The Opportunity of Philosophy[1]

Addison Webster Moore

Those who have followed recent philosophic discussion, including the symposium[2] on the brilliant address of my predecessor in office, must have been impressed with the widespread apprehension that philosophy is in danger of losing its job. This apprehension appears in two forms. One is the fear that philosophy is losing its human, personal, inspirational character and is on the point of capitulating to science. The other is the belief that philosophy is losing its scientific character and is surrendering to inspiration and edification—to religion and art.

In the midst of these alarums, it may be reassuring to recall how often in its history the fate of philosophy has "hung in the balance." So frequently has this occurred that we may well take courage from the suggestion that philosophy has become accustomed to that position and indeed does not seem to be quite comfortable in any other. Certain it is that the times in which philosophy has been supposed to be about to quit the world have been the times in which philosophy has renewed its youth and started a fresh career. Such apprehensions are the inevitable accompaniment of any period of pronounced reconstruction such as that through which philosophy is now passing and should be hailed as sure signs of life. My own conviction is that philosophy has never shown greater vitality nor had a greater opportunity

( 118) than now. A statement of the nature of this opportunity requires some sketching of historical background.

It is now more than twenty-three centuries since the redemption of humanity from the bondage of tribal custom and myth was proclaimed in the name of philosophy. Yet at this moment we are in the midst of a war with the idols of the tribe, tribal politics, tribal religion, tribal art and, yes, tribalized science and philosophy—a war in comparison with which all others have been mere skirmishes. And we exclaim: "How long, oh, Lord, how long!"

To be sure, many cherish the hope that this is the war of final liberation, that the universal extent of it means that the source and nature of our woe is being revealed to all the world at once. They find comfort in the reflection that it was necessary that all suffer together the pangs of the survival of these tribal vestiges in the body of our common life before we could reach a proper diagnosis and agree on effective treatment. But others will say, the cry of "How long, oh, how long!" betrays the voice of time and of finitude, the voice of an infant crying in the night. Such terrestrial desires and hopes, we are told, entirely mistake the nature of the salvation originally proclaimed by philosophy. It was not a salvation of the world but from it. The world of becoming was by nature irredeemable. The life of reason was another life, a refuge from the brutalities of existence.

This conception of the life of reason is one to which many world-sick souls. to the end, will doubtless turn. But whether it cures more ills that it causes has ever been the question. It requires us to be in the world but not of it. How difficult, ho« impossible, this is, appears in the experience of all monastics. Indeed, it is urged by some that this very impossibility testifies that the conception has never been taken seriously by any but the monastics, least of all by the Greeks. They will remind us of Plato's explicit statement that his portrayal of the city-state "is no mere dream." But others will recall that it was possible only on condition that in that state philosophers should be kings—a condition which finally proved too great a strain even for Plato's imagination. For he concludes that only the little bald,

( 119) tinkering imitators of philosophers could hope to be kings in any terrestrial city; and that if anyone claiming to be a philosopher should be chosen king, his selection would be conclusive evidence against his claim. As we know, the portrayal closes with the statement that "whether there really is or ever will be such a city is of no importance to the philosopher, for he will live according to the laws of the city." But even so, the laws of the city were such that in order that some might participate in the life of reason it was necessary for a multitude to remain in the bonds of myth and custom. The hosannas of the redeemed fell mockingly on the ears of a larger host of the unredeemed.

Here it will be said that we are inexcusably confusing the essence of Plato's plan of salvation with the accidents of the social and political system of his day. It is only necessary, we hear, to introduce the conception of democracy to bring Plato down to date. This sounds plausible. But when we pass to details, we are soon confronted with the question whether a conception of the life of reason which frankly accepted the irredeemable bondage of the mass of mankind can be democratized without changing, not only its extension, but also its intention.

