Essays in Radical Empiricism
                              William James
          (1842-1910) American Philosopher & Psychologist,
                         Founder of Pragmatism

Here follows the (almost) complete work of William James' Essays in Radical
Empiricism, transcribed by Phillip McReynolds. [ Not included is the last
chapter, "La Notion de Conscience," since the chapter is completely in
French and I could not be bothered to type it in at present.  I will
probably scan it in sooner or later and am working on a translation.
Expect updates accordingly.]

Page numbers are from the Longmans, Green and Co. edition of Essays in
Radical Empiricism and A Pluralistic Universe in one volume, published
in 1943.  Underscores bewteen words indicate italics in the original.
To the best of my knowledge this work is now in the public domain as it
was copyrighted 1912 by Henry James, who died in 1916.

There are probably mistakes here.  If you let me know about them, I'll
attempt to correct them.  In any case, no warranty is issued
as to the correctness or completeness of this work nor
concerning its suitability to any purpose whatsoever.  If you accept
these conditions you may freely use and distribute this transcription as
you like, provided that you don't try to sell it or otherwise make a
profit off of my work.

Phillip McReynolds


[Table of Contents]


   I. DOES 'CONSCIOUSNESS' EXIST?                  1

  II. A WORLD OF PURE EXPERIENCE                   39

 III. THE THING AND ITS RELATIONS                  92



      OF PURE EXPERIENCE                           137

  VI. THE EXPERIENCE OF ACTIVITY                   155

 VII. THE ESSENCE OF HUMANISM                      190
VIII. LA NOTION DE CONSCIENCE                      206



                       DOES 'CONSCIOUSNESS' EXIST?

'THOUGHTS' and 'things' are names for two
sorts of object, which common sense will always
find contrasted and will always practically
oppose to each other.  Philosophy, reflecting
on the contrast, has varied in the
past in her explanations of it, and may be
expected to vary in the future.  At first,
'spirit and matter,' 'soul and body,' stood for
a pair of equipollent substances quite on a par
in weight and interest.  But one day Kant undermined
the soul and brought in the transcendental
ego, and ever since then the bipolar
relation has been very much off its balance.
The transcendental ego seems nowadays in
rationalist quarters to stand for everything, in
empiricist quarters for almost nothing.  In the
hands of such writers as Schuppe, Rehmke,
Natorp, Munsterberg -- at any rate in his

earlier writings, Schubert-Soldern and others,
the spiritual principle attenuates itself to a
thoroughly ghostly condition, being only a
name for the fact that the 'content' of experience
_is_known_.  It loses personal form and activity
-- these passing over to the content --
and becomes a bare _Bewusstheit_ or _Bewusstsein_
_uberhaupt_ of which in its own right absolutely
nothing can be said.

     I believe that 'consciousness,' when once it
has evaporated to this estate of pure diaphaneity,
is on the point of disappearing altogether.
It is the name of a nonentity, and has no right
to a place among first principles.  Those who
still cling to it are clinging to a mere echo, the
faint rumor left behind by the disappearing
'soul' upon the air of philosophy.  During the
past year, I have read a number of articles
whose authors seemed just on the point of abandoning
the notion of consciousness,(1) and substituting
for it that of an absolute experience
not due to two factors.  But they were not


   1 Articles by Bawden, King, Alexander, and others.  Dr. Perry is
frankly over the border

quite radical enough, not quite daring enough
in their negations.  For twenty years past I
have mistrusted 'consciousness' as an entity;
for seven or eight years past I have suggested
its non-existence to my students, and tried to
give them its pragmatic equivalent in realities
of experience.  It seems to me that the hour
is ripe for it to be openly and universally discarded.

     To deny plumply that 'consciousness' exists
seems so absurd on the face of it -- for undeniably
'thoughts' do exist -- that I fear some
readers will follow me no farther.  Let me then
immediately explain that I mean only to deny
that the word stands for an entity, but to insist
most emphatically that it does stand for a
function.  There is, I mean, no aboriginal stuff
or quality of being, contrasted with that of
which material objects are made, out of which
our thoughts of them are made; but there is a
function in experience which thoughts perform,
and for the performance of which this

quality of being is invoked.  That function is
_knowing_.  'Consciousness' is supposed necessary
to explain the fact that things not only
are, but get reported, are known.  Whoever
blots out the notion of consciousness from his
list of first principles must still provide in some
way for that function's being carried on.


     My thesis is that if we start with the supposition
that there is only one primal stuff or
material in the world, a stuff of which everything
is composed, and if we call that stuff
'pure experience,' the knowing can easily be
explained as a particular sort of relation
towards one another into which portions of
pure experience may enter.  The relation itself
is a part of pure experience; one if its 'terms'
becomes the subject or bearer of the knowledge,
the knower,(1) the other becomes the object
known.  This will need much explanation
before it can be understood.  The best way to


   1 In my _Psychology_ I have tried to show that we need no knower
other than the 'passing thought.'  [_Principles of Psychology, vol. I,
pp. 338 ff.]

get it understood is to contrast it with the alternative
view; and for that we may take the
recentest alternative, that in which the evaporation
of the definite soul-substance has proceeded
as far as it can go without being yet
complete.  If neo-Kantism has expelled earlier
forms of dualism, we shall have expelled all
forms if we are able to expel neo-kantism in its

     For the thinkers I call neo-Kantian, the word
consciousness to-day does no more than signalize
the fact that experience is indefeasibly dualistic
in structure.  It means that not subject,
not object, but object-plus-subject is the minimum
that can actually be.  The subject-object
distinction meanwhile is entirely different from
that between mind and matter, from that between
body and soul.  Souls were detachable,
had separate destinies; things could happen to
them.  To consciousness as such nothing can
happen, for, timeless itself, it is only a witness
of happenings in time, in which it plays no
part.  It is, in a word, but the logical correlative
of 'content' in an Experience of which the

peculiarity is that _fact_comes_to_light_ in it, that
_awareness_of_content_ takes place.  Consciousness
as such is entirely impersonal -- 'self' and its
activities belong to the content.  To say that I
am self-conscious, or conscious of putting forth
volition, means only that certain contents, for
which 'self' and 'effort of will' are the names,
are not without witness as they occur.

     Thus, for these belated drinkers at the Kantian
spring, we should have to admit consciousness
as an 'epistemological' necessity, even if
we had no direct evidence of its being there.

     But in addition to this, we are supposed by
almost every one to have an immediate consciousness
of consciousness itself.  When the
world of outer fact ceases to be materially present,
and we merely recall it in memory, or
fancy it, the consciousness is believed to stand
out and to be felt as a kind of impalpable inner
flowing, which, once known in this sort of experience,
may equally be detected in presentations
of the outer world.  "The moment we try
to fix out attention upon consciousness and to
see _what_, distinctly, it is," says a recent writer,

"it seems to vanish.  It seems as if we had before
us a mere emptiness.  When we try to introspect
the sensation of blue, all we can see is
the blue; the other element is as if it were diaphanous.
Yet it _can_ be distinguished, if we
look attentively enough, and know that there
is something to look for."(1)  "Consciousness"
(Bewusstheit), says another philosopher, "is
inexplicable and hardly describable, yet all conscious
experiences have this in common that
what we call their content has a peculiar reference
to a centre for which 'self' is the name,
in virtue of which reference alone the content
is subjectively given, or appears....  While
in this way consciousness, or reference to a
self, is the only thing which distinguishes a conscious
content from any sort of being that
might be there with no one conscious of it, yet
this only ground of the distinction defies all
closer explanations.  The existence of consciousness,
although it is the fundamental fact of
psychology, can indeed be laid down as certain,
can be brought out by analysis, but can


   1 G.E. Moore:  _Mind_, vol. XII, N.S., [1903], p.450.

neither be defined nor deduced from anything
but itself."(1)

     'Can be brought out by analysis,' this
author says.  This supposes that the consciousness
is one element, moment, factor -- call it
what you like -- of an experience of essentially
dualistic inner constitution, from which, if you
abstract the content, the consciousness will remain
revealed to its own eye.  Experience, at
this rate, would be much like a paint of which
the world pictures were made.  Paint has a dual
constitution, involving, as it does, a menstruum (2)
(oil, size or what not) and a mass of
content in the form of pigment suspended
therein.  We can get the pure menstruum by
letting the pigment settle, and the pure pigment
by pouring off the size or oil.  We operate
here by physical subtraction; and the usual
view is, that by mental subtraction we can
separate the two factors of experience in an


   1 Paul Natorp: _Einleitung_in_die_Psychologie_, 1888, pp. 14, 112.

   2 "Figuratively speaking, consciousness may be said to be the one
universal solvent, or menstruum, in which the different concrete kinds
of psychic acts and facts are contained, whether in concealed or in
obvious form."  G.T.Ladd:  _Psychology,_Descriptive_and_Explanatory_,
1894, p.30.

analogous way -- not isolating them entirely,
but distinguishing them enough to know that
they are two.


     Now my contention is exactly the reverse of
this.  _Experience,_I_believe,_has_no_such_inner_duplicity;_
_but_by_way_of_addition_ -- the addition, to a
given concrete piece of it, other sets of experiences,
in connection with which severally its
use or function may be of two different kinds.
The paint will also serve here as an illustration.
In a pot in a paint-shop, along with other
paints, it serves in its entirety as so much saleable
matter.  Spread on a canvas, with other
paints around it, it represents, on the contrary,
a feature in a picture and performs a spiritual
function.  Just so, I maintain, does a given undivided
portion of experience, taken in one
context of associates, play the part of a knower,
of a state of mind, of 'consciousness'; while in
a different context the same undivided bit of
experience plays the part of a thing known, of

an objective 'content.'  In a word, in one group
it figures as a thought, in another group as a
thing.  And, since it can figure in both groups
simultaneously we have every right to speak of
it as subjective and objective, both at once.
The dualism connoted by such double-barrelled
terms as 'experience,' 'phenomenon,'
'datum,' '_Vorfindung_' -- terms which, in philosophy
at any rate, tend more and more to replace
the single-barrelled terms of 'thought'
and 'thing' -- that dualism, I say, is still preserved
in this account, but reinterpreted, so
that, instead of being mysterious and elusive,
it becomes verifiable and concrete.  It is an affair
of relations, it falls outside, not inside, the
single experience considered, and can always
be particularized and defined.

     The entering wedge for this more concrete
way of understanding the dualism was fashioned
by Locke when he made the word 'idea'
stand indifferently for thing and thought, and
by Berkeley when he said that what common
sense means by realities is exactly what the
philosopher means by ideas.  Neither Locke

nor Berkeley thought his truth out into perfect
clearness, but it seems to me that the conception
I am defending does little more than consistently
carry out the 'pragmatic' method
which they were the first to use.

     If the reader will take his own experiences,
he will see what I mean.  Let him begin with a
perceptual experience, the 'presentation,' so
called, of a physical object, his actual field of
vision, the room he sits in, with the book he is
reading as its centre; and let him for the present
treat this complex object in the common-
sense way as being 'really' what it seems to be,
namely, a collection of physical things cut out
from an environing world of other physical
things with which these physical things have
actual or potential relations.  Now at the same
time it is just _those_self-same_things_ which his
mind, as we say, perceives; and the whole philosophy
of perception from Democritus's time
downwards has just been one long wrangle over
the paradox that what is evidently one reality
should be in two places at once, both in outer
space and in a person's mind.  'Representative'

theories of perception avoid the logical
paradox, but on the other hand the violate the
reader's sense of life, which knows no intervening
mental image but seems to see the room
and the book immediately just as they physically

     The puzzle of how the one identical room can
be in two places is at bottom just the puzzle of
how one identical point can be on two lines.  It
can, if it be situated at their intersection; and
similarly, if the 'pure experience' of the room
were a place of intersection of two processes,
which connected it with different groups of associates
respectively, it could be counted twice
over, as belonging to either group, and spoken
of loosely as existing in two places, although it
would remain all the time a numerically single

     Well, the experience is a member of diverse
processes that can be followed away from it
along entirely different lines.  The one self-
identical thing has so many relations to the
rest of experience that you can take it in disparate
systems of association, and treat it as

belonging with opposite contexts.  In one of
these contexts it is your 'field of consciousness';
in another it is 'the room in which you
sit,' and it enters both contexts in its wholeness,
giving no pretext for being said to attach
itself to consciousness by one of its parts or
aspects, and to out reality by another.  What
are the two processes, now, into which the
room-experience simultaneously enters in this

     One of them is the reader's personal biography,
the other is the history of the house of
which the room is part.  The presentation, the
experience, the _that_ in short (for until we have
decided _what_ it is it must be a mere _that_) is the
last term in a train of sensations, emotions,
decisions, movements, classifications, expectations,
etc., ending in the present, and the first
term in a series of 'inner' operations
extending into the future, on the reader's
part.  On the other hand, the very same _that_
is the _terminus_ad_quem_ of a lot of previous

physical operations, carpentering, papering,
furnishing, warming, etc., and the _terminus_a_
_quo_ of a lot of future ones, in which it will be
concerned when undergoing the destiny of a
physical room.  The physical and the mental
operations form curiously incompatible groups.
As a room, the experience has occupied that
spot and had that environment for thirty
years.  As your field of consciousness it may
never have existed until now.  As a room, attention
will go on to discover endless new details
in it.  As your mental state merely, few
new ones will emerge under attention's eye.
AS a room, it will taken an earthquake, or a
gang of men, and in any case a certain amount
of time, to destroy it.  As your subjective
state, the closing of your eyes, or any instantaneous
play of your fancy will suffice.  IN the
real world, fire will consume it.  IN your mind,
you can let fire play over it without effect.  As
an outer object, you must pay so much a
month to inhabit it.  As an inner content, you
may occupy it for any length of time rent-free.
If, in short, you follow it in the mental direction,

taking it along with events of personal
biography solely, all sorts of things are true
of it which are false, and false of it which are
true if you treat it as a real thing experienced,
follow it in the physical direction, and relate it
to associates in the outer world.


