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Lecture 4: The Teleology of Finite Consciousness—a Sub-Form of Individuality

Individuality is the universal as spirit of a world of which one aspect is Teleology.

1. WE have so far in the main been endeavouring to remove the misapprehension which sees an antagonism between Individuality and the universal. We have attempted to show that it arises from the imperfect penetration of thought, when it accepts the particular in lieu of the individual, and reduces the universal to the general. For us the type at once of the individual and the universal has been the life or spirit of a world, which realises itself in form and determinateness, that is, in fine and adequate adjustment of element to element. For everywhere it is creative Logic, the nature of the whole working in the detail, which constitutes experience and is appreciable in so far as experience has value;1 and the more fully we enter into reality the more do we realise the universal nature, the interdependent nexus in which the whole finds expression. All the faults of philosophy, it might be said, lie in failing to apprehend this nature of the individual, and in therefore arbitrarily preferring some one element of experience to the whole. For the whole, of course, cannot be experienced as a whole by us, and to grasp its constituents and divine its nature is an arduous task; while it is comparatively easy to set the apparent data, uncriticised and unadjusted, over against one another in opposition.

We have now to define our position with reference to one of these sets of data, which is often placed in antagonism to the rest. I speak of that popular principle of ethical or theistic Idealism known in general as Teleology. We have further to consider the claims and functions assigned by it to finite consciousness, seeing that they furnish the type on which ethical and theistic philosophy is apt to model its conception of the supreme mind in relation to the universe.

The object of the present lecture, then, is to examine and estimate the idea of teleology. We have to develop the point that teleology is a conception which loses its distinctive meaning as we deepen its philosophical interpretation;2 and that, pari passu, the simplest surface features of finite consciousness, from which its conception is drawn, reveal themselves as an inadequate basis for a theory of reality, perfection, or value.

End and means run into one another.

2. We are familiar in every-day life with the distinction of “end and means.” It embodies a rough discrimination of values, relative to current practice. We care for some things for their own sake, for others because they help us to the former. The former, then, serve to explain the valuation or the acquisition of the latter, and themselves need no defence nor explanation. Prima facie, the former come last in time, and the latter, the “means,” come before them as conditions precedent of their being attained. “Means” presuppose a degree of impotence. They are ex hypothesi not what we want. We take them because, with the resources open to us, we can get what we want, the “end,” in no other way. Thus it is the very essence of an “end” to be partial within a whole, though it may be the completion of a part, and to be selected in contrast to something else, and, prima facie, to events preceding it in time. Aristotle,3 indeed, whom in this our argument follows, understands by “end” at once the completion of a positive whole which is developing through a process, and the cessation of the process itself. In modern theory the positive whole tends to drop out. The prima facie meaning, based on the current modern usage of “end,” has gained the day.

There are indeed facts, in general conformity with Aristotle's view, which might make us pause before treating this temporal and selective character—this essential contrast with a past process and with means—as typical and universal. In many cases of choice it is obvious that consequences have to be discounted on the same footing as means. Our “end,” in the sense of that which we aim at, may come first, or in the middle; and the price to be paid for it, the cost of the means, may extend before and after and all round it. We can seldom, in common life, discharge the whole cost before delivery. Thus, at least the temporal distinction between end and means loses its sharpness. Our view of the end is always qualified by the means, and the means, for computation, include the consequences, or, more largely, the price to be paid. Attainment and conclusion cease to be the same idea; and we become aware that in the whole train of occurrences there is nothing which may not partake of the character of an end4 or desirable object.

In ordinary life, we continually experience this blending of end and means—the desired object and its price—and when we approach philosophical reflection it is a fact that starts up into importance. We soon come to recognise that what we have called an end, as if it were a goal and a stopping-place, is in reality “not a point, but a line,” or even a solid; that it tends to expand itself, irregularly, over the whole process of our activity. When, for example, we are dealing with a total system, whether of life or of nature, how are we to discriminate between end and means? We begin with two natural prejudices, the anthropocentric and the temporal, borrowed from our every-day selective practice, and from our primary association of accomplishment and cessation. But neither will stand a moment's reflection. Why should man be the end? And indeed, is there anything to suggest that he is so? Why again assign pre-eminent value to a

…far off divine event

To which the whole creation moves?

It is obvious that no such ascription of ultimate value to a particular class of creatures nor to a particular moment in time can be justified as an ultimate conception. It rests on the analogy of the choice of a finite being, compelled, because finite, to exercise selection within the universe. It is an attempt to apply the principle of subordination of means to ends to a system within which we can recognise no necessity, and can conceive no clue, for the distinct being of ends or of means. A finite being selects a possible value, and out of the resources which he can find in his world further selects the instruments by help of which he proposes to make it actual. But we cannot conceive that a perfect reality is divided into ends which have value, and means which a limitation of resources compels to be employed to realise them. Such a conception is drawn from the analogy of a finite contriver.

Thus the principle of Teleology when applied to cosmic theory,5 loses at once and completely all assistance from the ordinary distinctions of means and ends, and from the presumption of a coincidence between termination and attainment. If it is to retain a meaning, it must abandon the whole analogy of finite contrivance and selection, and must fall back on the characteristics of value which, apart from sequence in time and from selected purposes, attach to the nature of a totality which is perfection. In this transition, the principle of purposiveness, of a nature imperative on every element of a whole, expands into the principle of Individuality, or positive non-contradiction. In working with it, we substitute the idea of perfection or the whole—a logical or metaphysical, non-temporal, and religious idea—for that of de facto purpose—a psychological, temporal, and ethical idea. We deal with a substantive criterion of value applicable to every detail of a totality, and equally valid if Time is treated as an appearance. The criterion can deal with purposes, but mere de facto purposiveness can neither impeach nor support the criterion. In short, a purpose as such—a de facto want or desire—only contributes to intelligibility by serving as a reason for its means. For itself, as a mere purpose, it can never exhibit a justification. Every purpose, no doubt, implies a subjective value, but there is no reason why every true value should be a purpose. In extending the idea of teleology to the universe as a whole we are turning from the question whether this fact or that has the appearance of being contrived for a purpose, to the question whether the totality—contrivance or no contrivance, and without any suggestion of dividing it into part which is means and part which is the end—can be apprehended or conceived as satisfactory, i.e. as a supreme value.

The theoretical importance of the transition is this, that the selective conations of finite minds cannot, in face of such a principle, claim a fundamental position as the source of order and value. And this applies to the mind of a finite god, if such a being is to be treated as conceivable. The finite consciousness is to be considered as creative and as possessing initiative in a sense which we shall attempt to explain; but the principles of the universe are thought of as deeper laid than in the choices of finite mind. Minds, as we are aware of them, fall into place rather as an imperfect medium and manifestation of the reality than as an ultimate and sovereign source of it.

