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BY THE SAME AUTHOR

THE FAITH AND MODERN THOUGHT.

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MENS CREATRIX



MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA MADRAS
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THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO
DALLAS SAN FRANCISCO

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TORONTO



MENS CREATRIX



AN ESSAY



BY

WILLIAM TEMPLE

if

RECTOR OF ST. JAMES'S, PICCADILLY } HON. CHAPLAIN TO H.M. THE KING

CHAPLAIN TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

PRESIDENT OF THE WORKERS' EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION

FORMERLY HEADMASTER OF REPTON



MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON

1917



COPYRIGHT

First Edition, January 1917
Reprinted May 1917



PATRI CARISSIMO
MORTUO PRAESENTI



3G5600



PREFACE

THIS book was planned in the year 1908 when I was
a junior don engaged in lecturing on Philosophy. At
that time I had the presumption to believe that I was
myself destined to be a philosopher. The course of
events has led to my since being mainly occupied with
what are foolishly distinguished as " practical affairs "
(for what is so powerful in practice as a philosophy ?),
and the completion of this book has been the work of
odd moments. It was partly written in Oxford ; partly
at Repton, while I was Headmaster there ; but more
than half of it has been dictated in spare half-hours
since I came to London, indeed during the first six
months of 1916. I have been eager to finish it, partly
as a tribute to an old ambition, partly as a stimulus,
if it may be so, to some real philosopher to do more
adequately what I am only able to sketch out. We
need very urgently some one who will do for our day
the work that St. Thomas Aquinas did for his.

It would be impossible to give any adequate list of
acknowledgments. It is said of Bishop Westcott that
he held in especial veneration St. John, Origen, and
Browning. I do not in any way claim comparison
with that great scholar and seer if I say that the first
name and the third, with Plato's in place of Origen's,



Vll



viii MENS CREATRIX

would designate the master- influences upon my own
thought. Among contemporaries I have derived
especial advantage from close friendship with such
thinkers as the authors of Concerning Prayer, upon the
one side and with so rigid an Augustinian as Father
Kelly (of the Society of the Sacred Mission) upon the
other, and with Bishop Gore as one who shares to
some extent the view-point of both.

I have not hesitated to include practical matters.
With Plato's example before one it is absurd to shrink
from them. Moreover, real political philosophy must
deal with real politics.

My title is intended to indicate at once my debt to
Bergson and my difference from him.

And so I offer to Christ and His Church what is
likely to be my only extensive essay in the sphere
which I once hoped would be mine. May He pardon
deficiencies due to negligence, counteract all tendencies
to error, and allow to my work only such influence as
may promote His glory.

W. TEMPLE.

ST. JAMES'S RECTORY,
PICCADILLY, October 1916.