It is indeed not strange that on the first emergence of reason from that vast matrix of tribal myth and custom, it should have seemed so different in nature that another myth was invented to account for its origin. Nor when we survey the extent of the tribal life by which the precious infant reason was surrounded, do we marvel that the redemption of that world seemed too huge a task. But a sympathetic under-standing should not close our eyes to the consequences of this situation.

In tracing these consequences, we should have in mind the main features of this original plan of salvation. As liberation from custom and habit, from what is called in the Gorgias, `routine' or `mere experience,' we might expect that the life of reason would have been found lighting up with anticipation and direction the world of becoming. For it was not from change as such, but from blind, brute, uncontrolled change, that escape was sought. But since on its social side the actual operations of the world of becoming were carried on by those who moved

( 120) under custom and "routine," becoming was identified with custom; hence visions of the eternal as the content of the life of reason. But we know how these visions soon became systems of glorified custom and despite the name `vision' were no less blind. A "vision" that does not point beyond itself is as blind as any other experience.

It is also important to remember that the organ of these visions of the life of reason was the eye of pure, detached, passionless intelligence. When we complain, on the one hand in the name of impersonal fact, on the other in the name of impersonal reason, that philosophy has become infected with mundane and supra-mundane desires and hopes, it would be interesting and possibly enlightening to recall that this same passionless, impersonal intelligence originated as the means of escape from the world of fact, and has been from the beginning, however paradoxically, the chief speculative support of the hope of personal immortality.

If from the vantage point of the ordered life of Athens and Rome, the redemption of the vast wastes of myth and custom appeared impossible, we should scarcely expect any increase of optimism when the tribal tides from the north swept over the Eternal City and The Islands of the Blest. We do not wonder that when Stoic philosophy saw its celestial forms filled by the church with all sorts of tribal myth and finitude, it passionately reaffirmed the passionless character of the life of reason. But the medieval church was too deeply intrigued with the world, the flesh and the devil, to be a mere kindergarten for Graeco-Roman philosophy. If officially its kingdom was not of this world, it nevertheless had this world very much on its hands. In all history there is no more sublimely pathetic spectacle than the heroic attempt of the medieval church to transform a world of tribal custom into a life of reason with the concepts and methods of a philosophy conceived and fashioned as an asylum from that world. It is easy to patronize the casuistry of the church. But we should first assure ourselves that our complacency is due to an essential difference in method, and not to the fact that we have possibly acquired more skill in its use, though that may well be

( 121) doubted, or to the fact that the life of a celestial philosophy is now very simple as compared with its responsibilities in the days of the church. The medieval church, like our frontier household, was the center of all mundane activities. But one by one these activities have been transferred to scientific "butchers and bakers and candlestick makers," so that a transcendental philosophy can now sit comfortably by the fireside disturbed by no embarrassing household problems.

This introduces a period of great importance, the period in which occurs the differentiation of philosophy and science or, if we are jealous of the term `science,' of philosophy and the other sciences, which, when referred to in the remainder of this paper in distinction from philosophy will, for sake of brevity, be called `science.' So far as any such differentiation appears before the modern period, it is to be found in the fact that while philosophy was occupied with the analytic and systematic relations between its universals and categories, science was engaged in finding instances of the universals furnished by philosophy—not, however, for the purpose of testing these universals but of illustrating them. To assume that they needed testing would have been sacrilege. Philosophy and science had the same conception of the nature and function of reason, which was to behold universals either face to face as in philosophy, or through the veil of particularity as in science.

But this search for new instances was full of peril for the unity of the household of reason, a peril which steadily increased as the scope of the search widened with the new process of the suns, with the appearance of new continents, and with new political, industrial and commercial problems. How the universals of the church. already loaded with a strange mixture of celestial and terrestrial materials of the early centuries, were soon swamped by this flood of new things and events is a familiar story.

