Wilfrid Richmond.

An essay on personality as a philosophical principle online

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one character, sometimes in the other. It is to the
former, the satisfaction in the view of mediation or
causal connection in itself, and apart from any question
of arriving at what might strictly be called a system
of mediation, completing the causal series, and making
it coincident with the whole range of experience, that
we have alluded to above as the characteristic con-
viction of science.* But the latter, the reasoned whole-
ness of experienced fact, the vision conjured up by

* The tendency to discard the use of the wcrd cause leaves ns none the
less with the reasoned wholeness of experienced fact as the aim and inspira-
tion of science. And this is here the point.

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Intellect 115

the scientific imagination, as the faculty of rational
anticipation, is a no less potent factor in the working of
the scientific view of the world, most obviously present,
perhaps, where science appears as a substitute for theo-
logy, but present constantly in the scientific presenta-
tion of the world, and testifying wherever it is present
to the working in the scientific mind of the natural
impulse to pass from the view of the world as mediated
fact, as causally connected, to the view of the world as

inciudrngthethinking * ^^^l®' ^^* ^* .^ necessary also to
self in the operation point out that this conviction of the
^ ^' wholeness of experience in the scientific

view of the world once more reaches its highest point,
where the apprehending mind, the thought that appre-
hends the world as a whole, feels itself to be gripped
within the whole which it apprehends. It is familiar
and obvious enough that, in the scientific view of the
world, mind and all the operations of mind are included
within the scope of the causal nexus which holds the
world in one, and that therefore, as a matter of fact, the
scientific conviction of a particular scientific man that
the world is one, is, like all other facts or events, an
efiect, an incidental feature in the causally connected
whole of experience. But it needs to be observed that
it is the inclusion of the thinking self within the sphere
of the law which holds the world in one, which gives
to the conviction of the wholeness of the world its
comprehensive and finally convincing character, and
the reality of the niakes the Sphere of law to the scientific
world thus including: mind a closed sphere, from which there
is no escape. The reality of the world
includeis its truth as an incidental feature in its reality.

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ii6 An Essay on Personality

As causation is the -character of mediated facts, and
causally connected facts round themselves into a single
ii. Truth is comprehensive fact, a world ; so proof

(1) the connectedness 13 the character of mediated perceptions

(2) the whole of con- or beliefs, and perceptions or beliefs
nected beUefs, connected by proof similarly suggest

and round into a single system of " truth." The per-
ception of facts as connected together, the perception of
one fact by means of another, gives rise to the perception
of the connectedness of beliefs as a generally pervading
law of fact as perceived, and the whole body of actual
and possible perceptions and beUefs thus appears before
the mind as an ideal of knowledge, connected, con-
a working ideal in sistent, interdependent. And this is
both cases, xio mere dream, accompanying the

actuality of a knowledge that is limited and piece-
meal enougL The word "true," as applied to belief,
derives its meaning from the existence of the ideal.
The word " true " means to the scientific man accordant
with, taking its place in, the connected body of beliefs
as a whole. It is plain enough that connectedness, the
testing of perceptions by their mediation with others,
by the possibility of making them parts of our connected
perception, pervades the whole fabric of apprehended
fact, the whole region of "knowledge," and pervades
it more penetratingly and comprehensively the more
"knowledge" assumes the character of "knowledge"
It is plain, further, that the fabric of knowledge, as thus
connected by mediation, rounds into a whole, a truth,
which is a working factor in the operations in which
knowledge lives and grows. But it is further to be
observed that truth, a system of connected elements

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Intellect 117

of experience, includes, and includes as the most vital
of all the correspondences and connexions which knit
and indndiiis among its parts together, tlje connexion of
the connections of ^(^ whole system of truth with the

£act the connection of . , i , . i ^. .i i i

the whole connected mmd, — by which connection the whole
mast with the mind, jg converted into that which we denote
by the name "science." The name itself includes in
Science, as the know- ite Ordinary meaning not merely the
ing of things re- things known, but the knowing of
S^th^tiiLi^^^ them, regarded as a whole with the
known, things known. And it is in this cha-

racter of knowledge, as the knowledge that knows itself
to know, that truth returns to the region of existence.

