A. Tertiary Qualities in General
Values arise from amalgamation of mind with objects.
The study of the appearances of things has introduced us to the distinction of truth and error and brought us into contact with the region of values. For illusory appearances have been seen to lie between veridical ideas or images and errors. In themselves, as appearances, they are perspectives of the real world from the point of view of a mind diseased; they are objective and non-mental and owe to the mind nothing but their selection from the real world. They have all the characters of reality, and like other ideas are claimants to reality, awaiting sentence. When they are believed, when, for example, I say not merely that I see the grey paper green, but that the paper is really green, they are errors, and are false or untrue beliefs. As half-way towards errors (and they are always on the point of being believed), they are rightly called unreal. For reality, as will presently be urged, is a compendious name for Space-Time and whatever occupies it. But illusory appearances, in the form in which the appearances present themselves, do not truly occupy Space-Time. Thus they may be described either as embryo errors or undesigned works of art. We have thus to investigate values and to ask in what sense they belong to things and what their spatio-temporal foundations are.
The so-called tertiary ‘qualities’ of things, truth, goodness, and beauty, are values (and for us are the most important of the values1), and imply and are unintelligible without a contrast with their unvalues of error, evil, and ugliness. These values are not qualities of reality in the same sense as colour, or form, or life. Reality is not true nor false; it is reality. Not even is the mental state of illusion or error as a reality true or false; it is a mental reality. Objects are illusory or unreal only in relation to the mind which has them. Facts are true only in relation to the mind which believes them. In the same way there is no goodness in a physical fact as a mere external reality; its goodness, say it is the fact that a wall is built, lies in the relation it has to the practical mind which wills it, to its being the honest work of the mason. Things are good only in so far as we extract their goodness by using them to our purposes. That physical things are beautiful only in relation to us is a proposition which may seem paradoxical and even revolting, and it needs and shall receive its justification, when it will be seen that a landscape has beauty not in and by itself, but in the same way as a poem has beauty, which is made by a man and when it has been made is also a physical thing, outside the maker. That truth and reality are not the same thing, but that truth belongs to real propositions only in their relation to mind, may to some seem obvious and to others false,2 but I shall maintain that though not obvious it is true. Consider the proposition that this rose is red. The rose is real, its redness is real, and the redness belongs really to the rose. The elements of the proposition and the fact that they belong to each other are altogether independent of me. This rose would be red whether known to me or another and before there were eyes to see it. But the proposition is true only if there is human appreciation of it. Similarly the colour of the rose belongs to it irrespective of any human spectator; but it is not beautiful except for a contemplating mind.
Secondary and tertiary qualities.
Values then are unlike the empirical qualities of external things, shape, or fragrance, or life; they imply the amalgamation of the object with the human appreciation of it. Truth does not consist of mere propositions but of propositions as believed; beauty is felt; and good is the satisfaction of persons. In dealing with mere knowing we have had on the one side the knowing subject and on the other the known object, the two in compresence with one another and distinct. We have values or tertiary qualities in respect of the whole situation consisting of knower and known in their compresence. Strictly speaking, it is this totality of knower and known, of subject and object, which is true or good or beautiful. The tertiary qualities are not objective like the secondary ones, nor peculiar to mind and thus subjective like consciousness, nor are they like the primary qualities common both to subjects and objects. They are subject-object determinations. It is the fact believed after a certain fashion which is true, and the person who believes truly is the mind whose believings are determined in a certain fashion in accordance with the objects. It is the object which pleases after a certain fashion which is beautiful, and the person who feels aesthetically is he who feels after a certain fashion for certain objects. What this certain fashion is, it remains for us to describe.
But the amalgamation of subject and object, the reality constituted of the two is diversely close. In truth, the appreciation is determined by the object, for reality is for knowing discovered, not made, and our appreciation of its truth follows reality itself. In goodness, since we are practical and make the results we will, always subject to the laws of external reality, good is determined in the first instance or primarily by us. Hence in common speech we say either that the objective beliefs are true or that the person believes truly, as if truth belonged indifferently either to the knower or the known. But while we call the beliefs true, it would seem unnatural to call the acts of believing true; we say merely we believe truly.3 On the other hand in morals we call the mind's action good by preference and we do not regard the object willed, like the building of the wall, as possessing goodness but as being ‘a good.’ In the case of beauty the connection between mind and object is much more intimate and the beautiful object is not merely considered along with its contemplating subject, but they are organic to each other. The object then seems to us to possess as it were a new quality, comparable to that of colour. It is charming as well as red or sweet.
Appreciations arise from the community of minds.
We have to inquire what characters they are in the object which fit it to enter into this amalgamation with our appreciations, and again what the nature of the appreciations is in correspondence with their object. At present let us deal with the appreciations. They arise out of intercourse between minds. For without that intercourse the individual mind merely finds itself set against objects with which it is compresent, but does not recognise that in certain respects they owe their character to the mind. We only become aware that a proposition is false when we find it entertained by another and our own judgment disagrees with his. We then are aware that it is not merely possible for us to make mistakes, as we find ourselves doing in the course of our experience, but that an error may be somehow a real existence. Thereafter, when, with this consciousness, this acquaintance with error, we turn our minds upon ourselves, we can judge ourselves with the eyes of the community, and recognise that we are or were in error. We judge ourselves, in enjoyment, as if we were in our mistake another person. In our better mind about the same reality we represent the collective mind, and our worse mind was then the victim of error for us, and the object of its belief an error or erroneous. Thus we do not merely need other minds to supply us with facts which may escape our notice because of our short life and limited opportunities. We need them for thinking truly in order that we may learn the very contrast of thinking truly and falsely. In the same way and more obviously, my appreciation of a certain end or object secured by practice as being morally good arises in social intercourse, which presents me with persons who have willed incompatible ends, or who will ends of the same sort or compatible with mine. They and I approve certain ends and secure them; they and I secure other ends which fail of approval. Such ends are judged bad whether secured by myself or another. But it is by this contrast between different ends and the wills for them that the appreciation of good and bad arises. Thereafter, just as with knowledge, I may be myself the representative of the collective mind and, when I have willed certain ends myself, may condemn myself and call the end bad and myself who will it bad also.
It is social intercourse, therefore, which makes us aware that there is a reality compounded of ourselves and the object, and that in that relation the object has a character which it would not have except for that relation. The rose is red whether we see it or not; and a man dies whether naturally or by our act. But the redness of the rose is judged true, and the dying of the man by our act is judged a wrong, only through the clashing and confirmation of our judgments. Hence it is that these experiences of apprehending truth or error, goodness or evil, beauty or ugliness, are the culmination and the most potent variety of the experiences of co-operation and helpfulness, or conflict and dissidence, whereby we come to be aware of the existence of other minds or selves as well as our own, or to speak more accurately of ourselves as merely one unit in a group of selves. In judging our objects as true or false, right or wrong, beautiful or ugly, we attend to ourselves as like or different from other selves.
Values then or tertiary qualities of things involve relation to the collective mind, and what is true, good, or beautiful is not true or good or beautiful except as so combined with the collective mind. By collective mind I do not mean a new mind, which is the mind of a group. There is no sufficient evidence that such a mind exists. It is but a short symbol for that co-operation and conflict of many minds which produces standards of approval or disapproval. Appreciation is exercised by the individual mind in agreement with other minds which like him judge well, and in disagreement with minds which judge ill. A mind which judges according to the standard is a standard mind. For convenience we may think of the standard as embodied in the fiction of the impartial spectator beloved of the eighteenth century, who is not subject to the weaknesses of varying individuals but represents the judgment of the collective as a whole. The mind which appreciates value judges it coherently with other such minds and is a standard mind; the mind that appreciates amiss judges incoherently with the standard mind. Only, a standard mind is not like a standard machine, one of which all minds are repetitions. On the contrary, it may have in certain respects a highly individual part to play. Thus a man may be scientific and judge truly though he is confined to one special branch of knowledge; or in practice he may have special gifts which mark out for him special duties in life; or he may be perfect in miniatures and incapable of the grand style. What makes him a standard man is that whatever his role he performs it consistently with the common requirements, which approve in turn of his specialising. He possesses in other words the spirit of truth and goodness and beauty.4
The character of the object of value.
But while the appreciation of the mind is needed to make the object true or good, to give it the character of truth or goodness or their opposites, there is a corresponding character in the object, of which in our appreciation of it we are aware. Just as we apprehend a thing as spatial through intuition or as coloured through sense, so we apprehend through appreciation or valuation a corresponding character in the object of our appreciation. Contrast the beauty of an object with its pleasantness. Sugar is pleasant simply because it gives pleasure; to call it pleasant means nothing more than this. There is no quality of pleasantness in the sugar in addition to its taste or nutritive properties. The pleasantness is the effect produced in us by these qualities. So far indeed as the pleasantness of a thing lies in its relation to us, pleasantness is an anticipation of value on a lower level. There would be no pleasantness in the sugar were there not living bodies which it affects. But beauty is not merely the ability of a thing to please us, still less to give us merely sensuous pleasure in virtue of its sensible qualities. Beauty means ability to please in a certain way, in such a way as to call forth the appreciative aesthetic judgment. There is some character then in the beautiful object which it possesses over and above the characters which it has as an object of sense or mere thinking; this character is the object of the act of appreciation. The pleasure which the sugar gives me is an affection of myself (my body) apprehended in the consciousness of pleasure, and it is not a character of the sugar. But my appreciation of the beauty of a poem, while it carries with it all kinds of sensible pleasures, though it is itself a pleasing act of mind, is a reaction to something in the poem itself. In like manner, any reality is real and known for such, but a proposition to be true or false has a character of its own which is revealed to the act of appreciation by the collective mind.
We shall have to indicate what it is in the object which qualifies it to be the object of collective appreciation and so to receive in this combination the character of truth or goodness or beauty. We shall find in each case that it is coherence within the object of value. Thus there is no truth nor goodness nor beauty in reality by itself; there is only reality. Reality cannot be either coherent or incoherent. But there is coherence in knowledge, in acts of will, in the productions of art or in the beautiful aspects of nature.
The experience of values. Values are not qualities.
Yet this objective character in objects of value, this coherence amongst our perspectives of reality, differs from qualities of things. These are indeed selected by the mind, as when in looking at marble we see its colour but not its hardness, but they are selected from the thing. But coherence and incoherence, though founded in reality, are themselves the results of our selection. For objects of value, as we shall see, are judgments or imply them. Now in judgment, unlike perception, we dissect to reunite: we single out some aspect of a thing and then assert it of the thing. We unpiece the world in order to repiece it. Thus the value of the object, its coherence, is not something which is already in the things themselves, but is born along with the act of appreciation. Values are therefore mental (and the tertiary qualities are even human) inventions, though like all inventions their materials are independent of the inventor. The property of coherence in the object of value belongs to it in so far as the valuing subject appreciates it. But it remains a property of the object distinguishable from the act of the subject though not existent apart from the subject. Values thus belong to the object as it is possessed by the mind and not outside that relation. This distinguishes value from pleasantness, for the qualities in the sugar which made it pleasant are actually in the sugar irrespective of the mind to which it gives bodily pleasure.
We cannot regard value then as a quality of things, as if real things were true or false in themselves, and truth or falsity were perceived like colour or taste or life. What we apprehend in objects of value is their coherence. There is no new quality of things called truth or beauty. How then is it that truth and goodness and beauty appear to be a distinctive flavour of things? It is because coherence satisfies. There are three elementary tendencies of which tertiary qualities are the satisfactions and dissatisfactions: the tendency or desire to learn which is curiosity, the desire to do, and the desire to produce forgive expression to ourselves in outward form. In so far as the mind in its appreciations possesses its objects these desires are gratified, and it is the glow or warmth in which the satisfaction of these tendencies issues which may make us fancy that value is something more than mere coherence whether in the object of value or in the subject of appreciation. We may describe truth in knowledge as its satisfactoriness to the knower; but we must beware of inventing a quality of satisfactoriness; just as much as of supposing that pleasantness is a quality of something which is sweet to the taste. The character which satisfies aesthetically or morally or, to use the usual but infelicitous word, logically, is the coherence of the object, and this as we have seen exists only in relation to the subject.
The reality of values.
The tertiary qualities, truth and goodness and beauty, though they differ from the secondary and primary ones in being creations of mind, are not the less real. They belong strictly to an amalgamation or union of the object with the mind. But their dependence on the mind does not deprive them of reality. On the contrary, they are a new character of reality, not in the proper sense qualities at all, but values, which arise through the combination of mind with its object. What experience of every kind is often thought to be, namely, something in which mind and its object can be distinguished but cannot be separated, so that there can be no space nor colour without an experiencing mind, is true of values but nowhere before. In our ordinary experience of colour the colour is separate from the mind and completely independent of it. In our experience of the colour's beauty there is indissoluble union with the mind. It might be thought that to admit value to be the work of mind is to give up the case for believing colour and the other secondary qualities to be independent of it. This would be a misconception, for the cases are not parallel. If colour were, as it is alleged to be, the work of mind, we should have the unintelligible result that a set of vibrations is seen not as vibrations but as colour. No such paradox arises in seeing the colour beautiful. For the colour in being judged beautiful is still seen as colour; its beauty is a character superadded to it from its relation to the mind in virtue of which it satisfies, or pleases after a certain fashion, or aesthetically. The tertiary qualities are as real as the primary or secondary, but more complex in their conditions, and they are not properly qualities.5 Strangely enough it has been thought that if they depend, as in our view they do, on mind, and are its creations through social intercourse, they are therefore in some way unreal; as if the combination of two realities could beget an unreality. The mind is the highest finite empirical reality we know. Strange that its touch should be thought to derealise its creations. The misconception would appear to be the lingering on of an old tradition. When the ideas of primary qualities were believed to be copies of reality, and those of secondary qualities merely the effects produced by realities upon our minds, reality belonged in a special way to primary qualities, and secondary ones were merely subjective and not real. It seems to be thought that values because they do not exist without minds are similarly subjective, and with nothing in reality corresponding to them. But for us mind is one of the realities, and is itself in the end a complex of Space-Time stuff. Values arise in the relation of these realities to other realities, in virtue of which a fresh reality is constituted. The simplest example of a reality which is compounded of mind and a non-mental thing is the ‘person’ itself in which mind and body are connected together, and the person is neither the subject-self alone nor the object-self alone, but the union of the two; it is the body along with the consciousness of it or the consciousness along with the body which is its object. In the same way we have a reality which is not merely the fact that water boils at 212° F. but that fact related to the mind which believes it, or to put the same thing otherwise that fact as possessed by the mind, that is, a truth. Or we have a statue of a certain form which in its relation to the mind which judges it beautiful is beautiful. The realities which furnish objects of the appreciation of value are thus joined to the mind or organic to it (though in various degrees of closeness in the connection) in like manner as the body is conjoined with the mind in the personal experience.
