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Lecture 9: Freedom and Initiative

Our view inclusive—Individuality means being a world in oneself and implies a special kind of self-determination.

1. OUR thesis in Lectures III., IV., and V. was what in old-fashioned phrase might be called the dependence of the finite individual upon the external or mechanical world. It was what an enemy might set down as something akin to materialism and to Naturalism. The fundamental conviction which has guided our discussion has been that the truth, or the real, is the whole. And our anxiety has been lest by neglecting any factor, by committing ourselves to any fundamental antithesis, we should ipso facto subordinate mind or spirit to excluded elements, which, so far as excluded, must remain both hostile and superior. Little as it may have seemed so, therefore, our primary object and ideal has been that of freedom. For so far as our mind or spirit attempts to draw upon itself, in the narrower sense—upon an inner self co-ordinately opposed to the outer world—so far we are convinced it disguises and mistakes its own procedure, and converts the logic of the self into fallacy and superstition. We have been eager, at the risk of being misunderstood, to shake off all bias and prejudice against special forms of appearance, except in so far as, taken in isolation, they claim an unreal predominance.

It should hardly be necessary to point out that our materialism or externalism is materialism or externalism with a difference. We claim it as the fulness and the genuine purport of concrete idealism, and if it is offered in a shape that implies a reactionary temper, we unhesitatingly reject it. For us, the true nexus throughout is logical and synthetic, not causal in the popular sense in which causation is analytic—a repetition of undifferentiated connexions. “Everything is what it is, and not another thing,” so far as this, that the interdependence of different appearances does not simply reduce one of them into another. For example, it is plain that the external world cannot be a self-subsistent entity. But it is one thing to exhibit it as the condition and the complement of spiritual being, and quite another thing to attempt to reduce it to mere inwardness, to subjective or psychical imagery. If it is urged that indeed everything is another thing or more than one other thing in the sense that appearances are transfigured by progressive experience, this, no doubt, is a fundamental truth; but it loses all sense and value if it is taken to suggest that differences can be absorbed without bringing anything of their former self to the transfigured whole.

Thus our type of Individuality has been from the first what we described as the concrete universal, or, more generally, as a world or cosmos. And so far from admitting that this principle makes concessions to Determinism, or to Materialism, or to Naturalism, in a sense hostile to Idealism or to spiritual freedom, our contention is that no other conception offers any loophole whatever by which Freedom can be saved, or a creative constructive, and initiative character vindicated for the self.

After restating summarily the essence of the idea in question we will go on to justify our view of its connection with Freedom.

The essence of Individuality, it seemed to us, was to be a world in oneself. That a being, which has this character, must, moreover, be no other world than itself—that the individual, so far as individual, is unique—seemed to be merely a corollary from the ultimate ideal of organisation. Among finite beings the positive character of originality is but little impaired by de facto overlapping or recurrence. It lies in what a man is, not in what he is not.

The essence of individuality, then, is to be a world in oneself. And this holds good in its degree for the most finite “individual.” In him, however incompletely, we see what it is to have experience, or, in the most general sense of the term, to be conscious. And we cannot use the term “being” in its full sense of anything but the whole of a consciousness or an experience. Whatever else is (though it may in a derivative and secondary sense possess individuality, like a mountain or tree, assuming them to have no degree of consciousness), is only as a fragment or abstraction within these. We cannot attach any meaning to it except as some portion of the experienced or the experiencing, or both in an undivided moment.

This is, perhaps, common ground to-day, but it has a corollary which needs to be insisted upon. The character of self-completeness, of being a cosmos, carries with it its own mode of self-determination and initiative. It is impossible to consider a being as constituted by a unity in diversity of content, and yet to suppose that the nature of the content is to be indifferent, and is not to have its way in the responses and transformation of the whole. I t is an old remark, but a true one, that our fears for freedom are due to wanting to learn to swim without going into the water, or, in more serious language, to a lack of faith in the Absolute. We desire to keep our individuality unspotted by the world, unstained by the content of life, and it is the inevitable result that we are driven to envisage it as the slave of circumstance. On the contrary, the conception of consciousness which is here set before us is, in general and in principle, that of a system of content, “come alive” according to certain arrangements by means of which the Absolute allows minor worlds, formally distinct,1 and of many degrees of fulness, to constitute its union with externality, which union is itself. The overwhelming impression of such a law of arrangements subserving life, produced by the general survey of the organic world, and especially of the animal intelligence, cannot be set aside. The gradation of animal minds presents an insuperable difficulty to all theories which suggest that finite consciousnesses are correlative each to each with persistent and self-subsistent differentiations of the Absolute. It is far more natural to suppose, what the plain facts seem to teach, that feeling or consciousness come where and in so far as they are demanded by content to be experienced, their appearance being conditioned by those peculiar phenomena of the external system which in innumerable degrees pave the way for the growth of microcosms. In this way something is realised not unlike what is demanded by monadism, viz. that every possible gradation of reality must be occupied; and the Absolute is enriched by experience of all conceivable grades and varieties of content. However this may be, the idea illustrates our point that a finite individual is in essence a cosmos which is a portion of the cosmos, bringing relatively to perfection and full experience that which in and through the correlated externality, the Absolute has to manifest and to appropriate.

The relative lateness and artificiality of the ego or self, and the protracted discipline of a living body or succession of bodies which it presupposes, make for the same conclusion. The objections that have been brought against the idea of the “eternal self,” though as objections they are, in my view, entirely without weight, yet serve to illustrate the point at issue. In a word, if we once admit the provisional reality of succession in time, there is nothing whatever to be gained by antedating the higher appearances. They come, we must believe, when their conditions are present, and not before. The self is experienced when a persistent mental system has been developed, capable of opposition to a not-self, though it seems strange to say that it can only be felt in as far as such an opposition takes a hostile form. We might say, in a sense, that it is active before it is experienced, in the de facto unity of feeling, within which the unity of consciousness grows up. But all this is a mere distinction of dates of appearance. It is one thing, as Green constantly reiterates, to say how we reach the experience of the eternal self; the truth that we possess it is quite another thing. There is no doubt a perplexing and interesting question, why the animal mind, in so many ways continuous with the human mind, should seem bound to arrest its development at a comparatively early stage. It would be much easier to explain a more complete evolution. As it is, we can only accept the fact, but it cannot be a motive for any treatment of human experience which is not necessary per se to deal with the phenomena. Mind, we repeat, is best regarded as a cosmos, and as working out its behaviour by the logic of a cosmos.

Objection that we make circumstance the only differentiating influence. We hold the self to be the inwardness of circumstance.

