results, what we take to be real, it is something much beyond 
what we were wont to take as facts. It is a commonplace that 
in science we get away from what is called fact.^ We may say 

y ^Cf. 'Ei?iA\ey^s Presuppositions 0/ Critical History, Parker, 1874. 

"^ See for an example of what is involved in a simple measurement, if it is to be precise. 
Knowledge and Reality, 330- 1 . 

' See Logic, I. pp. 143 ff. 


that our current counters were fact; but they were neither the 

whole fact, nor nothing but the fact. What is the full significance 

and implication of the death of Charles I. ? And could we seriously 

say that a judgment about it is true in which its full significance 

and implication is ignored, more especially as on the other hand 

the picturesque and immediate aspect of the event is certainly not 

affirmed ? The facts are not " in the end " isolated and independent. 

There is a stage when they seem so, but you cannot arrest them 

at that stage. As coherence with a system is the standard by 

■ which we establish facts, so the part they play in a system of 

^ reality, their influence and importance in a historical context which 

js imply a further transformation, is the standard by which we judge 

their degree of reality, and therefore the degree of truthfulness of 

^ the judgments that affirm them. Ultimately, these two systems are 

one, the system of experience, a critical system which is always 

transforming the facts, as we know and rank them, towards a 

higher logical stability. 

Of course these remarks contain nothing that is new.^ But I hope 
they clearly explain my view about the relative places of correspond- 
ence and coherence in the meaning of truth, and about the alleged 
independence, both as regards mind and as regards each other, of the 
things or facts of the real world. 

4. The standard of system or coherence is a standard applicable to 

discursive thought. It is the standard of truth, which itself does not 

pretend to be the perfect or all-inclusive experience." 

• r* A judgment is true^ as I understand the term, when or in as (ax 

rv I as its self-maintenance as a judgment is perfect. That is, in other 

words, when the whole system of the judgments, which experience 

iforces upon the mind which makes it, contains less contradiction in 

' The line of the discussion is closely akin to that of Plato's discussion of trueness and 
reality, which agree in the character of logical stability. See Companion to Plato's Republic, 
479 ft"-, 509 ff- 

- It is perhaps hardly necessary at this time of day to say that I have now in principle 
adopted Mr. Bradley's view of the relation of thought to Reality, with which the ideas of my 
early work. Knowledge and Reality, were more or less in conflict. I shall refer below to 
a reservation on this view which I still entertain, and which I think is consistent with my 
present attitude. The point is merely that there is more analogy between the work of 
y thought and solid and complete reality than Mr. Bradley, treating thought as solely discursive, 

seems to allow. 


case of its affirmation than in case of its denial. Such a judgment is 
" true," because, on the whole, it cannot be denied — not, that is, till 
there is a change, other than its denial, in the body of experience. — 

(i) Stated in this way, which appears to me to be the right way, the 
doctrine that truth consists in the self-maintenance of judgments, 
which again consists in their systematic coherence, does not seem to 
me to fail quite in the way which has recently been imputed to it.^ 
Judgment professes to express the nature of the real so far as it can 
be uttered in a system of predicates and relations. It does not profess 
or suggest, so far as I can see, that the real is another system of 
predicates and relations, which that constituted by judgment pretends 
to reproduce or to resemble. Therefore its failure is one and decisive, 
simply consisting in the fact that it is not, like the higher experience 
which we suppose to be the sum and substance of all Reality, solid 
and immediate as well as perfectly individual and non-contradictory. 
It does profess to qualify Reality, to tell us about the nature of 
Reality ; and in as far as it arranges content in a non-contradictory 
system it does so tell us and qualify Reality. It sets out the content 
of the real in a shape of special interconnection and emphasis, the 
definiteness and varied accentuation of which in the diverse worlds of 
knowledge constructed from different centres, obviously proffers a side 
of the whole without which the perfect experience would in certain 
respects fall short of perfection. In the dissociation of the perfect 
experience involved in finiteness, this side appears alone.^ 

But, so far as thought is discursive, it does not profess to furnish any 
appearance of Reality but its own, and if it is said to be "about" the 
" other " of thought,^ that involves no claim to represent the fuller 
experience in its own character. Reality is operative in truth. The 
nature of the latter's self-maintenance as tested by the principle of 
coherence, non-contradiction, or individuality (all of them expressions 
for the same character), leaves no doubt of that. But the claim to 
have Reality at work in it, subject to special conditions, involves no 
appeal to correspondence, though correspondence in a sense must 
result.^ And, in my view, the fallacy above signalised — a sort of post 

^Joachim, Nature of Truth. 

'^ That is, markedly distinct in character. No side of experience is ever really alone. 

^Joachim, pp. 170-2. * See above, p. 7. 


Jioc ergo propter hoc — is involved in the assertion that " current Logic, 
consciously or unconsciously, employs the nature of truth as corre- 
spondence, and if that notion is challenged throws the burden of 
justification on metaphysics."^ 

The failure or limitation of the coherence theory of truth lies then, 
I urge, simply in the fact that it is a theory, i.e. that judgment, to 
which it belongs, is an appearance of reality in relational form, doing 
its best to attain individuality in that form, which up to a certain point 
it achieves,^ but which, because it is relational and points endlessly 
beyond itself for completion, it can never thoroughly attain. But it 
possesses, as we have suggested, merits of its own, clearness, special 
interconnection, emphasis, apart from which it is easy to divine that 
the ultimate Reality would lack an element. 

(ii) Thus I suggest that the enquiry I am referring to leaves its own 
true track in emphasising the impossible demands of perfect coherence^ 
as an attribute or essential of perfect truth ; instead of adhering 
throughout to the position that the perfection of truth is not within 
its own character, but must lie in a reality different in kind. The 
importance of this point is that in this way an imaginary perfect 
type of truth and coherence is set up, by their " approximation " to 
which actual truth and coherence are to be judged. The term 
approximation, I take it, involves the correspondence theory, to which 
accordingly at this point the enquiry harks back. Thus we lose the 
immanent standard, and with it the whole merit of the coherence 
theory. But reality in all its forms and phases can defend and 
maintain itself according to the principle of non-contradiction. It 

^Joachim, pp. 119-20. The suggestion seems to me quite fatal to a working Logic. 

^ I shall return to this question, in speaking of the reservation above alluded to. 

'See pp. 170-2. "A theory of truth as coherence, if it is to be adequate, must be an 
intelligible account of the ultimate coherence in which the one significant whole is self 
revealed " ; and just before, "any partial experience, t.g. human knowledge, is ' true' more 
or less, according as it exhibits a character more or less approximatmg to the complete 
coherence." (My italics.) I suggest that the "ultimate or complete coherence" is not an 
intelligible expression. Coherence is the substitute, possible only in a system of predicates 
and relations, for the immediate unity, transcending mediateness, which we are compelled lo 
ascribe to a perfect Reality. I repeat that the affinity of two exhibitions of a principle, or 
of two kindred principles, has nothing to do with correspondence in the technical sense, 
meaning correspondence of a copy with the original by which it is to be judged. The 
application of it in other senses as an explanation of truth involves the fallacy of post 
hoc ergo propter hoc. See above p. 7. 



never depends for its relative logical stability upon approximation or 
correspondence to anything else. 

(iii) And further I suggest that it is a confusion to use the con- 
ception that even truth is not quite true to suggest a recurrence to 
a correspondence theory.^ The meaning of this conception is very 
simple when we once have grasped the point that no experience short 
of perfect reality is altogether itself It is in that sense that even the 
truest truth, such as the coherence theory of truth, is not quite true ; 
that is to say its fullest completeness lies in something, a more perfect 
form of experience, which is beyond itself; and we may call this, to 
emphasise the relation of transcendence, a truer truth. 

But it is not truth in the form of truth, and there can be no question 
of truth in its own form possessing correspondence or approximation 
to its character. Truth stands on its own ground, as a fulfilment 
under its own conditions of the nature of reality ; and it can be tested 
as truth under those conditions and under no others, and therefore, as 
we have seen, by itself only and by nothing else in the universe. 
There is no meaning in the suggestion that " the coherence-notion of 
truth on its own admission can never rise above the level of knowledge, 
which at the best attains to the truth of correspondence." 

The coherence-doctrine is a theory, and so far is only truth. But 
coherence does not further and doubly fall short not merely by being 
only truth, but by resting its claim to be truth on imperfect corre- 
spondence. It rests its claim on the working of reality within it, and 
not on any correspondence that may result from this; and to 
get anything truer you would have to pass beyond truth into 
another form of reality. This may seem a needless subtlety ; but it 
is important to avoid the implication that truth as such is something 
away and beyond, which the coherence-notion ought to correspond to, 
but does not quite succeed. If this is admitted we lose our immanent 

5. One reservation, it seems to me, must be made upon the doctrine 

^ lb. p. 174. "Since all human discursive knowledge remains thought 'about' an Other, 
any and every theory of the nature of truth must itself be ' about ' truth as its Other, 
i.e. the coherence-notion of truth on its own admission can never rise above the level of 
knowledge, which at the best attains to the ' truth ' of correspondence. Assuming that the 
coherence-notion of truth is sound, no theory of truth as coherence can itself be completely 
true, etc." The " truth," which a theory is about, is not truth as such. 


that thought is essentially discursive and relational. It points only to 
an anticipation of the fuller experience, and, as I am quite aware, not 
to an achievement of it. But it appears to me suggestive, and more 
than that, I cannot see my way out of it. 

It is nothing more than the recognition that the worlds we severally 
live in, with the spatial world of each of us, have been fundamentally 
transformed and reconstructed by thought working in and on percep- 
tion and general experience. They are now, as for example our 
spatial world with its full properties and qualities, worlds all different 
and peculiar, and yet solid and individual in an appreciable degree, 
possessing up to a point existence and quality in one. The interest is, 
that if this is so — and I cannot open my eyes without finding it so — 
we have created for ourselves by thought originally discursive, a new 
immediacy, a new "given," a new basis of feeling and object-matter of 
simple apprehension. Nothing is more various, more relative, more 
progressive and personal, than the so-called simple apprehension of 
objects which we roughly postulate to be the same. For if we are 
to admit such a thing as "simple apprehension," we must take it as 
purely relative. Its object is a phase of our experience and not a 
stratum of it.^ Our worlds are all different, and yet all apparently 
solid, and clothed in inseparable contents, which nevertheless are of 
our own discrimination and attribution. And these are not, as a rule, 
taken as predicates. They are taken as belongings of the quasi- 
subjects, or rather quasi-substantive objects, although we can separate 
any of these contents and make them into predicates. The objects of 
our world which are thus admitted as concrete subjects are, of course, 
afifirmed in the general judgment which sustains the everyday reality 
which we accept. But they are, as I said just now, not naturally 
subjects in the sense of dividing themselves according to an SP 
relation. The judgment which affirms them most naturally takes an 
impersonal or existential form. 

When treated as subjects, they are not naturally taken as subjects 
of their nearest habitual predicates. These have qualified and clothed 
them, and are presupposed, not explicitly affirmed, in judgment. It is 
only in text books of Logic that we say "Man has two legs," "The 
grass is green," and the like. All this belongs in usage to the solid 

' I hope to return to this point in a forthcoming second edition of my Logic. 


starting-point, not to an SP judgment proper. But these starting- 
points, though relatively given, are really artificial, and in some degree 
different for every mind. 

These relative data or quasi-individuals are indeed the so-called 
subjects which were to count ^ as a plurality of substances. But the 
interesting point about them is their relativity. Thought has made 
them, and as may be seen in any criticism of their solidity, can unmake 
them. And to speak more obviously, and without reference to abstruse 
speculation, we can see that it is always remaking them. 

This is all I desired to point out ; that a quasi-real world, apparently 
solid and individual, is always being deposited as part of the work of 
thought. I draw no general conclusion but this, that thought which 
can thus deposit an apparent solid individual, is not so far removed 
from the nature of the fuller experience as an exclusive study of the 
discursive SP judgment tends to make us suppose. This was the 
side of thought which, e.g., to Green seemed characteristic and 
important.^ I do not in the least care to enter into a verbal 
controversy whether it is more properly called thinking or 
something else. But that our discursive judgment itself is always 
building up a world which its operation then presupposes — the world 
in which each of us lives, and takes it as actual — this, I do think, is 
an important part of its character and a striking analogy between it 
and ultimate reality. 

6. One word more. This quasi-real world of our own making is 
always passing at its edges into the discursive SP process of science 
and synthetic judgment. And on this ground it may be objected to 
our view of coherence and correspondence, " But here you have a real 
and immediate world, actual in your experience, and your synthetic 
judgments are about it. Does not this mean that your truth is corre- 
spondence — the right representation of your relatively real and solid 
world } " And I answer, " Emphatically, no." For our " given " solid 
immediate and real world, in which all these characters are merely 
apparent, is absolutely plastic,^ as is all immediate judgment and every 
object of simple apprehension. It is just as likely that it may have 
to yield to Science or Speculation as that they may have to yield to 

^p. 22 above. '-Cf. Works, iii. 144-5. 

^ /d. This is not plasticity of ultimate Reality, but may perliaps have been mistaken for it. 


it. Nothing in the whole field is a fixture to which all other elements 
have to correspond. Nothing is certain except the necessity that the 
whole should be coherent. 

The bearing of a view like this on the spirit both of Logic and of 
Science, and even, I would add, of Life,^ is, as I think, obvious, but is 
not always noted. It suggests that the quest for reality and the 
standard of truth lie always in the line of further determination, and 
not in the line of subtraction or abstraction. I am convinced that the 
recurrence of realism, so far as it is more than a wholesome insistence 
on the place of externality in experience, is connected with a pessi- 
mistic and reactionary temper^ which is widely influential to-day. The 
longing to retire, as it were, upon the security of a hard and given 
fact-nucleus, involves at bottom a shrinking from the strenuousness 
belonging to our share in the self-maintenance of a reality conceived 
as the whole. In continuing the present argument elsewhere I shall 
insist on this " arduousness of reality " ; and shall endeavour further to 
point out that the reassertion of realism, while valuable as against 
mere psychicalism, is undoubtedly destined to reverse itself by fastening 
upon "things" and "matter'' a continuity with mind as definite as 
anything held by Hegel, and much better supported. 

^ It would be easy to point the moral from political phenomena, but it would be out of place 
in a logical essay. 

'^Then can it belong to the "flowing tide" (p. 15)? Why, yes. The demand for 
immediacy is always on one side pessimistic and reactionary. 

Glasgow: printed at the university press by Robert maci.ehose and go. ltd. 





G. GALLOWAY, D.Phil., D.D, 

^rtnteb at the anibcrsitg Iprcas bo 




Theological Doctrines and Philosophical 


It is almost a truism to say that the present time is one of religious 
perplexity and unrest. The critical study of documents, and the 
enquiry into historical origins, which were so vigorously pursued 
during the greater part of last century, have undermined many 
traditional beliefs. Other beliefs they have placed for us in a fresh 
setting and under a new light, and so have materially altered their 
significance. Even the ' plain man ' whom it is usual to invoke, the 
man without theological or philosophical culture, is more or less 
aware that the religious outlook is changing. He knows that often 
where aforetime men of knowledge walked with confidence they now 
move with hestitating and uncertain steps. Referring to this sense of 
perplexity in theological matters, Eucken has suggestively indicated 
its far-reaching character : " At the present day faith, which was to 
relieve man of all doubts, has itself become an object of doubt." ^ 
Another thinker, in a recent work, has put it on record that, in his 
view, " Nothing short of a complete revision of current theological 
ideas . . . can bring permanent satisfaction to our highly reflective 
age." 2 Meanwhile the embarrassing feature in the present situation 
is, that the constructive principles on which the work of revision is to 
be carried out are not clear and universally accepted. Consequently 
there is no general agreement on the nature and the amount of change 
which are necessary. Both in the social and theological world the 
present discontent is much more patent than the new and better order 
which is to replace the existing system. 

^ The Life of the Spit-it, Eng. Trans., 1909, p. 302. 

2 Watson, The Philosophical Basis of Religion, 1907 (Preface). 

7819: « 


The sense of dissatisfaction with the theology of the Churches is 
experienced keenly by those who approach the study of Theology 
from the side of Philosophy. In Scotland this is the recognised 
.me.tbod- of procedure for those looking forward to the service of the 
Church. ■ Since the Reformation our Scottish universities have in- 
•cluded a regularly organised Faculty of Theology, while Philosophy 
has formed an important part of the Arts curriculum. And it may 
not be out of place to say here that the University of St. Andrews 
has had the privilege of possessing distinguished teachers in both 
departments. To mention only those who are no longer with us, one 
recalls the names of Ferrier, Tulloch, and Flint, men honourably 
distinguished in Scotland and beyond it for the work they have done. 
Yet I doubt not the eminent teachers of the past were conscious of 
the difficulty whose pressure is now felt more acutely. The difficulty, 
put briefly, is this : philosophical teaching in our Scottish universities 
is now free and unhampered by tests of any kind, while theological 
teaching is still fettered by a Confessional system which is no longer 
in harmony with the enlightened culture of this age. The intelligent 
student who has passed from the class of Metaphysics to Dogmatic 
Theology feels the change of attitude and method, and realises he is 
now pursuing a study under awkward limitations. 

Of course there are historical grounds for the existence of this 
situation, and there are reasons of expediency why it should continue. 
And a sort of modus vivendi can be found in the treatment of 
Dogmatics from a purely historical standpoint. But obviously this is 
no final solution of the question. The problem must ultimately be 
decided in one of two ways. Theology may cease to be a Faculty 
within the universities — the course, I believe, which has been followed 
in Holland. For many reasons this seems to be undesirable. Or 
tests may be removed, and theological studies pursued under the same 
conditions that obtain in the other Faculties of our Scottish uni- 
versities. On the whole this seems far the better way, the way most 
in harmony with the idea of a university as a centre of liberal culture 
and progressive thought. I venture to add that one advantage of a 
solution on these lines would be, that it would make possible a more 
sympathetic and fruitful relation of theological and philosophical 
teaching than obtains at present. The same temper and method 


would prevail in both departments ; and Dogmatic Theology, instead 
of confining itself to a historical survey, would develop to meet the 
needs of the time by becoming a religious philosophy. 

My object in this paper is to indicate the meaning and function of 
theological doctrines ; then to consider how they come into contact 
with philosophical thinking, and to what extent they may be legiti- 
mately influenced by it. I will begin by viewing the problem from the 
standpoint of historical development. 

All religion, to put it broadly, is an effort on man's part to link 
himself to an invisible Power or Powers, and thus to find satisfaction 
for his needs. The psychological condition of religion is human 
weakness and incompleteness, which imply the constant recurrence of 
wants and desires for goods. As these needs evolve from the natural 
to the spiritual, so does the character of the religious relation undergo 
change. From the first religion is an expression of the whole man, 
and involves the presence of all the psychical elements : feeling, 
willing, and thinking. But at the early stages of religious develop- 
ment the cognitive elements remain very much in the background ; 
they function at first only in instinctive beliefs, and afterwards in 
imaginative representations. Growth in culture, however, means 
growth in self-consciousness, and by way of myth and cosmogony 
man has passed to the conscious articulation of his religious beliefs in 
theological doctrines. Theology is not an accidental product : it has 
a determinate place and office in the logic of religious development. 
Every living religion which reaches a certain stage of growth will 
expand into doctrines, just as a tree arrives at a point when it puts 
forth branches. Theology is the answer to the demand of the 
developing religious consciousness for an explanation of the acts 
which are done in the cultus. Around the cultus, which is a 
relatively stable centre, doctrines gather, and embody the meaning 
man reads into his religious service. At a more advanced stage 
of social evolution, when religion interacts with science and phil- 
osophy, the task of the theologian takes a wider scope and a 
deeper meaning. Theology broadens into a world-view resting on 
religious postulates, while its doctrines are systematised so as 
to express in a connected way the general meaning of religious 


In the present paper the writer has exclusively in view the theology 
of the Christian Church, for this is the only system of theology 
which has a vital interest for the western mind. Christian doctrines 
had their source in those spiritual experiences which gathered round 
the life and the teaching of Jesus, They were primarily designed to 
set forth the cognitive aspect of these experiences, in other words, to 
express the convictions which were involved in Christian piety. But 
Christianity was from the first an expansive and missionary religion, 
and for practical purposes its content required to be stated in a com- 
municable and a generally intelligible form. So dogmas were framed 
to be the objective expression of the faith of the Christian Society and 
the embodiment of its value-judgments. The rise and spread of 
heresies impelled the Church of the first four centuries to articulate 
with growing fulness a system of dogma for which the claim of 
authority and catholicity was made. Quod semper, quod iibique, quod 
ab omnibus crcdenduin est became the note of Catholic doctrine. The 
intellectual aspect of faith was more and more accentuated, and the 
inner side of faith-experience was relatively neglected in consequence. 
The logical outcome of this tendency was seen in the Mediaeval 
Church's conception of dogma as forming an absolutely authoritative 
system, which thought might interpret and explain, but must by no 
means alter or discard. The motto of Scholastic Theology was fides 
quaerens intellectuni, but the intellect was denied the right of question- 
ing or criticising the content of faith. This dualism between the form 
and matter of thought made fruitful interaction impossible, and the 
later schoolmen were provoked to find a way out of this impasse by 
throwing out the theory of the 'double truth.' In fact, the whole 
Scholastic system had become so formal and artificial that it was doomed 
to fade before the light of fresh experience and knowledge. The 
Reformation signalised the deliverance of philosophy from bondage to 
the dogmas of the Church, and, at the same time, it recalled men's 
minds to the truth that religious doctrines must stand in some vital 
relation to Christian experience. Faith, for instance, with Luther is 
no longer an act of assent to the Church's creed : it is an inward and 
a soul renewing experience. And while it is true to say that the 
Reformers did not break with the principle of authority, but transferred 
the centre of authority from the Church to Scripture, it is also im- 


portant to remember that they no longer claimed the old infallibility 
for religious doctrines. To them dogma was only a conditionally 
valid expression of the Church's knowledge of truth, and it was not 
exempted from correction and modification.^ At the same time it is 
impossible to deny that the theology of the Reformed Churches was 
based on views of Scripture and its interpretation which, in the light 
of modern knowledge, it has become difficult to defend. And one has 
to admit that modern liberal theologians, under pressure from the 
scientific and philosophical culture of the age, would recast the Re- 
formed Confessions in ways to which the Reformers themselves would 
never have consented. But if the situation is a perplexing one for the 
Reformed Churches, it is still more difficult for the Church of Rome. 
The claim of absolute truth made for the creed of that Church can 
only be upheld at the cost of ignoring the best fruits of modern 
scientific and philosophic thought. And though the Roman Catholic 
Church has a theory of development, the theory is not of a kind which 
admits of a vital relation between religious doctrines and the growing 
culture of the time. For development in this case is not organic : it 
does not allow of inward transformation. The Roman theory is 
technically known as 'preformation.' In the unalterable 'deposit of 
faith' — to use the phrase of Newman — which was entrusted to the 
Church at the beginning, all the features of the later growth were 
' preformed ' ; and future progress could only be on the lines of further 
definition and explication of what was contained in the original matter. 
Under these stereotyped conditions a real reconstruction of ecclesi- 
astical dogmas, such as would bring them into harmony with modern 
knowledge, is impossible. During recent years this truth has received 
striking recognition within the Roman Catholic Church, and it has 
produced the important movement termed Modernism. The demand 
of Modernism, as expressed by its prophets, is for a living instead of 
an artificial conception of development. To quote the late Father 
Tyrrell : " A bold contention that all ecclesiastical development is 
simply a mechanical unpacking of what was given in a tight parcel 

1 So in the Formula of Concord : Symhola non obtinent auctoritatem Judicis, haec eniiii 
dignitas solis sacris liUris debclur. And Lulher, in connexion with the Articles of Visita- 
tion, says : Wiewohl wir Solches nicht ah strenge Gebote konnen lassen ausgehen, auf dass 
wir nicht neue pdpstliche Dekretalen aufwerfen, sondern ah eine Historic, dazu ah ein 
Zeiigniss und Bekentniss zmseres Glaubens. 


2000 years ago"! In contrast to this he pleads for Modernism as 
"An expression of an opposite contention, of a belief in time, in 
growth, in vital and creative evolution." The proclamation of this 
principle coming from within a Church whose motto is semper eadem, 
is significant indeed. 

The problem which presses in different degrees on Roman Catholic 
and Protestant theologians, is that of harmonising the world-view 
expressed in the ecclesiastical creeds with that which is the common 
property of modern cultivated minds. The trouble largely arises 
from the fact that religious doctrines have grown up in a pre-scientific 
age, and under the influence of philosophical conceptions which have 
lost their old authority. The doctrines themselves, nevertheless, have 
an authority derived from tradition and sentiment, and this makes it 
difficult to mould them freely to suit the needs of the time. So far as 
religion is matter of pious feeling, of practical life based on trust in a 
Higher Power, it may be fairly urged that it does not come into 
conflict with scientific thinking. But in so far as theology sets forth 
doctrines about the creation of the world, the origin of man, and 
miraculous interferences with the natural order, and in so far as it 
inculcates a particular theory concerning the composition of historical 
documents, it occupies ground where it is open to challenge from 
science. It is just on these points that there has been keen dispute — 
dispute growing out of the fact that either side has made demands 
which the other has refused to concede. If we look, however, beyond 
the immediate points at issue to the motives which are at work, we can 
see that the strife is the outcome of two sharply contrasted tend- 
encies. Science is bent on establishing everywhere the presence of 
order and necessary connexion within the experienced world : religion 
is primarily concerned with a transcendent and spiritual world by 
reference to which it appreciates the facts of the natural world. 
Differing methods and diverging purposes have led to misunder- 
standing. So it has seemed that the antagonism between the 
scientific and the theological point of view might be obviated by a 
proper delimitation of spheres. On the one side let science keep to 
its own work, and forbear to question the reality of those spiritual 
experiences of which dogma is the intellectual expression : on the 
other side let theology pursue its spiritual task and cease to advance 


doctrines which are inconsistent with the scientific knowledge of the 
time. Since the days of Kant this way of reconciling the claims of 
religious doctrine and scientific knowledge has commended itself to 
many, and in appearance it seems to do justice to the rights of both. 
But a closer inspection discloses difficulties. The rigid separation of 
the two spheres is not possible, for religion demands, and cannot help 
demanding, that even the facts of the natural world be construed from 
a spiritual and teleological standpoint. Natural science, again, when 
it strictly insists that the principles of mechanical connexion and causal 
explanation are sufficient, leaves no room for the teleological inter- 
pretation of nature which religion postulates. Concord is not to be 
expected under the circumstances. The mind desiring to find its own 
unity in the experienced world is urged beyond the departmental 
solution towards a coherent world-view in which both science and 
religion have a place. In fact, the attempt to delimit two spheres 
involves a movement of the mind beyond them to a comprehensive 
standpoint. The synoptic mind, the mind which thinks things 
together, must in some sense pass beyond the spheres which it 
endeavours to distinguish and relate. Such a point of view is that 
of the ultimate science, or philosophy, which seeks to organise all 
the elements of human experience into a coherent and consistent 
whole. And since religion claims to give a view of the world as a 
totality, it is inevitable that its doctrines should come into intimate 
relation with philosophy, which exercises the same comprehensive 
outlook. Except in some special cases where theology has trans- 
gressed into the domain of science, the differences between them 
cannot be settled from a purely scientific standpoint. • The final 
adjustment must be between theology and philosophy, where the 
relationship is more intimate and far-reaching. 

What, then, is the kind of relation which should subsist between 
theology and philosophy ? During last century two interesting and 
influential efforts were made to settle this question. These efforts 
were associated with the work of Hegel and of Ritschl, and in spirit 
and issues they were strongly contrasted. It will prepare the way for 
a fresh discussion of the problem if I examine briefly the Hegelian 
and Ritschlian solutions. 

The assumption which underlay the Hegelian system was, that 



speculative thought was able to grasp the organic unity of things, and 
to exhibit all stages of experience as moments in the development of 
the Idea. There went with this assumption the claim that philosophic 
thinking, in the light of its supreme principle, could critically 
appreciate and determine the degree of truth in the different phases 
of experience. Religious doctrines, regarded as the expression of 
spiritual experience, when tested by this speculative theory, were 
found to contain the truth only in the form of figurative thinking 
or imaginative representation ( Vorstellung). Hence they required 
to be critically purified ere they could be raised to the form of 
philosophic truth {Begrijf). Much of the German speculative 
theology in the middle of last century was governed by this principle, 
and in the work of men like Vatke and his disciple Biedermann it 
bore interesting fruit. The defects of the method flowed from its 
initial assumption, that thought could rise to an absolute point of 
view and evaluate all experience by a single Supreme Principle. 
Hegelian theologians tended to ignore the question of what experi- 
ence lay behind Christian doctrines : they often arbitrarily trans- 
formed doctrines in order to raise them to the level of philosophic 
thought, and they did not sufficiently consider whether spiritual values 
were not lost in the process of transformation. Still, the dangers 
inherent in this method should not bhnd us to the element of truth 
which it contained. It is quite correct that there is a blending of 
imagination and thought in the theology of the churches. Figures 
and analogies are used which a little reflexion shows cannot be 
strictly and literally true, although they are useful and even legitimate 
for practical purposes. For example, theological doctrine represents 
the Supreme Spirit as a Father, construes the Atonement in terms 
of forensic law, and depicts the final apportionment of rewards and 
punishments under the image of a Day of Judgment. It must, 
I think, be granted that such images cannot be literally and exactly 
true : and we may recognise this, while at the same time we confess 
that it is not possible for us to formulate the thought-content of such 
dogmas in a precise and logical form. Moreover, in a practical regard 
it is easy to see that a figure or an analogy may be the best centre 
and support of religious emotion and sentiment. Many to whom the 
image appeals would find no help in the pure thought. The element 


of right in the theory before us may, I beh'eve, be put thus. 
Philosophy, the attempt to think out coherently the meaning of the 
world, enables us to see the defects of partial and figurative statements 
in theology and elsewhere ; and this may hold good even when we are 
not able to translate a dogma into a philosophic truth. Philosophy, 
where it cannot teach us how to reconstruct a dogma, may teach us 
to use it as a symbol ; and in future the symbolic aspect of religious 
doctrines is likely to receive fuller recognition. A frank acceptance 
of the principle of symbolism, when exact dogmatic formulation is 
impossible, would at least diminish the discord between some of the 
dogmas of the churches and philosophical thought : it would make 
possible a better working relation between theology and philosophy. 
At all events this may be expected, provided that philosophy will 
recognise that symbols may be legitimate in their own sphere and 
have an objective reference. But if you treat the symbol as merely 
the figurative expression of a faith-state whose value is purely 
subjective, you do injustice to the truth-claim put forward by the 
religious consciousness. Lotze has some suggestive remarks on 
the symbolical use of dogma. " Religious truth is valid for all alike. 
On the contrary, the theoretical expressions which are found for it are 
all of them inadequate. And just for this reason it is legitimate to 
agree on a mode of formulation to which each one may give the 
theoretical interpretation by which he thinks he can best grasp 
the inmost meaning." A few lines further on he adds : " It is not 
the concern of religion to find a theoretical expression free from 
objection for what is transcendent. The point rather is that we 
have figurative expressions to which the mind can attach the same 
feelings as are due to the real content." ^ 

The influence of the great movement of speculative thought which 
culminated in Hegel gradually exhausted itself in Germany. The 
free handling of religious doctrines in order to elevate them to the 
philosophic form naturally provoked a reaction. The cry arose for a 
return from the shadowy realm of speculative concepts to the facts of 
experience and history. The most noteworthy and influential expon- 
ent of this reaction in the domain of theology was Albrecht Ritschl. 
The Ritschlian theology is historical and experimental, and is 

^ Grundziige der Religionsphilosophie, p. 91. 


definitely opposed to the intrusion of metaphysics into the sphere of 
religion. The historical Christian consciousness, it is urged, is an 
independent fact which rests on the revelation of God in Christ, and 
carries its own witness in itself. If we interrogate that consciousness, 
we find that the beliefs which it involves are essentially judgments 
of value. That Christ is the Son of God, for instance, is not to 
be taken in the sense of an eternal and metaphysical relationship, but 
as an expression of the worth of Christ for the souls of Christian 
people. Hence Ritschl would purge religious doctrines of those meta- 
physical ideas, which originally found their way into the creeds of the 
ancient Church through the influence of Greek philosophy. Christian 
theology must be cleansed from such alien elements, and become the 
embodiment of those living values which are at the root of Christian 
faith and life. This anti-metaphysical attitude is illustrated by the 
remark of a prominent disciple of the Ritschlian school (Herrmann) : 
" The Metaphysics which seeks to cognise the common ground of the 
ethical and natural world is not only immoral but irreligious." ^ And 
this hostility to metaphysics is a note of the Ritschlian School as a 

The Ritschlian theology has substantial merits, although at many 
points it differs decidedly from the traditional theology. Into its 
merits or demerits, however, it is not my purpose to enter just now. 
I shall confine myself to asking how far the Ritschlian denial of the 
right of philosophical thought to influence religious doctrines is the 
solution of the problem of this paper.^ 

X It is evident, at the outset, that the Ritschlian theory involves a 
drastic separation of spheres within experience which raises serious 
difficulties. The scientific sphere, where strict causal explanations 
and mechanical connexions rule, is opposed to a sphere of freedom 
ruled by teleological ideas and spiritual values. I have already 

^ Ritschl's own attitude was hardly so extreme. He was in the end inclined to admit that 
theoretical thought might at least attempt the solution of the problem in question, 
provided it .set out from the Christian idea of God as scientifically valid. 

2 The affinity of Pragmatism, with its theory that truths are values, to Ritschlianism has 
been frequently noted. But I have not deemed it necessary to say anything about Pragma- 
tism at this point ; for Pragmatism is not in itself anti-metaphysical, though it rejects an 
Absolutist metaphysics. Nor have I referred to Eucken's Activism ; for, so far as I can see, 
Eucken would not quarrel with the theory that speculative thought must translate theological 
doctrines into a philosophical form. 


referred to the objections which may be urged against this arbitrary 
division of the harmonious kingdom of human experience into rival 
states governed by diverse laws. The perplexing point is how things 
cleft asunder in theory can work together in practice. Judgments of 
value are set against judgments of fact, and how they come to be 
connected and unified is not apparent. For they blend in experience, 
and what is fact in one aspect, in another aspect is value. Are we 
to suppose, then, that the world of mechanically related things stands 
over against a world of spiritual ends and values, and that any 
speculative solution of the difference is impossible ? If spiritual ends 
are realised in the natural world, and if the natural world subserves 
the achievement of spiritual ends, surely the attempt to think out the 
implications of the fact is not a forbidden quest but a reasonable 
obligation. In the long run the contrast can only be relative, for it 
is the same human spirit which is active in the fields of science and in 
the domains of moral action and religious service : and what falls 
within the unity of the mind cannot be parted in the nature of things. 
If the theologian persists in the rigid separation of the two provinces, 
he may be driven to admit that religion is justified in postulating 
what science is within its rights in rejecting. Miracle, it might be 
said, ought to be postulated from the point of view of religious value, 
but denied from the point of view of causal connexion. Such dilemmas 
can only be met by a philosophy which seeks a ground and principle 
of coherence between the natural and spiritual realms. 
"^ There is undoubtedly a difference between the religious and the 
philosophical standpoints, but Ritschlianism has exaggerated this 
difference into an antagonism. In religion it is the personal interest 
which is dominant, while in philosophy it is the theoretical interest 
which prevails. The former develops its world-view mainly in 
response to emotional and practical needs. The latter is chiefly 
prompted by the desire to know and understand ; though it is well 
also to keep in mind that the personal interest is present in speculative 
thinking, and the theoretical interest is not absent from the religious 
attitude. In both cases we have a world-view, though seen from 
different standpoints : in the one instance the standpoint of rationality, 
in the other that of value. For theological doctrines, it may be 
remembered, are the expressions of historic values. They set forth 


the truths men of the past reckoned of most worth, the truths which 
it seemed to them give meaning to their lives ; and those who accept 
them now claim that they fulfil the same function in their experience. 
Now in trying to justify our conviction that speculative reflexion 
ought to influence religious doctrines, I think our object will be 
furthered by examining the conception of value, and that especially 
in its relation to fact and to truth. If it turns out that it is impossible 
to treat value in abstraction from these other notions, the result will 
greatly strengthen our theory that religious values must be brought 
into coherent relations with philosophical thought. The main principle 
of the Ritschlian theology will be shown to be defective. 

The value-judgments of Ethics and of Religion, it need hardly be 
said, are not arbitrary products : they have grown gradually out of 
the historic life. The evolution of spiritual values has proceeded pari 
passu with that evolution of spiritual needs which marks the develop- 
ment of persons interacting within a social system. Every judgment 
of value, however, must have its ground ; and this ground is psychical, 
that is to say a state of the individual consciousness. Value-judgments, 
in other words, refer back to value-feelings as their psychological source 
and condition. We cannot merge value in the act of valuing, for there 
must first be something to valuate. At the same time a value-feeling 
can only develop into clear consciousness, and receive general statement, 
when it is explicated in the judgment : value-feelings must specify 
themselves in the judgment ere they can become working-values and 
function as ends for human wills. A value-feeling when thus defined 
becomes eo ipso an object of desire, for in its very nature it is a desir- 
able state of consciousness. What on a lower level was mere conative 
tendency towards satisfying experiences, for the developed conscious- 
ness becomes an act of will which has for its object an idea of value 
represented as an end. In the psychological order of progress the 
end becomes an end for the will because it was first recognised as a 
value ; the psychological process is unintelligible on the opposite 
hypothesis.^ As the social order evolves human ends become varied, 
and the necessity arises for introducing some sort of order and system 
into them, so that individual purposes may be made consistent and the 
social life harmonious. This can only be accomplished by some 

1 A point which has been emphasised by Hoffding. Vid. his Religionsphilosophie, p. 1 1. 


method of graduating values, and graduation in turn implies a general 
standard of value which can be applied to different ends. The standard 
must be an end or value conceived as ultimate, a standard by reference 
to which all lesser ends can be evaluated and systematisation can ensue. 
As a step to the Supreme End every other end becomes a means, while 
the lesser ends in turn have means which promote their attainment. 
The system thus takes form as a graduated whole of ends and means, 
of direct and indirect, or instrumental, values, — a system which gives 
meaning and interest to human life. It is within such a developing 
system that ethical laws, or norms of the will, are gradually defined 
and receive social recognition. They are not a priori principles, 
unconditionally valid, as Kant imagined, but generalised rules for the 
will, and their function is to guide men towards the end. They share 
the plastic character of the growing organism of society, and instead 
of determining the end they are determined by it. From value to end, 
and from end to norm, this seems to be the psychological order of 

At this point a question arises which demands careful consideration. 
Does the whole meaning of value-feelings and value-judgments lie in 
the fact that they are states or acts of consciousness .-* To put it in a 
slightly different form, do all the imphcations of value fall within 
valuing subjects ? Certainly when we speak of the evolution of ethical 
or spiritual values, we can only find the active centre and source of 
that process in the developing consciousness of persons. Yet it seems 
impossible to hold that the whole content of our ideas of value can be 
derived from the side of the subject. We constantly speak of facts or 
things, conceived as independent of us, possessing value. Especially 
in the case of indirect or instrumental values, we refer to them as 
objects embodying values which we do not make, but discover and 
turn to profit. No doubt closer analysis shows this is not strictly 
correct, for the value of the means certainly depends on the purpose 
we have in view, and what has high worth for one person may be 
useless in the hands of another. Yet the subject cannot arbitrarily 
confer a value on any object whatsoever. Not every fact can be a 
means ; the intrinsic character counts also. The value of a picture lies 
in the aesthetic feeling it can evoke in the spectator. But this feeling 
does not depend merely on the presence of the artistic temperament 


in the observer : it depends also on something in the picture which 
the mind finds and which it does not create. German writers 
usually designate those objects which have power to elicit value- 
judgments, goods, and distinguish the doctrine of goods from the 
doctrine of values. The distinction corresponds to the two aspects of 
value, according as we see it from the subjective and from the objec- 
tive side. The need of the distinction is brought home to us by the 
breakdown of every serious endeavour to make clear how the manifold 
content of our value-judgments can spring from conditions within the 
valuing subject. The reference to the subject is essential, we have 
already granted ; but the subject, as a centre of value, only develops 
through interaction with a world of objects. It has been truly re- 
marked that value-feelings and judgments could not arise apart from 
the stimulus of objectively given facts.^ The world of goods, therefore, 
contained in any developed social system is the outcome of interaction 
between man and his environment, and expresses that aspect of facts 
in virtue of which they function as values for human wills. The 
system of goods thus grows out of the commerce of subjects with 
objects, and points to some intrinsic relation between the realm of 
values and the realm of existences. This relation is not reducible to 
a strict identity ; for, if facts are values, the fact is not exhausted by 
its value-aspect. In the last resort the development of spiritual ends 
or values must be conditioned by the principles and potencies of that 
larger world of reality within which they develop and to which they 

The conclusion reached in this branch of our enquiry would seem to 
be, that we can, up to a point, work satisfactorily with the conception 
of value in Ethics or Theology. We do so by treating as irrelevant to 
our purpose the deeper issues raised by our use of the category. 
Ethics in its normative function may draw out the rules of conduct 
which conduce to the realisation of the Good : Theology likewise can 
elaborate doctrines whose aim is to define the way which the religious 
spirit must traverse to attain the higher values. But in either case it 
is necessary to make postulates which are demands on the real world, 
and the validity of these demands requires to be explained and 
defended. For if you claim that Reality is such that it coheres with 

^ Wundt, Einleiiung in die Fhilosopkie, p. 35. 


and responds to the claims of value, you are surely bound to try to 
justify the claim. And this is only possible by passing to the higher 
standpoint of philosophy and striving to think out the connexion of 
the worlds of fact and value. I shall not attempt now to discuss the 
lines on which such an enterprise should proceed. But it is not going 
too far to say that an important use must be made of the teleological 
idea. Valuing subjects and valued objects must be inwardly adapted 
the one to the other, — they must be brought into an organic relation 
by an end immanent in both. The organised value-judgments of 
human society are not possible save on the assumption of systematic 
coherence between the elements out of which they are developed. The 
universe must be an orderly and coherent whole in order that this 
development should take place within it. In an earlier part of this 
paper I pointed out that the category of end was psychologically 
posterior to that of value. But what is va-repov yeuecrei may be Trporepov 
(pvcrei, and this appears to be true in the case of the category of end. 
For the psychological working of the notion of value presupposes 
that the contents of inner and outer experience are co-ordinated and 
connected by some teleological principle. The psychological process 
from values to ends is the order of genesis : in the order of reality the 
idea of end is involved in the inner connexion of facts and values. 
The ultimate Ground or Source of things, one would say, must be 
teleological in its activity. Plainly, therefore, the speculative enquiry 
into the nature and working of this Ground has an intimate bearing on 
the spiritual values, and on the doctrines in which they have received 
historic expression. 