Familiar also is the fact that modem history has spoiled the dramatic contrasts between the scholastic and the modem periods which earlier historians were so fond of portraying. Nowhere is the continuity on which modem history insists more palpable than in the development of science and philosophy. If the

( 122) scholastic system of categories had collapsed, its spirit went marching on in the efforts of the renaissance to find, ready-made, another to take its place. And if the modem period turned its back on all systems of the past, we know the adolescent enthusiasm with which a new and saving system was believed to be at hand and the modest but firm conviction of each philosopher that he could furnish it.

However, from its experiences in the periods of scholasticism and the renaissance, philosophy had by this time grown wary of the happenings and be comings of the temporal, spatial world. Hence its readiness to get rid of that world and wish science joy of it. Contrary to much received opinion, the essential criticism of scholasticism by the modem period is not that it was too otherworldly, but that it was too this-worldly. It had failed of universality because it was too terrestrial. In order to be re-universalized, philosophy had to be re-celestialized and thus leave the world of existences to science.

To such a division science was even more eager than philosophy to consent. For if philosophy had been embarrassed by the existences of science, science had been no less troubled by its failures to discern the features of the universals of philosophy in the new instances which it constantly encountered. Also it was growing more and more interested in the existences themselves and in their temporal, spatial, causal connections with one another. Science was therefore more than willing to accept the despised and barren field of existence for its patrimony if it could work it unmolested by the religious and political tribal teleology in whose bonds Galileo even then languished. For this freedom it was willing to bear the opprobrious brand of `materialism,' and `mechanism.' Indeed, the time soon came when it hung these shibboleths ostentatiously over its door to frighten away all teleological bogies.

This period of differentiation is full of interesting and instructive ironies. Tragic as are some of the consequences, it is difficult to suppress a smile, when science, on taking possession of its rocky wilderness of existence, solemnly announces as its instrument of cultivation the pure, passionless, impersonal intelligence!

( 123) There is also the beautiful historic irony of pure intelligence, originally invoked as the way of escape from this wilderness, now made an indispensable qualification for entrance to it and for residence in it. No less piquant is the spectacle of philosophy announcing with renewed emphasis the world of values as its domain, and proclaiming the same pure impersonal reason as its method.

Here I cannot refrain from turning aside for a moment to observe that in the current discussion, referred to at the beginning, between those who fear the influence of science and those who warn us against the dangers of edification, each side describes knowledge as merely a seeing process, and each proclaims the organ of vision to be pure, detached intelligence. At first it seems as if this common conception of knowledge were promising for our efforts at cooperation in philosophy. But reflection reveals difficulties. For even if we agree that these visions of truth are to be submitted to discussion and tests, what tests can be applied to "detached" visions? The appeal to "consistency" is vain. How can a vision as such be inconsistent, either with itself or another vision? No amount of color blindness could ever be detected by comparing visions with one another. Non-disputandum is as true of detached vision as of detached tastes. But it is true of neither visions nor tastes because neither are detached. And this difficulty is not manufactured by taking an unfair advantage of a metaphor. It is not a vicious pun, but sober statement to say that the uncritical conception of knowledge in terms of vision is largely responsible for visionary philosophy. By `uncritical' I mean the conception of knowledge in terms of immediate, detached, finished vision. If knowledge were formulated in terms of attached vision, that is, of the whole process of vision including its stimulation, its limitation, its checking and testing by other functions, we should get rid of many of the misleading features of the analogy. But our vocabulary concerning knowledge is so saturated with the implications of this analogy of immediate vision that it is impossible to talk or even think and avoid them. But we must return to our story.

The handicap under which science labored at the beginning of

( 124) its independent career was due to its acceptance of the characterization of its subject matter as merely existential and its methods as visionized intelligence—a characterization that after Darwin and after the extension of its field into problems of individual and social behavior became grotesque. The artificial and shifting character of the distinction between the scientific world of existence and the world of values appears in the reversal of the form of this antithesis which occurred after The Origin of Species. Before Darwin the judgments of science were regarded as too analytic and mathematical to deal with values—especially with the value of an act. But when science began to deal in earnest with origins and with conscious behavior and to become truly experimental in method this form of opposition was destroyed. Philosophy saw the danger and met it by the simple strategem of occupying the abandoned position of science. It re-converted its values into eternal and immutable entities, and declared the methods of science to be now too hypothetical and unstable to deal with things eternal, leaving open to science the retort that the methods of philosophy were now too rigid and mechanical to deal with things temporal-even a moral act. And in fact the sequel was that this conversion of values into eternal entities made it necessary for philosophy, as Hegel and his followers saw, to reduce morality to "appearance."