     So far, all seems plain sailing, but my thesis
will probably grow less plausible to the reader
when I pass form percepts to concepts, or from
the case of things presented to that of things
remote.  I believe, nevertheless, that here also
the same law holds good.  If we take conceptual
manifolds, or memories, or fancies, they
also are in their first intention mere bits
of pure experience, and, as such, are single _thats_
which act in one context as objects, and in another
context figure as mental states.  By taking
them in their first intention, I mean ignoring
their relation to possible perceptual experiences
with which they may be connected,
which they may lead to and terminate in, and
which then they may be supposed to 'represent.'

Taking them in this way first, we confine
the problem to a world merely 'thought-
of' and not directly felt or seen.  This world,
just like the world of percepts, comes to us at
first as a chaos of experiences, but lines of order
soon get traced.  We find that any bit of it
which we may cut out as an example is connected
with distinct groups of associates, just
as our perceptual experiences are, that these
associates link themselves with it by different
relations,(2) and that one forms the inner history
of a person, while the other acts as an impersonal
'objective' world, either spatial and temporal,
or else merely logical or mathematical,
or otherwise 'ideal.'

     The first obstacle on the part of the reader to
seeing that these non-perceptual experiences


   2 Here as elsewhere the relations are of course _experienced_
relations, members of the same originally chaotic manifold of non-
perceptual experience of which the related terms themselves are

have objectivity as well as subjectivity will
probably be due to the intrusion into his mind
of _percepts_, that third group of associates with
which the non-perceptual experiences have relations,
and which, as a whole, they 'represent,'
standing to them as thoughts to things.  This
important function of non-perceptual experiences
complicates the question and confuses
it; for, so used are we to treat percepts as
the sole genuine realities that, unless we keep
them out of the discussion, we tend altogether
to overlook the objectivity that lies in non-
perceptual experiences by themselves.  We
treat them, 'knowing' percepts as they do, as
through and through subjective, and say that
they are wholly constituted of the stuff called
consciousness, using this term now for a kind
of entity, after the fashion which I am seeking
to refute.(1)

     Abstracting, then, from percepts altogether,
what I maintain is, that any single non-perceptual


   1 Of the representative functions of non-perceptual experience as a
whole, I will say a word in a subsequent article; it leads too far into
the general theory of knowledge for much to be said about it in a short
paper like this.

experience tends to get counted twice
over, just as a perceptual experience does, figuring
in one context as an object or field of objects,
in another as a state of mind:  and all this
without the least internal self-diremption on its
own part into consciousness and content.  It is
all consciousness in one taking; and, in the
other, all content.

     I find this objectivity of non-perceptual experiences,
this complete parallelism in point of
reality between the presently felt and the remotely
thought, so well set forth in a page of
Munsterberg's _Grundzuge_, that I will quote it
as it stands.

     "I may only think of my objects," says Professor
Munsterberg; "yet, in my living thought
they stand before me exactly as perceived objects
would do, no matter how different the two
ways of apprehending them may be in their
genesis.  The book here lying on the table before
me, and the book in the next room of which I
think and which I mean to get, are both in the
same sense given realities for me, realities
which I acknowledge and of which I take account.

If you agree that the perceptual object
is not an idea within me, but that percept and
thing, as indistinguishably one, are really experienced
_there_, _outside_, you ought not to believe
that the merely thought-of object is hid away
inside of the thinking subject.  The object of
which I think, and of whose existence I take
cognizance without letting it now work upon
my senses, occupies its definite place in the
outer world as much as does the object which I
directly see."

     "What is true of the here and the there, is
also true of the now and the then.  I know of
the thing which is present and perceived, but I
know also of the thing which yesterday was
but is no more, and which I only remember.
Both can determine my present conduct, both
are parts of the reality of which I keep account.
It is true that of much of the past I am uncertain,
just as I am uncertain of much of what
is present if it be but dimly perceived.  But the
interval of time does not in principle alter my
relation to the object, does not transform it
from an object known into a mental state....

The things in the room here which I survey,
and those in my distant home of which I think,
the things of this minute and those of my long-
vanished boyhood, influence and decide me
alike, with a reality which my experience of
them directly feels.  They both make up my
real world, they make it directly, they do not
have first to be introduced to me and mediated
by ideas which now and here arise
within me....  This not-me character
of my recollections and expectations does not
imply that the external objects of which I am
aware in those experiences should necessarily
be there also for others.  The objects of dreamers
and hallucinated persons are wholly without
general validity.  But even were they centaurs
and golden mountains, they still would
be 'off there,' in fairy land, and not 'inside' of

     This certainly is the immediate, primary,
naif, or practical way of taking our thought-of
world.  Were there no perceptual world to
serve as its 'reductive,' in Taine's sense, by


   1 Munsterberg: _Grundzuge_der_Psychologie_, vol. I, p. 48.

being 'stronger' and more genuinely 'outer'
(so that the whole merely thought-of world
seems weak and inner in comparison), our
world of thought would be the only world, and
would enjoy complete reality in our belief.
This actually happens in our dreams, and in
our day-dreams so long as percepts do not
interrupt them.

     And yet, just as the seen room (to go back to
our late example) is _also_ a field of consciousness,
so the conceived or recollected room is
_also_ a state of mind; and the doubling-up of the
experience has in both cases similar grounds.

     The room thought-of, namely, has many
thought-of couplings with many thought-of
things.  Some of these couplings are inconstant,
others are stable.  In the reader's personal history
the room occupies a single date -- he saw
it only once perhaps, a year ago.  Of the house's
history, on the other hand, it forms a permanent
ingredient.  Some couplings have the curious
stubbornness, to borrow Royce's term, of
fact; others show the fluidity of fancy -- we let
them come and go as we please.  Grouped with

the rest of its house, with the name of its town,
of its owner, builder, value, decorative plan,
the room maintains a definite foothold, to
which, if we try to loosen it, it tends to return
and to reassert itself with force.(1)  With these
associates, in a word, it coheres, while to other
houses, other towns, other owners, etc., it shows
no tendency to cohere at all.  The two collections,
first of its cohesive, and, second, of its
loose associates, inevitably come to be contrasted.
We call the first collection the system
of external realities, in the midst of which the
room, as 'real,' exists; the other we call the
stream of internal thinking, in which, as a
'mental image,' it for a moment floats.(2)  The
room thus again gets counted twice over.  It
plays two different roles, being _Gedanke_ and
_Gedachtes_, the thought-of-an-object, and the
object-thought-of, both in one; and all this
without paradox or mystery, just as the same


   1 Cf. A.L. Hodder:  _The_Adversaries_of_the_Sceptic_, pp.94-99.

   2 For simplicity's sake I confine my exposition to 'external'
reality.  But there is also the system of ideal reality in which the
room plays its part.  Relations of comparison, of classification,
serial order, value, also are stubborn, assign a definite place to the
room, unlike the incoherence of its places in the mere rhapsody of our
successive thoughts.

material thing may be both low and high, or
small and great, or bad and good, because of its
relations to opposite parts of an environing

     As 'subjective' we say that the experience
represents; as 'objective' it is represented.
What represents and what is represented is here
numerically the same; but we must remember
that no dualism of being represented and representing
resides in the experience _per_se_.  In
its pure state, or when isolated, there is no self-
splitting of it into consciousness and what the
consciousness is 'of.'  Its subjectivity and objectivity
are functional attributes solely, , realized
only when the experience is 'take,' i.e.,
talked-of, twice, considered along with its two
differing contexts respectively, by a new retrospective
experience, of which that whole past
complication now forms the fresh content.

     The instant field of the present is at all times
what I call the 'pure' experience.  It is only
virtually or potentially either object or subject
as yet.  For the time being, it is plain, unqualified
actuality, or existence, a simple _that_.  In this

_naif_ immediacy it is of course _valid_; it is _there_,
we _act_ upon it; and the doubling of it in retrospection
into a state of mind and a reality intended
thereby, is just one of the acts.  The
'state of mind,' first treated explicitly as such
in retrospection, will stand corrected or confirmed,
and the retrospective experience in its
turn will get a similar treatment; but the immediate
experience in its passing is always
'truth,'(1) practical truth, _something_to_act_on_, at
its own movement.  If the world were then and
there to go out like a candle, it would remain
truth absolute and objective, for it would be
'the last word,' would have no critic, and no
one would ever oppose the thought in it to the
reality intended.(2)

     I think I may now claim to have made my


   1 Note the ambiguity of this term, which is taken sometimes
objectively and sometimes subjectively.

   2 In the _Psychological_Review_ for July [1904], Dr. R.B.Perry has
published a view of Consciousness which comes nearer to mine than any
other with which I am acquainted.  At present, Dr. Perry thinks, every
field of experience is so much 'fact.'  It becomes 'opinion' or
'thought' only in retrospection, when a fresh experience, thinking the
same object, alters and corrects it.  But the corrective experience
becomes itself in turn corrected, and thus the experience as a whole is
a process in which what is objective originally forever turns
subjective, turns into our apprehension of the object.  I strongly
recommend Dr. Perry's admirable article to my readers.

thesis clear.  Consciousness connotes a kind of
external relation, and does not denote a special
stuff or way of being.  _The_peculiarity_of_our_experiences,_


     Were I now to go on to treat of the knowing
of perceptual by conceptual experiences, it
would again prove to be an affair of external
relations.  One experience would be the knower,
the other the reality known; and I could
perfectly well define, without the notion of
'consciousness,' what the knowing actually
and practically amounts to -- leading-towards,
namely, and terminating-in percepts, through
a series of transitional experiences which the
world supplies.  But I will not treat of this,
space being insufficient.(1)  I will rather consider


   1 I have given a partial account of the matter in _Mind_, vol. X, p.
27, 1885, and in the _Psychological_Review_, vol. II, p. 105, 1895.  See
also C.A. Strong's article in the
_Journal_of_Philosophy,_Psychology_and_Scientific_Methods_, vol I, p.
253, May 12, 1904.  I hope myself very soon to recur to the matter.

a few objections that are sure to be urged
against the entire theory as it stands.


     First of all, this will be asked:  "If experience
has not 'conscious' existence, if it be not
partly made of 'consciousness,' of what then
is it made?  Matter we know, and thought we
know, and conscious content we know, but
neutral and simple 'pure experience' is something
we know not at all.  Say _what_ it consists
of -- for it must consist of something -- or be
willing to give it up!"

     To this challenge the reply is easy.  Although
for fluency's sake I myself spoke early in this
article of a stuff of pure experience, I have now
to say that there is no _general_ stuff of which experience
at large is made.  There are as many
stuffs as there are 'natures' in the things experienced.
If you ask what any one bit of pure
experience is made of, the answer is always the

same:  "It is made of _that_, of just what appears,
of space, of intensity, of flatness, brownness,
heaviness, or what not."  Shadworth Hodgson's
analysis here leaves nothing to be desired.(1)
Experience is only a collective name
for all these sensible natures, and save for time
and space (and, if you like, for 'being') there
appears no universal element of which all
things are made.


     The next objection is more formidable, in
fact it sounds quite crushing when one hears
it first.

     "If it be the self-same piece of pure experience,
taken twice over, that serves now as thought and now as thing" -- so the
objection runs -- "how comes it that its attributes
should differ so fundamentally in the two takings.
As thing, the experience is extended; as
thought, it occupies no space or place.  As
thing, it is red, hard, heavy; but who ever heard

of a red, hard or heavy thought?  Yet even
now you said that an experience is made of
just what appears, and what appears is just
such adjectives.  How can the one experience
in its thing-function be made of them, consist
of them, carry them as its own attributes, while
in its thought-function it disowns them and
attributes them elsewhere.  There is a self-contradiction
here from which the radical dualism
of thought and thing is the only truth that can
save us.  Only if the thought is one kind of
being can the adjectives exist in it 'intentionally'
(to use the scholastic term); only if the
thing is another kind, can they exist in it constituitively
and energetically.  No simple subject
can take the same adjectives and at one
time be qualified by it, and at another time be
merely 'of' it, as of something only meant or

     The solution insisted on by this objector, like
many other common-sense solutions, grows
the less satisfactory the more one turns it in
one's mind.  To begin with, _are_ thought and
thing as heterogeneous as is commonly said?


     No one denies that they have some categories
in common.  Their relations to time are identical.
Both, moreover, may have parts (for
psychologists n general treat thoughts as having
them); and both may be complex or simple.
Both are of kinds, can be compared, added and
subtracted and arranged in serial orders.  All
sorts of adjectives qualify our thoughts which
appear incompatible with consciousness, being
as such a bare diaphaneity.  For instance, they
are natural and easy, or laborious.  They are
beautiful, happy, intense, interesting, wise,
idiotic, focal, marginal, insipid, confused,
vague, precise, rational, causal, general, particular,
and many things besides.  Moreover,
the chapters on 'Perception' in the psychology-
books are full of facts that make for the
essential homogeneity of thought with thing.
How, if 'subject' and 'object' were separated
'by the whole diameter of being,' and had no
attributes and common, could it be so hard to
tell, in a presented and recognized material
object, what part comes in thought the sense-
organs and what part comes 'out of one's own

head'?  Sensations and apperceptive ideas fuse
here so intimately that you can no more tell
where one begins and the other ends, than you
can tell, in those cunning circular panoramas
that have lately been exhibited, where the real
foreground and the painted canvas join together.(1)

     Descartes for the first time defined thought
as the absolutely unextended, and later philosophers
have accepted the description as correct.
But what possible meaning has it to say
that, when we think of a foot-rule or a square
yard, extension is not attributable to our
thought?  Of every extended object the _adequate_
mental picture must have all the extension
of the object itself.  The difference between
objective and subjective extension is
one of relation to a context solely.  In the mind
the various extents maintain no necessarily
stubborn order relatively to each other, while


   1 Spencer's proof of his 'Transfigured Realism' (his  doctrine that
there is an absolutely non-mental reality) comes to mind as a splendid
instance of the impossibility of establishing radical heterogeneity
between thought and thing.  All his painfully accumulated points of
difference run gradually into their opposites, and are full of

in the physical world they bound each other
stably, and, added together, make the great
enveloping Unit which we believe in and call
real Space.  As 'outer,' they carry themselves
adversely, so to speak, to one another, exclude
one another and maintain their distances;
while, as 'inner,' their order is loose, and they
form a _durcheinander_ in which unity is lost.(1)
But to argue from this that inner experience is
absolutely inextensive seems to me little short
of absurd.  The two worlds differ, not by the
presence or absence of extension, but by the
relations of the extensions which in both
worlds exist.