Strictly speaking, it is this compound whole to which value belongs. And in each such whole we can distinguish on the one side the object of value and on the other the valuing subject. As in this relation, the value, truth, goodness, or beauty is attributed to the object, known or produced; the appreciating subject thinks, wills, or judges accordingly. Values have thus a status of their own different from that of either primary or secondary qualities.
In dealing with the other empirical problems we have at the beginning indicated the place of the feature discussed in the whole empirical system. It would be natural, following this plan, to show that the tertiary qualities do not stand in the world unique but have their analogues on lower levels. This would, however, be difficult to do without further explanation. I shall try first to show in some greater detail how the different tertiary qualities verify the general account given of them; and in particular in what different ways the subject is united with its object in the three cases.
B. Truth and Error
Reality and truth.
Reality and truth are not identical, and they are differently apprehended by the mind. The real is Space-Time as a whole and every complex or part within it. Our consciousness of reality is the consciousness that anything we apprehend belongs to Space-Time. For nothing in our experience, as we have seen, is isolated and stands absolutely by itself, but is apprehended with its surrounding fringe of Space-Time. We are aware of our own reality so far as we enjoy ourselves as a part of Space-Time belonging to the whole; the objects we contemplate are real in our experience in so far as they are apprehended as parts of Space-Time distinct from ourselves. This distinctness of external objects from ourselves gives to our experience of non-mental reality the consciousness we have of being controlled from without or objectively. The non-mental reality is something which as occupying a part of Space-Time distinct from ourselves is something which we accept as given, and whose shapes and qualities we follow in our awareness of it. Such recognition of the given is the speculative shape assumed by the necessities of practice. In order to act we must obey. Stone walls do not imprison our imaginations, but they imprison our bodies and therefore control our perception of the walls. For perception of an object is the speculative side of practical response to it. This consciousness of control from the object is indeed not the consciousness of its reality, but only of its not being ourselves. But it accounts for the importance of sensation, with its vivacity and intrusive character, its manner of “breaking in upon us,” in assigning the different appearances or separate things to their right places.
Reality is, then, experienced whether in enjoyment or contemplation as that which belongs to Space-Time, or the character of reality is the character of so belonging. So much for the perceptual experience. When we judge our consciousness of the reality of what we judge is experienced in belief. Belief, in a judgment (and whenever we judge we believe), is the awareness that what is judged belongs to Space-Time as a whole. So far there is truth in the analysis of judgment performed by Mr. Bradley, that every judgment is ultimately about the whole Reality.6 In believing that the rose is red, I am aware that redness belongs as a quality within the space-time of the rose, and that this space-time is a part of the whole. For judging is the speculative side of volition, and what is willed in willing is the proposition or object judged.7 The object of the will to strike a man is the proposition ‘the man is struck, ‘or ‘I strike the man.’ Now the process of willing is this: there is first the act of preparation for my end, to which corresponds the assumption or supposal of the end, the supposal that the man is struck. Willing occurs when this preparatory act, which is a relatively detached portion of myself, is clinched with my whole self, and we have the consciousness of consenting to the act, the so-called fiat of the will. The preparation for the end then becomes effective and passes into performance. In being adopted by the self the assumption becomes a judgment, the mere predication becomes an assertion, and the belief is the speculative aspect of the act of consent. Correspondingly the judgment, ‘the man is struck,’ is recognised as belonging to the world of Space-Time of which my contemplated self is a part, and which surrounds that self as a fringe. Believing is thus the fiat of the speculative will, and its object is the reality of what is judged as a part of reality in general, i.e. asserted instead of merely being predicated. Seeing that percepts and memories are undeveloped or implicit judgments, we may, without impropriety, also say that we believe in our percepts and memories, or that these come to us with a “coefficient of reality,” which is the awareness of their belonging to Space-Time as a whole.
To be real then is to belong to Space-Time, as our hypothesis implies and experience attests. The apprehension of truth, and of what corresponds to it on the perceptual level, arises when we proceed to sort out our spatio-temporal objects into their groups. For then we find that our objects do not all of them belong to Space-Time in the form in which they pretend to belong to it, or in the places to which they make claim. Some of our objects are illusory; they are real so far as they are perspectives of Space-Time, but they contain an element introduced by our personality, and do not belong where they seem to belong. We become aware of the difference of real appearances and illusory ones or mere images. In like manner we discover in sorting out beliefs that some are erroneous. They are still believed and we have the consciousness of their reality. For errors are believed, and error differs from a lie by its sincerity. But their objects though rooted in reality do not belong where they seem. In some judgments we apprehend reality truly; in others falsely or erroneously. This contrast of true and false judgments, and that of reality and mere images, are of the same order. We do not, however, call percepts true, because a percept contains no judgment; it contains only the germ of judgment, for in the percept the elements united in it are not apprehended in their relations, that is, with a consciousness of their relations as such.
The act of judging or believing stands in us over against its object, which is the judgment, proposition, or belief. None of the names is free from ambiguity: ‘judgment’ has the usual double application either to the act or its object or both combined; so too has ‘belief,’ though ‘beliefs’ in the plural stands for what is believed; ‘proposition’ contains a reference to
The object of judging. language, and ‘propositum’ would be a better, though a pedantic name. The best name of all is ‘fact,’ were it not for the awkwardness of describing erroneous judgments as facts. For what is judged is a fact or claims to be one. Now, a fact is a relation whose terms are at once apprehended in distinction and referred to the reality to which they both belong and thereby to reality as a whole. This reference is the element of assertion. ‘A's going down the street’ is a relation which I perceive; ‘A is going down the street’ is the same relation judged, and is a fact. The same relation which is apprehended within reality in the percept is apprehended explicitly in the judgment. The difference in contents of the judgment from the percept is in the form. It is from the idea, or rather from the supposal, that judgment differs in its material, for it adds to the supposal the reference to the whole reality.8 The judgment is the percept dissected and reconstructed; it is not merely a perspective of reality but a perspective containing an assertion: I shall say, an asserted perspective.
But the unpiecing and repiecing contained in our apprehension of the asserted perspective does not make what is judged a creation of the mind, any more than counting makes number so. The pieces and their unity are contained in the reality. Accordingly, when we judge physical objects, the fact which is judged is the actual physical relation. The propositum, ‘Caesar crossed the Rubicon at such a date,’ is not different from the actual event so described which happened in the past, save of course that it is only a perspective of that event. And since universals are plans which really subsist, the presence of universals in propositions: ‘this rose is red,’ ‘this red thing is a rose,’ or even‘the lion is carnivorous’: does not make that which is judged less a fact. The singular proposition is a singular, the universal proposition a subsistent, fact. On the other hand, just because in judgment the percept is unpieced and repieced, because the perspective is asserted and is declared to be, as such or as stated, real, the fact cannot be apprehended without raising the question, Is it truly real? Facts are not true or false, but of a fact we must ask, Is it truly a fact as it claims to be?
Besides the non-mental ‘facts’ which are propositions or beliefs, there are mental facts which consist of enjoyments, related to one another under all the forms of the categories, which may be called mental propositions. They are not the objects of believing but they are the judging itself. They are, in the strict sense of that word, the contents of the act of judging. Truth and error are possible with respect to enjoyed propositions as well as contemplated ones. But I shall deal first with contemplated propositions and return later to the mental ones. The science which systematises mental propositions is psychology.
What then do we apprehend in apprehending the truth of a judgment?
What makes truth true.
We may ask the question, what makes truth? in different senses. We may mean, what propositions must I believe to have truth? The answer to this question is supplied by the sciences, including the science of philosophy. Every science consists or a body of propositions organised and systematised in a certain fashion, and in so far as these propositions are related to the mind which contemplates (or enjoys) them. That is to say, a science is all the true physical (or mental) facts belonging to any department of reality, in so far as they are the possession of minds which think truly. Physics is the universal and particular facts comprehended within physical existence, regarded as true, that is, as possessed by minds which are scientific. Outside the relation to the minds which know them, and without which they Would not be true, there is nothing in a science but that reality with which it deals.
The other meaning of the question is, what makes truth true? This is the question to which metaphysics has to supply the answer. There is a further question which is answered by the science of logic: what are the relations subsisting between the propositions of any science in virtue of which they assume their systematic form? We are dealing here with the abstract or philosophical question.
Not correspondence to reality.
There is one mode of answering this question to which we are compelled by the whole spirit of our inquiry to give short shrift. It is the so-called correspondence theory of truth: a proposition is true if it agrees with reality, false or erroneous if it does not. For how shall we know reality and bring our beliefs to that test, except in the form of other propositions? If the reality is something other than what appears to us “by all the ways” of sense, ideas, imagination, memory, conception, judging, it cannot be appealed to. Our beliefs are then conceived to float as it were midway between the actions of our minds and some reality to which we are perhaps said to refer. They belong somehow to the mind and are not distinct non-mental existences, which they truly are, just as are the objects of our sensings or rememberings. On the other hand, if truth is tested by reference to other propositions the test is not one of correspondence to reality but of whether the proposition tested is consistent or not with other propositions. This is the test of ‘coherence.’
Our answer must be that truth and error depend in any subject-matter on whether the reality about which the proposition is conversant admits or excludes that proposition in virtue of the internal structure of the reality in question; that this truth is apprehended through intercourse of minds of which some confirm the true proposition and reject the false, and that truth is the proposition so tested as. thus related to collective judging. Any reality is an occupation of Space-Time in a particular configuration. I call that its internal structure. Propositions made about this reality are asserted perspectives of it. True propositions belong to the reality; false ones introduce elements from elsewhere. True propositions are thus also real; but their truth is different from their reality. True propositions cohere; or rather false propositions are incoherent with true propositions and are rejected by us. But that rejection is determined by the reality itself, for it is by experience of reality and experiment upon it that the propositions become sorted out into groups. The one group, which the internal structure of the reality allows us to retain, are truths; those which are rejected are errors. The rejection of error is performed at the guidance of reality through the clash of minds. For the reality itself cannot be said to exhibit incoherence, since all occupation of Space-Time is orderly. Nor can the reality be said to reject an erroneous proposition; it only exhibits features which are different from those contained in the error and compel us to reject belief in the error. The conflict and co-operation is between the perspectives or judged objects as possessed by the observing minds.
What a science is.
All the propositions which are asserted perspectives of any subject—matter are the beliefs about it. The aggregate of true beliefs is knowledge, and as exhibited. in their inter-relations the knowledge is science. It is a complex system of facts, some singular, some general, some descriptive, some explanatory, forming an inexhaustible total. Moreover, when the subject of the science is sensible, some of its propositions deal with things in their sensible characters. A science always begins by being a collection of propositions with sensible material, and to the end it is never a mere organisation of universal propositions, though these are its highest achievements. Hence the part played by sensible verification in the discovery of true knowledge. Now it is the selection of such propositions by the minds which believe truly, which makes the propositions true; the error is not a real fact but a pretender which is rejected. Hence since knowledge and science are generally understood with the implied emphasis on their truth, they are not reality itself but that reality as possessed by minds. But the propositions themselves which possess the character of truth are real facts contained within the reality investigated, and when their truth is disregarded they are not different from reality. Apart from its mere registration in books, a science such as physics is nothing but the actual world as more fully revealed to us than to ordinary observation, in its details and inter-relations as they are contained in propositions singular and universal. This does not mean that he who possesses physical science carries the physical world about with him, but only that he is compresent with it. Propositions, like other cognita, are perspectives of the world, and when they are true are really in it, and in the places where they pretend to be.
Coherence as determined by reality.
To verify this account of truth, let us take the simplest case—that in which the subject-matter is a singular existent, judged in a singular proposition, ‘this rose is yellow.’ If the rose is really yellow its internal structure is different from that of a white rose, and it compels us to reject the attribution to it of whiteness. The agreement of many persons in the belief that the rose is yellow and not white does not make the rose really yellow, it only follows that reality; but their discovery that it is yellow and not white, as believed by some one else, makes the belief ‘the rose is yellow’ true and ‘the rose is white’ an error. Here the sphere of reality is no more than the colour of the rose. The erroneous belief accepts from somewhere in reality as a whole the colour white, which is one of the alternative colours of things in general and roses in particular, and attaches white to the rose. Owing to some defect in the erroneous observer, whether of sense or of carelessness or haste, instead of seeing the colour which is before him in the reality, the yellow rose, he as it were squints at reality as a whole, and his mind is compresent with white instead of yellow. One eye sees this rose in its shape; the other sees not the yellow within the shape but a white. Thus two new realities have come into being; one is the union of the real yellow rose with the mind of a true observer; the other is the union of reality, though not merely this particular reality of the yellow rose, with the mind of the observer who squints or has a twist in his mind. That reality is the erroneous belief; it is the artificial product of the mind and reality as a whole, which contains this rose and colours and relation of the rose to colour-the fact that the rose has some colour, as that fact operates on a twisted mind. The true belief in so far as true is equally an artificial product of reality and the minds which suffer no twist. Which of the two new realities is true in respect of the subject-matter, what is the colour of this rose, is settled by the experimental testing of the rose, but the distinction of truth from error consists in the rejection of the false belief by those who hold the true one. Thus the proposition ‘the rose is yellow’ owes its reality to itself, but its truth to the rejection of the error, which takes place in the refusal by the true minds of the erroneous one.
When we pass to a more complex subject-matter such as life or living beings, we find the same mark of error and truth as in the simpler case we have just discussed. Here the intrinsic structure of the reality, the relations between its parts, is expressed by a multitude of propositions instead of a single one. True propositions are those which settle down into a system with one another; errors are propositions which do not cohere with the rest and are discarded. But what is this incoherence of the error? For by calling it incoherent with true propositions which are real we seem to be making the error also real, in the erroneous form which it has. The error, however, only has reality as being possessed by the mind. Accordingly, it is incoherence which must be accounted for in order to understand what is meant by coherence. Now, a proposition is incoherent with other propositions about that reality, in so far as the internal structure of the reality is different from the features contained in the erroneous proposition; and this is discovered by experiment. Physically, the thing judged is in a certain respect different from the property imputed to it in the erroneous judging. Take for example the erroneous belief that an animal can live in an atmosphere deprived of oxygen. Experiment shows that life ceases in such an atmosphere. The proposition which declares that an animal dies under such conditions is true; but, since the conduct of life contains something different from the absence of oxygen, the proposition stated at first is erroneous, and incoherent with the true propositions. We take the reality life and this same reality in air deprived of oxygen, and, since life disappears at the contact, the conditions of life are different from such atmosphere. Thus neither do we treat the error as if it were a real fact of life, which it cannot be, nor on the other hand do we treat it as a mere suggestion of our minds, something which has an existence somewhere in a non-mental world of neutral being. We experiment so as to test it in the only way we can. We take the realities with which it deals, life and the atmosphere described, and discover whether the one reality is compatible with the other. It is in this sense then that the coherent propositions which make up a given department of reality are incoherent with errors.
Incoherence and real opposition.
