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Preface to New Impression

Except for the correction of a few errors of the press or verbal slips, the present impression is unaltered. Whatever doubts I may feel about my work, I do not feel able to offer with confidence any better substitute for it, and I leave it therefore with its imperfections, which I know to be real. I would fain hope that the book may still be useful as one ingredient thrown into the fermentation which is now taking place in philosophy, from which I believe that some important result is about to issue. Few of my critics or correspondents have failed, however kindly their recognition of my book, to make unfavourable reservation in respect of some one or other of the main divisions of it; and not one of these divisions has escaped such reservation. But I am not foolish enough to conclude that therefore the whole is probably right, nor willing to admit that the whole is therefore probably wrong. I think it the more incumbent on me to indicate plainly where I myself feel doubt, so that the reader may have full materials for forming a judgment, and at the same time to offer some elucidations of the conceptions used in the book. A very searching criticism from Mr. Broad appeared in two articles of Mind (vol. xxx., 1921, pp. 25 and 129), and in response to an invitation from him I wrote a paper in the same volume (“Some Explanations,” p. 409). I should like to refer for details to this paper in its connection with Mr. Broad's papers, and as my position is not sensibly altered, to repeat here in more general form what I wrote there, as the editor kindly allows me to do, along with some additional remarks.1

The hypothesis of the book is that Space-Time is the stuff of which matter and all things are specifications. That the world does not exist in Space and Time, but in Space-Time, that it is a world of events, has and had, even when I wrote, become common property through the mathematicians, with whom, as I suppose, the conception was a piece of scientific intuition. The method which brought me to the same result was purely metaphysical, a piece of plodding analysis. Consequently the exposition itself of Space-Time, apart from the vital proposition that Space and Time have no existence apart from each other—that the reality is Space-Time, and Space and Time abstractions from it—was descriptive merely, and has nothing in common with the great mathematical or logical constructions, such as that of Mr. Whitehead. That it is full of obscurity I do not doubt; for (to quote from the above paper) “I have been groping in regions new to me, and fumbling for want of equipment with proper instruments,” and I know that the undertaking was in some parts even presumptuous.. Compared with these clean-cut descriptions of the philosophical mathematician, my own account in terms of common-sense experience, though at a high degree of abstraction from that experience, cannot but raise misgivings in my mind. I believe it to be consistent with the doctrine of relativity, but I make no attempt here to deal with a subject for which, as a piece of science, I am not technically competent. In his recent Analysis of Matter, 1921 (p. 55), Mr. Russell says that the importance of the general theory of relativity to philosophy is perhaps even greater than its importance to physics. I cannot estimate the justice of that comparison, but of the importance of the theory for philosophy I am sure. Mr. Russell goes on to say, “For my part I do not profess to know what its philosophical consequences will prove to be”; and this is consoling to me who am in the same case. When he continues, “but I am convinced they are far-reaching and quite different from what they seem to philosophers who are ignorant of mathematics,” I do not, albeit not completely ignorant, feel quite so comfortable.

In face of such constructions as Mr. Whitehead's and their admittedly immense value, it is necessary for me to defend my own procedure, though I can do little more than repeat what I have already said in Bk. I. ch. vi. The matter turns upon the difference between the aim of metaphysics and that of the special sciences. Metaphysics is not the less a science for this difference, but it is dealing with the ultimates which the sciences leave over. I have ventured elsewhere to define philosophy as the study of those subjects which no one but a philosopher would think of studying. Yet they must be studied. When Mr. Whitehead defines a point by reference to a series of spaces which contain one the next, he has the immense advantage of using sensible objects all the time. The point or the instant or the “event-particle” is identified as the whole system of series which tend to it as a limit. Now, nothing is further from my thoughts than to minimise the importance or deny the legitimacy of this procedure; on the contrary, so far as I can follow these constructions, I admire them sincerely. I observe only that the groups of sensible experiences by which we define our points, etc., imply assumed and unexplained conceptions, and in particular the conception of relation, the relation to one another of the sensible experiences (extensions, etc.) by which we approach to the limit. In using notions such as relation and. technical conceptions like limit, such constructions offer an example of how much every science is akin to and actually is a work of art, taking materials from experience and arranging them to suit its purposes, and making use of what ideas it needs for its work.2