It will make our position still clearer if we examine with some care 
the closely connected problem of the relation of truth to value. Both 
conceptions are of the first importance in the working of religion, and 
it is a normal feature of the religious mind that it postulates, not only 
value, but truth for its doctrines. Here again it is possible to say that, 
just as facts are values, truths are values ; and there is a sense in which 
both statements are correct. It is the case that fact and truth alike 
have a value aspect, but fact, we saw already, could not be merged in 
value ; and it is the same with truth. But, it may be replied, though 
faith lays claim to knowledge, though it expresses the conviction that 
religious doctrines are true, in so doing it does not mean to assert more 


than that these doctrines have proved practically valuable to religious 
people. And observe, it will be urged, in putting forward this conten- 
tion we are not affirming that truth is a purely subjective and individual 
satisfaction. To validate its claim to truth a proposition has to show 
itself a normal working-value, and to justify itself before the larger 
tribunal of historical and social experience. Now there are cases 
where this argument is not without force, as I will try to explain later. 
But, when all is said, there is something more in the faith-attitude 
than seems to be recognised here. Faith has its cognitive aspect, and 
like every cognitive act it contains a reference to a reality beyond 
what is given in the act of judging. In claiming truth for a religious 
belief, we affirm something more than that the consequences of believ- 
ing it are and have been practically valuable. This something more 
appears to be the fact that our belief harmonises with an independent 
order or structure of reality, — a reality which enters into human 
consciousness and is in turn affected by it, but which has also a nature 
of its own. This reference to reality is clearly an implication of 
religious belief in God, for instance. We say that such a belief is true, 
not primarily because it works, though this may be valuable as a con- 
firmation, but because our belief refers to a real Being related to us 
and yet possessing an existence beyond us. The validity of this 
transsubjective reference is essential to faith : once persuade men that 
the truth of their religious convictions is nothing more than the 
reactionary effects of these on their lives, and their faith would wither 

Do you then, it may be asked, entirely reject the pragmatic concep- 
tion of truth, and deny it any religious significance ? By no means. 
Working-value is a test of truth, not however the sole test, not the 
exclusive test. The pragmatic theory that truths are values, validated 
by working, is often an important ground of religious assurance, and 
sometimes it may not be possible to assign any other ground. Take 
for instance the Christian belief, that the spirit of God works 
in man's working while he strives to do the divine will. It is hardly 
possible to hold that this claim to truth could be verified by us in 
any other way than that of spiritual experience and practical results. 
Any form of ' rational proof would fall far short of yielding a 
conclusion of the kind ; and the individual who has the verification 


given in life experience neither asks nor desires any such ' proof.' ^ 
And it cannot be doubted that, in an age when the older apologetic 
methods are losing their force, the pragmatic theory of working-value 
is destined to prove a genuine support to religious beliefs which are 
really vital. The pragmatic test selects and sets in relief those 
theological doctrines which are central, — which have an intimate 
bearing on religious life. On the whole we may frankly admit that 
the writings of James and Schiller have done good service in calling 
attention to the humanistic aspect of truth, and in challenging the old 
notion of transcendent truths, existing somewhere in the beyond, and 
waiting to be recognised. Truth cannot be treated in abstraction from 
error, and it does not exist as such outside the form of judgment. 
Nevertheless it is not likely that either philosophy or religion will, in 
the long run, agree that in translating truths into values we thereby 
exhaust the implications of truth ; and the principle of working-value 
is made effective by the fact that we qualify value by a reference to 
conditions beyond itself which are implied in the term 'working.' 
The process of selecting truths from truth-claims by applying the 
test of working-value cannot depend merely on the subject that 
verifies ; it must also depend on the real context or system within 
which the value works. For that system goes to test the working. 
It is just in dealing with this objective reference that the exponents of 
Pragmatism are least satisfying. Dr. Schiller, for example, says : 
" The pragmatic theory of knowledge does not start with any antithesis 
of ' truth ' and ' fact ' but conceives of reality as something which, for 
our knowledge at least, grows up in the making of truth." He adds : 
" Initial reality would be sheer potentiality, the mere vkri of what was 
destined to develop into true reality." ^ The objection to this view is 
that, if the vKr] is to have a meaning and function, it must possess a 
nature of its own and will only accept postulates of the subject which 
harmonise with that nature. If you deny it a nature it becomes a 
nonentity, and you are committed to the impossible task of showing 
how the mind builds up the fabric of knowledge out of nothing. 

The point for which we are contending is recognised in the theory 

^Compare with this the thought of Augustine; Noli foras ire, in te ipsum redi ; in 
interiore homine habitat Veritas (De Vera Religione). 
^ Studies in Humanism, pp. 425 and 433. 


of truth as correspondence. But that theory suffers from a twofold 
defect. On the one hand it is not universally applicable, and, on the 
other hand, when it is applicable it is often stated in a way which can 
easily be refuted. In regard to the first point, there is a multitude of 
scientific and historical judgments where the notion of ' corresponding ' 
to something is unworkable. If I say " The ultimate constituents of 
matter are electrons," or " Tell is a mythical personage," the only way 
to test either assertion is to show that it fits into a coherent body of 
judgments which we are in some sense able to verify. Neither 
proposition admits of being tested by a simple reference to a ' corre- 
sponding' fact. Even in the case of perceptive judgments the 
correspondence theory needs restatement if it is not to collapse under 
criticism. Thus, if you say that a judgment is true when an idea 
in the mind corresponds to an object which is independently given, the 
answer at once follows that, since the mind verifies the correspondence, 
both object and idea must be embraced and sustained by the activity 
of the mind. The distinction of corresponding elements falls within 
consciousness : it cannot be distinction between consciousness and an 
extra-mental reality. The object given in presentation is an ideal 
construction, and is not able to function as an independent norm. It 
is only possible to indicate very briefly here how this difficulty may 
be met. In judgments of this kind the test is not so much corre- 
spondence as adequacy of interpretation.. In the object as mental 
content there is a reference to a reality which is transsubjective, 
the interaction of which with the subject is a condition of presented 
objects.^ But presented objects may exist for consciousness with very 
different degrees of fulness, varying from mere awareness {^^vvafxei) to 
developed interpretation (euepyeia); and in the transition from the one 
to the other lies the possibility of error. The tendency of mental 
belief, as Dr. Stout has pointed out, is to outrun the knowledge of the 
data, and so it may draw conclusions which will not harmonise with 
the facts when they are fully known.-^ I see a man coming towards 
me and I pronounce it to be Smith : on nearer approach I recognise 
it to be Brown. Had I simply said in the first instance, " That is a 

^ Meinong's C/c-di:r Annahinen (ed. i.), p. 125 ff. contains suggestive remarks on the subject. 
A clear distinction is there drawn between Gegenstand and Inhalt. 

-Mind, N.S. xvii. p. 23. In various ways I have profited from Dr. Stout's remarks. 


man," my judgment would have been true. But my judgment 
outran the data cognised, and when these were explicitly presented I 
corrected my error. But in all cases of perceptive judgments the test 
of truth involves something more than the mental content and its 
arrangement. Whether a judgment is true or no depends on how far 
that content is an adequate and harmonious expression of the nature 
of a reality which is for itself as well as for the cognising subject. 
Such a test might be termed one of working-value, provided the impli- 
cations of the term * working ' are duly acknowledged. 

The idea of truth as internal coherence is valuable in complement- 
ing and supporting what, for convenience, may be termed the ' corre- 
spondence ' notion. It will not work as an absolute and exclusive test 
just because reality is not exhausted by a coherent system of 
judgments. If per impossibile this were achieved, the conception of 
truth would have disappeared ; for the very judgment that the 
absolute system was true would imply a reference of the system 
beyond itself. If, however, we do not urge the notion of coherence in 
this all-embracing sense, but treat it as signifying the development of 
a connected whole of judgments, starting from experienced data and 
if possible returning to them again, we fully admit the importance of 
such a method of proof. It affords a more comprehensive test of 
validity, and the support which each element has to give the others 
within the system makes the process of detecting error more sure and 
searching. The limitation of the method lies in the difificulty of being 
certain, that all the elements which are necessary to make the 
construction adequate to reality have been taken into account. Hence 
the importance of being able to show the system is verified by facts of 
experience which are immediately certain, or by preceptive judgments. 
The elaborate mathematical construction which deduced the existence 
of the planet Neptune from certain disturbances in the orbit of 
Uranus, and determined the position of the disturbing body, received 
an invaluable confirmation when Neptune was found by the telescope 
in the place indicated by Adams and Leverrier. The first astronomi- 
cal calculations of the times of the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites were 
found to differ in varying degrees from the observed times. A fact 
had been ignored, because it was then unknown — the time light takes 
to travel. These illustrations prove how valuable it is for a connected 


system of judgments to come back on some point of the experienced 
world for verification. Or take the case of a historical judgment such 
as ' Caesar crossed the Rubicon.' We test the truth of the proposition 
by showing that it fits into a coherent whole of historical judgments. 
But the system of judgments which relate to the Roman Empire and 
its destinies has a connexion with the existing world, which requires 
the Roman Empire to explain it. Even in this instance coherence 
has a point of support in the experienced world. But coherence by 
itself can never be an absolute test of truth, for internal completeness 
of system is not attainable. Any system of judgments we can think 
out will fall within the larger whole of reality ; and to that larger 
whole it can never be fully adequate. 

The result of the foregoing discussion may be thus summarised. The 
notions of truth and value alike contain a reference to a real order or 
system which the experient subject does not make. In the case of 
value this objective reference is implied in the idea of 'goods,' which 
represent facts as qualified by the valuations of the subject. But this 
qualification, of course, presupposes an intrinsic character in the thing 
qualified. Truth, again, exists in the form of judgment; if you go 
below or above that form the term ' true ' ceases to have a meaning. 
The constant implication of truth is reference to a reality which the 
subject who judges accepts but does not create. The idea of truth 
signifies a harmonious and adequate relation of the content of ideas to 
transsubjective reality on the one side, and to the thinking and willing 
subject on the other. There cannot be a single and exclusive test of 
truth : different methods of verification must, so far as possible, be 
made to supplement and support one another. 

If the foregoing line of thought is sound, certain conclusions follow 
which are of importance to our main subject.")^ Theological doctrines, 
we have seen, claim to express values and to set forth truths. And 
in view of what has been said we think it impossible to treat these 
conceptions as terms which merely denote subjective satisfactions. 
In laying claim to truth we make a demand on reality, and in 
positing values to be realised we postulate that the nature of the real 
world is such that it admits of this realisation. For many religious 
people the assurance that these demands are met is, and will remain, 
a matter of faith ; and if the rights of faith are questioned they fall 


back on authority, The theologian too is often anxious to shun 
commerce with philosophy on the plea that his dogmas represent 
truths and values historically guaranteed. But the inherent difficulties 
and limitations of the purely historical method are very apparent to 
thoughtful minds : sooner or later they are urged to test by reflective 
thinking the postulates of religion. This means that we endeavour 
to bring the world-view which our religious doctrines express into 
harmonious relation with that deeper and more comprehensive 
thinking of experience we name philosophy. /Philosophy stands for a 
more complete solution of the world-problem than the solution given 
by religion. For its aim is synoptic, and its task is to think out 
coherently the meaning of experience as a whole. The religious 
mind reaches its conception of the world by following out the 
implications of religious experience. For philosophy the development 
of the religious consciousness is a highly suggestive and important 
fact ; nevertheless it is only one aspect of experience. There are 
other aspects that fall to be considered, and it is the business of 
philosophy from the first to think things together. Subject and 
object, thought and being, value and fact, these are the contrasted 
elements of reality whose inner connexion speculative thought seeks 
to explain by referring them to an ultimate Ground or unifying 
Principle. The aim of philosophy is system : it strives to show that 
experience is coherent throughout and satisfies the mind's desire for 
unity. While the world-view of religion is primarily the expression 
of faith, that of philosophy is developed by the exercise of reason or 
synthetic thinking. Hence the ideal of philosophy is systematic 
order, — the rational articulation of elements within a whole ; and it 
cannot agree to treat anything as arbitrary or accidental. In a sense 
philosophy is only carrying out the principle of scientific explanation 
at a higher level and with a more comprehensive purpose. For the 
partial synthesis of science it tries to substitute a complete synthesis, 
in which each element has a determinate place and function in the 
organised totality. Were this purpose realised, a theological doctrine 
would have precisely that degree of validity which philosophy 
assigned to it : in a word; the truth of theology would be philosophy. 
It is abundantly clear, however, that no complete realisation of the 
ideal is possible. For one thing the process of experience itself whose 


meaning we try to read is an unfinished process. And we survey the 
movement from a point within it : we cannot cHmb some mount of 
vision apart and see all reality sub specie aeternitatis. Moreover the 
philosophic thinker is constrained to accept immediate data of 
experience as his starting point, and he can never so carry out his 
work of construction as to come back on his data and give them their 
place and meaning in the fully articulated whole. The work of 
rationalisation is incomplete, and it can never be completed. The 
development of reason is an aspect of the development of the historic 
life ; and, so long as the historic process continues, it will continue to 
set new problems to thought, and the task of reason will be unfinished. 
It is possible to go a step further, and to point out that the conception 
of rationality, taken by itself, is an abstraction which will not work. 
Reason always presupposes that there is something to rationalise, and 
its exercise is stimulated by the presence of materials calling for 
explanation. The reasoning process goes back to data which are the 
object of immediate conviction or faith, and however far we carry the 
work of rationalisation we always leave off with unrationalised 
elements on our hands. This non-rational residuum will not vanish, 
for experience is richer than thought, and thinking as judgment 
always refers beyond itself. Reason, in the personal life, is constantly 
qualified by the presence of conation and feeling, nor is it possible to 
reduce conation and feeling to reason, although there is no inherent 
contradiction between them. Rationality, we hold therefore, will 
ever signify an unfinished process for us, — a process which represents 
in its outcome our most connected, consistent and harmonious reading 
of our experience. Philosophy is thus partial in its achievement, and 
the ripest philosophy of an age is the measure of its insight into the 
meaning of the world. The toil of trying to think things together 
goes on because it is a permanent need of our nature : the mind is 
driven to seek the counterpart of its own unity in the world, and 
incoherency is a challenge to thought. Philosophy, though it never 
comes to its goal, is a salutary corrective to the departmental spirit, 
and it helps to free us from the tyranny of abstractions. 

We have now come in view of a question of cardinal importance 
for our present enquiry.'/' Granted that the aim, scope and outcome 
of philosophy are such as here described, with what justice can 


philosophical thought influence theological doctrines ? Is its outlook 
wide enough, its insight deep enough, to constitute a claim to be 
heard which the theologian ought not to disregard ? In order to 
answer this question let us ask how far the speculative thinker can 
cast light on those questions which, we have seen, are admittedly 
raised by the theologian without being solved. Broadly regarded the 
questions referred to are concerned with the relation of the ideal to 
the real aspect of experience. Spiritual values, as we have seen, are 
somehow connected with the world of facts through the idea of goods. 
And there is the claim of religious faith that the values of the personal 
life are true and harmonise with reality, and that spiritual ends are 
realised in the real world. The point at issue is not whether philoso- 
phical thinking can rationally solve the body of problems here 
involved : in our view no claim of the sort can be made good by 
philosophy. But the point is whether philosophy, in the form of 
metaphysics, is able to deal with these problems in a helpful way, and 
to carry them forward on the road towards a settlement. If it can do 
so, as we think it can, then, as the expression of man's rational 
activity, its results should be harmonised with the expression of man's 
religious faith : for faith and reason, however contrasted, are the 
reactions of the one human nature upon experience, and cannot be 
diametrically opposed. 

When we survey the results of metaphysical thought, we find, of 
course, that it only gives a partial solution of these problems. The 
philosopher cannot rise to a First Principle of things, and then show 
deductively how this Principle comes to differentiate itself in the 
kingdoms of nature and of spirit. He must begin with experience, 
which is a continuous process of development, and try to make clear 
by reflexion what is implied in its gradual differentiation into 
subjective and objective aspects. The speculative thinker, in our 
view, finds that the experienced world, the world given in presentation, 
rests on the interaction of individual selves or centres of experience 
with a system of independent not-selves ; and in this interaction 
the nature of both factors is manifested. In thinking out the 
meaning of this interaction, he has to consider whether the contrasts 
of ideal and real, of value and fact, are not distinctions which fall 
within the developing system of spiritual beings and represent modes 


of their interaction. The question then follows, how we are to conceive 
the source or ground of this interacting system of spiritual factors 
which includes within it self-conscious and spiritual persons. The 
conclusions bear vitally on religion, for the Ultimate Reality of 
metaphysics must correspond to the God of the religious consciousness. 
Any real discord between the conceptions of philosophy and of 
religion imposes on us the task of striving towards coherency. 
In such matters as the nature of the Supreme Spirit, the relation 
of God to time and to finite spirits, the Divine immanence and 
transcendence, the theologian must strive, so far as he consistently 
can, to bring religious doctrines into concord with the issues of 
philosophical thinking. The religious mind is prone to be anthropo- 
morphic, and to use analogies freely without examining their validity ; 
while speculative thought represents a more comprehensive and 
critical method of trying to understand the universe. Hence it 
supplies a test — not absolute indeed, but certainly valuable — by which 
theology may be purged from uncritical assumptions, as well as 
delivered from one-sided conceptions that cannot be thought out 
consistently. In making this statement I have deliberately introduced 
qualifications. The theologian, if he is to conserve the values on 
which the religious life rests, cannot comply with all the demands 
philosophy has made in the past, or may make in the future. 
Philosophy, for instance, might insist that explanation means the 
reduction of all the differences of experience to an all-embracing 
identity; it might proclaim (it has done so) that the universe is 
a single real Being, a timeless Absolute of which all individuals 
are in the end only unreal appearances. A thorough-going monism 
of this sort, the theologian may fairly protest, does not explain 
religious values, but explains them away. In an earlier part of this 
paper I pointed out the importance of bringing the idea of truth 
as coherence to the test of direct experience. The support received 
from data of experience guarantees that a consistent thought-system 
is objectively valid, and is therefore more than formal. In the 
present instance it is impossible to doubt that religious doctrines 
are the expression of spiritual experiences which refuse to harmonise 
with such a theory of the universe. Spiritual selves claim to be real ; 
and our consciousness of freedom and our sense of moral evil decline 


to be relegated to the category of illusions. Here are experiences 

which do not fit into the universe conceived as a single real and 

timelessly perfect Being. The religious consciousness, by thus 

insisting on its claims to be heard, is able to exercise a wholesome 

influence on philosophical speculation. It reminds the thinker that 

religious experience is at least a fact, a fact which he is bound 

to take into account. A philosophy responsive to this appeal will 

not sacrifice the spiritual values to the interests of a speculative 

monism. It will rather explain the coherence of value and reality 

teleologically, tracing back the whole system of existences to a 

Supreme Will which is their Source and End. A speculative theory, 

which has profited thus by religious experience, is in a position to 

influence theology in its turn by making plain the directions in which 

religious doctrines require modification or development. For we 

have to remember that theological doctrines at best can only claim 

to represent one phase of experience, and they must be harmonised 

with experience as a whole. Philosophy is just the endeavour to 

exhibit the meaning of this wider experience. 

Neither philosophy nor theology can lay claim to finality. No 

theological dogma nor any philosophical theory will be the last word 

on the subject. Out of the onward moving historic life come new 

feelings of value and fresh readings of what experience means. 

A dogma can only be a living form for the present in so far as 

the spiritual life of the present reads into it its own religious values. 

A speculative system marks the insight of an age into the meaning 

of life. But the body of knowledge grows swiftly, and the old 

synthesis soon fails to harmonise the increased materials. The very 

conditions under which man strives to rationalise the world preclude 

more than a partial success : — 

"Veil after veil will lift — but there must be 
Veil upon veil behind." 

In the circumstances, the philosopher and the theologian, having 
cast away all pretensions to infallibility, may consult together to 
advantage. Both offer us a Weltanschauung, but it has been reached 
from different starting-points and by diverse routes. Yet, since both 
claim to be true, they should agree with each other. If the two 
world-views will not blend and harmonise, there is need for mutual 


criticism and counsel. The precise kind of help which the one 
can render the other will vary at various epochs.y The best service 
philosophical thought can do for theological doctrines at a particular 
time may be, by criticism to help to purify them from temporary 
and accidental elements which do not enter into the substance of the 
spiritual life. At another time the reality and persistency of Christian 
experience may be an influence which helps to emancipate philosophy 
from the impasse of pantheism, and to lead it in the direction of 
theism. But whether the issue of interaction between theology and 
philosophy be a critical or a constructive movement, it will be a 
movement which plays a part in man's spiritual development. Faith 
and reason, theology and philosophy, are forms in which man gives 
meaning to his experience, and by their interaction they deepen 
and enlarge his personal life. The rigid separation of the one from 
the other lessens the possibilities of spiritual progress, and seems to 
ignore the unity of the mind. 







?«ttt«b at tht anibersits tf^xtee bg 




Method in the Study of Toterhism 

Is there any human institution which can be safely called " Totem- 
ism"? Is there any possibility of defining, or even describing 
Totemism ? Is it legitimate — is it even possible, with due regard for 
"methodology" and logic — to seek for the "normal" form of Totem- 
ism, and to trace it through many Protean changes, produced by 
various causes, social and speculative ? I think it possible to discern 
the main type of Totemism, and to account for divergences. 

Quite the opposite opinion appears to be held by Mr. ^. V{. Golden- 
weizer in his " Totemism, an Analytic Study." ^ This treatise is 
acutely critical and very welcome, as it enables British inquirers about 
totemism to see themselves as they appear " in larger other eyes than 
ours." Our common error, we learn, is this : " A feature salient in the 
totemic life of some community is seized upon only to be projected 
into the life of the remote past, and to be made the starting-point of 
the totemic process. The intermediary stages and secondary features 
are supplied from local evidence, by analogy with other communities, 
or ' in accordance with recognised principles of evolution ' [what are 
they ■'] and of logic. The origin and development, thus arrived at, 
are then used as principles of interpretation of the present conditions. 
Not one step in the above method of attacking the problem of totem- 
ism is logically justifiable." ^ 

As I am the unjustifiable sinner quoted in this extract,^ I may 
observe that my words are cited from a harmless statement to the 
effect that a self-consistent " hypothesis," or " set of guesses," which 
colligates all the known facts in a problem, is better than a self- 
contradictory hypothesis which does not colligate the facts. 

^ Journal of American Folk-Lore, April-June, 1910. 
V- A- F- P- 280. 3 Secret of the Totem, p. 28. 



Now the " feature salient in the totemic life of some communities," 
which I " project into the life of the remote past," and " make the 
starting-point of the totemic process" is the totemic name, animal, 
vegetable, or what not, of the totem-kin. 

Jh fiFi.-attempt to construct a theory of the origin of totemism, the 

^.. choice of thq .totemic name as a starting-point is logically justifiable, 

.'"* beckuse .the-.ppssession of a totemic name is, tiniversally , the mark of a 

totem-kin; or, as most writers prefer to say, "clan." How can you 

know that a clan is totemic, if it is not called by a totemic name? 

The second salient feature in the totemic life of some communities 

which I select as even prior to the totemic name, is the exogamy of 

the " clans " now bearing totemic names. 

' To these remarks Mr. Goldenweizer would reply (I put his ideas 

briefly) there are (i) exogamous clans without totemic names; and 

there are (2) clans with totemic names, but without exogamy. 

To this I answer (i) that if his exogamous clan has not a totemic 
name, I do not quite see why it should be discussed in connection with 
totemism ; but that many exogamous sets, bearing not totemic names, 
but local names or nicknames, can be proved to have at one time borne 
totemic names. Such exogamous sets, therefore, no longer bearing 
totemic names, are often demonstrably variations from the totemic 
type; and are not proofs that there is no such thing as a totemic 
(9. Secondly, I answer, in the almost unique case of "clans" bearing 
totemic names without being exogamous, that these " clans " have pre- 
viously been exogamous, and have, under ascertained conditions, 
shuffled off exogamy. They are deviations from the prevalent type of 
clans with totemic names //^^j exogamy. They are exceptions to the 
rule, and, as such, they prove the rule. They are divergences from the 
type, and, as such, they prove the existence of the type from which 
they have diverged. 

So far I can defend my own method : it starts from features that 
are universal, or demonstrably have been universal in totemism. 
There is " an organic unity of the features of totemism," — of these two 
features, the essential features. 

Lastly, Mr. Goldenweizer accuses us " Britishers," as he calls us, of 
neglecting in our speculations the effects of " borrowing and diffusion. 


of assimilation and secondary associations of cultural elements, in 
primitive societies." ^ 

This charge I do not understand. There has been much discussion 
of possibilities of the borrowing and diffusion and assimilation of 
phratries, exogamy, and of totemic institutions ; and of " ethnic in- 
fluences," influences of races, in Australia. But the absence of historical 
information, the almost purely mythical character of tribal legends 
(in North-West America going back to the Flood, in Australia, to the 
" Dream Time "), with our ignorance of Australian philology, prevent 
us in this field from reaching conclusions. 

(Possibly philologists may yet cast some light on "ethnic influences" 
in Australia. The learned editor of Anthropos, Pere Schmidt, tells 
me that he has made a study of Australian languages and believes 
that he has arrived at interesting results.) 

Mr. Goldenweizer represents, though unofficially, the studies of many 
earnest inquirers of North America, whether British subjects, like Mr. 
Hill Tout, or American citizens such as Dr. Boas. They vary, to be 
sure, among themselves, as to theories, but they vary also from British 
speculators. They have personally and laboriously explored and loyally 
reported on totemism among the tribes of the north-west Pacific coast 
and Hinterland ; totemism among these tribes has especially occupied 
them ; whereas British anthropologists have chiefly, though by no means 
solely, devoted themselves to the many varieties of totemism exhibited 
by the natives of Australia. These Australian tribes are certainly on 
perhaps the lowest known human level of physical culture, whereas the 
tribes of British Columbia possess wealth, " towns," a currency (in 
blankets), rank (noble, free, unfree), realistic art, and heraldry as a mark 
of rank, and of degrees of wealth. 

Mr. Goldenweizer's method is to contrast the North-Western 
American form of totemism with that prevalent in Central Australia, 
and to ask, — how, among so many differences, can you discover a 
type, an original norm } I answer that both in North-Western 
America and in Central Australia, we find differences which can be 
proved to arise from changes in physical and "cultural" conditions and 
from speculative ideas. I have said that in British Columbia the 
tribes are in a much more advanced state of culture than any 

!/• A. F. p. 281. 


Australian peoples, and their culture has affected their society and 
their totemism. Wealth, distinctions of rank, realistic art, with its 
result in heraldry as a mark of rank, and fixed residence in groups of 
houses are conditions unknown to the Australian tribes, and have 
necessarily provided divergences in totemic institutions. Mr. Golden- 
weizer replies " that the American conditions are due to the fact that 
the tribes of British Columbia are ' advanced ' cannot be admitted." ^ 
But, admitted or not, it can be proved, as I hope to demonstrate. 


Mr. Goldenweizer gives what he supposes some of us to regard as 
" essential characteristics " or " symptoms " of totemism. He numbers 
five of these " symptoms." 

1. An exogamous clan.. 

2. A clan name derived from the totem. 

3. A religious attitude towards the totem, as a " friend," " brother," 
"protector," &c. 

4. Taboos or restrictions against the killing, eating (sometimes 
touching, seeing) of the totem. 

5. A belief in descent from the totem. 

Mr. Goldenweizer next, by drawing a contrast between British 
Columbian and Central Australian totemism, tries to prove, if I 
understand him, that " the various features of totemism," are, or may 
be " essentially independent of one another," " historically, or psycho- 
logically, or both."'-^ 

Now, looking at the five symptoms of totemism, I may repeat 
(speaking only for myself) that, as to i and 2, I think the exogamous 
clan, with "a clan name derived from the totem" is an institution of 
such very wide diffusion that I may blamelessly study it and attempt 
to account to myself for its existence. But this does not mean that I 
regard all exogamous social sets as at present totemic ; or as always 
having borne totem names. Again, sets of people (I cannot call 
them " clans," for the word " clan " indicates persons claiming common 
descent from a male ancestor, — say Clan Gilzean, Clan Diarmaid)^ may 
bear animal or vegetable or other such names, yet not be at present, 
as such, exogamous. Of these are the Arunta, and the Narran-ga. 
V- A. F.'^. 287. y. A. F. p. 183. 


3. A religious attitude towards the totem. One cannot discuss this 
without a definition of religion. " Totemism is not a religion," says 
Mr. Frazer, with whom I am here in agreement. 

4. Toteviic taboos. These, though extremely general, are not quite 
universal even in Australia. 

5. A belief in descent from the totem. 

This belief is post-totemic, being merely one of many aetiological 
myths by which men explain to themselves wJiy they are totemists ; 
what is the nature of the rapport between them and their totems ; 
why they bear as a kin (or association) animal or vegetable names. 
One or another such myth is not an essential part of totemism, for it 
is, necessarily, post-totemic. 

I am thus left confronting the problems, (i) why are the immense 
majority of exogamous kins, in societies which we call " totemic," 
named by animal and other such names ; and (2) why are they 
exogamous ? 

As for other exogamous social sets, which bear, not animal names, 
but territorial, or descriptive names, or nicknames, often derisive, it is 
my business to show, if I can, that these sets, or some of them, have 
passed, in historical times, out of the stage of totem-kins, owing to 
circumstances which I shall describe. Next (2) I have to show, if 
I can, why a few sets of people, bearing, as sets or associations, animal 
or other such names, are now no longer exogamous. 

If I succeed, I think that I may regard "Totemism " as characterised 
by exogamous kins bearing totemic names, and as "an integral 
phenomenon " existing in many various forms.^ 

If I understand Mr. Goldenweizer this attitude and effort of mine 
must seem to him " methodologically " erroneous, and " logically 
unjustifiable." " This attitude," he says (namely the attitude of those 
who hold totemism to be "an integral phenomenon"), "is reflected 
in the way several authors deal with the so-called 'survivals' of 
totemism, where from the presence in some region of one or two of 
the ' symptoms ' of totemism, or of the fragments of such symptoms, 

^ But I exclude from my treatment of the subject, the "Matrimonial Classes," or "sub- 
classes" of many Australian tribes, for these are peculiar to Australia, appear to be results of 
deliberate conscious enactment, and, though they bear animal names (when their names can 
be translated), have no traceable connection with totemism. 

A 2 



they infer the existence in the past of totemism in its ' typical form,' 
that is, with all its essential characteristics." ^ 

Thus, for example, from such phenomena as standards bearing 
animal forms ; or from animal worship, — each animal being adored in 
its own district, — or from myths of descent from gods in the form of 
animals ; or from the animal names of some Roman gentes ; or from 
I animals closely associated with gods (like the Shrew Mouse with 
Sminthian Apollo) ; or from the presence of beings partly therio- 
morphic partly anthropomorphic, in art, many writers infer a past of 
totemism in Italy ; Israel ; Greece Hellenic and Greece Minoan ; in 
Egypt ; in Ireland ; and so forth. It is not my purpose to treat of 
such so-called survivals. I am to deal with peoples such as the tribes 
of Australia, New Guinea, and North-West America, who, if not the 
rose, have been near the rose : if not always totemic are at least neigh- 
bours of totemists. 


Mr. Goldenweizer tabulates the results of his comparison between 
the Totemism of British Columbia and that of Central Australia.^ 

V- A. F.Y>. 182. 

^J. A. F. p. 229. I give the tabular form in this note 


British Columbia 

Exoga^ny (i) 

Totonic names (2) .- 

Tahoo (3) / 

Descentjrom the totem f 
(4) ^ 

Totemic phratries (Tlingit) 
Totemic clans (Haida, Tsimshian, North- 
ern Kwakiutl) 

Phratries (Tlingii) 
Clans (Haida) 
2 of 4 clans (Tsimshian) 
Clans (Northern Kwakiutl) 

Non-totemic taboo, common ; totemic, 

Absent (Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian) 
Occurs (Kwakiutl and farther South) 

Central Australia 


Totem clans (generally not independent 
exogamous units) 

All totem clans 

Numerous totemic and non-totemic 


Magical ceremonies (s) 
Reincarnation (6) . . 
Guardia7i spirits (7) . 

Art (8) 

Rank (9) . . , . . 
Number of totems (10) 

Not associated with totemism 

Intimately associated with totemism 

Not associated with totemism 

Intimately associated with totemism 

Intimately associated with totemism 

Actively associated with totemism 

Not associated with totemism 
Passively associated with totemism 

Conspicuous (in individuals and groups) 





In the latter region the totemic institutions and myths are not those 
of South-Eastern Australia. To the totemism of many tribes in 
South-Eastern Australia that of a great tribe of British Columbia, the 
Tlingit, bears, — if we may trust some of the evidence, — the closest 
possible resemblance ; while, if we trust other and conflicting evidence, 
the resemblance is, on an important point, nearer to the institutions of 
certain Australian tribes of the furthest south, in Cape Yorke 
peninsula. The evidence for British Columbian totemism, I shall show, 
is so wavering as to make criticism difficult. The terminology, too, of 
some American students has been extremely perplexing. I am sorry 
to be obliged to dwell on this point, but a terminology which seems 
to apply five or six separate terms to the same social unit needs 

Dr. Boas is one of the most energetic field-anthropologists of the 
United States. To him we owe sixteen separate disquisitions and 
reports on the natives of the North- West Pacific coast and Hinterland, 
all of them cited by Mr. Goldenweizer in his excellent Bibliography. 
But Mr. Frazer observes that Dr. Boas variously denominates the 
kindred groups of the Kwakiutl tribe as "groups," "clans," " gentes," 
and " families." I must add that he also uses gentes as a synonym for 
phratries — " Phratries, viz. gentes!' ^ Now a " phratry " is not a gens ; 
a " group " may be anything you please ; a " family " is not a gens ; — 
a "gens" is an aggregate of families, — and a " clan " is not a " family." 

Mr. Goldenweizer's tabulated form of his comparisons between British 
Columbia and Australia contains ten categories (see the last footnote 
of p. 6). Of these, two at least (8) (9) indicate elements which are 
purely proofs that the B.C. tribes are on a much higher, or later, level 
of social progress than the Australians. These two are Ra7ik and Art. 
Had Mr. Goldenweizer added Wealth and Towns to his ten categories 
he would have given four factors in B.C. culture which affect B.C. 
totemism, and which do not exist in Central Australia, where realistic 
art is all but wholly unknown : art being occupied with archaic con- 
ventional patterns. Thus, in Australia, the bewildering B.C. heraldry 
— the " crests " — cannot, as in B.C., confuse the statements of observers, 
perplex their terminology (for they often use " crests " as synonyms of 

1 Franz Boas, Fifth Report of the Committee on the North- Western Tribes of Canada, p. 32, 
cited in Totemism and Exogamy, vol. iii. p. 319, note 2 ; cf. p. 321. 


" totems "), and disorganise totemism itself. But we can find, not far 
from Australia, a parallel to this heraldry in New Guinea. For 
" crests " or badges in Central British New Guinea, see Totemism and 
Exogamy, vol. ii. pp. 42-44. The people, like the B.C. tribes, are settled 
in villages. They have " a number of exogamous clans," most clans 
occupying several villages, and they have paternal descent. " Every 
clan " (as apparently in some cases in British Columbia) " has a 
number of badges called Oaoa, which, generally speaking, may only be 
worn or used by members of the clan." The *'clan" names are 
geographical or are patronymics, they are not totemic ; the badges 
either represent birds and mammals, or are " schematised " from some 
prominent feature of these. The people are not now totemists, even 
if they have passed through totemism. 

Again (category 5), in British Columbia, "Magical Ceremonies are 
not associated with Totemism." In Central Australia they are 
" intimately associated with totemism." Yes, but in South-Eastern 
Australia they are not, as far as our evidence informs us. Magical 
ceremonies are not in Mr. Goldenweizer's list of five symptoms or 
characteristic peculiarities of totemism, so I leave them out of account. 

Again, as to Taboo (category 3), in British Columbia, " non-totemic 
taboo is common ; totemic, absent." 

As to this "absence," Mr. Frazer has a great deal to say. For 
example, we have Commander Mayne's book, Four Years in British 
Columbia, a work of 1862, in which is given information from Mr. 
William Duncan, a missionary among the Tsimshian tribe. All such 
evidence given prior to controversies about totemism is valuable. 
According to this account, the Indians used, as " crests," representations 
of Whale, Porpoise, Eagle, Raven, Wolf, Frog, etc. Every person was 
obliged to marry out of the name of the animal represented by his 
crest, and each " clan " tabooed its animal, " will never kill the animal 
which he has adopted for his crest, or which belongs to him as his 
birthright," that is, apparently, his " familiar," and his inherited totem. 
This is original totemism in North- West America. 

Mr. Frazer says, " So far as I remember, no other writer on these 
North-Western Indians has mentioned their reluctance to kill their 
totemic animals. In the course of this work I have repeatedly called 
attention to the paucity of information on this important side of 


totemism in the writings of American ethnologists." ^ Mr. Frazer also 
finds the usual totemic taboo among the Yuchi, a tribe of the Gulf 

In Central Australia are " numerous totemic and non-totemic taboos." 
But in other parts of Australia there are also tribes where people even 
kill and eat their totems. The totemic taboo is an extremely common 
institution, but not a note stantisvel cadentis ecclesiae. 

Another category is (4), " Descent from the Totem." As I have 
said, the belief in this descent is a mere explanatory myth to account 
for totemism ; and, like all other such myths, could only arise after 
men were not only totemic, but wondered why they were totemic. 
Consequently such myths are not of the essence of totemism, and their 
varieties are of no importance. 

The belief, or myth, of totemic descent is absent in British Columbia, 
says Mr. Goldenweizer, in the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian tribes, 
and present " among the Kwakiutl and further south." In Central 
Australia descent from the totem is " universal." 

But it is a queer kind of " descent," is not, in the usual sense, descent 
at all, and, notoriously, is not descent by physical generation. 

Then we have the category (7), " Guardian Spirits, intimately 
associated with Totemism " in British Columbia, " not associated with 
it in Central Australia." Yet, in Central Australia, a man's spirit is 
a totemic spirit. Again (10), "Number of Totems." In British 
Columbia " small," in Central Australia " large." But it is " small " in 
such central regions of Australia as those of the Dieri and Urabunna, 
and in South-Eastern Australia ; and why it is so large among the 
Arunta no man knows. It is an unexplained peculiarity, and not 

" Reincarnation " (6) is, in British Columbia, " not associated with 
Totemism," in Central Australia "intimately associated with Totemism." 
Here, Mr. Strehlow, for the Southern Arunta, reports otherwise; while 
for the Northern Arunta and other tribes, this " reincarnation " is part 
of a speculative explanatory myth. The myth, as I can show, 
explains, at one stroke, how men come to have souls, and why men are 

1 Totemism and Exogamy, vol. iii. pp. 309-311. 

^F. G. Speck, Ethnology of the Yuchi Indians, Philadelphia, 1909, pp. 70 J17. Totemism 
and Exogamy, vol. iv. p. 312, cf. vol. iii. p. 181. 


totemic. We know the kind of savage philosophy which accounts for 
this category. 

I have now remarked on eight out of Mr. Goldenweizer's ten cate- 
gories of differences between British Columbian and South Australian 
totemism ; all of them, I think, are separable accidents of totemism ; 
and most of them are easily to be accounted for by actual differences 
of culture, of social conditions, and by variety of savage taste and 
fancy in making guesses as to why totemists are totemistic. 


We next arrive at the two first of Mr, Goldenweizer's categories. 
These are concerned with points of such very wide diffusion in the 
totemic world that I, under correction, take leave to regard them as 
" normal," while I hold that such variations from the norm as exist 
can be explained — as aberrations. 

The first of these two categories is announced as : • 


TTotemic phratries (Tlingit). 
^ [Totemic clans (Haida, Tsimshian, Northern Kwakiutl). 



