The arguments against the freedom Of the Will seem unanswerable; but they prove too much. They prove that no reasoning can prove anything---in which case, the argument against Freewill, not to say the whole structure of Science, falls to the ground.

The absurdity of this conclusion forces us to scrutinise the nature of human knowledge.


Knowledge in the scientific sense involves three processes:

(1) Classification, (2) Analysis, (3) Explanation, by which is meant seeing the individual thing as an instance of a general law.

If there exists anything which is recalcitrant to any of these processes, it must-just so far as it is that-slip through the meshes of the net of scientific knowledge. Such a thing is Life.


Classification concentrates on the resemblances between individuals and ignores their differences. It is a practical device-necessary because it is impossible to 'handle' things in large numbers unless they can be sorted out into groups which can be treated as if each member of them were identically alike.

When we deal with men or works of art individuality is all-important; and it exists, and may be important, elsewhere.

Classification, since it ignores individuality, is a method of abstraction. In dealing with the atom of hydrogen or the amoeba, individuality may be ignored, but in higher types of life it becomes more and more important.

Scientific knowledge, therefore, being based on classification, is compelled to ignore a phenomenon which becomes more striking with every rise in the scale of life.


Life is not a substance which can be observed under the microscope, but something different in kind. It is a principle of Organisation.

The relation of life to matter is a problem at present unsolved. But the existence of life, and up to a point its nature, is known to us, not inferentially or as an object of scientific knowledge, but directly from the fact that we are alive.

Life is not to be pictured as an 'atmosphere', or as an 'ocean' of some invisible fluid. It is a principle of self-organising individuation.

In Art there is no conflict between mechanism and meaning: why suppose there is such in Nature ? But if there is purpose in Nature, Science could not reveal it; for purpose being essentially qualitative is outside the sphere of Science.

The probability that in life even at the sub-human level there is an element of spontaneity.


Another limitation of scientific knowledge arises from the fact that while Reality is dynamic, knowledge is of the static. To know (in the scientific sense) a living thing we must conceive of it as if dead.


The controversy between the Mechanist and Neo-Vitalist schools raises questions the answer to which seems to depend, less on biological facts, than on the theory of knowledge we adopt.

Biology and Physiology are compelled by the nature of the human mind to use the concepts of mechanism and law; but it is more important in these sciences than in Physics and Chemistry to recognise the symbolic nature of those concepts. They are adequate as a 'description' of behaviour, but not as a complete account of it ; for that the concept of Life must somehow be introduced.

The concept of Life is in the last resort anthropomorphic ; it is an interpretation of the movements, etc., of other men and animals in terms of our own inner experience. This anthropomorphism is unavoidable; but provided we know what we are doing and use proper safeguards, there is no reason for avoiding it.


Modern Psychology has been extremely successful in applying the conceptions of mechanism and law to the human mind. But it must use anthropomorphic conceptions like libido, and it supplements the methods of pure science by the anthropomorphic method of sympathetic understanding.

'Behaviourism' is a completely logical position-and also a reductio ad absurdum of the assumption that the only way of knowledge is by the methods of ' pure ' Science.

Psychology must, to a large extent, dispense with measurement-the 'very basis of the physical sciences. If that fact be held to disqualify Psychology for the title of Science, it is only the more evident that there is a valid way of knowledge outside the sphere of Science-and this way is one by which Quality can be apprehended.


As in Psychology, so in History and in the ordinary affairs of life, scientific methods are regularly supplemented by an intuitive knowledge of the inner quality of life akin to that employed by the Artist.


Religion employs both methods, but in a reversed order of importance. Myth, rite and sacred book are externalisations of an inward spirit . Religion looks to these first; but it will degenerate into superstition unless it checks conceptions derived from these in the light of scientific knowledge.


If we make the assumption (for which reasons will be given in the next chapter) that the fundamental element in Reality is of the nature of Life, it follows that Reality can only partially be understood by the methods of pure Science. The experiment, therefore, must be tried of supplementing knowledge of the purely scientific kind by inferences drawn from the nature of Life, in other words, by a method of anthropomorphism scientifically controlled.

Chapter 4



The ancient problem of Freewill raises the question, 'What is knowledge ?' in a way which compels the attention even of the man in the street. The case against Freewill seems in logic to be irrefutable; but the conclusion that we have no power of choice and no spontaneous initiative in action is so absurd that we, cannot help suspecting that the fault is in the logic. There must be a 'catch' somewhere. The 'catch', I suggest, will be found in the fact that there are two different and disparate ways by which the human mind becomes aware of truth. There is the method of Science-classification, analysis and reduction to law which is applicable to all visible and material things; and there is the method of direct intuitive knowledge (and inference therefrom), which must be used to supplement and check the results of the other method, wheresoever there exists that mysterious, invisible something which we call' Life'.

Let us look into this question of Freewill. I aim what I am as the result of inherited physique and temperament, modified and developed by the environment in which I have lived--that is, by country, school, persons, books, accidents, etc. To these influences I owe the experiences, the opinions, and even the ideals which condition what I wish, think or do as new circumstances arise. Is it not obvious, then, that what I think and wish and do is as much determined by causes external to myself as is the course of a river by the mountains through which it winds ? This conclusion psychologists of the school of Freud believe they can still further fortify by tracing a relation of mechanical causation between the conscious thought of the adult and unconscious psychic processes the course of which has been determined by inheritance or by some purely accidental occurrences in early life.

But when we look this conclusion in the face, it has awkward consequences. If the Determinist is right in denying the existence of spontaneous initiative, the application of his principle cannot be limited to action; his argument, if it proves anything, proves that wishes and thoughts, quite as much as deeds, are mechanically determined. The Freudians so far are right in emphasising this. But here comes the difficulty; if Determinism is a sound theory, then it is determined which arguments shall appeal to me as valid and which shall appear to be fallacies. It follows, then, that my thinking the case for Determinism conclusive constitutes no reason at all for believing it to be so ; I think so merely because some purely accidental circumstances of heredity and environment have determined that I should be the kind of person to whom the arguments for Determinism appeal. And if my opponent is convinced by the arguments for Freewill, that is not because the arguments are superior, but merely because, by his heredity and environment, it is determined that he shall think them so. Accordingly, if the Determinist is right, reasoning can prove nothing; it is merely an ingenious method of providing us with apparently rational excuses for believing what in any case we cannot help believing. But if all reasoning is a 'pathetic fallacy', then the reasons for believing in Determinism itself are fallacious. Not only that; unless reason is that which can discriminate, there is no criterion of truth and falsehood; all knowledge, collapses; one hypothesis is as good as another, and Science itself is a fairy tale. This conclusion can be avoided only if we see that, as a necessary postulate of reasoning, there must be inherent in the nature of thought enough of spontaneity to enable it to discriminate between true and false ; and that means, in its reaction to material submitted to it, to choose between two or more alternatives. Were thought no more than an automatic reflex action of the organism to circumstance, the nature of that reaction would be predetermined; the mind might react by judging statements to be either true or false, but such judgment would be determined, not by the actual merits of the case, but merely by the exact nature of the stimulus, emotional or otherwise, given by the way the statement was put. True, our judgments often do come very near to being of this nature ; but the essential difference between prejudice and real knowledge consists in our having some capacity to rise above such automatic reactions.

