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sion that Time and Space are derivatives from Number, is in one
aspect the truth, rather than the doctrine of Kant is; for though they
are not mere generalizations and abstractions from numbered dates
and durations, places and extents, they do exist as relating-principles
which minds simply jput, as the conditions of perceptive experiences ;
which by the nature of intelligence they must number in order to
have and to master; while Number itself, the contrast of One and
Many, enters into the very being of minds, and therefore still holds
in Time and in Space, which are the organs, or media, not of the whole
being of the mind, but only of that region of it constituted by sensa-
tion, — the material, the disjunct, the empirical. Besides, the logical
priority of Number is implied in the fact that minds in putting Time
and Space a priori must count them as two, since they discriminate
them with complete clearness, so that it is impossible to work up
Space out of Time (as Berkeley and Stuart Mill so adroitly, but so
vainly, attempted to do), or Time out of Space (as Hegel, with so little
adroitnessandsuchpatent failure, attempted to do). No; there Time
and Space stand, fixed and inconfusable, incapable of mutual trans-
mutation, and thus the ground of an abiding difference between the
inner or psychic sense^iv^orld and the outer or physical, between the
subjective and the (sensibly) objective. • By means of them, the world
of minds discerns and bounds securely between the privacy of each
and the publicity, the life "out of doors," which is common to all;
between the cohering isolation of the individual and the communicat-
ing action of the society. Indeed, as from this attained point of view
we can now clearly see, the real ground of the difference between
Time and Space, and hence between subjective perception and the
objective existence of physical things, is in the fact that a mind, in
being such, — in its very act of self-definition, — correlates itself
with a society of minds, and so, to fulfill its nature, in so far as this
includes a world of experiences, must form its experience socially as
well as privately, and hence will put forth a condition of sensuous
communication, as well as a condition of inner sensation. Thus the
dualization of the sense-world into inner and outer, psychic and
physical, subjective and objective, rests at last on the intrinsically
social nature of conscious being; rests on the twofold structure,
logically dichotomous, of the self-defining act; and we get the explan-
ation, from the nature of intelligence as such, why the Sense-Forms
are necessarily two, and only two. It is no accident that we experi-
ence all things sensible in Time or in Space, or in both together; it is
the natural expression of our primally intelligent being, concerned


as that is, directly and only, with our self and its logically necessary
complement, the other selves; and so the natural order, in its two
discriminated but complemental portions, the inner and the outer,
is founded in that moral order which is given in the fundamental act of
our intelligence. It is this resting of Space upon our veritable Objects,
the Other Subjects, that imparts to it its externalizing quality, so
that things in it are referred to the testing of all minds, not to ours
only, and are reckoned external because measured by that which is
alone indeed other than we.

In this way we may burst the restricting limit which so much of
philosophy, and so much more of ordinary opinion, has drawn about
our mental powers in view of this contrast Time and Space, espe-
cially with reference to the One and the Many, and to the persuasion
that plural distinctions, at any rate, cannot belong in the region of
absolute reality. Ordinary opinion either inclines to support a philo-
sophy that is skeptical of either Unity or Plurality being pertinent
beyond Time and Space, and thus to hold by agnosticism, or, if it
affects affirmative metaphysics, tends to prefer monism to pluralism,
when the number-category is carried up into immutable regions: to
represent the absolutely real as One, somehow seems less contradict-
ory of the "fitness of things" than to represent it as Many; more-
over, carrying the Many into that supreme region, by implying the
belonging there of mortals such as we, seems shocking to customary
piety, and full of extravagant presumption. Still, nothing short of
this can really satisfy our deep demand for a moral order, a personal
responsibility, nay, an adequate logical fulfillment of our conception of
a self as an intelligence ; while the clarification which a rational plural-
ism supplies for such ingrained puzzles in the theory of knowledge as
that of the source and finality of the contrast Time and Space, to
mention no others, should afford a strong corroborative evidence in
its behalfj And, as already said, this view enables us to pass the
limit which Time and Space are so often supposed to put, hopelessly,
upon our concepts of the ideal grade, the springs of all our aspira-
tion. To these, then, we may now pass.