Totem clans (generally not independent exogamous 

This needs explanation ! By " \.o\{\c phratries " in the case of the 
Tlingits, Mr. Goldenweizer means the two main exogamous divisions 
of the tribe, Wolf and Raven. By " totemic clans" in the case of the 
Haida, he also means the two main exogamous divisions, Raven and 
Eagle, which, really, are phratries. But it is also clear that Mr. 
Goldenweizer is here using the word " clans " as it exists in the 
peculiar terminology of Dr. Swanton. Mr. Goldenweizer informs us 
that " Dr. Swanton now fully recognises the strict parallelism of the 
social units of the Tlingit and Haida, and sanctions the use of 


'phratry' and clan in both cases." This terminological source of 
confusion happily disappears. 

We are now, alas, entering a region where the variations of evidence, 
the confusions of terminology, and the influence of wealth and rank in 
the creation of heraldry, cause extreme perplexity. Meanwhile, as the 
Haida "clans" of the category are, in fact, phratries ; on the other 
hand the " totemic clans " of the Tsimshians and Northern Kwakiutl 
(Raven, Eagle, Hawk, Wolf), and six " totemic clans " of the Northern 
Kwakiutl seem destitute of phratries, which, among the Arunta of 
Central Australia, have also died out. Mr. Goldenweizer, however, 
assigns phratries to Central Australia, the Arunta have none;^ also 
" totem clans," where there are none, for the totemically named 
associations of the Arunta are not "clans," in the normal and usual 
sense of that word ; they are not kins but associations. 

Mr. Goldenweizer, in his first category, speaks of Central Australia 
as possessing totemic " clans " (" generally not independent exogamous 
units "). If by " Central Australia " he means the Arunta group of 
tribes, they have, I repeat, no " totemic clans " ; they have only 
clubs with totemic names, and these associations are not "exo- 
gamous units." Where phratries with totem kins in them exist, no 
totem kin is or can be "an independent exogamous unit," except where 
one totem to one totem marriage prevails, as among certain Australian 
tribes. But if the phratry rule be dropped, as Morgan says it was 
among the Iroquois, then people may marry into any totem kin 
except their own, and each totem kin becomes an "independent 
exogamous unit."^ 

Thus the first category in Mr. Goldenweizer's list needs a good deal 
of explanation and criticism. 

The second category is Totemic Navies. Under these, in British 
Columbia, are : 

" Phratries (Tlingit)." 

"Clans (Haida)." (But these are phratries.) 

" Two of four clans Tsimshian." 

"Clans (Northern Kwakiutl)." 

'That is, the matrimonial classes, eight in all, are divided into two sets of four each, but 
these sets are nameless. 

'^L. A. Morgan, League of the Iroqttois, pp. 79-S3. 


In place of two animal-named clans out of four, Mr. Frazer assigns 
four animal-named clans to the Tsimshians ;^ Raven, Eagle, Wolf, and 
Bear. {T. and E., vol. iii. pp. 307-308.) Mr. Goldenweizer himself^ 
also assigns these fotir animal-named clans to the Tsimshians. But, in 
his table,^ he docks two Tsimshian clans of their totem names. He does 
so also in his p. 190. Thus (p. 187) all of the four Tsimshian "clans" 
have animal names. But (p. 190), and also in the tabular arrangement, 
only two of the Tsimshian clans have animal names. Mr. Frazer 
gives to all four Tsimshian clans the names of animals. Whom are 
we to believe } * Method is here a little to seek. 

A much more serious puzzle meets us when, in his second category 
(totemic names), Mr. Goldenweizer assigns no totemic names to the 
"clans" of the Tlingit, while Mr. F. Boas (whose list is quoted by Mr. 
Frazer) and Holmberg (1856) do assign totemic names to the Tlingit 

Let us examine this situation. 

If we take a South-East Australian tribe of the Barkinji pattern, we 
find it divided into two animal-named intermarrying phratries (or 

^ I may be permitted to note that these four Tsimshian clans look, to me, as if they had 

originally been two pairs of phratries. We find a parallel Australian case in the Narran-ga 

tribe of York's peninsula in South Victoria. Here Mr. Howitt gives us the "classes" (his 

term for phratries) : 

Kayi .... Emu. 

Waui .... Red Kangaroo. 

Wiltu .... Eagle Hawk. 

Wilthathu - - - - Shark. 

Each of these four main divisions had totem kins within it, and, as usual, the same totem 

(all are animals) never occurred in more than one main division. (Howitt, N.T.S.E.A. 

p. 130.) In precisely the same way "crests" of animal name occur in each of the four 

Tsimshian " clans " : 

Raven - - - - Raven, Codfish, Starfish. 

Eagle .... Eagle, Halibut, Beaver, Whale. 

Wolf .... Wolf, Crane, Grizzly Bear. 

Bear .... Killer Whale, Sun, Moon, Stars, Rainbow, 

Grouse, and Sea Monster. 

These "crests," thus arranged, no crest in more than one clan (or phratry?) look like old 

totems in the two pairs of clans, or, as I suspect, of phratries. The Australian parallel 

corroborates the view that the Tsimshian "clans" have been phratries. 

^J. A. F. p. 187, quoting "Swanton 26th B. E. K., 1904-1905, p. 423." 

^ Ibid. p. 229. 

*The truth seems to be that Mr. Goldenweizer (p. 189) misquotes Mr. Swanton, who 

(26th B. E. R. p. 423) is speaking, not of the Tsimshian but of the Haida. In his p. 190 

Mr. Goldenweizer is quoting Dr. Boas, Annual Archceological Report, Toronto, 1905, 

pp. 235-249. 


exogamous intermarrying " classes " or " moieties," I call them 
" phratries "). In each phratry are totem kins, that is, kins named 
after animals, vegetables, or other things in nature. The names of 
phratries and totem kins (I know no other word for them but totem 
kins or totem clans) descend in the female line. No such totem kin 
occurs in both exogamous phratries, therefore all these units are 
necessarily exogamous. 

Two-thirds of the Australian phratry names are untranslated, like 
those of the Dieri ; the other third, with a single exception (the 
Euahlayi), are names of animals.^ 

Now turn to the disputable case of the Tlingits of British Columbia. 
I first examine Mr. Frazer's account of them in Toteniism and 
Exogamy (vol, iii. pp. 264-278), The Tlingits are divided into two 
exogamous phratries, or " classes," of animal names, Raven and Wolf 
(In the north the Wolf "class" is also known as the Eagle.) Phratry 
exogamy is the rule ; descent is in the female line. Each phratry is 
subdivided into a number of " clans," which are named after various 
animals. As no " clan " is represented in both phratries, and as all 
folk are obliged to marry out of their own phratry, the " clans " are, 
inevitably, exogamous. 

For purposes of comparison with other British Columbia tribes, I 
give the list of Tlingit totem kins furnished by Mr. Frazer, " on the 
authority of Mr. F. Boas"^ : 

Raven Phratry. 

Wolf (Eagle) Phratry 







Sea Lion. 

Killer Whale. 








Sparrow Hawk. 


Thunder Bird.^ 

As I found out, and proved, in many Australian tribes the name of 
each phratry also occurs as the name of a totem kin /« the phratry ; so 
also it is among the Tlingit — teste Mr F. Boas.^ 

* Thomas, Kinship and Marriage in Australia. ^ T. and E., vol. iii. p. 266, note i. 

'^ T. and E., vol. iii. p. 266, note I. '^ Secret 0/ the Totem, pp. 164-170 



Thus on every point — female descent,animal-named phratries, animal- 
named totem kins, and each phratry containing a totem kin of its own 
name, the Tlingit totemism is absolutely identical with that of many 
South-Eastern Australian tribes of the most archaic type. 

But the Tlingit, unlike the Australians, live in villages, and " the 
families or households may occupy one or more houses. The fmnilies 
actually take their names from places." (I italicise the word 
"families.") Mr. Frazer's authorities here are Holmberg (1856), Pauly 
(1862), Petroff ("the principal clans are those of the Raven, the Bear, 
the Wolf, and the Whale"), Krause (both here undated), Dn Boas 
(1889), and Mr. Swanton (1908). 

Mr Goldenweizer^ does not mention that the "clans" of the Tlingit 
have animal names. Quite the reverse ; he says that " the ' clans ' of 
the Tlingit . . . bear, with a few exceptions, names derived from 
localities." 2 This is repeated on p. 225. 

At this point, really, the evidence becomes unspeakably perplexing. 
Mr. Frazer, we see, follows Mr. F. Boas and Holmberg (1856) in declar- 
ing that the "clans" of the Tlingit bear animal names. Mr. Golden- 
weizer says that, " with few exceptions," the " clans " of the Tlingit 
bear " names derived from localities."^ Mr. Goldenweizer's authority 
is "Swanton, Bur. Eth. Rep., 1904-1905 (1908), p. 398." Mr. Frazer* 
also quotes that page of Mr, Swanton, but does not say that Mr. 
Swanton here gives local, not animal, names to the clans of the Tlingit. 
Mr. Frazer also cites Mr. Swanton's p. 423 sq. Here we find Mr. 
Swanton averring that Killer Whale, Grizzly Bear, Wolf, and Halibut 
are in the Wolf phratry, " on the Wolf side," among the Tlingit ; 
while Raven, Frog, Hawk, and Black Whale are on the Raven side. 
Here are animal names (not precisely as in Mr. Boas' list) within the 
phratries. But Mr. Swanton does not reckon these animal names as 
names of " clans " ; to " clans " he gives local names in almost every 
case. To his mind these animal names in Tlingit society denote 
"crests" not ''clans" and with crests we enter a region of confusion. 

I cannot but think that the confusion is caused (apart from loose 
terminology) by the crests of these peoples. The crests are an ex- 
crescence, a heraldic result of wealth and rank ; and as such can have 

V- A. F. p. 186. V- A- ^- P- »9o- V- ^- ^- PP- 190-225. 

* T. and E., vol. iii. p. 266, note i. 


nothing to do with early totemism. Scholars sometimes say " totems " 
when they mean "crests" (and perhaps vice versa), and confusion 
must ensue. 

I quote, on this point, a letter which Mr. Goldenweizer kindly wrote 
to me (Jan. 21, 191 1). 

"Since the appearance of Mr. Swanton's studies of the Tlingit and 
the Haida there remains no doubt whatever that the clans of these 
two tribes bear (with some few exceptions) names derived from 
localities. On pp. 398-9-400 of his Tlingit study (26th Report of the 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 1904-5) he gives a list of the geo- 
graphical groups, and of the clans with their local names, classified 
according to the two phratries : Raven and Wolf. It must be remem- 
bered that to many of these clans he gives the totems [crests] of the 
Tlingit phratries : then the gentes [clans] of the Stikin tribe are 
enumerated. Some of the native names are translated as house or 
local names ; it is pointed out that the raven occurs four times as the 
crest of four gentes [clans] with different names which, therefore, 
cannot mean * raven.' 

"The Haida case is quite parallel. Here 'each clan [phratry] was 
subdivided into a considerable number of families [clans] which 
generally took their names from some town or camping-place.' And 
again : ' It would seem that originally each family occupied a certain 
place or lived in a certain part of a town ' (Swanton, TJie Haida, pp. 
66, sg.). Now, of course, many clans are represented in several 
districts. Opposite p. y6 we find a genealogical table of the Raven 
families [clans] descended from Foam Woman, with their local names. 
A similar table of the Eagle families [clans] descended from Greatest 
Mountain, is given on p. 93. Again Professor Boas' account, although 
fragmentary, is correct. ' The phratries of the Haida are divided into 
gentes [clans] in the same way as those of the Tlingit, they also take 
their names, in the majority of cases, from the houses' (R.B.A.A.S., 
p. 822). The names of the Skidigate-village-people clans are given 
as an example. 

"As to personal names among the Haida, a curious fact must 
be noted. Notwithstanding the greater prominence of crests 
and art among the Haida, their personal names are but seldom 
derived from animals, as is the rule among the Tlingit, the clans 


are not now restricted to one village district, but are found in several of 
the geographical groups. Thus the GanAxAdi (of the Raven 
phratry) are found in the Tongas, Taku, Chilkat and Yakutat groups, 
while the Tegoedi (of the Wolf phratry) occur in the Tongas, Sanya, 
Hutsnuwu and Yakutat groups. The only non-local clan-names in 
the list are the Kluxinedi (marten people) of Henya; the SAgutenedi 
(grass people) and NesAdi (salt-water people) of Kake ; the 
L!uk!nAxAdi (king-salmon people) of Sitka ; and the LugaxAdi 
(quick people) of Chilkat. Each of these five clans occurs only once 
in the list, from which we may perhaps infer that they are of relatively 
late origin (this merely as a suggestion). On the other hand, ' the 
great majority of Tlingit personal names,' Mr. Swanton tells us, 
'referred to some animal, especially that animal whose emblem was 
particularly valued by the clan to which the bearer belonged ' (Bureau, 
1904-5, pp. 421-2). In the passage you note, viz. 'the transposition 
of phratries is indicated also by crests and names, for the killer- 
whale, grizzly bear, wolf, and halibut, are on the Wolf side among 
the Tlingit and on the Raven side among the Haida, etc.,' the 
animals cited are the 'crests' while the 'names' referred to are, 
of course, the personal names which are derived from animals and as 
a rule change with the crests ; therefore, they are not illustrated in 
the passage. 

" Professor Boas' list is incomplete but similar in substance (Reports 
of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1889, 
p. 821). First majority of Haida personal names refer to the pot- 
latch, property, etc. (Swanton, TJie Haida, pp. 1 19-120.) This is, no 
doubt, due to the influence of the potlatch which is among these 
people the central social and ceremonial feature. 

" Holmberg's work I did not see. Probably his list of animals also 
stands for the crests and not the clan names. . . . 

" Of the Tsimshian clans only two bear animal names. K'anhada 
and GylspotuwE'da do not, as Professor Boas formerly supposed, 
mean 'raven' and 'bear' (cf. R.B.A.A.S., 1889, p. 823 and Annual 
Archaeological Report, Toronto, 1906, p. 239)." 

If I may ask a question about this very perplexing state of affairs, I 
would say, Is the animal crest of each " clan " supposed to be later 
than the local designation of the clan } To me it seems that the crest 


is in origin a heraldic representation of the clan totem, and that, as 
in Australia, totemic names of clans are older than names derived 
from localities or " houses." The house, the fixed building, is part 
of a society later than the first bearing of totemic names by clans. 
The crest, as a badge of rank and wealth, is later than the totem ; 
social advance, houses, towns, heraldry, as a mark of rank, appear 
to me to cause the perplexities, and to place these American tribes 
outside of the totemism of people without rank, wealth, and houses 
and heraldry. 

As I understand the case, the Tlingit clans did not originally, as 
Dr. Swanton seems to suppose, " occupy a certain place or live in a 
certain quarter of a town," whence they derived the place-names or 
town-names which they at present bear, according to Dr. Swanton. 
The Tlingit, now living in towns, and with clans of town-names, may 
naturally fancy that from the first their clans bore local or town-names. 
But society that begins in people who, like the Tlingit, have female 
descent, cannot form a local clan of descent, unless the men go 
to the homes of the women, which is not here the case. Originally 
I think their crests, as in Holmberg's report, were effigies of their 
clan totems, and the clans bore their totem names. But with 
advance to wealth, houses, and settled conditions, the local or 
town-names (as in other cases is certain) superseded the totem 
names of the clans, while the totem badge became, as the crest, 
a factor in a system of heraldry, to us perplexing. Certainly the 
facts as given by Dr. Swanton, may be envisaged in this way ; 
the processes of change are simple, natural and have parallels 

If a totemic clan chooses to wear the image of its totem as a badge, 
and has no other badge, all is plain sailing. But in British Columbia, 
as in Central British New Guinea, men, in proportion to their wealth 
and descent, wear an indefinite number of badges or "crests." 
"Although referred to by most writers as totems," says Mr. Swanton, 
speaking of the Haida tribe, " these crests have no proper totemic 
significance, their use being similar to that of the quarterings in 
heraldry, to mark the social position of the wearers." ^ Of course 
Australian totemists have no social position to be indicated by crests 

' Quoted, T. and E., vol. iii. p. 281. 


or badges. Now Dr. Boas speaks of " crests " as " totems," among the 
Haida/ and we are perplexed among these mixtures of heraldic with 
totemic terms. 

Next, and this is curious, while Mr. Swanton gives local names to 
the "clans" of the Tlingit ; to many but not all of his "House 
Groups " he gives animal names, " Raven, Moose, Grizzly Bear, Killer 
Whale, Eagle, Frog houses" and so on. All these animals are names 
of Holmberg's and Mr. F. Boas' totems of clans ; but, according to 
Mr. Swanton, they are names borne, not by " clans " but by " house 
groups." 2 Other house groups have local names, or descriptive names, 
or nicknames, as " gambling house." Thus Mr. Frazer gives animal 
names to the " clans " of the Tlingit to which Mr. Swanton gives local 
names, and while many of the houses, or "house groups" of Mr. 
Swanton's Tlingit bear totemic names, Mr. Frazer says "the families 
generally take their names from places." ^ There appears to be con- 
fusion due to imperfect terminology. 

Mr. Goldenweizer avers that " the intensive and prolonged researches 
conducted by a number of well trained observers among these tribes of 
the North Pacific border have shown with great clearness," — some- 
thing not at present to the point.^ But we regret the absence of clear- 
ness. Can we rely on Holmberg who described the state of affairs as 
it was fifty years ago, and who knew nothing, I presume, of Australian 
phratries and totem kins .'' In his time the Tlingit, like a dozen South- 
Eastern tribes of Australia, had animal-named kins in animal-named 
exogamous intermarrying phratries, with female descent. Or was 
Holmberg (and was Mr. F. Boas in his list of animal-named Tlingit 
clans) led astray by the " crests " .'' Did each of these inquirers 
mistake " crests " for totems of clans ? 

One thing is clear, the Tlingit and the other tribes being possessed 
of wealth, and of gentry, and of heraldry, cause almost inextricable 
confusion by their use of heraldic badges, named "crests" by some; 
and " totems " (or both crests and totems at once) by other well trained 
observers. I am inclined to believe that most of these crests were, 
originally, representations of the totems of distinct totem kins. My 
reason is this : Mr. Swanton tells us that " the crests and names which 

1 T. and E., vol. iii. p. 283. '^ Bur. Eth. Report, 1904-1905, pp. 400-407. 

^T. and E., vol. iii. p. 266. *J. A. F., p. 287. 


among the THngit are on the Wolf side" are "on the Raven side" 
among the Haida. Among these people, animal names and crests 
are divided between the two phratries, the same name or crest not 
occurring in both phratries. This is merely the universal arrangement 
of totems in phratries. 

Even now, among the Tlingit, says Mr. Swanton, "theoretically the 
emblems " (crests) " used on the Raven side were different from those on 
the Wolf or Eagle side',' (precisely as, in Australia, the totems in Eagle 
Hawk phratry are different from those in Crow phratry), "and although 
a man of high caste might borrow an emblem from his brother-in-law 
temporarily, he was not permitted to retain it." (His brother-in-law, 
of course, was of the phratry not his own.) All this means no more 
than that occasionally a man of high caste may now impale the arms 
of his wife.^ With castes and heraldry, born of wealth and rank, we 
have stepped out of totemism at this point. It has been modified by 
social conditions. " Some families were too poor to have an emblem," 
did they also cease to have a totem } Some of the rich " could," it was 
said, " use anything." Is this because they pile up sixteen quarterings 1 
" The same crest may be, and is, used by different clans, and any one 
clan may have several crests. . . ."" Many "clans" now use the 
same crest, and there are quarrels about rights to this or that " crest." 
Some members of the Wolf phratry assert a right to the Eagle crest. 
Mr. Frazer thinks that " such claims are perhaps to be explained by 
marriages of the members of the clan with members of other clans 
who had these animals for their crests." ^ 

That is precisely my own opinion. If " crests " were originally mere 
representations of each person's totem animal they have now become 
involved, through rank and social degrees, with heraldry, and with 
badges not totemic, such as a certain mountain. Meanwhile all the 
Tlingit " clans," if we follow Mr. Swanton's evidence, or almost all the 
" clans " are now mere local settlements, at least they bear local and 
other descriptive names. I nearly despair of arriving at Mr. Swanton's 
theory of what a Tlingit " clan " really is ! But he gives a list of " the 
geographical groups," the " clans," and the phratry to which each of 
the clans belonged. . . . 

' R. B. E., ut supra, p. 415. ^ T. and E., vol. iii. p. 268. 

^ T. and E,y vol. iii. p. 269. 


Thus we have (i) 
Phratry Raven. 

Then (2) 

Tongas (I take Tongas to be "a geographical group"). 

Then under ToNGAS GanAXA'di, People of Ga' NAX. 

Phratry Wolf. 

Tongas (Geographical group, apparently). 
Te' goedi, People of the island Teq°. 

GanAXA'di and Te'-goedi seenn to be " clans," but then clan Te'goedi, 
" People of the isle Teq°," looks like " a geographical group " ! 

There are fourteen "geographical divisions" of this kind, and 
sixty-eight " clans " of this kind, with descriptive or local names. The 
clans " were in a way local groups," says Mr. Swanton. They were 
also " clans or consanguineal bands," each " usually named from some 
town or camp it had once occupied." They "differed from the 
geographical groups . . . being social divisions instead of comprising 
the accidental occupants of one locality." ^ 

Be it observed that Mr. Swanton speaks of "these geographical 
divisions or tribes " ; which increases the trouble, for, if the Tlingit be 
a "tribe," and the geographical divisions of the Tlingit be also 
"tribes," things are perplexing. 

Once more, the Tlingit reckon descent in the female line. Now 
how can "a consanguineal band," which reckons descent in the female 
line, look like " a geographical group " ? A totem kin, with male 
descent, in Australia and elsewhere, like a Highland clan, say the 
Maclans, necessarily becomes " a geographical group," say in Glencoe. 
But how, with female descent (unless the women go to the men's 
homes), a Tlingit "consanguineal band" can also have a local habita- 
tion is to me a difficult question. The names of the phratries descend 
in the female line. Do the local and descriptive names of " the clans 
or consanguineal bands," also descend in the female line ? I cannot 
presume to say. Mr. Frazer throws no light on this point believing, 
as he does, that the "clans" within the Tlingit phratries, are the 
familiar totem kins, of animal names. If so, the children must inherit 
the maternal totem "clan" name. 

Only one thing is clear to me, a Tlingit of the Wolf phatry can only 

^ J?. B. E. ut supra, p. 398. 


marry a bride of the Raven phratry ; a Tlingit of the Raven phratry 
can only woo a maiden of the Wolf phratry. If totem kins there be 
in the phratries, these totem kins are exogamous. If there be no 
totem kins in the phratry, are Mr. Swanton's clans of local names 
locally exogamous "i May persons marry within the region where 
they are settled } I know not, but I rather incline to suppose that 
members of both phratries may be found in Mr. Swanton's clans of 
local name ; indeed it must be so, and therefore a pair of lovers may 
perhaps wed within their " clan or consanguineal band," and within 
their local group, which, thus, is not exogamous. If so, the Tlingit 
clan is not exogamous. But all this is purely conjectural. 

While, in Mr. Swanton's version, the Tsimshians, with female 
descent, have two exogamous "clans" with animal names, and two 
with other names ; while in Mr. Frazer's book they have four animal- 
named exogamous clans, there is a third story resting on the authority 
of Mr. William Duncan, a missionary among the Tsimshian from 1857 
onwards.! ]y[j., Duncan's information Commander Mayne incorporated 
in his book.2 

According to Commander Mayne, using Mr. Duncan's evidence, in 
1862, the Tsimshians (as we have seen), carved faces of "Whale, 
Porpoise, Raven, Eagle, Wolf, Frog, etc.," on roof beams. He calls 
such effigies "crests." No person may marry another of the same 
" crest " : the children take their mother's crest, and bear the name of 
the animal which it represents. None may kill the animal of his 
crest. All this is exogamy with totem kins, under the phratries, as 
the exogamous units,^ and with the totemic taboo. If Mayne and 
Duncan are right, either more recent writers are wrong, or Tsimshian 
totemism has been much modified since 1862. 


Further south than the Tsimshian dwell the Kwakiutl, of whom the 
most southerly are called "the Kwakiutl proper." The northern 
Kwakiutl are divided, says Dr. Boas, into " septs " and " clans." 
What a " sept " may be I am not certain. The first tribe has " clans " 

^ Mayne, Four Years in British Columbia, p. 257 sq. 1862. 

2See T. and E., vol. iii. pp. 309-311. ^ T. and E., vol. iii. pp. 309-3II- 


called Beaver, Eagle, Wolf, Salmon, Raven, Killer Whale : the usual 
totemic names in this region. These totemic clans are exogamous, 
like those of Mayne's Tsimshians. Descent is in the female line. In 
the next tribe we find three exogamous animal-named clans : Eagle, 
Raven, Killer Whale, Beaver, Wolf, and Salmon have vanished, or 
have never existed. In these two tribes a child is sometimes placed in 
the father's, not in the mother's clan, as a Dieri father sometimes "gives" 
his totem to his son, in addition to the inherited maternal totem.^ 

When we reach the southern Kwakiutl ("the Kwakiutl proper") 
we are told by Dr. Boas that " patriarchate prevails." This appears 
to mean that descent is here reckoned not, as in the north, in the 
female, but in the male line. " We do not find a single clan that has, 
properly speaking, an animal for its totem ; neither do the clans take 
their name from their crest, nor are there phratries." ^ As the northern 
Kwakiutl have animal-named exogamous "clans" with female 
descent, Dr. Boas now thinks that the northern Kwakiutl " have to a 
great extent adopted the maternal descent and the division into 
animal totems of the northern tribes."^ We do not know, elsewhere, 
that totemism has ever been borrowed by one tribe from another, 
especially by a tribe so advanced in culture as the Kwakiutl, and we 
have no example of a tribe in which the men have given up their social 
prerogatives, and transmitted them to their nephews in the female line. 

Mr. Frazer writes, " The question naturally arises. Are the Kwakiutl 
passing from maternal institutions to paternal institutions, from 
mother-kin to father-kin, or in the reverse direction .-*... In one 
passage Dr. Boas seems to incline to the former member of this alter- 
native, that is, to the view that the Kwakiutl are passing, or have 
passed, from mother-kin, or (as he calls it) matriarchate to father-kin 
or patriarchate, for he says that " the marriage ceremonies of the 
Kwakiutl seem to show that originally matriarchate prevailed also 
among them."* Yet he afterwards adopted with great decision the 
"contrary view." On these very intricate problems I take leave to quote 

* T. and E., vol. iii. pp. 318, 319. 

^ Fifth Report on N.W. Tribes of Canada, 1890. T. and E., vol. iii. p. 320, note i. 
^Twelfth Report on N. VV. Tribes of Canada, 1898, p. 676. T. ajid E., vol. iii. p. 320, 
note I. 

* T. and E., vol. iii. p. 332, citing Dr. Boas in Fifth Report on N. IV. Tribes of Canada, 
p. 33. 1889. 


the statement with which Mr. Goldenweizer has been good enough to 
favour me. 

First, as to descent among the Kwakiutl proper. 

" At first, as Mr. Frazer points out (iii. p. 329 sq.), Dr. Boas believed 
that the Kwakiutl were passing from maternal to paternal descent. 
Later investigations conducted by Dr. Farrand (cf. F. Boas, T/ie 
Mythology of the Bella Coola, Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. i. p. 
121), led to a reversal of that opinion. The main arguments for original 
paternal descent among the Kwakiutl are three in number, (i) The 
village communities, which were the original social unit of the Kwakiutl,^ 
regarded themselves as direct descendants of a mythical ancestor, and 
not as descendants of the ancestor's sister, which is the case in the legends 
of the northern tribes, with maternal descent. (Cf F. Boas, TheKwakiutl, 
etc., p. 335, where a genealogy is also given.) (2) A number of offices 
connected with the ceremonies of the secret societies, such as master 
of ceremonies, etc., are hereditary in the male line (F. Boas, Kwakiutl, 
etc., p. 431). The Secret Societies, with their dances, are a very 
ancient institution among the Kwakiutl, and the male inheritance of 
the above offices is a strong argument for the former prevalence of 
paternal descent among these people, (3) The form taken by the 
maternal inheritance of rank, privileges, etc., among the Kwakiutl points 
in the same direction. When a man marries he receives crests, privi- 
leges, etc., from his father-in-law through his wife, but he himself may 
not use them but must keep them for his son, who, when of proper age, 
may sing the songs, perform the dances, use the crest, etc., which he 
thus receives from his mother through the medium of his father. (Cf. 
F. Boas, Kwakiutl, etc., p. 334.) When the young man marries he 
must return his privileges to his father, who then gives them to his 
daughter when she marries. Thus, son-in-law No. 2 receives the privi- 
leges, but again may not use them, but keeps them for his son, etc. It 
appears, then, that the privileges exercised by the young man before 
marriage are always derived from his mother, but formally he receives 
them from his father, who acts as a sort of guardian of these privileges 
until the son is ready for them. Descent here is clearly maternal, but 
the form of paternal descent is preserved, a plausible condition for a 

* It seems to me impossible to suppose that the village community was ever anywhere " the 
original social unit." — A. L. 



people whO; having become maternal, still stick at least in form to the 
traditional inheritance from the father. If this inference be rejected, 
the feature becomes quite unaccountable. 

" In the sentence, ' The woman's father, on his part, has acquired his 
privileges in the same manner through his mother ' (Frazer, vol. iii. p. 
333, note i), the privileges the woman's father exercised as a young man 
before marriage are meant. The privileges he later acquired through his 
wife he, of course, could not use, but had to keep them for his son. 
The phrase, ' each individual inherits the crest of his maternal grand- 
father' (Frazer, iii. p. 331, note 2), must be similarly interpreted. The 
crest the individual uses before marriage is meant. 

" In connection with the foregoing it must be remembered that 
another mode of acquiring privileges, crests, songs, etc., was common 
among the Kwakiutl, viz. by killing the owner (cf F. Boas, Kwakhitl, 
etc., p. 424, and elsewhere). 

" I also cite the actual words of Dr. Boas. He believes that the 
intricate law by which ' a purely female line of descent is secured, 
although only through the medium of the husband,' can only be 
explained ' as an adaptation of maternal laws by a tribe which was on 
a paternal stage. I cannot imagine that it is a transition of a maternal 
society to a paternal society, because there are no relics of the former ' 
(maternal) ' stage beyond those which we find everywhere, and which 
do not prove that the transition has been recent at all. There is no 
trace left of an inheritance from the wife's brothers ; the young people 
do not live with the wife's parents. But the most important argu- 
ment is that the customs cannot have been prevalent in the village 
communities from which the present tribal system originated, as in 
these' (village communities) 'the tribe is always designated as the 
direct descendants of the mythical ancestor. If the village com- 
munities had been on the maternal stage, the tribes would have been 
designated as the descendants of the ancestor's sisters, as is always the 
case in the legends of the northern tribes.' " ^ 

From all this it appears that Dr. Boas believes the Kwakiutl proper 
to have been once, " on the maternal stage," of which the usual 
" relics " survive, but why should all such traces survive .'' Some must 
disappear, otherwise there could be no transition ! 

^ Kep. U.S. Nat. Museum, 1897, pp. 334-335. 


Apparently, in the village communities, the existence of a mythical 
ancestor, not ancestress, is postulated ; while in the northern tribes, 
with female descent, mythical ancestresses are postulated. But if, 
among the Kwakiutl proper, male ancestry is now the recognised rule 
(and it dimly seems to be so), then, as usual, Kwakiutl myth will 
throw back into the unknown past the institutions of their present 
state, will say "ancestor," not "ancestress." No argument can be 
based on traditions which are really explanatory conjectures. There 
is advanced no valid reason for supposing that the Kwakiutl proper 
began with descent in the female line, then advanced to the male line, 
and then doubled back on the female line, and so evolved transmission 
of crests in the female line, through husbands. 

The waverings of the Kwakiutl between the two lines of descent 
are, in fact, such as we expect to occur when a people has retained, 
like the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshians, the system of female descent 
after reaching a fair pitch of physical culture, and arriving at wealth, 
rank, and the attribution of children to the paternal stock. 


I now come to give my own opinion as to the ways in which 
Kwakiutl totemism may have attained its existing peculiarities. It is 
necessary first to defend my view that the essential thing in totemism — 
surveying the whole totemic field — is the existence of exogamous kins 
bearing animal and other such names. Here Mr. Goldenvveizer 
opposes me, saying that " no particular set of features can be taken 
as characteristic of totemism, for the composition of the totemic com- 
plex is variable, nor can any particular feature be regarded as 
fundamental, for not one of the features does invariably occur in con- 
junction with others ; nor is there any evidence to regard any other 
feature as primary in order of development, or as of necessity original 
psychologically." ^ 

I have already remarked that this is true ; we find human associa- 
tions, which are not kins or clans, bearing animal and other totemic 
names, while these associations are not exogamous (the Arunta 
nation) ; and we find exogamous sets, kins, or associations which do 

not bear animal names. 

^/. A. F. pp. 269, 270. 


But the coexistence of the exogamous kin with the totemic name of 
that kin is found in such an immense and overwhelming- majority over 
every other arrangement ; the exogamous " totem clan" is so hugely 
out of proportion in numbers and width of diffusion over the Arunta 
animal-named non-exogamous associations and other rare exceptions, 
that we have a right to ask — Are not the exceptions aberrant varia- 
tions ? Have not the Arunta, with non-exogamous sets bearing 
totemic names, and other peoples with exogamous sets not of totemic 
names, passed through and out of the usual stage of animal-named 
exogamous kins ? A mere guess that this is so, that the now non- 
exogamous human sets with totem names have once been exogamous, 
would be of no value. I must prove, and fortunately I can prove, that 
it was so. 

It is certain, historically, that some exogamous units which now 
bear non-totemic names, in the past were ordinary totem kins with 
totemic names. As we can also demonstrate to a certainty that the 
Arunta have been in, and, for definite reasons, have passed out of, the 
ordinary stage of exogamous totem kins, we have a right, I think, to 
say that, normally, the feature of the totemic name is associated with 
the feature of exogamy, and that the exceptions really prove the rule, 
for we can show how the exceptions came to vary from the rule. 

Mr. Goldenweizer, in a very brief criticism of my own theory of 
Totemism, given by me in Social Origins (1903), and in The Secret of 
the r^/^;;/ (1905), writes "Why is the question, How did the early 
groups come to be named after the plants and animals 1" — the real 
problem ? Would not Lang admit that other features may also have 
been the starting point } " (I not only admit but insist that " other 
features" were among the starting-points of exogamous totemism.) 
Among " the other features " Mr. Goldenweizer gives " animal taboos, 
or a belief in descent from an animal, or primitive hunting regulations, 
or what not } I am sure that Lang, who is such an adept in following 
the /ogos, could without much effort construct a theory of totemism 
with any one of these elements to start with — a theory as consistent 
with fact, logic, and the mind of primitive man, as is the theory of 
names accepted from without." 

Now as to the last point, I have written " unessential to my system 
is the question how the groups got animal names, as long as they got 


them and did not remember how they got them " {et seq.)} I did 
show how European and other village groups obtained animal names, 
namely as sobriquets given from without ; and I proved the same 
origin of the modern names of Siouan " gentes," of two Highland 
clans ; of political parties, religious sects ; and so forth. 

This mode of obtaining names is a vera causa : that is all : and 
nobody had remarked on it, in connection with totemism. 

Next I cannot "without much effort" (or with any effort) construct 
a theory of totemism out of (i) "animal taboos." They are imposed 
for many known and some unknown reasons, and not all totem kins 
taboo the totem object. Next (2) as I must repeat that " belief in 
descent from an animal," is only one out of many post-totemic myths 
explanatory of totemism ; I cannot possibly use it as the starting- 
point of totemism. If Mr. Goldenweizer has read the book which 
he is criticising, he forgets that I wrote ^ "it is an error to look 
for origins in myths about origins," and that I refused to accept as 
corroboration of my theory an African myth which agrees with my 
own view. 

As to (3) " primitive hunting regulations," Mr. Goldenweizer does not 
tell us what they were. It is a very common " regulation " that no 
totem kin may hunt its own totem animal, but to suggest that the 
totem kin was created by the regulation is to mistake effect for cause. 

Finally (4), who can take "or what not" for the starting-point of an 
investigation .? But every totem kin has a totemic name : if there is 
no totemic name how can we know that we have before us a totem 
kin ? If the Tlingit "clans " be exogamous but not named by totemic 
names (as Mr. Swanton tells us), then the Tlingit clans are not totemic, 
now, whatever they may have been in the past : and we are not 
concerned with them. 

Of every totem " clan " the totem name is a universal feature ; 
and therefore I must begin my study from what is universal — the 
names. Here (though we must not appeal to authority), I have the 
private satisfaction of being in agreement with Mr. Howitt. The 
assumption by men of the names of objects " in fact must have been 
the commencement of totemism," says Mr. Howitt.^ 

'^ Secret of the Totem, p. 125. • Secret of the Totem, p. 23. 

^Native Tribes of South-East Australia, p. 153. 


I start then, from the totem ic names because, — no totemic name, 
no totemic "clan"! With the totemic name of a social unit in the 
tribe, I couple exogamy, (though exogamy may exist apart from 
totemism), because exogamy is always associated with a " clan " of 
totemic name, except in a very few cases of which the Arunta 
" nation " is much the most prominent. But it is not to the point, for 
the Arunta have no totemic clans. Mr. Frazer's latest definition of 
totemism is " an intimate relation which is supposed to exist between 
a group of kindred people on the one side and a species of natural or 
artificial objects on the other. . . ." ^ Now the Arunta associations of 
animal names are not (I must keep repeating) kindreds, are not 
" clans," are not composed of persons who are, " humanly speaking," 
akin. The totem is not inherited from either parent or through any 
kinsman or kinswoman. The Arunta bearers of the same totem 
name, in each case, do not constitute a "clan." This puts the so-called 
Arunta " totem clans," non-exogamous, out of action as proofs that 
" totem clans " may be non-exogamous. 

Moreover, the non-exogamous Arunta associations bearing totemic 
names have once been exogamous totem clans. The usages of the 
Arunta, and their traditions, and the actual facts of their society, 
prove that their totems were originally hereditary and exogamous.^ 

I use the word " prove " deliberately ; the demonstration is of 
historical and mathematical certainty. These facts compel me to 
believe that the Arunta have been in and passed out of normal 
hereditary totemism, in which the totems are arranged so that no 
totem occurs in both main exogamous divisions, and all totems are 
exogamous. In that normal totemic stage the Arunta have at one 
time been. But they have passed out of it into their present " concep- 
tional " totemism, with the same totems appearing in both main 
exogamous divisions, the totems being non-hereditary, and non- 

Spencer and Gillen say, " in the Arunta, as a general rule, the great 
majority of the members of any one totemic group belong to one 
moiety of the tribe, but this is by no means universal, and in different 
totemic groups certain of the ancestors are supposed to have belonged 

* T. and E., vol. iv. pp. 3, 4. 

* What follows I have already said in Attlhropos, 1910. 




to one moiety and others to the other, with the result that of course their 
living descendants also follow their example."^ (This statement I later 
compare with others by the same authors.) Now in normal totemism, 
not "the great majority," but all the members of any one totemic 
group belong to one or other moiety of the tribe. The totems being 
hereditary, they cannot wander out of their own into the other phratry, 
and, as all persons must marry out of their own phratry, they cannot 
marry into their own totem, for no person of their own totem is in the 
phratry into which they must marry. 

At present " the great majority " of members of each totem, among 
the Arunta, are in one phratry or the other. Thus their society is 
either, (i) in some unknown way, rapidly approximating itself to normal 
totemism, or (2) has comparatively recently emerged from normal 
totemism. The former alternative is impossible. Each Arunta obtains 
his or her totem by sheer chance, by the accident of the supposed 
locality of his or her conception, and of the totemic erathipa or ratapa 
which alone haunt that spot.^ Manifestly this present Arunta mode 
of determining totems cannot introduce the great majority of each 
totem into one or the other phratry or main exogamous division 
(Panunga-Bulthara and Purula-Kumara), for these divisions have now 
no local habitation or limits. Consequently the arrangement by 
which the great majority of each totem is in one or the other moiety 
can be due to nothing but the fact that the Arunta have comparatively 
recently emerged from normal exogamous and hereditary, into con- 
ceptional, casual, non-hereditary and non-exogamous totemism. Had 
they emerged long ago, and adopted their present fortuitous method 
of acquiring the totem, manifestly the totems, by the operation of chance, 
would now be present in almost equal numbers in both phratries. This 
would also be the case had Arunta totemism always been conceptional 
and fortuitous. 

According to Spencer and Gillen, " it is the idea of spirit individuals 
associated with chiiringa and resident in certain definite spots, that lies 
at the root of the present totemic system of the Arunta tribe." ^ 

This is certainly true; and the facts prove, we shall see, to demonstra- 
tion, that this actual " conceptional " state of Arunta totemism is later 

^Northern Tribes, p. 175. ^ Vol. i. pp. 189-190. Central Tribes, p. 123. 

3 Central Tribes, p. 123. 


than, and has caused the disappearance of the normal hereditary 
exogamous totemism, among the Arunta. 