Hence the incoherence in every department of an erroneous proposition with true ones is not to be confused with the real opposition between propositions which are both true. Such conflicts are of the very essence of reality and contribute to its reality. Thus a body may be acted on by two equal and opposite pulls, and in consequence is at rest. There are two conflicting causes at work within the reality, but there is no incoherence. If the body were not at rest the two opposite forces would not be equal. There would only be incoherence if the two propositions asserted were, ‘the body is actually moving to the east,’ and ‘is actually moving to the west.’ Thus there is no error within a given reality itself. An error is concerned with a piece of reality which is outside and does not belong to the given reality, though, as we saw in the case of the colour of the rose, the reality it deals with (the white colour) belongs to a class of realities (colours) which has its representative (yellow colour) within the given reality.
Nor again does the incoherence of the error with the truth lie solely in the conflict of the true believing with the erroneous one. That conflict does exist. But it follows and is parallel to the contemplated incoherence. For in cognition we watch and do not make. Our believings are guided by the reality outside us, and we do not make the reality but find it. It is only the truth that we make when we compare ourselves with one another. Hence it is that in respect of all empirical matter the proposed test of truth which consists in the inconceivability of the opposite is useless. We cannot tell what is empirically inconceivable till we have tried. The test is only valid in respect of categorial material, for there we enjoy these determinations within ourselves as well as contemplate them outside us. We cannot believe a thing to be moving up and down at once, for in this case the believings also are incompatible. If A is greater than B and B than C, A is greater than C. We cannot conceive the negative, and our impotence is a test (though not the ground) of such truths. But such truths are limited in their range. In fact the real value of the proposed test lies, not in its practical usefulness, but rather in its calling attention to the difference between empirical qualitative determinations and the determinations of categorial features.
For simplicity's sake, I have assumed that the error is completely incoherent with the propositions that make up the reality. In the practical work of discovery this is not always or necessarily so. We have propositions which we discover to be partly true and partly false. A new proposition tested by previously discovered ones may show us that our old truths have to be modified in rejecting the new proposition. These details though vastly important for the method of science may be omitted.
Truth and error related to mind.
The test of whether propositions believed are real at their face value is thus the coherence of certain propositions with one another and their incoherence with others. It is reality itself which determines this distinction. Beliefs get sorted out, and one set are real in themselves, the others belong to a different reality. But this distinction only comes into existence through the conflict and co-operation of many minds, and the reality, or real propositions, are true only in their relation to the minds which have reality for their possession and reject the judgments of the erroneous minds. Truth and error are in this sense creations of mind at the bidding of reality. Moreover, they imply relation not to the individual mind as individual but to the individual mind in its attitude to the social mind, that is to the individual as a standard mind. The mind which has truth has it so far as various minds collectively contribute their part to the whole system of true beliefs; the mind which has error is so far an outcast from the intellectual community. Thus while on its objective or contemplated side, error is detected by being convicted of introducing an element of reality which does not belong to the reality investigated, on its subjective or believing side it fails to cohere with the social believings. In this process of discrimination of believings there occur all manner of adjustments of one believing to another, always at the guidance and under the control of appeal to the contemplated fact, but in one way or another truth means the settling down of individual believings into a social whole and the condemnation of the heretical or unscientific believing; just as in practical matters by interchange of counsel men settle down into a common course of action which may be the initial proposal of some one, or a number, which wins assent, or may turn out in the end to be a proposal different from the original proposal of any one person; while some again dissent.
Truth and reality.
True knowledge therefore owes its truth to the collective mind but its reality to the proposition which is judged. The divergences of standard minds from the isolated minds of the victims of error are the mode by which we come to apprehend propositions as true, by their contrast with error. Thus in being aware of a real proposition as true, we add nothing to its reality. On the contrary the truth follows in the wake of the reality. There is no property of coherence in reality itself. Coherence is a property of the perspectives which we have ourselves selected; it is we who take them piecemeal, and we who reunite them, and their reunion is performed through their exclusion of the incoherent error. Hence it was said above that the coherence of true propositions was generated in the relation of the reality to the mind. In entering into this relation the reality gives rise, in its combination with the standard mind, to truth, and may be said to become true. For it is the intrinsic structure of the reality which compels the distinction amongst ourselves between apprehending truly or falsely and between truth and falsity in our propositions. Hence for reality to be true it must be possessed by us. Whereas merely to be known, that is to be apprehended or cognised, even to be believed, reality does not need to be so held. To be known is to be compresent with a mind. The reality owes to mind its being known, but it would be what it is without being known. Not its esse is its percipi, but merely its percipi is its percipi. The same thing is true so far of its truth. Its reality, being independent of its being known, is independent of its being known truly. But its truth cannot be detached from its true or false knower, for it is the reality itself' in virtue of the way in which it occupies its space-time which resists and is known to resist the attempts on the part of certain minds to attach to it certain features of other reality which do not belong to it. Therefore merely to be known is indeed to stand in relation of compresence to mind, but to be known truly or falsely is not only to be compresent with a mind but to be united with it in one whole situation, to be part of a reality compounded of what knows it and itself. As entering into this total, the object is true or false and the mind judges truly, or falsely. Were all minds perfect instruments of apprehension, mirrors of reality without inequalities of the surface (in Bacon's phrase), there would be no truth, for there would be no error. It is because minds differ and vary from normality that reality compels minds to distinguish among one another and thereby to create truth, in their objects and in themselves.
No truth or error for a mere individual.
Why, it may be asked, should truth and error require the contrast of more minds than one? Does not the individual by himself distinguish truth and error? Does he not make mistakes and on testing them pronounce then to be errors? It is true that owing to our limitations,; single individual can hardly become fully acquainted with any reality, that he needs to be supplied with informatior from others who view the topic from different angles which his own life is not long enough for him to occupy in turn, and that it is easier for him to recognise error when it is brought before him in other persons as well Give him time enough to see the topic from all sides, and he would arrive at truth and discard error in his own person.
Now it is of course true that in practice the individual does this. But then the individual in practice never is a solitary individual. He may investigate alone. But each of us has been trained to be on his guard against error, and as Robinson Crusoe carried into his solitude the tradition of civilised life, so the individual working alone represents social intellectual tradition.. He judges himself with the social eye, as in conduct we judge our own morality by our conscience, which is the vicegerent of society. We deceive ourselves if we confuse such an individual with a real solitary. Imagine such a real solitary, an individual who learns entirely for himself. He would make mistakes of sense or judgment, and, acting on them in practice, or pursuing his purely intellectual inquiry on the strength of such belief, would find that the facts were different, and would change his mind, supposing his mistake had not led to his own destruction. He would say I thought this thing was so but I find it is not so. My old belief does not work, and I abandon it. His mistakes would be misadventures. But he would not say I was in error. He would only say I entertained a belief which I am compelled by the facts to abandon, and in general he would abandon his old belief without thinking about it at all, just as when we find we are cold with one coat we put on a thicker one, not saying to ourselves I was foolish to put on the thin coat, but simply exchanging it for another. He would not be aware of an error, for he would only know that the reality was not as he thought it to be; he would only notice that things were not so, not that it was his mind, his believing, which was at fault. For, to repeat a thrice-told tale, in the absence of other minds he would not notice his own. But when his fellow entertains the belief which the reality rejects, he can say it is your mind, your believing which is at fault; not only does your belief fail to work, but you are in error. When he has once realised what error is, as the product of a mind and reality, he can then, with this experience, consider his own belief as if he himself in entertaining it were another person, whom he happens to identify with himself and say not only was my belief a failure which I changed, but it was an error. Thus to suppose that a really solitary individual can be aware of error in his own person is to commit that mistake of ‘introjection’ which is responsible for so many fallacies in philosophy. It is to read into ourselves what we discover in fact from observation of others. We treat ourselves as if without others we could discover in ourselves what we only discover from them.
Truth and error are therefore as much social products as moral good and evil; as indeed would follow from the principle that speculation is suspended practice. What is true of the one is true with appropriate changes of the other. Sociality is a feature which they have in common, being fundamental. Hence the mere individual is not, as such, the subject which judges truly or falsely; he is the subject of appreciations of truth and error, only so far as he represents the social mind; and here as in other cases value is something objective like language. Truth for the individual is a secondary conception. It is not curiosity alone which furnishes truth, but curiosity chastened by comparison with the curiosity of others.
Error as the oblique judgment of reality.
Many minds are needed then for truth, not because the many facets of reality are visible only to a multiplicity of minds, but because in the intercourse of minds the truth is created as truth, at the guidance of reality, by mutual confirmation or exclusion of beliefs. Thus just as truth, as truth, is real in arising out of the relation of a reality to the mind that is blended with it, so also error is real only as possessed by the unstandardised believer. The erroneous proposition at its face value is not real; it is unreal, that is, it is false. It is not merely, like an illusory appearance, what reality reveals itself to be to the mind with a twist or squint. For it is believed. The illusory appearance so long as it remains merely such is not believed, but only received. Accordingly with changed conditions it may be replaced by a real appearance. Withdraw the grey paper from its red ground and it looks grey. The appearance would not be there but for the perversity of the observer's mind. But he does not identify himself with it. This is just what the victim of error does. For he judges; he brings the elements of his judgment into explicit relation with each other and holds the combination to be real. Hence his proposition is not merely his perverse perspective of the world, but it is his making. The reality of the error resides therefore in the new reality composed of himself and the external reality: and because of this can be rejected by the standard minds.
At the same time, as has been abundantly illustrated from the simple case of the misjudgment of the colour of the rose on a previous page, error is always in contact with reality and is partial truth. Moreover, it is in partial contact with the reality about which it is erroneous. It is always, as Mr. Stout9 has explained, the adoption of an unsuitable real alternative amongst the alternatives open to the kind of thing to which the subject belongs. Mere unmeaning combinations of ideas are not errors. The error is founded on the topic in question and on the characters which are appropriate to its sphere but do not happen to fit this member of the sphere in question. Thus to say that virtue is red is not an error but meaningless; but to say that it is physically necessary and not free is, or may be, erroneous because virtue belongs to the class of actions, some of which are compulsory and others free. It is only erroneous to believe that a menace inspires terror in a given case, because menaces may inspire terror or anger or some other emotion or, to take the alternatives still more widely, must have some effect upon the human mind to which they are addressed.
Progress in truth.
True propositions exist, it was said, in the sphere of reality to which they are referred. But the sphere to which they are referred does not exhaust the whole of that department of reality. Thus propositions about life belong to life as it reveals itself to minds, and that revelation is partial. It is only therefore within the sphere of reality as revealed (the only meaning which minds can attach to any department of reality, for example life) that the true propositions are real. As knowledge grows life may be revealed more fully, and propositions true for the older revelation may need to be readjusted for the fuller one. The once true proposition may turn out even to be erroneous for the newer knowledge, while it remains true and real as such within the narrower range of ancient revealed fact. Thus truth is at once eternal and progressive. ‘Once true always true,’ so long as the range of facts is restricted as before. But truth varies and grows obsolete or even turns to falsehood. Hence a theory may be true for one generation and false for the next. Yet it remains true for the range of facts open to the minds of the earlier generation. This is possible because truth is different from reality and implies possession by a standard mind. Reality determines what is true, but reality includes more than that part of it which affects any one generation. The atoms really are simple to the minds which used methods different from the present physical ones. They have not ceased to have the simplicity imputed to them then. But they are no longer simple for us. The reality which is known by true knowing is still only a human selection from the whole reality or even from the whole of any specific department of reality, like life or light. The truth, that old truth may be new error, does but help us better to see that truth like error is a product of mind and reality; that error is always partial truth, and truth in its turn may contain the seeds of error, but that truth does not distort the reality which it contemplates, and only becomes error if the reality reveals itself to be larger and perhaps different than it was before revealed. The only propositions which are true and cannot change are those which embody categorial characters, as that every event has a cause. Even mathematical propositions since they are concerned with empirical determinations of space and time may be subject to error because of the defects to which our intuitions are subjected. Truth is thus the every increasing adaptation of minds to the reality which they know, which is the same thing as to say it is the progressive revelation of reality to the minds which know it. As lower types of life can sustain themselves in their surroundings along with the higher types which make use of them, so lower ranges of truth persist and remain true for their apprehended world while at the same time they give way to fuller and higher or more perfect truths which are built upon them.
No degrees of truth or reality; but of perfection.
There are therefore, I must fain believe, no degrees of truth and much less of reality. What is real is real, though any portion of reality is incomplete. What is true is true. But while there are no degrees in the truth of knowledge there are all manner of degrees in the perfection or range of knowledge. This variation occurs in two ways. In the first place later truth about the same kind of subject, for example light, may be fuller than earlier, and this may so alter the relative proportion of a given proposition that it becomes inapplicable to the wider range of reality and becomes untrue. The electromagnetic theory of light is not truer than the emission theory but more perfect, and renders the old incomplete and in some respects erroneous. Truth may also be in a different way not truer but more perfect, in correspondence with the perfection of the reality which is apprehended through it. Life is not more real than matter but a fuller kind of reality. Their reality is one and the same, the occupation of a space-time with a certain configuration. But one reality may be more comprehensive than another, as for instance number is more comprehensive than life or mind, to both of which number is applicable. Or again one kind of reality may from its complexity be more harmonious than another in the sense that its parts are in more intimate connection.10 These things make the reality and its correspondent truth more perfect but do not affect its intrinsic reality or truth. It is only that there is more to the reality or truth in one case than the other; a wider range or richer contents in one case than the other. The doctrine of degrees of truth or reality rests on the belief that finites lose their value or at least alter it by being taken along with others. If all finites are spatio-temporal complexes this belief cannot be well founded. One finite may be more complete or more highly organised than another, but the second occupies its space-time as much as the first, and is equally real; and the propositions about it equally true.
It is doubtless the constant change in the contents of truth as knowledge grows that has led to the doctrine that truth is nothing but efficiency, that the test of truth is that it works, not merely or only in the way of securing practical success, but in the way of securing theoretic or scientific consistency and organisation. That truth is a coherent whole of knowledge which works in organising our experience and achieving success, is, standing by itself, so self-evident as to be a commonplace. All science is the unification of propositions of experience, and a proposition is true if it works with other propositions. Were the doctrine of pragmatism nothing but an assertion of this fact it could hardly claim to be a novelty. Its significance is that it maintains that there is nothing more to be said of truth. It excludes and deprecates any inquiry into the reason why truth is true. So apprehensive is it of the doctrine that reality is a closed system, fixed and eternal, into which all finites are absorbed and lose their finite character in the supposed Absolute, that it dispenses with all inquiry into the ultimate nature of reality. Truth is indeed what works. But it works because truth is determined by the nature of reality. Reality is indeed no fixed thing, but being temporal is evolving fresh types of existence. But a truth which is not guided by reality is not truth at all. There is only one case in which it is completely satisfactory to declare that truth is what works. For the solitary individual described in a previous page it is a full account of reality that it is what works. There is for him no other test. But for him there is no such thing as truth at all just because he lacks that intercourse with others through which at the bidding of reality the distinction of the true and false is struck out. Pragmatism, however, is a perfectly adequate account of all that is open to him in the way of assigning value to one part of his experience over another.