2. A difficulty is raised at once by any such way of presenting the facts, which may be considered by the help of a criticism that has been passed upon Green's account of the self-conscious moral agent. Broadly speaking, it comes to this. Self-consciousness, according to Green, is a character or principle which is the same for all and in all moral agents.2 Between such individuals there is no difference but a difference of content; for the self which experiences as well as that which is experienced, is content. Now an assignable difference of content—even of character or of disposition—goes back ultimately to data and environment, including bodily inheritance; it may be called, in fact, a difference of circumstances. This being so, and the principle of self-consciousness being as such common and identical, it is argued that the differences between individuals are externally accounted for; the self, in as far as it is distinctive, springs from circumstance and not from its own initiative; in short, what determines the individual to be such as he is comes from without and not from within, from surroundings, in the wide sense explained above, and not from self-consciousness. And therefore, in a word, determinism triumphs; the spiritual principle accounts for nothing distinctive; the body and the circumstances make the man what he is.3 The criticism is, in sum, that according to Green's doctrine the difference between one self and another lies simply in circumstances. To this at first sight the rejoinder is obvious. “No, not in circumstances, but in what a man makes of his circumstances. Different minds spring from practically the same circumstances, and make of them wholly different worlds.” We shall discuss the problem of character and circumstances more fully in a later Lecture. But it certainly seems as if against a resolute antagonist such an answer would not entirely hold good.4 “Of course,” he would reply, “things look like that; but the appearance can only be superficial. No doubt the difference of minds is one thing, and the difference of immediate externals another; but the difference of minds, of interests and capacities, is itself, according to the hypothesis, dependent upon circumstances, and cannot be taken as created by the endowment of self-consciousness, seeing that this is the common character of selves.”

Such a thorough-going deterministic interpretation5 cannot be met by any compromise. It can only be dealt with from a point of view more thorough than its own.

We are hopeful that such a point of view is involved in what has already been advanced. We, following Green, do not wish or need to exclude “circumstances” from the determinant and distinctive features of the self. The self, on the one hand, bears in its quality and content the banner of its place and time. It is what it includes. It is only finite, imperfect, self-contradictory, exclusive, through the impotence which causes it to include so little. On the other hand, its true and ultimate nature lies outside it, in the whole to its dependence on which the defects of its impotence bear witness. And it is actually through the impact of that whole in various forms, in all that we mean by struggle and circumstance, that its own nature is being progressively communicated to it. Therefore it is a mere observation ab extra to remark that all particular given selves bear the identical feature of self-consciousness, which is in other words a conation towards the unity of a harmonious cosmos, or towards the completed system of an eternal self. The truth of this abstract generality respecting selves as such in no way tends to establish an abstract character for the partly individualised conations in which concrete selves consist. The striving towards unity and coherence is the striving of the self as a living system of content; and the fact that this content has its origin “without” is only a corollary of the central truth that every self is a special “within,” and deals with some group of elements of that world-life in which all experience is one.

In a word, then, we hold that no ideal of freedom lies in the direction of isolating the self from the world. Freedom lies in the direction towards unity and coherence; and all that becomes one with the self is capable of contributing (even through apparent contradiction and the effort which it stimulates) to this satisfaction of the inherent logical tendency.

Therefore, to the criticism, “Your individual conation takes its line not from a self-conscious entity within it, but from outward circumstance, which is given to the self, and not created by it,” we reply, “That, on the whole, though we demur to the last five words,6 is, as we understand the matter, what the self is there for and consists in—to convert externality into inwardness, to elicit the conation, the need if we like, or if we like, the teaching, which underlies the circumstances out of which and by means of which it becomes a self. It is the working, the ‘logic,’ of this relative totality of experience that, as we understand the matter, constitutes the freedom of the concrete self; which thus affirms itself as a part of the eternal deed in which the Absolute sustains its living whole of experience.”

Objection from pre-determination.

Answered by exhibition of creative nature of Logic, carrying its past in its present, as in Art.

3. So much, then, for the reduction of individuality to difference of conditions. But the critic will return to the charge. Granted that the difference of origin between different individuals, together with the fact that this is rooted in the world beyond them, is no impeachment of the essential individuality of each; still, it will be urged, the fact remains that it all comes from somewhere; previously existing circumstances, united in a centre which brings no new positive element to combine with them, work out their inevitable resultant in combination with present conditions. It makes no difference, to use the terms of Kant's familiar argument, whether the sequence is physical or psychical; the essential point is predetermination, the power of a past, which is no longer a present, to prescribe what the present is to be.7 Thus we seem to have Determinism intensified into fatalism; and the action of an individual, and indeed the history of the world, is described as the rattling off of a chain of results inevitably decreed.“Tout est donné.”

It seems needless to insist at length on the answer to this difficulty, as it emerges from a consideration of the relation of noumenon and phenomenon in Kant, or as it forms the essence of Green's doctrine of the eternal self.

Those who are prepared to deny that a world of consciousness carries its past in its present, and that the logical determination of the outcome of such a present world, in the way in which a conclusion comes from premisses, is essentially different from determination by what is past and gone in the way of natural causation whether physical or psychical, will not be affected by any restatement of this well-known argument in its accustomed form. While to those who have in any degree grasped the way of working of a living mind or individual cosmos—the relation of a want to a motive, of a motive to a volition,8 of a volition to the structure of the self, it would be wearisome to meet with a reiteration of the familiar account.

But an attempt may be made to present what is ultimately the same argument in a more aggressive and perhaps more universally applicable shape, determined by the recent speculations which tend to exclude logic and intelligence from life, creation, and initiative—even from the “intuition” permitted to philosophy, which ought, surely, to stand on the whole to “intelligence” as Hegel's Reason to his Understanding. It has been said above—and the assertion may have excited surprise—that the whole recent tendency which separates imitation and invention, repetition and creation, fails most utterly and demonstrably in its treatment of the creative imagination of art.9 But the truth is that when you have broken in two the indivisible energy of reason, and assigned one part of it to likeness and the other to difference,10 you have rendered both the one and the other utterly and finally impotent and inconceivable. We see this in the general view which condemns the logical intelligence to be at home exclusively in spatial considerations, in solids, in geometry, and to be repelled as by a foreign element when it comes to deal with life. We remember that a truer philosophy has suggested that so far from finding the organism unintelligible, man's reason can, strictly speaking, understand nothing else.11 And we recognise in the account of artistic creation as a pure incarnation of the new and unaccountable the same irrational severance of identity and diversity which has been due, throughout the tradition in question, to working with likeness and unlikeness12 instead of with identity and difference. What the theory really means to say is that in artistic creation, in the work of genius and imagination, you have pure difference without identity, pure novelty issuing from no determinate connection, pure irrationality and unaccountableness. The work of art cannot be predicted, given its matter and its author. It is, in a word, beyond the reason and the intelligence, as life, in the speculations, we are referring to, is beyond logic.