     Does not this case of extension now put us
on the track of truth in the case of other qualities?
It does; and I am surprised that the facts
should not have been noticed long ago.  Why,
for example, do we call a fire hot, and water
wet, and yet refuse to say that our mental
state, when it is 'of' these objects, is either wet
or hot?  'Intentionally,' at any rate, and when

the mental state is a vivid image, hotness and
wetness are in it just as much as they are in the
physical experience.  The reason is this, that,
as the general chaos of all our experiences gets
sifted, we find that there are some fires that
will always burn sticks and always warm our
bodies, and that there are some waters that
will always put out fires; while there are other
fires and waters that will not act at all.  The
general group of experiences that _act_, that do
not only possess their natures intrinsically, but
wear them adjectively and energetically, turning
them against one another, comes inevitably
to be contrasted with the group whose members,
having identically the same natures, fail
to manifest them in the 'energetic' way.(1)  I
make for myself now an experience of blazing
fire; I place it near my body; but it does not
warm me in the least.  I lay a stick upon it, and
the stick either burns or remains green, as I
please.  I call up water, and pour it on the fire,
and absolutely no difference ensues.  I account

for all such facts by calling this whole train
of experiences unreal, a mental train.  Mental
fire is what won't burn real sticks; mental water
is what won't necessarily (though of course
it may) put out even a mental fire.  Mental
knives may be sharp, but they won't cut real
wood.  Mental triangles are pointed, but their
points won't wound.  With 'real' objects, on
the contrary, consequences always accrue; and
thus the real experiences get sifted from the
mental ones, the things from out thoughts of
them, fanciful or true, and precipitated together
as the stable part of the whole experience-
chaos, under the name of the physical
world.  Of this our perceptual experiences are
the nucleus, they being the originally _strong_
experiences.  We add a lot of conceptual experiences
to them, making these strong also in
imagination, and building out the remoter
parts of the physical world by their means;
and around this core of reality the world
of laxly connected fancies and mere rhapsodical
objects floats like a bank of clouds.
In the clouds, all sorts of rules are violated

which in the core are kept.  Extensions there
can be indefinitely located; motion there obeys
no Newton's laws.


     There is a peculiar class of experience to
which, whether we take them as subjective or
as objective, we _assign their several natures as
attributes, because in both contexts they affect
their associates actively, though in neither
quite as 'strongly' or as sharply as things affect
one another by their physical energies.  I
refer here to _appreciations_, which form an ambiguous
sphere of being, belonging with emotion
on the one hand, and having objective 'value'
on the other, yet seeming not quite inner nor
quite outer, as if a diremption had begun but
had not made itself complete.

     Experiences of painful objects, for example,
are usually also painful experiences; perceptions
of loveliness, of ugliness, tend to pass
muster as lovely or as ugly perceptions; intuitions
of the morally lofty are lofty intuitions.

Sometimes the adjective wanders as if uncertain
where to fix itself.  Shall we speak of
seductive visions or of visions of seductive
things?  Of healthy thoughts or of thoughts
of healthy objects?  Of good impulses, or of
impulses towards the good?  Of feelings of
anger, or of angry feelings?  Both in the mind
and in the thing, these natures modify their
context, exclude certain associates and determine
others, have their mates and incompatibles.
Yet not as stubbornly as in the case of
physical qualities, for beauty and ugliness,
love and hatred, pleasant and painful can, in
certain complex experiences, coexist.

     If one were to make an evolutionary construction
of how a lot of originally chaotic pure
experience became gradually differentiated
into an orderly inner and outer world, the
whole theory would turn upon one's success in
explaining how or why the quality of an experience,
once active, could become less so, and,
from being an energetic attribute in some
cases, elsewhere lapse into the status of an

inert or merely internal 'nature.'  This would
be the 'evolution' of the psychical from the
bosom of the physical, in which the esthetic,
moral and otherwise emotional experiences
would represent a halfway stage.


     But a last cry of _non_possumus_ will probably
go up from many readers.  "All very pretty as
a piece of ingenuity," they will say, "but our
consciousness itself intuitively contradicts you.
We, for our part, _know_ that we are conscious.
We _feel_ our thought, flowing as a life within us,
in absolute contrast with the objects which it
so unremittingly escorts.  We can not be faithless
to this immediate intuition.  The dualism
is a fundamental _datum_:  Let no man join what
God has put asunder."

     My reply to this is my last word, and I
greatly grieve that to many it will sound materialistic.
I can not help that, however, for
I, too, have my intuitions and I must obey
them.  Let the case be what it may in others, I
am as confident as I am of anything that, in

myself, the stream of thinking (which I recognize
emphatically as a phenomenon) is only a
careless name for what, when scrutinized, reveals
itself to consist chiefly of the stream of
my breathing.  The 'I think' which Kant said
must be able to accompany all my objects, is
the 'I breath' which actually does accompany
them.  There are other internal facts
besides breathing (intracephalic muscular adjustments,
etc., of which I have said a word in
my larger Psychology), and these increase the
assets of 'consciousness,' so far as the latter is
subject to immediate perception; but breath,
which was ever the original of 'spirit,' breath
moving outwards, between the glottis and the
nostrils, is, I am persuaded, the essence out of
which philosophers have constructed the entity
known to them as consciousness.  _That_

     I wish I might believe myself to have made

that plausible in this article.  IN another article
I shall try to make the general notion of a
world composed of pure experiences still more



                       A WORLD OF PURE EXPERIENCE

IT is difficult not to notice a curious unrest in
the philosophic atmosphere of the time, always
loosening of old landmarks, a softening of oppositions,
a mutual borrowing from one another reflecting
on the part of systems anciently closed,
and an interest in new suggestions, however
vague, as if the one thing sure were the inadequacy
of the extant school-solutions.  The dissatisfaction
with these seems due for the most
part to a feeling that they are too abstract and
academic.  Life is confused and superabundant,
and what the younger generation appears to
crave is more of the temperament of life in its
philosophy, even thought it were at some cost
of logical rigor and of formal purity.  Transcendental

idealism is inclining to let the world
wag incomprehensibly, in spite of its Absolute
Subject and his unity of purpose.  Berkeleyan
idealism is abandoning the principle of parsimony
and dabbling in panpsychic speculations.
Empiricism flirts with teleology; and,
strangest of all, natural realism, so long decently
buried, raises its head above the turf,
and finds glad hands outstretched from the
most unlikely quarters to help it to its feet
again.  We are all biased by our personal feelings,
I know, and I am personally discontented
with extant solutions; so I seem to read the
signs of a great unsettlement, as if the upheaval
of more real conceptions and more fruitful
methods were imminent, as if a true landscape
might result, less clipped, straight-edged
and artificial.

     If philosophy be really on the eve of any considerable
rearrangement, the time should be
propitious for any one who has suggestions of
his own to bring forward.  For many years past
my mind has bee growing into a certain type
of _Weltanschauung_.  Rightly or wrongly, I have
got to the point where I can hardly see things
in any other pattern.  I propose, therefore, to
describe the pattern as clearly as I can consistently
with great brevity, and to throw my
description into the bubbling vat of publicity
where, jostled by rivals and torn by critics, it
will eventually either disappear from notice,
or else, if better luck befall it, quietly subside
to the profundities, and serve as a possible
ferment of new growths or a nucleus of new

                    I. RADICAL EMPIRICISM

     I give the name of 'radical empiricism' to
my _Weltanschauung_.  Empiricism is known as
the opposite of rationalism.  Rationalism tends
to emphasize universals and to make wholes
prior to parts in the order of logic as well as in
that of being.  Empiricism, on the contrary,
lays the explanatory stress upon the part, the
element, the individual, and treats the whole
as a collection and the universal as an abstraction.
My description of things, accordingly,
starts with the parts and makes of the whole

a being of the second order.  It is essentially
a mosaic philosophy, a philosophy of plural
facts, like that of Hume and his descendants,
who refer these facts neither to Substances in
which they inhere nor to an Absolute Mind
that creates them as its objects.  But it differs
from the Humian type of empiricism in one
particular which makes me add the epithet

     To be radical, an empiricism must neither
admit into its constructions any element that
is not directly experienced, nor exclude from
them any element that is directly experienced.
For such a philosophy, _the_relations_that_connect_
_system.  Elements may indeed be redistributed,
the original placing of things getting corrected,
but a real place must be found for every kind
of thing experienced, whether term or relation,
in the final philosophic arrangement.

     Now, ordinary empiricism, in spite of the
fact that conjunctive and disjunctive relations

present themselves as being fully co-ordinate
parts of experience, has always shown a tendency
to do away with the connections of
things, and to insist most on the disjunctions.
Berkeley's nominalism, Hume's statement that
whatever things we distinguish are as 'loose
and separate' as if they had 'no manner of connection.'
James Mill's denial that similars have
anything 'really' in common, the resolution
of the causal tie into habitual sequence, John
Mill's account of both physical things and
selves as composed of discontinuous possibilities,
and the general pulverization of all Experience
by association and the mind-dust
theory, are examples of what I mean.

     The natural result of such a world-picture
has been the efforts of rationalism to correct
its incoherencies by the addition of trans-
experiential agents of unification, substances,
intellectual categories and powers, or Selves;

whereas, if empiricism had only been radical
and taken everything that comes without disfavor,
conjunction as well as separation, each
at its face value, the results would have called
for no such artificial correction.  _Radical_empiricism,_
as I understand it, _does_full_justice_to_
_conjunctive_relations_, without, however, treating
them as rationalism always tends to treat
them, as being true in some supernal way, as if
the unity of things and their variety belonged
to different orders of truth and vitality altogether.

                    II. CONJUNCTIVE RELATIONS

     Relations are of different degrees of intimacy.
Merely to be 'with' one another in a
universe of discourse is the most external relation
that terms can have, and seems to involve
nothing whatever as to farther consequences.
Simultaneity and time-interval come next, and
then space-adjacency and distance.  After
them, similarity and difference, carrying the
possibility of many inferences.  Then relations
of activity, tying terms into series involving

change, tendency, resistance, and the causal
order generally.  Finally, the relation experienced
between terms that form states of mind,
and are immediately conscious of continuing
each other.  The organization of the Self as a
system of memories, purposes, strivings, fulfilments
or disappointments, is incidental to
this most intimate of all relations, the terms
of which seem in many cases actually to compenetrate
and suffuse each other's being.

     Philosophy has always turned on grammatical
particles.  With, near, next, like, from,
towards, against, because, for, through, my --
these words designate types of conjunctive
relation arranged in a roughly ascending order
of intimacy and inclusiveness.  _A_priori, we can
imagine a universe of withness but no nextness;
or one of nextness but no likeness, or of likeness
with no activity, or of activity with no purpose,
or of purpose with no ego.  These would
be universes, each with its own grade of unity.
The universe of human experience is, by one or
another of its parts, of each and all these grades.

Whether or not it possibly enjoys some still
more absolute grade of union does not appear
upon the surface.

     Taken as it does appear, our universe is to a
large extent chaotic.  No one single type of connection
runs through all the experiences that
compose it.  If we take space-relations, they
fail to connect minds into any regular system.
Causes and purposes obtain only among special
series of facts.  The self-relation seems
extremely limited and does not link two different
selves together.  _Prima_facie, if you should
liken the universe of absolute idealism to an
aquarium, a crystal globe in which goldfish
are swimming, you would have to compare the
empiricist universe to something more like one
of those dried human heads with which the
Dyaks of Borneo deck their lodges.  The skull
forms a solid nucleus; but innumerable feathers,
leaves, strings, beads, and loose appendices
of every description float and dangle
from it, and, save that they terminate in it, seem
to have nothing to do with one another.  Even
so my experiences and yours float and dangle,

terminating, it is true, in a nucleus of common
perception, but for the most part out of sight
and irrelevant and unimaginable to one another.
This imperfect intimacy, this bare relation
of _withness) between some parts of the
sum total of experience and other parts, is the
fact that ordinary empiricism over-emphasizes
against rationalism, the latter always tending
to ignore it unduly.  Radical empiricism, on
the contrary, is fair to both the unity and the
disconnection.  It finds no reason for treating
either as illusory.  It allots to each its definite
sphere of description, and agrees that there
appear to be actual forces at work which tend,
as time goes on, to make the unity greater.