Now metaphysics differs from the special sciences in having no notions which it leaves unexplained, that is without indicating what corresponds to them in experience. A specific science is justified in using as fundamental whatever notions are necessary for its purposes. It may even say they are logically ultimate. It may say that certain notions are postulates of the mind, and this one of relation in particular has a very strong claim. But I confess to feeling, as a metaphysician, a horror of notions which the mind takes for ultimate and indefinable. For every notion is a notion about something; it is not, except for the specific science, a mere instrument of the mind, the object or subject-matter or contents of which may be, as it were, manufactured by the mind. Metaphysics says to the special sciences: by all means use notions, like relation, or identity, or what not, and call them indefinables; that is perfectly right for you, but not for me; and even I must admit that they are indefinable; but they are not indescribable nor incapable of identification in concrete experience. Now my point has been that when you examine such notions and try to find what it is in experience you are dealing with, and do not treat them as if they might be manufactured articles, you find certain characters of Space-Time. You may legitimately use these notions in defining parts of Space-Time, but the notions are themselves only expressions in thought of experienced features of Space-Time itself. It was therefore that I endeavoured in Book II. (the least regarded part of my work) to describe what these features were, and so to give a concrete meaning to the categories. I realise now that in doing so I have but been carrying out at great length a hint given by Spinoza himself, whose communes notiones are the properties which are possessed by all bodies whatsoever (are in my language pervasive properties of things), and are treated by him in direct connection with his doctrine that all bodies are a balance of motion and rest. I am not seeking to fortify myself by his authority, or to make him responsible for my doings. I trust only that I may thus hope for a little more indulgent hearing.3

As another illustration of my meaning I take the concept of continuity and the wonderful mathematical construction by which it is defined. That construction starts from terms in an ordered series, and the notion of order, if I am right, is founded in Space-Time itself (Bk. II. ch. v.). The need of a definition of perfect continuity is suggested by sensibly continuous experience, as soon as we recognise breaks in it which show the sensibly continuous not to be really continuous. Yet, unless continuity were experienced directly, there would be no problem set for construction of the definition. The notion of continuity would be then a mere technical device of mathematical art, like five or six-dimensional space, only, unlike that, not deriving its elements from experience. I take this experienced continuity to be a quality of any space-time (which, observe, is motion) which we afterwards speak of conceptually as continuity, and to be apprehended directly, I should say, not by sense, but, through sense, by what I call “intuition”—a function underlying sense-perception. Of course, if it turns out that Space and Time are not continuous, as Mr. Russell suggests they may not be, I should give up the game in regard to their claim to be the model continua as wholes; or even that of Space-Time, insuperable as I feel the difficulty of abandoning the real continuity of Motion. But I suspect we should then have to look for something still more elementary in character in which Space and Time are themselves generated: something still physical, and analogous to the now displaced Ether, only, unlike that, verifiable in actual experience. But the metaphysical considerations which arise out of the quantum theory are a matter for the future, when the physicists and the philosophical mathematicians have so presented the doctrine that it can be handled by the competent metaphysician, and he is most likely to come from the ranks of the mathematicians themselves.