We reach them through the doorways of the Necessary vs. the
Contingent, the Unconditioned vs. the Conditioned, the Infinite vs. the
Finite, the Absolute vs. the Relative; and we recognize them as our
profoundest foundation-concepts, alone deserving, as Kant so per-
tinently said, the name of Ideas, — the Soul, the World, and God.
Associated with them are what we may call our three Forms of the
Ideal, — the True, the Beautiful, the Good. These Ideas and their
affiliated ideals have the highest directive and settling function in
the organization of philosophy; they determine its schools and its
history, by forming the centre of all its controlling problems; they


prescribe its great subdivisions, breaking it up into Metaphysics,
^Esthetics, and Ethics, and Metaphysics, again, into Psychology
Cosmology, and Ontology, — or Theology in the classic sense, which,
in the modern sense, becomes the Philosophy of Religion; they call
into existence, as essential preparatory and auxiliary disciplines,
Logic and the Theory of Knowledge, or Epistemology. They thus
provide the true distinctions between philosophy and the sciences of
experience, and present these sciences as the carrying out, upon
experiential details, of the methodological principles which philo-
sophy alone can supply; hence they lead us to view all the sciences
as in fact the applied branches, the completing organs of philosophy,
instead of its hostile competitors.

As for the controlling questions which they start, these are such as
follow : Are the ideals but bare ideals, serving only to cast " a light
that never was, on land or sea?" — are the Ideas only bare ideas,
without any objective being of their own, without any footing in the
real, serving only to enhance the dull facts of experience with auroral
illusions? The philosophic thinker answers affirmatively, or with
complete skeptical dubiety, or with a convinced and uplifting nega-
tive, according to his less or greater penetration into the real meaning
of these deepest concepts, and depending on his view into the nature
and thought-effect of the Necessary and the Contingent, the Uncon-
ditioned and the Conditioned, the Infinite and the Finite, the Abso-
lute and the Relative.

And what, now, are the accurate, the adequate meanings of the
three Ideas? — what does our profoundest thought intend by the
Soul, by the World, by God? We know how Kant construed them,
in consequence of the course by which he came critically (as he
supposed) upon them, — as respectively the paramount Subject of
experiences; the paramount Object of experiences, or the Causal
Unity of the possible series of sensible objects; and l^he complete
Totality of Conditions for experience and its objects, itself therefore
the Unconditioned. It is worth our notice, that especially by his con-
struing the idea of God in this way, thus rehabilitating the classical
and scholastic conception of God as the Sum of all Realities, he laid
the foundation for that very transfiguration of mysticism, that ideal-
istic monism, which he himself repudiated, but which his three noted
successors in their several ways so ardently accepted, and which has
since so pervaded the philosophic world. But suppose Kant's alleged
critical analysis of the three Ideas and their logical basis is in fact far
from critical, far from "exactly discriminative," — and I believe
there is the clearest warrant for declaring that it is, — then the
assumed "undeniable critical basis" for idealistic monism will be
dislodged, and it will be open to us to interpret the Ideas with accu-
racy and consistency — an interpretation which may prove to estab-


lish, not at all any monism, but a rational pluralism. And this will
also reveal to us, I think, that our prevalent construing of the Uncon-
ditioned and the Conditioned, the Necessary and the Contingent, the
Infinite and the Finite, the Absolute and the Relative, suffers from
an equal inaccuracy of analysis, and precisely for this reason gives
a plausible but in fact untrustworthy support to the monistic inter-
pretation of God, and Soul, and World; or, as Hegel and his chief
adherents prefer to name them, God, Mind, and Nature. If the
Kantian analysis stands, then it seems to follow, clearly enough, that
God is the Inclusive Unit which at once embraces Mind and Nature,
Soul and World, expresses itself in them, and imparts to them their
meaning; and the plain dictate then is, that Kant's personal pre-
judice, and the personal prejudices of others like him, in favor of
a transcendent God, must give way to that conception of the Divine,
as immanent and inclusive, which is alone consistent with its being
indeed the Totality of Conditions, — the Necessary Postulate, and
the Sufficient Reason, for both Subject and Object.