Hitherto we have been considering only propositions belonging to non-mental reality. But there are also mental propositions which are not the object of the mind but in a strict sense the contents of it. To every external object there corresponds an enjoyment, sensing, perceiving, remembering, imagining. Judging is no exception, and the enjoyment of judging is a mental proposition. It is a relation within our enjoyment of two distinguishable features in it, as, when I say ‘Glasgow is a five hours’ journey from Manchester.’ I have in the object the relational union of all these complexes in external reality, and in myself the enjoyed union of the enjoyments in which I am aware of them. These enjoyments are united within my whole enjoyed self, and in the end every enjoyed proposition is believed as a part of my whole self, just as every contemplated proposition is contemplated as belonging in the end to reality in general, of which my mental reality in general is the counterpart. Such propositional enjoyments are observed by introspection; but they do not for that become objects of contemplation; any more than in observing my perceiving I turn the perceiving into an object. I need not after previous remarks about introspection labour this matter further. We may even have a mental judgment about another mental judgment and still the included enjoyment is not the object of the including one. For example ‘in judging you to be a liar, my mind was clouded by prejudice against you.’ The first judgment is simply included as a part within the larger whole of enjoyment. Precisely so I may have an external judgment about another external one, as e.g. ‘the reason why so many died in the town from cholera was that the water supply was infected’: the one proposition is included in a larger proposition.
Not only are there mental propositions but there are mental truth and error. The only difference from truth and error as to external realities is that the propositions here are the contents of the believing, and there is in general11 no necessary inclusion with the true or erroneous proposition of the contemplated proposition with which it is of course compresent. I may be in error about my own mind. A man has committed a trifling peccadillo and I say I was indignant with him because I disliked his action. In fact I bore the man malice and seized on the fault as shocking my sense of duty—a way we have of hiding our innermost motives to pass what Mr. Freud calls the censorship of our respectable selves. I am not lying but do really deceive myself into thinking what I say. But I am in error because I connect my indignation with the sense of right which is somewhere dormant in my conscience, but not with the really active feeling of malice which I really felt but owing to my mental squint did not see. The judging is not the reality which I really enjoy in connection with my action, but distorted by the intrusion of an alien element. I do not represent my mind as it really is, but what I judge has its foundations in the whole reality of my mind. The same account then holds of error as to mind and of error as to external things. Only, the erroneous judging is itself a real enjoyment of the mind, whereas in external propositions the erroneous proposition does not really exist at its face value. The reason of the difference is that here the erroneous judging (though it has its correspondent external proposition) is itself, is its own contents. It is not real in the same sense as it is erroneous. It is real as having actually occurred; it is erroneous as not being the real state of mind which it pretended to describe. Hence when I judge my mind subsequently after the error has been dispelled, I say this proposition occurred but was not the reality of my mind when I acted, or did not represent my mind truly. I regret the state of mind from which I really acted, I declare my description of it to have been false.
This may be regarded as an application of the general explanation of error to the case of mental propositions. On the other hand, we have seen that it is often easier to discover in the case of mind what is true both in mind and external realities, than from inspection of these realities themselves. Any one who recognises that in mental error an enjoyment is displaced from its proper connections and referred somewhere else in the mind, could pass from this to the case of error as to external reality and understand that it too is a displacement within reality, and that the reality of the error as such comes about from the union with reality of a distorted mind, and that the erroneous proposition is the way in which reality is revealed to a mind in this condition, but does not exist at its face value in reality by itself.
The science of mind.
But attention to error in the mind comes much later in our history than attention to external error and truth. The individual who finds truth and error in his enjoyments is already familiar with truth and error in contemplated propositions and is a socialised individual, who either agrees with or deviates from his fellows. Indeed truth and error of mind arise only when we are at least capable of communicating our minds to others and out of the desire so to communicate. When we judge our own minds truly or falsely we judge them as in the sight of others.
When propositions about individual minds are so systematised by communication from mind to mind, one mind supplementing another, leading another to discover in himself what otherwise he might have passed unnoticed, and stimulating the curiosity of the individual as to himself, we have the science of individual mind which is psychology. It is no less a science than the sciences of external reality, but it is limited by the nature of its subject-matter. At first sight it might seem as if there could be no such science, seeing that no other individual can enjoy my enjoyments; whereas external propositions are the common object of many minds. But it is by co-operation or rivalry in practice that we become aware of each other's minds, and as our co-operations extend from mere practice to the satisfaction of those practical desires which are desires for knowing or theory apart from practice, we deepen and widen our acknowledgments of one another. Intelligible speech is the chief means of such enlargement, and while it is directed in the first instance to explaining to one another the nature of the external objects we contemplate, it comes to be used to make clear to others the nature of our enjoyments. At first we make bare our minds for practical purposes, relying on others to relieve us when we shiver or moan or say we feel cold or ill. Later our purposes become purely speculative. We satisfy our own curiosity and the curiosity of others. Thus arises the science of individual mind. Not only can we then compare one process in ourselves with another, and arrive at generalisations, like laws of association or the effect of imagination on our feelings, but we compare ourselves with others as declared in their statements as to their minds; we are able to verify that their minds work as ours do in some respects, differently in other respects. Psychology goes so far towards being a science as is allowed by its limitation to enjoyments whether in me or in another.12 A superior being looking on at our minds as we look on at living beings would possess our psychology as one of his external ‘sciences,’ if the name science may be extended to his apprehension. It is therefore a mere prejudice to suppose that sciences must all be of the external world.
Logic is sometimes regarded as a mental science, but is only so, qualifiedly. It is concerned with the distinction of truth and error, and is only so far concerned with mind as truth and error are. But truth follows the reality which is known and is determined by it, though it is true on account of the mind which knows it. Logic may be called the formal science of truth. The special sciences whether of external realities or of individual minds, consist of systematised and coherent propositions, whose coherence is determined by the particular empirical character of their subject. Now propositions have a formal as well as a material character. Thus the fall of a stone and the attraction of the planets to the sun are materially coherent; they obey one material law. But these truths are not merely truths about stones and planets but are propositions. Logic investigates the formal coherence of propositions in their character of propositions. These formal characters are the categorial relations which are expressed in propositions of various sorts, the relation of substance and accident, of universal and particular, of cause and effect, of order in time or space, of magnitude, and the like. The relation of subject and predicate in a proposition is not to be confused with these formal relations. Though itself logical, it rests on a psychological distinction; the subject being the immediate matter of interest and the predicate describing how it is qualified. It is always possible to institute this distinction. But it is not the real relation which propositions as such contain, in their character of reality or claimants to reality. Most of the propositions used in the so-called formal Logic belong to the substance-attribute or to the universal-particular relation, but they are only a selection, a very important and comprehensive one, from the list of forms, and it is mere distortion to force them all into the shape of a substance-attribute relation. Now logic describes these forms of proposition which are the stuff of the sciences, and it shows in what way these propositional forms are combined with each other so as to secure coherence and avoid error. This aiming at truth and avoidance of error make it a normative science. The methods of science are the rules to which we must conform in attaining truth, but they are discovered by the mind from the nature of reality. A method of proof means a certain relation among propositions themselves, as propositions with certain formal characters, in virtue of which, given certain propositions, other propositions may coherently be stated; that is, it supplies rules for inference. This is quite in keeping with the traditional logic of the syllogism which is concerned with propositions about substance and attribute and universal, particular, and individual. Given certain propositions involving those real relations, it tells you what other propositions belong to the same subject-matter in virtue of them or consistently with them. The logic of scientific method is an extension of the same principle to include all legitimate inferences from propositions of all varieties of formal character.
It is clear that such a science is neither a science of things nor of mind but of things as possessed by mind. It is a subject-object science. Our propositions are perspectives of the world and unpiece it, and may do so wrongly. In constructing truth at the guidance of things we are piecing together by an act of will or judgment what we have unpieced by acts of will or judgment. Experiment is our control as to the material or empirical details. Logic controls us in the formal nature of this process, for it is concerned not directly with the empirical features of reality but with its categorial ones.
The different chapters of this subject-object theory throw into relief one or other of the elements which are blended in it. The mental element exhibits itself more and more as we pass up the scale of the forms of judgment to inference; in the negative judgment, in imputing to the subject a predicate which the subject rejects; in the disjunctive judgment, in the expression of a real alternative under the form of hesitation; in modal judgments the mental and objective elements almost balance each other; finally, inference betrays most plainly that truth is not merely reality but its unity with mind, for inference weaves propositions into a system, and system or coherence belongs not to reality as such but only in its relation to mind. Hence it is that, as noted in an earlier passage,13 logical grounds are more comprehensive than real causes, for anything which may bring disconnected propositions into coherence may furnish truth, though it may be but our method of approaching the reality within which truth is constructed as a new reality.
C. Goodness and Evil
Difference of goodness and truth.
Goodness and badness in things and good and evil in the objects which satisfy them have a wider range than moral goodness and badness, or what is morally good or evil. Value does not begin at the human level, but exists in its appropriate form at an earlier level. I shall speak first of moral goodness and moral evil and return to the wider goodness and evil. Moral goodness is distinctively human, belongs to conduct as it issues from will and is social.
Morality differs from science or knowledge in the proper sense in that morality is practical and science speculative. From this fundamental difference all the other aspects of their difference follow.14 Science is reality as possessed by a mind which thinks truly; and such a mind is one which judges coherently with the judgings of other minds, and therefore, in so far as it reflects or represents those minds, coherently with its own judgings. But the coherence among the acts of judging follows and is determined by the character of the reality judged, which includes what it contains and compels us to reject what it does not contain.
In morality the conditions are reversed. There too we have a composite situation, which on the one side contains the acts of will whereby we make or bring into existence certain external relations among real things corresponding to the idea first entertained in our mind, and on the other the objects aimed at in the willing. Now while truth in our believings followed in the wake of the reality, the moral good of the reality produced by the will follows the coherence of the willings. The reality which we produce is good in so far as it satisfies coherently the persons who bring it about. Goodness is of course subject to the conditions imposed by the nature of the non-human circumstances of action; it is right, for example, (being prudent), to change one's clothes when they are drenched with rain. Human satisfactions must take account of the laws of external and of human nature. But the facts we seek to bring about are, so far as their good is concerned, determined by how far they satisfy persons and are approved by them. All action is response to the environment, but one part and the more important part of our environment in moral, that is in social, action is our fellow-men. For not only do we take account of their approbations as we do in the prosecution of knowledge, but they are themselves the objects of our appetites, as food and drink are. Now it is in taking account of their wants, as in taking account of their opinions in learning, that we settle down into the system of moral principles. Accordingly it is indifferent to say that morality is the adaptation of human action to the environment under social conditions, or that it is the system of actions approved by man under the conditions set by the environment.
Nature of morality.
Morality arises out of our human affections and desires which we seek to satisfy. Some of them are self-regarding, others are natural affections for others. In willing the realisation of these desires we come into partnership with others, partly by way of co-operation, and partly by way of rivalry. We sympathise or dissympathise, according to Adam Smith's doctrine, with certain impulses or tendencies of others. Morality represents the solution of the problem set by this state of affairs. The good wills are those which cohere with each other; the bad ones are those which fail to fit into the system thus arrived at, and are excluded. Those practical acts which are thus coherent are approved, the others are disapproved. The clash of wills is a consequence of their practical character, for though a speculative judgment does not conflict with another, except in so far as the reality forces the rejection of the false judgment, practical acts of mind have hands and feet and oppose or reinforce each other of themselves. Before entry into the system, the individual members of the social whole have wants and prefer claims; these claims so far as approved, that is in the degree to which their satisfaction can be admitted consistently with the claims of the other members, if they can be admitted at all, become rights, and the performance of them an obligation. The good act, approved as pleasing the collective wills and not merely the individual's own will, may vary according to the nature of the individual and the place he holds in the society. Still, so far as it is allowed, it is approved for any one in those circumstances and of that nature or temperament, and the approbation of the commonalty belongs to it not as a favour to this individual but to any such person under such conditions. Any good act is thus universal in the sense that it would be required from any individual, and however much allowance is made for the peculiar circumstances of the individual, the act approved and required is impersonal, in the sense in which truth is impersonal, or in the sense in which speech spoken intelligibly, however it varies with the voice and style of the speaker, is, so far as it is intelligible to others within the spirit or genius of the language, impersonal.
This is the true universality of moral requirements, that they would be binding on any individual under such conditions. But also since human nature is in so many respects alike and the circumstances of action are perpetually recurring in the same form (we are perpetually being asked questions to which a truthful answer may be returned and called on to consider other persons'property), there are many moral rules which have a high degree of generality and are, within limits, universal in this sense too. Elementary rules of conduct like most of those of the decalogue are universal in this sense, that, being the kind of action called for by simple and elementary situations, on the response to which the very existence of society depends, they are approved everywhere, and in all person But all of them admit exceptions in special cases, provide the exception is not made by the individual in his own favour but impersonally. It was because Kant thought exceptions could not be made impersonally that he disallowed them altogether under any circumstances, giving thus to the moral law an a priori instead of an empiric character.
Goodness and the good.
By the phrase ‘coherence amongst wills’ we are but expressing in a more scholastic and technical manner the social character of morality. But the wills in question which are approved as good or bad are wills for certain objects, and are taken along with those objects. The object of willing is some fact in the external world which I first entertain in idea and then realise in practice. Every such object takes the form of a proposition; this food or drink is eaten or drunk; this life is saved; this property is distributed to certain individuals. When the will is purely internal, as in the suppression of a illegitimate thought or the stimulation of a legitimate one, instead of an external object willed we have an internal enjoyment which forms the contents of the will.15 The will therefore is always a will for something, and that something is most often an external fact, and is then the object of the will; or it is some enjoyed fact, and it is then not the object but the contents of the will.
For simplicity let me confine myself to external pro positions, leaving the reader to make the necessary qualifications for facts of enjoyment or mental facts. The object of willing is then the existence of some fact in the external world. The sum of such propositions constitutes the conditions by which moral institutions such as property or family or liberty are maintained. The consummatior of such acts of will is the satisfactions of human person: secured by these conditions. Thus I cannot will another person's happiness or misery; but I can will the condition: which when realised secure his happiness or misery. The willed objects are the facts to which the satisfactions of persons are the response. Such satisfactions are what are called moral goods; and correspondingly moral dissatisfactions or the satisfactions of immoral wills are moral evils. The objects secured by willing are not in themselves good or bad but only in so far as they supply such satisfactions. For example, riches are not in themselves morally good or bad, but only in so far as they satisfy the needs of persons and satisfy them in a way sanctioned by the collective approval. An unjust distribution of property, such as is effected by robbery, does indeed bring satisfaction, but to the wrong persons.