It is plain and manifest that if the Arunta nation, from the first, 
were in their present stage of " conceptional totemism " — the totem of 
each individual being always determined by sheer chance — when the 
exogamous division of the tribe was instituted, individuals of each 
totem would be almost equally distributed between the two main 
divisions, Purula-Kumara and Bulthara-Panunga. Chance could not 
put the great majority of the members of every totem name either into 
one exogamous division or the other. If any one doubts this, let him 
take four packs of cards (208 cards), and deal them alternately five or 
six times to two friends, Jones representing the phratry Bulthara- 
Panunga, and Brown standing for the phratry Purula-Kumara. It 
will not be found that Brown always holds the great majority of 
Court cards — Ace, King, Queen and Knave — and the great majority 
of tens, nines and eights : while Jones holds the great majority of 
sevens, sixes, and fives, fours, threes, and twos. 

Chance distribution does not keep on working in that way ; and 
the chance conceptional distribution of totems could not put the great 
majority of, say. Kangaroos, Hachea Flowers, Wild Cats, and Little 
Hawks in the Bulthara-Panunga phratry, and the great majority of 
Emus, Lizards, Wichetty Grubs, and Dogs in the Purula-Kumara 
division. That is quite impossible. Yet all (or almost all) Arunta 
totems are thus distributed between the two main exogamous divisions. 

When once the reader understands this fact — insisted on by Spencer 
and Gillen — he becomes convinced, becomes mathematically certain 
that the chance distribution of conceptional totemism did not and 
could not thus array the totems of the Arunta. This present arrange- 
ment, and this alone, makes the Arunta associations with totemic 
names non-exogamous. I proceed to give further evidence of Spencer 
and Gillen. " Whilst every now and then we come across traditions, 
according to which, as in the case of the Achilpa," (Cats) " the totem is 
common to all classes ^ we always find that in each totem one moiety 

1 The myth is self-contradictory in the case of the Achilpa. They were in both phratries ; 
the other totems were confined to one or the other phratry. In the latter case the myth 
exaggerates the present state of things, and puts all, not the great majority, of each totem in 
one phratry or the other. In the former case the myth throws the actual stale of things back 
into the past. 


of the tribe predominates,^ and that, accordinc^ to tradition, many of 
the groups" (totem groups) "of ancestral individuals consisted origin- 
ally of men or women or of both men and women, who all belonged to 
one moiety. Thus in the case of certain Okira or Kangaroo groups 
we find only Kumara and Purula ; in certain Udnirringita or Wichctty 
Grub groups we find only Bukhara and Panunga, in certain Achilpa 
or ' Wild Cat ' (groups) ' a predominance of Kumara and Purula, with 
a smaller number of Bukhara and Panunga.'^ At the present day no 
totem is confined to either moiety of the tribe, but in each local centre 
we always find a great predominance of one moiety, as for example at 
Alice Springs, the most important centre of the Wichetty Grubs, 
amongst forty individuals, thirty-five belong to the Bukhara and 
Panunga and only five to the other moiety of the tribe." ^ 

Here the great majority — thirty-five to five — of the members of the 
totem belong to one of the two main exogamous divisions. Outside 
of the Arunta nation and Kaitish all the Grubs would belong to one 
main exogamous division. It is mathematically certain that chance 
could not bring thirty-five to five members of a given totem — or, " a 
great majority " in each case — into one or other phratry. 

Consequently the chance distribution of totems on the present 
conceptional Arunta system has not caused this uniform phenomenon. 
It follows that the totems of the Arunta were at one time hereditary, 
and were arranged, some exclusively in one, some exclusively in the 
other moiety, so that no person could marry into his or her own totem. 
The fortuitous system of conceptional distribution then arose out of 
the Arunta philosophy of spirits and emanations, and out of the 
cimringa 7ianja usage, and has now detached a small minority of 
members of each totem from their original phratry and lodged them 
in the other. Members of every totem can therefore find legal spouses 
of their own totem in the phratry not their own, and may marry them. 
And thus these Arunta associations with totemic names are now non- 
exogamous. But they have been exogamous totem kins. 

^ By "moiety" the authors mean one of the two main exogamous divisions or phratries. 

^ Central Tribes, p. I20. In fact out of three Achilpa or Wild Cat sets of wanderers, two, 
in the legend, are exclusively of one phratry — Purula-Kumara — and one is exclusively of the 
other, Bulthara-Panunga, op. cii. p. 120. 

' Central Tribes, p. 120. 


Mr. Frazer finds what he calls totemism without exogamy in parts 
of Melanesia.^ I need not here repeat my arguments, given in 
Anthropos, vol. v. (1910) pp. 1092-1108, to prove that the so-called 
"totems" in this case are only animal or vegetable "familiars" of 
individuals. Thus the great example of " totem clans " so-called, 
without exogamy, is put out of action. The Arunta " clans " are not 
clans, and the Arunta have had exogamous totem clans like other 


We now turn to cases in which exogamous "clans" bear, not 
totemic names, but local or descriptive names, like the Tlingit 
according to Dr. Swanton. In several instances it is easy to prove 
that exogamous " clans," now bearing local or other descriptive names, 
have previously borne totemic names. This result has often been 
attained by the circumstance that witJi male descent of the totem name, 
a regular local clan is formed. Such a clan then comes to be known 
by a territorial description (just as lairds were in Scotland) and the 
totemic name may drop out of use. If so, the clan becomes exoga- 
mous under a territorial or other name, and is no longer a totem clan. 

But this explanation cannot apply to the Tlingit, with female 
descent, for with female descent, unless the men go to the women's 
homes, no local clan of descent is possible, I have shown that I do 
not pretend to know precisely what are the facts of the Tlingit system, 
as accounts contradict each other. But in other American cases, as in 
those of the Apaches and Navahos, the tribes " are divided into a 
large number of exogamous clans with descent in the female line, but 
the names of the clans appear to be local, not totemic. . . . " ^ Such 
names are Lone Tree, Red Flat, House of the Cliffs, Bend in a 
Canyon, and so forth. Are such names inherited "i Is every child of 
a woman of Red Flat called " Red Flat " } Persons of the same clan 
or phratry (from eight to twelve phratries) may not intermarry. The 
phratries " have no formal names " ; speaking of his phratry a man 
will often refer to it by the title of its oldest or most numerous clan — 
and that, it seems, is always a local name. " Dr. Washington 
Matthews," says Mr. Frazer, " who spoke with authority on the subject, 

' T. and E., vol. iii. pp. 9, 2S7. ^ 7; and E., vol. iii. p. 243. 


was of opinion that the Navahos clans were originally and indeed till 
quite recently local exogamous groups and not true clans." What else 
can they be? But Dr. Washington Matthews found a legend which 
suggests that the Navahos were once totemic. If this be an explana- 
tory myth its point is to explain why the clans have now local names, 
and why do the clans think that the fact needs explanation .-' " It is 
said that when they set out on their journey each clan was provided 
with a different pet, such as a bear, a puma, a deer, a snake, and a 
porcupine, and that when the clans received their local names these 
pets were set free." ^ That is, place-names ousted totem names. 

It appears to me that when a tribe acquires settled habits and lives 
in villages, territorial names may oust totem names, and exogamy may 
become, as among the Navaho, local, just as it becomes local in several 
Australian tribes with male descent. But nothing in my theory 
compels me to suppose that every people has passed through totemic 
exogamy. Exogamy, in my view, was prior to totemism ; totem 
names were a later way of designating local groups which were already 
exogamous.2 " The rule would be. No marriage within the local 
group." The totemic names were a later addition, and I can think of 
no reason why all peoples should necessarily accept totemic names; 
only, as it chances, the enormous majority among the lower races have 
done so. 

Perhaps the Navaho and Apaches never had totemic names for 
their exogamous local groups. They are not known to exhibit any 
sign or vestige of totemism beyond the legend or myth of the wild 
animal pets. 

All such cases of exogamous units bearing non-totemic names, in 
tribes of female descent, where no vestige of totemism is found, are 
outside of the field of totemism. Why should we treat people as 
totemic who have no totems ? If we held the opinion that totemism 
was the cause of exogamy, the position would be different. At one 
time I thought that the totem and the totem blood taboo, clinched, as 
it were, and sanctified a pre-existing exogamy. But as I never found 
that marriage within the totem was automatically punished by sickness 

^ T. and E., vol. iii. p. 245, note 5, citing Washington Matthews. /, A. F., iii., 1890, 
p. 105, and Navaho Legends, p. 31, 1897. 
^ Secret 0/ the Totem, pp. 114, 115. 


or death ; (as, in many tribes, the offence of eating the totem is sup- 
posed to be); I saw that marriage within the totem was a breach of 
secular law, punished capitally by "the State." There is no taboo in 
the case. But as we repudiate the opinion that totemism was the 
cause of exogamy, in studying totemism we have no concern with 
peoples who are exogamous but show no trace of having ever been 
totem ic. 


The case of the Tlingit is quite different. Here the phratries have 
totemic names ; the " clans " in the phratries are said, by early 
authorities, to have totemic names ; the " crests " (mainly the same 
animals as those said to give names to the Tlingit "clans") are 
readily to be explained by totemism evolving into heraldry. 

But, if the Tlingit clans have not totemic names, then it would 
appear that, among a people of dwellers in towns, local names of local 
groups have succeeded to totemic names of totemic kins. This can 
only occur where people have settled habitations, towns or villages, or 
where totem kins have been localised by male descent. 

We know that, even among some of the Australian tribes with male 
descent, totem kins become local groups, and thus the predominant 
totem of each such group becomes attached to a locality, as among 
the Narran-ga of Yorke Peninsula. They had two pairs of phratries 
of animal names : 

Emu. Eagle Hawk. 

Red Kangaroo. Shark. 

In each such phratry was a number of totem kins, the same totem 
never appearing in more than one phratry (or "class" in Mr. Howitt's 
term). Each class or phratry was limited to a certain territory : Emu 
to the north, Red Kangaroo to the east. Eagle Hawk to the west, 
and Shark to the extreme point of the peninsula (south). The 
totems, passing from father to son, were thus localised. They ceased 
to be exogamous — obviously because each man, to find a wife 
eligible on exogamous principles, had to travel to a place incon- 
veniently remote. Thus the only restriction on marriage was " for- 
bidden degrees" of consanguinity.^ 

^Howitt, IV.T.S.E.A., pp. 124, 130, 258, 259. 


All this is easily intelligible. Male descent fixed phratries and 
totems to localities. By the old rule, if Emu phratry had to marry 
into Shark phratry, the localities were at the extreme ends of the 
peninsula, north and south ; the other two phratries were as far 
asunder as the east of the peninsula is from the west. Consequently, 
though the old machinery of exogamy existed, the practice of 
exogamy was dropped : persons might marry within their own 
totem kins. But we are not told whether all four " classes " inter- 
married, or each " class " only with one other, because the old rule 
had fallen into disuse before the coming of Europeans. 

Mr. Howitt gives a case of "the transfer of the prohibition of 
marriage within the totem, to the totem clan — that is, to the locality." 
In this case, that of the Narrinyeri, with male descent, most " clans " 
have a local name, or a nickname, and have totems. But three such 
units or " clans " out of twenty retain their totem names — Whale, 
Coot, Mullet — thus indicating that totemic preceded local names. A 
local " clan " may have as many as three totems, but in thirteen cases 
out of twenty each local clan had but one totem. Among nicknames 
are " Gone over there," and " Where shall we go ? " These clans 
(thirteen out of twenty) having local names, were strictly exogamous. 
So also, of course, were the totems of the local clans ; though, save in 
three cases, the name of the place of residence, or a nickname, had 
superseded the totem name as the title of the clan. It is as if, in 
place of speaking of the Maclans, we said " the Glencoe men"; instead 
of speaking of the Stewarts, said " the Appin men " ; in place of 
speaking of the Camerons, said " the men of Lochaber." 

Thus it by no means follows that if the exogamous "clans" of any 
tribe of the North-West Pacific have local names, therefore they never 
had totemic names, as many of them have to this day. The rise of 
settled towns or village communities yields a new set of conditions, 
and a new set of non-totemic names for the clans, in some cases ; 
precisely as the localisation of a totem clan through the operation of 
male descent causes a local name to take the place, usually but not 
universally, of a totem clan name in Southern Victoria. 

Consequently Mr. Goldenweizer can make no argumentative use of 
the alleged local names of the Tlingit clans. If the totemic names of 
exogamous units — showing connections with totemism in crests and 


totemic phratry names — be absent, that is because, under known 
conditions, they have been superseded by local names or nicknames. 
This process is a vera causa in totemic society. 


I now give an American case, in which a tribe, the Mandans, 
exhibit female descent, exogamous clans, and a mixture of totemic 
clan names with local names or sobriquets. The people were settled, 
lived in villages or towns, " with houses very commodious, neat, and 
comfortable." The tribe was agricultural, growing maize, beans, 
pumpkins, and tobacco. Out of seven clan names four were totemic 
— Wolf, Bear, Prairie Chicken, Eagle ; two — Flathead and Good Knife 
— look like nicknames ; High Village is local.^ Here we find other 
sorts of clan names encroaching on totem names. 

Among the Crows, with exogamous clans and female descent, out 
of twelve clan names four are totemic — Prairie Dog, Skunk, Raven, 
Antelope ; three are very unkind nicknames.^ 

The American tribes have been much disturbed by the whites, and 
many changes have occurred in their institutions. As Mr, Frazer 
points out, in a book of 1781 Captain Carver describes Siouan 
" bands " or " tribes " (really totem kins), each with a badge represent- 
ing an animal, and named after the animals : Eagles, Panthers, Tigers, 
Buffaloes, Snakes, Tortoises, Squirrels, Wolves, etc. These people 
were Sioux or Dacotas ; whether they were exogamous or not Carver 
does not say. But, in place of now bearing totemic names, the 
" gentes " of these people are at present distinguished by obvious and 
even odious nicknames, such as " Breakers of the Law," because 
members of this getis disregarded the marriage law by taking wives 
within the gens. 

So says Mr. Dorsey. Mr. Frazer says the bands of this tribe are not 
exogamous. But they must have been exogamous when a gens 
received a nickname for breaking the law of exogamy. One " band " 
or gens " Eats no Geese " ; it may have been a Goose clan. Other 
bands or gentes bear nicknames or local names.^ 

^ T. and E., vol. iii. pp. 135, 136. Morgan, Ancient Society, p. 158. 

^ T. and E.f vol. iii. pp. 153, 154. 

^T. and E., vol. iii. pp. 86, 87. Dorsey, R.B.E., xv. (1897) p. 215 et seq. 


I need not give more examples. In America, as in Australia, 
various conditions, already mentioned, cause changes from totemic 
names of exogamous clans to local names and nicknames. 

It has now been proved that though, in very rare cases, such as 
those of the Arunta and Narran-ga, sets of people may have totemic 
names, yet marry within the name ; and that, though " clans " may 
be exogamous and yet bear names which are not totemic, nevertheless 
the co-existence of totemic names with exogamy prevails in the over- 
whelming majority of instances, while the exceptions, as they have 
been accounted for by their causes, prove the rule. Consequently I 
see no error of method in holding that the totemic name and 
exogamy are normal features of totemism, while totemism is " an 
integral phenomenon." 

This is my answer to Mr. Goldenweizer's criticisms. Of course I 
" do not say that totemism was the cause of exogamy ; I hold that 
exogamy was prior to totemism, and think it perfectly possible that 
some exogamous peoples may never have been totemic. 

In this discussion I have, not illogically I hope, taken into account 
relative conditions of advancement among the peoples studied. I have 
not here shown that reckoning descent in the male line is a social 
advance on reckoning in the female line, but I am able to prove that 
it is, at least in Australia. I have shown that wealth, rank, and 
settled habitations tend to modify totemism, for example, by intro- 
ducing heraldry, and enabling non-totemic to supersede, now more 
now less, the totemic names of exogamous units. 

Mr. Goldenweizer, as we saw, writes " that these conditions are due 
to the fact that the tribes of British Columbia are 'advanced' cannot 
be admitted." ^ I am sorry that he cannot admit what is true and 
obvious. The wealth, the art, the degrees of rank, the settled houses 
and towns of the British Columbian tribes have introduced the per- 
plexities of their heraldry; as in other parts of America and in 
Australia other causes have brought in local names for exogamous kins. 

y. J. F. p. 287. 







$3ri)vteti at the SVnibcvsit.u iiJress bjj 




* c r 

Where was Eden ? 

The site of Eden still awaits identification. The Garden has been 
fruitful of much speculation, and its four rivers have occasioned 
much searching geographical inquiry. Eden has been located by 
critics in Armenia : in Babylonia (both near the city of Babylon 
and near Abu Shahrein [ancient Eridu]) : in Arabia (S., E., N.W., 
and N.): in the Palestinian Negeb : near Damascus: near Kashmir: 
near the Altai Mountains : on the mountains above Pamir : in 
Somaliland. Even Australia and the North Pole have their 
advocates.^ By the ' astral school ' of Babylonian scholars, it is 
contended that Eden must be sought in the starry heavens. The 
river that " went forth from Eden " is the Milky Way, and through 
their own telescopes they observe it branching into four. No site 
yet suggested, however, nor theory propounded has met with general 
acceptance and many critics in despair are looking to comparative 
mythology for fresh light on the problem. The present writer does 
not expect to be more successful than the more capable critics who 
have preceded him, but since the view he here presents appears to 
him to offer a possible solution of the difficulties he ventures to 
submit it to the judgment of scholars. 

Assuming for the moment that the story of the Garden of Eden 
[Gn. ii 8— iii 24] is the work of one hand and has come down to us 
in an inviolate text, there are four references, or passages, in the 

^ Particulars and criticisms of these various theories may be found in the more recent 
commentaries on Genesis, especially those of Driver (1904), and Skinner (1910). Compare 
also Delitzsch, Wo lag das Paradiesl, (l88i), pp. ii ft"., Sayce in Hastings' D.B. s.v. 
Garden of Eden, and Cheyne in £n. B. s.v. Paradise. 



narrative indicative of site ;^ (i) eastward (D*T|5^) [ii 8^],- (2) the 

name Eden, (3) the passage relating to the river of Eden, its four 

branches and the associated lands [ii 10-14], (4) the final extrusion 

and exclusion of the man from the Garden [iii 23-24]. Of these 

the first and third appear to locate the garden on the earth. The 

. .•" • secon-d points to no solution since no suitable corresponding place- 

,... nanie has yet been brought into connection with the name Eden.^ 

• •«•-•* t^ 

^ Some critics would find other indirect references in the garments of fig leaves (3'') 
and in the ' cool of the day ' (lit. ' wind of the day ' or evening breeze (D'vn nn)) (3^) to 
indicate that Eden was situated in a warm zone. But such reflections might be due 
to a writer ignorant of great climatic differences who imagined the whole world 
possessed of a climate the same as that in which he lived. Against the fig-leaf aprons 
may be set the ' coats of skins ' (3^^). 

'^D'lpc — a somewhat elusive word as to meaning. In general it seems to denote 
"eastward," or "on the east side," — c/. Gn. 11^, 12*, 13I1, all passages assigned by 
scholars to the same hand (J) as Gn. 2*^-^^. The meaning of mpn in Gn. 3^^^ is not 

very clear. In Gn. 2® the LXX has Kar^a) dvaToXds [Josephus, Anf. I. i — irpbs tt]v dvaroXirip]. 
The Vulgate, on the other hand, has a principio, "iirom aforetime," the sense in which 
msD is most frequently used in the Psalms and prophetic writings. 

^ Eden — apparently not to be confused with the place-name jnj; to which references are 

made in II Ki. ig^^ ||' Is. 3712, Ezek. 2"]"^, Am. i^; \cf. W. M. Miiller, Asien u. Etiropa 
p. 291]. In II Ki. 19^" (II' Is. 37^-) the ]np '33 are mentioned as in Telassar. According 
to Delitzsch, Faradies, pp. 3 ff., 262 ff., the pp here, as well as in Ezek. 27^^ (pj?) and 

Am. i'' (py no), must be identified with the Babylonian Bit-Adini. The ]lj; n'3 of 
Am. i^ has been looked for elsewhere. According to E. Robinson, Bib. Res. iii, p. 556, 
it is Paradisus (cf. Ptol. Geog. v. 14) mod. Jusieh — cf. also Steiner and Hoffmann, 
Z.A. W. iii, (1883), p. 97. A Babylonian identification of Eden has been persistently 
sought. It has been brought into connection with the Babylonian district Km-dunidi 
[varr. Kaj'-dti-ni-si, Gin-du-ni-sii\ so Rawlinson {vide Delitzsch, Paradies, pp. 65 ff., 
133 ff.). Amongst a list of cities in the Sumerian language is mentioned Sipar Edina 
=:Sippar of Eden (so Pinches, O.T. and Bab. -Assy. Records^^ (1903), p. 70). Then 
there must be mentioned Gu-edin-na (thought by Hommel to be the old name for the 
Chaldaeans) [III R. 53, 4 ; II R. 59, Rev, 43; IV R. 21*, no 2, Rev. 19], nar-cditi-tm, 
kis-edin-na (rivers) which Hommel has brought into comparison with the name \cf. 
Hommel, Geog. u. Gesch. pp. 241 ff. ; vide Jeremias, A.T.A.O.", (1906), pp. 188 f.]. In 
one of the great syllabaries (S*) edinu is synonym for ^t7-« =" plain, desert." It is 
interesting to note that i^'^ has no determinative ynN which J appears to use when the 

land-name is unfamiliar (as niJ pN, Gn. 4^^), poetical (as -lyji? "p^<, Gn. 11-) or com- 
prehensive (as ]yD3 y^^<, Gn. \2^, etc.). Familiar lands such as DnxD have no determinative 

VD^. It has been contended that py was originally not a place-name at all, but meant 
"pleasure, delight," in which sense it is obviously used in II Sam. !-■*, Je. 51^*, Ps. 36^. 
In Gn. 18^2 J uses a fem. form nnj? in this sense. This view is supported by the LXX 

renderings of jny as i) Tpv4>i) in Ezekiel and Joel [i.e. Ez. 28^^, 31^' '^^' '^^< ^^ 36^' ; 


The fourth, again, encourages strongly the view that the ' garden ' is 
not on earth at all, since it is a place whence man was driven, 
presumably for all time. 

The presence of such curiously contradictory conceptions of the 
same place within the limits of a comparatively short narrative 
suggests the desirability of a closer examination of the form of the 
story and of the condition of the text. Even if we agree with 
Driver that we have in the Paradise story, as, indeed, in general 
in the early chapters of Genesis, the expression in allegorical dress 
of profound truths respecting the nature of man, and " that what 
we have to consider is not the question of the site of Paradise as 
a real locality, but the question of its site as it was pictured by the 
Hebrew narrator,"^ we have not rid our path of difficulties. Was 
the Paradise of the Hebrew narrator an ideal locality, whose only 
existence was in his own mind ? That would accord well with 
Gn. iii 23 f, but is quite inconsistent with Gn. ii 10-14. The latter 
passage clearly indicates that to the narrator Eden was a real 
locality, the site of which he was at pains to define. It may be 
contended, of course, that although the narrator pictured to himself 
a real locality, an imperfect knowledge of geography may have 
occasioned a faulty presentment of its situation. But even allowing 
this contention full weight, it cannot reconcile the fundamental 
opposition of conceptions to which attention has been directed. The 
most feasible solution, — and as we shall see it is one justified by 
other evidence, — seems to lie in a surrender of the assumption that 
the whole section is the work of one hand and the reflection of one 
mind. We have to deal with a composite document, the constituent 
elements of which it is our task to determine. 

Analysis of the Narrative. The story of the Garden of Eden is 
contained in Gn. ii 8-iii 24. This section in its turn forms part 
of a larger whole extending from ii Afb-\\\ 24, and distinguished 

Jo. 2^]. The Lxx reading for Is. 51^, however, is TrapdSejaos, and for Genesis [2^> i"- i'"', 
323. 24^ 4I6J i^ jg "ESeyU. The Vulgate renders the J1J?3-]J1 of Gn. 2** by paradisus voluntatis. 

This seems by implication the interpretation put upon it by Josephus [^tjci 5^ rbv Qebv 
Koi irapdSeLaov irpbs ttjv di'aToXTjJ' KaracpvTedcrai iravTolui TeOrfXbTO, cpvri^. — Ant. I. i 3], 
who knows of no land Eden [c/. his ll' passage to Gn. 4^'' — NaiSa tottov ovru KaXotj- 
Hevov — Ant. I. ii 2]. 

' Genesis (1904), pp. 57 f. 

A 2 


from the surrounding context by the use of the double name 
DTl/X nirr*-^ Thus in Gn. i i-ii 4a (also a whole and attributed 
to P) the divine name employed is DTl/i^- In chapter iv again 
there is a sudden change to the use of niri'' alone. Modern 
criticism in general assigns the Eden story to J. 

An examination of the whole section [ii ^a-'ni 24] reveals a curious 
mingling of subjects. The section opens with what purports to be 
an account of creation [v. 4^]. A ' mist * goes up from the earth 
[v. 6], and the man is formed [v. 7]. After the statement in v. 5, 
we expect an account of the creation of vegetation to follow. But 
at this stage the creation narrative is interrupted by the opening 
account of the Garden of Eden [v. 8]. Vegetation 0/ a particular 
kind'^ (VS?) is made to grow within the confines of the garden \y. 9]. 
A river issues from Eden \v. 10] which branches into four \yv. 
I I -1 4]. The man is put into the garden with certain injunctions 
vv. 15-17]. In t^. 18 we have the recognition that an help-meet is 
essential for the man. In v. iga we have an account of the creation 
of beasts and birds, but not of the help-meet which we were led to 
expect from the tenour of v. 1 8. Then follows the naming of the 
beasts and birds [v. i gl>]. Vv. 2 1 f contain the delayed account 
of the creation of the help-meet, and her name [M^X]. F. 25 
furnishes the connecting link with chap. iii. Chap, iii vv. 1-19 

^The distinctive use of the two-fold name, may be due to the final redactor [Rp], who 
adopted this device to bridge over the incongruity occasioned by the sudden and unex- 
plained change in the divine name from Elohiin in the first chapter to Jahvch in the 
second. This seems the most plausible explanation, although others are possible. Thus 
J may have availed himself of an older document in which Elohiin was employed, and 
added of his own accord Jahveh thereto. Or the composite name may be due to some 
Q^'re [niiT or D'^'?^*] which has crept into the text. The Lxx and Vulgate, it should 
be observed, read most often 6 Qeti% [D'HTN]. In tlie conversation between the woman 
and the serpent, the name used is merely D'n^ti [Gn. 3^' "• '']. Whatever be the true 
explanation of the phenomenon, it can hardly represent a fusion of J and P sections 
dealing with the same theme. 

2 Cf. the n'b* and 3&j? of v. 5 which we should have expected here. V. 8 limits the 

garden to an orchard. It might be argued that other forms of vegetation than the yp 

may be comprised in the ptSM of v. 8, but pt03 in addition to its literal meaning of 

planting (trees, etc.) has the figurative sense of establishing \cf. Is. ^\^^ (the heavens); 
Je. i^", i89, 31^8 (people), etc.] which would be quite suitable here. It must, however, 
be acknowledged that where J employs the word elsewhere \i.e. Gn. 21'*^ (a tamarisk tree), 
Gn. 9"" (a vineyard) ; Nu. 24'' [JE] (vine)] it is taken in the literal sense. 


form a continuous narrative which flows logically and without 
interruption. In v. 20 we have another name given to the woman 
[rriri]. Adam and Eve are clothed in skins \y. 21] (in iii v. 7 their 
garments were aprons of fig leaves). The expulsion from the 
garden follows \vv. 22-24]. 

Obviously we have here the commingling of, at least, two originally 
distinct narratives (i) a Creation story, (2) a Paradise story. 

The Creation Story. A continuous narrative is furnished by 
ii vv. 4d, (5rt), 7, ga, iga, 20, 18, 21, 22, 23^ (or iii v. 20). 
Of the nature of redactional additions are vv. $d, gb, \gb{}), 24. 
V. 23^ is apparently a quotation from an old form of words used 
at a marriage ceremony. 

In the day that the Lord God made earth and heavens. (And no plant 
of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung 
up.) . . . And the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground, and 
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living 
soul. . . . (And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every 
tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.) . . . And the Lord 
God formed from the ground every living thing of the field, and every 
fowl of the heavens, and brought [them] unto the man to see what he 
would call them (lit. it.) . . . And the man gave names to all cattle, and 
to the fowl of the heavens, and to every beast of the field ; and for 
the man he had not found an help-meet for him. . . . And the Lord God 
said " It is not good that man should be alone. I will make an help- 
meet for him." . . . And the Lord God caused to fall a deep sleep upon 
the man, and he slept, and he took one of his ribs and closed up the 
flesh after it. And the Lord God built the rib which he took from man 
into woman and he brought her unto the man. . . . (And the man said 
she shall be called woman because she was taken from man.) 

The Paradise Story. A continuous narrative is also furnished 
by ii vv. 8, ga, {gb), 15-17, iii 1-19, 22-24. 

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden : and there he 
put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God 
made to grow every tree that is pleaspnt to the sight and good for food ; 
(the tree of life also in the midst of the garden and the tree of the 
knowledge of good and evil.) . . . And the Lord God took the man, and 
put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the 
Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou 
mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, 
thou shalt not eat of it ; for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou 
shalt surely die. . . . And the serpent was more subtil than any beast 


of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said, etc. . . . to 
V. 19. (To this, perhaps the conclusion \yv. 22-24] falls to be added.) 

It may be supposed that the foregoing roughly indicates the 
two main documents of which the section is composed. They 
contain the matter of the two originals, — which may have existed 
either in the form of oral tradition or written records — and probably 
even the actual wording in parts, but they have been worked over 
by J who appears to have fused them together, and cast their 
contents into the mould of his own style. That this is not a 
forced division is shown by the treatment meted out to it by 
Josephus, who claims \_Ant. Pref §4] to follow the sacred books,^ 
Josephus separates the creation elements from the Paradise story.^ 
He is clearly conscious of the diversity between the creation 
account of Gn. i i-ii ^.a and that in the section under review, 
explaining away the discrepancy by maintaining that after the 
seventh day Moses began (pucrioXoyeiu -Trepi t>7? t' ai/OpwTrov 
KaracTKevfji.^ We must for the moment be content, however, 
merely to draw attention to the existence of these different 
documents without making any effort at closer delimitation. 

A third docuinejit. It will be observed that no attempt has been 
made to include vv, 6, 10-14 in either of the foregoing. These 
verses are marked off for differential treatment by certain peculiar 
characteristics. Since vv. 1 1-14 hinge on v. 10, being of the nature 
of a gloss on that verse, our immediate concern is with vv. 6 and 
10. For convenience we reproduce the Hebrew. 

^ There can be no doubt that Josephus had other sources of information than the 
Massoretic Text at hand. By some he is thought to be merely a clever compiler. — 
Cf. Bloch, Quellen des Josephus, (1879), also Biichler, Rev. d. £/. Juives, xxxii, {1896), 
p. 199, and xxxiv, (1898), p. 93. 

^Josephus \Ant. I. i 2] treats in general terms of the formation of man \cf. Gn. 2''], 
the name Adam, and the presentation of the creatures \cf. v. 19], their naming \cf. 
w. igb, 20], the recognition of the need of an help-meet [cf. v. 18], the creation of 
woman [cf. vv. 21, 22], and he cleverly unites the passages Gn. 2^, 3-° on the naming 
of woman. In Ant. I. i 3-4 he takes up the Paradise narrative separately. 

* Since in his Preface he asserts that the great lawgiver only shrewdly hinted at some 
things, whilst others again he concealed in a dignified allegory, explaining expressly such 
things as it was expedient to discuss directly [irdvTa yap ry tup SKup tpitjei (Tvncpupop 
?Xf' T^P 8id6eaip, to, flip alviTTO/j.ipov rod POfiod^TOV Se^tcDs, to. d' d\\r)yopovPTOs fiera. 
ae/jLpiTTjTOi, 6aa 8' i^ evOelas XiyeadaL avpicpepe, ravra prjrtiis ificpaplt^oPToi], Josephus 
probably means by (pvcioKoyeip some allegorical or enigmatical treatment of the subject. 


It T -: IT •• : T V I T : • : I VAi T ) ■ :■ --.i- •■ : 

r\v:iiih n^ni ins^ oerb^ nn-riws* rSpmh pyx: n>c^ nn^i "o 

T T : - : T T : •• t • t • |at - v ) : - : | v •• •• •• t t : 

I* T 

The peculiarities to note in connection with these two verses are: 

(a) the absence of the name ^T\7^ nin*' from both. In 
both cases we have every reason to expect the divine name. 
Observe in the context how each new phenomenon of creation is 
attributed to the active intervention of the Lord God,— the Lord 
God made, the Lord God formed, the Lord God planted, made to grow, 
took, etc. It is the same in the first chapter of Genesis. Each 
new act of creation is ascribed to the power of the word of God. 
Each is introduced by the famiHar phrase " And God said." In 
the present case both verses introduce phenomena, which consistently 
with the context ought to have been assigned to the activity of 
Jahveh Elohim. In v. 6 an IJSt goes up either from, or upon,^ 
the earth. In e^. lo a river issues forth from Eden. We should 

thus have expected in z;. 6 . . .^^<t D''^7^{ nUT' 7y.*5 and in 

V. 10 . . .^nj n^rh^ r\)'n'' ^^n 

T T .. - 

(d) A second point to notice is that the grammatical cast of 
both verses is the same, and that in this respect also they differ 
from the context. Take v. 6, for instance. The ' tense ' of the 
sentence is the Imperfect probably with Jussive force. " And an "^^ 
shall go up from (upon) the earth and shall water the whole surface 
of the ground." Or it may be "and let an ^{^ go up," etc. "and 
let it water" etc. It is not merely a "continuation of the descriptive 
sentence by the Imperfect and consecutive Perfect" [Dillmann]. 
In z^. 10 we have an unusual construction, — the Participle followed 
by an Imperfect.^ It almost seems as if by the use of the Parti- 
ciple an attempt had been made by the Massoretes to get back 

^Sp so in Merx, Chrestomathia 7a;'^«/«?Va (1888), also Haupt, Proceedings of American 

Oriental Society 1896, pp. 158 ff. 

^"The Tarticiple, followed by the Imperfect and the consecutive Perfect, expresses 
continuance ; whether in the past or in the present of the author, may seem doubtful. 
The statement of purpose mppn"?, leads rather to the former conclusion." — Dillmann, 
Genesis, (Eng. Transl.), i (1897), p. 123. 


to the Perfect in this manner since the form of the sentence denied 
them otherwise. The original reading in accord with v. 6 was, no 
doubt, NV.*: not J<V'- 

{c) The tenour of the verses marks them off from the surrounding 
text. It has long been recognised that vv. 10-14 had no part in 
the original narrative.^ They obviously interrupt it. Holzinger, 
too, has recognised the individuality of v. 6, and thinks that 
it once stood after v. 8 in the description of the garden.^ As 
we have shown above in our analysis, they can be removed without 
inconvenience from their place in the text for separate consideration, 
According to \oa a distinction must be made between Eden and 
the garden. It has never been evident why such distinction should 
be made. That Eden and the garden have separate identities 
might be maintained from the pyS"!^ of 8a, but the ^ has all 
the appearance of an interpolation introduced to justify and support 
the reading of \oa} Why, too, should the source of the river be 
outside the garden ? Nothing in the narrative hangs on a dis- 
tinction between Eden and the garden. The phrase " from there it 
shall be divided " only increases the confusion of ideas into which 
the verse throws us. Was the river divided before it reached the 
garden, or in the garden, or after it left the garden ? Some critics 
argue for the separation taking place at the boundary of the garden 
or just within the garden at the point where the river is about to 
make its exit. But these are problems that only those who defend 
the unity of the section are called upon to solve. They serve to 
justify our separation oi vv. 10-14 from the surrounding text. 

The only connection these verses have with the story of Eden 

^ Such is the view e.g. of Ewald, Dillmann, Bunsen, Toy, Holzinger, Gunkel, Cheyne. 

'^C/., however, Cheyne, En. B. s.v. Paradise, col. 3573. 

3 Elsewhere the garden appears to be identified with Eden, if indeed pj? is to be taken 
as a place-name. Thus we have ]np~p merely, Gn. 2l^ 3'-^' ^; Ezek. 36^' [where "the 
desolate land " shall become pj?-]33] ; so also Joel 2^. The identification of the garden 
with Eden is more obvious in Is. 51*, where py is found in poetic apposition with 
nirT-]3, and in Ezek. 28" with D'n'7N~]3. Identity is also suggested in Ezek. 31^-^. It 
is thus exceedingly probable that the )ny3~)3 of Gn. 8a was originally pp~jJ. Indeed 
if the true reading were ]nj?3 we should scarcely expect p and ]lj?3 to be joined by 
the viaqqeph. The 3 is antagonistic to the spirit of the maqqeph. In the editions of 
Ginsburg and Baer, e.g., the maqqeph is omitted, but to all seeming it is the 3 that 
should be removed instead. This is an emendation already suggested by Reuss. 


is found in loa. There we learn that a river went forth from Eden 
to water the garden. So runs the Massoretic Text. It may be 
asked, is this not proof that v. 10 at least belongs to the Paradise 
narrative ? So strongly however does the evidence weigh against 
the inclusion of v. 10, that we are rather compelled to look for 
some explanation of the occurrence of the word py here at all. 
We very much doubt if the original text had it. It is much more 
probable that the reading was py instead of 'ry^} a change that 
is but slight and could easily have been made. Slight carelessness 
on the part of a scribe would suffice to create confusion between 
the •> and the "i, more especially in the period prior to the intro- 
duction of the square character, when these letters were of 
the same size and a slight irregularity in the horizontal lines 
would serve to make them indistinguishable.^ But this question 
of the substitution of py for ry takes us back to a further con- 
sideration of V. 6. 

In V. 6 we are told that " an IK shall go up from (upon) the 
earth and shall water the whole surface of the ground." The 
meaning of 1t^ is not very clear. The word occurs in only one 
other passage of the Old Testament [Job xxxvi 27] where the 
interpretation is not obvious. Indeed the whole passage here is 
obscure and difficult.^ The LXX reads [Gn. ii 6] Trrjyii Se ave^aivev 
K.T.X., and on the strength of this reading'* we may reconstruct 

the original Hebrew as . . . H^yri VV) — a reconstruction that has 
been suggested before now. If py, then, was the reading of the 
original text, why was *TX substituted ? The reason is not far 

1 Perhaps instead of pyD or j'yn in v. lo we should read pyD spring or fountain, 
in apposition to nnj. 

"^C/., e.g., the ' and the T of the Siloam Inscription. 

*The passage runs JinK'? "itDD ipr D'D~'Dt03 ynr '3 — Literally — "For he shall draw up the 
drops of water, they (or perhaps he — reading pr) shall refine [or perhaps siorc up, 
bind up—^^1, if. D'pi =' fetters ' (or Aram. Npn = wine-skin)] the rain to its {his}) 

? (mist? or cistern?)." Some critics wish to read nti3'7="to his water-skin." There 
appears to be an inclination to identify nN with Assyr. cdil 'flood, floodwater,' but this 
must be regarded with Zimmern [R'.A.T.^, (1903), p. 529] as doubtful. 

^ The LXX is supported in this reading by the Peshitta and the Vulgate. Aquila has 


to seek. In C3*yx and n/b*1{< we have a play upon words such as 
the Hebrew mind took delight in — dj^ is formed from the ri/b1i<- 
This play upon words has been extended by some later priestly 
investigator who conceived the brilliant idea of substituting '^^{ 
for py. An "7X ascends from the earth and D1J< is formed from 

the n^lK-' 

This vy, moreover, would give us a valuable additional connecting 
link between vv. 6 and lo. These sentences would then run 

• • • pxn-p n^yn pyi c 

I- - T T t: 

In respect both of form and matter these verses purport to be a 
fragment of a creation story. As we know from Babylonian 
literature there could be several theories of creation existing side 
by side amongst the same people. Even in the Old Testament 
we have traces of more than one cosmogony and several cosmogonic 
echoes." The verses before us, moreover, were to all seeming con- 
secutive portions of the same document. Adhering to a strictly 
literal interpretation of the verses, we should say that this document 
formed a cosmogonic narrative, wherein, after the fashion of the 
cosmogony of P [Gn. i i— ii 4«], the several acts of creation 
resulted from the divine command. 

We have now distinguished in the section Gn. ii d^b-\\\ 24, three 
separate sources or documents — (i) a creation story, which for con- 
venience we shall call c^ (2) the garden story, which we shall call 
g, and (3) a cosmogonic fragment, which since it centres on the 
fountain (py) we shall denote y. 

It is of interest and of importance to compare the three creation 

1 There is another play upon words in the section of which we treat. Compare the 
D'Tiy of Gn. 2^5 [ = ' naked,' v^Tij;] with the nny of Gn. 3^ [ = crafty, shrewd, ^^\ 

T T 

As Gn. 2^ is a later interpolation, we may be justified in assuming that the same hand 
which introduced this verse, is responsible for the substitution of IN' for py. 