The End as Satiety is not Satisfaction.

3. Along with the idea that the true sense of value in the universe is of a teleological type, we find the idea that the true nature of mental process is conative.6 And in a certain restricted sense both one and the other doctrine may be sustained, but in the latter case as in the former it is important to note the precise implication.

In the typical conation the important points are the beginning and the close. The beginning is a disturbance, and the close or end is a recovery of equilibrium. As we saw above, in elementary notions of teleology which are drawn in fact from the simplest conative experience, the purpose and the close are one, and the end coincides with both.7 The recovery of equilibrium means satiety, and this is one with the cessation of the conative process. This is the account of ordinary desire and its satisfaction which Plato on the whole accepted, and it is retained in outline by the modern theory of conation as a “vital series.”

But the latent opposition between the two conceptions of the end reveals itself within the pleasure-theory which is continuous from Plato to Aristotle. The “end” for Aristotle's theory was not merely satiety but satisfaction; and satisfactoriness, the power of giving satisfaction, was a positive characteristic, the completeness of a form, and not simply the cessation of a disturbance. It is a twice-told tale how this idea was worked out in the theory of Plato and Aristotle. For our purpose it is enough to repeat that in Aristotle's usage the term “end” is applied to positive maturity as more than the mere cessation of growth which it involves, and to the continuous or perhaps timeless character of the fullest life and fruition, rather than to the completion of any serial process.

Now at bottom fruition is distinct from conation as above described, as Aristotle is at pains to point out in his criticism of anti-Hedonist arguments8; and a satisfaction that can be attained and possessed is something other than satiety. Thus the “end” no longer appears as a terminus ad quem. It has expanded into something which is either a type of activity independent of and other than conation, or, if it is to be identified with conation, throws a wholly different light, from that by which we described it above, upon its nature and the conditions of its value.9 And so we see in recent pleasure-theory, in spite of the primary doctrine that end and cessation coincide, that the desirable element of a conation, its end in the ethical sense, is taken to lie in its character extending over its process and not in its close or termination.10 The “End,” in the sense of attainment or achievement, expands itself from the idea of a terminus into that of a satisfactory experience which may be taken as including a conative process of a certain type, or as a new independent and perfected self-affirmation following upon the completion of the changes which form the conation. The distinction made familiar by Kant between sensuous desire and aesthetic interest is typical for this difference, which lies at the root of the expansion above referred to as recognised and emphasised by Aristotle in dealing with Plato's theory of pleasure. In sensuous desire and its satisfaction you have a transition followed by satiety; and that is the typical conation with its “end.” In aesthetic enjoyment or any other true fruition, you have a response from an object in which the self is at home, and you have not, in principle and in the main, any transition nor any satiety.11 It may be argued that in the higher fruition as in common desire you have really a conative transition, and that the inexhaustible possibilities of the object are in fact what produce the appearance of an achieved and persistent satisfaction. We may agree that this is an element in the case; but still there seems an unmistakable difference of principle. In the process of a finite mind, no doubt, there will always be succession and transition, but in aesthetic enjoyment, for example, it is not the transition towards an unattained terminus that makes the essence of the activity.12 The mind's direction in it is outward, not onward; and one moment of it, as Aristotle urges, is self-complete and as good as the next. It borrows nothing from an approach to a future completeness. Such a fruition may be understood, as is perhaps the natural way of understanding it, to be as it were the protracted terminus of a conation, like eternity coming after time; or may be treated as throwing a light on the true nature and value of conation itself13. In either case, it is something different in principle from the conation whose beginning is disturbance and whose end is satiety.

And the importance of this is that the nature of conation itself has led us back to our old conclusion; and we see again that the true “end” or value does not lie in this special relation to a terminus or finite purpose, but in a character of perfection, which may in finite experience be relatively present throughout a process, or as a persistent result of it, or at the beginning of it, or in the middle. I repeat, in the simplest case of conation satiety and satisfaction coincide. But if end is to mean a value, satisfaction must be more than satiety. And the idea of conation must be remodelled to meet this necessity, as the modern pleasure-theory, when it lays stress on positive interest within the conation in contrast to mere escape from tension or disturbance, in some degree recognises.14

It seems to be the case that in finite life conation and fruition coincide in different degrees, from a conation which is principally valued as a release from pain to one which is practically indistinguishable from pure positive enjoyment of self-affirmation, in which if there is essentially conation at all, it is wholly latent.15 Between these two extremes there are all sorts of intermediate cases. But the point for us at present is simply the expansion of the idea of end into a connection with fruition and value, and into throwing off all special connection with the ideas of termination as against a process, and super-ordination as against means.

Teleology supported by Miracle on Monadism.

4. Thus, the point of principle to which I desire to call attention may be stated by contrast with the position adopted by more than one distinguished critic of Naturalism, in maintaining the claims of Teleology against Mechanism and Epiphenomenalism. As I understand the matter, they rightly contend that the universe, with all its variety and adaptation, cannot really be understood out of quantitative relations between homogeneous units, whether or no such an ideal construction is useful for scientific purposes. It is enough for us to say that, in the first place, the units along with their relations have not the character of self-complete existences—do not fulfil the conditions of self-subsistent being or self-maintenance; and that, in the second place, they obviously wear the features of hypostasised abstractions, which may be of service in describing the world, but cannot conceivably suffice as a theoretical reconstruction of its qualitative and conscious aspects.16

But if I correctly follow the critics beyond this point, in proceeding to enforce the claims of teleology within the universe they rest its case exclusively on the capacity of finite consciousness, as such (e.g. apart from its unconscious, or supra-conscious solidarity), for a guidance and selection which constitutes the world as we know it. They deny, as I gather, in principle, that the supreme individuality, whose reality they are concerned to maintain, can manifest itself through a nature which is the complement of mind, and through a social and historical evolution which is more than the work of finite minds. They would not admit that processes, which must appear to the finite consciousness as necessity below it, and as evolution or providence above it, are what equip it with its content, and bestow on it its significance in the world-order.

If I read the tendency aright, the reaction against mechanism bids fair to end in the antithesis of an empty directive unit with a directionless mass of externality, and to enthrone the finite subject, or, worst still, a theistic Demiurge, in his blankness and isolation, as guides and masters of nature and of history. If this is rightly read, I believe that we shall have to recall the votary of mechanism, along with Spinoza, in the interests of the philosophy of history, and the theory of religion. It is intolerable that Nature, through which alone spirit attains incarnation, should be treated as a directionless material; or that art, thought, society, history, in which mind begins to transcend its finiteness, should be ascribed to the directive abilities of units in a plurality, precisely apart from the world-content and the underlying solidarity of spirits, the medium in which all great things are done.