But will Kant's analysis stand? Have we not here another of his
few but fatal slips, — like his doctrine of the dependence of Number
upon Time and Space, and its consequent subjection to them? It
surely seems so. If the veritable postulate of categorical syllogizing
be, as Kant thinks it is, merely the Subject, the self as experiencer of
presented phenomena, in contrast to the Object, the causally united
sum of possible phenomena; and if the true postulate of conditional
syllogizing is this cosmic Object, as contrasted with the correlate
Subject, then it would seem we cannot avoid certain pertinent ques-
tions. Is such a postulate Subject any fit and adequate account of the
whole Self, of the Soul? — is there not a vital difference between this
subject-self and the Self as Person? — does not Kant himself imply
so, in his doctrine of the primacy of the Practical Reason? Again: Is
not the World, as explained in Kant's analysis, and as afterwards
made by him the solution of the Cosmological Antinomies, simply the
supplemental factor necessarily correlate to the subjective aspect
of the conscious life, and reduced from its uncritical role of thing-in-
itself to the intelligible subordination required by Kant's theory of
Transcendental Idealism? — and can this be any adequate account
of the Idea that is to stand in sufficing contrast to the whole Self,
the Person? — what less than the Society of Persons can meet the
World-Idea for that? Further: If with Kant we take the World to
mean no more than this object-factor in self-consciousness, must not
the Soul, the total Self, from which, according to Kant's Transcen-
dental Idealism, both Space and Time issue, supplying the basis for
the immutable contrast between the experiencing subject and the
really experienced objects, — must not this whole Self be the real
meaning of the "Totality of Conditions, itself unconditioned," which


comes into view as simply the postulate of disjunctive syllogizing?
How in the world can disjunctive syllogizing, the confessed act of
the /-thinking intelligence, really postulate anything as Totality of
Conditions, in any other sense than the total of conditions for such
syllogizing? — namely, the conditioning / that organizes and does
the reasoning? There is surely no warrant for calling this total, which
simply transcends and conditions the subject and the object of sen-
sible experiences, by any loftier name than that which Kant had
already given it in the Deduction of the Categories, when he desig-
nated it the "originally synthetic unity of apperception (self-con-
sciousness)," or " the /-thinking {das ich-denke) that must accompany
all my mental presentations," — that is to say, the whole Self, or
thinking Person, idealistically interpreted. The use of the name God
in this connection, where Kant is in fact only seeking the roots of the
three orders of the syllogism ivhen reasoning has hy supposition been
restricted to the subject-matter of experience, is assuredly without war-
rant; yes, without excuse. In fact, it is because Kant sees that the
third Idea, as reached through his analysis, is intrinsically immanent,
— resident in the self that syllogizes disjunctively, and, because so
resident, incapable of passing the bounds of possible experience, —
while he also sees that the idea of God should mean a Being tran-
scendent of every other thinker, himself a distinct individual con-
sciousness, though not an empirically limited one, — it is, I say,
precisely because he sees all this, that he pronounces the Idea, though
named with the name of God, utterly without pertinence to indicate
God's existence, and so enters upon that part of his Transcendental
Dialectic which is, in chief, directed to exposing the transcendental
illusion involved in the celebrated Ontological Proof. Consistently,
Kant in this famous analytic of the syllogism should be talking, not
of the Soul, the World, and God, but of the Subject (as uniting-
principle of its sense-perceptions) , the Object (as uniting-principle of
all possible sense-percepts), and the Self (the whole / presiding over
experience in both its aspects, as these are discriminated in Time and
Space) . By what rational title — even granting for the sake of argu-
ment that they are the genuine postulates of categorical and of con-
ditional syllogizing — can this Subject and this Object, these corre-
late factors in the Self, rank as Ideas with the Idea of their condi-
tioning Whole — the Self, that in its still unaltered identity fulfills, in
Practical Reason, the high role of Person? If this no more than meets
the standard of Idea, how can they meet it? How can two somethings,
neither of which is the Totality of Conditions, and both of which are
therefore in fact conditioned, deserve the same title with that which
is intrinsically the Totality of Conditions, and, as such, uncondi-
tioned? To call the conditioned and the unconditioned alike Ideas is
a confounding of dignities that Pure Reason should not tolerate,