^ Cf. (in addition to the cosmogonies in the first two chapters of Genesis) Job 38^" ; 
Prov. S''^"^. We have cosmogonic echoes in Gn. 49-^; Judg. 5^°; Job 15''^; and figura- 
tive reflections of the Babylonian myth in Is. 27\ Si***; Ts. 74^'''", Sgi"-"; Job 3^ 9", 
2612. i3_ On the various Babylonian creation myths vide Weber, Literatur dcr Babylonicr 
und Assyrcr, (1906), pp. 40-60. 


stories or fragments of such, which, if our analysis be correct, we 
find within such short compass. These are our c and/" documents, 
and the cosmogony of P [Gn. i i-ii \a\ 

{a) The c document. According to c, when the earth and heavens 
are fashioned by God, the earth is dry — so dry that no vegetation 
can grow upon it. The implication \cf. v. ^b'\ is that the earth will 
be watered by rain. The author of c does not seem to be acquainted 
with any other means of irrigation. He makes no mention of any 
great body of water, such as seas, or rivers. Nor is this an accidental 
omission due to J. It is inherent in the document itself as is 
manifest from vv. 19, 20, where only 'beasts of the field' and 
' fowls of the air ' are included in the creation of the animals. No 
mention is made of the denizens of the deep, so conspicuous in P's 
cosmogony — no ' waters bringing forth abundantly the moving thing 
that hath life' \cf. Gn. i 20-22]. 

c is the simplest of our three cosmogonic documents. Its con- 
ception of the Deity and of the universe is the most rudimentary. 
God labours in the process of creation. He shapes the earth and 
heavens, forms man of dust from the ground, and out of the ground 
fashions the beasts of the field and the fowl of the air. The notion 
of creation here presented could only have been the expression of 
the reflections of a people of primitive culture. The outlook is 
circumscribed. It is the cosmogony of a child of nature. The 
surrounding is that of the desert, where water is scarce, where the 
earth is dry and dusty, and where vegetation springs luxuriant after 
rain. There is here none of the sublimity of P's narrative, where 
God but spake and it was done. 

{b) The f document. Short though it is, this fragment takes us 
into an entirely different atmosphere. We are at once conscious of 
a wider and more comprehensive outlook, the fruits of riper specula- 
tion. If c is the outcome of desert musings, / is the product of 
culture in a land of cultivation. The author of/ has in his mind's 
eye a grand terrestrial scheme of irrigation. Four rivers branch off 
from a parent river, which in its turn is fed from a fountain, — no 
doubt one of the fountains of the great deep.^ The parent river is 

1 Cf. Gn. 7"* (P), 82 (P) [(nan) oinn nirpo] ; Pr. S^s [ninn niyy] ; Job sS'fi [D'-sajl. 


probably the circumfluent Okeanos.^ The four great world rivers — 
perhaps one for each of the great world divisions — leave it to rejoin 
it again. " Unto the place whence the rivers go, thither they return 
again. - 

Such conceptions as these could only originate amongst a people 
familiar with broad and extensive waterways. There can be no 
hesitation in fixing the birthplace of/ Babylonia is writ large upon 
it The terminations of the names Pishon and Gihon, too, suggest 
Hebraised forms of Babylonian-Assyrian names terminating in dnu. 
Even the form of sentence with the subject preceding the verb is 
after true Babylonian fashion.^ 

ic) The P cosmogony. In Genesis i i-ii 4« we recognise the work 
of a writer who has a grand conception of the universe and a noble 
and exalted conception of God. The outlook revealed is wide, and 
the scheme of creation logical. He covers the whole universe in his 
range. His cosmology, however, is still tinged with the crudities 
of early speculative philosophy. To the writer of P the heaven is 
still a solid roof overhead restraining the waters of the primaeval 
abyss with floodgates whence these waters escape as rain [cf. 
Gn. vii ii]. But his education has been extensive. He knows of 
the wonders of the heavens. He can appreciate the value of the 
planetary orbs- for omens [nhi^l for the determination of the sacred 
seasons [Dn.VliS], and for recording time in general [D'*^^T ^''^?]- 

^ An all-encircling Okeanos, known to the Greeks of Homeric times, was also believed 
in by the Babylonians. The well-known Mappa Alimdi in the British Museum [No. 92687 ; 
cf. C.T. xxii 48] depicts the world encircled by a nar marrattiiii ("bitter river," viz. 
salt sea). The nar marratuni is not merely the Persian Gulf, as some commentators 
assume. It is the ocean, the rivcj- which encircles the earth. In one of the Assyrian 
syllabaries mai-raUi is given as synonymous with miqu, ring. The circular shape of the 
earth (probably a deduction from the form of the horizon) seems to be the assumption 
underlying such passages as Is. 40^ ; Pr. 8^'' ; Job 2(P. In Ps. 651" '^' behind the figura- 
tive language we have possibly the thought of the ocean as the D^n'^N h^, or canal of 

God. According to Josephus the river of Eden is the river that surrounds the earth. 
[ Apderai 6' oirros 6 ktjwos vwb evbs irorafiov, iraaav iv KtJKXifi ttjv yTji' irepippiovroi, os «'s 
ricaapa fiipr] axt^erai k.t.X. — Afi/. I. i 3]. We do not know what authority Josephus 
followed, but his account is certainly in conformity with the spirit of the / document and 
may represent an earlier and better form of text free from disfiguring emendations. 

^ Eccles. l'. 

'Pride of place might have been given to the subject in vv. 6 and 10 as a direct trans- 
lation from a Babylonian original. 


He knows of the ' great sea-serpents ' [D v^l^l D3''^J!I], presuppos- 
ing a general acquaintance with the great deep and the tales 
of adventurous sea-farers. His repeated use of TD implies also a 
general knowledge of the various species of beasts, birds, fishes, and 
insects. P's conception of God although lofty is not altogether free 
from anthropomorphism. It is sufficient, however, that God should 
speak (almost the minimum of effort),^ and it is done. Man made 
in God's image has forthwith dominion over the creatures. The 
horizon of the author of P ig much more extended than that of c for 
instance. He is the product of a richer civilization. 

A detailed consideration of g need not occupy our attention here. 
It is so obviously different from the other documents that it is quite 
unnecessary to emphasize the distinction. 

The nature of the documents we have thus briefly reviewed, their 
manner of thought and style of diction, fully justify their separation. 
It only remains to give sufficient reason for the cause and manner 
of their compilation. 

The combination of c and g. It will be readily acknowledged that 
g presupposes a creation narrative. It deals with the creation 
epoch, with the first man and woman, and the first creatures. A 
direct connection with a preceding cosmogony is even indicated by 
such references as " the man whom he had fashioned " [ii %b\ " the 
beasts of the field which the Lord God had made" [iii i]. Was 
this preceding narrative of creation our ^? It is natural to infer 
from their present connection that it was, and this view receives 
support from the diction of the two phrases quoted, re-echoing as it 
does the phraseology of ii 19, 20. The documents thus display a 
certain relationship which cannot, and need not, be set aside. 
Their harmony of diction lends confirmation to the opinion already 
expressed that from whatever sources the original compiler (probably 
J) drew his material he made free use of it, moulding it to his own 

But common sense demands that the union of diverse documents 
such as c and g should be a union of entities, not a fusion, such as 
we find here, where passages from the one document are taken out 

^ For the doctrine of creation by the mere exercise of thought, we must turn to India. 


and spread broadcast through the pages of the other. How, then, 
is it possible to account for the remarkable interweaving of the 
documents? On the surface there seems no good reason for it. If, 
say, the working over of c and g had been by different hands, and g 
had thus possessed certain cosmogonic elements of its own, which 
could be supplanted by corresponding portions of c, such interlacing 
of sources would be natural, since documents become fused together 
in this manner, not because of dissimilarity, but because they have 
certain elements in common. Such case, however, is not applicable 

The rearrangement of the text and consequent mingling of docu- 
ments, may be traced to the editorial manipulation of a late period. 
The creation narrative, as we know, has been disseminated through 
the opening passages of the Paradise story in a remarkable manner, 
the result, it may be, of an attempt to exhibit a logical order in the 
development of events. For an explanation we need not look 
further than the statement of ii %b — " and there {i.e., in the garden) he 
put the man whom he had formed." We have here no mention of 
woman, nor of the beasts of the field. If this represents the original 
phrasing — as there is every reason to believe ^ — any one reading the 
Paradise story critically might reasonably wonder at the inconsistency 
of a narrative which began by assigning occupation of the garden 
to the man alone, and then suddenly brought on the scene the 
woman and the serpent.^ When the text had acquired a special 
sacredness, a remedy could not be sought in the ordinary way 
by means of the requisite additions and corresponding gram- 
matical alterations. It was a clever solution of the difficulty that 
suggested itself. By rearranging the text suitably, it might be made 
to appear that woman was created after man was put in the garden. 
The same, too, with the beasts of the field. Thus it comes about 

^This ignoring of the woman who plays so important a part in the narrative, is perhaps 
typically oriental. Cf. iii. vv. 22-24, where again there is no mention of woman. 

"Josephus, who had no doubt access to works, bearing on the sacred records, which 
have been lost, or to traditions respecting treatment of text and interpolation of subject 
matter which are no longer preserved, takes the creation narrative in Gn. ii (our c) as a 
complete document preceding the Paradise story {g). He expressly states that God 
brought Adam ami his wife into the garden, and explains that at that time the serpent 
lived with them \cf. Ant. I. i. 3f.]. 


that the creation of woman, and of the beasts of the field, is made 
to appear as a work performed by the Lord God within the garden, 
whilst the language used, as can be readily observed, conveys not 
the slightest hint that such was really the case. If these acts of 
creation had been performed within the garden, it is scarcely possible 
to believe from the style of the Paradise narrative that all reference 
to the surroundings could have been suppressed. 

Then, again, there are flaws in the welding. In ii '^b we are told 
that the Lord God planted a garden and put (DSJ'*!) there the man 
whom he had fashioned. In v. 15 we are again told that the 
Lord God took the man and settled him (^11113*1) in the garden " to 

dress it and to keep it " (H'l^K^/l rTl^p?). There is no apparent 
need for a repetition of the statement that man was put into the 
garden. Still, this is not a point to which much value can be 
attached. Mere repetition of the same fact in an altered form of 
words is not evidence calculated to impugn the unity of a writing — 
if that were all. But note the anomaly in v. 15. The word p is 

masculine, and yet we read that the man was appointed ni^y? 

.1 T : T : 

Tr\ppy\. The feminine suffixes here make it evident that the 
reference was originally not to the garden but to the HpIN of the 
creation narrative. Nor can the passage even be construed into an 
implicit reference to the H^li^ of the garden. It was part of man's 
punishment that he was sent back " to till the ground whence he 
was taken" [iii 23]. The dressing and keeping of the ri/b"lX was 
the duty assigned to man in the creation narrative. Thus in z/. 15 
we have part of ^ masquerading as part oi g. 

Then there is the problem of the / document. Why such 
obviously extraneous matter, as is here contained, should be mixed 
up with the other documents is not very obvious. Might it be that 
the notion of a pleasure-garden demanded that there be fountains 
and streams as well as all sorts of pleasant trees ? The famous 
" Hanging Gardens " of Babylon were after this manner. Engines 
were installed in the foundations to pump up water for their running 

Wo lag das Paradies ? We are now approaching the end of our 
inquiry. There remains but to fix the site of Eden, or rather the 


Pleasure-garden, in accordance with our analysis. This compels us 
to a twofold consideration of site. In the first place there is the 
site of the Pleasure-garden according to the Paradise story proper 
(the ^ document), and in the second place there is the site of 
' Eden ' as it is presented after the compilation of the documents. 

According to ^^ the man after his creation is set in a garden 
filled with " every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for 
food." The point meant to be emphasized clearly is that the man 
has been thus appointed to a life of luxury and ease. There is no 
need to labour. His food is ready to hand. He is warned, however, 
against aspiring to the peculiar privileges and attributes of Deity.^ 
These, as we learn from the context, are (i) "the knowing of good 
and evil," viz., the power of discriminating between right and wrong, 
or perhaps, simply, of exercising the faculty of reason [cf. iii 5, 23], 
(2) the possession of immortality. Hence we learn indirectly what 
were regarded as the special attributes of Deity at the date of the 
narrative.^ The man and woman at the instigation of the serpent,' 
partake of the forbidden fruit, and thereby become possessed of one 
divine attribute — the sense of right and wrong. In consequence 
man forthwith became responsible for his conduct, where hitherto he 
had been irresponsible. He has become in part divine without 
being fitted otherwise for his high estate. " Behold the man is 

^The man is not told that the tree, or rather trees, — for no doubt the tree of life was 
included in the prohibition also, — possessed such properties. It is the serpent, presumably 
by divination of some sort (see below), who acquires the secret and divulges it to the woman. 

^This is also the Babylonian conception. When the God Ea created the man Adapa, 
we are told "wisdom he gave him, eternal life he gave him not." 

^Vfn. There is a verb ^n meaning "to practise divination, use enchantment, etc.," 
which may or may not be connected with era. Used only in the ft'e/, it is generally 
regarded as a denominative from c5n:. There is this objection, however, that the 


Aramaic has tfra but no cnj. If era, then, be not a derivative of vm, we have new 

•• - TT •••' ' Tt' 

insight into the appearance on the scene of the ^nj in the 7v/e of tempter. It gives 

the reason of his implied acquaintance with the divine secrets. [Note J's use of the 
word in Gn. 30", 44'^' i"' (story of Joseph), and that of the noun ^TO ("divination, 

enchantment") by JE, Nu. 23'^, 241 (story of Balaam).] A play upon words, such as this 
view would admit of, makes a strong appeal to the Hebrew imagination. The choice 
may even have fallen on the serpent from its having "poison under its tongue," a 
physical feature which could readily be travestied figuratively [c/., e.g.. Job 20^'; 
Ps. 10', etc.]. 


become as one of us knowing good and evil" [iii 22]. To man, 
however, the other attribute of immortality is denied by a timely 
exclusion from the garden [iii 22^, 23 f.]. 

It is evident that the whole narrative is a figure of speech 
enshrining the doctrine of an irresponsible and sinless state in which 
man was created, whence he passed into one responsible and sinful. 
It draws attention to the semi-divine in man — the possession of 
wisdom which so separates him from the rest of the animal world. 
From what we can gather there appears to have been no definite 
location of the garden in the mind of the narrator. His Pleasure- 
garden is an ideal locality. With the expulsion of Adam and Eve 
it is closed for ever to mankind. If the C^j^^ of ii 8 belonged to 
the original narrative, and is to be interpreted " eastward," then, 
perhaps, the garden may have been vaguely conceived of as situated 
somewhere in the east, beyond the ocean perhaps,^ and the " flame 
of a sword which turned either way," may be figurative of the ra3'^s 
of the rising sun. 

The other site, — the site of the Pleasure-garden as indicated by 
the Massoretic Text, — is far to seek. We may with perfect safety 
aver that it cannot be found at all, "A river branching into four, 
of which two are the Tigris and Euphrates, corresponds to nothing 
which is to be found — or, we may safely add, was ever to be found 
— on the surface of the earth." ^ The incorporation of the f docu- 
ment gave to the Pleasure-garden a semblance of reality and an 
apparent definiteness of location, that were entirely absent from the 
Paradise story proper. The situation was not improved by the 
modifications made on the text from time to time, of which the main 
were the mistaken interpretation of pS? as a place-name, the sub- 

' C/". Ethiopic Enoch [LXXX. iii 2ff.] "And thence I went over the summits of those 
mountains, far towards the East, and passed above the Erythrean Sea [here =: Indian Ocean], 
and went far from it . . . and I came into the garden of righteousness, and saw . . . the 
tree of wisdom . . . and the holy angel Rufael, who was with me, answered me and said, 
' This is the tree of wisdom of which thy old father and thy aged mother, who were 
before thee, have eaten, and they recognised that they were naked and they were driven 
out of the garden." — R. H. Charles, Book of Enoch, (1893), PP- 102L So also Ephrem 
Syrus and Cosmas Indicopleustes transported Eden to the other side of the ocean. 
Up\_Ar\sukttnnakkii the council chamber of the Babylonian gods, was conceived of as 
situated on the earth in the east in the mountains of sunrise not far from the edge of 
the world. 

2 Driver, Genesis, (1904), p. 58. 


stitution of pV for py in v. lo (if indeed this did not take place 

in the / document before incorporation and thereby furnish the 
reason for the incorporation), and the interpolation of ^ before py 

in V. 8. Hence an entirely artificial ' Eden ' came into being which 
has proved the despair of critics. Nor is it only modern critics who 
have been puzzled. In vv. 1 1-14 we have quite a little commentary 
on the rivers of 'Eden.' The form of v. I4.b suggests that 
originally the names merely of the rivers were furnished. The rest 
of the geographical information in vv. 11- 14 has been added from 
time to time, — it may be, in the form of interlinear^ scholia which 
ultimately crept into the text.^ But why pursue the subject further ! 
It is, as we have said, an entirely artificial ' Eden ' that the 
Massoretic Text presents for our consideration. To attempt to 
locate it is folly. 

Here, then, we may let the matter rest. The real ' Eden ' has 
no existence in reality, whilst the site of the artificial ' Eden ' is, 
and will for ever remain indeterminable. 

^ The earliest Massoretic notes, the so-called Massorah pm-va, were written on the outer 
and inner margins ; but there is at least one case in which such notes are found between 
the lines of the Hebrew text [a MS. in the possession of Dr. Gaster, vide Illustrated 
Bibles, p. 12]. We are therefore justified in assuming the possibility of interlinear addi- 
tions in times pre-Massoretic when the text was not yet rigid. 

^ Thus one early scholiast, to obviate the obscurity of the names of the rivers, identified 
the Pishon with the river "which compasseth the whole land of Havilah," and the Gihon 
with that " which compasseth the whole land of Cush." The Hiddeqel is defined as 
" that which goeth in front of Assyria." The impression we gather from such explanatory 
comments is that the commentator had before him some early, and therefore crude, map 
of the world. But even the explanations he furnishes are not altogether satisfactory. 
Cush and Assyria were familiar land-names to the Hebrews, but Havilah was apparently 
unknown. A second commentator consequently adds after Havilah "where there is gold," 
whilst yet a third, either to make the identification clearer or to display his own know- 
ledge, contributes the additional information "and the gold of that land is good, and 
there is bdellium and the onyx stone." These comments, so suggestive of Babylonian- 
Assyrian lists, encouraged Dclitzsch to sift the appropriate cuneiform material without, 
however, obtaining much reward for his efforts. 

The very fact that three out of the four rivers whose names are given require explana- 
tory comment, constitutes in itself strong proof of the foreign origin of that particular part 
of the narrative. The only river that explains itself is the Euphrates (Perath), which from 
its comparative nearness was familiar to the Hebrews. 

Glasgow: printed at the university i-ress by Robert maci.ehose and go. ltd. 


BY •.,•;'•:; 

W. R. SCOTT, M.A., D.Phil., Litt.D, , ■ , ;, I 

Lecturer in Political Economy in the University of St. Andrews ; Author of 

" Francis Hutcheson, his Life, Teaching, and Position in the History 

of Philosophy"; "The Constitution and Finance of English, 

Scottish, and Irish Joint-Stock Companies to 1720" 


Srinteb at the Bnibex&ii^ Ij^xeae bg 


191 1 



Is Increasing Utility Possible: 

In 1896 a distinguished writer on the theory of Value in general spoke 
of a sub-division of it — namely that of Utility in Economics — as a field 
in which scientific research was then closed.^ No doubt the analysis 
of Utility is complete, if certain assumptions that it makes are to be 
accepted as axiomatic. That there should be such assumptions, in a 
study which has been aptly named "the Metaphysics of Political 
Economy," is evitable,^ because the enquiry begins where Philosophy 
ends, and therefore the student of economic value must either accept 
results arrived at by Psychologists and Ethical thinkers or else re- 
examine the conditions implied in certain states of consciousness for 
himself It so happened that, when the examination of Utility was 
begun, the former method was adopted ; and the economists who 
endeavoured to outline this new study accepted a certain type of 
ethical dogma as self-evident, from which they deduced the law of 
diminishing Utility. For instance, when in 1855 Richard Jennings 
formulated this principle, he derived it from a special type of 
Physiological Psychology,^ and Jevons, who followed him in 1862 at a 
meeting of the British Association, candidly starts from the ethical 
conceptions of Bentham.* Strangely enough the contemporary 
investigators of this subject on the Continent^ also began with similar 
presuppositions, so that it may be said that the theory of Utility 
made its appearance with the birthmark of Hedonism, a beauty-spot 

'Ehrenfels, "The Ethical Theory of Value" in The International Journal of Ethics, vi. 
p. 376. 

^Edgeworth, "On the Ultimate Standard of Value" in Economic Journal, iv. p. 5ib>. 

"^ Nattiral Elements of Political Economy, pp. 98-100. 

* 7 heory of Political Economy, 1 871, pp. 29-31. 

^ Entwickelung der Gesetze cies nienschlichen Verkehrs, by H. H. Gossen (printed 1854), 
ed. 1889, pp. 1-9. 




■; / for.i blemish, according as one regards it, which, it may be, has in 
' the prpc.ess of its growth become less marked, but has not wholly 
-• : .*'•: ".•'*:• <;ii§3'ppeared. 

Attempts have been made to disavow or to eliminate the connection 
with Hedonism — that naive view of man's practical nature which 
regards him as subject to wants which occasion discomfort, the removal 
of the latter then giving rise to pleasure. It is an instance of the 
comprehensiveness of Prof. Marshall's enquiries that he was aware of 
the danger of misconception, and in 1893 he expressly stated that in the 
analysis of Utility "pleasure" was to be understood "so as to include 
every good for which a man strives," and attention was drawn to the 
description of total Utility as an aggregate of " satisfactions," not 
of pleasures.^ Satisfaction in this sense is to be understood as the 
attainment of the object of a desire. Now the general tendency of 
Philosophy in recent years has been to distinguish such satisfaction 
from the pleasure that usually follows it.^ 

It may seem that the distinction just drawn is a purely verbal one 
— but on the contrary it is vital ; and it is the more important, since 
many who write of Utility, drift unconsciously into the interpretation 
of satisfaction as pleasure in the sense in which the term is used in 
Philosophy; hence the danger of re-opening in the field of economics 
that long drawn-out controversy as to whether pleasures as such are 
capable of summation and therefore of quantitative estimation.^ Even 
if one endeavours to interpret the term " pleasure," as used by many 
writers on Value, in the sense of satisfaction in general ; it must be 
admitted that there is a marked tendency for many of them to think — 
not merely to speak — hedonistically, and so we still sometimes hear of 
" atoms of pleasure," of " a hedonic calculus," of " a psychological 
hedonism from which every economic truth is deduced."'* Moreover, 
this latter type of thought altogether overlooks the admission by some 

^ Economic Jotirtial, iii. p. 388. 

^Cf. Green, Prolegomena to Ethics, p. 178; Bradley, Ethical Studies, p. 87; Sidgwick, 
Methods of Ethics, pp. 46-7. 

^This is the basis of one of the points made by Professor Nicholson in his criticism of 
Marshall's statement of diminishing Utility [Principles of Political Economy, i. pp. 55-65). 
This criticism was the subject of a discussion in the Econoviic Journal , iv. pp. 151-S, 342-8. 

^ Pantaleoni, Pure Economics, pp. 9-23 ; cf. Zur Lehre von den Bediirfnissen, by F. Cuhel, 
Innsbruck, 1907, pp. 29-31. 


ethical Hedonists of a difference in kind in pleasure, by an ignoring of 
what Mill called "the higher pleasures," many of which would fall 
within the scope of Economics.^ 

The investigation of Utility in its relation to Value requires to be 
liberated from the entanglement with Hedonism, and this means more 
than the substitution of the word "satisfaction " for the term " pleasure" 
when we come to describe the realisation of the object of a desire. 
Only confusion is introduced, if it be assumed that a "pleasure" 
or Pleasure in general is the object of the desire. Economics has 
little, if any, concern in the criticism of the ultimate ends of conduct, 
and therefore it is safer to avoid preconceptions which presuppose a 
somewhat dubious interpretation of these. 

The tendency towards the acceptance of pleasure as the end of 
desire has diverted attention from the consideration of the object that 
actually is desired. Prior to the exertion of will, there must be an 
idea in consciousness of a future state of the self which is preferable 
to " the present one. This is the object, ideally conceived, which is to 
be made actual by voluntary action.^ This again represents, as has 
been said, "a harmonising of life."* To the economist, in particular, 
clearness on this point is essential, since there is danger through con- 
fusion of language ; for the object of a desire may relate to the 
systematising in one universe of desire of a considerable number of 
concrete objects, those in fact that we name commodities. The 
peculiar risk of misconception at this point may have far-reaching 
results. For instance, the following is the general line of reasoning by 
which Wieser brings the collector of books or pictures under the 
Law of Diminishing Utility. It is admitted that this phenomenon is 
an apparent exception to the law, since each additional book or 
picture stimulates, instead of weakening, the desire as it brings the 
collector nearer the possession of a perfect library or a perfect gallery. 
But it is urged that if duplicates of some book or picture were offered, 

^J. S. Mill, Utilitarianis/n, pp. 11-15. This difficulty has been dealt with as a limitation 
of Consumers' Rent by Prof. Pigou, Economic Journal, xiii. p. 68. 

^ When this paper was read before the Economic Section of the British Association at 
Winnipeg, the phrase " more choice-worthy " was used. In accordance with the criticism of 
Prof. Chapman, I now substitute the more colourless term in the text. 

^ Cf. Green, rroL-s^oinena lo Ethics, p. 135. 

•* Bosanquet, " Hedonism among Idealists," Mind, N.S. XII., p. 312. 

A 2 


the desire would be much weakened, if not destroyed, and so it is 
concluded that this case, instead of being an exception, is a strong 
confirmation of the law.^ But what is the object of the desire ? 
Surely it is the perfect or complete collection — and as that object 
ex hypotJicsi excludes duplicates,^ the reference to them is on a par 
with the confusion of tongues invented by the enterprising twins. 
Budge and Toddy, in Helens Babies, while playing at the Tower of 
Babel, on which occasion one brought bricks when the other called 
for mortar. 

The object of a desire is related on the one side to the emergence 
of the desire and on the other to its attainment. The whole process 
might be described as an epoch in the life of a self-conscious being 
who, in relation to all that he is, endeavours to make himself, from his 
own point of view, more complete. Regarded in this way, the desire 
might be described as a practical problem, and the attainment of it is 
the solution. This is what is named satisfaction, which is a highly 
complex state of consciousness, but which is clearly measurable from 
several different stand-points, and it is one of these that is named 

The placing of the measurement of the attainment, or the partial 
attainment, of the object of a desire on a less ambiguous foundation 
suggests some reflections. On this interpretation of desire, if we con- 
ceive the satisfaction to proceed progressively, there is no special 
reason for the later stages in the movement yielding invariably less 
satisfaction than the earlier ones. Indeed, it has been held that 
certain desires do give an increasing satisfaction, but most economists 
would rule these out as being obviously outside the scope of their 
science. The problem then takes shape as to whether, within this 
field, increasing utility is possible. To raise this question, even in 
a hypothetical form, represents a breaking with what has hitherto 
been accepted as to the nature of Utility, but it may be that 
the strangeness of the suggestion arises from presuppositions con- 
nected with the influence of Hedonism to which attention has 
already been drawn. 

^ Natural Vahie, London, 1893, P- ^O- 

'^Wieser's illustration evidently proceeds on the supposition, that in the "perfect 
collection " there would be no duplicates. 


In making an attempt towards the solution of the problem sug- 
gested, the first step will be to produce some possible instance that 
points towards increasing, rather than diminishing Utility. Attention 
has already been directed to the apparent failure of Wieser to estab- 
lish the application of the latter principle to the collector who was 
aiming at the formation of a perfect library or picture-gallery. There 
would be difficulties in presenting a concise analysis of the motives 
and satisfactions involved in this special case, and it will be more 
convenient to illustrate the point under discussion by another type of 
collecting which will be found to present the various conditions that 
require to be dealt with in a more manageable form. I select for this 
purpose a certain aspect of the pursuit or hobby of stamp-collecting. 
It may be premised that, in order to prevent ill-disposed persons 
joining together the uncancelled halves of two stamps to defraud the 
Post-Office, a plan was adopted in the issues of Great Britain and 
several of the colonies, in the early days of adhesive stamps, of dis- 
tinguishing the position of each particular stamp on its plate. Further, 
the plates themselves were also distinguished, and those engraved 
for use in Great Britain between 1858 and 1870 of the denomination 
of id. had the number of the plate introduced into the design of the 
stamp. It follows that any stamp of the issues from 1840 to 1870 
can be assigned to its own proper position on the plate and that most 
of the plates can be identified. Many stamp collectors have interested 
themselves in reconstructing the plates, that is in gathering together 
such of those specimens, belonging to the same plate, which are 
capable of occupying a separate position on the reconstructed plate. 
The undertaking is one of very great magnitude. There are over 300 
plates of British stamps of this character and of these each plate of 
id. stamps contained 240 separable stamps. Suppose we concentrate 
attention on the process by which the desire for a single complete 
reconstructed plate, say of the first British stamp (the black id. issue 
of May, 1840) is satisfied gradually. The collector will begin with a 
few specimens; as he adds others to these he obtains not only the 
satisfaction of acquisition but the further satisfaction of getting nearer 
and nearer to the completeness at which he aims. It follows that each 
addition to the group of commodities he already had acquired towards 
the satisfaction of his desire yields him an increasing utility. If we 


translate this phenomenon into terms of price, it may be noted that 
there is a very well defined market in postage-stamps of this character. 
As a rule, all copies of equally good condition from the same plate are 
sold at the same price. Taking a particular plate of this character for 
illustration, known as Plate No. i, unused copies are .sold at about £2 
each. Now in .so far as the collector has begun to reconstruct this plate, 
it is clear he would be willing to give this amount for each of the early 
copies — a price he may be actually assumed to have given.'^ But a 
further copy will bring him nearer his goal of completeness, and 
therefore, if it were necessary, he would give more than the market 
price to secure it. This tendency will show itself with increasing 
intensity as he came nearer the end, and the price he would be willing 
to pay for the 239th would be many times that of the first specimens, 
that of the 240th yet higher.^ 

This illustration, which might be pursued much further, though in 
some respects perhaps a trivial one, has the rare advantage that the pro- 
cess of simplification that is so often necessary in economic analysis is 
not required. From these data it would be possible to work out mathe- 
matically the exact value of the conception of completeness as it 
manifested itself at every stage, but probably enough has been said to 
show that each additional purchase gains in utility from the existence 
of the previous ones. Thus Utility, under these circumstances, tends 
to increase rather than to decrease. It seems to me that this analysis 
does not violate any of the legitimate limiting conditions introduced 
into the statement of Diminishing Utility. According to the phraseo- 
logy of Prof, Marshall there is no need to suppose that there is "any 

^ Neglecting the supposition that he may have found or been given some copies. Supposing 
he obtains eleven in either of these ways and gives the market or catalogued price for the 
twelfth, that price shows that he considers the utility he obtains worth it ; and, if he continued, 
he would be prepared to give more for later specimens. 

^ In order to obtain as great a degree of reality as possible, I have obtained particulars from 
a collector of the stamps described in the text, with a view to securing a basis for a demand- 
schedule. In the case of a British plate of 240 stamps, where the first 20 were obtained at 
IS. each, in the circumstances explained in the text, the following figures would be likely to 
result : 

For the 21st stamj) the collector would pay . . 13d. 

50th „ ,, „ . . isd. 

,, looth ,, ,, ,, . . i8d. 

,, 200th ,, „ „ . . 24d, 

„ 240th „ „ „ . . 3od. 


alteration in the character or tastes of the man himself." ^ We start 
with a certain desire and observe the successive additions of things 
which are objectively equal increments to the stock, but giving 
increasing satisfactions, respectively. It might be held that the case 
investigated had been dealt with by anticipation by Prof. Marshall, 
when he shows that "a small quantity of a commodity may be 
insufficient to meet a certain special want," as for instance in a 
comparison of the " pleasure " derived from ten pieces of wall-paper 
in comparison with that of the last two needed for a room which 
requires twelve pieces.^ It is admitted that in this special case the 
decrease in satisfaction is not proportionate, and it is concluded 
that the phenomena are analogous to what happens in diminishing 
return where the earlier doses of labour and capital give a more 
than proportionate increase until a certain point is reached. It seems 
to me that this case may differ from the philatelist who is recon- 
structing plates of stamps. Supposing a person is papering a room, it 
may be that under no circumstances, at a given time, would he buy 
more than twelve pieces of paper — if so his satisfaction, as the object 
of his desire is attained, does not diminish — it ceases altogether when 
it is at its maximum,^ The true analogy then appears to be with 
Quasi-Rent, not with diminishing return. The same conclusion would 
hold good with the stamp-collector whose desire was for one 
reconstructed plate of the id. black of 1840 unused; the satisfaction 
ends when at its maximum. If on the other hand he begins to 
construct another plate, the market-price of the stamps needed for 
which is the same (say S. G. No. 24), the influence of the ideal of 
completeness reappears on a higher plane, that is he would derive a 
somewhat larger degree of utility from the 240th addition to his 

^ Since desire is relative to character, if we suppose an endeavour to be made progressively 
towards the attainment of its object, iti a certain special sense, each stage of realisation effects 
a theoretical change in character. But such changes, unless they attain a certain degree, need 
not occupy the attention of the economist. 

2 Marshall, Principles (1907), p. 94. 

•* In this case it may be assumed that the purchaser of paper would give more for the pieces 
of paper necessary to complete the papering of the room, if this course were necessary. 
Suppose when he had obtained the quantity needed, the price were to fall, say by three- 
quarters, he might be induced to consider the re-papering of another room or rooms. This 
case might be taken as analogous to diminishing returns, or again it might perhaps be urged 
that the original desire had been succeeded by a new one. 


second plate than from the 240th on the first, and so his utility curve, 
though not showing an evenly continuous increase, would on the whole 
tend to move upwards. Further, before leaving this example, it may 
be added that should the collector desire to have a complete set of all 
the reconstructed plates of British stamps, absolute completeness 
would be exceedingly difficult of attainment, since in the case of one 
plate, numbered yj, sufficient copies are not known to exist to enable 
such reconstruction to be carried out. 

Though this phenomenon, in so far as it has yet been analysed, 
affects only a comparatively small number of persons, it can be shown 
to extend very much further by other instances which can be dis- 
covered when search is made for them. It has been noted that the 
high price obtained for the Amherst collection of Caxtons was due to 
the large number of examples. Here again there is the influence of 
completeness, acting on the one side upon a desire which requires as 
its object a considerable number of the commodities needed, which 
commodities exist only in comparatively small numbers and are 
obtainable with difficulty. The conditions are the exact contrary of 
those required for diminishing Utility where the total quantity of the 
commodity a person would desire is inconsiderable as compared with 
the amount of that commodity that may be offered for sale. In his 
illustration of diminishing Utility derived from purchases of tea, 
Prof. Marshall supposes that in a year the person under observation 
would not use more than 30 lbs. even if he could have more for 
nothing — the stock in the United Kingdom at the present time is 
about 105 million lbs. On the other hand, the collector of Caxtons 
would be willing to possess every possible example, while the whole 
number known is considerably under 1000 copies.^ 

As a result of this analysis it would appear that the idea of com- 
pleteness acts a counteracting tendency to Senior's Law of Variety. 
But while this idea {i.e. completeness) is important in the formulation 
of the principle of increasing Utility, it may be doubted whether it is not 
merely the manifestation of a further conception. Why, it may be asked, 
should completeness have such an important influence on Utility .-' 

^ According to the census of Caxtons in Blake's W. Caxton, pp. 372-3, the number of 
copies known in 1882 was 560. Many of these were owned by libraries and could not 
come to market. Hence the " world's visible supply " of Caxtons is very small. 


It may be suggested that the motive behind it is that which takes 
various forms, as emulation, the wish for distinction, or for excellence.^ 
To be eminent in some direction constitutes a stimulus which enables 
the man, who strives for distinction, to give a very high degree of 
utility to such objects as are desired as steps in his progress. It is 
clear, then, that from this point of view there is much scope for the 
existence of an increasing utility, manifesting itself in the completeness 
of the number of objects acquired which have been bound together 
ideally as means towards the object of one desire. Hence the ex- 
planation of the concentration of the desire for completeness upon 
commodities which either from their nature, or from accident, are 
comparatively few in respect to the aggregate wish for them. A 
similar situation may arise in special circumstances in the case of com- 
modities, neither naturally nor accidentally scarce, but artificially so. 
Suppose that a manufacturer sees a great prospective advantage in 
the amalgamation of his firm with a competing one, and that the latter 
is a joint-stock company. He would elect to acquire control of the 
latter by the purchase of a sufficient number of shares to give him a 
majority of votes at the next annual meeting, and it may be assumed 
that he enters on his campaign at a time when the shares that will 
vote at this meeting cannot be increased. Now, the person aiming at a 
controlling interest, would not give a price for the first shares purchased 
much in advance of that current in the market, because it would be 
uncertain whether his plan would be successful. But suppose that he 
is gradually able to acquire nine-tenths of the stock he needs. As the 
element of doubt lessens, he would, if he could not have bought each 
successive block of shares at any less price, have been justified in 
increasing his price progressively. Now, should it happen that the 
last tenth that is essential to him is most likely to be obtained from 
two persons, each owning the same quantity, but not in communication 
with each other ; the manufacturer may find one of these less 
obdurate than the other, and in dealing with him he must keep before 
his mind the possibility that the last holder, from whom he has a 
chance of obtaining the shares, may not sell at any price. Therefore, 
the manufacturer, for this reason, cannot afford to pay the last seller 

^Marshall, Principles (1907), p. 89; Pigou, "Some Remarks on Utility," Economic 
Journal, xiii. p. 61. 


but one as much as he would give the stock-holder from whom he 
acquires the final block of stock. Thus all through, if he were pushed 
to it, he would give advancing prices for each successive purchase — a 
conclusion that has been abundantly confirmed by the course of prices 
of certain stocks in Wall Street in the not-distant past. Finally, this 
manufacturer is, in technical language, a consumer of the commodity 
known as stock in the particular company he is endeavouring to con- 
trol; and it follows that, from his being willing to give advancing prices 
(if he cannot obtain what he needs at less), he receives an increasing 

If then my analysis, and the reasoning founded on it, is accurate, there 
is not only a possibility of increasing Utility, but cases can be adduced 
in which the tendency shows itself, while some hints can be discovered 
of the reasons that bring it into existence. 

The discovery of this principle introduces a symmetry hitherto 
wanting in the theory of Economics. There is both diminishing and 
increasing return, and now, if my conclusions are well-founded, we 
have to balance this diminishing and increasing Utility. Further, it 
results from the previous analysis that increasing Utility sometimes 
involves an element of monopoly in consumption — thus I think the 
theory of monopoly can be extended in some directions from 
Production to Consumption. Finally, though these reflections and 
suggestions are highly theoretical, the establishment of Increasing 
Utility will have some not unimportant practical results in relation to 






a * 

Some Fundamental Points in the 
Theory of Knowledge 


The terms " Akt," " Inhalt " and " Gep^enstand " are the keywords of a 
certain theory of knowledge which constitutes, in my opinion, the most 
important recent development of philosophical thought in Germany. 
L^Among its leading representatives I may refer to Me ino ng, Husserl 
and Lipps, Kiilpe and Messer. In spite of manifold divergences 
in detail, these writers agree in adopting a certain fundamental 
scheme as expressing the fundamental nature of mental life and 
mental development. They agree in sharply distinguishing between 
what the mind means or intends in perceiving, thinking, or having 
ideas, and the actual experiences or " Erlebnisse " which belong to its 
own particular existence as a psychical individual. What t he mind 
means or intend s is called by them an object or " Gegenstajxd-" The 
meaning or intending of something as distinguished from what is 
meant or intended is called by them an ' ^Akt." An act is a mode of 
being conscious, and is therefore an actual experience or " Erlebnis s " 
forming part of the existence of the iildividual mind. But it is 
an experience which has the distinctive character of intending or • 
being or directed towards an object. Hence it is often described , 
as " intentional " experience. Inasmuch as there are various modes 
of being conscious in relation to objects, it is necessary to dis- 
tinguish different qualities of intentional experience. In this way 
mere supposing is distinguished from believing, and both from- 
desiring or willing. But whether we merely suppose or believe or 
desire or will, the acts of supposing, believing, desiring, or willing are 
essentially relative to something other than themselves which is 






supposed, believed, desired, or willed, and this something is, in 
•• .'. . each case, the object of the act. The act is always an actual 
. V eGcper-ience of the individual. The object, on the contrary, need 
I;.* :':.•--;. -not: hQ actually experienced, and perhaps never' can be completely j 
''• 'id'e'iifififed with anything that is actually experienced at the moment 
in which the mind is cognisant of it. For instance, I may think 
of an event as happening before I was born ; I may again affirm that 
this event actually happened ; I may be agreeably or disagreeably 
interested in it ; but it is plain that the event which I thus refer 
to is not part of my own immediate experience as my present 
belief and interest is, or a headache is, while I am actually feeling 
it. Similarly, when my doctor believes that I have a headache, I may 
be experiencing the headache myself, but he is not. In general, , 
what is actually experienced, actually exists in being experienced ; 
but the object of a mental act need not actually exist : " it may 
be self-contradictory ; it may be something which happens not to 
be a fact, such as a golden mountain ; it may be essentially incapable 
of existence, as, for instance, equality ; it may be physical and not 
psychical, or it may be something which did exist or will exist, 
but does not exist at present." ^ 

If it is urged that the object must at least exist, inasmuch as 
it is something mentally referred to, the answer is that this implies X 
only the actual existence of the mental act, not that of its object. ^ 
The object qua object may have being in some sense. But, in any 
case, its being does not consist in being an actual experience of 
the mind for which it is an object. 