The good is thus a system of satisfactions of persons which is effected by right willing. Mere satisfactions, such as possession of wealth, or pleasure, or, in general, happiness, or having good looks, or an even temper, are not of themselves good in the moral sense, though they are good in the general sense of bringing pleasure. What makes them morally good is that these satisfactions of persons should be organised and made coherent within the individual, and in the relation of individuals to one another within the social group, and thus “maximised”16 or made as great as possible consistently with the conditions of social life. We may think of this Good apart from the wills which sustain it, but it does not exist without them. Just as truth resides in the union of reality with the minds which possess truth, so goodness resides not in the bare satisfactions of appetites alone nor in the will alone, but in the union of satisfying objects with the wills which sustain them. In a word, goodness belongs to moral institutions themselves which are made by collective men out of the needs and passions, selfish or altruistic, of individuals. The characters are good which act in the spirit of these institutions, and the various types of their goodness are the virtues of character. The non-mental facts which are the purely external aspect of the institutions are not good in themselves but only as securing in a certain fashion, that is coherently, the satisfactions of the passions of the persons engaged.
Union of mind and objects in goodness.
Thus in both goodness and truth there is the union of mind and its objects, the non-mental reality. But in the case of truth it is the character of this non-mental reality which compels the divergence between the truly and the falsely judging persons. In the case of good there is no antecedent coherence or structure in the non-mental reality, for the good non-mental reality is brought about by persons themselves through their wills, always in. obedience to the conditions imposed by the nature of things. The wills satisfy the passions by aiming at objects which when attained constitute in relation to the persons their satisfaction. By persons is meant unions of mind and body, and persons satisfied according to moral laws constitute the system of moral institutions. It follows from this statement that good institutions are a creation of men by which they live well in their non-mental environment, and are adapted to it. Any successful organic type is a kind of organism which can sustain its life under outward conditions, and moral persons are a type of beings which maintain their existence under their conditions, and do so by becoming socialised, that is by adopting conduct which they mutually approve.
Morality means then a type of existence in which passions of all sorts are regulated socially, and can be so regulated because they are satisfied in willing the objects which satisfy those passions. Men's nature drives them into society, or rather men do not exist outside society, and social institutions are the product of open-eyed intercourse between individuals. Founded on animal passions, they regulate the satisfaction of them, and regulate them by interchange of judgments about the results aimed at. For all willing involves anticipation of its object or end in idea. It is equally essential to observe that the wills which are thus interacting with each other in the creation of moral institutions are wills for these institutions, that is, they are not taken apart from the objects on which they are directed. Sometimes it has been supposed that goodness belongs to the will in itself as a mere mental function. But this is erroneous. Willing may be considered as it is by the psychologist as a mere mental process compresent indeed with the object willed, but a distinct existence. But the will which is good, which is engaged practically in making and sustaining goodness, and is the subject-matter of the science of ethics, is the will in its interrelation with other wills. Now intercourse of mind with mind comes to the consciousness of these minds, as we have so often seen, only in so far as these minds are concerned with non-mental objects which are contemplated by the minds in common.17 Minds can judge each other as good or bad only as directed upon these objects. I can judge you to be doing right or wrong only so far as I see you willing an object which I approve or condemn. It is not your will I approve merely as a mental process; what I approve is your will for temperate drinking or preservation of property. There is no such thing as inner morality, if it is thought of as independent of what is willed. Nor do I believe that Kant's conception of morality, which is I suppose the subject of those who censure inner morality, is really open to the censure. The fault of Kant was not that he imagined a will which could be irrespective of its object, but that he sought a criterion of goodness in formal features of will, which do not in truth exist. He was so anxious to free morality from regard for the consequences of action that he failed to notice that willing is after all only an empirical existent and subject to empirical limitations.
Goodness then like truth is an amalgam of mental and non-mental existence; is a new reality whose internal coherence is its goodness. Goodness and badness come thus into existence together. Goodness is the kind of conduct, or the kind of satisfaction secured by conduct, which can cohere with the claims of other persons. In so far as the individual is good he represents the collective wills of the society. His approbations whether of himself or others coincide with theirs. He is himself a microcosm which in his place mirrors the larger society, and is trusted to judge himself by his conscience, just as the solitary scientific worker judges truth with the eyes of the collective judgment. According to his special gifts of passion or temperament or endowment he has his allotted conduct which squares with the rest of social conduct. His part in maintaining social institutions is at once peculiar to himself and sanctioned by the general. So far as he is good he embodies the common judgment; he is the wise man of Aristotle, or the impartial spectator of Adam Smith, who judges that to be good which is attuned to the needs of all; or he is the standardised man.
Moral evil, whether in the character, or in the result of conduct, corresponds to error in speculation. It is excluded from the system of good. Error we saw was a reality, but it was not true. Badness is more plainly a reality, just as much as goodness; but it is not good, and it is incoherent with what is good. And just as error is reality seen awry, so badness or moral evil is the same reality with which morality is concerned, handled amiss. The problem of morality is to secure a coherent distribution of satisfactions among persons. Evil is misdistribution, and vice is a feature of character which wills such misdistribution. Drinking wine is not in itself evil. What is evil is the intemperance. The passion is gratified to the full. This may be legitimate in the case of certain affections, but it is not legitimate in this case when the full extent of the passion is for more wine than is consistent with the man's own health and work or his intercourse with others. A private person who demands my purse is a thief and bad, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer may demand it legitimately if he has the sanction of Parliament. The surgeon does me no injury by inflicting pain on me to relieve me; but the murderer does wrong because he uses the knife at the wrong time and place and without sanction from the General Medical Council. The Greeks were right when they sometimes identified justice with virtue as a whole. For the essence of justice is in distribution; and all badness is injustice either to oneself or others or both. A man who drinks too much works too little; the burglar has courage and enterprise, qualities which are useful material for good conduct, but he misplaces them. He might with proper training make a good explorer or soldier, but as it is he is a bad citizen. The materials of virtue and vice are identical; they are the human affections and passions and the external things in the midst of which men live. Vice is a use of these materials which is incompatible with the claims of others, and the distribution of goods it creates is a social misfit. But it is the same human nature which is handled successfully in the one case and unsuccessfully in the other. Hence it is that, in the first place, it is possible within limits for the vicious person to become good by correcting his standard; and, in the second place, some vice is merely antiquated virtue, legitimate once, like marriage by capture, but not suitable to changed circumstances.
But this does not state the full intimacy or vice and virtue. Vice is not merely misdistribution; it is the application to one set of circumstances of a mode of action which has some inherent connection with those circumstances but is not as it happens suitable. Error we saw was connecting something with one of a set of alternatives which are congenial to a thing of that class, when the alternative chosen is not appropriate to this particular thing. Not only does evil deal with the same elements as good, but the bad act would under other circumstances be right. To revert to the case of the thief who takes my money. My property is subject to the assent of society, and society does not grant me absolutely undisturbed possession. One alternative treatment of money is demanding it for purposes of the common good. The thief applies this method to private property, that is to property of which the society leaves me the undisturbed possession. Badness is not the mere casual combination of elements but the mixing up of elements belonging to classes which, have a moral connection with each other. Evil is not therefore wholly evil; it is misplaced good.
Progress in morals.
The realities which the collective wills of persons make into morality or moral institutions are human nature under the external conditions of its existence. There is hence progress in morals, more perfect institutions growing up as fresh opportunities arise for adjustment of man first of all to his natural surroundings and next to his fellowmen. I have no space here to refer to the changes in institutions by which larger and larger bodies of men are taken in within the moral society; the topic has been admirably expounded. by T. H. Green.18 Nor for the changes introduced by discoveries like the railway or the telegraph, which are but a few among many causes which facilitate and refine intercourse. Human nature need not be supposed to change, but the enlargement of social relations and the complexity of living mean a constant revision of moral standards and a change in the system of conduct. But while there are thus degrees in perfection of moral life just as there are degrees in perfection of animal types, there are no degrees of goodness. To be good is to be good, and though the goodness of one age may be inferior to that of another age, and some part of goodness may lapse into evil, what is good once, like what is truth, remains good or true for the circumstances under which it was good or true. Values acquire a fuller reality but no greater reality.
Morality not self-contradictory.
Nor does morality any more than any other spatio-temporal existent labour under the contradictions which have been found in it, the opposite or divergent features of self-cultivation and self-sacrifice. Self and others are claims which are antecedent to morality and are reconciled by the moral judgment itself. For morality approves both sets of claims in their measure. It may even be a failure of duty for an artist to devote himself to philanthropy, but it is moral judgment itself which sanctions this preference. For it counts the gifts of a man as material which he can contribute to the common good, and decides how far he is to use those gifts, and in what proportion to the other claims which it also sanctions. The reconciliation of conflicting claims may be inadequate, but it is only claims which conflict and not duties. Much suffering and heart-burning may be endured in the social adjustment of claims and exaltation of what is approved or them into rights, till the individual has learnt the difficult lesson of finding more pleasure in following the right than he loses from the sacrifice of his desires. There are even claims which must be called natural, though there can be no natural rights. Such are the elementary claims for freedom and life, which no society can refuse to turn into rights without compassing its own destruction. They are distinguishable from claims which are themselves of social origin, such as the claims of certain classes to the franchise. The natural claims are inherent in the individual. But the pains incident to the reconciliation do not make the solution contradictory. Nor can goodness be contradictory because it opposes the individual to the collective. For the collective is not itself an individual but the individuals themselves working in system; and to make the society a unit is comparable with the mistake of supposing a complex to be dominated by a monad of a new order.
Good and evil in general.
Following the authority of Aristotle and Kant, I have treated moral goodness as residing, on the side of the subject, in habits of will and have found the Good in the regulated system of satisfactions which make up moral institutions like family, or property, or business, which are sustained by acts of will. But moral good and evil are but one kind of good and evil. For man is not merely a judging person but an animal, and there an animals which display sociality of an instinctive kind a: distinguished from the open-eyed sociality of moral life As the relation of enjoyment and object contemplated begins before knowing, so practical ‘values’ begin before morality. In general a being has goodness which is an efficient example of its type, and any quality is good which tends to the efficiency of the being's life. Ever inanimate things are good which are able to do well the work for which they are made, as a good knife, to quote an illustration of Plato's and H. Spencer's, is one which cuts well. Correspondingly, anything is good which satisfies the appetites, and evil which frustrates them. The kindly powers of nature are good and its convulsions evil. Whatever brings pleasure when it is used is so far good and whatever carries pain is so far evil; and in general, owing to the adaptation of life to its natural conditions secured by natural selection, there is a correspondence between pleasure in the results of action and efficiency in the action itself. In this wider sense of goodness, gifts of disposition, like physical courage or calmness of temper which make it easier for man to be efficient, are admired and win ‘approval’ in ourselves, and are regarded with sympathetic approval in the case of lower creatures. But we hesitate to call them virtues, because while they promote the efficiency of the animal, it is the use which we make of them in relation to our fellows that makes them virtues. We distinguish physical pluck from bravery, and kindness of heart from benevolence. Still less can we regard a gift of intellect like a taste for philosophy as a virtue, but only the single-minded pursuit of it. Once more we may learn from the Greek description of virtue as merely one department of excellence. Various excellences of mind or of body (like beauty) or of external fortune (like riches) adorn the life of virtue but are not themselves good except in this wider sense. They form one ingredient in the perfection or moral life; the other being the degree to which virtue is attained even in their absence. Hence our ideals of perfect life sway between the two extremes, of fortunate circumstances well used, and the strength of mind which triumphs over unfortunate ones.
Efficiency of life, whether in the animals or ourselves, we contemplate from without, and it affords us a sympathetic pleasure which is to be distinguished from moral approval. But the distinction is not always easy to maintain, particularly with the domestic animals, because we admit them as resident foreigners into some of the privileges of citizenship by crediting them with a life higher than they possess, and the same sympathy makes us confuse our admiration of their good qualities with moral approval of them. Thus we praise the tyke and despise the cur. Yet our praise is rather the pleasure we take in beholding useful qualities, and resembles not so much moral approval as the kind of sympathetic pleasure we feel in seeing one of ourselves eat heartily, or betray by patting a dog we do not fear during his meal.
The lesson of this ambiguity in the use of terms expressing praise and blame is that the moral character in its contrast with the immoral one is a particular instance of the contrast established within the organic world between the successful type and the individuals which conform to it, and that which fails in competition with it and in nature tends to destruction. The terms of moral disapproval indicate the process by which the unsocial type is discarded in human life. The elimination which in nature is accomplished by death is here accomplished not by death, except in extreme cases where the deviation from the type is too great for mercy, but by the sentence of exclusion, which leaves room for the individual censured to return to the type on condition of altering his character if he can. Since none of us is completely virtuous,19 each of us is perpetually experiencing the struggle within himself of the good type and the bad, and so far as he represents in his own person the tribal conscience, is left to reform himself. Moral good is a type of life which is engaged in the same struggle with the evil type as appears in a cruder form in the organic world in general. But it changes its character because the struggle is carried on within the region of the judging and willing mind. One complex of institutions displaces another by virtue of its ability to maintain the human life under the conditions of its existence.20
D. Beatifuly and Ugliness
Meaning of beauty.
I mean by the contrast of beauty and ugliness that of the aesthetic and the unaesthetic, or of the aesthetically leasing and unpleasing. There is a special sense of ugliness in which the ugly is one kind of the beautiful, such as a grotesque in architecture or a very ugly but highly aesthetic drawing of an old man's head amongst Leonardo's drawings in the Louvre, or, when the ugly object has less self-dependence than these two examples, where an ugly figure is resolved like a musical discord into the whole structure of the work of art, like the figures of devils in Signorelli's or Michael Angelo's Last Judgment. Where such ugliness is more or less self-dependent we even commonly speak of it as beautiful, It is an example of what Mr. Bosanquet so aptly describes as “difficult beauty.”21 Beauty has also two meanings, that of obvious beauty, like that of the Hermes of Praxiteles, or that of what pleases aesthetically. I am dealing here with beauty in general and ugliness in general, and my concern is with the question what kind of reality the aesthetic object possesses or what place it occupies in the scheme of things. Partly for reasons of proportion, but mainly because of my own imperfect acquaintance with the vast and difficult literature of the subject, I am compelled to be brief and even dogmatic, doing the best I can with the problem as it presents itself to me in its connection with truth and goodness.
Beauty partly real, partly illusory.
Perhaps the simplest way to understand beauty is to contrast the beautiful object on the one hand with a percept and on the other with an illusion. As contrasted with the percept, the beautiful is illusory, but it differs from illusion in that it is not erroneous. Considered from the point of view of cognition, the beautiful object is illusory for it does not as an external reality contain the characters it possesses for the aesthetic sense. I perceive the tree in front of me to have a reverse side though I see only the front; but the tree really has a reverse side, and if I change my position the back of it is now seen and the front is supplied in idea. The marble is seen cold, to revert to the trite example, but the cold which is only present in idea really belongs to the marble, and I may in turn feel it cold and with eyes shut represent its whiteness in idea. The painted tree on the other hand looks solid but is not, and no change of my position helps me to see its other side. The Hermes is a marble block of a certain form and is perceived in its real qualities of solidity and hardness, but the block does not possess the repose and playfulness and dignity that I read into it aesthetically. The words of a poem are not merely descriptive of their object, but suffused with suggestions of feeling and significance which a mere scientific description would not possess. The more perfect the artistry the more definitely does the work of art present in suggestion features which as a cognised object it has not. Mr. Berenson compares the two Madonnas that stand side by side in the Academy at Florence—the one by Cimabue, the other by Giotto.22 The Cimabue Madonna is flat and looks flat, though otherwise beautiful. The Giotto is flat but looks three-dimensional, and so far is the more perfectly beautiful.