This is a less trite form of the controversy about Freedom than that which deals with moral volition as such. But it is thoroughly relevant, and a decision in this court will carry with it the issue in all others.

It is a common and natural notion that the creative imagination of the artist is a faculty of origination de novo. The phrases “creative” or “productive” exercise in themselves a certain magic over our minds; and especially in elementary stages of art, and in early phases of aesthetic training, the imaginative process is apt to be opposed to logical derivation from reality, as the “ought,” in imperfect moral theory, is contrasted with the “is.”

This tendency is supported, when we come to theorise, by the obvious difference between a work of art and a calculation or an abstract argument. In the former not only can another person not follow the process of production, but the artist himself would be apt to say, though by no means always, or always in the same degree,13 that he did not know how it came to him. In the latter case, we are apt to say roughly that the production is common form; that it is open to any mind which will give the requisite labour and attention, and that the process can be analysed step by step. Of course, if we pressed it home, this statement would soon betray serious limitations; there is genius in science as in art, though, it may be, less definitely specialised and directed by nature. But in any case all this with the fullest weight that can be given it amounts to very little, compared with the thesis to which it is supposed to be relevant.

It only means that in calculation or abstract argument we are dealing with relatively simple and definite matter, which is fixed, combined, and communicated with comparative ease. In it we are only reproducing skeleton elements of the frame work of microcosms, and not the full effect of their concentred contents; and it is not surprising that, within limits which are narrower than we are apt to think, one mind can do in these ways much the same as another. But when we come to any issue in which the whole man is concerned the case is altogether otherwise. It is then only natural and to be expected that you cannot or cannot entirely14 substitute one mind for another; and that the issue of one world of content is not to be matched or reproduced by that of other such worlds whose contents ex hypothesi are different.

This is all that the appeal to impossibility of prediction really corroborates. Prediction means doing a thing before it is done;15 and of course this is only possible when the conditions are such as can with certainty be determined, and can be assembled in completeness at our pleasure. But in anything which depends on the entire response of the content of a mind, it is ridiculous to suggest such a possibility, except in so far as a mind may on the whole and in the main fall within another and a greater mind, or perhaps be identified with it so that the one may be in some degree substituted for the other.16 And in such a case prediction of the main lines of action or thought is possible and frequently actual.

Therefore, the alleged impossibility of prediction or construction of a work of art by other than the author adds nothing in principle to the argument based upon the obvious contrast between such a work and calculation or abstract demonstration. And this argument goes only to the difference of the matter, and does not in the least suggest that the creative nature of an artistic achievement rests on a fundamentally different principle from that involved in all advance and completion effected by the spirit of logic, which lies in the continuity of the universal. All logical process is the re-shaping of a world of content by its own universal spirit. There is no repetition—not so much as the recurrent application of a word—which is devoid of this creative element;17 and in creative production par excellence we have only the same thing at its fullest.

And as we learn to deal with greater shapes of art, and as aesthetic insight and experience increase, the penetrative imagination reveals itself as the higher form of the creative. And we feel that not the invention of novelty, but the logic which lays bare the heart and structure of things, and in doing so purifies and intensifies the feeling which current appearances are too confused and contradictory to evoke, is the true secret of art. No doubt we should fail to predict the incarnation which a painter's or a poet's thought will assume; if we could predict it, we should ourself be he. But this is not because we are too rational, but because we are not rational enough. The “fundamental brainwork” is lacking to us; as is a special capacity for the infinitely delicate logic of expression, by which the passionate thought already in itself too great for us, is embodied in a million ramifications of detail, constituting a tissue of precise determination in which alone the thought in question with its passion could find utterance—could become itself. If we say that the process is not rational, because it is largely unconscious, we are committing a serious confusion. The process itself is an intense and exquisitely adjusted and organised consciousness to a great extent obviously and plainly logical. But it is not, of course, another and a different consciousness watching and analysing the first while it proceeds. And in this sense, we are apt to forget, all logical process without exception is unconscious. You cannot make the working function of a syllogism into its major premiss: you cannot predict its conclusion ab extra by a watching and inactive consciousness. The spirit of logic, when at work, deals with what is before the mind, and reshapes it; but it is not itself a part of what is before the mind. And in this, though remote in degree, it shows its kinship with the creative imagination which at its best and greatest, as we have urged, turns markedly towards the penetrative. If it is “creative,” it is so because profound penetration reveals positive treasures beyond the scope of the average mind; not because it deviates into paths of arbitrary fantasy.18 In short, then, all logical activity is a world of content reshaping itself by its own spirit and laws in presence of new suggestions; a syllogism is in principle nothing less, and a Parthenon or “Paradise Lost” is in principle nothing more.19

Now this is the nature and type of originality and initiative which the whole of our argument is directed to vindicate for our conative development, whether practical or intellectual. Our actions and ideas issue from our world as a conclusion from its premisses, or as a poem from its author's spirit. Do we demand any more complete originality and initiative? Is it urged that our ordinary life-progress through moral volition ought to exhibit a creativeness and a novelty of departure to which King Lear or the Sistine Madonna could present not the faintest approximation nor analogy, and which, if per impossibile it could be imputed to them, would tear up by the roots their significance and their human interest? For when we say “continuity,” we say “logic”; and if we deny and remove the latter, we make a cut in the universal, and sever the issuing production from its roots in human nature. It is true that art is not governed by the purpose or interest of producing a total representation of the actual world, but has an autonomous growth and interest of its own. But still the main principle holds good. In that which we hold the freest creation, the unchallenged domain of productive originality, there is nothing which is not one in nature with the remoulding of a cosmos by its own yearning for totality, that synthetic vitality of the logical spirit which Mephistopheles as the genius of modern thought20 desiderated, and which the Middle Age at its best had already symbolised by the growth of the leafy spray.21

This, then, the creative freedom of art, is what we offer as the type of the characteristic logic or movement of the self. I do not see how an initiative or originality more complete than this can be conceived or desired, or can be consistent with a self that is anything at all. Life—to which we are so often referred as the true continuity or active duration—is nothing in the world but a lower phase of an analogous logic, related to human activity as a hill or cloud to a Turner sketch of it, or as a bird's song to the Iliad. What we are here offered is a share in the eternal deed which constitutes reality; and I am unable to see what more than this our largest wishes can demand.