whelher the procedure be read as a leveling down or a leveling up.
Distributing the titles conferred by Pure Reason in this democratic
fashion reminds us too much, unhappily for Kant, of the Cartesian
performances with Substance; whereby God, mind, and matter be-
came alike "substances," though only God could in truth be said to
"require nothing for his existence save himself," while mind and
matter, though absolutely dependent on God, and derivative from
him, were still to be called substances in the "modified" and Pick-
wickian sense of being underived from each other.

But if Kant's naming his third syllogistic postulate the Idea of
God is inconsequent upon his analysis; or if, when the analysis is
made consequent by taking the third Idea to mean the whole Self,
the first and second postulates sink in conceptual rank, so that they
cannot with any pertinence be called Ideas, unless we are willing to
keep the same name when its meaning must be changed in genere, —
a procedure that can only encumber philosophy instead of clearing
its way, — these difficulties do not close the account; we shall find
other curious things in this noted passage, upon which part of the
characteristic outcome of Kant's philosophizing so much depends.
Besides the misnaming of the third Idea, we have already had to
question, in view of the path by which he reaches it, the fitness of
his calling the first by the title of the Soul; and likewise, though for
other and higher reasons, of his calling the second by the name of the
World. In fact, it comes home to us that all of the Ideas are, in one
way or another, misnomers; Kant's whole procedure with them, in
fine, has already appeared inexact, inconsistent, and therefore uncrit-
ical. But now we shall become aware of certain other inconsistencies.
In coming to the Subject, as the postulate of categorical syllogizing,
Kant, you remember, does so by the path of the relation Subject and
Predicate, arguing that the chain of categorical prosyllogisms has
for its limiting concept and logical motor the notion of an absolute
subject that cannot be a predicate; and as no subject of a judgment
can of itself give assurance of fulfilling this condition, he concludes
this motor-limit of judgment-subjects to be identical with the Subject
as thinker, upon whom, at the last, all judgments depend, and who,
therefore, and who alone, can never be a predicate merely. In similar
fashion, he finds as the motor-limit of the series of conditional
prosyllogisms, which is governed by the relation Cause and Effect,
the notion of an absolute cause — a cause, that is, incapable of being
an effect; and this, as undiscoverable in the chain of phenomenal
causes, which are all in turn effects, he concludes is a pure Idea, the
reason's native conception of a necessary linkage among all changes
in Space, or of a Cosmic Unity among physical phenomena. In both
conceptions, then, whether of the unity of the Subject or of the
World, we seem to have a case of the unconditioned, as each, surely.


is a totality of conditions: the one, for all possible syllogisms by
Subject and Predicate; the other, for all possible syllogisms from
Cause and Effect. Until it can be shown that the syllogisms of the
first sort and the syllogisms of the second are both conditioned by
the system of disjimctive syllogisms, so that the Idea alleged to be the
totality of conditions for this system becomes the conditioning prin-
ciple for both the others, there appears to be no ground for contrasting
the totality of conditions presented in it with those presented in the
others, as if it were the absolute Totality of all Conditions, while the
two others are only "relative totalities," — which would be as much
as to say they were only pseudo-totalities, both being conditioned
instead of being unconditioned. But there seems to be no evidence,
not even an indication, that disjunctive reasoning conditions cate-
gorical or conditional — that it constitutes the whole kingdom, in
which the other two orders of reasoning form dependent provinces,
or that for final validation these must appeal to the disjunctive series
and the Idea that controls it. On the contrary, any such relation
seems disproved by the fact that the three types of syllogism apply
alike in all subject-matter, psychic or physical, subjective or object-
ive, concerning the Self or concerning the World, — yes, concerning
other Selves or even concerning God; whereas, if the relation were a
fact, it would require that only disjunctive reasoning can deal with the
Unconditioned, and that conditional must confine itself to cosmic
material, while categorical pertains only to the things of inner sense.
Such considerations cannot but shake our confidence in the inqui-
sition to which Kant has submitted the Ideas of Reason, both as
regards what they really mean and how they are to be correlated.
At all events, the analysis of logical procedure and connection on
which his account of them is based is full of the confusions and over-
sights that have now been pointed out, and justifies us in saying;
that his case is not established. Hence we are not bound to follow
when his three successors, or their later adherents, proceed in accept-
ance of his results, and advance into various forms of idealism, all of
the monistic type, as if the general relation between the three Ideas
had been demonstrably settled by Kant in the monist sense, despite
his not knowing this, and that all we have to do is to disregard his
recorded protests, and render his results consistent, and our idealism
"absolute," by casting out from his doctrine the distinction between
the Theoretical and the Practical Reason, with the "primacy" of the
latter, through making an end of his assumed world of Dinge an sich,
or "things in themselves." This movement, I repeat, we are not
bound to follow : a rectification of view as to the meaning of the three
Ideas becomes possible as soon as we are freed from Kant^s entangled
method of discovering and defining them ; and when this rectification
is effected, we shall find that the question between monism and