What is true of works of art is true of natural objects, with the necessary qualifications. In general the natural object is, when its beauty is appreciated, perceived incorrectly, or if it actually has the characters which we add to it, that is for aesthetic appreciation an accident, and is the source of a different and additional pleasure. Like the artist in painting a landscape, we select from or add to nature in feeling its beauty. Literal fidelity is, or at least may be, fatal to beauty, for it is the means of securing not beauty but truth and satisfies our scientific rather than our aesthetic sense. If this is true for the mere onlooker, it is still more so for the painter or poet who renders the work of nature in an alien material which has its own prescriptions. Or we read our moods into the scene; or endow animate or even inanimate objects with our feelings; see daffodils for instance outdoing in glee the waves which dance beside them, or fancy a straight slender stem as springing from the ground, or liken with it as Odysseus did the youthful grace of a girl.
The cases of natural beauty which most obstinately resist this interpretation are the graceful movements of animals or the beauty of human faces, a large part of which arises from their expressiveness of life and character. You may see a face as majestic as that of the Zeus of Otricoli and the man may perchance possess that character; or the horse's arching of his neck may really proceed from the self-display we read into it in finding it beautiful. But in the first place we read the feeling or the character into these forms before we learn that the creatures in question possess them; and in the next place though a natural form may thus in reality happen to possess the supplement which we add from our minds, and may so far be unlike the work of art, yet the intellectual recognition that it does conform to the aesthetic appreciation is not itself aesthetic. This is best shown by the truth that the artistic representation may be more beautiful than the original, like the suggested movements of the winged Victory or of the figures in Botticelli's Spring. But also the knowledge that the natural object possesses the imputed characters,—which is aesthetically indifferent,—may even mar the aesthetical effect, for when we learn that a man is really as fine a character as he looks, our appreciation is apt to turn to moral instead of aesthetic admiration. In place of aesthetic contemplation we may have sympathy or practical respect. We may then safely follow the guidance of the beauty of art and declare that in natural objects beauty, so far as it is appreciated aesthetically, involves illusion.
Contrast with illusion.
But aesthetic semblance is not error, not illusion in the accepted sense, which is cognitive. To express the matter by way of paradox, the aesthetic semblance is vital to aesthetic truth, or it is an ingredient in a new reality which is aesthetic. Cognitive illusion is in fact the transitional stage between reality without value and reality with aesthetic value. Illusory appearance, we saw, is the appearance of reality in some of its parts to a mind which for one reason or another is perverse or twisted. It only becomes unreal in the sorting out, in so far as it is believed. As believed in, it is unreal, but it then becomes an element in a new reality which is error. The illusory thing in its illusory form, though founded in reality, has as such, in its illusory form, no reality at all, but only as possessed by the mind. But whereas the error is erroneous because it is excluded by the real thing about which it is concerned, the aesthetic semblance is not attributed to any real object outside the aesthetic experience itself. Watch for a short time a revolving drum, on the paper of which are drawn vertical lines. When the drum is stopped the paper seems to move in the opposite direction. That is an illusory appearance, and is illusion if it is taken to be reality. Contrast this with the aesthetic illusion of the figures in the picture of the Spring. It would be cognitive illusion if we thought the figures to be really moving. But they are really in motion in the aesthetic reality in which the pictured form and the aesthetically imputed motion are indissolubly one. Thus it is because a cognitive illusion is pinned down by the reality which it cognises, and cognises falsely, that it is unreal. In so far as it is a reality, it has become an artificial product of the reality it cognises and of mind, and was therefore described before as a work of art. When we pass into artistic imagination, whether its object is externalised in stone or words or remains a vision of things, we have a work of art in the proper sense. Illusion is half art, half truth. It fails of being either truth or art for the same reason; it is personal, while both truth and art are impersonal.
Beauty due in part to mind.
Thus in the beautiful object, whether of art or nature, one part is contributed by the mind, and it is relatively a matter of indifference whether the mind in question is that of the person who creates the work of art or that of the mere spectator, who follows in the artist's traces. In the case of natural beauty, the spectator and the creator are one. The element contributed by the mind may vary from the mere addition of external properties, as in seeing the flat picture solid, e.g. in the bare aesthetic effect of the drawing of a cube or a truncated pyramid, up to distinctively human characters of feeling or character, as in animating a statue with pride, or words or sounds with emotion as in a lyric or in music. Animation with life is intermediate between these extremes, for life though less than mental, and still for us something external which we contemplate, is yet on a higher level of external existence than solidity of form. It is only through what is thus added that the beautiful object has meaning or character or expressiveness.
I add that the expressiveness need not be something characteristic of man. The expressiveness of the work of art is to be itself, to be what it represents, to have the significance appropriate to it; for the painted animal or tree to seem alive and to grow or move according to its kind; for the drawn cube to look solid; for the pillar to seem (and to be) perfectly adjusted to support the weight it bears, and to bear it with ease. An ugly portico with stunted Doric columns gives the impression that the weight which the columns bear is crushing them; the tall columns of the Parthenon suggest that the roof is a light burden; the suggestion in neither case being true in fact. We may naturally enough render these impressions by investing the columns with life—springing up from the ground, and the like—but they belong really to the mechanical order. Thus the imputation of life and character enter into the expressiveness of the beautiful object, only when that object means life or character. They are but one species of expressiveness. Further in every case, no matter how much of mind or character is read into the thing by the mind for which it is beautiful, the expressiveness remains that of the thing and not that of the creating or appreciating mind itself.23 In choice and treatment of his subject the artist impresses himself indeed upon his work, which so far expresses or reveals him. But to feel Shakespeare in Hamlet is not to appreciate Hamlet aesthetically but to judge it critically. In the expressiveness which he adds to his material from his very personality the artist depersonalises the work of art. Even in a beautiful lyric the passion ceases to be merely that of the artist. It is the paradox of beauty that its expressiveness belongs to the beautiful thing itself and yet would not be there except for the mind. Under the conditions of the material in which it is expressed, the beautiful owes some part of its meaning to the mind, and so far it owes to the mind not only its percipi as every perceived object does, but its esse. We have therefore all the greater need of caution in extending what is true of beauty to the objects of knowledge, whose esse is not percipi, but esse, independently of the mind which is compresent with them.
The beauty of the beautiful object lies in the congruence or coherence of its parts. According to the ancient doctrine it is the unity within that variety. Of these elements some are intrinsic to the beautiful thing, and some are imported from the mind and thereby belong to the thing; and it is a condition of the beauty that its external form must be such as to bear and compel that imputation. Disproportion or want of perspective, to take the simplest illustrations, may mar the beauty. Or the material may be inadequate to the effect, as when an architect builds in terra-cotta what requires stone for stateliness. In virtue of the harmonious blending within the beautiful of the two sets of elements, some existing in reality and some supplied by the mind, the unity in variety is also expressive or significant. The beautiful satisfies both the ancient and the modern criterion; and a new reality is generated in which mind and the non-mental have become organic to each other, not in the sense that the beautiful necessarily contains mind, though it may do so, e.g., in a picture of a man, but that its expressiveness is due to the blending of elements supplied from two sources, and the external beautiful thing is beautiful only through this fitness of the externally real elements to their expressiveness. Like truth and goodness, beauty exists only as possessed by mind, but whereas in them mind and the external still sit loosely to each other, and in the one case the mind contemplates an external reality which owes to the mind its truth but not its reality, and in the other case the mind alters reality practically but the practical results do not owe their character to mind but only their goodness; in beauty external reality and mind penetrate each other, and the external thing receives its character of coherence from its connection with mind.
Thus when Kant declared that beauty was so judged because it set the understanding at work in harmony with the imagination, he spoke truly, but according to his Beauty and coherence. fashion in subjective terms, and so far inadequately. Truly, because, whereas in perception of an external object the imaginative elements are but a part of the real object which is cognised, in beauty the supplementing imagination is independent of what is perceived and yet is blended with what is perceived into a new aesthetic whole. Inadequately, because the beauty or coherence between the elements supplied in sense and in imagination belongs to the aesthetic object, and the interplay of cognition and imagination describes only the condition of the mental process involved in the aesthetic appreciation and not the beauty of the aesthetic thing itself. Such an account considers beauty as a purely subjective character, whereas beauty belongs to the complex of mind and its object, or as I have so often expressed it, to the beautiful object as possessed by the mind. Since the beautiful object owes one part of its constituents to the actual participation of the mind, beauty is in this sense a tertiary ‘quality’ of the beautiful object, thus conceived.
Beauty implies coherence of minds.
But the analysis of beauty implies something further. The coherence of real external elements with other elements supplied from mind, while constituting beauty, distinguishes beauty from ugliness, and therewith distinguishes the mind which appreciates beauty from that which fails to do so or which sees beauty in ugliness, and unites together the minds which appreciate the beautiful as beautiful. Coherence in the internal constitution of beauty is also coherence among the minds which appreciate it, and exclusion of other minds. The mind for which an object is beautiful is not any mind but one which apprehends or appreciates impersonally or disinterestedly. Beauty in this way involves reference to other minds, and the reason of this or rather the explanation of its possibility is no easy matter. Beauty is not merely something which gives pleasure but which pleases in a certain way, and in a way which can be shared by other minds. For the beautiful object is unlike percepts in this respect, that while a cognised percept is the basis of a judgment, the beautiful percept is the result of judgment. I do not of course mean that in apprehending beauty we first make the judgment, ‘this is beautiful.’ I mean that judgments as to the constitution of the beautiful object are a precondition of recognising its beauty. The imagination is detached in the first instance from the perceived external object, say the picture of an animal, and then united with the percept. The beautiful animal implies the judgment, ‘I see this painted form alive.’ It was the paradox of beauty that expressiveness belonged to the object itself and yet could be there only because the mind which does not enter into the object was yet present and possessed it. Just because such judgments, ‘I see this alive,’ ‘I see this form solid,’ ‘I see this statue majestic in mind,’ are implied in the beautiful work, it is possible for others to take note of my attitude and at once to find the same object beautiful and to share my attitude: to approve both the beauty, and me in my pronouncement that it is beautiful. Thus beauty falls into line with truth and goodness in that like them it is concerned with propositions, and it is only the immediacy of the beautiful object, its likeness to a percept, which conceals from us this truth. Only, the propositions we are dealing with in beauty are different from the propositions of truth and goodness. They are neither ordinary external propositions, nor are they mental propositions, but they are propositions in which mind and the non-mental are combined. When I say, ‘I see this painted form alive,’ subject and object are linked together in a judgment; whereas when I say, ‘This rose is red,’ or ‘When I am at Stratford-on-Avon I think of Shakespeare,’ or ‘I am determined to do so and so,’ either object and object are linked together in the judgment or subject and subject.
All values thus depend on propositions, and this is the reason why they are exchangeable between persons, and can exclude unvalues. The intimacy of connection between subjective and objective elements in beauty, as contrasted with the relative detachment of them in truth and goodness, seems to give beauty a special and distinctive character. In truth and goodness we have a relation which may be represented either as between minds or objects; in beauty, try as we may to exclude the mind from the object felt to be beautiful, we cannot separate them because one part of the beauty comes from the mind, and one part from the external thing. Even when the thing is a simple colour or tone, its beauty does not lie in itself alone, but at least along with the suggestion supplied by the mind, though as it happens verified by the actual object, of its freedom from admixture, its purity.24
For reasons dictated by the nature of my inquiry, I have said little or nothing of the psychology of beauty. Beauty pleases in a certain way; but if we identify what way this is, we shall inevitably be led into tracing mental processes corresponding to what has here been described as coherence within the object, and all that that coherence entails. Doubtless too we shall have to recognise an impulse to identify ourselves with the external thing, so as to reflect into it something from our own experience. But it is not possible to treat beauty as distinctively self-expression. Truth and goodness are equally self-expressive. The impulse to produce stands on the same level as the impulse of curiosity which makes us learn and that of doing which makes us behave; and in fact all three are practical impulses of different sorts.25
E. The Relations of the Tertiary Quality
Goodness as inclusive.
We have still to trace the relation of the different values one to the other. Each in turn seems to include the others, and this is at first sight puzzling and contradictory. But it is not difficult upon reflection to see that they include and are included in the others in different senses. Thus practice includes both truth and beauty, for each of these is a good or human satisfaction and enters into the Good as a whole. Intellectual and aesthetic satisfactions are as much part of the Good as material satisfactions, such as those whose virtue is temperance. Moreover there is a virtue of truth or beauty as well as of ordinary practical life. For the pursuit of knowledge or of beauty is a practical endeavour and is acknowledged as a matter of moral approval; partly as a general duty to cultivate these powers, but partly also, in the case of persons specially gifted in these respects, as one principal part of their contribution to the social good. The artist or the scientist or the philosopher are not, as some Greek philosophers tended to think them, set apart from society because of their special qualifications, but are on the contrary included in the society, whose interest or good it is that its members should do the work for which they are best fitted. The philosopher is morally no different from the blacksmith or weaver, but his business is very different, and may be it is a higher or more perfect business.26 The pursuit of truth or beauty is good in so far as it is carried on industriously and to the full measure of the individual's skill and with due regard for other duties which fall to him as a man. He is to do his special work well, as the weaver his.
Now it is clear that science and the pursuit of it are not good in the same sense as they are true or scientific. A man is not a bad man because he is in error, unless the error is avoidable with due care. The moral defects of the thinker are such as make him unfaithful to his work, e.g. laziness or prejudice. His defects as a thinker are his idiosyncrasies which make him an uneven mirror to things. No doubt the two sets of defects (and correspondingly of merits) may slide over into each other: defects of temper or character may mean (as where there is prejudice or prepossession) defects of insight. Thus truth is a good, as the satisfaction of a human impulse according to the measure of its claims as considered along with the claims of other human impulses; it is true, in so far as it achieves its own purpose. Compared with the moral end, truth as truth is technical, just as being a skilful blacksmith or surgeon is technical. Truth is involved in goodness in yet another and more obvious way, not as a department of the moral end but as a means of guiding action, which needs knowledge of human nature and of the conditions of action. Here plainly truth is technical; it is the element of wisdom or insight which has always been acknowledged as an ingredient in goodness and sometimes has been treated as a virtue. Whether truth is a special part of the moral end, or in the shape of wisdom an ingredient in moral action of all kinds, truth as truth is technical for morality, which is concerned with the value of human character and with truth only as part of it or a means to it.
Beauty as inclusive.