Accordingly, though if I could make use of these logical constructions I should incorporate them—for whatever is true for science, even when science has become as in these flights hardly distinguishable from philosophy, is material for metaphysics, whose boundaries from science are those of subject-matter and not of method—yet I dispense with them because they are not needed for my purpose. For me the important thing is not so much that there are such definitions for points, etc., which can serve as basis for the mathematics of Space-Time, but that there are elementary constituents of Space-Time, not, of course, elements of which it is composed, but into which it can be analysed. I might define point-instants so. I quite realise the difficulty involved in maintaining, as I do, the point-instant to be conceptual, in the sense that we can reach it only through concepts, and yet real. We can never hold it, for we are creatures of sense. If I am right with the notion of an “intuition” prior to sense, conception (whether in my form or in the highly elaborate constructions of the mathematicians, still conceptual though using sensible experience) is our human circuitous way of making good the deficiencies of sense. But to be conceptual, and in this way ideal, does not mean to be unreal any more than universals are unreal. I have suggested that if we could put ourselves back into the level of Space-Time itself we should apprehend other point-instants as what they really are. At any rate I have tried to set out what I take the point-instant or real constituent of Space-Time to be. I may add that all, I believe, of the descriptions of the categories in Book II. would remain true if for point-instants or points or instants are substituted finite space-times (motions) or extensions or durations;4 and whether the difficulties of my treatment make that treatment useless, or leave it for metaphysical purposes useful, I must submit to the judgment of the reader.

The stuff of the world which is Space-Time I have also described as Motion, that is pure Motion, before matter has been generated in it. It may be asked what, then, is local motion, or locomotion, the fact we are familiar with as the movement of matter? This topic, which has not been explicitly mentioned in the text, may be noticed here. One critic has referred to my statement that points themselves do not move but only change their dates, which is but saying in other words that there are no points but point-instants—a motion is but the continuity of one point-instant with another. And observing that in my version bodies of matter are configurations of Space-Time which preserve a certain spatial contour on the whole unchanged, and are called “substances” because they do so (see Bk. II. ch. vi. A), he asks how things can move at all, for their points do certainly move. My answer is that material particles are not points, but are themselves motions or groups of motions (e.g. a very simple substance would be a flash of light), that there is not any “thing” which moves, but only certain movements (so far, I am but repeating for movement Mr. Bergson's famous saying about change), which movements actually are or constitute the thing. The question must mean, how a bit of matter comes to move as a whole, can have locomotion. Now, strictly speaking, all existence is local motion or locomotion, and there is no such thing as rest, except as a relative description of such things as are not in motion relatively to each other, like myself and the table at which I write. If anything were at rest, everything would be at rest, and Space-Time would lose its meaning. For we cannot think of the empirical collocation of motions which makes a substance as cut off from the surrounding Space-Time. On the contrary, however much internal motion or internal history it exhibits, it is still the beginning of the end of motions in Space-Time as a whole. A body is only a certain selection of the motions occurring within its own region (even within its own contour), which empirically cohere or are found together. We speak of “free” motion, or of a body left to itself, but we only mean unconstrained by other matter. Motion in empty Space (that is, Space which contains no matter) is not unconstrained, but subject to the rest of Space-Time. Hence a body may be at what we call rest; or it may move altogether, either by compulsion of some other body, or, as with organisms, through its own reaction to other bodies, and in such case we speak of locomotion. But what we call rest is equally motion; the body is entangled in the universal unrest. Bodies have thus both an internal and an external history. A cricket ball, for instance, equally has both, whether it is projected from the bowler's hand, or, resting in his hand, is yet sharing in the motion of the earth. What the conditions are which make the difference between the internal history of a piece of matter (its internal movements) and its external history is a topic for the philosophical physicist or mathematician.

I must add, in the light of this remark on external history, namely, that a resting body is still relatively to Space-Time in motion, that the second paragraph on page 86 of vol. i., down to the word “descriptions,” cannot be maintained; and I request the reader to disregard it. It rests on a confusion, which it is hardly worth while to delay over.