;.«..«w^^^« *,«*^ I^ knowledge as science truth be-
is expenence, ezpe- ^

riendng itself where comes a fact. In the knowledge that
truth becomes fact j^-j^^^g itself and is known, knowledge

exists. The perceived fact is replaced as a reality by
the knowledge that knows itself to know, the quintes-
sence of experience itself, of experience as experiencing
itself To this philosophy has appealed in the enun-
ciation — cogito ergo sum.

Here, then, are two views of experience as a whole.
One is " the world," the causally connected system of
ifi- God. the elements of experience regarded as

theworidandtoS^ * whole, and including the mind to
confront one another, which this connection is manifest. The
other is "truth," the rationally connected system of
perceptions and beliefs, regarded as a whole, including
the perception of rational connection itself, science.
Truth at this latter point includes the whole perceived
world and the perceiving of it, the whole world of fact
as known, the world which, as known, is once more

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ii8 An Essay on Personality

fact ; just as the world of fact, at the point where the
mind, which perceives its causal connection, is included
in it, takes on the character of truth, exhibiting truth
as an element in fact. But the two unities, though
each in a sense includes the other, yet stand over
against one another as two. Each claims to be the
whole, yet neither satisfies the intellectual demand, if
for no other reason, because the other is over against it.
imt approach is made ^* remains to see how from either side
from either side approach is made towards the only
a muty. ^.^^ ^^ experience in which a final
unification of experience is attained.

From the point of view, then, where we regard the
world as a whole, whose elements are causally united

The world as a causal *^g®*^^^» *^® ^^^^* principle, which
whole demands a lost itself in the mutual interdependence
****** ^ ^* of the elements of reality at the stage

of mediation, now that the mediated elements have
united into a whole, asserts itself once more, and
suggests a cause of causality, not a first cause, not one
more in the series of causes, nor a cause for the world
itself regarded in the mass, but a cause of the unifying
principle which makes experience one.

The changes of the material world suggest some
underlying being or stuff, which is the subject of the
adequate to the change, the force that is at work in

various grades hi the them. The combination of elements
. * ^' with one another, as in chemical change,

suggests that this underlying being, or force, is a pene-
trative and combining unity. The spectacle of organic
life, of beings which are ends to themselves, and assi-
milate matter to themselves, and build themselves into

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Intellect 1 19

organisms, systems of means for maintaining the life of
the individual and the species, suggest the idea of the
world-cause as a self-realising unity. But this life of
the world, the final reality of which the world is the
self-realisation, is so far a cause immanent only. Man
and the social life of men present us with a type of
unity, a form of causation, very diflferent from this.*
The form of causation is a response to external stimulus,
in which the resultant action bears at once the character
of obedience and of spontaneity. The type of unity is
one in which the self unites itself to that which is and
remains distinct from it, realises itself in that which is
other than itself — as other than itself. The faculty of
knowledge in man, claiming as it does communion with
reality throughout the whole scale of thought, claims
and exercises communion with a reality, which is thus
distinct from, and yet united to, itself, in the knowledge
of man by man. And the moral and emotional com-
which ends in per- munion between man and man are part
tonal comnmnion. ^^^ parcel of the same experience,
suggesting a cause of the world which shall be at once
immanent in and distinct from the world, and personal
in the sense that it shall be the prototype of that
personal communion of self and others which is the
characteristic fact of human social life.

Starting again from the point of view of truth and
Tnithagwn«iig- knowledge, does the system of mutu-
getts a 8011I of the ally connected elements, bound together

conununion with « •% • >

reauty which expe- by consistent correspondence mto
"«***^ one, suggest anything beyond itself?

