If we make allowance for a greater personal subtlety, and for the diffidence and perplexity inevitable in the present moral anarchy of the world, we may find this same Lockian eclecticism and prudence in the late Lord Balfour: and I have myself had the advantage of being the pupil of a gifted successor and, in many ways, emulator, of Locke, I mean William James. The outraged plain facts had to be defended against sweeping and arbitrary theories. His is not a figure to stand statuesquely in a void: the pose might not seem grand enough for bronze or marble. On the days when it is open we revisit it with admiration; and those chambers and garden walks re-echo to us the clear dogmas and savoury diction of the sage—omnivorous, artless, loquacious—whose dwelling it was. The essay on John Locke, considered alone, was jaw dropping in each literary sense I can think of from the top of my head. Saul was indeed already under a cloud, and all in David's heart was not unkindness in that direction. Father of psychology, father of the criticism of knowledge, father of theoretical liberalism, god-father at least of the American political system, of Voltaire and the Encyclopaedia, at home he was the ancestor of that whole school of polite moderate opinion which can unite liberal Christianity with mechanical science and with psychological idealism.
This doctrine is readily established by Locke's plain historical method, when applied to the study of rainbows, mirrors, effects of perspective, dreams, jaundice, madness, and the will to believe: all of which go to convince us that the ideas which we impulsively assume to be qualities of objects are always, in their seat and origin, evolved in our own heads. This airy monster, this half-natural changeling. As to the soul, which might exist without thinking, Locke still called it an immaterial substance: not so immaterial, however, as not to be conveyed bodily with him in his coach from London to Oxford. Nature would henceforth present nothing but pervasive metamorphosis, irresponsible and endless. It was an immense clarification and liberation in its proper dimension: but this pure consciousness was not a soul; it was not the animal psyche, or principle of organisation, life, and passion—a principle which, according to Descartes, was material. But I do not find in him a prickly nest of obsolete notions and contradictions from which, fledged at last, we have flown to our present enlightenment.
But when aroused to self-transcendent attention, feeling must needs rise to intelligence, so that external fact and impartial truth come within the range of consciousness, not indeed by being contained there, but by being aimed at. A good God, he murmurs, could not have made us poets against our will. The literary psychologist may come very near to the truth of experience. Small deviations from the chosen type or the chosen direction of progress will continue to be called morbid and ugly, and great deviations or reversals will continue to be called monstrous. For that system was essentially religious: it put the spirit face to face with God, everywhere, always, and in everything it turned experience into a divine language for the monition and expression of the inner man. Both the absent experience and its agreement with the present experience must be imagined freely and credited instinctively, in view of the known circumstances in which the absent experience is conceived to have occurred. In dreams and in hallucinations appearances may deceive us, and the objects we think we see may not exist at all.
Mankind was henceforth invited not to think of itself as a tribe of natural beings, nor of souls, with a specific nature and fixed possibilities. His hand might be pointing to a microscope set for examining the internal constitution of a beetle: but for the moment his eye should be seen wandering through the open window, to admire the blessings of thrift and liberty manifest in the people so worthily busy in the market-place, wrong as many a monkish notion might be that still troubled their poor heads. Such an instrument, in spiritual hands, might have served to dispel all natural illusions and affections, and to disinfect the spirit of worldliness and egotism. His hand might be pointing to a microscope set for examining the internal constitution of a beetle: but for the moment his eye should be seen wandering through the open window, to admire the blessings of thrift and liberty manifest in the people so worthily busy in the market-place, wrong as many a monkish notion might be that still troubled their poor heads. But Locke had not so firm a hold on truth that he could afford to play with fancy; and as he pushed forward the claims of human jurisdiction rather too far in physics, by assuming the current science to be literally true, so, in the realm of imagination, he retrenched somewhat illiberally our legitimate possessions.
It was a habitable philosophy, and not too inharmonious. Yet at every turn there is a possibility and an occasion for transmuting this poetry into science, because ideas and emotions, being caused by material events, refer to these events, and record their order. Very characteristic was the tireless polemic which Locke carried on against Descartes. Thus the appearance of things is always, in some measure, a true index to their reality. For more information about the legal advice Project Gutenberg has received concerning international issues, visit How can I get unblocked? The uneasiness observed by Locke is merely the consciousness of this ripening, before the field of relevant action has been clearly discerned. The Protestant and revolutionary independence of Locke's mind here gives us a foretaste of Darwin and even of Nietzsche.