The other major topic of difficulty is the notion of enjoyment, which enters so largely into my account of knowledge, or rather of knowing. Theory of knowledge is, I remind the reader, with me not, as so often, I think erroneously, believed, the foundation of metaphysics, but only a chapter of it, which it takes in its stride. The mind is a thing which has its proper place assigned to it in the scheme of things. If such a doctrine is called naturalism, I am content to be with Spinoza, and can claim that such naturalism, like his, admits all the human things of worth. At any rate, I have, in accordance with this principle, described consciousness as a quality of a certain sort of nervous organisation, in a certain condition of functioning, and in order to mark the distinctness of the two partners in the situation of knowing—the mind or body on one side, and the object on the other—I say that in any such transaction the mind enjoys itself and the object is contemplated. I might have said the two partners are “the enjoyed” and “the contemplated” (cp. vol. i. p. 13), and perhaps might have avoided in this way much misunderstanding. But the language would have been very inelegant, and also tiresome to use. There are no two separate mental acts, one of enjoyment and one of contemplation. The mind, in enjoying itself, has before it, and therefore contemplates, the object. Contemplation is a name for the same act as enjoyment, only in reference to the object. The enjoyment is at once a state of being of the mind itself, and that to which the object is revealed, and so is an act of knowing. Reciprocally, in knowing the object I know myself, not in the sense that I contemplate myself, for I do not do so, but in the sense that I live through this experience of myself.

Perhaps it will make things clearer (to quote from the article referred to) if I am allowed for a moment to drop into biography, not assuredly because I think my mental history interesting. I arrived at the notion of enjoyment in the first instance by thinking, like better men, about causality. Asking how a thing could be the cause of the mental state which apprehended it, and observing that we were unaware of the neural effect which it actually produced, I concluded that the presentation of the object was not as it were a mental picture produced by the thing in my mind, but was the thing itself or a selection from it, and that the mental process was an ‘act’ of mind which I lived through (see vol. ii. p. 157). It was then I understood the position of Mr. Moore's article in refutation of idealism.5 In endeavouring to make clear to myself what the nature of this enjoyment was which we lived through when the object was revealed to us, I came more and more to think of it on the analogy of the animal's or plant's selective reaction to stimuli. Accordingly, mental acts were in the line of organic reactions, only not merely vital but so developed as to allow the emergence of mind. Quite late I thought I could thus understand how our purely vital processes could be objects to us, as they are revealed to us in organic and kinaesthetic sensations, which certainly seem as much objects as colour. This recognition is one of the motives which keep me from a behaviourist metaphysics—only one, but I had better not raise this large issue here. But I had already asked myself whether the enjoyment, being like any reaction specific to its stimulus, could not be described completely in the likeness of vital reactions. Consciousness, is admitted to be temporal; and I completed my view when I could see that mentality occurred along certain spatial lines. Being mentality it enjoyed itself and its own motion, and this is what I mean by saying that we are aware of or enjoy ourselves as direction, that is in enjoyed Space-Time. Of course, if you will try to find a direction of mental process which you can contemplate, you find none and the problem is queered from the outset.

“Finally, partly by my own reflection and partly by the hints of others, I came to see how very much I had been repeating with a difference the doctrine of Spinoza. Enjoyment appears to me to be contained in Spinoza's proposition that the mind is the idea of the body, and in that other great saying that the idea which Paul has of Peter indicates rather the constitution of Paul's body than the nature of Peter (Eth. ii. 17, Sch.); in other words, that the idea of Peter which Paul has is a mental condition of which the other aspect is a bodily condition of Paul, and that it is different according as it is the idea corresponding to Peter or to James. In fact, enjoyment and contemplation replace Spinoza's ambiguous use of the genitive in the phrases ‘idea corporis’ and ‘idea Petri.’ Where I still dare to differ from Spinoza is that for him there is an idea of the mind, which is united to it as the mind to the body, and an idea of that idea, and so on. I should say that the mind is an idea, and that an idea of it is merely repetition. I can only think of an idea of an idea in so far as an idea (of an external thing) is included in a larger whole of ideas which is the mind.”

Now I entertain no doubt that knowing is correctly described in the biological fashion which has been indicated: that the man reacts to the object which excites him, and that in and through this practical response the object is revealed to him as being there. In various later papers6 I have insisted on this practical foundation of knowledge more strenuously than in my book; in other words, that we know because we do; that we become aware of things in our behaviour towards them, a behaviour which, if they are presented in sense, they provoke or elicit from us physiologically; and that mere theoretical knowledge or speculation is but practice diverted from its practical response into speech or some other such form. And it will be plain that I have never conceived of the mind as “diaphanous” or transparent. That metaphor meant, I suppose, merely that the mind did not affect the object known. I, too, hold this, except where the mind introduces characters into the object by “imputation,” on which a word below. But the mind is not for me something merely uniform. On the contrary, each enjoyment is different according to the object to which it is the mental response. If the metaphor of transparence were used, every part of the plate would have to be transparent exclusively to its own special object; a complexity to which the varying curvatures of Einsteinian Space-Time would be child's-play.