It does so inasmuch as it rounds, as we have seen,

• See Note F, p. 199, on « Will and CJanaation,"

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I20 An Essay on Personality

into a whole which is not truth but knowledge, the

coherence of a whole body of elements of truth in a

perceiving mind, which thus claims for knowledge, and

so far attributes to that which it knows, existence. In

knowing, the mind knows knowledge as existing. God,

then, is suggested here as the soul of this communion

with reality in which knowledge consists.

Considerations such as these which we have here

reviewed, have for our present purpose a very limited

value. It is no part of our present pur-
Wc arc concerned ^ ^ '•

with the belief in God pose to give even an madequate sketch

SdSi^r**^'^'^ of a representative selection of the
lines of argument by which men have
arrived at or have justified their belief in an absolute
Being, or Gk)d. Still less is it any part of our purpose
to estimate the validity of all or any of the arguments
which we have indicated. Our review serves first to
show, in general, how the apprehension of the world as
a whole suggests as its necessary unifying principle a
Being which is beyond the world and yet immanent in
satisfying the intd- it. And secondly it serves ' to indicate
lec^ cravings^ ^^ intellectual purpose which is practi-
creates, cally answered by thb belief in God, as

an element* in the apprehension of the world, by the
ordinary unreflecting man.

As perception is of existence, so the first intellectual
craving is the desire to attain to the knowledge of being.
And the belief in God gives to this desire, what the
fluctuating elements of experience deny, a permanent
substratum of change, a substantia, a universal thing,
manifested in the changes of the world. And the belief
gives us this element of existence or permanence in such

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Intellect 121

a form that the self can find repose and a sense of
stability in sharing the nature of the Eternal Being.
When, again, we see in the world a scene of change, in
which elements dissolve and combine into one another,
the belief in God supplies the conception of an all-
pervading life, the soul of all the transformations of
existence. So God has been pictured as "the AU-
pervading," the brooding figure of Watts, enshrouding
in its vast encircling wings all the mysteries of change ;
and our sense of communion with such a universal
being has been described by Wordsworth —

'' A sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfnsed,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air ;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought^
And rolls through aJl things."

But the mind further craves for a living organic unity
in that which it knows. It longs to know the world
alive. It shrinks from death as the contradiction of
being, from futility as the violation of the consistency
of things. It seeks for the unity of purpose which shall
make the record of nature a history. And the belief in
God enables it to see in the world *' des Gottheits leben-
diges Kleid ; " it enables it to believe that purpose is
supreme, purpose akin and, in the vastness of its field
and the majesty of its advance, more than akin to the
purpose which we feel to pulse in our own blood.

But the belief in God appeals to a more powerful
instinct even in intellectual apprehension, as the rationale
and the unifying principle of the moral life of man,
at once the ideal and the hope of a solution of that

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122 An Essay on Personality

conflict and contrast between freedom and law, which
underlies all that is baffling and unintelligible in sin,
and crime, and the slow progress of the ages towards a
kingdom of righteousness upon earth. And still more
is it an intellectual relief to find in the immanent
world-force a response to conscience and to law in human
life, a response from that which may be conceived to
be at once their consummation and their source.

And again the belief in God supplies in our appre-
hension of the world that which is the essential craving
ftndfiiimiiythe'craymg of the mind, the possibility of a com-
^^l!!:r^y^w1^ munion with the reaUty of things, such

communion which •' V i

experience pre- as is suggested by the analogy of the
*°""^^"' conmxunion of mind with mind, the

object of knowledge in this case for the first time
in the development of knowledge answering to that
which knows, explaining the conununion between
knower and known, giving the source of the faculty
and energy of knowledge in the knowing mind.

Further, the communion of man with man, in every
form of social life, is increasingly felt to be the fact of
conceived as com- commanding interest in the whole
municating Himself range of experience. In proportion
as God has come to be conceived as
the Eternal Prototype of social existence, the inspiration,
the ideal, and the goal of social progress, the belief in
God has come to be the natural crown of the knowledge
of things. And this belief reaches its highest degree of
intensity, where it carries with it the conviction that in
fulfilment of the craving which has created society as it
stands, God makes us capable of communion with one
another by giving us conmxunion with Himself.