A self, then, appears to us as the active form of totality, realising itself in a certain mass of experience, as a striving towards unity and coherence. Its self-determination is that of a logical world, ultimately, in the general type, one with the relation of a conclusion to premisses, by which a new and transfigured whole emerges from a mass of data which in one sense contains it, but which in another sense it transcends. The nature which we have claimed for it is more easily identifiable as we appeal to the completest and most triumphant achievements of art and poetry. For the leaps and eccentricities of a purely freakish fancy are from a logical point of view simply possibilities predicated of reality under an exceptional amount of tacit reservation, all of which is formally a breach of logical continuity; while by the creations of the greatest art the possibilities of man and nature are rather intensified and expanded than wiredrawn into decorative ramifications; and the logical continuity is therefore apt to be deeper and more thorough, not more fragile and attenuated, than that which passes current in ordinary life. To stigmatise an initiative of this kind as the rattling off of a preformed chain is simply to reject the continuity which makes life interesting. If we want a creativeness more free than this, we shall find no analogy for it in the processes by which anything worth having is produced in the field of knowledge, of practice, or of art. This, then, is our conception of a self, of “what it is to be a self,” and of “what it is to be” free or self-determined.

Difficulties in the emptiness and timelessness of self-consciousness. Its emptiness is its omnipotentiality.

4. Two special questions may be considered in illustration of the above point of view, and the most prominent difficulties of grasping it.

α. The emptiness of self-consciousness or of the bare subject-object relation, as implied in Green's idealism, has already been referred to, and will be more fully dwelt upon in a later lecture as the secret of the power of the self. But in the present context a few words of explanation seems desirable. The general statement that self-consciousness or self-objectification is the principle of the self is plainly an empty and abstract statement. And in this sense the conception which it describes is also an empty conception; that is to say, there is nothing within the four corners of the statement to identify the characteristic there referred to with any special interest or content.

All this is true. It follows inevitably from the character manifested in self-consciousness as the principle of the whole.22 It is inconceivable that the principle of the whole should be occupied ab initio by a determinate partial content. If we ask, is the mind or self-consciousness indifferent, divorced in its nature from any and every content, like pure water which has no taste,23 the only proper answer is that its content is the Absolute, even if in attaining the Absolute its own special form has to be surrendered. And again, if we ask, is it no more proper to one partial content than to another, then the answer is, “Certainly it is always more proper to that content which compared with another approaches more nearly to the character of the Absolute.” But if we are asking, “Does the bare fact that I am a self-consciousness bind me a priori to a determinate form of life, habit, or character?” the question is plainly absurd. The power of self-consciousness is to make a self out of circumstances, and to do this, if we were, so to speak, circumstantially determinate antecedently to circumstance, would be an impossibility. We must understand that everything comes from somewhere, and that the meaning of self-consciousness, the active form of totality, is to give everything its character, to be the centre in which everything in its degree tells on the import of the whole. The emptiness of self-consciousness as such is an inevitable condition of its fulness in actual individuals. Any experiences which fulfil certain very general conditions will suffice to constitute a self-consciousness. And it seems to be imagined that this truth in some way impeaches or impedes the value and significance of self-consciousness. But if self-consciousness is, I do not say the ultimate form of experience, but the highest and most significant of its finite shapes, what other law or condition of its being could we have hoped for or anticipated? Such phenomena as are recorded in the “Dissociation of a Personality” only confirm the general conception of a self and the conditions of its stability,24 which we ought to have gathered from such thinkers as Plato and Hegel. The keynote is throughout that a true self is something to be made and won, to be held together with pains and labour, not something given to be enjoyed.

Its timelessness is its “durée.”

β. The timelessness or eternity which the same Idealism ascribes to the fundamental self has also been a source of difficulty. But really the matter seems very simple. Time itself, as we all know to-day, is a hybrid experience. Succession does not suffice to constitute it; and in the same way and for the same reason succession does not suffice to constitute a self. All this is familiar ground; and the only point of difference arises in the interpretation of that continuity of content which is admittedly necessary to the experience of duration throughout a succession. The interpretation assumes different shapes according to ultimate metaphysical theory; and those who take the element of succession in time to be ultimately a mere appearance, incapable of maintaining itself in a perfect experience, will hold different language as regards the common facts of duration from those who take succession and continuity to be two inseparable factors of a reality which is fundamentally temporal. The former will speak of the self, in proportion as it assumes the nature of a whole present to itself, and further implies a continuity, limited only by de facto impotence, with the whole content of the universe, as approximating to the nature of eternity or non-temporal being, which they hold to be the ultimate nature of the experience which alone is true reality. The latter will treat the experience of system and continuity in the self as merely a side of the real, which can never be shown capable of wholly defeating or including the aspect of successiveness. But when the hybrid or at least the dual nature of time (and, we may add, of space) is thoroughly admitted, the actual facts as to the nature of the finite self are no longer in dispute, and the question, so far as it concerns such a self, becomes one of words. “Durée,” the operative concentration of the self's past history at the growing point of the present, is one with the relative timelessness of a finite self. If, then, it is admitted that timelessness is an essential constituent of time—and this much will hardly be denied to-day—then to say of any finite being that it is temporal (has or is “durée”) includes, strictly speaking, all that can be demanded for the description of such a self by the theory which takes eternity to be its full and perfect character. For that the finite has an aspect of succession—that qua finite it is not “all there”—this again is what no one could dream of denying. The point at which the theory of the eternal self continues to part company from its critics lies in the emphasis which it will attach to the differential degrees in which the feature of externality and successiveness—of determination by space and time—accompanies the degrees of completeness and stability attained to by the self, and its recognition that its true being lies beyond its fullest actual realisation. The distinctive being of the self is inversely as its dependence on externality and successiveness.

Logic is perfect determination. Fatalism is determinist, i.e. imperfect determination.

5. The crucial point, then, which separates determinateness from determinism is the distinction between logic and fatality. By logic we understand, with Plato and Hegel, the supreme law or nature of experience, the impulse towards unity and coherence (the positive spirit of non-contradiction) by which every fragment yearns towards the whole to which it belongs,25 and every self to its completion in the Absolute, and of which the Absolute itself is at once an incarnation and a satisfaction. The attempt, which bulks large in recent controversy, to identify this principle with one of its cases, has really no significance beyond that of a relative emphasis which arises in the applications of daily life. It is an obvious though very important truth that the higher moods or attainments are the more concrete and the more inclusive; and that in dropping to less arduous and intense experiences we become restricted to more limited and specialised attitudes. This principle, as we argued above,26 is the key to the relation between our commoner experiences and the Absolute; and we have an everyday instance of it when in the succession of our average moods intellectual work is dissociated from practical self-assertion, and both from love and adoration. But none the less it is the strict and fundamental truth that love is the mainspring of logic, and that practice, if the term has a distinctive sense at all, is a subordinate feature of its movement.