CONTENTS



PAGE

PREFACE . . . vii



PROLOGUE

BOOK I
MAN'S SEARCH

CHAPTER I

INFINITE AND FINITE ; THE METHOD OF PHILOSOPHICAL

ENQUIRY ...... 7

PART I
KNOWLEDGE

CHAPTER II

THE WILL TO KNOW . . . . .27

CHAPTER III

INTELLECT AND IMAGINATION . . . .36

ix



x MENS CREATRIX

CHAPTER IV

PAGE

KNOWLEDGE, TRUTH, AND REALITY . . . .44

CHAPTER V

THE JUDGMENT . . . . v .52

CHAPTER VI

THE METHOD OF INTELLECT AND THE PROVINCE OF TRUTH 66

CHAPTER VII

RELATIVITY AND INDIVIDUALITY '. . . -73

CHAPTER VIII

KNOWLEDGE AND PERSONALITY : THE SOCIETY OF INTELLECTS 82

CHAPTER IX

TIME, VALUE, AND THE ABSOLUTE . . . .87

PART II
ART

CHAPTER X

THE NATURE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF ART . . .93



CONTENTS xi



CHAPTER XI

PAGB

THE MEANING OF TRAGEDY . . . .129



CHAPTER XII

INTELLECT, IMAGINATION, AND WILL . . .153



PART III
CONDUCT

CHAPTER XIII

WILL AND PURPOSE . . . . .165

CHAPTER XIV

GOOD AND MORAL GOOD . . . . .178

CHAPTER XV

THE MORAL CRITERION AND THE SOCIAL ORDER . .195

CHAPTER XVI

LIBERTY : INDIVIDUAL AND POLITICAL . . .213



xii MENS CREATRIX

CHAPTER XVII

EDUCATION . .... 226



PAGE



CHAPTER XVIII

INTERNATIONALISM .... . 243

PART IV
RELIGION

CHAPTER XIX

RELIGION, THE CULMINATION OF SCIENCE, ART, AND MORALITY 255

CHAPTER XX

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL 261



BOOK II
GOD'S ACT

CHAPTER XXI

THE NEW START ...... 295

CHAPTER XXII

ISRAEL AND GREECE ..... 300



CONTENTS xiii



CHAPTER XXIII



PAGE



THE WORD INCARNATE . . . . .311

CHAPTER XXIV

THE CHURCH AND CHRISTENDOM . . . .324

CHAPTER XXV

THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT . . 335

CHAPTER XXVI

CHRISTUS CONSUMMATOR . . . . .351

l

EPILOGUE

CHAPTER XXVII
ALPHA AND OMEGA . . . . -355



PROLOGUE



'Ev apxy fy o \6yos . , . Kdl 6 \6yos <rd/> tyfrero. ST. JOHN.

THE Argument of this book is as follows. It traces
the outline of the Sciences of Knowledge, Art, Morality,
and Religion, as the author understands these, not
pausing to discuss what is disputable but merely affirm-
ing the position which is adopted. The four philo-
sophical sciences are found to present four converging
lines which do not in fact meet. Man's search for an
all-inclusive system of Truth is thus encouraged and
yet baffled.

Then the view-point changes. The Christian hypo-
thesis is accepted and its central " fact " the Tncarna-
tion is found to supply just what was needed, the
point in which these converging lines meet and find
their unity.

Book L, entitled " Man's Search/ ' is philosophical
in method ; Book II., entitled " God's Act," is theo-
logical. It will make my subsequent procedure more
intelligible if I state what I conceive to be the difference
between these two.

Philosophy is the attempt to reach an understand-
ing of experience. It may be called the science of the
sciences. It takes the results of all departmental
studies and tries to exhibit them as forming one
single system, just as these separate sciences themselves
try to exhibit the facts which they study as united in
coherent systems. Philosophy has no presuppositions



2 MENS CREATRIX

or assumptions, except the validity of reason (or, to
put it otherwise, the rationality of the universe).
Philosophy assumes the competence of reason not
necessarily your reason or mine, but reason when free
from all distraction of impulse to grasp the world as
a whole. It begins with experience, and may include
within that all which we can mean by " religious ex-
perience " ; it may even give to this the chief place
among the various forms of experience ; but it begins
with human experience and tries to make sense of that.
If it reaches a belief in God at all, its God is the con-
clusion of an inferential process ; His Nature is con-
ceived in whatever way the form of philosophy in
question finds necessary in order to make Him the
solution of its perplexities. He may be a Person, or
an Impersonal Absolute, or Union of all Opposites
whichever will meet the facts from which the philosophy
set out.

But religion is not a discovery of man at all. It is
indeed an attitude of man's heart and mind and will ;
but it is an attitude towards a God, or something put
in the place of a God, who (or which) is supposed to
exist independently of our attitude. In particular,
Christianity is either sheer illusion, or else it is the
self-revelation of God. The religious man believes in
God quite independently of philosophic reasons for
doing so ; he believes in God because he has a con-
viction that God has taken hold of him. Consequently,
in theology, which is the science of religion, God is not
the conclusion but the starting-point. Religion does
not argue to a First Cause or a Master-Designer or any
other such conclusion ; it breaks in upon our habitual
experience " Thus saith the Lord." It does not say
that as nature, in the form of human nature, possesses
conscience, therefore the Infinite Ground of nature must
be moral ; it says that God has issued orders, and
man's duty is therefore to obey. If the religion is one
of fear, it may be something far inferior to naked



PROLOGUE 3

ethics ; but if it is of love, then it is far superior.
Anyhow, it starts with God, whose Being and Nature
are its primary certainties ; it goes on to show, so far
as it can, that God, as He has revealed Himself, is
indeed the solution of our problems. In the language
of the old-fashioned Euclid, philosophy attempts a
problem to construct a conception of God equal
to the universe ; theology attempts a theorem to
show that our God is equal to the universe.