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Intellect 123

The presence of moral and emotional elements in this
stage of intellectual apprehension is not very difficult
This apprefaensioa to discem. The special appeal to the
Md^Md^^- ^11 ^ ^ ^^ demand for self-surrender
«"«ndcr, involved in the recognition of ourselves

as included in the reality in which we contemplate the
world. There is a sense in which it is true of the final
stage in the apprehension of any deep and comprehen-
sive truth, such as may be said to pervade or to sum
experience as a whole, that we feel ourselves not so much
to apprehend as to be apprehended of it. The truth
comes upon us, rather than we come upon the truth.*
It comes upon us with mastery and imperious assertion.
It demands the surrender of that apartness from its
object, that sheer independent spontaneity of action,
which belongs to the operation of the intellect, which
led Hume to say of the imagination, " There is nothing
so free as that faculty." We seem to have been follow-
ing the course of a free and unfettered fancy in the
pursuit of truth. Now we find ourselves in the grip of
that which we pursued. The truth has hold of us. Our
mind is active only in surrendering to its sway, to bow to
which has become the necessity of its own life. The free
course of thought has led it into obedience to the truth.

Hence the intellectual efibrt and the intellectual
dignity of the apprehension of a great scientific gene-
ralisation or a great philosophical principle, and the
intenser effort and loftier dignity which may be claimed
by religious &ith in so far as the dictate to which the
judgment bows can approve itself as the rational com-
pulsion of the truth.

* See Note H, p. 209, on '< The Mind as passive to the Troth.*'

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124 An Essay on Personality

The strenuous energy of apprehension in the final
effOTt of intelligence is not more obvious than the
•nd emotion plays its amotion with which the final achieve-
part in the acquies- ment of intelligence is transfused. The
oe^m^ mastery acquiescence in the mastery of the
truth as the fulfilment of intellectual
desire has an emotional character more intense than
that which belongs to any earlier intellectual conclusion.
The apprehension of the wholeness of experience, and
of ourselves as included in the whole, is of the nature
of emotion as we have defined it And the force with
which a truth commends itself to us, which can be
presented in such a light, the conviction of absolute
existence, is the correlative of a no less vivid appreciation
of the truth as affecting ourselves, who live and move

in contempution. ^\ ^^^® ^^ ^^^8 ^ *^® Eternal and
Universal Being. In the restless pur-
suit of new discovery and new opinion, the intellectual
repose, which is the last intellectual energy, is apt to
be lost out of life. But contemplation cannot be
altogether banished where intellectual life is intense
and sincere. And contemplation is the contentment of
the mind in the achievement of the truth by which it
is possessed and inspired. Even in the presence of the
lower grades of speculative truth, the sense of in-
tellectual achievement is raising us through the sense
of intellectual inspiration to the level, where the con-
templation of the truth anticipates the adoration with
which the intellect bows itself in the presence of the
Eternal Being.

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It cannot be said of emotion, as it was said of thought
that it stands out against the background of feeling.
Emotion emerges ^® h&ve distinguished emotion from
from feeling, bnt it feeling, as self-conscious and deliberate,
from^Huchit*^ but the distinction is not recognised in
wntt'ffM. ordinary language ; and, as a matter of

fact, emotion and feeling pass easily one into another.
Emotion emerges from feeling, as perception or desire
emerge from feeling, but the antecedent feeling is in
both these latter cases lost and left behind as we pass
to the self-conscious energy of volition or thought.
Emotion, on the other hand, as it emerges from feeling
absorbs and carries on the feeling from which it emerges.
The energy of emotion itself again is accompanied by
flashes and scintillations of feeling, distinct, and yet not
separable, from the emotion itself, and emotion, as it
dies down, dies away into feeling which remains as the
seed and possibility of its revival into energetic life.

The emotion of anger will serve as an illustration.