The view in which I find a difficulty seems to be present in two degrees. Either the realm of finite consciousness is taken to be co-extensive with the organic kingdom, that is, with life, and to be responsible for the introduction along with life, of a principle of guidance and construction unknown to inorganic matter, and accounting wholly and essentially for the teleological element in evolution and in history;17 or again, the realm of finite consciousness is extended throughout the inorganic world itself, not merely as a possibility of fact, but as a means of accounting for the manifestation of design or harmony in actual nature through reactions which are by others falsely taken to be mechanical18. The distribution of mentality through the inorganic and organic worlds is a mere question of fact; but I am certain that no appeal to it can release us from the necessity of assuming a determinate outward side, which gives content to the mind or will of separate beings; nor can account for definite characteristics of the world from a multiplication of subjective centres alone.

In both cases it appears to me that an error of fundamental principle has been committed. I do not doubt that anything which can ultimately be, must be of the nature of mind or experience, and, therefore, that reality must ultimately be conceived after this manner. But to pass from this ultimate conviction to the idea that finite minds are the sole vehicles and determinants of teleology apart from “a nature,”—a relatively external and mechanical system, by which their content is defined and their individuality manifested, and also apart from a deeper unity through which they co-operate to a harmony transcending their finite purposes—this seems to me as serious an error as that of the mechanistic view itself. And I have attempted to point out that the misconception is deep-rooted in the double meaning of the term teleology.

Teleology and Objective Selection.

5. I will insist on this point again. We have seen, I think, that Teleology is an unlucky term.19 In the sense of aiming at the unfulfilled it gives an unreal importance to time, and to the part of any whole—it may be a relatively trivial part—which happens to come last in succession. Of the two implications of the term—“end”—completeness and conclusion—the latter, which is an accessory, usurps precedence over the former which is fundamental. But in truth its significance does not depend on what comes first or last, but what there is in the individual real when it is apprehended in its completeness. Action is not truly teleological20 because in the time-process some deferred element of some subordinate quasi-totality is in it being carried out by means of a finite desire. The “end,” in this sense, would not necessarily have teleological21 value, and if it had it in some degree, would not necessarily be a leading constituent of it. The true question of value would be independent of temporal relations, and would depend on the structure and significance of the whole in course of completion; that is, on its character of individuality, or nearness to the ultimate whole. The great enemy of all sane idealism is the notion that the ideal belongs to the future. The ideal is what we can see in the light of the whole, and the way in which it shapes the future for us is only an incident—and never the most important incident—of our reading of past, present, and future in their unity. Thus when “end” or “purposiveness” or “teleology” merely indicates the fact that some finite consciousness is urged by some pleasurable impulse or by some unfulfilled idea, there is in this, apart from the content of the idea, nothing specially sacred or significant.22 It is vain to look to the bare fact of conscious purpose or impulse for the essence or significance of teleology. Purpose only means, prima facie, that, using consciousness in the very widest sense, some creature consciously wants something. But, omitting all the very serious difficulties connected with criticism of the value of the purpose, does the something lose its value when it is attained? Does everything, then, not merely exhibit its value, real or fancied, in being wanted, but derive its value from being wanted? Are fruition or perfection really the death of value?

Are the ideas of positive fulfilment and satisfaction, of a being which is good in itself, and above the alternations of want and satiety, mere chimeras? If this is so, then there is no Absolute, or, if we appeal to finite experience alone, the character of the Absolute wholly fails to suggest itself in or through the experiences of our lives. But, as I have attempted to show, such a conclusion would be flatly in the face both of fact and of theory. No doubt our wants play a part in the ultimate whole, but it is plain that as given they cannot conceivably be a measure of value. We cannot think of an intuitive intelligence itself as creating values out of all relation to a whole with determinate content. It, the supreme experience, whatever name we may give it, must be one with its world and not a creator out of nothing.23

Things are not teleological because they are purposed, but are purposed because they are teleological.24 Thus, when we speak of the ultimate real as an individual or as teleological it is hazardous to say that purpose, in the sense of a craving unfulfilled in time, can play any part in our conception. Teleology which depends on a feature of the time-process is not a teleology which any one but a pragmatist can affirm of ultimate reality; and the lesson thus suggested is only enforced when we come to ask ourselves what is the true test, even for organic evolution, for social progress, or for morals, of the purposiveness of a purpose. Subjective selection is very poor work, except in as far as it becomes more than subjective. Objectiveness of selection, the selection of values which will stand criticism, is the test of true “teleology” or purposiveness.

Convergence of spiritual value and mechanical intelligibility.

6. The problem may be developed by considering the relation of two positions respecting the nature of mechanism whose compatibility has been denied. It has been argued that the position α, that nature is instrumental to the development of spiritual values, is incompatible with the position β that the spiritual view is that which regards experience as a mechanically intelligible whole.25

In considering this question, the first thing is to make our attitude clear, whether right or wrong. For this purpose three points must be explained.

In the first place, according to the ideas developed in the previous chapter, the Uniformity of Nature is here taken as a logical postulate, equivalent to the Law of Identity as interpreted into the Law of Sufficient Reason;26 and all attempts to impeach it on the score of de facto irregularity in natural phenomena are held irrelevant. To suppose that the Uniformity of Nature is a principle of repetition of similars, and means that the future will resemble the past, and can be impeached by any irregularity which is not taken as miraculous, we considered to be an elementary logical blunder.27 While to suppose that such an impeachment is a guarantee of spirituality in the universe is a recurrence to the position of the upholders of miracles in the same imagined interest.

In the second place, we treat it as a parallel error to contrast individuality with law, and to suppose that universal connections are hostile to the former, and only exist in the form of generalities applying to collections of instances related in the way of resemblance. The case of what we vulgarly call an individual, a person designated by a proper name, is a sufficient instance to the contrary.28 In the notion that such an individual is not a universal and framed of universals and that to have a universal you must have a number of resembling points, we have the old fallacy of the substitution of similarity for identity, with the consequent misapprehension of the nature of a universal and as a corollary, the failure to apply a genuine conception of the spiritual.

And in the third place, the idea of mechanism here accepted is one which neither reduces the universe to modifications of homogeneous quantity,29 nor yet impeaches the “uniformity of nature,” and the general quantitative relations underlying natural phenomena. It accepts as the apparent custom of the universe and as a corollary of the interdependence of content and system, that qualities have quantitative connections, and that a high degree of spiritual or emotional expressiveness accompanies a high degree of complexity and intelligible determinateness.30 It is one thing to reject a purely abstract calculation as the exclusive scheme of reality; it is another thing to be driven, by a sense of the faulty philosophy of popular science, into the extremes of depreciating the spiritual value of intelligence, and assigning to the bare facts of finite conation an unreal independence in the universe.