Recent psychology has emphasised the dependence of thought on desire ; indeed, there are those who would regard reason as a function of ' conation ', that is, of will and desire. Thought, desire and will are indissoluble elements in a single vital process ; yet biologically conation seems prior in importance-and, to a large extent, in time. Even in human life, thought is exercised mainly in devising means to ends defined by the satisfaction of practical need. The scientist and philosopher (for whom thinking is in itself an end) are a late and rare product of the evolutionary process. But just in so far as thought is a function of conation (to discuss exactly how far it is this would be beside MY present purpose), it follows that the element of spontaneity which we cannot but recognise in thought must be read back into will also. Indeed there is much to be said for the view that spontaneity is of the essence of life itself, and, to quote a happy phrase of Prof. J. A. Thomson, that' the response of the organism to external stimulus is of the -nature not of a rebound, but of a reply '.

For the moment, however, I am concerned with the problem of Freedom not so much for its own sake as for its bearing on the problem, What is Knowledge? Determinism seems logically irrefutable, yet it not only denies a fact which seems to be a fundamental datum of consciousness, it also inevitably involves the conclusion that all reasoning-incidentally, therefore, all Science-is an illusion. If so, the reasoning which proves Determinism must, along with all other reasoning, be pronounced a fallacy. Such a result is a danger signal. The scientists and philosophers who have argued for Determinism are not fools; and if suspicion attaches to this conclusion it must extend far beyond. The case for Determinism is of such a kind that, if it shows signs of breaking down, the question is at once raised, What, then, is the nature and validity of scientific knowledge ? For the very possibility of scientific knowledge as commonly conceived is bound up with the assumption that the phenomenal Universe is a mechanically determined system governed by uniform laws.

It is not, then, the, existence of a conflict, real or supposed, between Science and Religion that makes it necessary to scrutinise the nature of human knowledge. If nothing more was involved, many would decline the inquiry. It is the contradiction which arises for Science itself (as well as for everyday life), from the necessity of affirming both the spontaneity of thought and action and the reign of law. Every hour of the day we plan and project; and in doing so we take for granted that we are really free, that it will make a real difference whether we decide to do this or that. Yet Science (and its presupposition, the reign of law) affirms that we are automata, whose thoughts, feelings, actions, are all determined for us. Confronted by such a contradiction we are forced to raise the question whether the underlying assumptions, and the methods of reaching and presenting knowledge which Science has used with such extraordinary success, are valid only in certain spheres or for certain aspects of Reality. No question can be more alive-for the man in the street, quite as much as for the philosopher.


Scientific knowledge differs from the workaday knowledge of everyday life mainly in being more systematic and more thoroughgoing. It can be analysed into three processes.

(1) Knowledge is recognition-this is a walkingstick; that is a pig; the other thing looks like an insect, but of a kind I have not seen before. That is to say, knowing means noting in regard to any object that it is like or unlike, or partly like and partly unlike, something already known. Knowing, then, in the first place consists in discovering the right class in which a thing should be placed, Knowledge is classification.

(2) But that is not all. To understand a motor-car I fix my attention on the different parts of which it is made up. I also note carefully how they fit together into a single whole. The body, the wheels, the brakes, the engine and every one of those innumerable component parts, must be studied individually and also in their relation to one another and to the whole. - Scientific knowledge differs from popular in that this process is carried further. The chemist analyses a drop of water into molecules of oxygen and hydrogen; the physicist takes up the task and resolves the atoms of which these gases are composed into little solar systems of protons and electrons. Knowledge is analysis.

(3) There is a third stage. Knowledge attempts to give an answer to the question, Why ? I am awakened by a noise. Is it something rattling in the wind, or perhaps a burglar ? Listening intently, I gather new facts. It seems to come from near the floor in a corner of the room. It has the rhythm of gnawing. I frame a hypothesis. It must be a rat. Rats, I know, do gnaw wood at night, and I account for this particular noise on the theory that it is a particular instance of that generalised observation. Knowledge is explanation. Or to take an example from the high realms of Science. Newton showed how the observed facts as to the motion of the planets round the sun, of the moon round the earth, and the (corrected) observations as to the mass of earth and moon would be accounted for by the hypothesis that every material object in the Universe attracts every other with a force varying directly with the product of their masses and inversely with the square of their distance. Since innumerable facts subsequently observed were found to accord with this hypothesis and -until quite recently-none that conflicted with it, the hypothesis, that this particular uniformity of behaviour as between material objects was of universal validity, seemed to be established. It therefore ceased to be styled hypothesis and was referred to as a Law. When individual facts are seen as particular instances of a general rule, or when two or more such general rules are seen as instances of some still more general rule, then from the point of view of scientific knowledge they are said to be explained. The general rules, or uniformities of behaviour in things or classes of things, are commonly spoken of as Laws of Nature. The crown of scientific knowledge is the discovery of such laws. Scientific knowledge then is explanation by reference to general laws.

The method, then, of Science is to take the individual concrete thing, and (a) to assign it to a class, (b) to split it up into its component parts and (c) to see everything about it as a particular instance of some universal law. But the method of Science is only a systematic and clearheaded way of doing what half-consciously and in a ruleof-thumb way we all do in everyday life, whenever we use our minds to 'know'.

But what if there be anywhere anything that either (a) has some element of uniqueness which eludes classification, or (b) has in it something which defies analysis, something which completely disappears when analysis begins, or (c) behaves in a way which cannot plausibly be described as merely one instance of a mode of action in accordance with some universal law ?