Fatality would be the opposite of this; it would be a movement, a succession, without love or logic, and with moments external to each other, such as we seem to ourselves to detect in the unconscious processes of what we call physical nature. “It takes all sorts to make a world”; and a true theory of appearances will leave room for externality not as a self-subsistent real, but as representing an element of dissociation essential to the order and emphasis of the whole. It is only when we come to treat it as subsistent in its own right, and to erect it into the type by which conscious experience is to be construed, that it assumes the menacing form of fatalism or determinism.27 It is really, as compared with logical determinateness, an imperfect, relative, and indeterminate form of connection. It involves the paradox of a universal or continuity, which operates without possessing any being in its own right and form. According to an old comparison, it is like the reaction of an intelligent body in its sleep, or, in more modern language, like the effects of a split-off consciousness as they appear within the self from which it is split off. Now what all this means, for our present point of view, is that externality or physical determination is imperfectly determinate. It is sensitive, to use a metaphor, only to certain factors of a situation. It is not the awareness of a whole reshaping itself according to the full significance of the constituent contents. We must learn, if we wish to understand the relation justly, to think of physical causation not as the type of perfect complex determinateness, against which spiritual freedom shows as the responsiveness of a simple self-centred creature, the direct guiding reaction of a purely unitary being; we must rather compare the two as a region of abstract and external contexts and responses between unawakened beings, contrasted with a living and concrete world of appreciation, in which the whole quality of every element is capable in principle28 of bearing upon and responding to the whole quality of every other.

Therefore it must be observed, in concluding this consideration of freedom, that determinateness and determinism are in principle opposed. Determinateness must be fullest in the Absolute and in God. And in all experience the plain tendency is for determination and value to go together. The ultimate value is in the whole, and value rises with participation in it,29 which means the transfiguration of experience by the bringing to bear of all upon all in the fullest vitality. Such is the ideal of the logic of a self, and to such an ideal the conception of determinism, of a causation which is partial and, so to speak, unawakened, is thoroughly antagonistic.

God, it has been said, could only impart Himself by imparting a self, and we may urge the complementary truth that a self can only be a self in so far as it is the self. The desire to escape the principle of self-determination or positive non-contradiction is really, though it may seem otherwise, a desire to shirk responsibility. What the ordinary advocate of freedom at bottom demands as “the power to have acted otherwise,” is in the same breath to act and not to act, or, acting, yet not to act. It is to repudiate, not to accept, responsibility, that is, the qualification of the self by its behaviour. He is offered what he pretends to ask, that his act shall be his and himself; and he runs from his demand the moment he is confronted with its meaning. In every action, and even in the moment of acting, he is to be as if he had not acted and was not acting, uncommitted and undeveloped. “Uncommitted,” it may be replied, “before the action, but not after.” But this is an evasion. If uncommitted after thousands of actions, and before the thousand and first, he is uncommitted no less after the thousand and first. The point of the doctrine is not that the act does, but that it does not characterise the self.30

Apparent exceptions to “determinateness = perfection of a self.”

6. It was admitted just above31 that the test of logical determinateness, as indicating degree of individuality or the completeness of a self, may seem to conflict with the facts. The analogy of the soundness of a theory, in judging of which we give weight to the distinction between more or less fundamental principles,—principles whose denial involves the denial of more or less complete and coherent ranges of experience, will suffice to remove the difficulty.

It will be best to combine the discussion of this appearance with the application of the foregoing views to the evil self. For obviously we are likely to be asked, Do you mean to say that the evil self is simply a case of the inevitable logic of the self?

When we approach the problem of the evil self from the point of view of Individuality and completeness, there are at least three typical forms of imperfection which present themselves as demanding consideration. There is the animal self; the naïve or elementary good self; and the bad self proper, the rebellious or positively negative self. If badness is defect of individuality, a logic imperfectly informed, and so a relative failure to construct a whole (so the problem states itself), why should not the two former types of the self, which prima facie certainly exhibit this incompleteness, be set down as pre-eminent cases of the evil self? How, upon our view, can any distinction between badness and imperfection be upheld?

The animal self comparable without a theory—an abstraction.

(i.) The animal self—the bodily needs and desires which man shares with the brute creation—furnishes a ready and obvious example of the imperfect self, and has been exploited in that sense in some degree by the ethical philosophy of Greece, and also by popular morality and religion in all ages. It is needless to refer at length to the fallacies which thus arose.32 It is plain, and the Greeks themselves were well aware of it, that the animal content of life must be regarded as the common root of man's purposes, good and bad alike, and not as something that is to be negatived, unless in the sense of transformation, which takes place in the bad self no less than in the good. The form of imperfection, therefore, that would consist in remaining a brute beast is one that cannot actually exist in a human consciousness, and the forms of vice that are confused with it bear in reality quite a different relation to the individual self. The animal basis of life is imperfect in the sense in which data are imperfect without a theory, and not in the sense of a theoretical structure capable of narrowness and self-contradiction. It would not amount to so much as an imperfect human self.33

The naïve good self compared to grasp of a fundamental principle alone.

(ii.) When we consider the naïve or elementary life of morality34 and religion, that, let us say, of a simple, uncultured, but kindly and honourable person of any creed which is not actively savage or cruel, we seem to be met by a more serious difficulty. In the light of the analogy we are pursuing, such a life is, even relatively to the average, very decidedly imperfect, claiming but a low rank of individuality. The mental equipment which suffices for it omits huge provinces of experience, and would be unable to deal with the bulk of the relations which constitute the world of an advanced civilisation. If defective individuality is analogous to failure of theoretical grasp, and lies in openness to contradiction and incapacity to unify life, surely, it might be argued, here we have it, and, on our hypothesis, we should be driven to the absurdity of admitting, in the plainest sense of the words, that ignorance is vice. For certainly, as compared with such an innocent ignorance, a mind which we should unhesitatingly pronounce wicked and corrupt may have a far wider range of culture, and a relatively full capacity, not only for the theoretical, but even for the practical unification of life. This apparent fact, that a plain, ignorant mind may be good, and one refined and cultured in the highest degree35 may be bad, is what would commonly be alleged against us. And what is true in the objection leads up to a most striking verification of our point of view.