The real question raised in my mind is whether the physiological process, I mean as described physiologically, is not enough, and whether I have done rightly, as I still feel I have, in making consciousness a “quality” of the brain-process. Enjoyment for me was always identical with the brain-process and its connections. Now I find it not so easy to recover my mind of seven years ago, and I may have expressed myself and perhaps really thought in a way which led to misapprehension. But all that I mean now by various enjoyments is brain-processes with their quality of consciousness, a quality which they do not have unless the process is of a certain sort, which is therefore intrinsic to them. In his recent book, Aphasia and Kindred Disorders of Speech (Cambridge, 1926), Sir Henry Head speaks of the state of “vigilance” of any part of the nervous system, even below the level of the brain, when it is in a state of “high-grade physiological efficiency” (vol. i. p. 486), and adds that the contrast between the behaviour of a decerebrate7 animal according as it is vigilant or not would be described “if we were dealing with an intact animal, as associated with the presence or absence of consciousness.” In a later passage (p. 496) he says: “Consciousness stands in the same relation to the vigilance of the higher centres as adapted and purposive reflexes to that of those of the lower rank in the neural hierarchy.”

If I read this aright,8 I do not mean by consciousness anything very different from what is thus expressed. I mean that if, as I say on p. 5 of vol. ii., the higher centres are acting in the appropriate places with an appropriate intensity and continuity with other processes, there is the fact or quality of consciousness, or the process is qualified by consciousness—and, I add, does not exist without it—just as a certain frequency of sound vibrations is qualified as A, and one of slightly less frequency has a lower pitch. I do not, however, imply that Sir H. Head would accept my use of the conception or the term quality. I am referring to him in order to illustrate my own meaning.

The doctrine is therefore modester than it seems at first sight. But I am well aware how complicated it becomes in working out the intricate description of mental Space-Time in Book I., and the enjoyments corresponding to various forms of objective experience in Book III. As to the first I am bound to confess that it was through the conception of mental Space-Time and its perspectives that I came to the description I have given of physical Space-Time and its perspectives; and this may help to damn that latter account in the eyes of those who are prejudiced against it already. When it is urged that those enjoyments do not exist or cannot be verified, I can but think that the objector either is exaggerating what he is asked to find, or is looking for something which he can “contemplate.” Whereas the notion advanced is merely that in being aware of a certain object the man is in a certain neural condition which enters into his experience as consciousness, and a different consciousness for each different object (different I describe it in “direction”), that he is living with that quality and nuance of existence. I admit, of course, that the correct physiological description would serve in place of the enjoyment, just as the frequency of vibration serves in place of the pitch of a tone. But the quality, if it is rightly attributed, is there; why then omit it in metaphysics, which is not a special science, or in psychology, which deals with this specific form of existence?

If we dispense with consciousness as a quality, then consciousness becomes a relation between the percipient body and its object, the relation of “reference.” Mind disappears from the scene as a different level from life—the man and the leaf differ only in complexity. Everything is then conscious of other things so far as they come within its orbit. This would be a considerable simplification; but I do not feel sure that the life which has been thus credited with reference has not also been silently at the same time credited with the quality of consciousness in my sense of the term.