Obviously, if anything exists which has any one of these characteristics, that thing will, just to the extent to which it possesses any one of them, slip through the meshes of the net of scientific knowledge. To know, in the sense in which Science uses that word, means to classify, to analyse and to explain as an instance of a general law. Whatever, therefore, cannot be classified, or analysed, or referred to a general law simply eludes Science. If it is to be known at all, it can only be by some method of apprehension other than those employed by Science.

But, we ask, do things possessing any of these characteristics as a matter of fact exist ? Certainly. At least one of them is possessed by everything that is alive; and in man, of living things the most alive, all three exist. The possibility suggests itself that where Life is there is something with which knowledge (in the scientific sense) cannot entirely cope.


We have seen that the basis of all scientific knowledge is classification. To understand means to see a thing in its relation to the rest of things we know about, to see how far it resembles and how far it differs from other like things. Having classified an object we can then relate it to the system of observed uniformities of antecedent and consequent (or cause and effect, if we prefer that ambiguous terminology) which we call the Laws of Nature. Thus, in the scientific sense of the word, we can only understand where we have succeeded in classifying. The more refined and more illuminating our principle of classification the better we shall be able to understand. The advance of Science consists mainly in discovering more subtle and at the same time more simple principles of classification, which enable us to co-ordinate more and more facts in a logically articulated system -under certain primary generalisations or laws.

Now classification demands not only the detection of identity between all members of the same class, but also the ignoring of individual divergence from the class type. At the bottom of the scale of existence the identity between members of a class may approximate to, or even reach, completeness. Thus for practical purposes we assume--though the assumption may well be false that every atom of hydrogen is in all respects and for all purposes exactly like every other. At this end, then, of the scale of being, classification appears to be something of objective and universal validity, being based upon the discovery of identities of a purely objective and absolute nature.

But, as we ascend the scale of being, our confidence in the objective and absolute character of classification begins to be shaken. It begins to dawn upon us that classification is a convenient, indeed a necessary, method of handling things by the simple device of ignoring their individuality. For, whenever we are dealing with entities like human beings in which individuality is of importance, it becomes obvious that the identities on which classifications are based are nothing more than a selection made for some purely subjective purpose. A zoologist may assign man to the class of mammals called 'primates'; and for the purpose of studying his relation to other animals this classification is highly illuminating. But man can only be classed as a member of the class 'primates' either by ignoring all those qualities which are not shared by the rest of the class, or by defining man as a sub-class every member of which has certain identical qualities in addition to those common to the larger class. We must then go on classifying on zoological principles and distinguish further sub-classes within the class 'man', e.g. the classes of white, yellow, black men. But, having got as far as that, we soon find a need for classification based on other than purely zoological considerations. Suppose I am taken ill in Japan, the person I need is one who belongs to the class 'doctor', and the best doctor available may or may not be a member of the class 'white'; the zoological classification by race colour becomes irrelevant. The classification I now require is one based upon the quite different principle of medical degree or training. But I soon discover that this is only a partial guide. All doctors of like technical qualification are not equally good; and whether I recover from my illness or not may depend upon how far the individual called in possesses that personal flair which makes one doctor so much superior to another in diagnosis.

One awakes to the fact that classification has always a practical aim. In order to 'handle' things at all we must think of them as belonging to one class or another, that is to say, treat them as being for our purpose identical. A quartermaster who has to feed a battalion of 1000 men must think of them not as men but as' mouths'. For his purpose it is irrelevant that some are honest, others thieving, some illiterate, others highly educated, some stupid, others brilliant. But to a bank manager selecting a clerk, to a newspaper proprietor seeking an editor, or to an operatic producer on the look-out for a conductor, these differences between men are the only things that matter.

And classification is no less necessary if the things we wish to 'handle ' are, not men or solid substances, but ideas and their embodiment in Art. If I write a book of literary criticism I must classify poetry as epic, dramatic, lyric, etc. Only so can I deal with it in a way that is in any sense ' scientific '. But then I make the discovery that, however apt my classification is, and however illuminating it may be for the study of the relations of a particular poem with others in regard to aim, method and technique, it just leaves out the essential thing-the unique individuality of the poem. To understand Hamlet it is necessary to consider it as a member of this class and of that-as poetic drama, as tragedy, as Elizabethan, etc. But in the last resort what makes Hamlet worth the trouble of considering at all is just that unique combination of qualifies and effects which is not to be found identically elsewhere. That is to say, the thing about it which we most want to understand is precisely that which most completely eludes classification and is most individual.

And what is true of a work of art is still more true of man. If the man happens to be a man of genius his individuality is of a kind so marked as to be a matter of world-wide concern. But individuality exists in every man; nor is the degree in which it exists at all proportionate to the extent to which his name is known outside the family or the office. In a less conspicuous degree individuality can be detected in animals. Dogs have character, though only those who know them well may be able to detect it. How far down the scale of life individuality can be traced is for our immediate purpose irrelevant. It suffices for my argument that individuality does exist somewhere in the world.

But once it is realised that every human being and quite possibly every living thing-forms in a sense ' a class by himself ', we get fresh light as to the -nature, meaning and purpose of classification as it is used in actual practice. In actual practice when we classify, what we really do is to consider, not individuals as a whole, but merely certain bits of them. We artificially isolate certain aspects of individuals and then treat them as if these aspects were the whole of them. We may class men by their capacity to make runs, to learn music, or to march 25 miles a day, according as we want cricketers for a team, singers for a choir, or soldiers for a punitive expedition. But in each case we are only considering bits of them ; other bits, which for other purposes may be more important, are simply left out. That is what is meant by the formula classification is abstraction ; it is treating a group of individuals who have certain qualities in common as if they possessed these qualities and none other.

Now when we are dealing with a group of the amoeba family the qualities in which individuals differ are so, infinitesimal as to be practically negligible. Close observers believe they can detect individuality even in the amoeba ; if they are right, then just to the extent to which individuality exists the classification of the amoeba is an abstraction; that is to say, it is a statement quite true so far as it goes, but incomplete ; it leaves out something. But as one ascends in the scale of life individuality becomes a more and more important factor. A sheep has more individuality than a snail, a dog than a sheep, a man than a dog, a genius than a dullard.

Hence, as we ascend in the scale of life, any generalisations we can make, any laws we can observe, will necessarily be, not less true, but less complete and exhaustive statements of truth; and the higher we ascend the more does the relative importance of what they leave unstated to what they succeed in stating continually increase. In the realm of Physics and Chemistry the generalisations of science fit the facts as exactly as spare parts fit a standard bicycle. When we get to Psychology, though we can still make classifications and discover general laws, they fit the individual case only approximately-like a pair of boots ready made. Just as the boot manufacturer tries to secure better fits by continually producing fresh intermediate sizes, so Science is always refining on and perfecting its earlier classifications. But to this process there is a necessary limit; at the point where an individual becomes the sole member of his class, the purpose of classification has disappeared.