The ignorance which Socrates pronounced to be vice was ignorance of the good. The good meant for him the unification of life. Now, the unification of life is a problem which, like other problems, has its fundamental necessities and its outlying corollaries, things which must be known and done to realise it at all, things which may be known and done to realise it more completely. And the essential matter is that the naïve or simple self of everyday morality and religion consists of the principles which are fundamental in the unification of life. The contention that wisdom is goodness transforms itself in the end36 into the contention that goodness is wisdom, and with complete justification. Applying the analogy of a theory we have here, in the self at the level of naive morality, an imperfection comparable to the possession of some sound fundamental principle in science, politics, or philosophy, apart from the special knowledge or aptitude demanded by abstruse and remote provinces of research. It would be fair and true to say that what is called morality par excellence is constituted by the main structural outline of the intelligence, a defect in which cannot be wholly compensated as concerning the unification of life by the most complete aptitude and control in specialised provinces of experience.

Thus we see at once why naïve morality and religion, although very highly imperfect forms of individuality, are not in principle ranked as comparable in negative value to forms of the bad self, or as wholly and inevitably surpassed in positive value by the higher developments of civilised mind if possessed in isolation. (That they—the naïve attitudes in question—are morally and religiously defective by reason of the limitation which constitutes their naïve character, and that they do fail in a high degree, though not fundamentally, in the unification of life, is a consequence which I not only admit but energetically maintain.) It is because they possess the essential and fundamental conditions of unification, of which scientific or artistic aptitudes, for example, are outlying corollaries and completions, but relatively posterior and dependent. A man is good in as far as his being is unified at all in any sphere of wisdom or activity. And in dealing with a whole so vital as the whole of mind, one cannot say that the perfection of any part is indifferent to that of any other, or, therefore, that morality is entirely unimpaired by aesthetic and scientific incapacity.

Still, in the main, the dependence is the other way; simple morality can more nearly stand alone, and its absence shakes the whole foundations of life and mind. Such absence is in respect to life as a whole, what a failure of belief in the first principles of rational system is to the scientific intelligence.37

This, then, is the true distinction between morality, commonly so called, and intellectual or aesthetic excellence, which is goodness in the wider, or (should we rather say?) in the narrower sense.38 It is a distinction of degree between the more and the less fundamental of the ideas which govern life. It is not the current distinction between ideas intellectually held and ideas so held as to be effective in action. Ideas which, as we said of moral ideas, form the main structure of the mind, cannot but be operative—ideas whose content claims such a place, but which do not occupy it because inadequately held, are not truly knowledge. In bare fact, the presence of adequate ideas which are inoperative in moral matters is vastly exaggerated, and it is even doubtful whether, strictly speaking, it can be shown to be real. The point is, that ideas which prove inoperative are such as are not carried out into the connections and associations which would constitute at once their meaning and their power.39 It is not true, as a bare fact, that the selfish man knows and realises the value of unselfishness or the superficial man the value of thoroughness. It may be argued backwards and forwards how we strain our imagination of what we lack, and how we “rack the value” of what we have missed, but these feverish aspirations never reach the plain solidity of knowledge.

The intellectual rank and value of morality has here been discussed on the basis of the actual content of the leading moral ideas, and the conclusion would stand fast even if per impossible it could be shown that the ideas can be fully present without being operative. For if they could exist (as “knowledge”) without morality, yet morality could not exist without them, and its nature lies essentially in their content. Whatever we may think of the phrase “wisdom is goodness,” it stands fast that goodness is wisdom, and this truth has, as we shall see, ramifications and corollaries of the highest importance.

We have seen, then, that (i.) the animal self is so much below imperfection as not to count at all, even for an imperfect human self; and that (ii.) the self of naïve morality and religion is certainly imperfect, but by reason of possessing the fundamental conditions of unification is a sound foundation, not to be dispensed with or undone, for the fuller determinations demanded by the fuller experience.

The evil self compared to a theory persistent against complete knowledge.

But when we come (iii.) to the evil self we have before us something which we recognise at once as different in kind. For here we have essentially the phenomenon, familiar to us in the province of theory, of two quasi-rational systems in active antagonism, as claiming to attach different principles and predicates to identical data—here, to the common basis of the self. In this case, no doubt, we may and do find a considerable area of positive unification in a system which, nevertheless, we are obliged to recognise as an evil self. It is just as we may find a high degree of organisation and rationality in a theory which, on the whole, we are obliged to reject in favour of one more solid and complete. The evil self is not evil in itself. The most suggestive and extraordinary fact about it is the very high degree in which objects and interests, which in many contexts, or most, we should pronounce good and desirable, may enter into the very tissue and texture of the evil life,40 just as beauty enters into the detail of the terrible or hideous in art, or as truth enters into the detail of theories which, on the whole, are false.

The evil self is evil, then, because and in as far as it is antagonistic to the good, for, however highly organised in itself, it is inevitably through this antagonism the adversary of unification of experience, and the vehicle of contradiction in the very heart of the self. Many questions of interest may arise out of this formulation. Is not the evil, then, after all a species of the good—good in the wrong place as dirt is matter in the wrong place? And could not the self be equally divided, so that while the contradiction in it was obvious, we should find it hard to pronounce which self was good and which evil?

But for our present purpose we have seen enough. We have seen how it is that not every imperfect self is pro tanto an evil self; and again, that an evil self may be, regarded in and by itself, of a higher degree of consistency and coherence in virtue of its positive aim (not of its aim as evil, which is essentially negative or rebellious) than many an imperfect self which is either non-moral or morally good. It is simply the difference between inadequacy and developed contradiction, and thus the facts confirm our conception of maximum individuality or unification of experience as the standard of real and good, and therefore our conception of logic as the law of the striving of the self.

But if this is so, then the evil self is a case of the logical striving of the self after unity, which has brought it into contradiction with a fuller and sounder striving (just as in the region of pure theory we may be a prey to an insoluble antagonism of which both sides are due to the theoretical impulse). Thus a question will naturally arise as to the application of the idea of self-determination to this form of the self. Do we affirm that the essential nisus towards unification and individuality, the conation of the self, can take the shape of a bad self, and this, according to the tenor of our views, as a logical necessity?41 And is not this doctrine open to the dangers of fatalism? Is the bad will, where and so far as developed, a logical necessity in the self which develops it, no less than the good will? Certainly it is so. The point and meaning of the bad will is wholly lost unless it is a development of the self in the same sense as the good will; the only difference being that it has seized a false clue such as is essentially incapable of doing the work of unification, which the will as such sets out to do, and is thus brought into more or less explicit antagonism to the purposes of unified life,and ultimately to itself. There is no metaphysical difficulty in this view. The assertion of moral evil is involved, as has often been pointed out, in the very nature of morality. Moral evil is not in its whole content something alien and menacing to the world. It is something which has a relative right to be; it is involved in the fact of finiteness, though its special shapes arise from the logic of individual finite beings. That this should be embodied in the inherent work of selves—it cannot, ex hypothesi, be the whole work of any self—is only part of the contradiction belonging to finite life, where completely harmonious self-affirmation is impossible. Moral evil, we might say, is good hostile to good.42 As hostile, it demands amendment and subordination, but it is, in its positive nature, not in the mere antagonism of which by subordination it would be divested, obviously a contribution to the vitality of the whole.