Now, it is abundantly clear that a perfect theology
and a perfect philosophy would coincide. There can
only be one Truth. And it is one of the great glories
of Christianity that it has fully recognised this. It
insists that the Life of Christ is an act of God ; Christ
did not emerge out of the circumstances of His time ;
He is not just the supreme achievement of man in his
search for God ; He is God Himself, " who for us
men and for our salvation came down from heaven."
And yet He is also, in perfect manifestation, the
Eternal Wisdom of God, which was in the beginning
with God, and apart from which there hath never a
thing happened. He is that which philosophers would
have found if they could have collected the whole
universe of facts and reasoned with perfect cogency
concerning them.

But while theology and philosophy are ideally
identical in result, though not in process, it is equally
plain that they are not at all identical in their present
stage of development. Philosophy working inwards
from the circumference, and theology working outwards
from the centre, have not yet met, at least in such a way
as to present a single system whose combination of com-
prehensiveness and coherence would supply a guarantee
of its truth. The Christian who is also in any degree
a philosopher will not claim that by reason he can
irrefragably establish his faith ; indeed, it is possible
that his search may lead him to nothing but perplexity,
from which he saves himself only by falling back upon



4 MENS CREATRIX

his unreasoned convictions, which come to him from
the authority of the saints or from his own specifically
religious experience. In the same way his theology
may fail to give a satisfying account of empirical facts
of this war, for example, and all its horrors ; but he
still believes that by loyalty to his central conviction he
will find his way through the maze at last. We live
by faith and not by sight. But the aim of this book
is to indicate a real unity between faith and knowledge
as something to which we can even now in part attain.

We shall watch the Creative Mind of Man as it
builds its Palace of Knowledge, its Palace of Art, its
Palace of Civilisation, its Palace of Spiritual Life.
And we shall find that each edifice is incomplete in a
manner that threatens its security. Then we shall see
that the Creative Mind of God, in whose image Man
was made, has offered the Revelation of Itself to be
the foundation of all that the Human Mind can wish
to build. Here is the security we seek ; here, and
nowhere else. " Other foundation can no man lay
than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Yet even at the last the security is of Faith and
not of Knowledge ; it is not won by intellectual grasp
but by personal loyalty ; and its test is not in logic
only, but in life.



BOOK I

MAN'S SEARCH

INTRODUCTION



CHAPTER I

INFINITE AND FINITE ; THE METHOD OF
PHILOSOPHICAL ENQUIRY

'0 yap ffvvoTTTiKos dta\KTiK6s, 6 5 //.TJ otf. PLATO.



'Edv re TLV' &\\ov ^y^o'w/icu Swarbv els ev Kal eirl iro\\a 7re0u/c60' opav,
TOVTOV 5tw/co> KaT6Triff6e ^uer' t~xyiov were deoio. PLATO.

" There must be a systole and diastole in all enquiry j a man's mind must be
continually expanding and shrinking between the whole human horizon and the
horizon of an object glass." GEORGE ELIOT.

PHILOSOPHY is, or should be, the most thorough-
going effort that is prompted by the scientific impulse.
It is not a visionary flight in realms of meaningless
abstraction ; it is a determined effort to think clearly
and comprehensively about the problems of life and
existence. No one is content with first impressions on
all subjects ; every one criticises, at least to some extent,
the apparent deliverances of the senses ; but for most
of the purposes of life a small amount of such criticism
is sufficient. I can confidently sit on a chair and eat
my dinner off a table without knowing anything about
the electrical theory of matter ; it may be the case that
the table and the chair and my body all consist of
atoms, each of which is in itself something like a solar
system of electrical forces ; but whether it is true or
not, the chair and table are solid enough for my
purpose.