The value of the conception of Law, with its necessary basis in classification, is that it enables us to 'explain' the individual instance by seeing it as a particular case of a general rule. But, if no two men, and probably no two living beings, are so exactly identical that the differences between them are for all conceivable purposes irrelevant, then clearly the kind of ' explanation ' which it is the purpose of scientific method to offer becomes, in so far as these differences are concerned, inapplicable.

But this does not mean---it is important to note this--that Science and its methods are at fault. What we are 'up against' is a limitation inherent in the human intellect. The fact that individuality is something which eludes classification is not like a defect, which improved methods may some day enable us to make good; it belongs to the nature of classification as such. Classification, I repeat, is a method of handling things by the simple device of ignoring their individuality ; and the nature of the human mind is such that by no other method can it handle a plurality of things. To ' understand'-in the purely scientific sense of that word-means to conceive as a member of a class of identicals, to ' explain ' means to see as a case of a general law. Hence exactly to the extent in which a thing (or person) is individual and unique, it has about it something that, from the nature of the human intellect, eludes such understanding. All that Science can do with individuality is to ignore it ; that is to say, Science is compelled to ignore a phenomenon that becomes more and more striking with every rise in the scale of life. Obviously, then, Science is by its own methods excluded from knowing Reality in one of its most important aspects. The individual can be in the concrete case perceived, but never in the abstract scientific sense explained.


All living things, from the mere fact that they have life, exhibit at least one (the second named) of the characteristics mentioned above (p. 81) as necessarily eluding the net of scientific knowledge. No living body admits of complete analysis into ultimate constituents. Living bodies can readily be analysed into their chemical and physical constituents-but life is not one of these. Nor is it likely that life is some substance, so far unidentified, which with finer instruments or improved technique the scientist might isolate. Life, it would seem, is something different in kind, something of which the one thing we can safely affirm is that it is, or acts as, a principle of organisation creative in character. This description would not cease to be appropriate even if a means of producing life in a laboratory were some day to be discovered. Such a discovery would prove that, given physical conditions sufficiently favourable, that synthetic activity which we call by the name 'life' will ' emerge '. But such ' emergence ' would in no way constitute a discovery that life is a residual constituent of certain bodies which hitherto had eluded analysis.

In the conception of Emergent Evolution propounded by Prof. Lloyd Morgan stress is laid on the analogy between the first appearance of life and the fact that in Physics and Chemistry the combination in a particular way of certain factors results in the 'emergence' of properties which are more and other than the mechanical sum of the properties of the several factors. In so far as the analogy holds it adds emphasis to the familiar observation that things are what they are by virtue of differences, not in the nature of the ' stuff ' of which they are composed, but in the way in which they are organised. The brain of Shakespeare and a clod of earth are alike made up of protons and electrons - but they are differently organised. Similarly, a sonnet of Shakespeare and a paragraph from the Police Court news are alike made up out of twenty-six letters of the alphabet and a few stops-but they are differently organised. In both cases the important question to ask is, What is the organising principle ?

In the world of inorganic matter the principle of organisation is still to seek. It is otherwise when we study living organisms. Here we find an organising principle, directive, co-ordinative, curative, which we call Life, the existence of which we are compelled to postulate in order to explain the observed phenomena. Life is not a substance that can be seen under a microscope, nor is it an entity comparable to an electron. Indeed it cannot become an object of knowledge in the scientific sense of that word. Life is only found in connexion with the particular collocations of matter of which it is the organising principle ; it may be that the distinction between life and matter is not ultimate. In that case it might be far more correct to describe matter as an elementary mode of life than to call life a mode of matter.Be that as it may-and in the present state of human knowledge no theory as to the ultimate relation of life to matter can be more than a tentative hypothesis the existence of life is not a hypothesis but a fact. For, paradoxically enough, though life is a thing which cannot be an object of scientific knowledge, it is a thing of which we have a direct apprehension, a thing of the existence of which we are more certain than of anything else. I think and I feel, which means I am alive, of that I can have no doubt; yet my being alive is not a thing I know in the way that I know external objects, nor can I know the life that is in me by the method of scientific knowledge. But if I did not already think and feel, I could have neither common-sense knowledge of everyday things nor the organised form of that knowledge which we call Science.

There would seem also to be a close relation between life and individuation. In the last section it was convenient to treat individuality as if it were merely a residual difference left after all the resemblances between one thing and others, or one person and others, have been subtracted. But unless we go further than this, its real significance will be missed. At least some minimum of individuality seems to be a necessary accompaniment of life. We are apt to think of life as if it were a kind of ' atmosphere ' ; or we picture 'the ocean of life ' as a uniform invisible fluid, a certain amount of which (varying according to their activity or size) flows out into all living creatures. It is nothing of the sort. Life, wherever it can be observed, is not only an organising principle, but a principle of unity and individuation. The lowest organism differs from a piece of inorganic substance of the same size just because the particles of matter in it are organised so as to subserve the conative and appetitive disposition of the organism as a whole. Life is essentially that which organises matter for a constructive end-that end, towards the bottom of the scale of life, being apparently no more, but also no less, than the continuance of itself, in the face of serious obstacles, through self and race preservation. Life, then, is organisation with a view to struggle ; and even where the end striven for may seem, in the first place, to be race preservation, the focus of organisation and effort is always an individual organism. If from one point of view life is strife, from another it is self-organising individuation.

Physiology has attempted to explain all reactions of the living organism to its environment by the purely mechanical conception of 'reflex action'. The attempt has succeeded over so large a field that most physiologists not unreasonably hope that improved methods of observation may show that it holds good over the whole field. Zoologists, on the other hand, point to evidence I for the existence of a certain spontaneity and a certain purposefulness in the response to stimuli extending almost, if not quite, to the bottom of the scale of life.