     The conjunctive relation that has given
most trouble to philosophy is _the_co-conscious_
_transition_, so to call it, by which one experience
passes into another when both belong to the
same self.  My experiences and your experiences are
'with' each other in various external ways, but
mine pass into mine, and yours pass into yours
in a way in which yours and mine never pass

into one another.  Within each of our personal
histories, subject, object, interest and purpose
_are_continuous_or_may_be_continuous_.(1)  Personal
histories are processes of change in time, and
_experienced._  'Change' in this case means continuous
as opposed to discontinuous transition.
But continuous transition is one sort of a
conjunctive relation; and to be a radical empiricist
means to hold fast to this conjunctive
relation of all others, for this is the strategic
point, the position through which, if a hole be
made, all the corruptions of dialectics and all
the metaphysical fictions pour into our philosophy.
The holding fast to this relation means
taking it at its face value, neither less nor more;
and to take it at its face value means first of all
to take it just as we feel it, and not to confuse
ourselves with abstract talk _about_ it, involving
words that drive us to invent secondary
conceptions in order to neutralize their


   1 The psychology books have of late described the facts here with
approximate adequacy.  I may refer to the chapters on 'The Stream of
Thought' and on the Self in my own _Principles_of_Psychology_, as well
as to S.H.Hodgson's _Metaphysics_of_Experience_, vol I., ch. VII and

suggestions and to make our actual experience
again seem rationally possible.
what I do feel simply when a later moment
of my experience succeeds an earlier one is that
though they are two moments, the transition
from the one to the other is _continuous_.  Continuity
here is a definite sort of experience; just
as definite as is the _discontinuity-experience_
which I find it impossible to avoid when I seek
to make the transition from an experience of
my own to one of yours.  In this latter case I
have to get on and off again, to pass from a
thing lived to another thing only conceived,
and the break is positively experienced and
noted.  Though the functions exerted by my
experience and by yours may be the same (.e.g.,
the same objects known and the same purposes
followed), yet the sameness has in this case to
be ascertained expressly (and often with difficulty
and uncertainly) after the break has been
felt; whereas in passing from one of my own
moments to another the sameness of object and
interest is unbroken, and both the earlier and
the later experience are of things directly lived.


     There is no other _nature_, no other whatness
than this absence of break and this sense of
continuity in that most intimate of all conjunctive
relations, the passing of one experience
into another when the belong to the same self.
And this whatness is real empirical 'content,'
just as the whatness of separation and discontinuity
is real content in the contrasted case.
Practically to experience one's personal continuum
in this living way is to know the originals
of the ideas of continuity and sameness, to
know what the words stand for concretely, to
own all that they can ever mean.  But all experiences
have their conditions; and over-subtle
intellects, thinking about the facts here, and
asking how they are possible, have ended by
substituting a lot of static objects of conception
for the direct perceptual experiences.
"Sameness," they have said, "must be a stark
numerical identity; it can't run on from next to
next.  Continuity can't mean mere absence of
gap; for if you say two things are in immediate
contact, _at_ the contact how can they be two?
If, on the other hand, you put a relation of

transition between them, that itself is a third
thing, and needs to be related or hitched to its
terms. An infinite series is involved," and so
on.  The result is that from difficulty to difficulty,
the plain conjunctive experience has
been discredited by both schools, the empiricists
leaving things permanently disjoined, and
the rationalist remedying the looseness by their
Absolutes or Substances, or whatever other fictitious
agencies of union may have employed.
From all which artificiality we can
be saved by a couple of simple-reflections:  first,
that conjunctions and separations are, at all
events, co-ordinate phenomena which, if we
take experiences at their face value, must be
accounted equally real; and second, that if we
insist on treating things as really separate
when they are given as continuously joined,
invoking, when union is required, transcendental
principles to overcome the separateness
we have assumed, then we ought to stand
ready to perform the converse act.  We ought
to invoke higher principles of _dis_union, also, to

make our merely experienced _dis_junctions more
truly real.  Failing thus, we ought to let the
originally given continuities stand on their own
bottom.  We have no right to be lopsided or to
blow capriciously hot and cold.


     The first great pitfall from which such a radical
standing by experience will save us is an
artificial conception of the _relations_between_
_knower_and_known_.  Throughout the history of
philosophy the subject and its object have been
treated as absolutely discontinuous entities;
and thereupon the presence of the latter to the
former, or the 'apprehension' by the former of
the latter, has assumed a paradoxical character
which all sorts of theories had to be invented
to overcome.  Representative theories
put a mental 'representation,' 'image,' or
'content' into the gap, as a sort of intermediary.
Common-sense theories left the gap
untouched, declaring our mind able to clear
it by a self-transcending leap.  Transcendentalist
theories left it impossible to traverse by

finite knowers, and brought an Absolute in to
perform the saltatory act.  All the while, in
the very bosom of the finite experience, every
conjunction required to make the relation intelligible
is given in full.  Either the knower
and the known are:

     (1) The self-same piece of experience taken
twice over in different contexts; or they are

     (2) two pieces of _actual_ experience belonging
to the same subject, with definite tracts of
conjunctive transitional experience between
them; or

     (3) the known is a _possible_ experience either
of that subject or another, to which the said
conjunctive transitions _would_lead, if sufficiently

     To discuss all the ways in which one experience
may function as the knower of another,
would be incompatible with the limits
of this essay.91)  I have just treated of type 1, the


   1 For brevity's sake I altogether omit mention of the type
constituted by knowledge of the truth of general propositions.  This
type has been thoroughly and, so far as I can see, satisfactorily,
elucidated in Dewey's _Studies_in_Logical_Theory_.  Such propositions
are reducible to the S-is-P form; and the 'terminus' that verifies and
fulfils is the SP in combination.  Of course percepts may be involved in
the mediating experiences, or in the 'satisfactoriness' of the P in its
new position.

kind of knowledge called perception.  This is
the type of case in which the mind enjoys direct
'acquaintance' with a present object.  In
the other types the mind has 'knowledge-
about' an object not immediately there.  Of
type 2, the simplest sort of conceptual knowledge,
I have given some account in two
articles.(1)  Type 3 can always formally
and hypothetically be reduced to type 2, so
that a brief description of that type will put
the present reader sufficiently at my point
of view, and make him see what the actual
meanings of the mysterious cognitive relation
may be.

     Suppose me to be sitting here in my library


   1  These articles and their doctrine, unnoticed apparently by any one
else, have lately gained favorable comment from Professor Strong.  Dr.
Dickinson S. Miller has independently thought out the same results,
which Strong accordingly dubs the James-Miller theory of cognition.
at Cambridge, at ten minutes' walk from
'Memorial Hall,' and to be thinking truly of
the latter object.  My mind may have before
it only the name, or it may have a clear image,
or it may have a very dim image of the hall, but
such intrinsic differences in the image make no
difference in its cognitive function.  Certain
_extrinsic_ phenomena, special experiences of
conjunction, are what impart to the image, be
it what it may, its knowing office.

     For instance, if you ask me what hall I mean
by my image, and I call tell you nothing; or if I
fail to point or lead you towards the Harvard
Delta; or if, being led by you, I am uncertain
whether the Hall I see be what I had in mind
or not; you would rightly deny that I had
'meant' that particular hall at all, even though
my mental image might to some degree have
resembled it.  The resemblance would count in
that case as coincidental merely, for all sorts
of things of a kind resemble one another in this
world without being held for that reason to
take cognizance of one another.

     On the other hand, if I can lead you to the

hall, and tell you of its history and present
uses; if in its presence I feel my idea, however
imperfect it may have been, to have led hither
and to be now _terminated_; if the associates of
the image and of the felt hall run parallel, so
that each term of the one context corresponds
serially, as I walk, with an answering term of
the others; why then my soul was prophetic,
and my idea must be, and by common consent
would be, called cognizant of reality.  That percept
was what I _meant_, for into it my idea has
passed by conjunctive experiences of sameness
and fulfilled intention.  Nowhere is there jar,
but every later moment continues and corroborates
an earlier one.

     In this continuing and corroborating, taken
in no transcendental sense, but denoting definitely
felt transitions, _lies_all_that_the_knowing_
_signify_.  Wherever such transitions are felt, the
first experience _knows_ that last one.  Where they
do not, or where even as possibles they can not,
intervene, there can be no pretence of knowing.
In this latter case the extremes will be connected,

if connected at all, by inferior relations
-- bare likeness or succession, or by 'withness'
alone.  Knowledge of sensible realities thus
comes to life inside the tissue of experience.  It
is _made_; and made by relations that unroll
themselves in time.  Whenever certain intermediaries
are given, such that, as they develop
towards their terminus, there is experience
from point to point of one direction followed,
and finally of one process fulfilled, the result
is that _their_starting-point_thereby_becomes_a_
_known_.  That is all that knowing (in the simple
case considered) can be known-as, that is
the whole of its nature, put into experiential
terms.  Whenever such is the sequence of our
experiences we may freely say that we had the
terminal object 'in mind' from the outset, even
although _at_ the outset nothing was there in us
but a flat piece of substantive experience like
any other, with no self-transcendency about it,
and ny mystery save the mystery of coming
into existence and of being gradually followed
by other pieces of substantive experience, with

conjunctively transitional experiences between.
That is what we _mean_ here by the object's
being 'in mind.'  Of any deeper more real way
of being in mind we have no positive conception,
and we have no right to discredit our
actual experience by talking of such a way
at all.

     I know that many a reader will rebel at this.
"Mere intermediaries," he will say, "even
though they be feelings of continuously growing
fulfilment, only _separate_ the knower from
the known, whereas what we have in knowledge
is a kind of immediate touch of the one by the
other, an 'apprehension' in the etymological
sense of the word, a leaping of the chasm as by
lightning, an act by which two terms are smitten
into one, over the head of their distinctness.
All these dead intermediaries of yours
are out of each other, and outside of their
termini still."

     But do not such dialectic difficulties remind
us of the dog dropping his bone and snapping
at its image in the water?  If we knew any more
real kind of union _aliunde_, we might be entitled

to brand all our empirical unions as a sham.
But unions by continuous transition are the
only ones we know of, whether in this matter
of a knowledge-about that terminates in an
acquaintance, whether in personal identity, in
logical predication through the copula 'is,' or
elsewhere.  If anywhere there were more absolute
unions realized, they could only reveal
themselves to us by just such conjunctive
results.  These are what the unions are _worth_,
these are all that _we_can_ever_practically_mean_
by union, by continuity.  Is it not time to
repeat what Lotze said of substances, that to
_act_like_ one is to _be_ one?  Should we not say
here that to be experienced as continuous is to
be really continuous, in a world where experience
and reality come to the same thing?  In
a picture gallery a painted hook will serve to
hang a painted chain by, a painted cable will
hold a painted ship.  In a world where both the
terms and their distinctions are affairs of experience,
conjunctions that are experienced
must be at least as real as anything else.  They

will be 'absolutely' real conjunctions, if we have
no transphenomenal Absolute ready, to derealize
the whole experienced world by, at a stroke.
If, on the other hand, we had such an Absolute,
not one of our opponents' theories of knowledge
could remain standing any better than
ours could; for the distinctions as well as the
conjunctions of experience would impartially
fall its prey.  The whole question of how 'one'
thing can know 'another' would cease to be a
real one at all in a world where otherness itself
was an illusion.(1)

     So much for the essentials of the cognitive
relation, where the knowledge is conceptual in
type, or forms knowledge 'about' an object.  It
consists in intermediary experiences (possible,
if not actual) of continuously developing progress,
and, finally, of fulfilment, when the sensible
percept, which is the object, is reached.
The percept here not only _verifies_ the concept,
proves its function of knowing that percept to


   1 Mr. Bradley, not professing to know his absolute _aliunde_,
nevertheless derealizes Experience by alleging it to be everywhere
infected with self-contradiction.  His arguments seem almost purely
verbal, but this is no place for arguing that point out.

be true, but the percept's existence as the
terminus of the chain of intermediaries _creates_
the function.  Whatever terminates that chain
was, because it now proves itself to be, what
the concept 'had in mind.'

     The towering importance for human life of
this kind of knowing lies in the fact that an
experience that knows another can figure as
its _representative_, not in any quasi-miraculous
'epistemological' sense, but in the definite
practical sense of being its _substitute_ in various
operations, sometimes physical and sometimes
mental, which lead us to its associates and results.
By experimenting on our ideas of reality,
we may save ourselves the trouble of experimenting
on the real experiences which they
severally mean.  The ideas form related systems,
corresponding point for point to the systems
which the realities form; and by letting an
ideal term call up its associates systematically,
we may be led to a terminus which the corresponding
real term would have led to in case
we had operated on the real world.  And this
brings us to the general question of substitution.

            IV. SUBSTITUTION

     In Taine's brilliant book on 'Intelligence,'
substitution was for the first time named as
a cardinal logical function, though of course
the facts had always been familiar enough.
What, exactly, in a system of experiences, does
the 'substitution' of one of them for another

     According to my view, experience as a whole
is a process in time, whereby innumerable
particular terms lapse and are superseded by
others that follow upon them by transitions
which, whether disjunctive or conjunctive in
content, are themselves experiences, and must
in general be accounted at least as real as
the terms which they relate.  What the nature
of the event called 'superseding' signifies, depends
altogether on the kind of transition
that obtains.  Some experiences simply abolish
their predecessors without continuing them
in any way.  Others are felt to increase or to
enlarge their meaning, to carry out their purpose,
or to bring us nearer to their goal.  They

'represent' them, and may fulfil their function
better than they fulfilled it themselves.  But to
'fulfil a function' in a world of pure experience
can be conceived and defined in only one possible
way.  IN such a world transitions and
arrivals (or terminations) are the only events
that happen, though they happen by so many
sorts of path.  The only experience that one experience
can perform is to lead into another
experience; and the only fulfilment we can
speak of is the reaching of a certain experienced
end.  When one experience leads to (or
can lead to) the same end as another, they
agree in function.  But the whole system of
experiences as they are immediately given
presents itself as a quasi-chaos through which
one can pass out of an initial term in many
directions and yet end in the same terminus,
moving from next to next by a great many
possible paths.

     Either one of these paths might be a functional
substitute for another, and to follow one
rather than another might on occasion be
an advantageous thing to do.  As a matter of

fact, and in a general way, the paths that
run through conceptual experiences, that is,
through 'thoughts' or 'ideas' that 'know' the
things in which they terminate, are highly advantageous
paths to follow.  Not only do they
yield inconceivably rapid transitions; but, owing
to the 'universal' character(1) which they
frequently possess, and to their capacity for
association with one another in great systems,
they outstrip the tardy consecutions of the
things themselves, and sweep us on towards
our ultimate termini in a far more labor-saving
way than the following of trains of sensible
perception ever could.  Wonderful are the new
cuts and the short-circuits which the thought-
paths make.  Most thought-paths, it is true,
are substitutes for nothing actual; they end
outside the real world altogether, in wayward
fancies, utopias, fictions or mistakes.  But
where they do re-enter reality and terminate
therein, we substitute them always; and with


   1 Of which all that need be said in this essay is that it also can be
conceived as functional, and defined in terms of transitions, or of the
possibility of such.

these substitutes we pass the greater number
of our hours.