Yet thinking has had its effect on the most purely
practical of our notions. Let us take an illustration

7



8 MENS CREATRIX

from contemporary life. When a sympathetic person
meets a hungry man, the first impression is that it
would be a good thing to feed him ; he does so, and
is shortly afterwards severely reprimanded by the
Charity Organisation Society for encouraging vagrancy,
increasing pauperism, undermining the virility and
independence of the entire population, and generally
aggravating the evil he sought to cure. His hair
naturally stands on end at the enormity of the crime
he so innocently committed, and he now adopts as his
guiding principle the maxim that nothing should ever
be given to beggars. He fortifies himself in this posi-
tion, if exposed to attack, by such portions of the 1834
Poor Law Report as have filtered into the minds of
the young men who write leading articles for his
newspaper. He now has, and acts upon, a theory.
It is, as he thinks, self-evident that the chief aim of a
patriotic rate-payer's existence should be to " reduce
pauperism," and above all to take very good care that
the state of the " pauper " is "less eligible" than that
of the " independent labourer." He thinks he knows
quite well what he means by the terms " pauper,"
" eligible," and " independent." Hinc illae lacrimae ;
he has a theory, and condemns further theorising as
" abstract " or even as just " theoretical." And yet
all his three terms are ambiguous to a fatal degree.
Technically a pauper is one who receives relief from
the Poor Rate ; morally a pauper is one who is not
self-supporting ; and it is by no means clear that the
reduction of technical pauperism (by rigid application
of another hopeless ambiguity called " The Workhouse
Test ") tends to the reduction of moral pauperism ; for
it is more demoralising to a man that he should live by
sponging on his friends or exploiting his wife and
children in " sweated " industries than that he should
be " relieved " adequately and rapidly by the Society
which his labour supports. So, too, " eligibility " of
status depends on the moral and social standards of



INFINITE AND FINITE 9

the person who elects ; it is possible for a Workhouse
to appear " ineligible to a self-respecting man and
" eligible " in the highest degree to a waster. " Inde-
pendence " may mean self-supporting, or it may mean
only " not supported by the Poor Rate " which comes
near to being an " infinite " negation, for it does not
give us any answer to the question how the man actually
is supported.

It is of course possible that what the Commissioners
of 1834 intended to say was quite right ; there is no
means of determining what they intended to say. Their
value for our present purpose is this : that they have
provided the English people with a set of terms by
which to classify and understand the facts of Pauperism ;
and the most "practical" people are willing to accept
this intellectual apparatus without further criticism.
To that extent our practical people " think " about the
subject, and on the basis of their " thought " they
proceed to act, dismissing as academic hair-splitting the
complaint that all their leading terms are ambiguous.
But the truth is the exact converse of what they suppose.
It is not true that the " practical " person in touch with
affairs has the real perception of facts, while the academic
student follows the ramifications of some " abstract
intellectual plan of life quite irrespective of life's plainest
laws " ; rather it is the former who has put on the
blinkers of an unconscious dogmatism, so that he can
see only what his dogma tells him to look for, while
the philosopher is engaged in testing that very dogma,
not only by the intellectual criterion of self-consistency,
but also by the practical and empirical criterion of
applicability to the facts.

Science and philosophy alike spring from the need
of man for fuller knowledge, a need which may be
utilitarian, as when the knowledge is needed for the
guidance of conduct, but may also be quite ultimate, as
when the knowledge is needed for the mere good of
knowing. Anyhow both science and philosophy are



io MENS CREATRIX



BOOK 1



rooted in the " Will to know " a subject to which we
must attend in detail later. But that " Will to know "
is itself the rejection of the claim advanced by other
interests to interfere in the process which ends in
knowledge. Its satisfaction is found in apprehension
of a reality which is presupposed to exist apart from its
apprehension and that, too, without any reference to
the practical convenience of the judgment ultimately
accepted as true. It is a distinct and definite purpose,
with a method of its own. The formulation of that
method is the task of Logic.

In an enquiry into the methods by which the intellect
pursues its search for truth we must take account
of the fact that the great bulk of our thinking is sub-
conscious. When some proposal is made which is
entirely novel to us, we are inclined to say, " Let me
stop and think about it." The mind immediately goes
blank and for a certain period remains so. At the end
of this period a man will look up and say how the
proposal strikes him, or what there is about it which he
disapproves of or does not understand ; he does not
know, as a rule, what has gone on in the interval, neither
does he know why the interval ends when it does. In
the subconscious regions of the mind some process has
been at work resulting in a judgment or a question
which appears within the field of consciousness. All
that logic, therefore, can do is to trace out these joints of
thought which are all that is recoverable of the infinitely
subtle process by which beliefs are formed. This is
true not only of theoretical opinions but of practical
convictions. We believe intensely many things for
which we are unable to state the reason, though we also
hold that our right to this belief depends on a reason
being discoverable. In regard to the great conventions
of life there is nearly always a vast inductive process
through which the human race has passed, and of which
no individual has ever been at all fully conscious. An
infinite number of facts in the experience of men has



INFINITE AND FINITE 1 1

led them to believe that certain courses of conduct are
vital to the well-being of society. The conclusion is a
truly scientific induction, yet no one ever consciously
drew the inference, and the facts which form the data
are so numerous and so subtly differentiated that their
statement in words could never represent the full weight
which they possess in experience.