There are two different views among persons with the same general tendency as my own with which my own stands in contrast; and I have to admit that the doctrine of enjoyment has found no acceptance, or little. First of all, there is the extreme view of behaviourism, according to which the psychologist has no use for consciousness. In the most outspoken form of it psychology is concerned only with the bodily reactions of what are commonly called perceiving, emotion, etc. Not all behaviourists, however, follow this extremer view of Mr. J. B. Watson. Some would, I believe, include in the behaviour which constitutes a mental process the cerebral process itself from which the bodily gestures issue, though they too would treat consciousness as otiose for psychology. Between such behaviourism and the view taken here, there is only the difference that consciousness is here regarded not as a bare addendum which may be neglected, but as part of the real fact, as sound is of a certain kind of vibration. This is not to deny that somatic responses are important, and it may even be the most important, data for the psychologist.

The other doctrine, that of Mr. Holt's book, is that consciousness is not acts of mind, but is equivalent to what are ordinarily called objects or contents of consciousness. Objects grouped together in a certain way are physical objects; grouped differently they are the mind; this doctrine is “neutral monism,” which descends from William James. It is the solution offered by Mr. Holt and others among the overseas “new realists,” and reasons are given on p. 109 of vol. ii. which made it difficult for me then, and still do so, to accept this solution. It fails, I think, to explain how I come to be aware of the world as related to me. And it treats the mind not as being, like the plant, an individual organism with a body, but a set of objects, related no doubt to a body, and selected by it. To be conscious of a particular object is on this view the relation of the whole set of objects to the particular one, its entry into that set. I should say that mind is not a set of objects at all, but a set of events located in the body, and more particularly in the head, and referring to objects, and this organisation of events is strictly comparable with the plant, or even in the end with a lower material body.

The matter is of so much importance, and my own desire to make my view plain for the reader's judgment so great, that I place it in contrast with a quite different and famous doctrine, according to which the self is merely a group of contents differentiated out of the originally undifferentiated mass which Bradley called feeling. On this view mental events are nothing but the happenings of certain contents, are “presentations” which occur, so that, to take an instance, when A calls up B by association we have but one part of an integral whole followed by the occurrence of the rest. This means in the end that there is nothing existing or thinkable which is not “experience.” I put aside the difficulties of how contents acquire the dynamic character which makes them happen. And, of course, the doctrine does away with the question how a mind comes to know an external object, for that object is already an experience and its externality means only externality in relation to the body. But it does not explain how the illusion arises that we are aware of things as distinct from ourselves, including our minds; in other words, it does not explain the act of reference to objects. And I cannot help thinking that the initial proposition, that all reality is experience, is a misreading of the true statement that in the earliest experience things and the body have not become distinguished from each other. I mention this doctrine here, not to discuss it at length, which is impossible because it raises the whole philosophical problem of idealism in its present form, but because I feel the strength of Bradley's position (in which I was indeed bred) and have realised its strength much more since writing the book. There are two main points of difference, so far as concerns the present issue. First, with me mental happenings are dynamic from the outset, being identical with certain physiological processes. Second, no mental event is a “content”; the characters of green or sweet or being a tree do not belong to the mental process which apprehends, but to the physical object which is apprehended.

Another topic which does not present much difficulty to myself, but has done so to many readers, is the doctrine that images and memories are about, or refer to, non-mental objects in the same sense as perceptions, and that when my mind is active in any direction there is a corresponding object in the world or, as when I use fictions deliberately, something which has a status like that of such objects. I may make mistakes, and, in fact, in memory or imagination always do; the image or memory is probably never exact. Moreover, the object is not necessarily where I see it in image. When I have the vision of a cloudy red patch in dropping off under a narcotic, there is, of course, no red patch in front of my eyes. All I mean is that redness is in the world somewhere, and in this sense the vision takes its materials from the world, and the object has the same characters as physical reality. It is only in appearance that this statement is paradoxical. It will become clear by reference to the biological view taken of mental action. If I breathe, air is present, or some gas that can be respired. Given air, I breathe; given breathing, there is air. But it is less necessary to dwell upon this subject, because it is, I really believe, made plain in the book itself, and because it enters into the long discussion between Mr. Stout and myself contained in two articles of Mind (vol. xxxi. 385, xxxii. 1).