It is in itself, when it has risen to the height of an

_ emotion, both self-conscious and de-

liberate. It carries within it a definite

consciousness of the irritating quality of that which


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126 An Essay on Personality

rouses the passion, and of the self as aflfected by this
quality. It carries with it an energy of will, accepting
and adopting the motive of passion and identifying the
self with it, and yet every one is conscious, as the
impulse of indignation arises, of an unself-conscious,
undeliberate feeling out of which the self-conscious and
deliberate emotion springs, a blind impulse, an action
of indignant feeling so automatic, so spontaneous, that
we can scarcely call it an impulse. And the play
of passion while it has possession of the soul lives
upon pulsations of feeling which quicken and stimulate
the vitality of emotion. Indignation against a wrong
may, and often does, settle into a permanent and habitual
emotion in the soul of a man who sets himself to remedy
or revenge the wrong which he resents. In such a man
there will be from time to time moments when he is
giving intellectual expression to his emotion, or allow-
ing it as a motive to action, when the pulsations of
feeling which mark the spontaneous rise of indignation
wUl be revived, and fresh springs of emotion will seem
to reveal themselves even to the man himself. The
feeding of emotion upon feeling, which thus occurs in
the revived and continuous life of a settled emotion, an
emotion which in language or in act has found its way
out into life, marks also the simple and vivid energy of
the soul which we commonly have in mind in speaking
of emotion. And, when emotions pass, as they are
commonly said to do, they seldom really die ; they leave
behind them a residuum or deposit of feeling. When
we meet a man against whom we have felt passionately
angry, we are conscious of this feeling, a repulsion
almost physical, an unwillingness of the hand to open or

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Emotion 127

the lips to shape the words of courtesy, a feeling which
has survived the emotion whose record and remembrance
it is, to whose renewal it may give rise, even when it
has subsided or has been subdued by some more power-
ful trend of passion in the soul.

But though feeling thus passes into emotion, and
emotion into feeling, emotion stands as an element in
It is nevertheless experience, a substantive energy of self-
di8tu]ct - -fleif-«oa- consdousness, distinct in character from

scums feeling, a i • n •

substantive energy will and mtelligence with which it is
of self-consciousness, inseparably combined, and needing to
be systematically analysed and considered in the whole
range of self-conscious feeling. It is not to be dis-
missed as "mere" emotion, one-sided, subjective,
disconnected with the fact and reality of the world.
Beauty is an elemental part of reality, and beauty and
amotion are correlatives, each entering into the very
definition of the other. Nor is it, in another sense,
"mere" emotion, detached from the practical and
effective force of will and the clear vision of intelligence.
In every separable phase or moment of their life will
bjA intelligence show, as we have seen, the presence of
emotion, ^nd, now that we turn our attention to the
amotion itself, we shall find that it gathers up and
includes in itself the life and force of will, the fruit and
jeality of perception. It covers the whole range of
moral and intellectual experience. There is a complete
Bcale of emotions differing in moral grade from one
Another, selfish, disinterested, social. In its intellectual
basis emotion ranges from fact, vivid and direct, through
the whole world of thought to the very crown and sum
of things.

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128 An Essay on Personality

And through all its range and variety it bears a
single character — the character of finality. It is the
bearing its own Only thing in experience that even
character of finauty. g^ems to fulfil the ideal of an end in
itself. The final stages in every intellectual and moral
process have borne, as we have seen, the character of
emotion ; in the moral region the anticipated and the
realised satisfaction of desire, which complete the volition
and the act, the acquiescence in the obligation of duty
that is to do and the approval of duty done, the
recognition of the soul as a part of the community, and
the identification of the individual and the collective
will, in the intellectual region the rest in the reality
attained by perception, the abandonment to the play of
reasoning, the acceptance of the conclusion of inference,
the surrender to the mastery of the all-embracing truth,
— all these in turn have been seen to be of the nature of
emotion. It remains to show that, as the passion of
desire and the imperious awe of duty are consummated
in the motive of love, as the vivid reality of perception
and the rigorous march of reason are combined in the
intellectual surrender to the truth, so emotion itself
consummates and combines the operation of volition

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Online LibraryWilfrid RichmondAn essay on personality as a philosophical principle → online text (page 10 of 19)