But in the earlier stages of this period of differentiation which we are here tracing, science was still haunted by dreams of unconditioned universality and necessity—reminiscences of its previous existence with philosophy. It did not yet realize that universality of that sort was part of the price it had paid for the independence of its existential domain. Hence, when a philosopher, e.g., Hegel, pointed his schoolmaster's finger at science and called it `hypothetical' and `contingent,' and other hard names, instead of replying with Zenobia of our school days, "the charge is true, and I glory in its truth," science felt the sting and made pitiful attempts to defend the absolute universality and necessity of its categories, and to set them up as rivals of the universals of philosophy. But the categories of science cut a sorry figure as candidates for the crown of universality in competition with those of

( 125) philosophy, fashioned by experts of long experience precisely for the purpose of being universal—not to "fetch and carry" in a world of existence.

But as science was losing its grip on the kind of universality which it had in the days when it dwelt with philosophy, it found itself coming into the possession of a new sort of universal—the universal of law, quite different in type from the universals of essence and species. A law is not a universal form into which particulars shall fall when they chance to appear; a law is not satisfied to say that whatever happens will be a temporal, spatial or causal affair. It is concerned with specific relations between the times, the spaces, the causes, and the consequences of things and events. The defect of the Kantian "anticipations of experience" was that they did not anticipate, just as the failure of the "analogies" was that they were not "analogous." They could yield a cosmic vision of all possible events as caused; but, as Hume saw in advance, they gave no clue to any particular cause. All of which means that the failure of apriorism was due to its helpless and hopeless empiricism. It could solemnly say: "All happenings must be temporal"; but concerning specific times it was as impotently "empirical" as the newest infant. A type of universality therefore that was to deal with specific antecedents and consequents, was something new under the sun.

In spite of the fact that officially this new type of universal could have no commerce with values, interest in it rapidly increased. Philosophy, secure in the possession of social and religious values as its "sphere of influence," was at first indifferent, then complacent, then interested and finally anxious. Historians easily grow sentimental over the wistful eye with which Kant watched the career of this new universal. They are fond of portraying his fleeting hope that it might bolster up the tottering metaphysics upon which social and religious values then leaned. We know the outcome. Instead of reviving the old metaphysic, the new universal, at Kant's own hands, gave it its coup de grâce. Nevertheless the new type of universal was not allowed to usurp the place of the old metaphysic. The tradition of the existential character of science and the super-

( 126) existential character of values was still too powerful. So the new, ambitious, and doubtless often bumptious, universal was re-branded with `mechanism' and `materialism' and sent back to its existential habitation, while the function of the old metaphysic as the support of moral and religious values was assigned to faith.

Here my Hegelian auditor will ask: "Why not spare us this old trick of a cheap and easy victory over Kant?" I am aware that in Hegel's History of Philosophy Kant was a voice proclaiming the advent of a greater, of whose identity Hegel had no doubt. But how much better off values were in the fold of the "Concrete Universal" than in the hands of Kant's "faith" may be judged when we recall how moral values, as we have seen, were reduced by Hegel to "appearance." Of this reduction of morality to "appearance," we might indeed say "what's in a name," if it really effected a working connection of values with scientific method. But the only connection it secures is their union in the fellowship of appearances of the Concrete Universal whose concreteness and universality are as much matters of faith as Kant's moral law.