In the same way, just as beauty is one part of the good and to pursue it is a virtue, so goodness and truth are species of the beautiful, or they have their aesthetic side. Some parts of mathematics have been described as poetry and certain methods in science are, to indicate an exceptional excellence, justly called beautiful; and good actions may have beauty or grace or sublimity, or a life may be a true poem. The aesthetic feeling in these cases in distinguishable from the mere ‘logical’ sentiment for truth or the moral sentiment of approval. What is true or good is treated much as we treat a piece of natural beauty, where as we have seen the supplement imported by the spectator may happen as a matter of fact to be present in the thing, but this is only accidental for the aesthetic appreciation. Thus the beautiful theory seems to us animated by a purpose or appears to be the creation of some constructive mind, which though it is not in the theory in itself is true of it. Or the noble life is for us a work of art, the outcome of some imagined exaltation of mind or refinement, like the life of Pompilia as the Pope fancies it in Browning's poem.27 It is not the goodness of the life as judged by mere morality that is beautiful; the spectator does not so much sympathise with it morally as blend himself with it into a new unity. Thus as before what is true is not beautiful in the same sense as it is true. To be true it follows the tests of science. It is for beauty technical, just as the material which is to be the Hermes observes the technical limitations of marble. And in like manner of the beauty of goodness. Consequently badness may (like Iago's) be beautiful, but not for the same reason as it is bad; and even error, like a well-wrought but fallacious theory, but not because it is fallacious.
All values included in truth.
The case of truth is somewhat more complicated. There is a goodness of truth-seeking and a beauty of truth. But also goodness and beauty are each of them a department of truth. This must be understood in a double sense. In the first place goodness has its truth, much as truth has its goodness; goodness (or beauty) is technical for truth. That is, goodness is the truth of human nature, and badness the error of it, and in the same way beauty is true and the ugly erroneous. And even as truth prevails over error and excludes the erroneous proposition from the realm of reality, so goodness tends to supersede badness and beauty ugliness. The unvalues are morally false or aesthetically false, just as the erroneous proposition is false. Yet, goodness and beauty, though they thus share in the nature of truth, follow each its characteristic nature. They are not true for the same reason as they are good or beautiful. Consequently a murderer may possess profound knowledge of anatomy, and a learned historian of poetry be a poor poet. Ir. this respect the goodness and beauty are technical for truth.
But there is a different sense in which these considersations do not arise and in which goodness and beauty are not technical but merely parts of truth or reality. For goodness and badness, and beauty and ugliness, are, like truth and error, themselves new realities and take their place in the whole of reality, alongside realities of a lower order. The facts expressed in the sentences ‘his is good or ‘this is beautiful’ are realities. Moreover not only are the moral and aesthetic judgments realities, but also the good or bad acts or good or bad volitions (the constituents of the moral situation), and likewise the objects, which are beautiful or ugly, taken apart from the aesthetic judgment of them, are real. Thus truth and error, goodness and badness, beauty and ugliness, are all realities among the sum total of reality. Now truth we have seen is reality a; possessed by mind, and hence in this sense the other values are parts of truth and truth is all-inclusive, because its object is reality. True knowledge therefore comprehends the whole of existence, including truth and error itself. It must not be said that we are introducing here the much talked of infinite regress, that if truth itself is part of truth we are making truth a mere object of knowledge, which it cannot be. For truth is already a possession of the mind and the truth of truth is but truth over again. In the same way the truth of those realities which are goodness or badness is but those partially mental realities over again. We may judge ‘such and such is good’ practically. But to do so is also to possess that reality as something which, although we first bring it into existence, we find and watch when it has been made. We make the work of art, but when we judge it beautiful, its beauty is something which then we find in reality. An angel looking on at our world would see our truth and goodness and beauty and their corresponding unvalues as parts of one reality with rocks and stones and trees. What we do in including them along with purely external things within our purview of true knowledge is to possess them, some by contemplation (the rocks, etc.); others by enjoyment, like the proposition ‘I am envious’ others like goodness or beauty or truth partly in enjoyment and partly in contemplation.
Thus all things of whatever grade of reality enter into truth or true knowledge, because truth follows reality and leaves it undisturbed in taking possession of it. Hence it is there can be science of everything, so far as things are revealed or adumbrated for us. We can hence speak of deity as real though we cannot know it except by foreshadowing it in thought, as shall soon be indicated, or including it as something that satisfies the religious sentiment. Thus from the point of view of philosophy, all things in space and time fall within truth so far as mind can possess them. Science is supreme, for it is another name for reality in all its forms as possessed by minds which think rightly or are attuned to reality. On the other hand from the point of view of man, practice is all-inclusive, for the quest of truth and that of beauty, like the quest of material bodily satisfaction, are practical tendencies. Regarding man as the highest finite, his practice, which includes discovery of truth and creation of beauty, we must pronounce to represent man at his fullest. But the discovery and pursuit of truth are not truth itself, and since truth means the possession of reality by mind, we must say that while goodness is the highest manifestation of finite existence which we know, truth represents the whole of reality, while beauty is intermediate in position between the two, being that kind of existence in which neither does mind follow reality as in truth, nor is reality moulded by mind as in willing, but the two are interwoven. F. Value in General
Tertiary qualities as (1) relations;
The tertiary qualities are not the only kind of values, though it is they which in the strictest sense have the right to the name. The more general sense of value has been already indicated in the case of good and evil. Within the human region there are the values we attach to such qualities as courage or good health; and there is the whole department of economic values. These transitions between the different sorts of value in man suggest that value in a more extended sense reaches lower down than man, and perhaps is a common feature of all finites. I shall first trace the gradations of human values, and then attempt to show how value appears on lower levels than that of consciousness or mind.
Certain features of value have emerged from the study of tertiary qualities, which it is desirable to recapitulate, because they furnish the clue.
In every value there are two sides, the subject of valuation and the object of value, and the value resides in the relation between the two, and does not exist apart from them. The object has value as possessed by the subject, and the subject has value as possessing the object. The combination of the subject and the thing which is valued is a fresh reality which is implied in the attribution of value to either member. Value as a ‘quality’ belongs to this compound, and valuable things, truths, moral goods, works of beauty, are valuable derivatively from it. The same thing holds of the subject which values and is also valuable,—the true thinker, the good man, the man of aesthetic sensibility.
Value is not mere pleasure, or the capacity of giving it, but is the satisfaction of an appetite of the valuer. It satisfies the liking for knowledge, or for doing, or producing. Even the breast is valuable to the infant because it satisfies a need for food. Values arise out of our likings and satisfy them.28
Value pleases but it pleases after a certain fashion. What this fashion of pleasing is has been shown to be social. But this criterion contains two features, one of which is special to the tertiary qualities, the other is more general, and it is this more general feature which concerns us. Value has reference to a type, and it relates to the individual only in so far as he represents a type. The individual may like or dislike certain things, but in the proper sense they have value for him, if they satisfy him as typical; and his individual liking may be altogether disproportionate, as the liking for alcohol, to the value of what he likes. What is called ‘subjective value’ (Werthhaltung) is not in itself value but is a derivative conception, and so far as it is value implies the existence of ‘objective,’ which is really the only, value. There is no such thing as truth for an individual. A mere belief entertained by him has not truth as an individual belief. It is only true if he has the truly judging or scientific mind. When a person says he values something, though it may not be valuable in itself, or he has a sentimental value for something, he is using language borrowed from the current conception of typical value, or else he is counting on the truth that his particular likings are legitimate and would be so approved. For the typical standard recognises the greatest diversity in the particular applications of it by individuals, provided they possess the spirit of the type.
The other or distinctive feature in the value of the tertiary qualities is that they are not merely typical or have relation to the human type of animal but belong to a type which is intrinsically social. Its sociality is displayed or expressed in its use of language, which consists of propositions. In all the tertiary qualities the perspectives of reality before the mind are judgments. Even the beautiful thing, though an object of perception, depends on judgments. Judging and sociality are convertible. For in judgment our objects or propositions come directly into relations of agreement or conflict with other persons. In judging a fact or willing one, our objects are patent to the observation of others as ours. In judging, it is we who take the reality to pieces and rebuild it so as to discover its real structure; in willing, the deed is not merely the reaction to a percept but is our deed. We are not merely like dogs quarrelling for a bone, aware of each other perceptually, but are aware of each other as like or different from ourselves. Language is the direct communication with one another about our objects. Even our percepts when described become judgments. Judgment accordingly contains in itself a social suggestion, and a judgment of value is intrinsically social, and is related to a social type.
Reflective and instinctive value.
Thus value in the form of the tertiary qualities emerges not with consciousness or mind as such, which the animals also possess, but with reflective consciousness, or judgment. But men are not merely social beings but are animals of a certain type. Accordingly like the animals they pursue objects which are relative to the animal type and have what may be called instinctive value or quasi-value. The breast has instinctive value for the child, as the lion or tiger values instinctively its prey, or the bird its worms. Such objects are valuable in so far as they promote the type, are necessary to the infant's growth and the like.
With human beings, these instinctive values are overlaid by the values proper and they are not commonly regarded as values. But they are familiar in the habits of personal cleanliness or other regard for one's body, or in the coyness of the female; such habits are typically liked or ‘approved’ but instinctively. They may in their turn become the subject-matter of reflective judgment, as when the modesty is injured, and then we have the feeling, half-instinctive, half-reflective, that such a habit as modesty is a duty to oneself—a notion derived from the grafting of the social judgment upon the instinctive one.29
Still within the range of instinctive or quasi-value but with the social element superadded, or beginning to be superadded, is the admiration we feel for qualities good for the type; e.g. for courage, not as a habit of will but as a personal endowment—pluck, or for high spirits, or good looks, or strength, or hearty appetite. Such admiration is not approbation in the sense of moral approbation, but it is next door to it. It has a very extensive range and may be called instinctive approbation. It enters into our social or moral judgments in so far as the possession of natural gifts makes the character a bigger or more perfect one, though not a better one, and lies at the foundation of degrees of merit, as distinct from goodness. Even mere strength of will is meritorious as a personal excellence, and, as has been observed before, it accounts for our sometimes preferring the character which prevails against temptation, while the instinctive approbation for natural gifts accounts for our seeing greater merit sometimes in the other class of cases. In like manner our sympathy with mere outward good fortune in our fellows is the source of our admiration for such persons, though this consideration was stronger with the Greeks than perhaps with ourselves.
An approximation to this overlaying of instinctive by social values is found among the animals which live in societies, where there is yet no judgment and the sociality is not so much intrinsic as with ourselves but remains instinctive gregariousness. There is approbation and disapprobation, but it remains purely unreflective. Instances are the ‘justice’ meted out amongst rooks and bees. How instinctive the values are may be seen from the interesting experiments of Mr. A. Be the on ants. When individuals of an enemy tribe were smeared with an infusion of the chopped-up bodies of the first tribe they were received into the nest, and friendlies smeared with a hostile infusion were repelled; apparently in both cases on the ground of the smell.30
Economic values stand midway between instinctive values and the tertiary qualities. They do not so much blend with moral valuation as in the cases just discussed, as rather they exhibit the operation of reflective judgment upon instinctive values. As they are, of course, affected in all manner of ways by moral considerations, it will be best for simplicity to take the economic society whose interests are directed solely to securing livelihood, as in the Platonic “State of pigs.” So far as this is true, things and services have merely instinctive value—food, drink, the service of the mother to the child and the like; and there is no moral value proper, just because there is only one, namely living itself. But since men are not merely conscious beings, but judge and are related to one another, the problem set them is how to distribute different goods so as to secure the maximum satisfaction of vital wants. This is done by the reflective process of demand and supply. The determination of values which this process secures reproduces on a lower level all those features of the settling down of moral claims into equilibrium upon which moral values depend, which were described before. It is however merely using reflective machinery to satisfy the wants of life and is therefore instrumental to this end. It involves reflection and is thus akin to moral valuation; reflection comes in to modify mere perceptual experience. But the individuals co-operate and compete, not as they do in moral valuation, so as to determine in the issue what the moral or social type shall be, but so as to secure the most effective distribution within a type of social existence already fixed. Such a simple state of affairs is only an abstraction, to which primitive societies, whether of a nomadic hunting type or an agricultural one, are approximations.
When we advance beyond the state of pigs to a society with moral values, we find that the relation of economic to moral value remains the same. Life has ceased to be the only interest; other interests compete with mere sustenance of life, though that remains fundamental. Moral valuation determines what the persistent type of distribution of satisfactions shall be, how far for instance it is right for me to gratify a taste for possessing pictures, or for business, or for helping my neighbours. But economic valuation merely determines what place in the system of commodities and services a picture has; there is no question of the legitimacy of my taste for pictures, but only of how much I must exchange of other commodities in order to possess them. In other words morality determines what the type of society shall be; economics assumes this type and considers the machinery for sustaining it. Its values are instrumental, while those of morals are described as intrinsic. Moreover in the more highly developed social type the instrumental character of economic valuation becomes clearer; because there are other ends than mere living. In the state of pigs the instrumental process and the process of living, which consists in eating and drinking and the like, tend to be coincident. Economics therefore stands to ethics in the relation of individual to social psychology. In practice the distinction can never be maintained with this rigidity, because of the constant repercussion of morals upon economics. The social type of distribution is perpetually changing, and moral considerations come in to correct the economic inequalities or unfairness of the existent social type.31
Value in general. Problem VI.
These gradations amongst the various forms of value in men from the tertiary qualities which are values in the strictest sense, down to instinctive values, through the intermediate stages of blended values and economic values, prepare us to find that value exists, below man, or reflective consciousness, and is found in its essential features on the level of mere life, amongst the plants and animals; and that it is not the intrinsic features of value which vary, but only the subjects of valuation, and with them their objects, which are different at different stages of development in Space-Time. On the level of life value exists as the persistence of adapted forms of living being. To an adapted type that part of its environment on which it can react so as to sustain its life has value for the type, and the individual of the type is the corresponding subject of value, or—it is a valuable form of life. The unvalues are those individuals or types which in their conjunction with the environment fail in competition with the values, and are eliminated; and they include not merely the unsuccessful types but the individuals of the successful type which vary too far from the standard and correspond to those human individuals whose idiosyncrasies are too marked to be compatible with the social type.
All the essential marks of value as exhibited in the tertiary qualities are here reproduced in the form suitable to the level of existence. In both cases value resides in the compound of the subject with its object. A creature may have value under one environment (like the blind animals that live in caverns) which would have none or less in other surroundings. The process by which permanence of valuable type is secured is the rivalry by which the failures are excluded. But it is more important to state the case reversely. The values of truth, goodness, and beauty, and their unvalues, arise by a process of competition amongst reals which has begun below the human level. The minds which judge truly, or behave rightly, or produce or recognise beauty, are the successful types developed on the level of mind, when to consciousness are added reflection or judgment and with it intrinsic sociality. The differences which seem to separate the tertiary qualities so completely, and are thought to make human life unique, arise merely from this difference in the subjects. In the first place the competition of valuable minds implies the rejection of the unvaluable ones, but it does not as on the level of life imply their destruction. It is only the error or wickedness which is rejected, not the sinful or misunderstanding man himself. For the prevalence of truth it is enough that he recognise his error; for the prevalence of goodness that he be reformed. Minds can within limits take new perspectives of things “on better judgment making,” without the destruction of the body to which the mind belongs. They have the superior plasticity of the reflective consciousness. In the second place, because the tertiary qualities are values of judging subjects, their values are settled not merely by competition with unvalues but by co-operation amongst themselves. That is their social character. There is in general no such sociality among mere living forms. The type is given in individuals of the same kind, but it is not in general a type in which individuals have their special contributory ràle towards a common good. If a parallel is wanted for the social constitution of man it is to be found in the organisation of cells within the individual.