In presence of these three explanations the truth and compatibility of the above cited assertions will seem perhaps to be even too obvious. The disputed position was that it is the true spiritual view which regards Nature as mechanically intelligible. The position that Nature is organic to spiritual ends was accepted and need not be defended. It was the consistency of the former with the latter that was in question. What the author desired and still desires to maintain is that either position is inconceivable apart from the other. Individuality, the union of comprehensiveness and coherence, the incarnation of non-contradiction, could not be realised in any system which is not transparent according to the Law of Causation or Sufficient Reason.31 Where there is (or appears to be) discontinuity, as tested by these characteristics of an intelligible whole, there inevitably is (or appears to be) pro tanto a gap in the embodiment of spiritual purpose and significance. A purpose is not realised, it is not a reality as penetrating and vivifying a mass of content, if it is not affirmed continuously and traceably in a coherent structure.32 No purpose or significance can be realised through miracle. Any prejudice to the contrary arises from the logical blunder of fancying the concrete universal—the individual—incompatible with the realisation of “general law”; which is really nothing but a weakened form33 of one or other of the universal determinations concerned in the individual structure.

I shall be reminded that causal or mechanical explanation is necessarily incomplete and proceeds ad infinitum. But this is only so if it is taken as total or absolute, i.e. as involving homogeneity. And even so it is only another side of the same defect of finite experience which makes all teleological explanations arbitrary and eclectic. The former cannot be complete nor the latter rationally justifiable in any experience so far as it is incapable of unifying reality. If both were complete, they would inevitably blend, and the special characters which constitute their differences would become aspects within a unity. This is not an empty imagination. The relation of cause and ground to the whole, on the one hand,34 and the tendency of teleology to expand into systematic coherence,35 on the other hand, exhibit the beginning of the convergence.

Organic mechanism due to the world-wisdom, not to finite consciousness.

7. A note of the one-sidedness which we are deprecating is to be found in the attempt to analyse mechanism into degenerated finite teleology, on the analogy of secondary automatism; to interpret reflex response throughout the organic world in terms of such acquired facility as that of the skilled pianist.36 The contention is that there cannot be a machine embodying an idea, unless it is definitely constructed and also “worked”—supervised and guided—by a finite consciousness with its explicit finite teleology.37

In the case of machines constructed by man, there is a certain plausibility in this contention. If we fix our eyes on their limitations, and not on their positive nature, it is undeniable, of course, that their independence and self-dependence do not carry them far. But this surely is very explicable. It is just because the teleology of finite consciousness, whose construction they are, is itself so very partial and eclectic. The inferior self-dependence of the artificial machine is a mirror of the narrowness of the finite consciousness, and we shall see reason to suggest below that there are problems which civilised man actually solves from day to day, which are, as a whole, beyond the grasp of conscious intelligence, and cannot be dealt with except by a conjunction of consciousnesses only in part determined by their consciousness. Nevertheless, there is nothing in the contact of men with their machines to show, so far as this goes, that the human consciousness is not mechanically constituted; there is certainly no observable point in the construction or control of a machine at which anything but mechanical interconnection takes place between the producer and his product.

And if, instead of picking out the limitations, we look at the possibilities and distinctive nature of a machine, as well as that of any human achievement in material construction, as, say, of a work of fine art, is not its plain lesson that ideas can be embodied in unconscious and external form mechanical in every fibre, and that these cases, which are unmistakable because of their origin in finite consciousness, should give the line to our interpretation of nature where no such consciousness is traceable?

Exactly so, I suppose is the rejoinder, it does give the line to our view of nature, and that view, therefore, is that all organic machinery originates in, and is worked by, a finite consciousness. But this seems to be drawing a moral which rests on a purely incidental feature, and on the whole is contrary to fact, in place of one which is supported by all the phenomena.

No doubt our machines, for the reason stated above, are one-sided and imperfect machines; and the works of nature excel them in independence, though not in special contrivance. But the works of nature, like the greater achievements of history and practice, are not dependent for their construction and operation on a relevant and explicit consciousness. We know that in man himself it is only a small proportion of the bodily mechanism of which we even say in popular language that it is controlled by consciousness; and whatever consciousness may be present in the world of plant-life or of the lower animals, it is obviously not of a kind that could devise or know how to employ the major part of the complex arrangements of their bodies. A famous argument of Kant applies here in principle. Reason has its purposes, but they are higher purposes than to effect the working of the bodily machine; even in man that is mainly left to reflexes and instinct, and is better done by them. We know that reason is incapable of teaching us to swallow, or to move an arm; and we cannot imagine that the dim feelings, if there are any, which accompany plant-life, taught the orchid to put gum on the base of its pollen-masses, or to adopt stamen-fibres which bend as they are carried through the air. If we ascribe these things to a finite teleological consciousness, we must inevitably be driven on to say as much for the forces which, in shaping the Eastern Mediterranean, prepared the essential basis of Graeco-Roman and Christian civilisation, or which made Great Britain an island, and planted marble mountains in Attica.

I am not concerned to maintain that purposes and ideas do or do not as such operate in nature; it seems doubtful what the question can mean. What I am interested in pointing out may be taken to mean almost the reverse, viz. that Nature below conscious intelligence, and Providence, if we like to call it so, above, can achieve, without the help of a relevant38 explicit consciousness, results of the same general type as those which are ascribed to the guidance of finite minds. The participation of the inorganic world in history is thoroughly continuous with that of the organic world; and it will hardly be contended that in the former at all events finite consciousness is operative, or that the process is not mechanical in the sense we have given to the word.

The notion that expression of ideas is somehow opposed to mechanism is widespread and tenacious. And it is a fallacy of the same kind as that which takes uniformity to mean that the future will resemble the past.

Thus, for example, in dealing with the utterance of mind through the fine arts, we constantly speak as if “expression” came somehow straight from the soul39 while “mechanical finish” was something different in kind. But in truth, of course, both are prima facie alike mechanical, and “expression” must mean, at least in some respects, a more perfect mechanical control over the medium than what is termed par excellence mechanical execution. Mind and individuality, so far as finite, find their fullest expression as aspects of very complex and precisely determined mechanical systems. This is the law, I believe wholly without exception, for every higher product of human soul and intelligence and also of cosmic evolution. It follows necessarily from the nature of “being and trueness,” as Plato calls them. The greater being must have the more perfect coherence, and the more perfect coherence must have the fuller content. The mechanical appearance—the continuity of transition and determination—must therefore be unbroken, though we may suppose it to depend on the nature of a system in which individuality is manifested through universal law. But it is idle to appeal to finite purposive consciousness as in principle the sole vehicle of teleology within our experience, and the source, through its fossilised habits, of what is construed as a mechanical “nature.” The external must be frankly accepted as a factor, actual but not ultimate, in the universe.