Left thus without method, values became again celestial existences—objects of detached impersonal vision, none the less existential because celestial; while on the social and practical side they were left to the play of tribal survivals, again none the less tribal whether labelled `divine' or `natural.' On the other hand, scientific method divorced from participation in the formation of values became equally "meta-physical." It set up altars to its laws, its atoms, and later to its biophores and ions. And when it reached the point where it included trans-finite numbers and logical entities in its subject-matter, these were hailed as signs that science, at last, had transcended its existential sphere and could now be welcomed back into the fold of philosophy. Once back, as little reference as possible was made to the existential past of these entities—to the fact that they had all developed directly or indirectly out of problems of continuity arising in the necessity, often the tragedy, of adapting old materials and instruments to new purposes, and of constructing new purposes in order to utilize the results of past experiences.

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Many cherish the conviction that when philosophy received unto itself these scientific concepts not only was science redeemed from materialism, but philosophy thereby became scientific. They believe that these concepts are purging philosophy of the infections of edification and of mundane and supra-mundane interests. And yet, perhaps the most edifying portrayal in all literature of the visions of pure intelligence as a refuge from the ruthlessness and schrecklichkeit of existence—one of the earliest themes of edification—is from the pen of the most distinguished representative of this mathematical school, Mr. Bertrand Russell.[3] On the other hand, so long as the defenders of personality and values make values the content of visions of an impersonal intellect, it will be as difficult to escape the snares of existence—no matter if the name be carefully avoided—as for the mathematical school to avoid all taint of edification. As objects of detached intellectual vision, values and ions and the entities of analytic logic are in the same case. Which is the truest or the most edifying is a matter of taste.

Nevertheless, with all its present confusion and paradoxes, the importation of these conceptions of scientific method into philosophy is to be hailed as a bright omen. But it does not signify that philosophy is to be made more scientific and science more philosophic by substituting mathematical and logical conceptions for eternal values as the objects of philosophic vision. Its proper import will appear when, instead of attempting to substitute scientific concepts for values, or conversely, philosophy shall proclaim science as the method of its values.

To some this will sound solemnly platitudinous. They will ask: "Is not science already the method of values? What else is the meaning of the present world-mobilization of science?" Nevertheless, it does not mean that science is the method of values. On the contrary, it means that science, forced by the old tradition to expend its energies in developing a purely existential and physical world, is now called in as a mercenary to furnish so much hired force in the form of high explosives, barbed wire, and poisoned gas, to serve values and purposes that, by the

( 128) same tradition, have been formed largely by more or less sublimated survivals of tribal custom — the traditions of dynasty, of shining armor, of suspicion of other tribes, of right as the might of the tribe, of my tribe, right or wrong. Science as the method of values does not signify that science is to be called to the defense of values born of instinct, custom and myth. It means—and this is the gist of the whole matter—that scientific intelligence must be operative in the formation of the values and purposes of our social life. It must be the method not only of maintaining but of obtaining them. It need scarcely be said that this does not call for the abolition of instinct and custom—a vain call surely. James was ever fond of reminding us that the being having the most intelligence has also the most instinct, intelligence finding its work not in noting and classifying instincts and customs as final and self-enclosed values, but in using them as material for new values. Such an attitude toward instinct and custom is no less the essence of morality than of intelligence.

What the full frank employment of scientific intelligence in the formation of values would mean, may be brought home if we ask, what if the conceptions of science were constituted after the fashion of our values? We should then have American, British, French, German and Russian, mathematics, physics, biology, etc. Each science would have its diplomatic corps, its secret service, its army and navy. And when word should come that an hypothesis was in peril from a tribal rival, the army and navy would be mobilized and the proclamation go forth, "Vorwaerts mit Gott until all opposing hypotheses are spurlos versenkt." Or, if our tribe were seized with a decimating pestilence, it were better that all should perish than resort to an antitoxin "made in Germany." For the positive side of the picture—what if the same tolerant, cooperative, experimental attitude, the same international range of observation and consideration, the same exquisite refinement of technique, the same devoted patience in its employment were present in the formation of our values? What if the methods and technique of scientific intelligence had been mobilized earlier in the service of our legislation and diplomacy? Should we now be under the necessity

( 129) of such frenzied appeals to science to undo with shrapnel the mischief caused by neglect of intelligence?