Acts, on the contrary, are always actually experienced, and, 
► consequently, always exist as psychical facts. But they are by no 
means the only psychical facts. Sensuous impressions, for instance, 
and sensory images are sharply distinguished from such ways of 
being conscious as supposing, believing, desiring, hoping, fearing, and 
willing. On the other hand, it will not do merely to classify them as 
objects of a special kind distinctively characterised by their being 
actually experienced as well as mentally intended. For we are 
constantly experiencing sensations which escape our notice, and 



'B. Russell, Meinong's " Theory of Complexes and Assumptions" (Mind, N.S. vol. xiii. 
p. 207). 



so remain undistinguished in the background of subconsciousness; 
these subconscious sensations are not the object of any meptal act, • 
not even of an innplicit judgment asserting their existence. A still 
more important point is that sensuous experiences fulfil a peculiar 
function in our mental life which requires to be explicitly recognised 
in our terminology. They constitute a link between mental acts 
and objects which are not themselves present 'contents of immediate 
experience. Thus sense i m pressio ns and image s are means by which 
we perceive or imagin e material thing s and their qualities, states, and ' 
processes. We cannot imagine a horse without having an image 
of it ; but the image in our heads is evidently not what we intend 
to refer to. It cannot be simply identified with the object of the 
mental act which we call thinking of a horse. Similarly, when we 
dispense with anything in the nature of a mental picture of a horse, 
and use only the word " horse," the word is still not the animal which 
we mean to refer to, but only a sensuous experience through which 
we refer to it. A special term is required to designate contents of 
Immediate experience which thus fulfil, or are capable of fulfilling,', 
the function of presenting or introducing objects that are not them--|\^ ^ 
selves contents of immediate experience*. The term selected for this 
purpose by the group of writers I am dealing with is " Inhalt." 

The general scheme which I have attempted to reproduce in broad 
outline has for me a special interest, because it is akin to views, 
which I had independently developed in my book on Analytic 
Psychology, which was published in 1896.^ I there connect my own 
position with that of ,Brentano, accepting his distinction between 
objects of consciousness and the modes in which consciousness refers \ 
to its object, but criticising his failure to distinguish between 
"Objekt" and "Inhalt."^ The word which in my nomenclature 
corresponds to "Inhalt " is presentation, and I describe the presentative 
function of presentation as follows. "In having cognisance of an I 
object there are two factors involved: (i) A thought-reference to 
something which, as the thinker means or intends it, is not a present 
modification of his individual experience. (2) A more or less 

^ I am not claiming priority, but only independence. Priority of publication belongs, 
I believe, to Zwardowsky. 

* Analytic Psychology, vol. i. pp. 40-46. 


specific modification of his individual experience, which determines 

^ the direction of tho.ught to this or that special object; this special 

experience we may call a presentation. " We may say, if we choose, 

that the^objecf itself is presented, but not that it is a presentation, 

I and when we say that it is presented, it is better to say that it is 
presented J^ consciousness than that it is presented in consciousness. 
In the perception of a tree the reference to an object is specialised 
by a plexus of visual and other presentations. The o bject thought of 
r is thus rendered determinate. It is determined as a material thing 
and not a mental occurrence, a tree and not a stone, an oak and not 
an elm." ^ 

Thus the term presentation has for me a twofold implication. In 
the first place, it is something existentially present in experience, ariv 
actual apparition in consciousness :' in Berkeleyan phrase it " exists in . 
the mind," and is not merely meant or intended by the mind. In the 
second place, it is, or may be, presentative of objects which are not^ 
thus immediately experienced.^ So far as this is the case, it specifies 
the direction of thought to objects, so that the nature of the presented^ 
object varies in correspondence with the varying nature of the 
presentation. Presentations may, however, exist without directly |n(^ 
fulfilling the presentative function. They are then what I have ' 
called anoetic experiences. Most of the sense impressions^ which 
exist in the background of subconsciousness are anoetic. I had not 
originally any single word to designate what have since been called 
" acts." I was content to describe them as ways of being conscious \ 7^ 
of objects, or as attitudes of consciousness towards its object. I would 
now reserve for them exclusively the title of subjective states or/)^ 
processes: for presentations are not predicates of the subject in its 
individual unity and identity, as believing or being pleased are. The 
term " act " is certainly convenient, and in view of its having already 
become current, I am prepared to accept it. But in doing so I make 
two reservations. In the first place, I would make a distinction _ 
between acts such as supposing, believing, or desiring, and the relation 
tQ _an object which is common to all. All acts as such involve this 

^ Ibid. i. p. 47. In quoting I have somewhat altered the wording of the passage. 

^By " tmmediaie^xpeneng§^I mean what is actually a n experience at any given moment, 
as distinguished from future, past, or possible experiences. 


relation, but it is not itself an act. It is not itself a mental state/ 
or process, but a relational attribute of certain mental states oq * 
processes. In the second place, the word act must noc be takefl to/ /. 
signify activity ; it is sometimes maintained that activity is not to be 
found in our mental life at all, and though I heartily disagree with 
this position, the question is one which I do not propose to discuss on 
this occasion. But in any case I submit that if the mind is, properly \ 
speaking, active, it is so only in virtue of one kind of "act," that in J 
which it is interested in an object as something to be sought or I 
shunned. Mental activity therefore, Jf there be such a thing, must be 
identified with conation, the striving aspect of our conscious life. 

I have now indicated the general nature of the theory of knowledge 
in which I, more or less, agree with such writers as Lipps, Meinong, 
and Husserl. But the copious literature in which this general doctrine 
has been recently expounded contains many special developments 
which I fail to follow, and in which the writers themselves disagree 
with each other. I have accordingly selected two of these topics for 
discussion on this occasion. I have fixed on the following problems 
as being of most fundamental significance from the point of view of 
general Philosophy, {a) What is the nature of the unity andndentity 
of the self or subject which experiences acts and presentations, and is 
aware of objects? {h) What are the conditions of the relation between 
presentation and presented objects? 





It is a fact, recognised explicitly or implicitly by everyone, that the 
manifold and constantly changing experiences which enter into the 
life history of an individual mind are in some sense owned by a self or 
ego which remains one and the same throughout their vicissitudes. 
But when we begin to enquire into the precise nature of the unity and 
identity ascribed to the self, and the precise sense in which its 
experiences belong to it, we are confronted with a fundamental 
divergence of views. On the one hand, it is maintained that just as 
the unity of a triangle or of a melody or of an organism consists 
merely in the special mode in which its parts are connected and 
, correlated so as to form a specific kind of complex, so the unity of| a 
what we call an individual mind consists merely in the peculiar wayy\ 
in which what we call its experiences are united with each other. On 
this view, when we say that a desire is someone's desire, we merely 
mean that it enters as one constituent among others into a connected 
totality of experiences having a certain sort of unity and continuity , 
which can belong to experiences only, and not to material things. In 
opposition to this doctrine, it is strenuously maintained by others that 
the identical subject is not merely the unified complex of^experience^ 
j. but a distinct principle from which they derive their^unity, a some- 
thingjvhich persists through them and links them together. ' According 
to these writers it is an inversion of the truth to say that the manifold 
experiences through their union with each other form a single self. 
On the contrary, it is only through their relation to the single self as 
a common centre that they are united with each other. 

Of these two conflicting theories, I feel bound to accept the first 

and reject the second. The unity of the self seems to me indistinguish- 

v]able from the unity of the total complex of its experiences. On the 

lother hand, the adherents of the alternative theory seem to me 

/essentially justified in denying that the sort of unity required to con- 

' stitute a self can belong merely to immediate experience, abstractly 

considered, and in holding that it can be explained only by takingi 

into account the common relation of the manifold of immediate! 

experiences to some thing other than themselves. They are right in 



demanding a condition of unity which does not itself fo.rm part of 
the psychical complex. Where they go astray rs ih' identifying this/ 
precondition of the unity of experience with the unity which it con-/^ 
ditions, — the unity of the conscious subject. The role which they 
ascribe to the subject of consciousness ought rather to be -ascribed 

I to its object. The general principle is tha-t the changing complex^ 
of individual experience has the unity and identity vyiiquely dis- 
tinctive of what we call a single self or ego. only in so far as 
objects are apprehended as- one and the same in different acts or , 

j in different stages and phases of the same act. In other words, the 
unity of the self is - essentially a unity of Uitentional expe rience 
and essentially conditioned by unity of the o bject as meant or 

It will be seen that I have here in view what, in Kantian language, 
is known as unity of apperception. I shall have to point out presently 
that my own position differs in vital respects from Kant's. None the 
less, I can utilise for my own purpose most of his arguments and 
illustrations. In particular, I would lay emphasis on the central 
importance, in this connection, of the act of judging. What is 
implicitly or explicitly apprehended as the same proposition, or what 
Meinong would call the same objective, is repeatedly asserted or 
denied in separate mental acts or in the continuance of the same 
mental act. To this extent, the distinct mental acts or stages of the ^ , 
same mental act have the unity distinctively characteristic of the ^ 
self. The same unity is of course involved in apprehending the dis- 
tinguishable constituents of any proposition as members of the whole. 
What has been said of judgment holds also for mere supposals, for 
what Meinong calls " Annahmen." For both in judgment and in merely 
supposing, it is the unity and identity of the propositions supposed o^ 
asserted which condition the unity and identity of the subject of the 
acts. It is needless to add that we have here to include not mere 
isolated propositions, but also propositions combined in a context. 
Such combinations may be, from our present point of view, regarded 
as forming one complex proposition. And this holds good, however 
loose and distant the connexion may be. We assert a single pro- 
position when we assert that "virtue is its own reward and whales are 
mammals." The conjunction "and" expresses at least the vague 


thought of the indirect interrelation of these facts as belonging to one 

We reach the same result when we consider other mental acts. 
Take, for instance, the identity of the self which asks a question, with 
the self which finds or receives an answer. The self is identical, 
inasmuch as the question asked is identified with the question 
answered. Similarly with the pursuit of ends, however simple or 
complex these may be. The self is the same self, inasmuch as 
throughout the process of pursuit it is aware of the desired object 
as the same, and inasmuch as it is aware of the object attained as 
. identical with the object pursued. The best example, however, is 
I supplied by continuityjof attention. Attention is continuous when it 
lis throughout directed to the same total object from varying points of 
jview, so as to distinguish successively its different partial features, 
Wspects, and relations. For instance, in observing a flower with a 
view to its classification as a botanical specimen, the stamens, root, 
and leaf arrangement may be successively distinguished. The total 
object is the flower as a specimen to be classified, together with 
the whole body of botanical science so far as this may be relevant 
to the classification. The partial features of this total object are 
successively discriminated, and in their turn cease to be discriminated. 
But there is continuity of attention, inasmuch as the partial features 
successively discriminated are throughout implicitly apprehended 
as being partial features of the same complex unity. Such continuity 
is by no means confined to relatively advanced stages of mental 
development. On the contrary, it seems to be coincident with the 
most rudimentary beginnings of intelligent life. The observed facts 
point to its presence even in the instinctive behaviour of animals. 
The cat hunting a mouse, or the kitten playing with a ball, seem 
throughout to be dealing with a single complex situation, which 
includes not only the mouse or the ball, but all circumstances or 
occurrences which may turn out to be relevant to their governing 
interest. To this extent, the successive and simultaneous experiences 
of the cat and the kitten have the unity distinctively characteristic of 
an identical self. 

I may now proceed to bring out the nature and significance of 
the theory I am advocating by pointing out a very important 


consequence to which it inevitably leads. If the unity of the subject 
is essentially conditioned by the unity of the objects of its acts, as such ' 
it follows that wherever a manifold of experiences are connected/ V 
as experiences in a single self, they must be related cither as acts or asi '^ 
presentations to the same total object. All special objects must be' 
distinguished within this whole as partial constituents. No special 
object can be apprehended as absolutely self-existent and self- 
contained. Every special object must be at least capable of being 
apprehended as related to others, and finally to the unity of the whole. 
So far as this condition is not realised, the identity of the self is not 
realised, but remains, at the most, merely potential. The common / 
object is what, at the level of analytic or reflective consciousness,^ 
we explicitly refer to as the Universe. But the conception of the 
universe is only the explicit formulation of what is already implied in 
the apprehension of particular objects as incomplete, and therefore as 
requiring completion in a whole which transcends and includes them. 
How is this view related to the Kantian doctrine of apperception } 
Both agree in insisting on the strict correlation of the unity of the 
object and the unity of the subject. But further comparison reveals 
vital differences. For Kant there are two selves, the empirical self 
and the pure ego. The empirical self consists in the total complex of 
simultaneous and successive experiences which enter into the life 
history of an individual from birth to death. This complex is not the 
subject which is conscious of objects, and consequently does not 
possess that form of unity which is the correlative of unity in the 
object. On the contrary, its unity is, in principle, analogous to that 
of any other object which is not itself a conscious subject. But on the 
view which I am advocating, the empirical ego and the pure ego are ^ 
one and the same. There is only one self, the complex of simultaneous^ 
and successive experiences, unified in a way which essentially involves^ 
the relation of acts and presentations to a common object. This 
divergence from Kant is closely connected with another. The Kantian 
exposition tends to represent the unity of the pure subject as a 
precondition which produces unity in its objects by a synthetic process 
exercised upon what is originally given as a relationless manifold. 
This is, of course, quite irreconcilable with my position. If the unity 
of the subject presupposes the unity of its subject as such, the unity 



of the subject cannot be a prior condition from which the unity of the 
object is derived. 

I find a similar difficulty in the language used by Meinong and his 
followers in treating of what they call "objects of higher order." 
This phrase covers (i) complex unities of interrelated term's, (2) the 
relations or forms of unity as distinguished from the terms related or/ 
unified. Now, I might express my view of the unity of the self by' 
saying that it depends on apprehension of objects of higher order. 
But in his otherwise admirable treatment of this subject, Meinong uses 
language suggestive of a doctrine which appears to me both incom- 
patible with my own and with the facts.^ He lays stress on the 
necessity of the constituents of a complex being independently 
apprehended as the logical precondition of the apprehension .of "their 
relations, or the complex unity within which they fall. To use his 
own metaphor, the objects of higher order are built up on their 
"inferiora" as their indispensable foundations. Further, it is in each 
case through a synthetic operation of the mind that the awareness of 
complex unity is superinduced on the awareness of the relatively ' 
disconnected inferiora. It would seem to follow from this doctrine 
that ultimately the mind must start from a multiplicity of unrelated 
items, and erect on these a superstructure of relations and complex'es. 
Now it does, of course, very frequently happen that we are initially 
aware of given items without being aware of them as constituents of 
a certain kind of cornplex, and that their unity as constituents of this 
complex may then be discovered through such mental operations as 
comparing or counting. But in such cases there is no evidence, so far 
as I can see, that the original items are ever originally given as an 
unrelated manifold. On the contrary, the basis from which the mind 
proceeds in apprehending the new relation seems always to be itself 
a complex of interrelated parts. Or, to speak more accurately, it 
is always within a pre-existing form of unity that relatively new forms 
of unity emerge for consciousness through an appropriate direction 
of attention. This will, I think, become clear when we consider that 
there are two ways in which we may be aware of relation. We may 
be aware of relations either implicitly or explicitly. In seeing a book 
lying on a table, the book's being on the table is certainly part of the 

^ I do not say that he actually holds this doctrine. 



object of which I have cognisance. But I apprehend it only implicitly 
if I fail to distinguish the general relation of above and below from 
the terms which in this instance it relates : — if I am only aware of 
the complex without mentally contrasting its constituents and their 
relational form. Now the explicit apprehension of relations and forms 
of unity may perhaps always involve a mental operation starting from 
a given basis, but the given basis itself seems in all cases to include 
implicit relations;^ it is always some kind of complex. By comparing 
red and blue, I become explicitly cognisant of a relation of difference 
as subsisting between them. And the possibility of this no doubt 
presupposes that I began by thinking both of the red and blue 
together. But it is a condition of my thinking of them together that 
I shall think of them in some kind of relation to each other, and 
therefore as members of some kind of complex. I cannot attend to 
both in such a way as to begin comparing them without at least 
apprehending them as in some way spatially or temporally connected. 
Further, the function of comparison in general is to substitute for 
implicit or relatively indefinite awareness of likeness an explicit or 
relatively precise awareness. Similarly, when we count we start not 
merely with the apprehension of units, but with the apprehension of a 
relatively vague numerical complex, which becomes more precisely 
defined in the process of counting. In general, the basis or " inferius " | ^ 
of an object of higher order is itself an object of higher order. We 
may go further than this. In some cases of fundamental importance, 
a complex is apprehended without all its members being independently \ ,. 
presented, and sometimes without any of them being independently ' 
presented. We may think, for instance, of equality between x and j/, 
where x and j/ are determined only as being any terms such as may 
enter into this relation. Here, if we are to make such a distinction at 
all, it is the constituents which depend on the complex rather than 
inversely. In other instances the unity of a complex is apprehended^ 
though only some of its constituents are independently given. Thus, 
in thinking of a class, it is plain that we do not and, for the most part, 
cannot independently bring before our mind all the members. We do 
indeed, when we think of a class, in a sense think of all its members, 

^ Locke similarly distinguishes "secret relations" from relations of ideas apprehended 
through "comparison," 

nity 1 ^ 


But it is the thought of the unity of the class which preconditions the 
thought of its members as such, and not inversely. In like manner, 
all the attributes belonging to the same thing are mentally referred to 
as a complex unity, including both what is known and what remains 
to be known about the thing ; plainly, the unknown attributes, at least, V 
are thought of only in and through the act of thinking of the complex 
as such, and not independently given as a precondition of this. Other 
examples of far-reaching importance are supplied by the unity of the 
order of succession in time and of coexistence in space, and also by 
the unity of the universe as the necessary correlative of the unity 
of the self. And the unity of the self as the complex of present, past, I i 
future, and possible experiences is another relevant instance. 

It may be urged that I have taken the phrase, " objects of higher 
order," in a wider sense than that contemplated by Professor Meinong- 
In all probability this is so. But it does not follow that what I 
have said is irrelevant. For, in the first place, the connexion between 
relational consciousness in general, and the special form of it covered 
by the term " objects of higher order," requires to be explicitly 
considered. In the second place, it is difficult to see how the view 
that the apprehension of a complex presupposes the independent 
apprehension of all its terms can be justified unless by making it 
part of the definition of a complex, and so rendering the statement 
a tautology. 

It will be seen that in treating of the unity of the self I have 
omitted all reference to self-consciousness. I have done so inten- 
tionally, on the ground that there can be no consciousness of self 
unless there is a self to be conscious of. But this, in the first instance, 
can only be constituted by acts which have for their objects some- 
thing other than their own being. This follows from the general 
principle that a relation cannot itself be one of the terms which 
it relates. On the other hand, if we presuppose the complex unity of , 
the self, as independently conditioned by reference to objects, this 
difficulty vanishes. Given a self to know, there is no reason why 
it should not be known. It would seem that there is no stage or 
phrase of mental life in which self-consciousness is entirely absent, 
however vague and rudimentary it may be. However preoccupied 
the mind may be with other objects, these objects are at least 


apprehended as qualified by attributes essentially relative to sub- 
jective states and processes. An object of desire, as such, differs from 
an object of aversion, and both from objects which are, in this 
respect, indifferent. Similarly, an agreeable situation differs from 
a disagreeable situation, a successful line of behaviour from one 
that is unsuccessful, and an occurrence which disappoints expectation 
from one that fulfils it. These and the like variable attributes of 
objects belong to them only as related to the self and its varying acts. 
Hence it would seem that the awareness of these must involve at 
least an indefinite form of self-consciousness capable of becoming 
more determinate under special conditions. 





We may begin by examining a typical case of fundamental import- 
ance — the presentative function of sensory images in relation to 
impressions. We may then proceed to use this as a clue to the 
general theory of presentative function. When it is said that an 
image is a " revival " of an impression, or a revived impression, 
part of what is meant is that the image more or less resembles 
the impression. My present mentp^l picture of the visible appearance 
of my friend, as I last saw him, is more or less similar to the complex 
of visual sensations which I experienced in actually seeing him. But 
this is not all that we mean by the word revival. We also intend 
to imply that the occurrence of the image is in a special way 
preconditioned by the previous occurrence of the impression. The 
present image is conceived as being a modified recurrence or 
reinstatement of the original sensation, and, therefore, as being 
existentially connected with it and dependent on it. Thus the 
I image is (i) more or less like the original impression, (2) derived 
I from it. These are the two points on which Hume insists as 
constituting the relation of impressions to what he calls "ideas" or 
" thoughts." But there is a third point which Hume ignores, although 
it is directly involved in his use of the terms " idea " and " thought." 
The fainter copy derived from a past impression is constantly treated 
by him as being a thought or idea of the impression ; and, without 
this assumption, he would not be able to stir a step in the exposition 
of his philosophy. Yet he never seems to see that thinking of a 
previous impression is something radically different from having a 
subsequent experience more or less similar to it and dependent on 
it. There is here a gap which is certainly not bridged by his 
insistence on the faintness or feebleness of the derivative copy as 
compared with its original. If the facts were exhaustively described 
by describing the present experience as a derivative copy fainter 
than its original, we should be for ever precluded from knowing 
or thinking that the copy is a copy or that it implies the previous 






occurrence of the impression. The impression is no longer ex- 
perienced when the image is experienced ; it does not wait to be 
copied like the sitter who is having his portrait taken. It is only 
in the act of remembering itself that we can, in the first instance, 
come to know, believe, or suppose that the present experience is like * 
or unlike the past : it is only in the act of remembering itself that we 
can, in the first instance, come to know, believe, or suppose that 
a prior impression has occurred or that its occurrence is a pre- 
condition of the present image. But as the impression, unlike 
the image, is not at the moment actually experienced, its previous 
occurrence, its nature and its relations to the present image can 
be mentally referred to only as the object of a thought which 
transcends immediate experience. Similarly, the cognisance of the 
image itself as being like or unlike the impression, as subsequent 
to it and as presupposing it, is also possible only as involving thought 
which transcends immediate experience. On the other hand, the 
thought which thus transcends immediate experience does so only 
by means of it ; what is thought is rooted and grounded in what 
is felt. It is the existential presence and the nature of the image 1 
which determines for thought the occurrence of a certain past / ^ 
impression as its special object. The image is the specifying content/ 
of the thought, determining it as the idea of a specific impression./ 
Apart from the image or something discharging an equivalent 
function, this thought would be empty — indeterminate or direction- 
less ; apart from thought the image would be blind — without reference 
to anything beyond itself, and, therefore, without reference even 
to itself. 

It is not true that any image is capable of determining the directionV 
of thought to any impression. Each image does so only in the 
case of an impression specially connected with it. What is the 
special connexion which conditions this presentative function of 
the image .-" It must be sought in one or both of the two relations 
already assigned: (i) The resemblance of the image to the impres- 
sion ; (2) the existential dependence which is indicated by saying 
that the impression is retained and reproduced in the image. If 
(i) were the sole condition, remembrance would extend only so 
far as resemblance extends. The thought of the impression would 


only include such characters as are repeated in the image. But 
this is very far from being the case. The impression, for instance, is 
remembered as being vivid, whereas the image is faint; the impression 
is remembered as being distinct, whereas the image is blurred ; 
the impression is remembered as being steady, whereas the image 
wavers and fluctuates ; the impression may be remembered as 
coloured, whereas the image is black and white. Given a 
suitable direction of attention, such contrasts are recognisable in 
the very act of remembering. Thus, though the degree of fidelity 
of the image, as copy, to the impression, as original, is, no doubt, 
a condition of the detailed accuracy of memory, resemblance is 
not the sole condition of the presentative function of images, (2) is a 
fundamental condition as well as (i). Some community of nature 
between impression and image seems to be required ; but the 
presentative function of the image also depends on the peculiar wayy 
in which the image is preconditioned by the antecedent impression 
As the merely external fact of dependence cannot be supposed to , 
be operative, we must assume that the image itself as an immediate 
experience has a character due to its derivative existence, and varying 
according to the varying impressions from which it is derived. To 
verify the presence of this character introspectively, we have only 
to contrast images which directly subserve memory with those 
that subserve the play of fancy, e.g. the complex image of a 
golden mountain or of a three-headed dog. 

In the case of such complex images of fancy the components 
are ultimately derived from past impressions, but the complex, as 
such, is not the reproduction of an impressional complex. Hence, "^ 
though the whole image conditions a thought-reference to impres- 
sional experience, it does not yield the awareness of a correspond- 
ingly complex sensation as having actually occurred. The thought 
connected with it is rather that of a possible impression, or, under 
special conditions, that of a future impression. Even images, which 
are wholly derivable from previous impressions, may determine 
the thought of future or of possible sensations rather than the 
remembrance of those which are past. All depends on the variable 
context of experience of which they form a part. To discuss in 
detail the questions which here emerge would be impossible at 


the present stage of our enquiry. But we may safely assert that 
the reference to the past is primary, and that all other forms of 
the presentative function of images, in relation to impressions, pre- 
suppose it, and arise as modifications of it. 


The foregoing analysis of what takes place in remembering the 
occurrence of a past impression by means of a present image is 
intended to explain and illustrate by a typical example the general 
view of the inseparable correlation of thought and experience in all 
knowledge, which is involved in the doctrine of presentations. There 
are here two points to be noted, (i) As we have cognisance of the 
image only in remembering the past impression, so mere experience 
as it is actually being experienced cannot by itself constitute the 
object of knowledge, apart from a thought which transcends it. (2) As 
the specifying function of the image presupposes a special relation 
between it and the impression, and as this relation is itself cognisable 
in the process of remembering, so all thought is similarly conditioned 
by appropriate relations between immediate experience and what is 
thought of, and these relations themselves form part of what is I y^ 
thought of. 

Apart from the examination of special cases, have we any general 
grounds for assuming that these propositions express universal con- 
ditions of knowledge ? Let us proceed to consider them separately, 
(i) Can a bare experience, or, to use T. H. Green's language, a mere 
feeling, be, by itself, an object of knowledge apart from a thought 
which transcends it.-* In denying this, I find myself on ground which 
has been thoroughly traversed and explored. Little can be added to 
what has been already urged by Green in the introduction to his 
edition of Hume, and what I have to say here is intended mainly to 
remind the reader of work which has already been done effectively by 
others. The most general reason why a bare feeling, as it is being v^ 
felt, cannot by itself be a complete object of knowledge is that it is 
not a proposition, and that all knowledge is of propositions and of 
other things only as forming constituents of propositions. To know is 


alway to know " that. . ." ; it is to know, for instance, "that something 
is or exists or occurs," or "that something is of such and such a 
nature," or "that it is so and so related to something else." Now a 
proposition, understood in this sense, is never a particular existence or 
occurrence, and it cannot therefore be a feeling which is always a 
. .- i particular existence or occurrence. Particular existences, as such, are 

P(mJ^ capable of beginning to exist and ceasing to exist, but propositions 

^[^^ are not thus affected by the flux of time. The battle of Waterloo is a 

(f^^„y4^Jp) particular occurrence, which began and ended on June i8th, 1815. But 

the facts of this battle being fought on June i8th, 181 5, and therefore 
ninety-six years before 191 1, are not events which come into existence 
or pass out of existence. Both these facts are expressed when some 
one speaking in 191 1 asserts that the battle took place ninety-six 
years ago on June i8th, 1815. The dates assigned determine the 
time of the event, not the time of the fact of its occurrence or of 
its occurrence at a certain date, or before some other date and 
after some other date. These facts, as such, are dateless. Similarly / 
a feeling exists only in the moment in which it is felt ; but the I "^ 
fact of its being felt at that moment is exempt from such temporal 
limitation. The fact of its being felt at that moment cannot change 
into the fact of its not being felt at that moment ; and if we con- 
sider the fact of its being felt abstractly without reference to any 
special time, it is still plainer that this does not change or cease to 
be. It follows that a bare feeling cannot by itself be a complete I / 
object of knowledge. But it may be thought that the view we are [ 
criticising can, in substance, be rendered defensible by restating in an , 
amended form. Granting that what is apprehended is not the bare 1 
feeling only, but the fact of its existence, is it not still possible to / f 
assume that the apprehension of this fact may be merely coincident ' 
with and limited to the existential presence of the feeling, so that 
the fact is isolated for knowledge exactly as feeling is isolated for 
experience > To see that this view is untenable we have only to con- 
sider what it implies. Ex hypothesi, all reference to anything other 
than what is contained in the experience of the present moment is 
excluded, so that there can be no thought of the past or future 
Hence the existence of the present feeling cannot be apprehended as 
being present ; for this involves the thought of its relation to a before 


and after. There can therefore be no cognisance of its beginning or 
ceasing, or of its being an event or occurrence. For the same reason 
there can be no cognisance of it as like or unlike any experience 
which has preceded or may follow it. For the same reason, there 
can be no apprehension of it as enduring or changing, or as 
having changed or endured. Thus it cannot be recognised as remain- 
ing the same in quality or intensity or as varying in quality or 
intensity in successive phases of its existence ; this cannot be because 
the self-complete and self-contained object of knowledge is supposed 
to be only the present phase of its existence in isolation from any- 
thing else whatever. Here we seem to have reached a reductio ad 
absurdum. Where there is no identification or recognition of a thing 
as the same with itself, there can be nothing which deserves to be 
called knowledge. The same point may be exhibited in a still more 
searching way, as follows : To know that something exists involves a 
distinction between what it is and its existence. But this distinction 
carries us at once beyond the particular existent itself. Its nature as 
distinguished from its existence is general or universal, inasmuch as it 
is capable of being exemplified in other particular existents besides. 
Its existence again, as distinguished from its nature, is general or 
universal, inasmuch as it is common to whatever exists. As, therefore, 
a particular existent is only known or knowing the proposition that 
it exists, it can only be known by a thought which transcends it. 

There still remains one objection to this line of argument. It may 
be said that the grounds assigned for denying that a bare feeling can 
by itself be known, depends for whatever cogency they may possess 
on an arbitrary distinction between what is and what is not to be 
regarded as knowledge. I have, therefore, to point out that the dis- 
tinction on which I have proceeded is not arbitrary ; and this is 
possible only by showing that it rests on a presupposition common 
both to those who affirm and those who deny that knowledge may be 
simply coincident with and limited to immediate experiences as they 
come and go. Now, it is acknowledged on all hands that cognitions 
are linked with each other in a system. As to the nature and extent 
of this systematic unity there may be much divergence of opinion. 
All agree, however, that it must in some way include the possibility of 
inferring from facts given in or through experience other facts not so 


given. But this would be at least logically indefensible, if not 
psychologically impossible, were feelings capable of being felt by 
themselves correspondingly capable of being known in isolation. Such 
feelings as they are experienced from moment to moment would be 
the only particular facts primarily given. If we adopt a strictly 
empirical position and assume that the mind starts solely with 
these primary data, even the thought of anything that is not being 
actually experienced at a given moment, becomes an impossibility. 
For each experience being for knowledge self-complete and self- 
contained cannot imply anything beyond itself Even the reference 
in memory from image to impression would be inexplicable on this 
view. On the other hand, if we add to the primary data a faculty of 
thinking to link them with each other and with facts not directly 
given in experience, then, as Hume has so brilliantly demonstrated, the 
work of thought would be wholly baseless and arbitrary. It could 
only consist in affirming connexion where no connexion is discover- 
able. No equipment of Kantian categories can help its impotence in 
face of a logically impossible task. 

Generalising from the special case of the image as presentative of an 
impression, we obtain (2) the universal principle that nothing which 
transcends immediate experience can be known except in so far as it is 
apprehended in an appropriate relation to something which is immedi- 
ately experienced. Further, if we take into account proposition (i), the 
inverse will also hold good, that no immediate experience can be known 
except as related to something which transcends immediate experience. 
Thus, in so far as knowledge is conditioned by a presentation, this \ ^ 
presupposes {a) that there is a special relation between the presentation | ' 
and the presented object, and {b) that this relation is itself part of what 1 s7 2. 
is known. As for {a), it seems sufficient to say that there would be no 
reason why a presentation should determine the direction of thought 
to one object rather than another, unless it had some special 
relation to this object, and that the relation must vary according to 
the various features or aspects of the object which are revealed to 
thinking consciousness. As for {b), we have already seen that the 
relation between presentation and presented object is itself appre- 
hended in the special case of the images as presentative of the 
occurrence of previous impression ; if other cases difi"ered in this 


respect, there would be a fundamental disparity in the nature of the 
presentative function in different instances of it, which would involve 
a breach of continuity, not to be accepted without cogent grounds. 
But there are no such grounds. On the contrary, a detailed examina- 
tion will show that other cases are in this respect strictly analogous to 
the case which we have taken as typical. It is also important to 
notice that we can give no rational explanation of the function of 
presentations without implying that the relation to presented objects 
is itself apprehended. The only intelligible account seems to be as 
follows. Thought, as such, has for its ultimate object the universe in 
its unity ; but not of course the universe in all its detail. The special 
features emerge successively, leaving always a relatively indefinite 
background. The unity of the universe is apprehended in apprehend- 
ing its parts as being partial, — as being incomplete and requiring 
completion through their relations within a whole which transcends 
them. Now, the process through which the parts of the universe are 
successively revealed must start from primary objects, which ultimately 
specify for thought, directly or indirectly, all other objects. These 
primary objects can be nothing else than those modes of immediate 
experience which we have called presentations. But this implies not 
only that presentations are essentially fragmentary and so related in 
various ways to being which transcends their own existence, but also 
that they must be apprehended as incomplete, and therefore as related 
to objects which are not themselves presentations falling within the 
experience of the individual at the moment. 

Inasmuch, then, as knowledge is conditioned by presentation, the 
total object known is a complex unity, which may be symbolised as 
PrO, where P is the presentation, O an object distinct from it, and 
;' the relation between P and O. Plainly, this view is not open to 
the objections which are commonly regarded as making the doctrine 
of representative knowledge untenable. The doctrine of repre- 
sentative knowledge is, in principle, indefensible, because according 
to it we begin by apprehending a P which represents O without 
apprehending O itself. But we cannot be aware of P as representative 
of O without being aware of O itself; and, if we are initially aware 
only of Pf there seems to be no conceivable way in which we could 
pass from the knowledge of P to the knowledge of O. Hence the 


doctrine of representative knowledge, in the sense in which it is 
ordinarily understood, is doomed to collapse when it is brought 
face to face with the question : How does the mind pass from the 
representation to that which is represented ? The position here 
advocated is such as to make this question entirely irrelevant. I 
Ido not say that we are first aware of presentation by itself, and 
then somehow pass from this to the knowledge of an object distinct 
from it. What I do say is that whatever other objects we know, 
we know only in knowing their relation to presentations. But the. J 
objects so known, and their relatedness to presentation, are known y^ 
immediately. They are immediate objects of thinking consciousness ; 
and, for me, whatever is really thought, in so far as it is thought 
really is.^ Whether the object of thought is an actual experience 
of mine at the moment, such as a present toothache, or something not 
actually experienced, such as my having had a toothache yesterday, 
or the infinity of time ; — in all these cases, equally, the object of 
thought, as such, is directly present to my thinking consciousness ; 
and what is thus directly present is reality, and not something, 
intervening between me and reality. To put the case in a different 
way : I no more hold that the knowledge of other objects is 
mediated by presentations than I hold that the knowledge of 
presentations is mediated by that of objects which are not presenta- 
tions. If it is true that I cannot know anything else except as 
related to a presentation, it is equally true that I cannot know a 
presentation except as related to something else. In different ways 
the knowledge of presentations and of presented objects mediate 
each other, so as to form an inseparable unity. It follows that 
the question, How do you get from the presentation to the presented 
object,? is not relevant to my position at all. I do not need to 
"get to" the presented object; for I am there already. If this were 
not so, I could not even "get to" the presentation itself in the sense 
of knowing it ; for the presentation, in order to be known, must 
be thought as well as experienced ; and it cannot be thought except 
as connected with what is not presentation. 

* I have expounded this view and have attempted to reconcile it with the existence of 
error in my paper on "The Object of Thought and Real Being," published in Proceedings of 
the Aristotelian Society, 1911-12. 


It may be said that, on this view, our knowledge of whatever 
is not our immediate experience at the moment is merely 
relative, inasmuch as what we know of it is not its own intrinsic 
nature, but only the way in which it is related to something else. 
Does not this leave undetermined the question, what it is in 
itself apart from its relations to immediate experience P^ Art 
we not reduced to the Kantian position, that we can know things 
only in their appearance as sensible phenomena and not as 
they are in themselves ? Such questions seem to be based 
on an untenable assumption, the assumption that, knowing the 
intrinsic nature of A, we can know B as related to A without 
any insight into the intrinsic nature of B, whatever the special 
character of the relation may be. This really presupposes the 
general theory that relations are purely "external" forknowledge, 
so that anything may be apprehended as related in any way to 
anything else. Now, even if this be conceded in the case of some 
relations, it certainly cannot be admitted for all. We cannot appre- 
hend B as prior to A without apprehending B as something which 
temporally endures or occurs. We cannot apprehend B as greater 
than A without apprehending ^ as a quantum of the same sort 
as A. So far as regards our present question, the assumption, 
that all relations are in the required sense purely external, breaks 
down at once when we consider the case which we have taken 
as typical. Obviously, in apprehending the relation of past impres- 
sion to present image, we apprehend, in some degree, the nature 
of the past impression. Similarly, in so far as one man has cognisance 
of the sensations and emotions of another in relation to his own, 
he has more or less insight into the intrinsic nature of the other 
man's sensations and feelings, though he does not himself experience 
these. In general we may venture to assume, until a clear exception 
is shown to exist, that all knowledge of presented objects irrcludes, 
in some respect and degree, a knowledge of their intrinsic nature, and 
not merely of their relatedness to presentation. The respect and 
degree will vary with the presentation and the sort of relation 
apprehended between it and the presented object. Thus, the 

/ 1 By " immediate experience " I mean the experience of the moment distinguished from 
past, future, and potential experiences of the individual. 


distinction between knowledge of things as they are in themselves 
and knowledge of things as phenomena may still be maintained 
in a relative sense. It ceases to be absolute and becomes a distinc- 
tion of more or less. We may illustrate by comparing the knowledge 
which a man blind from birth may obtain of the visual sensations 
of other men with that possessed by a man whose own vision is 
normal. Inasmuch as the blind man himself experiences sensations 
of various kinds, he knows what it is for another to have sensuous 
experiences, and, to this extent, he knows what it is to have visual 
experiences : inasmuch as he himself has tactual sensations which 
are extensive, he knows what it is to experience extensive sensations, 
and to that extent he knows what it is to experience visual sensation. 
But all his further special knowledge of them has reference merely 
to their distinctive place and function in the mental life of other 
men ; this knowledge may be extensive and systematic ; and it 
often enables the blind to speak of light and colour with a propriety 
and accuracy which make it difficult to realise that they them- 
selves are unable to see. None the less it can never give cognisance 
of the distinctive qualities of light and colour sensations as they are 
in themselves. These are known in their Svvafiig rather than their 
eJSoi; they are apprehended phenomenally and not per se. 

The knowledge of beings other than existent particulars, e.g- 
generalities and possibilities, and universal forms of unity, such 
as space, time, and causality, is ultimately coincident with the 
knowledge of relevant particulars as actually existing. Hence the 
presentations which present existent particulars eo ipso, present these 
other modes of being. Thus, in apprehending a particular existent, 
such as a tree or a horse, we must, however vaguely, distinguish 
its " what " from its " that " ; and so regard as an instance exemplify- 
ing a general nature capable of having other instances. In order 
that these other instances, actual or possible, may be separately 
brought before the mind in their distinct particularity, other specific 
presentations are required ; these may partly be given in the course of 
sensuous experience, as, when after seeing a white horse, we see 
a black one ; or, again, they may be formed through productive 
imagination, under the guidance of general concepts, as, when after 
seeing a white horse, we imagine a green one, which we have never 


seen ; or, when after seeing a horse and a man, we proceed to 
imagine a centaur. But it is not necessary for the apprehension 
of a distinct instance, as such, that it should be thus separately 
perceived or imagined. It may be thought as having some deter- 
minate relation to what is perceived or imagined. Thus, to adopt an 
illustration from Hume, supposing that a qualitatively graduated 
series of colours is given, another colour, which is not given, may 
be determined for thought, as being intermediate in quality between 
two adjacent members of the series which are given. Whether or 
not the mind endeavours to imagine this colour, and whether or 
not it succeeds in so doing, the particular colour is none the less 
apprehended through its relation to the given particulars. Nor is this 
all ; other unimagined particulars may be determined for thought 
as related to this one, which is itself unimagined. If the given 
colours are p and q, and the unimagined colour x is thought of as 
being exactly intermediate between p and q, then another colour y 
may be determined for thought as exactly intermediate between 
p and X, and yet another z as exactly intermediate between y and x, 
and to this process there is no theoretical limit, apart from the 
special conditions of special cases. It is in some such way that 
we are enabled to think of the infinite series of numbers intervening 
between o and i. 