When the mind acts, the object claims at least to be a non-mental one. The notion of “imputation” which enters into my treatment of value and elsewhere is part of the same idea. When I see a face, the face may not only excite in me ordinary perceptual reactions, but my mind goes on to supplement these by images or thoughts (i.e. by imaginings and thinkings), and the objects of these acts are apprehended as part of the face itself. In artistic imputation we see the dead stone alive, or the resting figures in a picture are seen dancing. In fact, ordinary perception itself implies such imputation, only the process there is less explicit. For our mind works by integral wholes of activity, and to that whole in the mind corresponds a whole on the side of the object, and so when a supplementing mental act takes place within a mental whole, the correspondent object is apprehended as an element in the integral object-whole, and, for example, the life is apprehended, not merely generally, somewhere or other, but in the marble block itself.

These questions of general interpretation of consciousness do not of themselves affect the details of Book III., in particular the theory of value. As to the conception of deity, which is part of the whole conception of emergence initiated by Mr. Lloyd Morgan, I need add only two remarks to meet misapprehensions that have occurred. The first is this: I do not say, as has been thought, that God never is, but is always yet to be. “What I say is that God as actually possessing deity does not exist, but is an ideal, is always becoming; but God as the whole universe tending towards deity does exist. Deity is a quality, and God a being. Actual God is the forecast and, as it were, divining of ideal God.”

Secondly, it might be asked why should the next quality ahead produced in Space-Time be regarded with religious reverence? I refer back to the parallel instance of the principle used in describing and identifying the categories. It is said there that identity is the occupation of Space-Time, and diversity the exclusion by one space-time of any other space-time. It may be asked, does not this imply a prior notion of same and different and its application to any space-time? The answer is, no; the fact that a space-time is occupied and excludes another is sameness and difference. So here we cannot ask why we should regard the next higher quality with religious reverence; religious reverence is the way we do regard such a quality; we are describing a fact and identifying it as religious reverence.

My purpose has not been to answer all criticisms, but, as indicated before, to put the reader in possession of my present mind upon certain topics. I trust it will not be thought by my other critics that I am ungrateful to them or regardless of them because I have not taken account of their remarks in this preface.

S. Alexander. Manchester, October 1927.
  • 1.

    In The Monist for July 1927 (vol. xxxvii.) appears the first part of an article by Mr. A. Murphy on “Alexander's Metaphysic of Space-Time” (which I did not see till this preface was written), containing a weighty criticism and interpretation of my book. To this I would refer the reader for the worst, and something more than the best, that can be said of me; it urges a fatal contradiction between the two strains of absolutism and relativity in my treatment of Space-Time, which I hoped I had done something towards uniting. Also to an article, mainly adverse, by Miss Calkins in Mind, 1923 (vol. xxxii.), on “The Dual Role of the Mind in the Philosophy of S. Alexander.”

  • 2.

    Cp. “Art and Science,” Jour. Phil. Studies, vol. i., esp. pp. 15 ff.

  • 3.

    In a little piece, Spinoza and Time (London, 1921), I tried to show my own relation to Spinoza by indicating the results which would follow from substituting Time for Mind in Spinoza's doctrine of Attributes. I take the opportunity here, as in the Mind article, of correcting a mistake in the little book. Page 52, last line, should read “he does not mean that in the usual sense of the word perceive, etc.”

  • 4.

    If I have anywhere called a point-instant the limit of a motion, using a mathematical conception, I ought not to have done so, for the limit of a series is not a constituent of the series, but should have said the limiting case of motion (as in vol. i. p. 321) in the popular sense.

  • 5.

    Mr. Moore has largely disowned the article (see his Philosophical Essays, London, 1922, Preface).

  • 6.

    E.g. “Art and the Material” (Manchester, 1925); “Creative Process in the Artist's Mind” (B. J. of Psych. vol. xvii., 1927).

  • 7.

    Decerebrate = with cerebral hemispheres and part of thalami removed.

  • 8.

    It is not free from ambiguity. It may mean that consciousness is something which controls the vigilance of the higher centres; in which case my reference to Sir H. Head is out of place. I take it to mean that consciousness includes and implies the vigilance of all centres engaged in it.