Having now, after the argument of section 4, no need to restrict teleology to the realm of finite purpose, we can freely suppose the world-plan to be immanent in the whole, including finite mind and also mechanical nature. Thus the obviously secondary and fragmentary being of the former would constitute a partial revelation of the meaning of things, but by no means its principal vehicle or the sole organ of guidance in evolution or in history. The point here maintained against the critic depends on the continuity of mechanism with the individuality of the real, in virtue of that deeper aspect of the latter which is logical rather than teleological. This is why, admitting a certain inadequacy in the mechanical view as commonly understood, we still contend that the true spiritual ideal demands mechanical intelligibility.

The “plan” is the working of the whole.

8. We may now approach a positive result, and first take for illustration the case of an organic product commonly supposed to be below the line of consciousness, say, a flower. Our view excludes two extremes. On the one hand, it is ridiculous to say that such a product arises by accident; that is, as a by-product of the interaction of elements in whose nature and general laws of combination no such result is immanent, as though we were dealing with the insight of a human contriver, by which the more complex developments and combinations were not anticipated. It is impossible in this way to treat part of the world as primary and part as a secondary superstructure. We must interpret the nature of nature as much by the flower as by the law of gravitation. If we come to that, there are appearances which we cannot on any sound principle refuse to rank with the flower as teleological, in the most direct and simple formations of the inorganic world. The motions of the solar system, the curl of a wave, the curve of a cataract, the abruptness of a precipice, are appearances deeply rooted in the simplest material data, and yet, for all we can see, as well meriting a presumption of teleological value as any object of consciousness except consciousness itself.40

On the other hand, we must not say that “purpose is operative” in the flower or the wave, if that is to mean that we ascribe them to an end or idea, somehow superinduced upon the course of their elements by a power comparable to finite consciousness, operating as it were ab extra, and out of a detached spontaneity of its own. If the former notion spelt accident, this spells miracle.

We have seen that teleology is destroyed if no determinate universal relations between the differences of the unity can be truly predicated. As we saw in Lotze,41 it is impossible to find a point at which life is not in appearance mechanically conditioned. Thus the individuality manifested, apart from operative consciousness, in a flower, or mountain, or wave, really forces on us a conclusion which goes so far that the case of human consciousness, though appearing so widely different in degree, can hardly carry us further in principle.42

Avoiding the two extremes just pointed out, we are driven to affirm that in the structure and being of the flower the common natural elements behave according to what they are, and that the wonderful creation we behold is simply the immanent development of certain factors, which, no doubt, in their isolation seem far enough removed from anything of the kind. We have, indeed, to bear in mind that the environment, the objective selection, of the world, has been active. It is not in a few elements, as laid side by side in the laboratory, but only in the whole interactions of nature, that the plan of the flower has been immanent. All that we are certain of, and of this we are certain under any view of evolution, is that the structure of the plant or animal is a microcosm from which, with adequate knowledge, the nature of its environment could be read off. Whether we attempt to adhere to the strictest doctrine of natural selection, or assume a cause of psychological nature, with or without inheritance of qualities acquired by individuals, the fundamental point remains the same; it is the world, the environment, which is responsible for the respective differences between the forms of organic evolution. The powers of protoplasm or the initial impulse of life43 are a common condition and might be responsible, at the outside, for certain common phenomena in the divergent lines. But on the whole, through one capacity of life or another, it is the world that has given content to the individual commonly so called. The thing is plain in the sphere of intelligence and volition,44 and with the slight possible reservation indicated above it is no less obvious in the world of organic evolution. I venture to urge that here we are really not relying on any point which can be disputed on metaphysical grounds. Say if you like that the cause is psychological, e.g. that it is subjective selection and not a reaction of matter as such. Still, no sane man will maintain45 that in the regions of structural adaptation, except in our conscious efforts to develop the human body, such a psychological cause does conscious teleological work. There is really an equivocation in suggesting that the assumption of such a cause in these cases helps to account for their teleology. It does not solve problems, nor contrive adaptations. In fact, it would be much truer to assert that subjective selection is negative and natural selection positive than with writers of eminence to affirm the reverse. Subjective selection, we must conceive, offers an infinity of reactions tending to pass into habits; and it is only natural selection that can mould them to a definite line of progress, and elicit from among them a positive structure. To say that natural selection is negative is like saying that the sculptor's art is negative because it works by removal. If mind, then, is operative in the structural adaptation of the animal and even of the plant, it is not operative as mind. It does not contain the plan, or guide the line of progress. It may be, as compared with the reactions of matter, a more felicitous conception of the agency by which the plan, immanent in the whole, can be appropriated and actualised. But in any case, we are sure of this, that a work as wonderful as the works of finite consciousness is done, say, in a flower, without any intervention of consciousness as a teleological agency; that is, as endowed with a plan or capable of solving a problem. In this case no one would advance the suggestion of the miraculous intervention of a consciousness, which would meet us if we appealed to the embodiment of mind in artificial machines or in works of æsthetic expression.46

And, moreover, any such suggestion has, in my view, been entirely put out of court by the examination to which we have subjected the correlative conceptions of mechanism and teleology. The idea that when a man constructs a clock, or composes a sonata, you have a purposive intelligence operating by the bare form of design on a system which thus receives something that cannot be communicated by the reaction of mechanical parts on one another, should now appear to be a contradiction in terms. No one would think to-day of accounting for a flower by an explanation of that kind, say, by the purposive interposition of a creative intelligence, and whether or no Nature can aim at ends, it is bare fact that without any contriving consciousness she can present them to our minds.

Thus we have partly seen, and we may now further see, that the foundations of “teleology”—really individuality—in the universe are far too deeply laid to be explained by, still more, to be restricted to, the intervention of finite consciousness. Everything goes to show that such consciousness should not be regarded as the source of teleology, but as itself a manifestation, falling within wider manifestations, of the immanent individuality of the real. It is not teleological, for the reason that as a finite subject of desire and volition it is “purposive.” It is what we call purposive because reality is individual and a whole, and manifests this character partly in the short-sighted and eclectic aims of finite intelligence, partly in appearances of a far greater range and scope. The large-scale patterns of history and civilisation are not to be found as purposes within any single finite consciousness; the definite continuity and correlation of particular intelligent activities, on which the teleological character of human life as a whole depends—the “ways of Providence”—are a fact on the whole of the same order as the development of the solar system or the appearance of life upon the surface of the earth. It is impossible to attribute to finite consciousnesses, as agents, the identity at work within finite consciousness as a whole. This identity is exhibited in a development which springs from the linked action of separate and successive finite consciousnesses in view of the environment.47 Every step of this development, though in itself intelligent and teleological, is in relation to the whole unconscious; and the result is still “a nature,” though a second and higher nature. This principle is all-important, and holds throughout all levels of being. I am content to stake my whole contention upon it, and if it can be overthrown, or if I have misconceived the relation of anti-naturalist writers to it, I shall be most eager to be set right.