We may say generally that universals, whether these be merely 
class concepts or other forms of unity, and also possible particulars, as 
jsuch, are ultimately apprehended in inseparable unity with actual 
(particulars. Hence, in dealing with the question, how far universals 
and possibilities are known as they are in themselves, we must 
take into account two conditions. We have (i) to consider how 
far the relevant actualities are, in relevant respects, known as they 
are themselves. So far as the things we see and touch are 
phenomenally known, the general concept of material things, and 
the systematic concept of the material world, are also phenomenal. 
On the other hand, so far as particular feelings, and sensations, 
and thoughts are known, in their intrinsic nature, the corresponding 
class concepts are known in their intrinsic nature, and so is the 
individual mind, inasmuch as it is a unified complex of feelings, 
sensations, and thoughts. Condition (2) has especial reference to 


possible particulars and classes of possible particulars. A possible 
particular may be set before the mind through a process of productive 
imagination, and, to this extent, it is apprehended as it is in itself in 
the same^ manner and degree as the actual particulars with which 
it is connected. On the other hand, without being itself imagined, 
or even capable of being imagined, it may be determined for thought 
as " that which " is related in a certain way to other actual or 
possible particulars. It may be determined for thought as x in our 
example is determined through its relation to p and q, or as y is 
determined through its relation to x and /, or as z is determined 
through its relation to x and y. So far as this is the case, the 
possible particular is known "relatively" rather than "in itself"^ 




I have so far avoided any discussion of the part played by presenta- 
tions in the perception of material things and their qualities. Nor do 
I now intend to deal with the problem as a whole, as this would be 
impossible within the space at my disposal. I feel bound, however, to 
say something in reply to the charge that I hold a doctrine of Repre- 
sentative Perception. I have already shown that my general theory 
of knowledge is not really open to this criticism. But in dealing with 
the perception of the sensible qualities of bodies, I have to meet a 
more special objection. It is urged against me that there is here no 
room for any distinction between presentation and presented object ; 
the sense presentation, it is said, is itself all that is discernible as the 
quality of the thing. 

I may state the case against me in the language of a very acute 
critic, who has favoured me with a private communication on the 
subject.'^ " I have before me a brass inkstand. It is round and yellow. 
What is the relation between, e.g. the yellow which I see (presentation- 

' This discussion of our knowledge of universal possibilities is meant only to indicate 
the general mode in which I would deal with the questions raised. There are manifold 
complexities and subtleties which I leave untouched. 

' Mr. Henry Barker, of Edinburgh University. 


yellow = Yp) and the yellow of the inkstand (yellow object = Yo)} 
According to Representative Perception Yp, the colour sensation 
yellow is one thing and Yo the colour yellow is another quite distinct 
thing, and Yp represents Yo. I understand that you would say that 
Yp presents rather than represents Yo, but that Yp must be dis- 
tinguished from Yo, inasmuch as 1^ is a momentary psychical fact 

and Yo is a permanent quality of the inkstand I am content to 

ask, In any one moment in which I see the inkstand is there only one 
yellow which may be regarded either as colour sensation or as colour 
quality, or are there two yellows ? For my part I answer, of course, 
one yellow, the identical yellow colour which I see the inkstand to 
be of." 

The point could hardly be better put. My reply is as follows : I 
grant that the " yellow I see " is the yellow of the object. But I deny . 
that the "yellow I see" can, according to the normal use of language,} X 
be identified with presentation-yellow ( Yp). Ordinary language 
follows common sense ; and common sense regards the question. 
What is seen ? as ultimately dependent on the question. What 
material thing is actually before the eye to be seen } If I say that I 
see a man, I may be told that I do not see a man but a wax figure. 
Similarly, if I say that I see a yellow inkstand, common sense may 
correct me by asserting that I do not see a yellow inkstand, but only 
one which looks yellow to my jaundiced eye, or under a certain 
unusual illumination. That it looks yellow to me means that I Ty 
apprehend a sensory content similar to that which I should apprehend, / 
if I really saw a yellow inkstand with a normal eye and under normal 
illumination. But we do not naturally speak of seeing the sensory \/^ 
content itself. The case of dreams and hallucinations is instructive. 
I may say that I saw a yellow inkstand in a dream. But " I saw in a k'' 
dream " is only a way of saying, " I dreamed that I saw," and is 
sharply distinguished from really seeing. Yet, in dreaming that I v/ 
see a yellow inkstand, the visual sensations may be virtually the same 
as in really seeing one. The awareness of the sensations is not by I A 
itself enough to constitute seeing. I do not really see unless there is 
present either a yellow inkstand or something mistaken for it, to 
which the yellow may belong. 

What then is the relation of Yp\.o Yo} It is suggested that if I say 


there are two " quite distinct " yellows, I involve myself in obvious 
absurdity. So far I agree. Such a position would be absurd. But 
there is also another absurdity which I am equally anxious to avoid, 
one which my critics do not seem able to escape. If it is absurd to 
assert two distinct yellows, it is a fortiori absurd to assert an 
indefinitely numerous multiplicity of yellows, all belonging to the 
same object. But, if presentation-yellow is taken to be, by itself, 
identical with the yellow of the object, then, since the presentation- 
yellow may vary indefinitely for different percipients, and for the 
same percipient under different conditions, there must be a corre- 
sponding multiplicity of different yellows really belonging to the 

My way of avoiding both the double yellow and the indefinite 
plurality of yellows is as follows : What I perceive by sight at any 
moment is not merely Yp, but Yp as conditioned.^ My perception i 
includes not only awareness of the sensory content, but also the/^ 
thought o f its condition. Thus, if the presentation-yellow is symbolised 
by Yp, I should symbolise the yellow of the object, so far as this is 
perceived at any given moment, by Yp-r-c, where c stands 'for a con- y 
dition and r for a relation. The two distinct yellows are thus 
avoided. For Yp-r-c includes Yp, and if Yp is omitted there is no 
yellow to be seen in the inkstand. On the other hand, I also avoid 
the absurdity of the indefinitely numerous yellows. For the various, 
presentation-yellows, in virtue of their common relation to the constant 
condition c, form, together with c, a complex unity which may be 
symbolised as follows : 


y r-c. 


^ This complex unity is the yellow of the object, Yo; and Yp^-r-c, 

\-r-c... Yp„-r-c are not separate yellows, but the partial phases^ 
1 of the single objective yellow which we call its varying^ sensible 
\ appearances. The single objective yellow looks different according to 
the varying circumstances under which it is perceived. If we could see 

I 1 II 


or feel the vibrations which constitute yellow for the physicist, we 
should only be perceiving one sensible appearance of Yo among 

It is only from this point of view that it seems possible to account 
I satisfactorily for the identification of visible with tangible extension 
\ in the same thing, notwithstanding the dissimilarity which Berkeley 
j pointed out between the extensive characters of visual and tactual 
I sensations, as such. Part of what we mean by the unity of the 
sensible qualities of the same thing is that, so far as they are in place 
at all, they are in the self-same place. In particular, visible and 
tangible qualities are apprehended as spatially coincident — as, so to 
speak, interpenetrating each other. The smoothness of the inkstand 
is exactly where its yellowness is ; there is not one extension of the 
smoothness and another of the yellowness. There is a single indis- 
tinguishable extension of both. But if we compare the corresponding 
visual and tactual presentations, as such, we find no such identity in 
the extension which belongs to them. As Berkeley has shown in 
I his Theory of Vision, the relation between Ev, the extension of visual 
sensation, and Et, the extension of tactual sensation, apart from the 
general similarity which is implied in applying the word, extension, to 
both, consists merely in their regular empirical conjunction in certain 
successive and simultaneous combinations. The Ev and the £■/ which 
I experience in seeing and touching the brass inkstand are, in their own 
nature and existence, as distinct from each other as each of them is 
from the Ev or Et which I experience in seeing or touching a book 
on my shelves. If, then, there is no difference between sense- 
presentations and the sensible qualities of bodies, how can we account 
for the identical extension of the visible and tangible qualities of the 
same thing? On my view, there is no difficulty. The identical 

extension of the thing is the complex unity t^ \ r-c. Evrc is that 

partial phase of this complex unity which we call its visual appearance, 
and Eire the partial phase of it, which we call its appearance to 

Plainly there are many further questions which arise out of this 
account of the perception of sensible qualities. In the first place, the 
constant condition pervading and unifying the different appearances 


of the same quality is only one of the conditions on which the sense- 
presentation depends. The variations in the sense-presentation must 
be referred to correspondingly variable conditions. We have thus to 

y^ face the problem, how does the percipient subject come to discern 
with increasing definiteness and certainty the constant from the 
fluctuating factors .■' In following up this line of investigation it would 
be necessary to traverse again, from a different point of view, the 
ground covered by Kant in his proofs of the Analogies of Experience. 
y Again, there is the very important question : how far does know- 

*^ ledge, by way of sense experience or otherwise, include a knowledge 
of the conditions of sensation as they are in themselves } Kant's view 
was that they cannot be known as they are in themselves at all. But 
y^ as I hold that the distinction between knowing anything through its 
relations and knowing its intrinsic nature is merely one of degree, it is 
clear that I am bound to disagree radically with this Kantian doctrine. 
The limits of the present essay debar me from dealing with these 
and similar problems. But I hope that I have said enough to show 
the general point of view from which I would treat them. 








^rintei at tht Snib^reitg Press bg 




The Philosophy of Lotze in its 
Theological Aspects 

This essay only aims at giving a preliminary survey of Lotze's 
position in so far as it bears immediately upon the most 
fundamental problems of the Philosophy of Religion, I am very 
conscious of the fact that many topics have had to be left after 
only very brief treatment. 

My best thanks are due to the Rev. George Galloway, D.D., for 
his advice as to reading bearing upon Lotze's theological position ; 
to Professor A. E. Taylor for reading my manuscript and for an 
important criticism on a question of historical orthodoxy ; and to 
Professor Stout for his kind permission to make use of certain 
ideas of his discussed at recent meetings of the Senior Philosophical 
Society at St. Andrews University, and for the help which I have 
gained from conversation with him. The references are to the latest 
editions of English translations of the Metaphysic, the Microcosmtis, 
the Outlines of Metaphysic, and the Outlines of Philosophy of 
Religion, and to the single volume edition of the Logic. 

St. Andrews, /««<?, 191 1. 


» • » * • 

* • ^ 

« I- _ I, • 

* 4 ' « * 



It is characteristic of Lotze that, in a preliminary discussion as to 
the value of Philosophy, he recognises and emphasises two aspects 
or means of the search for truth, one or the other of which is 
frequently ignored by opposing schools of thought. In the first 
place, the very origin of metaphysics is due, he says, to the conflict 
of what seems to us reality, with the demands of man's heart, and 
its value is determined by the extent to which it shows us " what 
we have to reverence, as the true significance of existence, what 
we have to do and what to hope'' (Introd. to Microcosnms, p. ix.). 

Mere knowledge of truth is of no value in itself. " If the object 
of all human investigation were but to produce in cognition a 
reflection of the world as it exists, of what value would be all 
its labour and pains, which could result only in vain repetition, 
in an imitation within the soul of that which exists without 
it } What significance could there be in this barren rehearsal — 
what should oblige thinking minds to be mere mirrors of that 
which does not think, unless the discovery of truth were in all 
cases likewise the production of some good, valuable enough to 
justify the pains expended in attaining it .-* " 

Yet mere desire is no adequate guide. It cannot be expected that 
the "obscure and unquiet movements of men's spirits should furnish 
a juster delineation of the connection of things than the careful 
investigation of science." 

Hence, whilst recognising that the value of a philosophy is only 
determined by the extent to which it satisfies the whole man, and 
whilst asserting that the demands of the heart cannot be stifled, he 
holds that it can " expect a response to them only as an incidental 
result of knowledge which starts from a less emotional and there- 
fore a clearer point of view " {Mic. Intro, vii.). 



This should dispose of the often vaguely expressed accusation 
that Lotze "bases his Philosophy on Feeling," whilst it divides him 
at once from Ritschl and his school, by the emphasis upon the 
essential work of Reason. 

Desire and We may add a further thought to this. Man will, in so far as he 

observes and reflects, himself tend to distrust those beliefs which accord 
with his strongest desires, if he has not honestly made an attempt 
to consider their bases without prejudice. For he will see how readily 
most people are led to believe that which they strongly wish to 
believe, and how often the subjective element in the determination of 
belief leads one astray. Yet this is not to assert that the desires of a 
man's deepest nature should have no influence upon his beHef. It 
may well be that all philosophy can do is to show that there are no 
insuperable objections to a satisfying system of belief; or that the 
"chances are even " ; or that there is a probability in favour of such a 
truth. In such a position why should not a man " Cleave ever to the 
sunnier side of doubt".? "With perfect knowledge, it would be 
otherwise, but with limited knowledge there is always room for faith 
and always need for it" (Professor J. Ward, Outline of Gijford 
Lectures at St. Andrews, 19 lo). 

The guiding Furthermore, a step thus taken at the promptings of desire may 

work of desire. ,,. ..^ i-ii • , 

lead us to a new position irom which the universe becomes more 
intelligible. " Credo ut intelligam," as Anselm put it. As Professor 
Ward showed in recent Gifford Lectures, it is thus that knowledge 
has advanced. " We gain knowledge solely by doing ; the race at 
least has gained it only in this way." This is, no doubt, an over- 
statement. The knowledge of the race has advanced simply with the 
knowledge of individuals, and with them reflection has contributed — 
which Dr. Ward would, of course, admit. Yet it remains true that 
conation has been "at once the source of faith and the cause of 
knowledge," and by following its promptings we too may be led to 
yet a further stage of knowledge. The faith of Theism, says Ward, is, 
"psychologically considered, only the final phase of an ascending 

If, then, we can show that a theistic view of the universe is at least 
as rational as one which fails to satisfy so adequately the heart of 
man, we need not hesitate to adopt it merely because we have been 


prompted and upheld in our search for truth by a craving for such 
satisfaction. A frank recognition of such a motive at the outset of 
our search is more likely to guard us against undue influence by it in 
the consideration of particular arguments than would a profession of 
complete disinterestedness. Indeed, such a position of impartiality is 
probably impossible. Even Dr. McTaggart, who has combated 
vigorously the "argument from desire," gives as a justification for the 
study of Philosophy the fact that by its means we may attain to a 
" more cheerful view of the Universe." The biologist who seeks the 
truth about the universe along the lines of his own science, is doing so 
because at some time certain facts interested him more than others. 
Had his mental disposition been otherwise, it might have been 
historical facts which would have interested him more. If he is going 
to be absolutely impartial he must give up his specialising because at 
one time his search for truth had its trend determined by personal 

One further point before we leave this topic. There is a danger The danger of 
of the cautious man discounting too much beliefs that are in accord 
with his desires. As Professor Stout points out, " Tarde creduntur, 
quae credita laedunt " holds good only of persons of certain types. 
"Where the general mental attitude is one of fear, timidity, or 
gloomy suspicion, it does not hold good " {Manual of Psychology, 

P- 552). 

And probably we may go further and say that not only the 
pessimistically inclined, but also a certain type of extremely con- 
scientious individual is apt to shrink too much from accepting beliefs 
that fit in apparently only too well with their hearts' desires — which 
seem "too good to be true." Such persons are comparable with 
those — often of stern puritanical upbringing — who tend to think 
that, of several possible lines of conduct, the most disagreeable one is 
probably the only right one. 

We hold, then, that Lotze is justified in refusing to ignore entirely 
the claims of faith at the outset of his philosophy, and in refusing 
equally, on the other hand, to put aside the knowledge accumulated by 
scientific zeal, but rather in "consciously endeavouring to maintain 
the right of each and to show how far from insoluble is the contradic- 
tion in which they appear to be inextricably involved." 


The work Yet it must not be imas^ined that Lotze would give an independent 

of Reason . ^ t> r 

essential. authority to the demands of the heart. At least this is not his final 

view — taken in the Outlines of the Philosophy of Religion. Rather 
the contributions of the inner states are only further data, additional 
to knowledge from external experience — "all of which have to be 
gathered together if possible into one harmonious truth of religion by 
our reflection." Only thus do we get at " Religion within the limits of 
mere reason." Such inner states include the aesthetic demand that 
the ideally beautiful and good shall be " no accidental product of that 
which is without significance, but must be rather the very Principle of 
the world or closely related to its creative principle." 


Lotze is emphatic in his criticism of those philosophers who attempt 
to base their metaphysics upon a theory of knowledge or upon 
Psychology. For in examining the process of thought and in discuss- 
ing its validity we have to make use of thought itself, and to trust to 
its validity in so doing. Or as Lotze puts it, " As to the truth of our 
cognition and its capability of truth no verdict can be compassed 
which is independent of that cognition itself" {Met. Introd. §. ix.). 
And further we cannot know that our knowledge is true unless we 
know some fact about reality; we require some ontological truth 
before we can make an epistemological assertion. 

Whilst this is true it does not prevent us from taking a critical 
attitude towards the reliability of Thought. We are somewhat in the 
same position as that of the man who mounts a rope ladder in order 
to see if its supports are trustworthy : he must make use of them in 
the very attempt to examine them. We may say here briefly that 
Lotze's position is that Thought, whilst capable of attaining to true 
knowledge of reality, is yet incapable of exhausting reality, seeing 
that there are aspects of reality, feeling and volition, to wit, which 
cannot be represented adequately in Thought ; and also, that there 
are problems which our thought has to give up as insoluble — in our 
present stage, at least, as for instance the problem of "absolute 
becoming " and that of the reconciling of the existence of evil with 
the omnipotence and goodness of God. 


Lotze is keenly aware of the unsatisfactory nature of any system Lotze's 

. .... starting-points. 

that starts with only one prmciple, however certain, from which it 
attempts to evolve a whole theory of the universe, any mistake in the 
process of which is a source of error in the subsequent development of 
the theory. 

Further, though we assume a certain unity of the world, yet "that 
unity need not combine the manifold in general, or even combine 
individual truths among themselves, in such a way as that we should 
be in a position to deduce one out of the other, or all out of one 
according to law. It might, to use an imperfect comparison, control 
the whole of its organisation in a manner of a melody whose unity and 
continuity are perceptible, although no reasoning can prove that this 
particular continuation belongs to that particular beginning " (Art. in 
Contemporary Review, vol. xxxvii. p. 149). 

Lotze himself maintains that investigation must take its departure 
from the largest possible number of independent considerations, with 
the proviso that " the results which the prosecution of one con- 
sideration yields, shall be subsequently corrected so far as is necessary 
by the results of the rest " {Outlines of Met. p. 9). The result is that 
one feels, in studying Lotze, that while his system may lack the com- 
pactness and stringency of some others, yet he is keeping in close 
touch with the whole of experience as known to us, and is not 
arbitrarily excluding one aspect or another for the sake of a greater 

" Our whole theory of the universe," says Lotze, " has tJiree starting 
points. We find within ourselves a knowledge of universal laws, 
which, without themselves giving rise to any particular form of 
existence, force themselves on our attention as the necessary and 
immediately certain limits within which all reality must move. On 
the other hand, we find within ourselves an instinct bidding us discern 
in Ideas of the good, the beautiful, and the holy the one indefeasible 
end whence alone reality derives any value ; but even this end does 
not bring to our cognition the special form of the means by which it 
is to be attained. Between these two extreme points extends for us 
a third region — that of experience — boundless in the wealth of its 
forms and events, unknown in its origin " {Mic. i. p. 417). 

In the first place, then, we find "universal laws" which the rational 



mind cannot but accept as necessary. " I maintain with a philosopher's 
obstinacy that, above all things, that must hold good which we find to 
be in its nature a necessary result of Thought, though all else bend or 
break." Yet Lotze honestly admits that a priori reasoning, based on 
such self-evident laws, may lead to a conflict with experience. " We 
know in fact that the nature of reality yields a result to us unthinkable. 
It teaches us a union which we cannot construct in thought." We 
cannot, for example, give up the reality of our immediate experience 
of " becoming," and yet it remains for ever inexplicable by thought, 
and in a sense contradictory {^Met. i. pp. 178-9). 

When led to this impasse Lotze still clings to his two lines of 
thought, and their respective starting points. A solution of the 
contradiction, he maintains, can only be hinted at by a suggestion of 
that which is " superior to logical laws." 

Lotze, then, is content, as every philosopher has had to be, to leave 
certain apparent contradictions as unsolved, even as insoluble from 
our point of view. Indeed, thought, he shows, is inadequate to deal 
completely with reality as immediately experienced by us, and if this 
be the case, how much more likely that it is inadequate to deal fully 
with that infinite universe towards which, however, it points. 
Thought Thus he says {^Mic. i. 555): "Mind and mental life are more than 

reahty. ^^ ^"^ thinking. It is quite possible that what things are is not beyond the 
possible experience of the whole mind, and yet that it is wholly 
incomprehensible by this one form of inner energy — thinking." Feeling 
and volition, for example, " are intelligible only to him who knows 
them by experience." And thought can never make " intelligible by 
forms of thinking the distinction that separates them from all 

" Much goes on within us which even our thinking intelligence 
follows and contemplates only from without and whose contents it 
cannot exhaustively represent either in form of an idea or through a 
union of ideas. He, therefore, who is animated by the conviction that 
real existence cannot be impenetrable to the mind, cannot with equal 
confidence assume that thought is the precise organ which will be 
able to comprehend the real in its innermost essence" {Contemporary 
Review, xxxvii. p. 135). 



Now, if we are to make any attempt at understanding the Universe, 
we must, Lotze claims, make at least the fundamental assumption 
that the world is a unity, and further, that the elements act upon 
each other in accordance with law. For even if we supposed two 
such elements, a and b, as indifferent to one another, " we should 
after all never be compelled to regard this indifference as a fact based 
upon no principle, but as the necessary consequence of the same law, 
in accordance with which a and b exercise the aforesaid other 
reciprocal actions." If we give up all assumption of any such unity 
of the universe, " the very basis for every investigation would be 
abolished." " This one supposition is the foundation of every 
attempt to arrive at knowledge by means of experience, and is not 
deriveable from experience itself. The sceptic who doubts it is 
reduced to the absurdity of being unable, even under definite circum- 
stances, to consider the occurrence of one event as more probable than 
that of another" {Met. i. p. 4). 

Lotze is careful to point out that this assumption is no work of 
pure thought. In making it " we follow no longer the mere 
inclination of an uninterested understanding, but the inspirations of a 
reason appreciative of worth, which rejects even the thinkable, as long 
as it is only thinkable, and does not besides by the inherent excel- 
lence of its contents win recognition of its worth in the world " 
{Mic. i. 244). 

The attempt to explain the universe, then, implies an assumption 
the negation of which, whilst thinkable, our full being refuses to 
accept. This point is fundamental in Lotze's philosophy. Else- 
where Lotze closely allies with it the " confidence of Reason in 
itself." " As regards the ultimate principles however which we follow 
in this criticism of our thoughts, it is quite true that we are left with 
nothing but the confidence of Reason in itself or the certainty of 
believing in the general truth that there is a meaning in the world 
and that the nature of that reality which includes us in itself has given 
our spirit only such necessities of thought as harmonise with it " 
{Met. i. 220). 



"Faith "com- 
pared with 
" Self-evident 

In certain places Lotze carefully distinguishes the nature of 
" religious faith " and that of self-evident ultimate truths. The latter, 
he points out, " do not tell us that anything whatever is or takes 
place, but only declare what would exist or would have to take place 
in case definite conditions occur " : whereas Faith asserts some actual 
existence. Yet in this ultimate belief in the rationality of the universe 
we seem to have a link between the basis of our philosophy and a 
basis of religion. For it is a kind of immediate certainty. And, 
similarly, an immediate certainty exists according to Lotze that 
" what is greatest, most beautiful, most worthy, is not a mere thought 
but must be a reality " {Mic. ii. 670). Many, of course, have not this 
immediate certainty, but the man who has possesses for his religion a 
basis somewhat analogous to that basis which we have seen is 
necessary for all philosophic thought. 

It is true, of course, that to deny the truth of this immediate 
certainty (that the most worthy is real) does not lead to self- 
contradiction — that is, no immediate and obvious self-contradiction. 
But neither does the denial of the unity of the universe, according to 
Lotze, who asserts that the contrary alternative is thinkable. 
Though, of course, the basis for all investigation would be taken 
away, and there would be " practical self-contradiction " involved in a 
regular mode of acting. 

It is true, again, that the trust in the unity of the universe is a 
universal one ; at least it is implied in the actions and thoughts of all 
sane men. But mere unanimity or the lack of it is no final test 
of truth. 

Dr. McTaggart is doubtless right in asserting that he who bases 
his religion or philosophical position on an experience of immediate 
certainty which is not shared by another cannot expect this other to 
accept this certainty as an argument in favour of his belief. But this 
immediate certainty that the highest and best is real, is not by any 
means the sole basis of Lotze's philosophical system. Belief in the 
Good as real he regards not merely as a matter of personal conviction 
but as a necessary belief if we are to obtain a rational interpretation 
of the universe. 

" It is not altogether just," he says, " to maintain that we believe in 
a supreme Good — in a life beyond, merely because we desire them. 


In reality such beliefs rest upon an extremely broad though an Conception of 
unanalysed foundation of perception. They start from the fact of this necessTo' for 
actual world as it is given to us in experience in which we find certain rational"^ ^ 
intolerable contradictions threatening us if we refuse to acknowledge un*! verse °'^''^^ 
that those ways in which the structure of the world extends beyond 
our perception are real complements of that which we perceive" 
{Logic, § 347, p. 500). 

We have, then, an immediate conviction of the unity of the uni- 
verse, and we also find this a necessary postulate if we are to form a 
rational interpretation of our experience: similarly, for Lotze there is 
an immediate conviction of the reality of the Supreme Good, and at 
the same time he finds this also a necessary postulate for a completely 
rational interpretation of our experience. Lotze speaks of the 
Highest Good as " the one real principle on which the validity of the 
metaphysical axioms in the world depends." Yet he goes on to say 
that we cannot regard it as a principle of cognition that can be 
profitably converted into a major premise from which to deduce the 
sum of metaphysical truth. That, indeed, would have been incon- 
sistent with his statement that we must start from as many given 
points as possible. The principle of the Highest Good is rather one 
to which Lotze is led as explaining the vieaning of life. Lotze 
himself does not attempt a concise statement of the steps leading to 
this position. That it is the " highest reason for the formation of the 
world and of our own metaphysical thoughts about it," is " not 
further demonstrable as a matter of strict metaphysics." The words 
"not further" refer to his summing up of the argument briefly in 
the preceding paragraphs. His metaphysical argument has shown, he 
maintains, the spiritual nature of all reality, including the phenomenal 
world. He refers then to Fichte's doctrine that those metaphysical 
principles " in accordance with which we trace out an inner coherency 
within this phenomenal world," can be shown to be " natural to our 
spirit on account of this, and only on account of this, because the spirit 
is intended for action." Lotze regards this as " not quite satisfactory, 
because it makes all actuality exist merely in the service of human 
action," ignoring the very end and aim of such action which determines 
it. For such " action," then, Lotze substitutes " the morally good for 
which the action is simply the indispensable form of actualization." 



"The Good" 
as means of 

Suppose we admit, as Lotze maintains, that he has proved in the 
Ontology that all reality consists of spiritual beings and that these 
are bound together in the life of one Infinite Spiritual Being. (This 
position will be critically considered shortly.) Now, spiritual activity 
is essentially marked by its purposiveness. And to the Supreme 
Good, which is the end and aim of this Infinite Being, all else is 
" subordinate means to an end." Hence it seems legitimate that such 
means may best be interpreted by the end to which they serve, so 
that the Good is that principle which is necessary to explain the 
whole of reality (in so far as it is explicable to us), including the 
phenomenal world. Apparent reality is merely a " system of contri- 
vances by means of which this world of phenomena, as well as these 
determinate metaphysical habitudes for considering the world of 
phenomena, are called forth in order that the Highest Good may be- 
come for the spirit an object of enjoyment in all the multiplicity 
of forms possible to it." 

Mechanism is universal in its working, but it is only the method 
adopted by a supreme intelligence, teleologically determined. Indeed, 
the time may come, Lotze thinks, when " these simplified propositions 
of all mechanics will become more directly connected with the 
Supreme Principle and will admit of being interpreted as the last 
formal offshoots of that Good which is the beginning of the end of the 
whole universe " {^Mic. ii. p. 726). 

The optimist sees a beneficent harmony of the universe spread out 
before him. To the pessimist "all things here seem out of joint." 
" Both views," Lotze points out, " imply the natural assumption that 
reality has no meaning except as it is productive of happiness." So 
while " absolute becoming " and an apprehension of a real beginning 
of existence are beyond our powers, explanation by end may not be. 
And in so far as we are able to apprehend a meaning and purpose 
" our cognition possesses more of truth than if it copied exactly a 
world of objects that has no value in itself. Although it does not 
comprehend in what manner all that is phenomenon is presented 
to its view, still it understands what is the meaning of it all ; and 
is like to a spectator who comprehends the aesthetic significance 
of that which takes place on the stage of a theatre, and would 
gain nothing essential if he were to see besides the machinery by 


means of which the changes are effected on that stage " {Out. of 
Met. § 92). 

Now, perhaps, we see better what Lotze means in a passage 
previously quoted. " We find within ourselves an instinct bidding us 
discern in Ideas of the good, the beautiful, and the holy, the one 
indefeasible end whence alone reality derives any value." 

There still remains, then, the three starting-points, (i) The idea 
of the Good gives us the clue to the final meaning of reality ; but 
(ii) from experience we must learn the mode of its realisation. 
And (iii) through all thinking we must hold loyally to the immediate 
certainty of " necessary laws." Where the " necessary laws " and 
experience conflict Lotze speaks of a reality which is " superior 
to logical laws." Where experience and our demand for the Good 
clash, as in the case of the problem of evil, Lotze again falls back 
upon the idea that " our finite wisdom has come to an end of its 
tether," While refusing to follow some in superficial attempts to 
explain away evil, he, at the same time, " believes that the 
solution exists." 

We may sum up this section with a statement of what Lotze calls 
his " philosophic faith " — that these three modes or means of seeking 
truth meet eventually in the conception of God — " the one real power 
appearing to us under a threefold image of an end to be realised — 
namely, first, some definite and desired Good ; then, on account of the 
definiteness of this, a formed and developing Reality ; and finally in 
this activity an unvarying reign of Law" {^Mic. ii. p. 716). 


Throughout its activities thought must be coloured by its own 
subjective nature. We cannot get outside ourselves and see things as 
they would appear if we were not looking at them. The mind in 
apprehending things is active, and this activity implies that the mind 
contributes its share to the resulting knowledge. But this does not 
invalidate all knowledge of things external to us as being merely 
subjective. For, as Lotze points out, " our representation must be 
subjective not merely if there were no external world but it must be 
subjective also if there is. Even of a real world we could have no 
other kind of representation than we have, a representation reproduced 


through our own subjective activity." Thus the admitted subjectivity 
of all our knowledge " decides absolutely nothing as to the reality of 
its object and the accuracy of our representation of it" {Cont. Rev. 
vol. xxxvii. p. 145). 

" An absolute truth," says Lotze, " such as archangels in heaven 
would have to accept," is not the object of philosophy. Yet even arch- 
angels would be liable, on Lotze's own showing, to this subjectivity of 
cognition. For " it is no specially prejudicial lot of the human spirit, 
but must recur in every being which stands in relation to anything 
beyond it " {Met. i. p. 220). 

This limitation, if it be a limitation, does not apply in Lotze's view 
to the knowledge of God. For He is the all-inclusive Being, and 
there is nothing "beyond Him." His knowledge, then, is analogous 
to our knowledge of self, and of this, Lotze admits, we have an 
absolute knowledge. And it is from this fact of knowledge of self 
that we may entertain a legitimate hope of learning just what 
positively constitutes in other things as well their essential " Being." 


We now proceed to deal with the ontological position of Lotze in so 
far as it is important in leading up to his Philosophy of Religion. 

Very various labels have been applied to Lotze as a philosopher. 
He has been called Absolutist and Individualist, Realist and Idealist, 
and he has even been accused of defending Materialism. This last 
charge was due to his writings on the Physiology of Life and of the 
Soul, in which he attempted an explanation of mental phenomena 
by means of the conception of mechanism. But no careful reader of 
the Microcosmiis, or of his later Metaphysics could for a moment 
suspect him of materialism. It is true that in opposing the usual 
argument from design, Lotze maintains that such " design " as we can 
trace in the physical universe might, supposing a state of originally 
complete chaos with infinite possibilities, be the effect of blind 
mechanical laws, "testing" the various forms of existence in the 
" endless alternation of its phenomena." Thus from a state of chaos, 
by selection of certain forms of combination, might a system arise 
presenting many signs of apparent design and conscious adaptation : 
such a hypothesis being rendered more plausible by the fact that 


there are many things in which we can trace no purpose {Mic. i. 
p. 427). 

Yet such an admission by no means justifies the term "Materialist." 
Lotze had his own reasons for rejecting such a hypothesis, if they 
were not those usual to the theology of his day. The preceding chaos 
postulated by the atomists is to him unthinkable. We must start, if 
we start at all, with a definite universe in a definite condition. No 
mere chaos of infinite possibilities is thinkable, from which just the 
existent system of spatial order could have been selected. 

Further, the " Mechanical " Theory, even if tenable, is not identical 
with Materialism. For the presence of intelligent life must be 
acknowledged, and so it must be concluded as having been present 
even in the " original supersensible elements," 

Elsewhere Lotze demonstrates the fallacy of explaining mind by 
reference to material forces, which are themselves only intelligible in 
terms of mind. In short, his attitude on this whole question he sums 
up himself in the introduction to the Microcosmus, where he speaks of 
showing " how absolutely universal is the extent, and at the same 
time how completely subordinate the significance, of the mission which 
mechanism has to fulfil in the structure of the world." 

We shall now deal with the main lines of thought by which Lotze The problem 

11 , . . r • • 1 • • 1 11 • of Interaction. 

leads up to his conception of a purely spiritual universe, with all its 
individuals bound together in the unity of the Being of an infinite 

This consists in an argument for the unity of the universe based upon 
the fact of the interaction of individual beings. Lotze starts from the 
Realist position, assuming the existence of individual things. " Even 
the most common apprehension of the world is impossible without 
articulating the content of our perceptions in such a manner that we 
assume 'Things' as the supports and centres of its phenomena and 
events and all kinds of ' reciprocal actions ' as being interchanged 
between them" {Out. of Met. § i.). 

This assumption of actual things is based upon sense experience. 
It is an inference from our perceptions. Yet Lotze's metaphysic 
leads him to deny the reality of matter as apparently apprehended in 
sense perception. This, however, does not invalidate his argument 
from the interactions of individual selves. For souls remain as 



individual selves (the denial of the existence of any other souls than 
our own Lotze regards as too absurd to need refutation), and between 
these spiritual selves there is interaction. Lotze makes the assump- 
tion, then, that all real elements of the world act upon each other. Our 
experience, he remarks, so far as it goes, supports this view. 

In reply to the theoretic objection that some individual elements 
tnay be indifferent to others, Lotze points out that even such 
indifference "we should after all be compelled to regard as a necessary 
consequence of the same law of interaction." While to the remark 
that elements which have interacted, may at another time, under 
similar conditions, be completely independent of one another, Lotze 
replies that if one adopt such a view "the very basis for every 
investigation would be abolished." 

Such a world of interacting beings could not be deduced from beings 
which were originally wholly without relation to each other. Nor can 
it be demanded that things must exist before they can stand in 
relation to one another. It is true that we cannot think a relation 
without thinking things related. But the priority of unrelated to 
related existence is merely this logical priority, not a metaphysical 

Even if one could assume an unrelated existence how could it then 
enter into relation with other things .'* If it does, it must be some 
definite relation to the exclusion of others. And where can lie the 
ground of this specific determination of the relation entered into if 
not in a previous relation .-* 

If, then, all real things are thus bound together by their relations in 
one system, no one being independent of the others, each interacting 
with others, how are we to conceive of their interaction ? 

Lotze examines the common opinion that some "influence" or 
" force " passes over from one thing to the other. What is this which 
passes over when a acts upon b ? Is it a real element which leaves a 
and joins d } If so, there is really no " efficient causation," no real 
action. If it be said that it is a state which is transferred, how can 
there be a state " passing over," for in passing it must be a state of 
nothing, and "Attributa non separantur a substantiis." And even if 
it could, now that the state is near to d, why must d change on that 
account .-' This remains as great a mystery as the primary question. 


Nor does the theory of " Pre-established harmony" solve the 
problem. " For if a change of some constituent of the universe has to 
follow and correspond to any event that may or may not happen, 
whenever it does happen, then that constituent must be able to 
distinguish the occurrence from the non-occurrence of the event by 
some passion which the event produces in it, and the action and 
reaction which it was desired to banish would thus be necessary for 
the comprehension of that harmony which is intended to replace it " 
{Mic. ii, p. 597). 

It is also useless to suppose the interaction to be the result of the 
constant mediating activity of God, so long as God is supposed to be 
separated from the things in the same way as things are supposed to 
be separated from one another. For we must suppose an action of 
the things upon God, and a reaction of God upon them, so that the 
problem of interaction remains. 

The only explanation, says Lotze, seems to be that the various Unity of Being 
things are not entirely separate and independent in the way supposed. 
But rather that a " state which takes place in the element A must for 
the very reason that it is in yi, likewise be an affection in B\ but it 
does not necessarily have to become such an " affection " of B by 
means of an influence issuing from A " {Out. of Met. § 48). 

This change b is rather due to the fact that both A and B are 
elements in a greater whole which embraces all individuals and 
which Lotze in his MetapJiysic designates the *' Infinite " or the 
" Absolute." The Absolute causes a sort of " compensating " changes, 
and all activity is really His activity. 

Through another line of thought, including ethical postulates, criticism of 
Lotze identifies this Absolute with God. Now, Lotze's moral and so°utLn. 
religious philosophy requires a certain being for self for the 
individuals : — they must be capable of action. Otherwise how can 
individual moral progress be a reality : how can individual effort be 
justified or demanded? And this is inconsistent with the view of the 
Absolute just described. As Dr. Galloway points out, Lotze's 
discussion is not really a " proof of how interaction is possible, but 
rather a reaction to an illusory appearance somehow generated by the 
compensatory movements within the one real Being" {Principles of 
Religious Development, p. 290). 



Can the whole 
of our 

experience be 
included in 
that of God ? 

The feeling of 

I do not agree with Dr. Galloway's further criticism that Lotze 
assumes that "reality is a fixed magnitude and cannot be more or 
less than M" if by " fixed " he means incapable of progress or change 
of the whole. For whilst Lotze maintains that a new state a in an 
individual A is " compensated " by a new state b in an individual B, 
there is no reason why the second change should be a sort of negative 
quantity, exactly equivalent to a but of opposite action. It may well 
be that « is a better state for A, and b for B, than the previous state 
of afifairs, and thus that both for these and for the " Absolute," or God, 
there had been actual progress. All the changes, indeed, may be so 
organised as to lead towards the realisation of the one great purpose 
of God (see Outlines of Phil, of Rel. § 20). 

Still, the previous objection holds, and we are confronted appar- 
ently with the alternative of either giving up the individuality of the 
" unit " and thus making freedom impossible, moral effort futile, and 
the feeling of self-hood illusory ; or of being thrown back upon the 
old difficulty of interaction. Lotze himself is inconsistent, holding at 
one time that every state and action of the mind is also a state and 
action of the Absolute, and elsewhere asserting that there is a " being- 
for-self " which separates the unit from the whole. " In that a thing 
is something for itself, consciously refers to itself, apprehends itself as 
an ego — by just this, which is its very essence, it detaches itself from 
the Infinite " {Mic. ii. p. 645). 

This act of apprehending myself as a separate self, and that self my 
particular self, is then an experience which in its very nature cannot 
be experienced by God. So here we have a part of my being which 
is not included in the being of God, even on Lotze's own showing. 
And here Lotze contradicts the result of his Metaphysics, which 
required that all reality, and therefore all experience, should be 
included within the being of the Absolute. And this feeling of self- 
hood, one may say in passing, is so emphatically a part of immediate 
and certain experience that the belief in interaction of things could 
more easily be given up than this. 

But apart from this feeling of self-hood there would seem to be 
some human experiences which from their very nature cannot be 
experienced by God. Professor Roger suggests the case of ignorance. 
I am, say, in complete ignorance as to the solution of a problem. 


" Now, can this concrete state of mind exist unchanged in all its 
detail in an all-knowing mind ? Can I feel baffled and feel every- 
thing sun-clear as a unitary fact of consciousness ? Can I feel baffled The case of 


and see the solution in the same experience ? ' Further, suppose that and Despair. 
for a moment I experience complete despair. " Can God have an 
identical feeling without himself being in complete despair?" 
{Religions Conception of the World, p. 156). 

Now, it is true that I can know that I had a feeling of despair, 
although now I am again hopeful. I can still revive certain elements 
of the previous state of despair, and in so far as this is possible 
a partial interpenetration of two kinds of experience is possible. 
It might, perhaps, be suggested, then, that thus our experience may 
enter partially into that of the Divine Being, that He knows my 
experience without actually passing through an identical experience. 
But without further elucidation this only ignores the difficulty of 
interaction. For in the case where I know my own past feeling 
of despair, and partially revive it, it is only possible because my 
present self was modified by the previous feeling — which was 
entirely its own : and this modification continues and shows its traces 
in the present self, which is really one with the previous self The 
two states are bound together in the unity of one being. But this 
is not the case with my feeling of despair and the experience of 
God, for we must suppose that there are two beings, if we cannot 
accept Lotze's view. 