     This is why I called our experiences, taken
together, a quasi-chaos.  There is vastly
more discontinuity in the sum total of experiences
than we commonly suppose.  The objective
nucleus of every man's experience, his own
body, is, it is true, a continuous percept; and
equally continuous as a percept (thought we
may be inattentive to it) is the material environment
of that body, changing by gradual
transition when the body moves.  But the
distant parts of the physical world are at all
times absent from us, and form conceptual
objects merely, into the perceptual reality of
which our life inserts itself at points discrete
and relatively rare.  Round their several objective
nuclei, partly shared and common and
partly discrete, of the real physical world, innumerable
thinkers, pursuing their several lines
of physically true cogitation, trace paths that
intersect one another only at discontinuous
perceptual points, and the rest of the time are
quite incongruent; and around all the nuclei

of shared 'reality,' as around the Dyak's head
of my late metaphor, floats the vast cloud of
experiences that are wholly subjective, that
are non-substitutional, that find not even an
eventual ending for themselves in the perceptual
world -- there mere day-dreams and
joys and sufferings and wishes of the individual
minds.  These exist _with_ one another, indeed,
and with the objective nuclei, but out
of them it is probable that to all eternity no
interrelated system of any kind will every be

     This notion of the purely substitutional or
conceptual physical world brings us to the most
critical of all steps in the development of
a philosophy of pure experience.  The paradox
of self-transcendency in knowledge comes back
upon us here, but I think that our notions of
pure experience and of substitution, and our
radically empirical view of conjunctive transitions,
are _Denkmittel_ that will carry us safely
through the pass.



     Whosoever feels his experience to be something
substitutional even while he has it, may
be said to have an experience that reaches
beyond itself.  From inside of its own entity it
says 'more,' and postulates reality existing elsewhere.
For the transcendentalist, who holds
knowing to consist in a _salto_mortale_ across an
'epistemological chasm,' such an idea presents
no difficulty; but it seems at first sight as if it
might be inconsistent with an empiricism like
our own.  Have we not explained that conceptual
knowledge is made such wholly by the
existence of things that fall outside of the
knowing experience itself -- by intermediary
experience and by a terminus that fulfils?
Can the knowledge be there before these elements
that constitute its being have come?
And, if knowledge be not there, how can objective
reference occur?

     The key to this difficulty lies in the distinction
between knowing as verified and completed,
and the same knowing as in transit

and on its way.  To recur to the Memorial
Hall example lately used, it is only when our
idea of the Hall has actually terminated in the
percept that we know 'for certain' that from
the beginning it was truly cognitive of _that_.
Until established by the end of the process, its
quality of knowing that, or indeed of knowing
anything, could still be doubted; and yet the
knowing really was there, as the result now
shows.  We were _virtual_ knowers of the Hall
long before we were certified to have been its
actual knowers, by the percept's retroactive
validating power.  Just so we are 'mortal' all
the time, by reason of the virtuality of the
inevitable event which will make us so when
it shall have come.

     Now the immensely greater part of all our
knowing never gets beyond this virtual stage.
It never is completed or nailed down.  I speak
not merely of our ideas of imperceptibles like
ether-waves or dissociated 'ions,' or of 'ejects'
like the contents of our neighbors' minds; I
speak also of ideas which we might verify if we
would take the trouble, but which we hold for

true although unterminated perceptually, because
nothing says 'no' to us, and there is no
contradicting truth in sight.  _To_continue_thinking_
_the_completed_sense_.  As each experience runs by
cognitive transition into the next one, and we
nowhere feel a collision with what we elsewhere
count as truth or fact, we commit ourselves to
the current as if the port were sure.  We live,
as it were, upon the front edge of an advancing
wave-crest, and our sense of a determinate
direction in falling forward is all we cover of
the future of our path.  It is as if a differential
quotient should be conscious and treat itself as
an adequate substitute for a traced-out curve.
Our experience, _inter_alia_, is of variations of
rate and of direction, and lives in these transitions
more than in the journey's end.  The experiences
of tendency are sufficient to act upon
-- what more could we have _done_ at those
moments even if the later verification comes

     This is what, as a radical empiricist, I say to

the charge that the objective reference which
is so flagrant a character of our experience involves
a chasm and a mortal leap.  A positively
conjunctive transition involves neither chasm
nor leap.  Being the very original of what we
mean by continuity, it makes a continuum
wherever it appears.  I know full well that such
brief words as these will leave the hardened
transcendentalist unshaken.  Conjunctive experiences
_separate_ their terms, he will still say:  they
are third things interposed, that have themselves
to be conjoined by new links, and to invoke
them makes our trouble infinitely worse.
To 'feel' our motion forward is impossible.
Motion implies terminus; and how can terminus
be felt before we have arrived?  The barest
start and sally forwards, the barest tendency
to leave the instant, involves the chasm and
the leap.  Conjunctive transitions are the most
superficial of appearances, illusions of our sensibility
which philosophical reflection pulverizes
at a touch.  Conception is our only trustworthy
instrument, conception and the Absolute
working hand in hand.  Conception disintegrates

experience utterly, but its disjunctions
are easily overcome again when the Absolute
takes up the task.

     Such transcendentalists I must leave, provisionally
at least, in full possession of their
creed.  I have no space for polemics in this
article, so I shall simply formulate the empiricist
doctrine as my hypothesis, leaving it to
work or not work as it may.

     Objective reference, I say then, is an incident
of the fact that so much of our experience
comes as an insufficient and consists of
process and transition.  Our fields of experience
have no more definite boundaries than have
our fields of view.  Both are fringed forever by
a _more_ that continuously develops, and that
continuously supersedes them as life proceeds.
The relations, generally speaking, are as real
here as the terms are, and the only complaint
of the transcendentalist's with which I could
at all sympathize would be his charge that, by
first making knowledge consist in external
relations as I have done, and by then confessing

that nine-tenths of the time these are
not actually but only virtually there, I have
knocked the solid bottom out of the whole
business, and palmed off a substitute of knowledge
for the genuine thing.  Only the admission,
such a critic might say, that our ideas are
self-transcendent and 'true' already, in advance
of the experiences that are to terminate
them, can bring solidity back to knowledge
in a world like this, in which transitions and
terminations are only by exception fulfilled.

     This seems to me an excellent place for
applying the pragmatic method.  When a
dispute arises, that method consists in auguring
what practical consequences would be
different if one side rather than the other were
true.  If no difference can be thought of, the
dispute is a quarrel over words.  What then
would the self-transcendency affirmed to exist
in advance of all experiential mediation or
terminations, be _known-as?_  What would it
practically result in for _us_, were it true?

     It could only result in our orientation, in the
turning of our expectations and practical tendencies

into the right path; and the right path
here, so long as we and the object are not yet
face to face (or can never get face to face, as in
the case of ejects), would be the path that led
us into the object's nearest neighborhood.
Where direct acquaintance is lacking, 'knowledge
about' is the next best thing, and an
acquaintance with what actually lies about the
object, and is most closely related to it, puts
such knowledge within our gasp.  Ether-waves
and your anger, for example, are things in
which my thoughts will never _perceptually_ terminate,
but my concepts of them lead me to
their very brink, to the chromatic fringes and
to the hurtful words and deeds which are their
really next effects.

     Even if our ideas did in themselves carry the
postulated self-transcendency, it would still
remain true that their putting us into possession
of such effects _would_be_the_sole_cash-_
_value_of_the_self-transcendency_for_us_.  And this
cash-value, it is needless to say, is _verbatim_et_
_literatim_ what our empiricist account pays in.
On pragmatist principles, therefore, a dispute

over self-transcendency is a pure logomachy.
Call our concepts of ejective things self-
transcendent or the reverse, it makes no difference,
so long as we don't differ about the
nature of that exalted virtue's fruits -- fruits
for us, of course, humanistic fruits.  If an
Absolute were proved to exist for other reasons,
it might well appear that _his_ knowledge is
terminated in innumerable cases where ours is
still incomplete.  That, however, would be a
fact indifferent to our knowledge.  The latter
would grow neither worse nor better, whether
we acknowledged such an Absolute or left him

     So the notion of a knowledge still _in_transitu_
and on its way joins hands here with that
notion of a 'pure experience' which I tried to
explain in my [essay] entitled 'Does Consciousness
Exist?'  The instant field of the
present is always experienced in its 'pure' state.
plain unqualified actuality, a simple _that_, as yet
undifferentiated into thing and thought, and
only virtually classifiable as objective fact or as
some one's opinion about fact.  This is as true

when the field is conceptual as when it is perceptual.
'Memorial Hall' is 'there' in my idea
as much as when I stand before it.  I proceed to
act on its account in either case.  Only in the
later experience that supersedes the present
one is this _naif_ immediacy retrospectively split
into two parts, a 'consciousness' and its 'content,'
and the content corrected or confirmed.
While still pure, or present, any experience --
mine, for example, of what I write about in
these very lines -- passes for 'truth.'  The
morrow may reduce it to 'opinion.'  The transcendentalist
in all his particular knowledges is
as liable to this reduction as I am:  his Absolute
does not save him.  Why, then, need he quarrel
with an account of knowing that merely leaves
it liable to this inevitable condition?  Why insist
that knowing is a static relation out of
time when it practically seems so much a function
of our active life?  For a thing to be valid,
says Lotze, is the same as to make itself
valid.  When the whole universe seems only
to be making itself valid and to be still incomplete
(else why its ceaseless changing?) why, of

all things, should knowing be exempt?  Why
should it not be making itself valid like everything
else?  That some parts of it may be already
valid or verified beyond dispute, the
empirical philosopher, of course, like any one
else, may always hope.


     With transition and prospect thus enthroned
in pure experience, it is impossible to subscribe
to the idealism of the English school.
Radical empiricism has, in fact, more affinities
with natural realism than with the views
of Berkeley or of Mill, and this can be easily

     For the Berkeleyan school, ideas (the verbal
equivalent of what I term experiences) are discontinuous.
The content of each is wholly immanent,
and there are no transitions with
which they are consubstantial and through
which their beings may unite.  Your Memorial
Hall and mine, even when both are percepts,
are wholly out of connection with each other.

Our lives are a congeries of solipsisms, out of
which in strict logic only a God could compose
a universe even of discourse.  No dynamic
currents run between my objects and your
objects.  Never can our minds meet in the

     The incredibility of such a philosophy is
flagrant.  It is 'cold, strained, and unnatural'
in a supreme degree; and it may be doubted
whether even Berkeley himself, who took it
so religiously, really believed, when walking
through the streets of London, that his spirit
and the spirits of his fellow wayfarers had
absolutely different towns in view.

     To me the decisive reason in favor of our
minds meeting in _some_ common objects at least
is that, unless I make that supposition, I have
no motive for assuming that your mind exists
at all.  Why do I postulate your mind?  Because
I see your body acting in a certain way.
Its gestures, facial movements, words and conduct
generally, are 'expressive,' so I deem it
actuated as my own is, by an inner life like
mine.  This argument from analogy is my _reason_,

whether an instinctive belief runs before it
or not.  But what is 'your body' here but a
percept in _my_ field?  It is only as animating
_that_ object, _my_ object, that I have any occasion
to think of you at all.  If the body that you
actuate be not the very body that I see there,
but some duplicate body of your own with
which that has nothing to do, we belong to
different universes, you and I, and for me to
speak of you is folly.  Myriads of such universes
even now may coexist, irrelevant to one
another; my concern is solely with the universe
with which my own life is connected.

     In that perceptual part of _my_ universe which
I call _your_ body, your mind and my mind meet
and may be called conterminous.  Your mind
actuates that body and mine sees it; my
thoughts pass into it as into their harmonious
cognitive fulfilment; your emotions and volitions
pass into it as causes into their effects.

     But that percept hangs together with all our
other physical percepts.  They are of one stuff
with it; and if it be our common possession,
they must be so likewise.  For instance, your

hand lays hold of one end of a rope and my
hand lays hold of the other end.  We pull
against each other.  Can our two hands be
mutual objects in this experience, and the rope
not be mutual also?  What is true of the rope is
true of any other percept.  Your objects are
over and over again the same as mine.  If I
ask you _where_ some object of yours is, our old
Memorial Hall, for example, you point to _my_
Memorial Hall with _your_ hand which _I_see_.  If
you alter an object in your world, put out a
candle, for example, when I am present, _my_
candle _ipso_facto_ goes out.  It is only as altering
my objects that I guess you to exist.  If your
objects do not coalesce with my objects, if they
be not identically where mine are, they must
be proved to be positively somewhere else.
But no other location can be assigned for them,
so their place must be what it seems to be, the

     Practically, then, our minds meet in a world
of objects which they share in common, which


   1 The notions that our objects are inside of our respective heads is
not seriously defensible, so I pass it by.

would still be there, if one or several of the
minds were destroyed.  I can see no formal
objection to this supposition's being literally
true.  On the principles which I am defending,
a 'mind' or 'personal consciousness' is the
name for a series of experiences run together by
certain definite transitions, and an objective
reality is a series of similar experiences knit by
different transitions.  If one and the same experience
can figure twice, once in a mental and
once in a physical context (as I have tried, in
my article on 'Consciousness,' to show that it
can), one does not see why it might not figure
thrice, or four times, or any number of times,
by running into as many different mental contexts,
just as the same point, lying at their
intersection, can be continued into many different
lines.  Abolishing any number of contexts
would not destroy the experience itself
or its other contexts, any more than abolishing
some of the point's linear continuations
would destroy the others, or destroy the point

     I well know the subtle dialectic which insists

that a term taken in another relation must
needs be an intrinsically different term.  The
crux is always the old Greek one, that the same
man can't be tall in relation to one neighbor,
and short in relation to another, for that would
make him tall and short at once.  In this essay
I can not stop to refute this dialectic, so I pass
on, leaving my flank for the time exposed.
But if my reader will only allow that the same
'_now_' both ends his past and begins his future;
or that, when he buys an acre of land from his
neighbor, it is the same acre that successively
figures in the two estates; or that when I pay
him a dollar, the same dollar goes into his
pocket that came out of mine; he will also in
consistency have to allow that the same object
may conceivably play a part in, as being related
to the rest of, any number of otherwise
entirely different minds.  This is enough for
my present point:  the common-sense notion of
minds sharing the same object offers no special
logical or epistemological difficulties of its
own; it stands or falls with the general possibility

of things being in conjunctive relation with
other things at all.