Two points. Teleology below consciousness.

9. I will repeat and emphasise the two parts of the contention.

i. There is teleology below consciousness. The intelligence of man and of animals that can be called intelligent does not, as I see the matter, sustain or conduct their bodily life. To say that all vital responses have been inherited from volitional or quasi-volitional behaviour is, to my mind, doubtful in fact, but in any case, an evasion of the point of principle.

In the first place, if something analogous to volition48 moulded the structure of the body in earlier phases of evolution, it never moulded them by any conscious wisdom in the mind of that phase; it followed, almost blindly, the determining of a deeper wisdom, which lay hidden in the general structure of the environment. The denial of teleological significance to natural selection is typical of the contention which I am arguing against.

In the second place, whatever mind may have done in the past for our bodily structures and responses, this cannot come into court when we ask what part it plays to-day. Man's mind and purposes presuppose, accept, and are founded on, his actual body; the plant-mind, if there is one, presupposes and accepts the plant-form. Say here, as was said of man, that mind is present from the beginning; still it is present in forms so elementary that they must on the whole be moulded rather than mould. The orchid, as I have said above, could have no mind that contrives its fertilisation any more than man has a mind which could teach him to swallow or digest, or could choose the place or century of his birth. Everywhere finite consciousness makes its appearance, so far as this is obvious and unmistakable, at a relatively high level, focusing and revealing the significance of a huge complication of mute history and circumstance behind it and surrounding it.

Teleology above consciousness.

ii. And with the mention of history, and the time and place of a man's birth we come to Teleology above finite consciousness. In history, or in what is greater than history, the linked development of art or ideas and religions, the principle of a teleology beyond though exhibited in finite consciousness is clear and unambiguous. It is not finite consciousness that has planned the great phases of civilisation, which are achieved by the linking of finite minds on the essential basis of the geological structure of the globe. Each separate mind reaches but a very little way, and relatively to the whole of a movement must count as unconscious. You may say there is intelligence in every step of the connection; but you cannot claim as a design of finite intelligence what never presented itself in that character to any single mind. The leader of a Greek colony to Ionia in the eighth or ninth century B.C. was certainly paving the way for Christianity; but his relation to it, though in a higher way of working, was essentially that of a coral insect to a coral reef. Neither Christianity nor the coral reef were ever any design of the men or the insects who constructed them; they lay altogether deeper in the roots of things; and this, as I hold, really carries with it the conclusion which in principle must be accepted about evolution. Nothing is properly due to finite mind, as such, which never was a plan before any finite mind.

What applies to Finite Consciousness applies to the god of Theism.

10. The contrast, then, of mechanism with teleology is not to be treated as if elucidated at one stroke by the antithesis of purposive consciousness and the reactions of part on part. It is rooted in the very nature of totality, which it regards from two complementary points of view, as an individual whole, and as constituted of inter-reacting members. Of the two points of view, it is impossible for either to be entirely absent. Assuming this impossibility to be possible, a total failure of mechanical intelligibility would reduce the spiritual to the miraculous, the negation of all spirituality, as a total failure of teleological intelligibility would reduce individuality to incoherence, and annihilate mechanism. But teleology, being usually thought of par excellence or in abstraction, may more easily be supposed absent than mechanism, which must attend any inter-relation at all. “Understanding without Reason is something, Reason without understanding is nothing.”49

The entire doctrine of theism in the Kantian sense as involving a personal creator and governor of the world, and with it the paramount importance of subjective selection and bare finite consciousness as agents in the universe, in contrast with natural selection and the immanent plan of things, is here called in question, though another and a deeper importance might attach itself, as has been indicated, to finite consciousness from a wholly different point of view. The meeting of extremes in metaphysics is not a thing that should surprise us; and the polemic against the mechanical view of the universe and the epiphenomenal doctrine of intelligence may find these conceptions falling back upon an alliance unexpected alike to themselves and to their antagonist. In these suggestions we are entirely discarding the actual context and contentions of recent epiphenomenalism. But the name “epiphenomenalism” seems to suggest a significance which has not usually been given it. I do not mean to treat consciousness or the self as a by-product or an accessory; but it is becoming more and more obvious that, qua the developed finite mind, they must be regarded as appearances which come on the top of a great deal that must go before them. Two opposing contentions seem to demand fusion. To the voluntarist, the believer in a something hardly conscious, underlying explicit intelligence, in which he finds the fundamental reality and the true mainspring of the soul, it must be admitted that a vast underground work is involved in the formation of an intelligent moral being. The conscious self is plainly the last word of an immense evolution which is practically and relatively from unconsciousness to consciousness; and presupposes, necessarily presupposes, so far as we can understand, the co-operation of unconscious nature in moulding the foundation of mind.50 I see no logical value whatever in assuming the presence of mind in simpler forms at earlier phases of evolution.

But to admit all this to the advocates of an obscure something called the will-to-live does not destroy, but, if rightly understood, corroborates and enhances, the significance and value of intelligence, and of self-realisation through the realisation of ideas. For it is this that is brought to pass as the climax and the revelation in as far as the underground self emerges into completeness. It is only then that we begin to learn what we are, and to enjoy or possess ourselves, and, by consequence, the world.

The conscious and intelligent self is on the top of, it is made possible by, all the stress and complexity of the work that goes before it. If instead of calling it epiphenomenal we call it the climax and sum and substance of evolution, we should be stating the truth which epiphenomenalism caricatures. But it follows, of course, that when the self comes, it does not come empty or without presuppositions. Mind, in a sense, no doubt is the active form of totality, and in that sense is everything; but every particular finite mind has received some filling before it is aware of itself; and it could not be aware of itself if it had not. It begins, so to speak, high up in the world of experience, and is in possession at starting of a content and a machinery which its world has prepared for it. However little a man to-day may believe in materialistic determinism he will be slow to deny that the bodily arrangements and mechanisms are at least the basis of the working of the soul. If we look at the matter rightly, this gives the organised consciousness an enormously greater significance and importance, than if we held it to be, so to speak, a structureless intellectual protoplasm. It is nothing less than an individual spiritual body, a special utterance and revelation of the universe in its highest finite form. It is bare consciousness and the unmoulded power of selection that seem to us in their emptiness impotent abstractions. The concrete self is different, and, as we have said throughout, is a world within a world of worlds.