rational or harmonic pluralism is at least open, to say no more. Nay,
we are not to forget that by the results of our analysis of the concepts
One and Many, Time and Space, and the real relation between them,
plural metaphysics has already won a precedence in this contest.



[George Trumbull Ladd, Professor of Philosophy, Yale University, b. Jan-
uary 19, 1842, Painesville, Ohio. B.A. Western Reserve College, 1864;
B.D. Andover Theological Seminarv, 1869; D.D. Western Reserve, 1879;
M.A.Yale, 1881; LL.D. Western Reserve, 1895; LL.D. Princeton, 1896.
Decorated with the 3d Degree of the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan,
1899; Pastor, Edinburg, Ohio, 1869-71; ihid., Milwaukee, Wis., 1871-79;
Professor of Philosophy, Bowdoin College, 1879-81; ihid., Yale University,
1881 ; Lecturer, Harvard, Tokio, Bombay, etc., 1885 . Member Ameri-
can Psychological Association, American Society of Naturalists, American
Philosophical Association, American Oriental Society, Imperial Educational
Society of Japan, Connecticut Academy. Author of Elements of Physiolog-
ical Psychology ; Philosophy of Knowledge ; Philosophy of Mind ; A Theory of
Reality ; and many other noted scientific works and papers.]

The history of man's critical and reflective thought upon the
more ultimate problems of nature and of his own life has, indeed,
its period of quickened progress, relative stagnation, and apparent
decline. Great thinkers are born and die, "schools of philosophy,"
so-called, arise, flourish, and become discredited; and tendencies
of various characteristics mark the national or more general Zeit-
geist of the particular centuries. And always, a certain deep under-
current, or powerful stream of the rational evolution of humanity,
flows silently onward. But these periods of philosophical develop-
ment do not correspond to those which have been marked off for
man by the rhythmic motion of the heavenly bodies, or by himself
for purposes of greater convenience in practical affairs. The pro-
posal, therefore, to treat any century of philosophical development
as though it could be taken out of, and considered apart from, this
constant unfolding of man's rational life is, of necessity, doomed to
failure. And, indeed, the nineteenth century is no exception to the
general truth.

There is, however, one important and historical fact which makes
more definite, and more feasible, the attempt to present in outline
the history of the philosophical development of the nineteenth
century. This fact is the death of Immanuel Kant, February 12,
1804. In a very unusual way this event marks the close of the


development of philosophy in the eighteenth century. In a yet
more unusual way the same event defines the beginning of the philo-
sophical development of the nineteenth century. The proposal is,
therefore, not artificial, but in accordance with the truth of history,
if we consider the problems, movements, results, and present con-
dition of this development, so far as the fulfillment of our general
purpose is concerned, in the light of the critical philosophy of Kant.
This purpose may then be further defined in the following way : to
trace the history of the evolution of critical and reflective thought

Online LibraryMo.) Congress of Arts and Science (1904 : Saint LouisCongress of Arts and Science : universal exposition, St. Louis, 1904 → online text (page 21 of 68)