Is this doctrine dangerous, as a suggestion of fatalism; of the will in some agents being predestined to be evil?

The question applies to good and evil alike. It is whether a necessary action43 implies a necessary agent; whether when we say a decision cannot but be such and such, we are saying that the agent “cannot help” making it.

The primary principle that should govern the whole discussion is this, that the attitude of moral judgment and responsibility for decisions is only one among other attitudes and spheres of experience. More than this, it is, as we shall see, only an aspect of the actual fact and reality, an aspect which would show quite differently in the whole but is isolated (relatively) by our impotence. It must not be set up as absolute or pressed as the whole and inclusive reality of human action. The attitude of moral judgment and decision—the feeling, it now all depends on me, and I, and I only, can determine and am responsible for what is now to take place, is right and true in face of a moral decision to be made, because the several factors or constituents of the will, and the law or spirit of action, are already presupposed in the fact of my being a world which is a self. The question now is how that self will reshape and develop itself. At the moment and in presence of the situation this, its absolute independence, is real and a fact, and is itself an element in determining my behaviour. But metaphysical theory, viewing the self in its essential basis of moral solidarity with the natural and social world, and in the special relations with others which forbid its isolation, cannot admit that the independence of the self, though a fact, is more than a partial fact.44 Both views are true and represent the reality of the universe in their degree; but it is fatal to confuse them, or, which is the same thing, to set them in antagonism as if they belonged to the same situation and had to meet the same need. It is true that in the moral emergency all depends on the individual will which, as explained above, is in the right when it recognises this. But it is true that the individual will is a principle and content having far deeper roots than what we commonly take to be the individual mind, and the task, which is really and rightly its task, is set it by the universe.

The Determinist has relied on this deep-rootedness of the will; but not with complete justification. He rightly urges that prima facie, if moral bona fides is presupposed, our ideas, say, about the nature of volition cannot be drawn in to affect the positive influences and motives which are presupposed as constituting volition. To say in general that your ideas guide your actions ought not to be taken as favouring some ideas (e.g. ideas of fatalism) at the expense of others. But this argument does not come quite fairly from the Determinist. For his metaphysical position is really hostile to the nature of self-determination. He construes the self and motives on the analogy of things which are not a self or motives; and his term “necessary” does not merely express a conviction as to the rationality of the result, but conveys a conception of the nature of the process irreconcilable with the true idea of the moral deliberation by which motives are framed and modified.

The ideal of Contingency rests on a confusion between the original and the arbitrary.

With the present theory, it is submitted, this is not the case. It can in no way be held to narrow the scope or transmute the conceptions of moral deliberation or determination. It recognises the self as operative in its own nature, as creative and originative according to its own law—the only law of creativeness which prevails in the universe. It recognises a necessary act—an act which must be what it is—but not a necessary agent,45 because nothing but the agent determines the act, and there is no meaning in applying to him any “must” or “cannot help it” except in the sense that everything is what it is. In other words we may say46 that nothing past, nothing external, is operative in the agent's choice. It is all gathered up and made into the agent himself, and its remodelling in him is one with his creative production of a new deed. All it does is to supplement the strictly moral attitude, “It is I, and I only, who have to act; it is I who determine what is to happen, and in determining it I am good or bad,” an attitude which cannot exist per se, nor be pushed to the bitter end. It supplements this attitude by the wider recognition of metaphysic (akin to that of religion, apart from which, however unrecognised, morality could not conceivably subsist),47 that I through my goodness or badness, which means through my moral judgment and decision, a burden which I cannot possibly be relieved from or put away from me, am yet more or less completely doing the work of the universe, and, as and because I am myself, am acting as a member in a greater self, and am in a large measure continuous with it, and dyed with its colours.

7. The ideal that appears irrepressible in the treatment of Freedom, Initiative, Individuality, is the ideal of Contingency. To establish Contingency in the heart of things is the motto and motive of the moralistic Idealist,48 and the scientific thinker, who appeals from mathematics to biology, is disposed to join in the enterprise.49 The object of the present lecture, in harmony with the aim of the present work, is to defend a wholly different set of suggestions. The bias towards contingency arises, it would appear, from a misinterpretation of the demand for creative initiative, combined with a failure to appreciate the true nature of logical process. Our effort has been to bring the conception of moral and individual initiative nearer to the idea of logical determination, and so into comparison and connection with the forms of creative activity most indubitably recognised as such and as giving the highest value known in human experience. And it is very noticeable, as has been observed above, that the tendency to confuse creative determination with arbitrariness and contingency displays itself in popular ideas of what is fine and desirable no less in these other spheres than in morality.50 From the present point of view, not only logical theory, but the whole doctrine of the expression of thought and emotion in aesthetic form, of social right and duty, of religious aspiration and attainment, no less than the achievements of science and philosophy, is fatal to the ideal of contingency. It is being master of and mastered by content, with its transfiguration as it reshapes itself towards the whole, that confers logical stability and exalts individuality.

  • 1.

    We shall recur to this in the second series.

  • 2.

    It seems clear that the same difficulty might be raised about any universal principle, e.g. about Bergson's “Life”; and the solution would be closely analogous to that which will be offered here but subject to the limitation of the principle proposed.

  • 3.

    Sidgwick, Green, Spencer, Martineau, pp. 19-20.

  • 4.

    Unless, of course, one were prepared to suggest that each soul comes with a character previous to terrestrial circumstances and independent of it. But such a view seems superfluous and would not save freedom. The antecedent character thus brought down from heaven would itself be a mere circumstance.

  • 5.

    Sidgwick, of course, would not have accepted this view; he would hold it to be a reductio ad absurdum of Green's position.

  • 6.

    See sect. 3, below.

  • 7.

    It must be noted that, metaphysically speaking, the mere statement of this conception amounts to a contradiction in terms. How can a past, which is past and no more, determine a present which is present and no more? But we grant that in physical causation the underlying unity, which is certainly presupposed, does not operate as a mind operates.

  • 8.

    See e.g. Green, Prolegomena, bks. ii. and iii.; Stout, Manual of Psychology, p. 583; Mitchell, Structure and Growth of the Mind, pp. 400 and 485.

  • 9.

    See p. 168 note.

  • 10.

    See p. 168 note.

  • 11.