The similarity between these ideas and the deepest conclusions of religious philosophy cannot fail to attract our attention. That on the whole the finite intelligent being has the duty and position rather of coming to himself and awakening to his own nature and his unity with what we call, by an imperfect analogy, a greater mind and will, than of controlling the course of the world, or moulding it as an independent cause, this is a point of view which seems to demand reaffirmation.51 At least it is suggestive as against claims which largely spring from making absolute the attitude of individualistic moralism, and has, I think, been divined with a Spinozistic enthusiasm, though not adequately expressed, by some of the scientific leaders whose inadequate mechanical theory is the legitimate prey of recent philosophical criticism.

It will be necessary at a further stage to deal expressly with the question of the finite individual's freedom and initiative. It is enough for the present to suggest that as a self-conscious being he is in principle a member of the universe inter pares; he is something, however trifling, without which it would not be what it is. He is, indeed, an organ through which, however slightly in degree, the whole maintains itself. And, therefore, it could not justly be maintained that nothing is genuinely done or effected in him and by him. Only the erroneous implication must be avoided as if a finite individual could find as it were a που̑ στω̑ outside the universe and proceed to act upon and reform it. A doctrine which brings together the conception of action, freedom, initiative, achievement, on the one hand, and of the coming to oneself, learning one's place and nature, awakening to one's membership, and rejoicing in that, greater than one's self, which underlies and surrounds one's self,52 may give and receive assistance in the attempt to conceive the relations between mind and body, or if this is an incorrect expression, the way in which spirit appears as a focus to matter.

To put the case in the extreme. If finite consciousness were nothing, beyond a mind awakening to the significance of that realm or circumference of externality to which it serves as a centre, and a self-identification with the logic and the tension of the absolute in that one vortex or focus of its being, can we say that this would amount to no achievement, and to nothing at all of value? But I am not maintaining this; it seems as if we might get nearer the matter and make a better case for personality and initiative than that of mere revelation and awakening. Still, dare we say that this alone, the mere recognition of the infinite in ourself, would be nothing worth having, and nothing in which the living finite man—the conscious body as a whole, might be ennobled by achievement?

  • 1.

    See Lecture VIII. below.

  • 2.

    Cf. Hegel's view of Teleology, McTaggart's Commentary on Hegel's Logic, sect. 255.

  • 3.

    Cf. Burnet, Aristotle's Ethics, xlvi., with Stout's Groundwork of Psychology, p. 21. The modern view makes more of the cessation than of the positive completion. I am referring more especially to the doctrine of vital series.

  • 4.

    So in the modern conation theory, the pleasure and the end are found to fall apart (Stout, Analytic Psychology, ii. 273), and the value comes rather to be in the pleasure than in the end = terminus ad quem; i.e. the two characters of value and terminus are dissociated—the one is a concomitant of the whole process, the other is only its close. The same is true of the account of the higher desires which Plato employs; the pleasure is not merely in the satiety of the terminus; it is a character of the whole activity.

  • 5.

    “Parlar di fine, a proposito dell’ universo, è adoperar la parola fine in un significato che non è più quello che le conosciamo.”—Varisco, I Massimi Problemi, p. 218.

  • 6.

    Cf. McTaggart on the full meaning of “Cognition” and “Volition,” op. cit. sect. 284.

  • 7.

    Stout, Analytic Psychology, ii. 270; Groundwork of Psychology, pp. 21, 25.

  • 8.

    Eth. Nic. x. iv. 1.

  • 9.

    It is clear that for Aristotle πρα̑ξις in the full sense and at the highest value—the quintessence of πρα̑ξις—is one with the perfect ϵ᾽νϵ´ργϵια. But this does not mean that the full conception of ϵ᾽νϵ´ργϵια can be reduced to that of every-day πρα̑ξις.

  • 10.

    See reference, p. 125 above.

  • 11.

    No doubt, as Aristotle points out, in the fullest fruition a man is liable to fatigue. But this seems to be in principle an incident of our limited strength, and not a sign of true satiety with reference to the object of interest. It should be explained that the aesthetic interest or desire which makes us, e.g. go to look at a picture or wish to buy it, does not undo the peculiarity of aesthetic enjoyment in being directed to the pictured semblance of an object, and not to its actual use or possession.

  • 12.

    Aristotle's counter-attack, alleging that self-complete activity or fruition is really the enjoyable part in all conation whatever, even in the painful pleasures, so that conation would not be in any degree the condition of value or pleasure, may be thought to prove too much, and to correct one mistake by another. The view taken in the text avoids this danger (see Ethics, vii. 12. 2 and 14. 7).

  • 13.

    See above, p. 129 and following note.

  • 14.

    Stout, Analytic Psychology, ii. 280: “The analogy of a bent spring is not in point.” Groundwork of Psychology, p. 24. The effect is that pleasures and pains depend on characters of the progress of a conation, not on its completion.

  • 15.

    The question is akin to the problem whether feeling involves conation. See Stout, Groundwork, pp. 24, 25, and Bradley, Mind, n.s. xl. p. 449. There is, of course, a wide gap between the simplest effortless enjoyments and the highest persistent satisfaction (say, aesthetic). But the relation of the two to conation seems analogous.

  • 16.

    See Lecture III.

  • 17.

    In the sharp opposition between the organic world as on the up grade, and the inorganic as on the down grade, Dr. Ward is very much at one with M. Bergson. On the other hand, as to the nature of the mainspring in the organic world, whether a life-impulse or a teleological consciousness, they seem profoundly at variance. See, however, below on Ward's meaning when he speaks of working the organic machine.

  • 18.

    For Ward, this view is simply, as I understand, an extension of his individualism. But in asserting the claims of finite mind as known in the organic world he has made its opposition to inorganic nature so pronounced, that I do not see how he can treat the guidance ascribed to finite mind as immanent in the members of the world as a whole.

  • 19.

    Cf. McTaggart, l.c.

  • 20.

    Assuming “teleological” to imply something valuable and desirable, in harmony with the universe as most perfectly experienced.

  • 21.

    Refer to previous footnote.

  • 22.

    It is all very well to speak, e.g. of pleasure as a guide to fulness of life; but facts of natural selection and of anti-Hedonism (I do not mean in philosophical theory but in the temper and deliberate conduct of mankind) show plainly that the prima facie case is as strong against its guidance as for it. “If your pleasures are right, you survive” is only the correlative of “If they are wrong you perish.”