Paulsen's analogy of the individual cells of the body contributing to Lotze's 


our total experience is not satisfactory for our purpose. For, supposing 
the cells to have psychic experiences of their own, it is not these, as 
far as we know, which contribute to our total experience, but rather 
their physiological conditions. We have of them only a phenomenal 
knowledge, not a sharing of their own inmost being, their being-for- 
self. And they affect us only by first affecting the brain processes, 
through interaction, and here again we must suppose interaction 
between brain and soul, or a parallelism which requires explaining by 
some such higher synthesis as we are now seeking. 

Dr. Galloway also fails, it seems to me, to supply an adequate 
substitute for the theory of Lotze which he criticises. He makes use 
of the analogy of organic unity, which, as he says, is essentially 


teleological. "The universe is coherent because all its constituent 
centres of experience are sustained by the same ever-present Ground, 
a living will which gives organic connexion to the multiplicity of 
spiritual reals and a place and function to each of them. This will is 
a guarantee that the whole system is teleological " {Principles of 
Religious Development^ p. 299). 

But this only seems to provide that the interactions of the 
individuals shall lead towards the well-being of the whole, it does not 
explain how it can possibly be effected. While the analogy is a 
suggestive one in its bearing upon the combination of welfare of the 
unit and the whole, it does not explain interactions ; as in Paulsen's 
case, interaction of the individuals in the organic unity has to be 

It might appear that our object would be attained if we could suppose 
that any experience of the unit has its parallel and counterpart in the 
experience of God. But to suppose one merely a sort of function of 
the other, so that, say, an increase of intensity of experience a in one is 
accompanied by increase of intensity of experience A which enters as an 
element into the experience of God, to do this still leaves the problem of 
interaction unless we suppose a pre-established harmony between my 
experiences and those of the divine Being. Now, we saw reason to 
reject any theory of pre-established harmony. We can only adopt 
something like it by supposing that never from the beginning of my 
being has my experience been entirely separate from that of God. 
Thus we may come to suppose that in creating me, in progressively 
developing a new centre of experience, God has all along retained an 
element of my total experience as an element of His also. This leads 
me to the conception of the partial interpretation of two experiences. 
Professor Stout has defended this view in some recent lectures on 
Leibnitz. He fully admits that it is absurd to suppose that the 
individual unity of one being should form part of the individual 
unity of another, that, for example, my volitions as such, that is, as 
mine, should be part of another's. 

But he points out that it does not follow that the content of my 
experiences should not be shared by others. Not merely that the 
content may be similar, but that a part of it may form a common 
element between two centres of experience. 


Professor Stout refers by way of suggestive example — not, of 
course, as proof — to cases of simultaneous double-personality, where 
we have each, apparently, with its own character and point of view, 
yet sharing one body and apparently one series of sensations. 

Now let us suppose some such common element between my Partial 

-_,,Tri-i • I -1 Interpenetra- 

experience and that of God. If this element varies constantly with tion of lieing 
my total experiences it may provide a complete clue to the nature of i^'i^racUon? 
that experience, and thus may a complete knowledge about me be 
possible to the divine Being, as well as a means of interaction being 
provided. Yet there may be left to me a power of initiation and the 
evil volitions of the individual need not be ascribed to the will of 
God, as on Lotze's view they must ultimately be. 

Professor Stout believes that such a " common element " is provided 
by the " presentation continuum," shared both by God and by all 
finite beings. We interact on one another by means of this "presenta- 
tion continuum" : and, similarly, God may work upon us, but in His 
case our very feelings and volitions may appear as presentations, so 
that a more immediate influence may be possible. 

Such a view avoids the difficulty which both Dr. McTaggart and 
Dr. Rashdall emphasise, of supposing that I am merely part of a state, 
or an "adjective" of another being, for it leaves a central portion of 
my experience mine, and mine only, though it may be known and 
communicated through the medium of that part which I have in 
common with God and with other beings. 

The conception is no doubt a difficult one. It does not seem to be 
proved, further, that in cases like that of" Sally Beauchamp " two separ- 
ate personalities had certain sensations in common and not merely 
similar sensations. But it would seem that unless we can assume some 
such partial interpenetration of being, the problem of interaction must 
be classified with those which Lotze himself regards as beyond the 
powers of human reason. Whereas if we do assume it, we have a 
means of connection between the soul and God, and either through 
this, or directly, a connection with all beings thus united with Him. 
And through this common experience God may have a knowledge 
of individual beings which includes all of them, and all of their 
experiences, though this "knowledge about" is not the same as 
immediate knowledge given by experiencing the same things Himself. 



It may be argued that it must ultimately depend upon similar 
elements in His own past experience, as is apparently the case with 
our own understanding. (Compare the suggestion in the Epistle to 
the Hebrews, that through His human experience, Jesus was able to 
reach a more complete knowledge of human difficulties than He would 
have had if He had never taken upon Himself our human nature. 
Heb. ii. 17, 18). 

Dr. Rashdall frankly gives up the problem as to how God can 
know what I feel without having felt the like. But without assuming 
any exactly similar experience, may we not suppose that elements of 
experience sufficiently similar to ours may enter even into the divine 
life for re-combinations to be formed and so very varying and much 
more limited ranges of experience be comprehended .-* 
God's know- Such a knowledge ahotit might surely at least be complete in every 

ledge may thus . . -r> • /^ i 

be complete in scnse neccssary for the religious consciousness. By it Cjod may 

important know Completely how to act upon man, and what is best for the 

sense. welfare of such a being. And it might be much more complete from 

this point of view than my own knowledge of self, in which much of 

the past is omitted and in which the knowledge of my circumstances 

is so inadequate that I cannot foresee the future. 

Further, we must be cautious in applying the tenets of human 
psychology to the workings of the mind of God. And in any case 
the difficulty is not nearly so great as in supposing with Lotze, 
that my whole experience is simply a part of the wider experience 
of God, and that my feeling of present ignorance is felt by Him 
too as ignorance, and that my volitions towards evil are also His 

We have seen that Lotze assumed the existence of individual 
things at the outset of his discussion upon the nature of interaction 
and its bearing upon the unity of the universe. We also pointed 
out that, even if the existence of individual things apprehended in 
the apparently material world be denied, Lotze could have found a 
basis for his position in the existence and interaction of human souls. 
Now, it is true that Lotze does deny the existence of material 
things as such. As his arguments on this point have much in 
common with other Idealists, they need not detain us. But we 
must refer to his view as to what material appearances are due 

God and the 




to. He mentions with considerable respect what he designates as 
the view of Idealism (though it is not the view of all Idealists), 
that material things as apprehended are the results of the activity 
of the Infinite working upon our minds. But Lotze maintains that 
nothing is gained by making such an assumption, and prefers the 
view that things are both Real and Spiritual ; " things which seemed 
to our merely external observation as working blindly, suffering 
unconsciously and being self-contradictory through their incompre- 
hensible combination of selflessness and Realness, are in fact better 
internally than they seem on the exterior — that they too exist not 
merely for others, but also for themselves " {Mic. ii. p. 642). 

Lotze accepted the atomic view of the physical world, and held 
that each atom is in reality not an extended thing but a spiritual 
self, giving rise in us to a perception of extension. 

Yet the realness of such things does not involve a separation from 
God according to Lotze. Yet with these too, as with human selves, 
that " being-for-self " at least must, even on Lotze's own showing, 
be something which is not also a part of the experience of God. 
Here, too, then, if we suppose that matter is the presentation to us 
of real spiritual beings, one may also suppose that there is partial 
interpenetration of their experience with that of God, through which 
He works upon them. 

Further, through the material world as given in presentation, God 
has a means of working upon us, as well as more immediately. 
And this may be so even though their entering into the experience 
of God may be the condition of their affecting us, though this is 
not essential to our view. 

We have seen that Lotze's metaphysics required that all the 
individuals in the universe should be bound together by one supreme 
Being. Lotze himself spoke of this Being as the Absolute Being. 
But we saw reasons for holding that there are at least aspects of 
our experience, and those the most essential, which are not merely 
modes of the being of the Absolute. Indeed, we saw that even 
Lotze separates that feeling of being-for-self, possessed by each 
finite being, as an element of the experience of each of us, which 
is not also a part of the experience of the Absolute. 

Hence we see the undesirability of naming Lotze's Supreme Being 


" the Absolute," seeing that He does not include all reality within 
Himself; though, as we showed, we may believe Him to be in active 
touch with the whole of reality. 



By another line of thought in the metaphysic Lotze leads to the 
view that all reality is spiritual. For a completion of his Philosophy 
of Religion, it remains for him to show that this supreme and unifying 
Being may be regarded as a Personal God. 

The fairness and caution of Lotze are well shown in his manner 
of approaching this final goal of his thought. He recognises it as 
a demand of the religious consciousness. Yet he will not have such 
faith given as a proof of the reality of its object. If we cannot reach 
it by reason, it may still be an object of faith, says Lotze, but " that 
which is inaccessible to human reason cannot furnish any proof that 
such faith is true " {Mic. ii. p. 668). The traditional " proofs " of the 
existence of God he finds unsatisfactory. 

The Cosmological Proof, which concludes from the conditioned 
and contingent character of everything in the world the fact of the 
existence of a necessary and unconditioned Being, could only, if 
valid, attain to the metaphysical conception of " an Unconditioned " 
and not to the religious conception of a God. 

The Teleological Proof is unsatisfactory, for, though in a high 
degree improbable, it yet remains possible that such design as we 
find may have been evolved from chaos by blind mechanical laws. 
And Lotze further regards it as unsatisfactory in that it would only 
lead us to a notion of a Governor of the Universe and not to that 
of a Creator. 

In the Ontological Proof, useless in its usual form, Lotze discovers 
a hint of a " fundamental thought which is seeking for expression, 
the immediate certainty that what is greatest, most beautiful, most 
worthy, is not a mere thought but must be a reality." But this, Lotze 
admits, is not capable of logical proof. 

Lotze avowedly takes a leap in identifying such an ideal of the 
most worthy with a Personal God. But having done so, he does not 
leave the matter here, but proceeds to argue for its validity by a 


process of elimination. He reviews the possible alternatives and finds 
each of them unsatisfactory even from a metaphysical point of view. 
Thus the conception of a Personal God has a theoretic superiority, 
and it is also a more complete solution in that it satisfies the aesthetic 
and moral demands of our nature no less than those of the under- 

Having previously arrived at the conviction that all reality is 
spiritual, it is legitimate for Lotze to consider only those views which 
regard the " Absolute " as spiritual. 

In his Outlines of the Philosophy of Religion he considers first of Alternative 

views of the 

these the view of the Absolute as "unconscious Reason." This, as Absolute con- 

he points out, is going contrary to all our experience, if, indeed, it is 

not self-contradictory. " We have no right to strip off from Reason, 

which we invariably first learn by experience to know as conscious, 

this predicate of consciousness, and then to persuade ourselves that 

aught intelligible is left" {Out of Phil of Rel. § 24). 

Nor can we think that our self-conscious reason could possibly ever 
originate in a universe of " Unconscious reason." The existence of 
so-called " sub-conscious " or unconscious states or processes is no 
argument in favour of the view under discussion. For these are only 
known in connection with some conscious personality, and as in some 
way dependent upon it. 

In the next place "Impersonal Spirit" goes contrary to our 
experience. We only know spirit as the spirit of some individual. 
There may be states of consciousness in which there is no reference to 
the self as such, where " we so lose ourselves in the content of a sensa- 
tion, an idea, a feeling, or an effect, that we (so to speak) are for a 
time nothing but this." But we only know such states as states of a 
personal spirit. Lotze might also have urged that no multiplicity of 
such spiritual units, even if such were conceivable, not bound together 
in the unity of one self, would provide the unifying and binding 
functions which we found were necessary to explain the unity of the 
universe. Nor would Lotze's purpose have been served by Dr. 
McTaggart's view of the universe as a system of spiritual selves, 
forming a unity after the analogy of a " body corporate " but in 
which no person forms the bond of unity. For this again leaves 
unexplained the mode of interaction among the units. 


Hence Lotze is led to adopt the theory that the Absolute is not 
only spiritual but personal. On purely speculative grounds this is 
preferable, and this alone can fit in satisfactorily with the religious 
demands of man's nature. 


We now come to deal with the problem of the Personality of God, 
perhaps the most important topic in any discussion of Lotze's 
theological views. 

We saw reasons for dropping the term "Absolute," because we 
could not agree with the idea that all experiences of all individuals 
were included in that of the Supreme Being, in the sense that if that 
which God shares in my experience were removed from me, nothing 
would remain, peculiar to myself. 

As we saw, this is really involved in parts of Lotze's own discussion 
of the matter though he makes statements inconsistent with it. This is 
recognised by Dr. McTaggart, who at the end of his criticism of 
Lotze's views of the Personality of God, admits that his objections "do 
not challenge Lotze's right to consider the Absolute as personal. For 
he regarded the Absolute as not exhausted by its manifestations and 
those manifestations as to a certain extent from an ethical point of 
view, outside the Absolute" {Hegelian Cosmology, p. 8i). 

Our modified position is, then, relieved from that attack of Mr, 
Bradley upon the idea of the personality of the Supreme Being, based 
upon the position that a self must have something outside itself, that 
every ego implies a non-ego. But our position only remains free from 
this criticism so long as we regard some finite selves as co-existent with 
God. If we retain a belief in a creation, in the sense usually under- 
stood, we must face the problem, as we shall see, of a personal God at 
one time existing alone. 

Yet this only applies if we suppose that all beings other than God 
Himself were created. It is, however, possible to hold that while all 
human beings and those lower than these were at some time created, 
yet that there are beings of another order who are co-eternal with God 
though inferior to Him. This position would meet both difficulties. 
It would admit a reality other than the Divine Self, which some maintain 
is essential for personality. And yet it would allow for our creation. 


It may be remarked that some interpretations of the Christian 
doctrine of God involve a view analogous to this. I refer to those 
interpretations according to which the "personae" of the Trinity are 
regarded as of the nature of selves. 

Such a view helps somewhat towards the satisfying of both meta- 
physical and religious demands. For the being and experience of the 
second and third persons must be regarded as in some degree other 
than and distinct from that of the first. And in so far as this is the 
case, something other than self is provided as the object of knowledge, 
and so the condition of personality demanded is supplied. 

From the point of view of the religious ideal we may quote Professor 
Rogers {Religious Conception of the World, p. 166): "Which represents 
the higher type of existence, judging by the best standard we are able 
to apply, — a being shut up within the limits of his own self-centred 
nature, or one who finds his life by losing it in the common life which he 
shares with others." Also, " Regarded as a mere solitary, self-identical, 
infinite, the nature of God would be a stranger to that which is the 
highest element of a spiritual nature, the element of love" (John 
Cdixvd, Fundamental Ideas of Christianity, vol. i. p. 70). 

Caird proceeds to argue that for the perfect self-realisation of God, 
the created world, nature and man, would not suffice : partly because 
of its imperfection : and partly because it would involve progression 
in the nature of God. Caird is inconsistent here, in denying the 
possibility of such progression. For he has just pointed out that the 
highest expression of love is attained only by sacrifice, and so this was 
necessary for the Ideal realisation of God's nature, the act of redemp- 
tion, a " going forth of God's own being according to the needs of 
man " — a progressive act, as the development of the human race is 

I do not wish to dwell upon this point, but only to lead up to the 
fact that Lotze's own system seems to provide for the non-ego 
necessary for divine personality, a fact which has apparently escaped 
the notice of some other critics of Lotze. This would not be the case 
if we hold to the Absolutism of Lotze, for even the created Beings 
would only be differentiations of the Absolute entirely included within 
His own being. But we pointed out that Lotze himself really gives 
this up in allowing a being-for-self for each soul, which particular 



Lotze's view as 
to Creation. 

From eternity 
there were 
other selves 
than God, but 
these were 
upon Him. 

experience is not shared by the Infinite. This being admitted, we 
must consider what view Lotze holds as to the creation of such selves. 
We find he denies that there is any process of creation. Creation 
rather signifies the complete dependence of the universe upon the will 
of God. The world did not suddenly come into being by a divine act 
of creation, thus profoundly altering the experience of God at some 
definite time. Rather "the will to create is an absolutely eternal 
predicate of God and ought not to be used to designate a deed of his 
so much as the absolute dependence of the world upon his will in 
contradistinction to its involuntary ' emanation ' from his nature " (see 
Phil, of Rel. § 44). This being so, it is unnecessary to suppose any 
period of time when God was alone in His universe and was in the 
most complete sense the "Absolute." 

Rather does Lotze hold that from eternity there were differentia- 
tions of the Divine Being within Himself, and those, too, of the 
nature of selves, for only selves can be real. But being-for-self, 
as we saw, cannot be regarded as entirely included in the being of 
another. Hence from all eternity we may regard God as having 
material which supplied the non-ego, which we are supposing 
essential for personality. To say that such " creation from all time " 
is incomprehensible to us is futile. For as Lotze repeatedly points 
out, any theory of absolute becoming is beyond us. We can 
comprehend existence from all time no more than creation from 
all time, in Lotze's sense of the word. 

Yet to meet the speculative difficulty as to the personality of God 
it is not necessary that all selves should have been existent from 
all time. And Lotze is rather concerned with showing that there 
was no period when the "creative will had no existence" than in 
proving that no finite beings (ourselves, e.g?) began to be. Indeed 
there are passages in which Lotze distinctly suggests this latter. 
Here, again, the mystery of absolute beginning need not compel 
us to declare its impossibility, even if we feel, as Dr. Rashdall 
does, that the absence of all trace of an earlier experience and 
the dependence on the bodily organism are conclusive arguments 
for believing in the creation of our human souls at some definite 
time. For the mode of origin of life and being is, in any case, 
beyond us, as Lotze points out, ad nauseam. Yet there is another 


suggestion that may throw light on the matter. If we suppose matter 
to be merely the presentation of spiritual selves at a low stage of 
development, may we not suppose that by bringing such selves 
into certain definite relation with others such an increased develop- 
ment may be produced in some of them that what we may almost 
regard as the creation of a new being may take place? Such an 
undeveloped mind would also have its being not entirely separate from 
God. There would, on the view we have upheld, be an element of its 
being which would also enter into the Being of God. To Him, too, 
may be due that stimulus which results in the origin of the new 
development, so that He does in a sense create a New Being, that is, 
He develops a being of greater and more varied capacity. 

This view resembles somewhat that put forward by Lotze in his 
chapter on the " Beginning and End of Soul life " {Mic. i. 390- 1 ), though 
here Lotze naturally treats of such development as being entirely 
within the being of the Absolute. But, with this proviso, we may 
quote the passage as a suggestive one in reference to a possible mode 
of the development of a new type of self, " No necessity of Reason 
constrains us to shun the thought of a beginning of a soul. As every 
physical process, even the most minute, apparently taking place between 
two elements, is likewise an event within the Eternal, on whose con- 
stant presence all possibility of action depends, even so the quietly 
advancing formation of the organic germ is no isolated, independent, 
event, but a development of the Infinite itself. Fostered by it, 
received by it into its own inner being, this natural event there 
excites the creative power to new development ; and as our human 
soul receives stimuli from without and answers them by the produc- 
tion of a sensation, so the consistent unity of the Infinite Being 
lets itself be stimulated by this internal event of physical develop- 
ment to produce out of itself the soul appropriate to the growing 

Thus far we have assumed the truth of the view that personality is is a Non-Ego 
impossible without something other than self which the self may personality? 
know and from which it may distinguish itself. And we have 
seen that even supposing its truth, we need not give up the belief 
in the personality of God as long as we do not insist upon identifying 
God with the Absolute in the sense of the whole of reality. It 


now remains to examine Lotze's arguments against the view that 
personality necessarily involves a Not-self. 

Lotze states the usual objection as follows : " An Ego (or Self, Ich) 
is not thinkable without the contrast of a Non-Ego or Not-Self ; 
hence personal existence cannot be asserted of God without bringing 
even Him down to that state of limitation, of being conditioned 
by something not Himself, which is repugnant to Him." 

This, as Lotze says, is ambiguous. It may mean : 

(i) "What the term Ego denotes can be comprehended in reflective 
analysis only by reference to the Non-Ego." 

It may also mean : 

(2) " That it is not conceivable that this content of the Ego should 
be experienced without that contrasted Non-Ego being experienced at 
the same time." 

Finally : 

(3) " It may point to the existence and active influence of a Non- 
Ego as the condition without which the being upon which this influence 
works could not be an Ego." 

In reference to (i) Lotze points out that Ego and Non-Ego 
" cannot be two notions of which each owes its whole content to 
its contrast with the other." Each must at least bear in its own 
nature the reason why it should be the one of the two (Ego or 
Non-Ego) and not the other : so any being which is an Ego, must 
have the ground of its self-hood in that nature which it had previous 
to the contrast, although before being thus contrasted it cannot 
be called Ego or Non-Ego. 

Now it seems to me that Dr. McTaggart's criticism of this 
argument of Lotze fails. Dr. McTaggart first admits that it would 
be a " vicious circle " for us to attempt to explain the Ego exclusively 
from the outside. But he suggests an alternative not contemplated, 
he thinks, by Lotze, "that the isolated Ego cannot be explained at 
all, being an unreal abstraction, which shows its unreality by its 
inexplicability, and that Ego and Non-Ego can only be explained 
when they are taken together as mutually explaining each other" 
{^Hegelian Cosmology, p. 6']\ 

Then he instances the case of parent and child. If we tried to explain 
the idea of a parent merely in terms of the idea of a child we " should 


have fallen into a vicious circle since we should find that the idea 
of a child could not be explained except in relation to the idea 
of a parent. But it would not be correct to argue from this that 
a parent could exist or be conceived without a child," 

But Dr. McTaggart persists in using the term Ego where Lotze 
acknowledges that it must be given up — when that stage of Being 
is spoken of which is thought of as previous to the contrast " although 
it is not yet entitled to the predicate which in that contrast comes to 
belong to it." Dr. McTaggart's own example gives support to 
Lotze's own contention. The parent can be thought of as existing 
before the child, in fact his pre-existence is a necessary condition 
of parenthood ; only he is not then called " parent," but only man 
or woman. This very pre-existence is a necessary condition of his 
entering the relationship of parenthood — though previous to this new 
bringing into contrast he was " not yet entitled to the predicate which 
in that contrast comes to belong " to him. 

Lotze, then, is willing to give up the term Ego. " For it is our 
opponents' opinion and not ours that personality is to be found 
exclusively where in ideation (or presentation) self-consciousness sets 
itself as Ego in opposition to the Non-Ego " (^Mic. ii. p. 679). It 
is feeling which is the primary basis of personality. In order that 
the distinction "myself" — "something other than self" — may be 
thought, there must be a certainty of self which is immediately 
experienced, "a self existence earlier than the discriminative relation " 
by which it becomes Ego as opposed to Non-Ego. Thus Lotze deals 
with the second possible meaning of the opposing criticism, maintain- 
ing that there may be conscious experience apart from the experience 
of the contrasted Non-Ego. " We admit that the Ego is thinkable 
only in relation to the Non-Ego, but we add that it may be 
experienced previous to and out of every such relation and that to this 
is due the possibility of its subsequently becoming thinkable in that 
relation " {Mic. ii. p. 680). 

Dr. McTaggart objects that "each of us finds that for him, 
consciousness of the Non-Ego is an essential condition of his 
personality." " We can never say ' I ' without raising the idea of 
the Non-Ego." 

Now, in so far as introspection serves me, I should be prepared 


to question this. For example, I believe that when in a state of 
fatigue I can think the thought " I am tired " without raising any idea 
of the Non-Ego. Further, I may think " I am not what I once 
was " without any thought of a Non-Ego except in the sense of a past 
self, which is no longer my present self. Further, I may regard 
an isolated impulse (though something entirely within my own being) 
which I resist, as " not myself," cf. " I was not myself when I did 

It would seem then that given a developed personality there 
can be the thought of the self and not only the immediate experience, 
without any reference to anything other than either the present 
self or a past state of the self. 

Dr. McTaggart refers to Lotze's complaint that "those who 
deny the personality of the Absolute separate spirit from personality 
in an unjustifiable manner, since they are never separated in our 
experience." Lotze's criticism, according to Dr. McTaggart, recoils 
on himself. " For personality without a Non-Ego is just as alien 
to our experience as spirit without personality." If my previous 
contention is sound this argument falls to the ground, if it is meant 
that we never have experiences which do not involve a reference 
to an other-than-self. 

It remains true, however, that personality as we know it always 
includes — with the exception of rare possible moments — some 
reference to a not-self The rare moments, however, may suffice 
for us to show the possibility of thought without a reference to 
a not-self. Dr. Rashdall, I find, takes this view in asserting that 
"the self must distinguish itself from something; but that something 
need only be the changing states of itself" 

But there still remains the question of the necessity of a not-self 
for the development of a full personality. In dealing with this 
Lotze protests against the transference of the conditions of fiinite 
personality to the personality of the Infinite. He, as the source of 
all life, does not require that His "life should be called forth by 
external stimuli, but ' with perfect self-sufficingness ' possesses in 
His own nature the causes of every step forward in the development 
of His life." 

We even get a hint of how this may be from our own experience 


" in the course of memory in the finite mind. The world of our 
ideas, though certainly called into existence first by external impres- 
sions, spreads out into a stream which, without any fresh stimulation 
from the external world, produces plenty that is new by the continu- 
ous action and reaction of its own movements " {Mic. ii. p. 684). 

As Lotze admits, it remains to ask, " What it is that in God 
corresponds to the primary impulse which the train of ideas in a 
finite mind receives from the external world ? " But this suggests the 
question, " Whence comes movement in the external world ? " Both 
questions are unanswerable. For we must, in any theory of the 
cosmos, recognise some original movement as given reality ; we 
can never " extract it from rest." 

There remains, however, a difficulty which Lotze does not discuss. 
He states, rightly enough, " that no being in the nature of which 
self-existence was not given as primary and underivcd, could be 
endowed with self-hood by any mechanism of favouring circumstances 
however wonderful." 

But may we not say that it is equally difficult to see how a con- 
sciousness of the not-self could in any way arise if it, too, were not 
" primary and underived." As Dr. Stout says, " We cannot proceed by 
inference to a not-self from an experience which has no element 
of not-self. An individual could never get beyond the circle of 
his immediate experience once confined within it" {Proceedings of 
British Academy, vol. v. pp. 178, 9). 

It may be suggested that the knowledge merely of past states of 
the self satisfy these conditions. But this would seem to lead to a 
logical impasse — the existence of a previous state as the condition of 
any given state. There only remains then the knowledge of a present 
state as a state of the self but yet distinguished from it. But though 
logically distinguishable, yet that state too is a matter of immediate 
experience, not something known by means of immediate knowledge, 
and so would not satisfy the condition demanded according to 
Professor Stout, 

There remains then this difficulty from the standpoint of Lotze 
if he be understood as maintaining the view of God as alone before 
the creation. But as we saw, his view of creation as an eternal act 
makes it unnecessary for him to maintain this difficult position. 


Personality an Before leaving the question of Personality we must mention Lotze's 

Id €3.1 

contention that Personality is an ideal — unattainable by finite beings. 
In six points do we fail to satisfy the conditions of perfect personality, 
(i) In our subjection to a cosmic order which we did not ourselves 
ordain ; thus our freedom and independence are limited. 

(2) Our inability fully to comprehend ourselves because our being is 
founded in the Infinite. 

(3) Our dependence upon external reality for stimulation of our 

(4) The fact that our own souls cannot be completely known even 
by ourselves. 

(5) The fact that we are moved to action sometimes by individual 
impulses rather than by the whole of the self. 

(6) Our susceptibility to the influences of time ; much of the past dis- 
appears entirely from memory. And the future is largely unknown to us. 

Personality can only be perfect in the Infinite Being, says Lotze, 
"which in surveying all its conditions or actions never finds any 
content of that which it suffers or any law of its working the meaning 
and origin of which are not transparently plain to it, and capable of 
being explained by reference to its own nature " {Mic. ii. p. 686). 
This was so for Lotze, because, according to him, the Infinite Being 
included within His own being all reality. In our view this is not so, 
but this does not lead us to any theory of the knowledge of God 
which is unsatisfactory from a religious point of view. The knowledge 
of other selves, even for God, may have to be mediate knowledge, but 
it is not therefore inadequate. (Even God's knowledge of the past, 
taking Lotze's view of His nature and experience, is no longer 
immediate). The bond of connection, the partial interpenetration 
of being, may be, as we saw, a completely adequate clue to a know- 
ledge of other selves : and it may still remain true for us as for Lotze 
that to God everything is capable of being explained by reference 
to His own nature. 


This discussion of the omniscience of God leads us on naturally to 
speak of the other attributes of God, which are suggestively dealt with 
by Lotze. 


God is said to be " unchangeable^ This, according to Lotze, does Unchangeabie- 


not mean that God is without changeable inner states. Such an one 
would answer no religious need. We need a living God. Therefore, 
by His unchangeableness "nothing further is meant than the con- 
sistency with which all these inner states proceed from a nature that 
remains the same." This view is consistent with Lotze's own meta- 
physical doctrine of identity amid change. For such identity of being 
it is only necessary that the individual, while changing, should 
" remain always within a closed series of forms, every one of which 
can be transformed by means of definite conditions into every other, 
and no one of which can be transformed into any form foreign to this 
entire series" {Out. of Met. § 36). 

Lotze himself does not attempt to prove that God possesses this 
attribute in a sense that it is not possessed by finite selves. But we can 
see how certain of his remarks upon the difference between the degree 
of our own personality and that of God may bear upon the question. 
The power of isolated impulses to move us, the fact that we forget the 
past and know little of the future, our ignorance of our own full being, 
and our partial dependence on the outside world for stimulus to 
activity, all make for changeableness, whereas the knowledge of past 
and future, and the presence of a consciousness of His full being in 
any and every activity, all make for unchangeableness in the Being of 
God. Now, the religious consciousness has generally held to the view 
that God's own experience is partially modified by the action of His 
creatures. But the influence of prayer, for example, has been held to 
be, not that of actually causing a change in the nature of God, but in 
so changing conditions that God's actions are now consistently different 
from what they would have been apart from such prayer. 

In reference to the doctrine of God's Omnipresence, Lotze, of course, OmnipreseDce. 
deprecates any such interpretation as would suppose God to be 
spatially extended. Rather is it interpreted in the sense that God is 
independent of space distances. " The activity of God is everywhere 
alike immediately and perfectly present without difference of degree." 

Professor James remarks, in his Principles of Psychology, that the 
mind is cognitively present with the fixed stars, but dynamically 
present only with the brain. God, we may say, is both cognitively 
and eflficiently present with the whole of reality. 




God Himseli 
the ground of 
between the 
possible and 
the impossible. 

A further attribute is that of Omnipotence. Lotze does not approve 
of the expression " God can do all possible " as an interpretation of 
the doctrine of omnipotence. The religious " feeling is not satisfied, 
as it is implied that God himself is subjected to a sphere of laws 
antecedent even to himself which would determine for him the scope 
of his power " {Phil, of Rel. § 30). 

Nor will Lotze have the other interpretation, " God can make 
even the impossible to be possible and actual." For, apart from 
the self-contradiction inherent in it, as it stands, it is unthinkable. 
" For all order, all consistency and all coherency of the world appear 
to depend upon the limits between the possible and the impossible 
being absolutely immovable. If that which is of itself impossible can 
once be made possible by any power whatever, then every sure 
foundation for making any conclusion whatever in relation to the 
coherency of the world falls away " {ibid.). 

Furthermore, this interpretation makes, according to Lotze, the 
same mistake as the first ; it suggests that the distinction of the 
impossible from the possible exists independently of God. " Rather 
must we arrive at such an apprehension of God as makes God himself 
to be the prime reason for the opposition of the possible and the 
impossible having any significance at all in the world of actual 
experience." That is, the ground of distinction between the possible 
and the impossible lies in God Himself 

But we may add here that, even if we think of God as thinking 
of " possible worlds," He could only think as theoretically possible 
those the thoughts of which were consistent with His own mind 
as the mind of a Rational Being, and He could think as practically 
possible only that one which is the best while consistent with His own 
Being, in which we include His will and purpose. For we cannot 
separate the will and reason of God. And the thoughts of that 
divine reason are " entirely rational, systemically connected with each 
other, and eternal truths which God cannot change because he cannot 
wish to change them without contradicting himself" (Pfleiderer, 
Phil, of Rel. vol. iii. p. 293 trans.). 

God did not find Himself in a universe in which were operative 
laws independent of Himself, but to which He had to conform. 
This is a view connected with a position which Lotze frequently 


maintains from several points of view. In reference first to natural, 
physical laws, he emphasises the fact that laws are simply statements 
of the ways in which matter behaves — a way consistent with its 
own nature. But " prior to the world, or prior to the first thing 
that was real, there was no pre-mundane and pre-real reality, in 
which it would have been possible to make out what would 
be the rights which, in the event of their coming to be a reality, 
each element to be employed in its construction could urge for 
its protection against anything incompatible with its right as a 
substance, or to which every force might appeal as a justification for 
refusing functions not imposed upon it by the terms of its original 
charter" {Met. vol. i. §85). It is the real which, by its being, brings 
about the appearance of there being a necessity antecedent to it, 
just as it is the living body that forms within itself the skeleton 
around which it has the appearance of having grown. 

It is true that, given the existent universe, any new thing entering 
it would find "laws" which would determine it, though even here 
its own nature would be at least a co-determinant of its mode of 
action. But such external determination cannot apply to God, in 
so far as He was, though not the whole of the reality (as Lotze 
maintained) yet the one on whom all reality depends for its being. 

We must in fact include the idea of various eternal and necessary 
laws in the very concept of God. They cannot be separated from 
Him in reality any more than the attributes of a thing can be 
separated from the substance. The attempt to think of God's power 
apart from its mode of action is doomed to failure. "As there is 
no motion without velocity and direction, and none which could 
be endowed with velocity and direction after it had come into 
existence, so we cannot conceive of any power that has not some 
mode of procedure, nor of any empty capacity that in its emptiness 
hits upon definite modes of activity" {Mic. ii. p. 696). 

The eternal and "necessary" truths, then, are the mode of action 
of Omnipotence, but not its product. The definite mode of action 
of this power is not a limitation of its unconditionedness, however. 
Of course for Lotze it is not so, because he holds that every activity 
even of the finite differentiations is also the activity of the Absolute. 
On our modified view, which regards finite beings as partially 


" outside " the being of God, must we regard His power as therefore 
limited ? 

There seems to be no logical necessity for this conclusion as 
long as we do not regard a use of means to an end as in itself implying 
limitation, and as long as we only require that God's purposes shall 
ultimately be fulfilled. This is all that is really felt to be necessary 
by the religious consciousness. 

For if we take one of the two alternatives which we suggested 
as possible, viz. that of eternal production, the finite selves are 
still entirely dependent upon God for their being and nature, and 
so cannot form obstacles to His will, except in so far as He Himself 
has willed that they should temporarily be permitted to do so, 
consistently with the accomplishment of His ultimate purpose, as 
the opposing efforts of the chess amateur may be even necessary 
for the fulfilment of the desires of the expert opposed to him, though 
the former may be continually in opposition. 

Or suppose we take the other of our two suggested alternatives and 
assume the " germs " of finite selves, as we know them, to have been co- 
eternal with God. Even here, we saw that our present mode of being 
and its development were partly the outcome of divine activity. If 
we suppose the original germ of selves or " centres of experience " 
to have been at a very low stage of development, and that the 
developed self owes its nature to a greatly preponderating degree 
to its mode of development rather than to its original mode of 
existence, then little comparatively may remain which has not been 
the outcome of divine activity, and even that surplus may be such as 
to be quite in accord with His will and purpose. Just as a painter 
may have complete power over his picture, qua picture, though he did 
not make the particles of paint with which he is making it, and 
has not complete power over them qua particles of matter. But their 
own nature need cause no thwarting of his purpose. Rather does 
he actually make it the very means to the fulfilment of his purpose. 

In a sense, God is theoretically limited on this view, in that the 
material on which He can work is given. This is a necessary con- 
sequence of any view of those who cannot accept a doctrine of 
creation, but believe in the self-existence of finite selves. But such 
self-existence may, we repeat, be quite consistent with the complete 


accomplishment of God's final purpose. The selves may indeed 
partake to such a degree of divine nature that they will all, when 
fully developed, of their own will, co-operate in the divine purpose ; 
and this is in full accord with widely held views both in the sphere of 
Ethics, in which it is held that when man fully realises his nature 
he must seek the Good, and in the sphere of Theology, where it is 
believed that when man "comes to himself" he will find his highest 
satisfaction in obedience to the will of God. 

As we have said, the original co-existence of other beings with God 
through eternity may be consistent with His complete control over 
them and their development. And further, on the other hand, the fact 
that they were created would not necessarily mean that God's power 
over them was complete. A being might conceivably create some- 
thing which afterwards got beyond his control. Indeed, there are 
suggestions of this belief in some views of man's freedom, though 
generally accompanied by the assertion that God deliberately gave up 
His power of absolute determination of the individual. 

If we take Lotze's view that all beings are included within the one 
being of God the matter is different, for then it resolves itself into a 
question of self-determination. For every action of every self is 
really an action of God. But even with this view relinquished, there 
seems to be no convincing proof that the original co-existence of 
other selves with God is necessarily inconsistent with the idea of the 
Omnipotence of God in the sense demanded by the religious 

It can scarcely be a reproach against Lotze that he contributes The problem 
nothing original towards the solution of the problem of evil. He 
simply criticises the attempt to solve the problem by the assertion 
that individual evils constitute a good when summed or viewed from 
a more universal point of view. It is characteristic of him that he 
clings both to the omnipotence and to the goodness of God, falling 
back on the idea that here " our finite wisdom has come to the end of 
its tether " and that we do not understand the solution which yet we 
believe in. But we may point out that the problem of moral evil is 
aggravated if one holds, with Lotze, that every volition of man is also 
a volition of God. Whereas if we give up this view, we may make 
use of Lotze's interpretation of the omnipotence of God (as modified 



The demands 
of the 
" Religious 

by the Eternal-generation view of creation given above) that God's 
power is not limited by anything outside Himself, except by that 
which is dependent upon Him for its very existence. Then we may 
say that such creatures were the best of all possible creations, with a 
view to God's final purpose. Whilst if we take the view of eternally 
co-existent finite beings, moral evil may be attributed to them, though 
this, of course, implies a limitation of God's omnipotence; but this 
again need not be such as to fail the demands of religion, as we may 
still believe that God's ultimate purpose shall be attained. 

A final word must be added in reference to this argument from 
religious needs — the demand of the religious consciousness to which 
we have referred several times. 

Lotze varies in his utterances upon this point. One or two of his 
assertions may seem to justify the extreme views of Ritschl ; for 
example, his assertion that the best we can conceive must be true. 
«' It is an immediate certainty that what is greatest, most beautiful, 
most worthy, is not a mere thought but must be a reality," because it 
would be " intolerable " to believe of our ideal that it has no existence, 
no power, and no validity in the world of reality {Mic. ii. p. 670). But 
in the main Lotze merely uses such demands of the soul either as 
supplying motives for the search for a satisfying truth or as an 
addition to metaphysical arguments in favour of a particular view ; 
seeing that any philosophy which gives room for and accounts for the 
religious experience of mankind is by so much the more a complete 
and rational account of the universe. It is true that Lotze emphasises 
the fact that the whole man, and not the mere intellectual element, is 
concerned in the search for truth, and that the "judgment according 
to worth" may reject that which is thinkable if it does not accord with 
the demands of the heart. But he does not attempt to build merely 
upon such demands a creed which will satisfy, and he emphatically 
states that religious beliefs, even if "sprung from revelation" must 
come under the examination of philosophy. No doubt there are 
" inner states which are available as data for the acquisition of truth," 
among which Lotze includes the ethical feelings and also the aesthetic 
feehngs, with the "conviction that what is so fair" must be at least 
closely related to the creative principle of the world. But these too 
are only data ; the truth of religion must be developed by reflection 


upon them. " Our whole theory of the universe," to repeat, " has three 
starting points, universal laws, experience," and the "instinct" by 
which we hold to the good, the judgments of worth which gave 
Ritschl his idea of " value-judgments." 

And again, " Though we cannot command the heart to suppress its 
questionings and longings, we yet hold that it can expect a response 
to them only as an incidental result of knowledge which starts from a 
less emotional and therefore a clearer point of view " {Mic. Introd. 
p. vii.). 

In short, one great value of Lotze's work lies in the fact that he 
recognised the importance and legitimacy of endeavouring to maintain 
the rights of both faith and reason. And this insistence at once 
divides him emphatically from the one-sided view represented by 
Ritschl and his school. 

In conclusion, it is true that Lotze looks to the conception of the 
Supreme Good as the ultimate means of interpreting the world. 
" Genuine Reality in the world (to wit, in the sense that all else is, in 
relation to it, subordinate, deduced, mere semblance or means to an 
end) consists alone in this Highest Good personal, which is at the 
same time the highest good Thing" {Outline of Met. p. 151). 

But in this teleological view we are nearest to a true understanding 
of things, truer than if " our cognition copied exactly a world of 
objects, that has no value in itself"; for thus, to quote again one of 
Lotze's most illuminating metaphors, we may understand the meanitig 
as the spectator understands the meaning of the play, though he does 
not see the stage mechanism, and would gain nothing if he did. 




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«|Ul * •'*' 

(P200l8l0)476— A-i 


General Library 

University of California 


DEC 2 8 1967 


LD 21A-50m-8,'61 

General Library 

University of California 


'7g| ^^ 35