Far from being less reasonable than consciously
formed theories of life, these convictions have probably
far more reason, a far greater empirical basis, and have
been reached by a far more cogent inferential process.
For when a man sets out an array of facts and then
draws conclusions from them after the manner of a
physicist or chemist, he is inevitably omitting a great
number of the facts that are relevant. One may take
as an extreme instance Mr. Bernard Shaw, who with
perfect logic deduces conclusions from quite accurate
observations ; but what he observes is a very small
portion of all the facts of human nature, inasmuch as
he seems to be entirely blind to the whole sphere of
human sentiment and even passion ; consequently,
however sincere and cogent his argument, we all
know that his conclusions have no applicability, and
this we know by what seems an instinct but is really
the deposit in us of the whole process of human
reasoning, some small part of which has been conscious
in a few individuals, but the vastly greater proportion
of which has never become conscious at all.

None the less it is only with consciousness that the
philosopher can deal, and it is to this, therefore, that we
must address 'ourselves, remembering throughout how
small a part of human thought it is, and recalling this
truth to mind at the points where to forget it is most
likely to be a source of error.

Here I would venture, with much hesitation, to
suggest that it is in Logic more than anywhere else
that philosophers have given ground for the accusation
that they leave facts behind them when they come to



12 MENS CREATRIX



BOOK



make theories. No doubt this accusation is in part due
to the fact that many people expect Logic to do the
work of Psychology and tell them how they actually
pass from one unwarrantable conviction to another ; for
this is often the character of our " thinking." But Logic
is the science of mental process, so far as this leads to
knowledge ; it studies the method of the Will to Know,
not the fortuitous emergence of those opinions upon
which " practical " men are ready to take action of
momentous consequence. And finding two main
directions in which scientific thought may move, Logic
has, for purposes of investigation, separated these and
set them up as the Deductive and Inductive Methods.

Now, scarcely any one ever thinks deductively,
according to the patterns of deduction provided in the
text-books. The authority of the Syllogism has, it is
true, been broken for a quarter of a century at least,
but having held the throne for two thousand years, it
still exerts a subtle and malign influence. The chief
trouble about it is familiar enough ; it lies in the Major
Premise. In some manifestly valid arguments there
is no room for any Major Premise ; * and where such a
Premise is employed, it is very hard to justify. Even
in the case of our old friend

All men are mortal or Man is mortal,
Socrates is a man,
Socrates is mortal

the difficulty appears. If the major is enumerative we
have no right to make it until Socrates (and we our-
selves) are dead ; and the charge of question-begging
is irrefutable. Or if it is a true generic judgment
representing our knowledge of the present physiological
conditions of human life and their inevitable result in
death, the proposition seems to become a definition, and
it is doubtful whether the minor can be referred to it ;

1 As, e.g., in Mr. Bradley's instance A is 10 miles north of B 5 B is 10 miles
west of C ; C is 10 miles south of D ; therefore A is 10 miles west of D,



CHAP, i INFINITE AND FINITE 13

for until Socrates has died, we cannot be sure that he
comes under the definition ; it is always just possible
that in him biological evolution has produced an
organism which replaces its own decay, and is human in
every respect except those which lead to mortality. In
short, universal propositions are only possible as
definitions, 1 and there are traces -of Nominalism about
our best-established generalisations. All we can be sure
of is that if a is the cause of , whenever a occurs b will
follow ; for it is part of the being of a that it produces
b. But we may come upon an object which resembles
a in every observable respect, and look for the appear-
ance of b ; if instead of b, ft emerges, we shall have to
say, " It was not a after all, but a." That is, we make
production of b part of the meaning of our term a ;
but then we can never tell whether or not any given
object is a until b has followed. Only by making
" productive of b " part of the meaning of the term a
can we make the proposition "a produces b" strictly



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