  • 23.

    See Bergson on the “néant” as the chimera of a possible alternative to all positive worlds (Évolution créatrice, iv.).

  • 24.

    In the sense explained in footnote on previous page.

  • 25.

    Cf. the author's Psychology of the Moral Self, pp. 117, 126, and Professor Taylor, Mind, lii. 488.

  • 26.

    Author's Logic, ii. 210-2. If we take the Law of Sufficient Reason as especially implying Teleology, which I understand to have been Leibniz's view, and which is closely analogous to the conception of Taylor's Metaphysics, it really makes no difference of principle. Teleology, as we have seen in the previous paragraphs, is simply a temporal sub-form of harmony, just as Sufficient Reason is a sub-form of Identity in concrete application.

  • 27.

    The familiar suggestion that granting logical uniformity it is still conceivable that the apparent or de facto inconstancy of nature might be such as to disconcert our theory and practice does not seem relevant here. If realised, it would only mean that different sense-perceptions from ours, and perhaps greater intellectual gifts, would be needed to penetrate such a nature, and we should be like savages in regard to it, which is no doubt in some degree the case.

  • 28.

    Bradley, Principles of Logic, p. 60.

  • 29.

    See M. Bergson's criticism of the vortex theory, Les Données, p. 157; and p. 109 above.

  • 30.

    See Lecture VIII. on the logical basis of the estimate of value.

  • 31.

    I observed above (p. 138) on the application of this law to the justification of contingent matter by final causes. If, as we have held, teleology in the sense which connects it with contingency, is secondary and ultimately unreal, the distinction thus founded of course disappears.

  • 32.

    It is most obvious, and most remarkable, that M. Bergson has never dealt with the conception of a logical universal. His notions of identity and association are those of Mill and Bain. He holds it inconceivable for identity to be realised through difference. The position is absolutely clear in Données, pp. 122, 158. A true notion of Identity would remodel his entire philosophy.

  • 33.

    Every significant idea is potentially a class-idea; but to consider it as a class-idea—a predicate capable of plural applications—instead of considering the detail of its content as a member in the universal nature of the system to which it belongs, is to consider it in a weakened form. To obtain such class-predications, is not, for example, the aim of true scientific induction (Logic, 2nd ed., ii. 174 ff.)

  • 34.

    Author's Logic, 2nd ed., i. 238.

  • 35.

    P. 129 above.

  • 36.

    Note that if this explanation only appeals to consciousness in the sense of an instinct determined by natural selection, there is really no basis at all of conscious teleology, beyond the need or pleasure of following an instinct, which implies no guidance by purposive consciousness.

  • 37.

    Ward, Naturalism and Agnosticism, i. 291.

  • 38.

    I mean by this a consciousness having before it the full end which is achieved.

  • 39.

    Cf. Ward, Naturalism, i. 109.

  • 40.

    Ward (Naturalism, i. 276 ff.) has insisted on the downhill trend, the “katabolic” character of the physical environment. And he connects with this its non-teleological, non-constructive character. “The inorganic world has nothing to match dynamite, Liebig's extract, a steam-engine, or a ship-torpedo.” But there are some points to bear in mind if we think of drawing a fundamental contrast. 1. The “Katabolic” processes of inorganic nature are physically continuous with and essential to the “anabolic” processes of life, and if the latter are teleological the former can hardly be otherwise. The whole life-process as storage of energy, e.g. depends on the sun. Much of the work done by purely inorganic forces, e.g. the change of rock into soil, are obvious conditions of the adaptation of the earth to life. It, therefore, can make no difference of principle whether life arose on our earth's surface or not. 2. It is only by an eclectic type of teleological judgment that inorganic nature can be termed in itself non-teleological. A sunset or a mountain or a stormy sea, not to speak of the solar system, though they need no anabolic process, yet, if we think of them as ends, give as much colour for supposing a directed process, a machine that produces them, as Liebig's extract or a ship-torpedo; and their value, surely, may well be reckoned as not smaller. You reply, “They need no construction, no machine; they flow from the principle of least resistance.” But then, we urge, the contrast between teleology and the principle of least resistance falls to the ground. 3. The continuity of the earth's geological structure with social and historical teleology is obvious. They plainly and essentially belong to the same process. “Not so, for life has simply used what it found, and could have used anything it found, and perhaps has used quite different conditions in other planets.” This is no answer, in face of the different degrees of success in adaptation which we observe. Life might, for all we know, be successful on different lines from those which prevail here; but our kind of life, at all events, does not deal equally well with all actual conditions, and there is no reason to think that any other kind would be more absolute. Clearly it needs a basis which is at one with it. It does appear to me as if Ward had not made up his mind between an unteleological foundation plus “guidance,” and a nature which is self-directing throughout (cf. Nat, ii. 253-54). And I believe the reason lies in the refusal to admit a true externality and the consequent belief that whatever is teleological must be living and subjective (see above, p. 142); cf. also “L’ evoluzione geologica e la biologica non si possono separare” (Varisco, I Massimi Problemi, Milan, 1910). It is hopeless to separate inorganic from organic in respect of teleology.

  • 41.

    Page 99, above.

  • 42.

    Relation to consciousness, presence in an experience, is no doubt the sine qua non of all values. But this does not forbid a comparison of our experience of external objects, as indicative of teleology, with our experience of our conscious acts.

  • 43.

    Bergson, Évolution créatrice, passim. Cf. Varisco's spontaneity of the monads. All this “life impulse” and “spontaneity” seem to me merely devices to represent a concrete start for the universe. But the universe must be what it is, and they might just as well assume a “nature,” as I do.

  • 44.

    See Lect. IX., below.

  • 45.

    See p. 144, above.

  • 46.

    In Driesch's Entelechy, which is his name for the power underlying the wonderful facts of alternative development, or repair of injuries, there is, of course, no question of consciousness.

  • 47.

    This argument, as was suggested above, is capable of a further application. See below, p. 159.

  • 48.

    Lotze, Metaphysics, sect. 230.

  • 49.

    Hegel's Life, Rosenkranz, p. 546. There is really a teleology in any order, and there must be some order (Bergson, Évolution créatrice, p. 240). But our ideas of teleology are arbitrary and eclectic; and in our sense, therefore, Teleology may be absent.

  • 50.

    “Ma perchè la monade si svolga in un soggetto e in un io, è necessario che divenga il centro d’un organismo, che quest’ organismo passi per le diverse phasi,” etc. (Varisco, op. cit. p. 222). I cannot see how the monad helps.

  • 51.

    Cf. McTaggart, Studies in Hegelian Cosmology, sect. 135.

  • 52.

    “Haeremus cuncti superis.”