But it is a mistake to suppose that there is any necessary conflict between mechanism and purpose. Take any one of the world's miracles of architecture the Taj Mahal, or Bourges Cathedral. There is not a stone, or a beam, or an ounce of cement whose presence and whose place cannot be mechanically explained. The muscular exertion of the oxen who drew the stones or of the workmen who chiselled them is a force measurable in'footpounds', and no whit less mechanical than that exercised by a steam-hammer or a crane. Nowhere has there been work done by any mysterious non-mechanical force. There is no unexplained residuum which requires the hypothesis of such a force. And yet, the buildings thus so completely explicable in mechanical terms, besides subserving very definite practical uses, realise an aesthetic quality-and that not accidental but intentional-which is the wonder of the world. There is mechanism throughout, but the organising principle is purposive mind. In Art there is no conflict between mechanism and meaning; why then assume that, in explaining Nature, we are compelled to choose between mechanism and purpose ? No doubt in Nature the purpose (if there at all) works from within the mechanism; but that is the way that purpose works in directing the mechanism of the human body. But if there is purpose in Nature, we ought not to expect Science to reveal it. Purpose is activity the direction of which is determined by an end, that is, by an apprehension of quality. But quality cannot be measured, and therefore from its essential nature it-and, along with it, purpose-is outside the sphere of Science.

Again, when we study life as manifested in man, we discover phenomena which cannot be conceived of as being merely particular examples of a general law. Of such phenomena the most conspicuous is that activity of the human mind which is exhibited as often as it decides between true and false. Where error is possible, a right decision involves something which cannot be explained as an instance of a general law; for a decision which could be so explained would be automatic, and therefore the judgment pronounced would be determined, not by inherent truth or falsity, but merely by reflex action between the mind and its environment. The very existence of Science depends upon the postulate that the mind is capable of discriminating between true and false conclusions. But such discrimination cannot possibly be expressed in a formula or conceived as a particular instance of a general law. I may also recall my previous argument (p. 78) that the spontaneity of thought, implied in the possibility of distinguishing truth from falsehood, involves also some measure of spontaneity in conation also. Free thought implies freewill, that is, the possibility of actions which cannot wholly be represented as particular cases of a general law.

But if the existence of free intelligence and spontaneous choice is once admitted in the case of man, then the behaviour of certain animals is most naturally explained on the hypothesis that they too possess these faculties, though in a lesser degree. Indeed, there are zoologists and psychologists who believe that at least the germ of these exists wherever there is life. But for our present inquiry, the facts in regard to lower forms of life are, strictly speaking, irrelevant. We are investigating the method of scientific knowledge with a view to estimating its competency to explain all the phenomena of the Universe. Of these phenomena the one that is most difficult to explain is admittedly life, and that difficulty is at its maximum when life occurs in the intense form in which it is exhibited in man. The test of a theory is its adequacy to explain the big difficulties. A theory of the nature of knowledge which covers the case of life as seen in man will cover all the other facts ; but any theory which fails to explain this, the greatest difficulty of all, is bankrupt from the start.


It will be convenient in this connexion to consider briefly another limitation of the human intellect-on which Bergson has laid great stress. Reality is dynamic, thought makes It static. I cannot classify things, I cannot observe the exact relations between them, I cannot reason about them, if they are changing shape, place or quality, while I think. If the individuals transform themselves while I am in the act of sorting them, my classification is obsolete before it is completed. If a length is altering all the while I am measuring it, my results will be inaccurate. If the premises change in the course of an argument the conclusion is necessarily unsound. Thought can only deal with what it can regard as static. If it treats of things that move and change, it must treat them as if they became, and for a moment remained, fixed at different points along the line. In the real world, however, there is nothing stationary; all things are in a state of flux: even the ' everlasting hills' are hourly being worn away, though it may take half a million years noticeably to change their shape. Yet to handle things at all we must treat them as if, for infinitesimal moments at least, they stood quite still. A bird on the wing and the shot from a gun are both in rapid and continuous motion. The sportsman must aim at the fixed point where he expects the bird to be when his shot has reached that same point.

Fortunately for us the flux of things is not disorderly. It has a regularity and a rhythm which makes it possible to calculate its movements. In practice we assume that the movement of any object, instead of being, as it really is, continuous and indivisible, can be divided into a number of separate and finite 'jerks', comparable to the points by which we plot out a curve we wish to draw. By that device we can treat the dynamic as if it were commensurable with the static. And we are justified in doing this because otherwise we could neither reason about nor manipulate the dynamic at all. In the realm of Physics and Inorganic Chemistry the regularities of Nature are so exact that the theoretic incommensurabilities involved in treating the dynamic as if it were divisible into an infinite number of static points may be ignored'; just as for all ordinary (and for most extraordinary) purposes, one may assume that a figure whose outer boundary is 3.14159 times its maximum cross measurement is a perfect circle, though in reality it would be a regular polygon with something over three hundred thousand sides.

But when we are dealing with living beings, we have got into a region in which modifications in the objects of our study are no longer, as in Physics or Inorganic Chemistry, comparatively regular, simple and measurable with great exactitude, but where they are spasmodic, subtle and various. Clearly in this sphere that elusive incommensurability which necessarily results from our being compelled to think of the dynamic as if it were static, of the living as if it were dead, is likely to be larger in extent and also more significant. And the higher we ascend in the scale of life the graver is likely to be the error, if this consideration is ignored.


To the preceding arguments it may be objected that they seem to prove too much. If whatever is alive, or has individuality, or cannot be wholly analysed, or preserves the least germ of spontaneity, must of necessity slip between the meshes off the net of Science, will not the biologist and the physiologist have something to say ? It looks as if one were maintaining that any scientific study of living creatures is like trying to hold port in a strainer; you retain the crust but the wine escapes.

Now, as a matter of fact, a number of biologists and physiologists have themselves been crying out of late against the idea that the phenomena of life and consciousness can be exhaustively explained in terms of the 'mechanical' categories employed by Physics and Chemistry. Some have produced theories of a vital 'entelechy' (an old word to express an active immaterial agency having an elementary psychic character), others have been content with a vague claim to an ' autonomy' of the vital sciences-by which is meant the right of these sciences to select and use categories of explanation other than and beyond those employed in Chemistry and Physics. Yet others resist all such claims ; pointing to the immense advances made through the persistent use of the category of mechanism in the past, they urge patience and further effort along the old ways before seeking new.

For a person not a scientist to intervene in such a controversy would be presumptuous, if the question at stake in this controversy were purely biological. But, unless I am altogether mistaken, it is really the much larger question of the nature of human knowledge.