Again, what irony that it should be in the despised and barren field of existence, excluded by common consent from all communication with real universality, that the universality of cooperative method has actually been achieved. While we stand gazing into heaven, universality appears among men. We go on celestial crusades while the Grail is within our terrestrial walls. To be sure, this universality and democracy of scientific method has not yet its proper power and authority. For we still look for another. It has come unto its own and its own has received it not. "How," we ask, "can reality come out of existential Nazareth?" The very fact that this experimental universality of science has so much achieved reality, prevents its acceptance. It is too real to be true; or too true to be real. In the same breath in which we pray that the kingdom of God may come on earth, we so define that kingdom in terms of `absolute universality,' `eternity,' `subsistence,' etc., that its coming on earth is impossible. So long as we continue thus to conceive the world of values science will continue to expend its energies in building up a merely existential and physical world and to be regimented and mobilized as so much brute force drafted for the service of tribally-formed ends. The real materialist and mechanist is he who conceives the subject matter of science as existential and physical in contrast with supra-existential values.

But the redemption of science from materialism and of values from tribalism will not be achieved by searching out in science certain conceptions—mathematical or logical—that are supposedly less existential and more spiritual than the others, nor yet by setting up these conceptions as visions of a pure intelligence in which to find refuge from existence. As a matter of asylum merely, it makes little difference whether we find it in mathematical concepts, theosophy or the movies—in Bentham's phrase, in pushpin or poetry. Science will be spiritualized not by turning either its subject matter or its method into spirits; but by utilizing both its subject matter and its method in the formation of our terrestrial values and purposes.

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This means, of course, not only that values acquire method but that scientific method acquires values as part of its recognized subject matter. I say "recognized" for in some disguise or other values have always been present in the "objects"of science. Something more than staring about, like the bear that went over the mountain, to see what we can see, determines the selection, direction and importance of scientific activity. To have this brought to light, given its proper place and limits, instead of being left to work under ground, in ways dark and devious, would be here. as everywhere, a great gain.

"But," exclaims some one, "this will put science back under the yoke of religious and political interests." With the document of the famous "ninety-three" before us, in the presence of our own vacated desks and laboratories, how naïve is this future tense! Science has no choice whether it shall be affected or not affected by social, political, and religious interests. The only choice is whether this influence shall be frankly the natural and intimate one of subject matter and method, in which case the influence will be from social forces which science itself has helped to form: or whether it shall be from social, political and religious forces in whose formation scientific method has had no recognized part. In comparatively ruminant periods, the conception of science as existential and physical, and of values as supra-existential and spiritual, may conceal their underlying connection and produce an appearance of independence. But when the crisis comes, the concealed affinity asserts itself with an explosion that wrecks all our camouflage.

On the other hand are we still pursued by fears of the effects of scientific method on personality? Perhaps it is too much to expect that we, with friends. brothers and children in the trenches, shall see the cruel joke in this. But the Devil will see it and hugely enjoy it, as he recalls how all of us are now reduced to so many foot pounds of energy, to so many food-producing, food-consuming, marching. shooting, bombing, thrusting units, counted and tagged. If we fear to submit our precious personalities to experimental treatment, which can not be "mechanical" in the old sense, we shall soon have something which we may well

( 131) fear. We shall soon find ourselves units of a process that is "mechanical" with a vengeance.