    Caird, Kant, ii. pp. 530, 535; cf Bergson's Évolution, pp. 174-5, and on Art, ib., p. 368, “cet imprévisible rien qui est le tout de l'œmuvre de l'art.”

  • 12.

    See Lect. I. and Lect. II. 6. The reason why likeness and unlikeness will not do the work of identity and difference, and why their adoption always leads to the fallacy signalised in the text, is simply that likeness, being a repeated effect, cannot be subserved by difference between the terms alleged to be like, whereas identity, being a co-operative universal, is best subserved by difference. Likeness leads up to class relations; identity to organic wholes. See Lect. I. on the relation of the abstract universal, which is often spoken of as a resemblance, to the concrete universal which must be an identity.

  • 13.

    We have to bear in mind such an expression as Rossetti's about “fundamental brainwork.”

  • 14.

    Cf. Lect. III. above, p. 111.

  • 15.

    Cf. Bergson, Données, p. 168; cf. p. 116 supra.

  • 16.

    This is the basis of the acceptance of testimony or authority. There are some minds we can treat as our own. See Bradley, Presuppositions of Critical History. All spiritual unity depends on this. L.c. supra.

  • 17.

    Cf. author's Logic, 2nd ed., vol. ii. p. 174 ff.

  • 18.

    Here I sympathise with Professor Stout's view of possibility as something discovered within reality.

  • 19.

    No one, so far as my knowledge goes, has ever raised the question whether the future course of exact science, say, of pure mathematics, is predictable, and if not, why not? The best answer, as always, is the affirmative, plus conditions. It is predictable, of course, in so far as you are at the point of growth and adequately gifted, but only in so far. Prediction is pre-doing, and passes into doing.

  • 20.

    Kuno Fischer's Goethe's Faust, ii. 205 ff.

  • 21.

    Type of the Syllogism; see what Ruskin has called the Strait Gate in the Spanish Chapel at Sta. Maria Novella, in Florence.

  • 22.

    Green, Prolegomena, sect. 81, cites De anima, 429 a 19 ἀνάγκη ἄρα ἀμιγη̑ ϵἰ̑ναι τὸν νου̑ν κτλ;; cf. ib. 431 b 21 ἡ ψυχὴ τὰ ὄντα πώς ἐστι πάντα.

  • 23.

    A comparison which we should probably hold erroneous, applied by Winckelmann to the character of perfect beauty.

  • 24.

    This actual word, fundamental in the Platonic theory of mental being, constantly recurs in this recent study of the life-history of a self, as indicating the high-water mark of its unification of content.

  • 25.

    Ǵρέγϵται, Phaedo, 75 B, of a fragmentary perception, such as that of a pair of terms which suggest what they fail to realise. I am convinced Plato meant this much more literally than we take it. It is an experience which clamours for completion.

  • 26.

    See p. 274 ff. above. M. Arnold gives us the principle in an everyday shape—

    “But tasks in hours of insight will'd

    Can be through hours of gloom fulfill'd.”

  • 27.

    See McTaggart, Commentary, sect. 185.

  • 28.

    Of course it is only in the whole that the appreciation and response are complete.

  • 29.

    Apparent exceptions to this principle will be dealt with below.

  • 30.

    In Mack, Freiheitstheorien, this is plain, e.g. p. 175.

  • 31.

    Page 342 footnote.

  • 32.

    The phrase of George Eliot's old lady, “drinking and smoking like the beasts that perish,” well sums up the absurdity. Aristotle (Eth. Nic. 1118 b 8) was aware that the main danger to morality lies in specialised desires and not in the simple wants which we share with the lower animals. Cf. Green, Prolegomena, sect. 265.

  • 33.

    A question of great interest, but not relevant here, is how far a brute animal can be said to possess a self. How far do we endow them, out of our gathered observations, with the character which for us they certainly display? How far is it anything for themselves?

  • 34.

    I am here discussing naïve morality in respect of that solid and realised content which it involves, abstracting from the theoretical aspect of “moralität” as a mere struggle against evil.

  • 35.

    I state the common opinion, subject to some reservation which the discussion will reveal.

  • 36.

    Plato, Laws, 689 A-E.

  • 37.

    One meets with men of enormous learning and cleverness who nevertheless seem fundamentally incapable of dealing fairly with evidence or of understanding the elementary requirements of a sound theory. A mind which is like this right through would be a had mind—a mind whose powers of unification only served to deepen contradiction.

  • 38.

    Narrower, because these excellences per se are, after all, provincial moralities, not dealing with the main framework of life as a whole.

  • 39.

    Cf. further, the analysis of what is involved in such dominance of an idea as cause its realisation. Bradley, in Mind, xliv. pp. 447-8. See pp. 201-2 supra.

  • 40.

    Macbeth is a good instance.

  • 41.

    Cf. Green, Prolegomena, sect. 111.

  • 42.

    Other forms of evil, not specially relevant to the problem of moral good (e.g. pain) will be considered elsewhere. Must the bad self be rebellious against its own good self? May it not be, all of a piece so to speak, rebellious against the socially recognised good? I think, if the case is worked out, it must mean that the good rebelled against the rebellious self. Would a man, unaware of good, be immoral, or a criminal lunatic?

  • 43.

    Green, Prolegomena, l.c.

  • 44.

    See above, Lecture VII. p. 277.

  • 45.

    This view, derived directly from Green, but on the whole the view of the philosophical tradition from Plato downwards, is curiously coincident in its application with Bergson's doctrine, which alleges that every theoretical account of free will is deterministic as resting on a spatial representation of time, neglecting the character of “durée” (Données, p. 168). I agree so far; but as I have argued throughout, he seems to me to truncate the character of “durée.”

  • 46.

    See above on Kant, p. 327.

  • 47.

    A morality, e.g., which should attempt to disown the “means of grace” in the suggestions and influences of nature and society would be as untrue to moral fact as it would be hostile to religion.

  • 48.

    Ward, Naturalism, ii. 280.

  • 49.

    Bergson, Évolution, e.g., p. 125. Conscious life depends for him on the accumulation in the body of an immense store of indetermination. It is obvious that in view of the conceptions which we are working with, the store of indetermination would become the substructure of logical as superseding mechanical determinations.

  • 50.

    Such are the ideas of art and of originality which were so constantly the object of Goethe's satire, e.g Werke, iii. 111.

    “From masters I have ever kept apart,

    To follow others’ footsteps seemed disgrace;
    Myself have from myself learned, all my art.”
    “Too plainly, it's the case.”

    (“Es ist auch danach”); or the famous lines on inheritance, Werke, iii. 411, “Gern wär’ ich Ueberliefrung los Und ganz original…”