     In principle, then, let natural realism pass
for possible.  Your mind and mine _may_ terminate
in the same percept, not merely against it,
as if it were a third external thing, but by inserting
themselves into it and coalescing with
it, for such is the sort of conjunctive union that
appears to be experienced when a perceptual
terminus 'fulfils.'  Even so, two hawsers may
embrace the same pile, and yet neither one of
them touch any other part except that pile, of
what the other hawser is attached to.

     It is therefore not a formal question, but
a question of empirical fact solely, whether
when you and I are said to know the 'same'
Memorial Hall, our minds do terminate at or in
a numerically identical percept.  Obviously, as
a plain matter of fact, they do _not_.  Apart from
color-blindness and such possibilities, we see
the Hall in different perspectives.  You may be
on one side of it and I on another.  The percept
of each of us, as he sees the surface of the Hall,
is moreover only his provisional terminus.  The

next thing beyond my percept is not your
mind, but more percepts of my own into which
my first percept develops, the interior of the
Hall, for instance, or the inner structure of its
bricks and mortar.  If our minds were in a
literal sense _con_terminous, neither could get
beyond the percept which they had in common,
it would be an ultimate barrier between
them -- unless indeed they flowed over it and
became 'co-conscious' over a still larger part
of their content, which (thought-transference
apart) is not supposed to be the case.  In point
of fact the ultimate common barrier can always
be pushed, by both minds, farther than any
actual percept of either, until at last it resolves
itself into the mere notion of imperceptibles
like atoms or either, so that, where we do terminate
in percepts, our knowledge is only speciously
completed, being, in theoretic strictness,
only a virtual knowledge of those remoter
objects which conception carries out.

     Is natural realism, permissible in logic, refuted
then by empirical fact?  Do our minds
have no object in common after all?


     Yet, they certainly have _Space_ in common.
On pragmatic principles we are obliged to predicate
sameness wherever we can predicate no
assignable point of difference.  If two named
things have every quality and function indiscernible,
and are at the same time in the same
place, they must be written down as numerically
one thing under two different names.  But
there is no test discoverable, so far as I know,
by which it can be shown that the place occupied
by your percept of Memorial Hall differs
from the place occupied by mine.  The percepts
themselves may be shown to differ; but
if each of us be asked to point out where his
percept is, we point to an identical spot.  All
the relations, whether geometrical or causal, of
the Hall originate or terminate in that spot
wherein our hands meet, and where each of us
begins to work if he wishes to make the Hall
change before the other's eyes.  Just so it is
with our bodies.  That body of yours which
you actuate and feel from within must be in
the same spot as the body of yours which I see
or touch from without.  'There' for me means
where I place my finger.  If you do not feel my
finger's contact to be 'there' in _my_ sense, when
I place it on your body, where then do you feel
it?  Your inner actuations of your body meet
my finger _there:_  it is _there_ that you resist its
push, or shrink back, or sweep the finger aside
with your hand.  Whatever farther knowledge
either of us may acquire of the real constitution
of the body which we thus feel, you from
within and I from without, it is in that same
place that the newly conceived or perceived
constituents have to be located, and it is
_through_ that space that your and my mental
intercourse with each other has always to be
carried on, by the mediation of impressions
which I convey thither, and of the reactions
thence which those impressions may provoke
from you.

     In general terms, then, whatever differing
contents our minds may eventually fill a place
with, the place itself is a numerically identical
content of the two minds, a piece of common
property in which, through which, and over
which they join.  The receptacle of certain of

our experiences being thus common, the experiences
themselves might some day become
common also.  If that day ever did come, our
thoughts would terminate in a complete empirical
identity, there would be an end, so far as
_those_ experiences went, to our discussions about
truth.  No points of difference appearing, they
would have to count as the same.

                    VII. CONCLUSION

     With this we have the outlines of a philosophy
of pure experience before us.  At the outset
of my essay, I called it a mosaic philosophy.
In actual mosaics the pieces are held together
by their bedding, for which bedding of the Substances,
transcendental Egos, or Absolutes of
other philosophies may be taken to stand.  In
radical empiricism there is no bedding; it is as
if the pieces clung together by their edges, the
transitions experienced between them forming
their cement.  Of course such a metaphor is
misleading, for in actual experience the more
substantive and the more transitive parts run
into each other continuously, there is in general

no separateness needing to be overcome by an
external cement; and whatever separateness
is actually experienced is not overcome, it
stays and counts as separateness to the end.
But the metaphor serves to symbolize the fact
that Experience itself, taken at large, can grow
by its edges.  That one moment of it proliferates
into the next by transitions which,
whether conjunctive or disjunctive, continue
the experiential tissue, can no, I contend, be
denied.  Life is in the transitions as much as in
the terms connected; often, indeed, it seems to
be there more emphatically, as if our spurts
and sallies forward were the real firing-line of
the battle, were like the thin line of flame advancing
across the dry autumnal field which
the farmer proceeds to burn.  In this line we
live prospectively as well as retrospectively.
It is 'of' the past, inasmuch as it comes expressly
as the past's continuation; it is 'of' the
future in so far as the future, when it comes,
will have continued _it_.

     These relations of continuous transition experienced
are what make our experiences cognitive.

In the simplest and completest cases
the experiences are cognitive of one another.
When one of them terminates a previous series
of them with a sense of fulfilment, it, we say,
is what those other experiences 'had in view.'
The knowledge, in such a case, is verified; the
truth is 'salted down.' Mainly, however, we
live on speculative investments, or on our prospects
only.  But living on things _in_posse_ is
as good as living in the actual, so long as our
credit remains good.  It is evident that for the
most part it is good, and that the universe
seldom protests our drafts.

     In this sense we at every moment can continue
to believe in an existing _beyond_.  It is
only in special cases that our confident rush
forward gets rebuked.  The beyond must, of
course, always in our philosophy be itself of an
experiential nature.  If not a future experience
of our own or a present one of our neighbor, it
must be a thing in itself in Dr. Prince's and
Professor Strong's sense of the term -- that is,
it must be an experience _for_ itself whose relation
to other things we translate into the action

of molecules, ether-waves, or whatever else the
physical symbols may be.(1)  This opens the
chapter of the relations of radical empiricism
to panspychism, into which I cannot enter

     The beyond can in any case exist simultaneously
-- for it can be experienced _to_have_existed_
simultaneously -- with the experience
that practically postulates it by looking in its
direction, or by turning or changing in the
direction of which it is the goal.  Pending that
actuality of union, in the virtuality of which
the 'truth,' even now, of the postulation consists,
the beyond and its knower are entities
split off from each other.  The world is in so far
forth a pluralism of which the unity is not fully
experienced as yet.  But, as fast as verifications
come, trains of experience, once separate, run
into one another; and that is why I said, earlier


   1 Our minds and these ejective realities would still have space (or
pseudo-space, as I believe Professor Strong calls the medium of
interaction between 'things-in-themselves') in common.  These would
exist _where_, and begin to act _where_, we locate the molecules, etc.,
and _where_ we perceive the sensible phenomena explained thereby.

in my article, that the unity of the world is on
the whole undergoing increase.  The universe
continually grows in quantity by new experiences
that graft themselves upon the older
mass; but these very new experiences often
help the mass to a more consolidated form.

     These are the main features of a philosophy
of pure experience.  It has innumerable other
aspects and arouses innumerable questions,
but the points I have touched on seem enough
to make an entering wedge.  In my own mind
such a philosophy harmonizes best with a radical
pluralism, with novelty and indeterminism,
moralism and theism, and with the 'humanism'
lately sprung upon us by the Oxford and
the Chicago schools.(1)  I can not, however, be
sure that all these doctrines are its necessary
and indispensable allies.  It presents so many
points of difference, both from the common
sense and from the idealism that have made
our philosophic language, that it is almost

   1 I have said something of this latter alliance in an article entitled
'Humanism and Truth,' in Mind, October, 1904. [Reprinted in
_The_Meaning_of_Truth_, pp. 51-101.  Cf. also "humanism and Truth Once
More," below, pp. 244-265.]

difficult to state it as it is to think it out
clearly, and if it is ever to grow into a respectable
system, it will have to be built up by the
contributions of many co-operating minds.  It
seems to me, as I said at the outset of this essay,
that many minds are, in point of fact, now
turning in a direction that points towards radical
empiricism.  If they are carried farther by
my words, and if then they add their stronger
voices to my feebler one, the publication of
this essay will have been worth while.



                  THE THING AND ITS RELATIONS(1)

EXPERIENCE in its immediacy seems perfectly
fluent.  The active sense of living which
we all enjoy, before reflection shatters our instinctive
world for us, is self-luminous and suggests
no paradoxes.  Its difficulties are disappointments
and uncertainties.  They are not
intellectual contradictions.

     When the reflective intellect gets at work,
however, it discovers incomprehensibilities in
the flowing process.  Distinguishing its elements
and parts, it gives them separate names,
and what it thus disjoins it can not easily put
together.  Pyrrhonism accepts the irrationality
and revels in its dialectic elaboration.
Other philosophies try, some by ignoring,
some by resisting, and some by turning the
dialectic procedure against itself, negating its
first negations, to restore the fluent sense of

   1 [Reprinted from _The_Journal_of_Philosophy,_Psychology_and_
_Scientific_Methods_, vol II, No. 2, January 19, 1905.  Reprinted also
as Appendix A in _A_Pluralistic_Universe, pp. 347-369.  The authors
corrections have been adopted in the present text.  ED.]

life again, and let redemption take the place of
innocence.  The perfection with which any
philosophy may do this is the measure of its
human success and of its importance in philosophic
history.  In [the last essay], 'A World
of Pure Experience,' I tried my own hand
sketchily at the problem, resisting certain
first steps of dialectics by insisting in a general
way that the immediately experienced conjunctive
relations are as real as anything else.
If my sketch is not to appear to _naif_, I must
come closer to details, and in the present essay
I propose to do so.


     'Pure experience' is the name which I gave
to the immediate flux of life which furnishes
the material to our later reflection with its
conceptual categories.  Only new-born babes,
or men in semi-coma from sleep, drugs, illnesses,
or blows, may be assumed to have an
experience pure in the literal sense of a _that_
which is not yet any definite _what_, tho' ready
to be all sorts of whats; full both of oneness

and of manyness, but in respects that don't
appear; changing throughout, yet so confusedly
that its phases interpenetrate and no
points, either of distinction or of identity,
can be caught.  Pure experience in this state
is but another name for feeling or sensation.
But the flux of it no sooner comes than it
tends to fill itself with emphases, and these
salient parts become identified and fixed and
abstracted; so that experience now flows as if
shot through with adjectives and nouns and
prepositions and conjunctions.  Its purity is
only a relative term, meaning to proportional
amount of unverbalized sensation which
it still embodies.

     Far back as we go, the flux, both as a whole
and in its parts, is that of things conjunct and
separated.  The great continua of time, space,
and the self envelope everything, betwixt
them, and flow together without interfering.
The things that they envelop come as separate
in some ways and as continuous in others.
Some sensations coalesce with some ideas, and
others are irreconcilable.  Qualities compenetrate

one space, or exclude each other from it.
They cling together persistently in groups that
move as units, or else they separate.  Their
changes are abrupt or discontinuous; and their
kinds resemble or differ; and, as they do so,
they fall into either even or irregular series.

     In all this the continuities and the discontinuities
are absolutely co-ordinate matters of
immediate feeling.  The conjunctions are as
primordial elements of 'fact' as are the distinctions
and disjunctions.  In the same act by
which I feel that this passing minute is a new
pulse of my life, I feel that the old life continues
into it, and the feeling of continuance in
no wise jars upon the simultaneous feeling of a
novelty.  They, too, compenetrate harmoniously.
Prepositions, copulas, and conjunctions,
'is,' is n't,' 'then,' 'before,' 'in,' 'on,' 'beside,'
'between,' 'next,' 'like,' 'unlike,' 'as,' 'but,'
flower out of the stream of pure experience, the
stream of concretes or the sensational stream,
as naturally as nouns and adjectives do, and
they melt into it again as fluidly when we
apply them to a new portion of the stream



     If now we ask why we must thus translate
experience from a more concrete or pure into a
more intellectualized form, filling it with ever
more abounding conceptual distinctions, rationalism
and naturalism give different replies.

     The rationalistic answer is that the theoretic
life is absolute and its interests imperative;
that to understand is simply the duty of man;
and that who questions this need must not be argued
with, for by the fact of arguing he gives away
his case.

     The naturalist answer is that the environment
kills as well as sustains us, and that the
tendency of raw experience to extinguish the
experient himself is lessened just in the degree
in which the elements in it that have a practical
bearing upon life are analyzed out of the
continuum and verbally fixed and coupled together,
so that we may know what is in the
wind for us and get ready to react in time.
Had pure experience, the naturalist says, been
always perfectly healthy, there would never

have arisen the necessity of isolating or verbalizing
any of its terms.  We should just have
experienced inarticulately and unintellectually
enjoyed.  This leaning on 'reaction' in the
naturalist account implies that, whenever we
intellectualize a relatively pure experience, we
ought to do so for the sake of redescending
to the purer or more concrete level again;
and that if an intellect stays aloft among its
abstract terms and generalized relations, and
does not reinsert itself with its conclusions into
some particular point of the immediate stream
of life, it fails to finish out its function and
leaves its normal race unrun.