This mechanico-phobia simply means that we do not yet understand or we do not take seriously the statement to which we all nonchalantly subscribe, namely, that "Science is experimental." To say this is to say first that its mechanism, i.e., its elements and units, are experimental. And this is to say that they are relevant and relative to problems which are always, in the end, problems of personality and value. Moreover, the very possibility of experimental method presupposes personality.[5] The appearance of the modern self-conscious person contemporaneous with the rise of modern experimental science is no mere coincidence. The tribal, custom-made self is afraid, in the presence of strange things and events, of things to which he can not react in the old ways, whereas the modern personality in possession of itself, not only is not shocked by such experiences but is constantly seeking them. They are its meat and drink. To be sure, it seeks at the same time new categories and universals. But this is to say that the whole process of scientific discovery and experimentation presupposes and depends on a self-possessed personality. How strange, then, this antithesis of experimental method and personality! It is a Freudian survival of the timid, half-formed tribal self.

But so long as this survival continues we shall never be able really to understand and take seriously the experimental method of science. Still clinging to ultimatism in our treatment of values and personality, we shall inevitably take the same attitude toward the elements and units of science. The correspondent of ultimatism in science is ultimatism in values. The conception of absolute elements is the tribal concep-

( 132)-tion of values and personality carried over into science. Our theoretical difficulties with the experimental method have their source in the fear to apply it to values. Once take the experimental attitude toward values and personality, the appropriate theory of knowledge follows. On the other hand, if we profess an experimental theory of science while holding a tribal conception of values and personality, our profession is academic and vain and sooner or later will betray us.

This, then, is the issue: Are we ready to take toward our social, political and religious values the same experimental attitude, subjecting them in principle to the same tests of international scrutiny and criticism, which we demand in our scientific procedure? It is the issue of the democratization of values. And it is neither senti-mentalism nor demagoguery to say that it is at bottom the issue of the world war. The world can never be made "safe for democracy" so long as tribal survivals can avail themselves of a theory which places values above or below, at any rate beyond, scientific treatment on the ground that they are either "unique" or "universal"—which some tell us are the same thing. What Lincoln said of the nation is now true of the world. That it cannot exist half slave and half free means at bottom that it cannot go on with an alleged free science and a tribal morality. If either is not free, neither is free.

Here, then, lies the present problem and the present opportunity of philosophy. What the ultimate problem of philosophy is, I do not profess to know. But here is a great and worthy task—very specific, very present and very pressing—namely, the abolition of the esoteric attitude, the attitude of the tribal medicine man, toward our social values and purposes, which of all things should have the most delicate and patient ministrations of intelligence. On all sides, philosophers complain of inability to keep up professional interest. One complains that "no philosopher in his official capacity has been called to the nation's councils." But in teaching and preaching the necessity for this change of attitude toward personality and values, and by the same token toward science, the philosopher as such will do his bit not only in the present world crisis but much more in preventing the recurrence of such crises, which indeed is the issue of the present crisis.

And I do not see that identification with a school—idealism, realism, pragmatism—need prevent coöperation in this undertaking. It implies, to be sure, an idealism that is more than a sanctuary, a realism whose reals are more than mathematical and

( 133) logical entities, and a pragmatism whose practice is not confined to "bread and butter needs." But it is not difficult to find idealists, realists, and pragmatists who are ready to fill these specifications so long as they are not called upon to square them with a general theory.

To all who fear that philosophy is in danger of being permanently interned, not to say interred, this offers philosophy at least another opportunity for active service. Those who believe that philosophy should be made more scientific should find the enterprise congenial, for its aim is precisely to make more scientific the philosophy of values. Those who feel specially called to guard the claims of personality should have no misgivings in joining an undertaking which proposes to liberate the factors and processes most directly concerned with personality from the survivals of tribal myth and custom, and place at their service the methods of experimental intelligence— a method which as we have seen presupposes personalities for its operation. Finally, what could be more edifying than the prospect of substituting reason for shrapnel as the method of dealing with the problems involved in the formation and in the conflicts of our human values and purposes?


  1. Presidential Address delivered 27 December 1917 before the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey. 
  2. Cf. The Philosophical Review for May 1917. 
  3. "A Free Man's Worship," Philosophical Essays. 
  4. Cf. G. H. Mead, chap. 4, Creative Intelligence. 

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