Certain of the Neo-Vitalist school seem to me to be in danger of forgetting an important element of truth of which mechanistic Materialism is the one-sided expression. The human mind, as we have seen, is so constituted that it can only 'understand ' by classifying and analysing individual objects and 'explaining' them as instances of a general 'law'. It must think of matter as ' substance ', and of causation under the mechanistic figure of one thing pushing or pulling another, much as the piston moves the crank. So far as he frames mental pictures of the working of the thing he studies, the physiologist, like the physicist, requires his 'model' mechanically conceived. The physicist, we have seen (p. 15), has lately discovered that he must go deeper, he must be prepared to make use of concepts that are unimaginable. This fact is a warning to the physiologist also not to suppose that the mechanistic conceptions he uses are ultimate; but it in no sense precludes his using them. Einstein has warned us against treating as ultimate our common-sense conceptions of space and time and the Euclidean geometry that is based upon them; but for all ordinary, and most scientific, purposes we can still afford to, do so. Mechanism is a mode of thought as natural (and as valid) as Euclidean geometry; and both these are modes of thought which, from the structure of our minds, we cannot help employing. It follows that sciences like Biology and Physiology, whose subject-matter is the living organism, are obliged, not by their special subject matter, but by the nature of the human intelligence, to use categories like mechanism and law precisely as are Physics and Chemistry. Every advance in Physiology and Psychology consists in making some further step forward in the process of discovering 'laws ' (that is, formulae under which the individual may be seen as a particular case of a uniform principle) or in detecting 'mechanisms' by means of which phenomena can be connected with one another in the relation of cause and effect. The difference between the sciences which deal with the organic and the inorganic does not lie there. It lies in the following consideration. In Physics and in Chemistry it rarely makes any practical difference if one forgets for the moment that law is a descriptive formula (p. 272) and mechanism a symbol for an abstract relation, and thinks of them as if they were efficient causes of a compulsive character. In Biology and Physiology it is important all the time to keep these limitations in mind, and to remember that life is neither a description nor a symbol but something actually existent, which, as we know it in ourselves, seems to be in some sense an originating and directing cause.

Clear thinking, however, on this point is liable to be side-tracked by discussion of the much-debated point whether the life in a given organism should be regarded as a kind of extra brought in from outside, or as something which necessarily supervenes upon the occurrence (accidental or otherwise) of a sufficiently favourable organisation of matter. Interesting as this question is, its solution is in no way vital to the theory of knowledge I am trying to expound. For my present purpose it makes no difference whether life is an entity disparate from 'matter' (whatever matter in the last resort may be) or whether its origin is better described by conceptions like ' epigenesis ' or ' emergent evolution '. Whatever theory be held, life is not a phenomenon of the same order as other phenomena-if for no other reason, because it is not a thing that can ever be directly observed. Its presence and its nature are always, and of necessity, a matter of inference. In the study of living organisms all that we can observe is behaviour, that is, a series of motions and reactions which take place after the impact or apposition of other bodies or forces to which we give the name 'stimuli'. So much we can observe; what, then, is it that we infer ? We infer that these motions and reactions are accompanied by, and are the resultants of, the presence in the organism of the thing we call 'life'. Moreover, we say at once of certain types of motion and reaction that they are, and of certain others that they are not, a sign of the presence of life. The word life, then, differs from words like ' oscillation ' or ' rebound' in that it is not a name that we bestow on a particular type of motion or reaction ; it is a cause which we assume to be capable of accounting for them. More than that, it is not a cause assumed to exist, though in itself unknown ; it is not some hypothetical entity which might just as well be called x ; it is something the nature of which is taken for granted to be a matter of familiar knowledge.

But how and why is it that I can take for granted as being something perfectly familiar a mysterious entity which no one has ever seen, heard, touched, measured or weighed ?

The answer is plain. I do this because I have direct experience within myself of this mysterious something; I feel it rather than know it, and I take for granted that every one else has knowledge of it in exactly the same way. But this means that when I say a thing is alive, I am accounting for its motions and reactions on the hypothesis that they are caused by, and are the expression of, an indwelling, active, sensitive principle similar to the life principle as I know it in myself. Whenever, therefore, I speak of 'life', I am interpreting the observed facts of 'behaviour ' in the light of an inward experience of my own ; I am reading something of myself into the phenomena I study. I am projecting myself into the facts I observe.

Is this legitimate ? My reply is that the legitimacy of this method of interpretation is something which I put to the test of experiment all day and every day in my dealings with my fellow-men ; and I find that as a rule the experiment works. Human intercourse depends entirely on the supposition that I can approximately interpret the words, looks, actions of other men as being the expression of feelings and intentions more or less similar to those which I should myself express by similar words, looks or actions. Interpreting the gestures of a man upon whose corn I have trodden in a 'bus in the light of a feeling of anger which similar experiences have called forth in myself, I say he is angry-and I adopt protective measures. And very disagreeable consequences may ensue unless I am ready on occasion to apply the same process of interpretation to the gestures of a dog,making due allowances for the difference, while noting the resemblance, between a dog and a man. And , with a larger allowance for the extent of the difference, the same principle applies to our interpretation of the activities of living creatures still lower in the scale.

Life in the last resort is a thing that I can only apprehend from within. My belief that other human beings, and the lower animals, have within them something of the same kind is an inference. Some of the followers of Descartes held that in the case of the lower animals the inference was illegitimate. Animals to them were mere machines, the cry of a trapped hare was merely the noise of breaking machinery. But of that absurdity Darwinism has made an end. Sensation, conation and cognition obviously exist in the lower animals, though at a very much lower degree of intensity than in man, even perhaps approximating to zero in the simplest forms of living organism. But no hard and-fast line can be drawn. It is this fact of continuity that obliges us to give the name 'life ' to the active creative organising principle throughout the realm of living organisms ; otherwise we should do better to call it x. But we do not, and we ought not to, call it x ; for this principle is not an unknown quantity; it is something which, though eluding knowledge in the sense in which Science uses that term, is yet more familiar to us than all our scientific knowledge.

The conception of life is one with which sciences like Biology and Physiology cannot possibly dispense; but the point I would emphasise is that it is a conception which is unavoidably anthropomorphic.,. If I say that a man is alive, I assert that he has in a full sense what in myself I call by the name 'life'; if I say an animal is alive, I assert that it has the same thing but in an attenuated form ; if I say so of a tree, I affirm the possession of the same thing but in a still more attenuated form; and if I did not mean the word life to be understood in that anthropomorphic sense, I ought to call it simply x. But not only does the conception of life, when applied to the animal, mean life as I know it from within myself, though with a big but undefined minus quality understood; the same thing holds good of terms like hunger, fear, sex, struggle, and the like, which again are terms that Physiology and Biology cannot avoid using. Such terms have no meaning unless used with the implication that they describe emotional 'urges ' resembling more or less the corresponding elements in human experience.

