Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 2 [lead-zwing]
Person:
Baldwin, James Mark
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit29448/271/
ORIGIN VERSUS NATURE 
same way that he dicl if we asked him the 
same question regarding the thing’s nature 
at that point. He would have to say that 
the origin of the thing observed later was 
described by career up to that point; and is 
not that exactly the reply he would give if we 
asked him what the thing was which then 
was 1 So to get any reply to the question of 
the origin of one thing different from that 
to the question of nature at an earlier 
stage, he would have to go still further back. 
But this would only repeat his difficulty. 
So he would never be able to distinguish 
between origin and nature except as different 
terms for describing different sections of one 
continuous series of aspects of behaviour. 
This dilemma holds also, I think, in the case 
of the intuitionist. For as far as he denies 
the natural history view of origins and so 
escapes the development above, he holds to 
special creation by an intelligent Deity ; but 
to get content to his thought of Deity he 
resorts to what he knows of mental behaviour. 
The nature of mind then supplies the thought 
of the origin of mind. 
Of course, on the view developed, the 
question of the ultimate origin of the universe 
may still come up for answer. Can there be 
an ultimate stopping-place anywhere in the 
career of the tiling-world as a whole 1 Does 
not our position make it necessary that at any 
such stopping-place there should be some 
kind of filling drawn from yet antecedent 
history to give our statement of the conditions 
of origin any distinguishing character ? It 
seems so. To say the contrary would be to 
do in favour of the prospective categories 
what we have been denying the right of the 
naturalist to do in favour of those of retro¬ 
spect. Neither can proceed: without the 
other. The only way to treat the problem 
of ultimate origin is not to ask it, as an 
isolated problem, but to reach a category 
which intrinsically resolves the opposition 
between the two phases of reality. Lotze 
says that the problem of philosophy is to 
inquire what reality is, not how it is made ; 
and this will do if we remember that we must 
exhaust the empirical ‘ how ’ to get a notion 
of the empirical ‘what,’ and that there still 
remains over the ‘prospect’ which the same 
author has hit off in his famous saying : 
‘ Reality is richer than thought.’ To desi¬ 
derate a what which has no how—this seems 
as contradictory as to ask for a how in terms 
of what is not. It is really this last chase of 
the ‘ how ’ that Lotze deprecates— and rightly. 
Of the great historical solutions, that of the 
intellectualists leans to the retrospective, that 
of the voluntarists to the prospective ; a con¬ 
sistent affectivist theory has never been worked 
out, although something might be said for a 
form of what we may baptize beforehand as 
‘ aesthonomic idealism ’—aesthetic experience 
being made the metaphysical prius both of 
science and of value. This would be no 
doubt as profitable as the Hegelian logicism 
which reads reality out of the categories in 
order to transcend their oppositions. 
The conclusions may be summed up in 
certain tentative propositions as follows :— 
(1) All statements of the nature of ‘things’ 
get their matter mainly from the processes 
which they have been known to pass through : 
that is, statements of nature are for the most 
part statements of origin. 
(2) Statements of origin, however, never 
exhaust the reality of a thing, since such 
statements cannot be true to the experiences 
which they state unless they construe the 
reality not only as a thing which has had 
a career, but also as one which is about to 
have a career; for the expectation of the 
future career rests upon and is produced by 
the same historical series as the belief in the 
past career. Cf. Pragmatism, passim. 
(3) All attempts to rule out prospective 
organization or teleology—the belief in the 
correspondence between reality and thought— 
from the world would be fatal to natural 
science, which has arisen by a series of pro¬ 
visional retrospective interpretations of just 
this kind of organization : and fatal also to 
the historical interpretation of the world 
found in the evolution hypothesis ; for the 
category of teleology thus understood is but 
the prospective reading of the same series 
which, when read retrospectively, we call 
evolution. Cf. the remarks on teleology and 
evolution under Heredity. 
(4) The fact that mental products, ideas, 
intuitions, &c., have a natural history is no 
argument against their validity or worth 
as having application beyond the details of 
their own history ; since, if so, then a natural 
history series can issue in nothing new. But 
that is to deny the existence of the idea or 
product itself, for it is a new thing in the 
series in which it arises. 
(5) All these points may be held together 
in a view which gives each mental content 
a twofold function in the mental life. Each 
such content begets two attitudes in the pro¬ 
gressive development of the individual. So 
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