     Most rationalists nowadays will agree that
naturalism gives a true enough account of the
way in which our intellect arose at first, but
they will deny these latter implications.  The
case, they will say, resembles that of sexual
love.  Originating in the animal need of getting
another generation born, this passion has developed
secondarily such imperious spiritual
needs that, if you ask why another generation
ought to be born at all, the answer is:  'Chiefly

that love may go on.'  Just so with our intellect:
it originated as a practical means of serving
life; but it has developed incidentally the
function of understanding absolute truth; and
life itself now seems to be given chiefly as a
means by which that function may be prosecuted.
But truth and the understanding of it
lie among the abstracts and universals, so the
intellect now carries on its higher business
wholly in this region, without any need of
redescending into pure experience again.

     If the contrasted tendencies which I thus
designate as naturalistic and rationalistic are
not recognized by the reader, perhaps an example
will make them more concrete.  Mr.
Bradley, for instance, is an ultra-rationalist.
He admits that our intellect is primarily practical,
but says that, for philosophers,the practical
need is simply Truth.  Truth, moreover,
must be assumed 'consistent.'  Immediate experience
has to be broken into subjects and
qualities, terms and relations, to be understood
as truth at all.  Yet when so broken it is less
consistent than ever.  Taken raw, it is all undistinguished.

Intellectualized, it is all distinction
without oneness.  'Such an arrangement
may _work_, but the theoretic problem is
not solved.'  The question is '_how_ the diversity
can exist in harmony with the oneness.' To go
back to pure experience is unavailing.  'Mere
feeling gives no answer to our riddle.'  Even if
your intuition is a fact, it is not an _understanding_.
'It is a mere experience, and furnishes
no consistent view.'  The experience offered as
facts or truths 'I find that my intellect rejects
because they contradict themselves.  They
offer a complex of diversities conjoined in a
way which it feels is not its way and which it
can not repeat as its own. . . .  For to be satisfied,
my intellect must understand, and it can
not understand by taking a congeries in the
lump'(1)  So Mr. Bradley, in the sole interests
of 'understanding' (as he conceives that function),
turns his back on finite experience forever.
Truth must lie in the opposite direction,
the direction of the Absolute; and this kind of

   1 [F.H. Bradley:  _Appearance_and_Reality_, second edition, pp.
152-153, 23, 118, 104, 108-109, 570.]

rationalism and naturalism, or (as I will now
call it) pragmatism, walk thenceforward upon
opposite paths.  For the one, those intellectual
products are most truth which, turning their
face towards the Absolute, come nearest to
symbolizing its ways of uniting the many and
the one.  For the other, those are most true
which most successfully dip back into the
finite stream of feeling and grow most easily
confluent with some particular wave or wavelet.
Such confluence not only proves the intellectual
operation to have been true (as an
addition may 'prove' that a subtraction is
already rightly performed), but it constitutes,
according to pragmatism, all that we mean by
calling it true.  Only in so far as they lead us,
successfully or unsuccessfully, back into sensible
experience again, are our abstracts and
universals true or false at all.(1)


     In Section VI of [the last essay], I adopted

   1 Compare Professor MacLennan's admirable _Auseinandersetzung_
with Mr. Bradley, in _The_Journal_of_Philosophy,_Psychology_and_
_Scientific_Methods_, vol. I, [1904], pp. 403 ff., especially pp.

in a general way the common-sense belief that
one and the same world is cognized by our
different minds; but I left undiscussed the
dialectical arguments which maintain that
this is logically absurd.  The usual reason
given for its being absurd is that it assumes
one object (to wit, the world) to stand in two
relations at once; to my mind, namely, and
again to yours; whereas a term taken in a
second relation can not logically be the same
term which it was at first.

     I have heard this reason urged so often in
discussing with absolutists, and it would destroy
my radical empiricism so utterly, if it
were valid, that I am bound to give it an attentive
ear, and seriously to search its strength.

     For instance, let the matter in dispute be
term M, asserted to be on the one hand related
to L, and on the other to N; and let the two
cases of relation be symbolized by L-M and
M-N respectively.  When, now, I assume
that the experience may immediately come
and be given in the shape L-M-N, with
no trace of doubling or internal fission in the

M, I am told that this is all a popular delusion;
that L-M-N logically means two different
experiences, L-M and M-N, namely;
and that although the Absolute may, and indeed
must, from its superior point of view,
read its own kind of unity into M's two editions,
yet as elements in finite experience the
two M's lie irretrievably asunder, and the
world between them is broken and unbridged.

     In arguing this dialectic thesis, one must
avoid slipping from the logical into the physical
point of view.  It would be easy, in taking
a concrete example to fix one's ideas by, to
choose one in which the letter M should stand
for a collective noun of some sort, which noun,
being related to L by one of its parts and to
N by another, would inwardly be two things
when it stood outwardly in both relations.
Thus, one might say:  'David Hume, who
weighed so many stone by his body, influences
posterity by his doctrine.'  The body and the
doctrine are two things, between which our
finite minds can discover no real sameness,
though the same never covers both of them.

And then, one might continue:  'Only an Absolute
is capable of uniting such a non-identity.'
We must, I say, avoid this sort of example, for
the dialectic insight, if true at all, must apply
to terms and relations universally.  It must be
true of abstract units as well as of nouns collective;
and if we prove it by concrete examples
we must take the simplest, so as to avoid
irrelevant material suggestions.

     Taken thus in all its generality, the absolutist
contention seems to use as its major
premise Hume's notion 'that all our distinct
perceptions are distinct existences, and that
the mind never perceives any real connexion
among distinct existences.'(1)  Undoubtedly,
since we use two phrases in talking first about
'M's relation to L' and then about 'M's relation
to N,' we must be having, or must have
had, two distinct perceptions; -- and the rest
would then seem to follow duly.  But the starting-
point of the reasoning here seems to be the
fact of the two _phrases_; and this suggests that

   1 [Hume:  _Treatise_of_Human_Nature_, Appendix, Selby-Bigge's
edition, p. 636.]

the argument may be merely verbal.  Can it be
that the whole dialectic consists in attributing
to the experience talked-about a constitution
similar to that of the language in which we describe
it?  Must we assert the objective doubleness
of the M merely because we have to name
it twice over when we name its two relations?

     Candidly, I can think of no other reason
than this for the dialectic conclusion;(1) for, if
we think, not of our words, but of any simple
concrete matter which they may be held to
signify, the experience itself belies the paradox
asserted.  We use indeed two separate concepts
in analyzing our object, but we know them all
the while to be but substitutional, and that the
M in L-M and the M in M-N _mean_ (i.e.,
are capable of leading to and terminating in)
one self-same piece, M, of sensible experience.
This persistent identity of certain units (or
emphases, or points, or objects, or members --
call them what you will) of the experience-
continuum, is just one of those conjunctive

   1 Technically, it seems classable as a 'fallacy of composition.'  A
duality, predicable of the two wholes, L-M and M-N, is
forthwith predicated of one of their parts, M.

features of it, on which I am obliged to insist
so emphatically.(1)  For samenesses are parts of
experience's indefeasible structure.  When I
hear a bell-stroke and, as life flows on, its after
image dies away, I still hark back to it as 'that
same bell-stroke.'  When I see a thing M, with
L to the left of it and N to the right of it, I see
it _as_ one M; and if you tell me I have had
to 'take' it twice, I reply that if I 'took' it a
thousand times I should still _see_it as a unity.(2)
Its unity is aboriginal, just as the multiplicity
of my successive takings is aboriginal.  It
comes unbroken as _that_ M, as a singular which
I encounter; they come broken, as _those_ takings,
as my plurality of operations.  The unity
and the separateness are strictly co-ordinate.  I
do not easily fathom why my opponents should
find the separateness so much more easily understandable
that they must needs infect the
whole of finite experience with it, and relegate

   1 See above, pp. 42 ff.

   2 I may perhaps refer here to my _Principles_of_Psychology, vol. I,
pp. 459 ff.  It really seems 'weird' to have to argue (as I am forced
now to do) for the notion that it is one sheet of paper (with its two
surfaces and all that lies between) which is both under my pen and on
the table while I write -- the 'claim' that it is two sheets seems so
brazen.  Yet I sometimes suspect the absolutists of sincerity!

the unity (now taken as a bare postulate and
no longer as a thing positively perceivable) to
the region of the Absolute's mysteries.  I do
not easily fathom this, I say, for the said opponents
are above mere verbal quibbling; yet all
that I can catch in their talk is the substitution
of what is true of certain words for what is
true of what they signify.  They stay with the
words, -- not returning to the stream of life
whence all the meaning of them came, and
which is always ready to reabsorb them.


     For aught this argument proves, then, we
may continue to believe that one thing can be
known by many knowers.  But the denial of
one thing in many relations is but one application
of a still profounder dialectic difficulty.
Man can't be good, said the sophist, for man is
_man_ and _good_ is good; and Hegel(1) and Herbart
in their day, more recently A. Spir,(2) and most

   1 [For the author's criticism of Hegel's view of relations, cf.
_Will_to_Believe_, pp. 278-279, ED.]

   2 [Cf. A. Spir:  _Denken_und_Wirklichkeit_, part I, bk. III, ch. IV
(containing also account of Herbart).  ED.]

recently and elaborately of all, Mr. Bradley,
informs us that a term can logically only be
a punctiform unit, and that not one of the
conjunctive relations between things, which
experience seems to yield, is rationally possible.

     Of course, if true, this cuts off radical empiricism
without even a shilling.  Radical empiricism
takes conjunctive relations at their face
value, holding them to be as real as the terms
united by them.(1)  The world it represents as a
collection, some parts of which are conjunctively
and others disjunctively related.  Two
parts, themselves disjoined, may nevertheless
hang together by intermediaries with which
they are severally connected, and the whole
world eventually may hang together similarly,
inasmuch as _some_ path of conjunctive transition
by which to pass from one of its parts
to another may always be discernible.  Such
determinately various hanging-together may
be called _concatenated_ union, to distinguish it
from the 'through-and-through' type of union,

   1 [See above, pp. 42, 49.]

'each in all and all in each' (union of _total_
_conflux_, as one might call it), which monistic
systems hold to obtain when things are taken
in their absolute reality.  In a concatenated
world a partial conflux often is experienced.
Our concepts and our sensations are confluent;
successive states of the same ego, and feelings
of the same body are confluent.  Where the
experience is not of conflux, it may be of
conterminousness (things with but one thing
between); or of contiguousness (nothing between);
or of likeness; or of nearness; or of
simultaneousness; or of in-ness; or of on-ness;
or of for-ness; or of simple with-ness; or even of
mere and-ness, which last relation would make
of however disjointed a world otherwise, at any
rate for that occasion a universe 'of discourse.'
Now Mr. Bradley tells us that none of these
relations, as we actually experience them, can
possibly be real.(1)  My next duty, accordingly,

   1 Here again the reader must beware of slipping from logical into
phenomenal considerations.  It may well be that we _attribute_ a certain
relation falsely, because the circumstances of the case, being complex,
have deceived us.  At a railway station we may take our own train,
and not the one that fills our window, to be moving.  We here put
motion in the wrong place in the world, but in its original place the
motion is a part of reality.  What Mr. Bradley means is nothing like
this, but rather that such things as motion are nowhere real, and
that, even in their aboriginal and empirically incorrigible seats,
relations are impossible of comprehension.

must be to rescue radical empiricism from Mr.
Bradley.  Fortunately, as it seems to me, his
general contention, that the very notion of relation
is unthinkable clearly, has been successfully
met by many critics.(1)

     It is a burden to the flesh, and an injustice
both to readers and to the previous writers, to
repeat good arguments already printed.  So, in
noticing Mr. Bradley, I will confine myself to
the interests of radical empiricism solely.


     The first duty of radical empiricism, taking
given conjunctions at their face-value, is to
class some of them as more intimate and some
as more external.  When two terms are _similar_,
their very natures enter into the relation.

   1 Particularly so by Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison, in his _Man_and_
_the_Cosmos_; by L.T. Hobhouse, in chapter XII ("The Validity of
Judgement") of his _Theory_of_Knowledge_; and by F.C.S. Schiller, in his
_Humanism_, essay XI.  Other fatal reviews (in my opinion) are Hodder's,
in the _Psychological_Review_, vol. I [1894], p. 307; Stout's in the
_Proceedings_of_the_Aristotelian_Society, 1901-2, p.1; and MacLennan's
in [_The_Journal_of_Philosophy,_Psychology_and_Scientific_Methods_,
vol. I, 1904, p. 403].

Being _what_ they are, no matter where or when,
the likeness never can be denied, if asserted.
It continues predictable as long as the terms
continue.  Other relations, the _where_ and the
_when_, for example, seems adventitious.  The
sheet of paper may be 'off' or 'on' the table,
for example; and in either case the relation
involves only the outside of its terms.  Having
an outside, both of them, they contribute by it
to the relation.  It is external:  the term's inner
nature is irrelevant to it.  Any book, any table,
may fall into the relation, which is created _pro_
_hac_vice_, not by their existence, but by their
causal situation.  It is just because so many of
the conjunctions of experience seem so external
that a philosophy of pure experience must tend
to pluralism in its ontology.  So far as things
have space-relations, for example, we are free
to imagine them with different origins even. If
they could get to _be_, and get into space at all,
then they may have done so separately.  Once
there, however, they are _additives_ to one another,
and, with no prejudice to their natures,
all sorts of space-relations may supervene between

them.  The question of how things could
come to be anyhow, is wholly different from
the question what their relations, once the
being accomplished, may consist in.