Bradley and his friends achieved a notable victory in the academic field: philosophic authority and influence passed largely into their hands in all English-speaking universities. A good portrait of Locke would require an elaborate background. The reasons lie deep in our compound nature, being probably inarticulate; and our action in a fragmentary way betrays our moral disposition: betrays it in both senses of the word betray, now revealing it unawares, and now sadly disappointing it. Thus alien thoughts and feelings are revealed or suggested to us in common life, not without a subjective transformation increasing, so to speak, as the square of the distance: and even the record of experience in people's own words, when these are not names for recognisable external things, awakens in the reader, in another age or country, quite incommensurable ideas. Yet if we consider Locke's philosophical position in the abstract, his Christianity almost disappears. If actions which a hardened sinner had forgotten were no longer his, a short memory would be a great blessing in the Day of Judgment. His naturalism and emphasis on creative imagination were harbingers of important intellectual turns on both sides of the Atlantic.
The monsters would not be monsters except to rustic prejudice, and the changelings would be simply experiments in creation. In respect to the composition of matter, Locke accepted the most advanced theory of his day, which happened to be a very old one: the theory of Democritus that the material universe contains nothing but a multitude of solid atoms coursing through infinite space: but Locke added a religious note to this materialism by suggesting that infinite space, in its sublimity, must be an attribute of God. His system was no metaphysical castle, no theological acropolis: rather a homely ancestral manor house built in several styles of architecture: a Tudor chapel, a Palladian front toward the new geometrical garden, a Jacobean parlour for political consultation and learned disputes, and even —since we are almost in the eighteenth century—a Chinese cabinet full of curios. Nevertheless, a certain uneasiness in that spare frame, a certain knitting of the brows in that aquiline countenance, would suggest that in the midst of their earnest eloquence the philosopher's thoughts might sometimes come to a stand. As for extension being the essence of matter, since matter existed and was a substance, it would always have been more than its essence: a sort of ether the parts of which might move and might have different and calculable dynamic values. One of my favorite quotations, I discovered, came from Santayana's footnotes in the Locke essays. I think, then, that by a slight re-arrangement of Locke's pronouncements in natural philosophy, they could be made inwardly consistent, and still faithful to the first presuppositions of common sense, although certainly far more chastened and sceptical than impulsive opinion is likely to be in the first instance.
I have other questions or need to report an error Please email the diagnostic information above to help2019 pglaf. His is not a figure to stand statuesquely in a void: the pose might not seem grand enough for bronze or marble. They are not only a wonderful entertainment in themselves, but apart from their sensuous and grammatical quality, by their distribution and method of variation, they may inform us most exactly about the order and mechanism of nature. He would not have seen anything comic in the satire of Molière making his chorus of young doctors chant in unison that opium causes sleep because it has a dormitive virtue. He might have added that if the sin of Adam could not only be imputed to us juridically but could actually taint our consciousness—as it certainly does if by Adam we understand our whole material heritage—so surely the sins done or the habits acquired by the body beyond the scope of consciousness may taint or clarify this consciousness now. Human actions were explained by the alleged pursuit of the greater prospective pleasure, and avoidance of the greater prospective pain.
Bradley, save for a few learned quotations, strangely ignored this orthodoxy entrenched behind his back. Here is romanticism united with a scientific conscience and power of destructive analysis balanced by moral enthusiasm. Bradley might almost be called an unbelieving Newman; time, especially, seems to have brought his suffering and refined spirit into greater sympathy with ancient sanctities. There was no greater incongruity in its parts than in the gentle variations of English weather or in the qualified moods and insights of a civilised mind. German addresses are blocked - www. When today we talk of nuclei and electrons, if we imagine them at all, we imagine them as atoms. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems.
In Locke the central presuppositions, which he embraced heartily and without question, were those of common sense. These considerations might enable us, I think, to mark the just frontier of common sense even in this debatable land of psychology. Although I can't compare Santayana's conclusions with the current state of philosophy, I can say that these essays are likely to be useful and accessible to anyone with an interest in the history of philosophical thought. For whilst I know, by seeing or hearing,. The ambition to know is not an exception; and certainly our perceptions cannot tell us how the world would look if nobody saw it, or how valuable it would be if nobody cared for it. Belief is born on the wing and awakes to many tacit commitments.