The suggestion that up to a point the Biological Sciences must be anthropomorphic is one which some exponents of these studies may hotly repudiate. But why? Two centuries ago anthropomorphism of an uncritical character was a danger to scientific method. Today the danger seems rather to arise from undue anxiety to avoid it. Once the necessity of anthropomorphic conceptions is openly admitted it is possible to guard against their being wrongly applied. Deny their necessity and you find you are using them unawares, and, therefore, without the necessary precautions.

I would venture to suggest to those who are expert in the Vital Sciences that as a mere matter of fact they are actually in the habit of approaching the Subject-matter of these sciences from two opposite sides. On the one hand they make use of the methods of pure science, classification, analysis, reduction of facts to uniform law, and thereby they reveal the 'mechanism' of the organism and its evolution. On the other hand, whenever they speak of the 'struggle for existence', or of hunger, sex and the like, they are actually using a method of intuitive interpretation, which reads into and explains the observed phenomena in the light of the thing called life. They cannot avoid using both the conception of mechanism and that of life ; but of these conceptions the one is reached by generalisation from external observation, the other is derived from human experience. Thus the Biologist and Physiologist, I maintain, are like the man who, in order to explain Venice to his friend, used both the scientific plan in Baedeker and the creative interpretation of a Turner picture. And I maintain that they are right in using both; for the object of the scientist is to advance knowledge, not merely to keep inside a set of rules to which the name 'pure science' may be applied.


In Psychology, and still more in History, the fact of this double approach-which I may call scientific and intuitive-is still more in evidence. The aim of Psychology is to discover the mechanism of conation, emotion and reflection, and so far as possible to reduce to the uniformity of scientific law particular types of mental reaction. In this it has had considerable success. One result of this has been to discredit the use of pure introspection in Psychology, all the more since a scientific explanation is now forthcoming of that capacity for self-deception which the cynic in all ages has delighted to detect in human nature-in other people. It has been shown, for example, that a person may sincerely believe himself to be actuated by a motive directly contrary in character to the 'repressed' desire by which his conduct is really determined.

Some people, however, by a curious confusion of thought, have deduced from this discovery the conclusion that Psychology can cease to be anthropomorphic in the sense that it need no longer employ concepts derived from human feelings, desires, motives, as these are known from introspection. The fallacy is obvious. Suppose, for example, that the psychologist detects that a person who thinks himself exceptionally humble is actually, without knowing it, inordinately conceited; what he is doing is to ascribe that conduct to its real, instead of to its imaginary, motive. But neither the real nor the imaginary motive could be discussed apart from introspective interpretation of human feeling; and if nobody ever correctly interpreted his own feeling, there could be no difference between real and imaginary motives, so that the psychologist would have no basis from which to start. The psychologist, far more than the physiologist, is bound to work with conceptions the meaning of which is derived from inward experience.

In Psychology we can see more clearly than in any other of the Vital Sciences the necessity of combining mechanistic and anthropomorphic methods of interpretation. Vital experience is essentially fluid. But knowledge, whether popular or scientific since from its own nature it must analyse and classify-is compelled to treat everything it surveys as definite and static. A psychologist cannot get very far without using the conception of libido or 'desire'. But 'desire,' when it appears on the page of a scientific treatise, has become an abstract mental concept, it is no longer a throbbing experience. The word has the same sort of relation to the experience as a twenty-franc note has to a golden louis ; it is a symbol which by a useful convention will be accepted as equivalent-so long as the exchange remains at par. But we are apt to forget that, as between words and things, the exchange is never exactly at par, and is least often so where the things are most alive. It follows that the technical terms used by the psychologist to describe the inner activities of the living spirit, in proportion as they profess to approximate to the exactitude of the terminology used in the pure sciences, misrepresent the activity of which they strive to be an objective expression. This brings us up against the centre of our problem. The reflective intellect cannot make scientific use of any material unless it can present it to itself for study as if it were a static and exactly definable object. Vital experience, then, can be utilised for scientific purposes only in so far as it can be conceptualised in this way in technical terms assumed to have a definite and static content. But the moment it is forgotten that every such conceptualisation is up to a point a misrepresentation, the study becomes pseudo-scientific. Everybody who has felt deeply knows that only in the shallows of experience can the inner quality of life be expressed in words. Intense life transcends exact expression. But though its quality cannot be expressed, it may be suggested-by a gesture, a look, a poem, a tune. But then only a person with the requisite power of sympathetic appreciation can understand. Conceptual knowledge is inadequate to compass life.

This is the explanation of the fact so often noted that bookknowledge of the laws of Psychology, or of the technique of method, is of very little use to the physician unless he has an inner sympathy with the subtleties of mood and feeling over a wide range of human experience. It frequently happens that a patient with whom one practitioner can do nothing, is easily cured by another who, generally speaking, is in no way his superior, simply because the one has, and the other has not, a temperament sympathetic to this particular patient. Sympathy is the capacity to understand the inner feelings of others by analogy (but it must be the right analogy) to feelings one has experienced oneself. It is the most anthropomorphic of all methods of interpretation. And to the practising psychotherapist both sympathy and scientific knowledge are equally essential. A psychologist to be successful must be a man who has something of that imaginative insight into the subtleties of human motive and character which are required to make a good novelist, along with the mastery of abstract law and principle which belong to the scientist's equipment. In other words, the psychologist is compelled at one and the same time to conceive of his subjectmatter anthropomorphically and mechanistically. And any theory of the nature of Psychology which does not recognise this fact of therapeutical experience is ipso facto condemned as an academic abstraction.

One school of psychologists, the Behaviourists, in order to avoid what they regard as the slur of anthropomorphism, try to rule out from the sphere of Psychology everything but behaviour, i.e what can be externally observed. To do this, of course, they are compelled to adopt the determinist assumption that behaviour is never in any way affected by the thought, desire or will of the actora reductio ad absurdum of which enough has been already said. It is, however, commonly, overlooked by those who criticise and dissent from this school that the Behaviourist position is the only possible one, so long as it is assumed that no knowledge is valid unless it is reached by the methods of pure science. But in practice no psychotherapist-whatever his theory-is a Behaviourist. I mean that in actually treating a patient his procedure is one which quite clearly involves a happy combination of the methods of pure science with anthropomorphically interpretative intuition. And his practical success in the curing of disease is presumptive evidence that this procedure is legitimate.