Darwinism and value.
Darwinism is sometimes thought to be indifferent to value. It is in fact the history of how values come into existence in the world of life. How the successful organism itself comes into being is a matter of controversy on which the layman is not free to enter; whether by slow accumulation of small variations, as Darwin himself supposed, or by large mutations. The doctrine of natural selection explains not how types are generated, but how they come to have value. It is so far from being indifferent to value that it is wholly concerned with value; its very meaning is that values emerge through the trial of various types under certain external conditions, which trial determines whether in virtue of its gifts or constitution a type is worthy. For like our human values, value in the organism belongs not to the organism in itself, but in its relation to the conditions of life, and accordingly a type which can persist under certain conditions may be unsuited to different circumstances, much in the same way as we approve conduct which is forced upon us by the stress of circumstances, though under normal conditions we should condemn it. The doctrine of natural selection gives us thus the natural history of values in the world of life, and we now see that it supplies equally that history in the world of mind.
The reason why Darwinism has been thought to be indifferent to value is that natural selection has been misunderstood to be, not what it is—the process by which values are established, but the actual cause of successful types. On this misconception the fittest is what survives, and the survival of the fittest is equivalent to the tautology—the survival of that which survives. Value appears therefore as an impertinent intruder. But as was clearly enough indicated by the title of Darwin's own work, the survival in question is that of the most favoured races. It is not natural selection which is the cause of success, but the gifts of the types engaged in competition, and competition is but the process through which their gifts receive expression. The cause of success in war is not fighting, which is warfare itself, but the character and resources of the combatants. To believe otherwise is parallel with another half-truth, that because nations establish their ideals by force, force is the ideal of national life. When this misconception is dissipated, natural selection is recognised to be wholly conversant with value. Competition is the means to the supremacy of the adapted over the unadapted types, and brings value into being by the rejection of unvalue.
The range of value.
How far downwards below the level of life the principle of adaptation or valuation extends is at present matter of speculation. I have ventured to suggest that the permanent forms of matter (chemical elements) and of energy are themselves the outcome of a corresponding process. Even if this cannot be regarded as more than a guess we can see why it may be expected to be true. For values imply in their simplest expression something which does not depend on the living or conscious character of the subject of value but applies to any finite complex of space-time. Things are relatively independent volumes of space-time with a certain internal and external configuration; into which the whole Space-Time breaks up. Adaptation is the return of these complexes out of separation from the whole into unity with it. Only point-instants which have no complexity of structure are from the first and always adapted to their surroundings. The complex combinations of them may be, and in the case of living and higher forms sometimes are, inconformable to the other complexes to which they respond and in responding maintain themselves. The competition of the reals which are composites of things and their environment is the settling down of this variety into stability. It is not man alone who experiments; he does but experiment consciously. Nature herself is the scene of ceaseless experimentation, of which there are many grades traceable downwards, from conscious experiment, through the plasticity of trial and error by which living and especially conscious types are able to vary within certain limits without destruction, down to the simpler process of the extirpation of the unfit, and perhaps to a process simpler still. The values strictly so-called, the tertiary qualities, are but the highest instance we know of a feature of things which extends over a much wider range, and is founded in the nature of Space-Time itself; and may even be empirically universal. Supposing that the process begins with living forms and does not obtain below, we must be content to say that the empirical things on the lower levels are so simple in structure that they do not come into competition with one another. But what evidence there is points in the direction of the universal prevalence of the process.
There is however in this exposition of value a weakness, arising from the presence of an unsolved problem, which has been mentioned before32 and must be named explicitly again in this place. Value depends on adaptation, and adaptation is an a priori character of empirical things, their return from isolation into communion with the rest of the finites in Space-Time. And adaptatior assumes the character of value through the rejection of the unadapted unvalues. This process involves the existence of many more or less closely allied forms between which the competition takes place. It implies the empirical fact of the actual repetition of universals in a multiplicity of particulars. For it is all one whether we consider a multiplicity of individuals, or a multiplicity of types falling under a wider universal, and indeed the competition of types takes place between individuals of those types. Valuation then presupposes this unexplained empirical feature of things. Can any explanation of this empirical feature be found? If not, then it must be accepted, like quality which we have regarded as the distinctively empirical element in things, as another empirical element. The grave metaphysical lacuna in our scheme which would then be left has been mentioned in the previous passage. A universal implies the possibility of many particulars in which it is realised. But the actual multiplicity of particulars remains as a mysterious residuum. It is more hopeful to believe that we have here not a mere empirical feature of things, like quality, but a feature which has its foundation in some fundamental character which belongs to all empirical or qualitied finites, and constitutes another of what we have called the empirical problems. For it is clearly not on the same footing as quality. Quality is always equivalent to a certain spatio-temporal complex. What was distinctively empirical in it was that such a complex should be the bearer of a quality. Now multiplicity in the realisation of a universal is itself something spatio-temporal, being a numerical determination.
But if, as thus seems probable, it is one of the a priori empirical problems, I can see at present no solution of it: no way of connecting it as in the other empirical problems with Space-Time as such. Why there should be finites within the general matrix, we can understand; for Time and Space, being indissolubly interwoven, do not remain extended blanks, but break each other up into differences. We cannot however see, at least I cannot, why these finites should exhibit actual repetition in their kinds. Perhaps we know too little at present about the repetition of individuals among organic forms to be able to face the more general and simpler problem. Molecules of carbon or gold are repeated in vast numbers, like oaks and men. Is the multiplicity of individuals like men or oaks due to the sporadic birth of these types in different quarters of the globe, or to reproduction from one or a pair of individuals? Are we to suppose that the multitude of carbon molecules were generated independently of each other: or is there something in every finite which we may compare with the proliferation of cells or the reproduction of organisms in their progeny; or with imitation and tradition, such as we find amongst men? And if the latter, how is this something connected with the purely spatio-temporal character of every finite? I can give no answer, and until the answer can be given I must admit that the scheme of things which has been suggested as a hypothesis, and has so far been verified, presents a grave defect; equally so, whether the actual multiplicity of individuals in their kinds is accepted as a purely empirical feature not admitting of explanation, or as an unsolved empirical problem.
Two observations are worth making upon our result that mind in its highest manifestation, that of the tertiary qualities, is no isolated or exceptional thing, but as in its knowing, and as we shall presently see also in its freedom, is but a specimen of something more general. The first is almost obvious, that the human values are none the less precious for that. He who fancies that the community of our values with the lower ‘values’ destroys the fine flavour or sacredness of truth or goodness or beauty, forgets that to describe correctly does not alter the reality-described. If the doctrine of Berkeley were true that things owe their existence to mind, the solid material world would remain solid and material as before, and Dr. Johnson's refutation of the doctrine still irrelevant. The preciousness of the values consists in their being values, and there is no standard of value by which to judge values themselves. On the contrary the human values by being thus related to other values do not lose their preciousness, but in fact preserve it by forfeiting their mystery. Human nature does not lose by becoming intelligible but comes into its own.
The second observation is less obvious, but is a corollary. It takes the form of a protest against that philosophical method which adopts value (by which is meant human value) as the clue to the nature of reality, because it is the highest of our experiences about finite things. The values are practically precious, but not therefore more real than other realities. They take their proper place in the scheme of empirical things, and they do exhibit to us a fundamental feature of reality as a whole. But we dare not start with the unanalysed conception of value and measure reality by it. To do so is to erect what weighs most in our human existence into the exemplar of reality, and to assign to value blindly a function which it cannot perform. It discolours the truth with our affections, and it interferes with what Goethe described as our business in acquiring knowledge, of laying our minds alongside things. It has authority in the example of Kant. But Kant's exaltation of one of the values was the price which he paid for his failure in theoretical speculation to discover the a priori features of things in the things themselves. Whereas when values are analysed or described, they are seen to fall into their places as incidents (though of the highest interest for us, outside the religious interest) in the empirical growth of things within what is really the primary reality of Space-Time.
Their relation to the other so-called values will be discussed later in section F of this chapter.
In my articles on ‘Collective willing and truth’ (Mind, N. S. vol. xxii., 1913), which are freely drawn upon in this chapter, I still assumed truth and reality to be identical. I have since learned better.
Or, as Mr. J. S. Mackenzie reminds me (Constructive Philosophy, Bk. I. ch. viii.), ‘rightly’ or ‘correctly.’ I am not, however, inclined to accept the distinction he draws between correct beliefs and true judgments.
The most striking statement of this which I know is in a paper of Mr. J. Meccan on ‘Patriotism and Education,’ in his Ethics of Social Work (Liverpool, 1911), especially p. 117. His point is that the life of the student is his contribution to citizenship.
The primary qualities are not, properly speaking, qualities either. (See above, ch. ii. p. 56).
I say so far, for it is not I think true that in judging the rose to be red, I attribute to Reality the rose-being-red as an ideal content as Mr. Bradley thinks. Rather the case is that I attribute the redness to the rose which, itself spatio-temporal, is recognised in belief as a part of Space-Time, vaguely adumbrated as a whole.
See before, ch. iv. p. 122, and the reference to Brit. Journ. of Psych, vol. iv. ‘Conational Psychology.’
I believe, therefore, with Miss Wodehouse (Presentation of Reality, Cambridge, 1910, ch. xii.) that the difference of supposal and belief is not merely, as Mr. Meinong thinks, one of mental attitude but of the content of object.
‘Error,’ loc. cit.
These characters of comprehensiveness and harmony applied to perfection are of course taken from Mr. Bradley's great chapter on degrees of truth and reality (Appearance and Reality, ch. xxiv.).
See later, section C, p. 279, note 1.
The method of study is of course not limited to introspection. A mental process does not exist without its object, nor without external action. Both of these supply information (and the larger part of it) as to the mental process.
Bk. II. ch. vi. B, vol. i. p. 297.
In the articles on ‘Collective willing and truth’ I began with goodness and evil, and discussed truth and error in the light of them. Practice is more general than learning, which is suspended practice, and the nature of goodness and evil is easier to understand. In psychology this procedure is dictated by the principle of looking to the conation before we discuss its corresponding cognition. But here I have foregone this advantage, and have taken cognitive value first.
There is of course also the compresent external object, e.g. stealing driven from the perspective by some antagonistic thought (cp. above ch. vi. p. 154).
The word is due to G. Simmel, Einleitung in die Moralwissenschaft (Berlin, 1892–3), who speaks of the “maximation” of happiness.
This might seem to be inconsistent with the description of mental error in Section B, p. 267, but is not really so. There we were dealing with error as to the mind itself; here with a wrong which consists in an external act or result. There the mind was occupied with its own contents; here with its non-mental object. We should have the same state of affairs here, if we were concerned with the badness of wrong thinking, e.g. thinking something unwholesome. It still remains true, however, as pointed out on p. 260 of Section B, that as error implies sociality, I can only be aware of it in myself as representing a community, and ultimately this implies reference to the non-mental object of my state of mind. In fact we can only convict our minds of mental perversity so far as we have acquired the habit of communicating with one another about our minds as such, and this is done in the first instance through reference not the mental state itself but its objects.
Prolegomena to Ethics, Bk. III. ch. iii. B.
The perfectly good man is of course an ideal, and exists not as an individual existent but as a concept. No man is wholly good. I suppose that, roughly speaking, three-quarters of us may be good for, roughly speaking, three-quarters of the time.
This paragraph is left in this place for completeness, but it anticipates the fuller discussion of Section F. For the general conception of morality used in this section compare Moral Order and Progress (London. 1889)
Three Lectures on Aesthetics (London, 1915), Lect. iii.
Florentine Painters of the Renaissance (New York and London, ed. 3), p. 13.
I am aware that in the above paragraph I am raising (and evading) several difficult questions. How far may human meaning be read into the aesthetic object consistently with beauty? Beyond a certain point the practice of personification may become sentimental. There is, in addition, the question of legitimacy of different effects in different arts. A painter could not paint the flowers dancing with glee as the poem on the daffodils does. It would be interesting to inquire whether Wordsworth always preserves the legitimate limitations of art. These questions illustrate the difficulties raised by Lipps's doctrine of Einfühlung or empathy (see his Aesthetik, from which as well as from his earlier and well-known Raumaesthetik I have learned much). Perhaps in the paragraph I am describing rather an ideal, in urging that the expressiveness of the object belongs to the object itself, and [should rather say that the object is beautiful in proportion as it conforms to this standard. And I quite admit that what is said of beauty in this sub-chapter applies more easily to the arts of sculpture and painting than to the other arts. Of music I have hardly dared to speak at all, for I do not know whether sounds and their arrangement suggest emotion as sculptured shapes suggest life and character, which I suspect to be the truth; or whether they mean emotion as words mean the things they name (see note 2, p. 296).
See Bosanquet, History of Aesthetic (London, 1892), p. 269.
On the topics mentioned in p. 292 note, I may refer to A. McDowall, Realism: a Study in Art and Thought (London, 1918).
Compare p. 241 above, and the note.
The marvel of a life like thine, Earth's flower She holds up to the softened gaze of God. The Ring and the Book, X. 11.1018–19.
The contrast of liking and pleasure is taken from Mr. J. S. Mackenzie. It corresponds to Mr. W. M. Urban's contrast of feeling-attitude and feeling-tone. For the works referred to, see note, p. 307.
An illustration occurs in Mr. Galsworthy's novel The Man of Property, towards the end.
A. Be the, Dürfen wir Bienen und Ameisen psychische Qualitäten zuschreiben? (Bonn, 1898); from Arch. f. d. g. Physiol. Bd. 70. In W. J. Courthope's Aristophanic comedy, The Paradise of Birds, there is a delightful passage describing the justice of rooks as the exemplar of human justice.
In the preceding paragraph I have derived much help for thinking out the problem from the Austrian philosophical writers on value: A. Meinong, Psychologisch-ethische Untersuchungen zur Werttheorie (Graz, 1894), Ch. Ehrenfels, System der Wemheorie (Leipzig, 1897–98), and also W. M. Urban, Valuation, its Nature and Laws (London, 1909), a work belonging to the same school and full of suggestions in detail, and from Mr. J. S. Mackenzie's Elements of Constructive Philosophy (London, 1917), Bk. II. ch. viii. (See also his article in Mind, N. S. vol. iv., 1895, ‘Notes on the theory of value,’ describing and criticising the Austrian writers.)
Bk. II. ch. Hi. vol. i. p. 229.