But modern Psychology not only makes use of an anthropomorphic method of interpretation forbidden by pure science, it also-except in that special department technically known as Experimental Psychology to a large extent dispenses with something which for the physicist is absolutely fundamental, viz., measurement. I remember, at the International Congress of Psychology at Oxford in 1923, this point being raised in an impressive way by an eminent scientist present as a visitor, who expressed a grave misgiving whether, until and unless some standard of measurement could be found, Psychology could be regarded as a branch of Science at all. But, assuming the misgiving to be justified, what follows? If Psychology is not allowed to rank as a branch of Science, it can certainly claim to be a branch of knowledge-and that means that knowledge is a much wider thing than 'pure' science, and that important elements in Reality will be ignored unless we are prepared overtly and frankly to employ another method of interpretation.

And this other method is one which, unlike those used by pure science, can take cognisance of Quality.


The necessity of operating by a twofold method of knowledge is no less strikingly apparent in the study of History. History for the last century or so has prided itself on being a branch of Science. In so far as the historian collects facts, detects sequences of cause and effect, or discovers social laws or tendencies, he is using the methods of Science. But if he aspires to give his readers a living picture, say, of a great statesman or of the course of a revolution, he must also become an artist. For that statesman was a highly vitalised character, that revolution was a torrential expression of living hopes and passions. Unless the historian can somehow make this clear he has misrepresented the actualities of what he professes to record. If he would avoid giving a false impression of reality, he must interpret, by his imaginative insight into personality and its workings, the detailed facts he has collected, tested and arranged by the methods of Science. The task is difficult: it is very easy to misunderstand the feelings and to misinterpret the motives of a brother or a wife; how much more so those of men and multitudes

in a bygone age. But the historian who declines to risk that failure has already failed. The great historian, like the successful psychotherapist, is the man who is master of the methods of Science and also of the method of the imaginative interpretation of personality-and knows how to check the results of each method by those of the other.

Exactly the same holds good of everyday life. In dealing with things material we apply methods of observation, classification and analysis which are a rule-of-thumb equivalent of those of Science ; but persons and animals, too, for that matter-can only be dealt with if we to some extent understand them from within; we must know or guess something of their character and motives. No man ever erected a big business, or organised and led to victory an army, unless he had, besides a gift for figures, facts and system, some knowledge of the hearts of men. To the scientist's power of grasping and manipulating things, he must add, to however small a degree, something of the artist's insight into character, that is, into the inner quality of life. But neither of these will suffice alone. And if any one is under the impression that it is only when dealing with human beings that this combination of methods is required, let him talk to a trainer of race-horses or to the huntsman of the nearest pack of hounds-and he will find out his mistake.


Art, we have already seen (p. 34), is, or rather can be utilised as, a form of knowledge in so far as in it life has objectified its own inner quality. But Art is indifferent to the historical or scientific interpretation of Reality. There is, I understand, adequate evidence that there was in Denmark a prince whose name was Hamlet; but if the contrary were to be proved, that would not make the slightest difference to the value of the play. Again, Art is the expression of only one aspect of the inner quality of life, viz., that specific kind of interest which we call aesthetic and which may be defined as the appreciation of beauty, provided the term beauty be stretched to cover also the grotesque and the bizarre.

Religion, like Art, objectifies an inner quality of life but it differs from Art in that the life it would interpret is conceived to be an expression of, dependent upon, or in some special rapport with, a Life other and more than human. Its range of interest, therefore, is wider than that of Art; and it is profoundly concerned with the objective character of that larger Life which (and whose contact with ours) it endeavours to interpret. Religion, therefore, must postulate the existence of a ' not-ourselves' that is alive. In the next chapter I shall endeavour to show that the postulate is justified. But if it once be granted that such a larger Life exists, that Life must be supposed to have effects upon the phenomenal world which Science studies. Hence the myths and other forms in which Religion tries to body forth its intuitions must always submit to cross-examination in the light of scientific knowledge.

It would seem, then, that Religion, considered as a means of Knowledge, must, like Psychology and History, make use of both the alternative ways of knowledge-only in the reverse order. Psychology, starting with the conceptions of mechanism and law, which are the basis of Physics and Chemistry, finds itself compelled to supplement these with conceptions like will, desire, thought, which we have seen to be necessarily anthropomorphic. Religion, on the other hand, starts with the method of anthropomorphic intuition, but is compelled, on pain of degenerating into superstition, to check results so reached by reference to facts and laws of the purely scientific order.


To sum up. Our analysis of the nature of knowledge points to two conclusions.

(1) The methods of classification, analysis and reduction to law as used in pure Science can only take us part of the way wherever life occurs, and the higher the type of living organism the more this inadequacy becomes important. If, then, the Universe is the expression of anything resembling Life-whether conscious or purblind-it would seem that It can only be understood in a very one-sided and partial way, so long as we confine ourselves to the methods of pure Science.

(2) That being so, we are bound to ask whether, by a right use of the direct acquaintance which we have with life as experienced within ourselves, we can supplement the deficiencies of the methods of pure Science ? We are compelled, at least by way of experiment, to test the possibility of making up for the inadequacy of the purely scientific method by a method of approach which is frankly anthropomorphic. But-and the reservation is of vital importance-not just any kind of anthropomorphism can serve our purpose. It must be anthropomorphism with its necessary limitations clearly faced, and its results checked and counterchecked on truly scientific principles, so that what is reached by anthropomorphic intuition is continually supplemented, and at every point controlled, by the methods of pure Science.

Mr. J. B. S. Haldane ventures on the prophecy,

A time will come (as I believe) when physiology will invade and destroy mathematical physics, as the latter has destroyed geometry. The basic metaphysical working hypothesis of science and practical life will, then, I think, be something like Bergsonian activism.

I do not like this way of putting it. The sciences will not invade and destroy one another. They will rather unite to invade the Unknown, attacking positions now from the side of the conceptions of physics, now from that of the nature of life. Mechanism and anthropomorphism will be check and countercheck to one another, as is already the case, if not yet in the Vital Sciences, most clearly in Psychology. The basic metaphysical working hypothesis of Science and practical life will then be the recognition of the fact that Life, in the sense of conscious Life, is the fundamental element in Reality. But that means that quality, as well as quantity, is an aspect of Reality, for consciousness implies the apprehension of quality. 'If Life is real, value in some form or other must be real also ; for implicit in the will to live is the unexpressed assumption that it is worth while-an assumption for ever challenged by the fact of pain.

Chapter 3 Table of Contents Chapter 5