     Mr. Bradley now affirms that such external
relations as the space-relations which we here
talk of must hold of entirely different subjects
from those of which the absence of such relations
might a moment previously have been
plausibly asserted.  Not only is the _situation_
different when the book is on the table, but
the _book_itself_ is different as a book, from what
it was when it was off the table.(1)  He admits
that "such external relations seem possible
and even existing. . . . That you do not alter
what you compare or rearrange in space seems
to common sense quite obvious, and that on

   1 Once more, don't slip from logical into physical situations.  Of
course, if the table be wet, it will moisten the book, or if it be
slight enough and the book be heavy enough, the book will break it down.
But such collateral phenomena are not the point at issue.  The point is
whether the successive relations 'on' and 'not-on' can rationally (not
physically) hold of the same constant terms, abstractly taken.
Professor A.E. Taylor drops from logical into material considerations
when he instances color-contrast as a proof that A, 'as contra-
distinguished from B, is not the same thing as mere A not in any way
affected' (_Elements_of_Metaphysics_, p. 145).  Note the substitution,
for 'related' of the word 'affected,' which begs the whole question.

the other side there are as obvious difficulties
does not occur to common sense at all.  And I
will begin by pointing out these difficulties. . . .
There is a relation in the result, and this relation,
we hear, is to make no difference in its
terms.  But, if so, to what does it make a difference?
_lookers,_at_least?_]  and what is the meaning and
sense of qualifying the terms by it?  [_Surely_the_
_position_.1]  If, in short, it is external to the terms,
how can it possibly be true _of_ them?  [_Is_it_the_
_Bradley's_trouble?] . . . If the terms from their
inner nature do not enter into the relation,
then, so far as they are concerned, they seem
related for no reason at all. . . . Things are spatially
related, first in one way, and then become
related in another way, and yet in no
way themselves are altered; for the relations,
it is said, are but external. But I reply that, if

   1 But "is there any sense," asks Mr. Bradley, peevishly, on p. 579,
"and if so, what sense in truth that is only outside and 'about'
things?"  Surely such a question may be left unanswered.

so, I can not _understand_ the leaving by the
terms of one set of relations and their adoption
of another fresh set.  The process and its
result to the terms, if they contribute nothing
to it [_Surely_they_contribute_to_it_all_there_is_
_'of'_it!_] seem irrational throughout.  [_If_'irrational'_
_how._]  But, if they contribute anything, they
_must surely be affected internally.  [_Why_so,_
_etc.,_only_surfaces_are_in_question._] . . . If the
terms contribute anything whatever, then the
terms are affected [_inwardly_altered?_] by the
arrangement. . . . That for working purposes
we treat, and do well to treat, some relations
as external merely I do not deny, and that of
course is not the question at issue here.  That
question is . . . whether in the end and in
principle a mere external relation -_i.e.,_a_relation_

_to_change_their_nature_simultaneously_] is possible
and forced on us by the facts."(1)

     Mr. Bradley next reverts to the antinomies
of space, which, according to him, prove it to
be unreal, although it appears as so prolific a
medium of external relations; and he then concludes
that "Irrationality and externality can
not be the last truth about things.  Somewhere
there must be a reason why this and that appear
together.  And this reason and reality
must reside in the whole from which terms and
relations are abstractions, a whole in which
their internal connection must lie, and out of
which from the background appear those fresh
results which never could have come from
the premises."  And he adds that "Where the
whole is different, the terms that qualify and
contribute to it must so far be different. . . .
They are altered so far only [_How_far?_ farther_
but still they are altered. . . . I must insist
that in each case the terms are qualified by
their whole [_Qualified_how?--Do_their_external_

enough?_], and that in the second case there is a
whole which differs both logically and psychologically
from the first whole; and I urge that
in contributing to the change the terms so far
are altered."

     Not merely the relations, then, but the terms
are altered:  _Und_zwar_ 'so far.'  But just _how_
far is the whole problem; and 'through-and-
through' would seem (in spite of Mr. Bradley's
somewhat undecided utterances(1)) to be the

   1 I say 'undecided,' because, apart from the 'so far,' what sounds
terribly half-hearted, there are passages in these very pages in which
Mr. Bradley admits the pluralistic thesis.  Read, for example, what he
says, on p. 578, of a billiard ball keeping its 'character' unchanged,
though, in its change of place, its 'existence' gets altered; or what he
says, on p. 579, of the possibility that an abstract quality A, B, or C,
in a thing, 'may throughout remain unchanged' although the thing be
altered; or his admission that red-hairedness, both as analyzed out
of a man and when given with the rest of him, there may be 'no
change' p. 580).  Why does he immediately add that for the pluralist
to plead the non-mutation of such abstractions would be an _ignoratio_
_elenchi?_  It is impossible to admit it to be such.  The entire
_elenchus_ and inquest is just as to whether parts which you can
abstract from their inner nature.  If they can thus mould various wholes
into new _gestalqualitaten_, then it follows that the same elements are
logically able to exist in different wholes [whether physically able
would depend on additional hypotheses]; that partial changes are
thinkable, and through-and-through change not a dialectic necessity;
that monism is only an hypothesis; and that an additively constituted
universe is a rationally respectable hypothesis also.  All theses of
radical empiricism, in short, follow.

full Bradleyan answer.  The 'whole' which he
here treats as primary and determinative of
each part's manner of 'contributing,' simply
_must_, when it alters, alter in its entirety.  There
_must_ be total conflux of its parts, each into
and through each other.  The 'must' appears
here as a _Machtspruch_, as an _ipse_dixit_ of Mr.
Bradley's absolutistically tempered 'understanding,'
for he candidly confesses that how
the parts _do_differ as they contribute to different
wholes, is unknown to him.(1)

     Although I have every wish to comprehend
the authority by which Mr. Bradley's understanding
speaks, his words leave me wholly
unconverted.   'External relations' stand with
their withers all unwrung, and remain, for
aught he proves to the contrary, not only
practically workable, but also perfectly intelligible
factors of reality.

   1 Op. cit., pp. 577-579.



     Mr. Bradley's understanding shows the
most extraordinary power of perceiving separations
and the most extraordinary impotence
in comprehending conjunctions.  One would
naturally say 'neither or both,' but not so Mr.
Bradley.  When a common man analyzes certain
_whats_ from out the stream of experience, he
understands their distinctness _as_thus_isolated_.
But this does not prevent him from equally
well understanding their combination with
each other _as_originally_experienced_in_the_concrete_,
or their confluence with new sensible experiences
in which they recur as 'the same.'
Returning into the stream of sensible presentation,
nouns and adjectives, and _thats_ and abstract
_whats_, grow confluent again, and the
word 'is' names all these experiences of conjunction.
Mr. Bradley understands the isolation
of the abstracts, but to understand the
combination is to him impossible.(1)  "To understand

   1 So far as I catch his state of mind, it is somewhat like this:
'Book,' 'table,' 'on' -- how does the existence of these three abstract
elements result in _this_ book being livingly on _this_table.  Why is
n't the table on the book?  Or why does n't the 'on' connect itself with
another book, or something that is not a table?  Must n't something _in_
each of the three elements already determine the two others to _it_, so
that they do not settle elsewhere or float vaguely?  Must n't the
_whole_fact_be_prefigured_in_each_part_, and exist _de_jure_ before it
can exist _de_fact?_  But, if so, in what can the jural existence
consist, if not in a spiritual miniature of the whole fact's
constitution actuating every partial factor as its purpose?  But is this
anything but the old metaphysical fallacy of looking behind a fact
_in_esse_ for the ground of the fact, and finding it in the shape of the
very same fact _in_posse?_  Somewhere we must leave off with a
_constitution_ behind which there is nothing.

a complex AB," he says, "I must begin
with A or B.  And beginning, say with A, if I
then merely find B, I have either lost A, or
I have got beside A, [_the_word_'beside'_seems_
_and_therefore_unintelligible_] something else, and
in neither case have I understood.(1)  For my
intellect can not simply unite a diversity, nor
has it in itself any form or way of togetherness,
and you gain nothing if, beside A and B,
you offer me their conjunction in fact.  For to
my intellect that is no more than another external
element.  And 'facts,' once for all, are
for my intellect not true unless they satisfy
it. . . .  The intellect has in its nature no
principle of mere togetherness." (2)

   1 Apply this to the case of 'book-on-table'!  W.J.

   2 Op. cit., pp. 570, 572.


     Of course Mr. Bradley has a right to define
'intellect' as the power by which we perceive
separations but not unions -- provided he
give due notice to the reader.  But why then
claim that such a maimed and amputated
power must reign supreme in philosophy, and
accuse on its behoof the whole empirical
world of irrationality?  It is true that he elsewhere
attributes to the intellect a _proprius_
_motus_ of transition, but says that when he
looks for _these_ transitions in the detail of living
experience, he 'is unable to verify such a

     Yet he never explains what the intellectual
transitions would be like in case we had them.
He only defines them negatively -- they are
not spatial, temporal, predicative, or causal;
or qualitatively or otherwise serial; or in any
way relational as we naively trace relations,
for relations _separate_ terms, and need themselves
to be hooked on _ad_infinitum_.  The nearest
approach he makes to describing a truly
intellectual transition is where he speaks of

   1 Op. cit., pp. 568, 569.

A and B as being 'united, each from its own
nature, in a whole which is the nature of both
alike.'(1)  But this (which, _pace_ Mr. Bradley,
seems exquisitely analogous to 'taking' a congeries
in a 'lump,' if not to 'swamping') suggests
nothing but that _conflux_ which pure
experience so abundantly offers, as when
'space,' 'white' and 'sweet' are confluent in
a 'lump of sugar,' or kinesthetic, dermal, and
optical sensations confluent in 'my hand.'(2)
All that I can verify in the transitions which
Mr. Bradley's intellect desiderates as its _proprius_
_motus_ is a reminiscence of these and
other sensible conjunctions (especially space-
conjunctions), but a reminiscence so vague
that its originals are not recognized.  Bradley
in short repeats the fable of the dog, the bone,
and its image in the water.  With a world of
particulars, given in loveliest union, in conjunction
definitely various, and variously definite,

   1 Op. cit., p. 570.

   2 How meaningless is the contention that in such wholes (or in
'book-on-table,' 'watch-in-pocket,' etc) the relation is an additional
entity _between_ the terms, needing itself to be related again to each!
Both Bradley (op. cit., pp. 32-33) and Royce (_The_World_and_the_
_Individual_, vol. I, p. 128) lovingly repeat this piece of profundity.

the 'how' of which you 'understand' as
soon as you see the fact of them,(1) for there is
no 'how' except the constitution of the fact
as given; with all this given him, I say, in pure
experience, he asks for some ineffable union in
the abstract instead, which, if he gained it,
would only be a duplicate of what he has already
in his full possession.  Surely he abuses
the privilege which society grants to all us
philosophers, of being puzzle-headed.

     Polemic writing like this is odious; but with
absolutism in possession in so many quarters,
omission to defend my radical empiricism
against its best known champion would count
as either superficiality or inability.  I have to
conclude that its dialectic has not invalidated
in the least degree the usual conjunctions by
which the world, as experienced, hangs so variously
together.  In particular it leaves an empirical
theory of knowledge(2) intact, and lets
us continue to believe with common sense that

one object _may_ be known, if we have any
ground for thinking that it _is_ known, to many

     In [the next essay] I shall return to this last
supposition, which seems to me to offer other
difficulties much harder for a philosophy of
pure experience to deal with than any of
absolutism's dialectic objections.



                          HOW TWO MINDS CAN KNOW

                               ONE THING(1)

IN [the essay] entitled 'Does Consciousness
Exist?' I have tried to show that when we call
an experience 'conscious,' that does not mean
that it is suffused throughout with a peculiar
modality of being ('psychic' being) as stained
glass may be suffused with light, but rather
that it stands in certain determinate relations
to other portions of experience extraneous to
itself.  These form one peculiar 'context' for
it; while, taken in another context of experiences,
we class it as a fact in the physical
world.  This 'pen,' for example, is, in the first
instance, a bald _that_, a datum, fact, phenomenon,
content, or whatever other neutral or
ambiguous name you may prefer to apply.  I
called it in that article a 'pure experience.'  To
get classed either as a physical pen or as some
one's percept of a pen, it must assume a _function_,

   1 [Reprinted from _The_Journal_of_Philosophy,_Psychology_and_
_Scientific_Methods_, vol II, No. 7, March 30, 1905.]

and that can only happen in a more complicated
world.  So far as in that world it is
a stable feature, holds ink, marks paper and
obeys the guidance of a hand, it is a physical
pen.  That is what we mean by being 'physical,'
in a pen.  So far as it is instable, on the
contrary, coming and going with the movements
of my eyes, altering with what I call my
fancy, continuous with subsequent experiences
of its 'having been' (in the past tense), it is the
percept of a pen in my mind.  Those peculiarities
are what we mean by being 'conscious,'
in a pen.

     In Section VI of another [essay](1) I tried to
show that the same _that_, the same numerically
identical pen of pure experience, can enter
simultaneously into many conscious contexts,
or, in other words, be an object for many different
minds.  I admitted that I had not space
to treat of certain possible objections in that
article; but in [the last essay] I took some of
the objections up.  At the end of that [essay]
I said that a still more formidable-sounding

   1 "A World of Pure Experience," above, pp. 39-91.

objections remained; so, to leave my pure-
experience theory in as strong a state as possible,
I propose to consider those objections now.


     The objections I previously tried to dispose
of were purely logical or dialectical.  no one
identical term, whether physical or psychical,
it had been said, could be the subject of two
relations at once.  This thesis I sought to prove
unfounded.  The objections that now confront
us arise from the nature supposed to inhere in
psychic facts specifically.  Whatever may be
the case with physical objects, a fact of consciousness,
it is alleged (and indeed very plausibly),
can not, without self-contradiction, be
treated as a portion of two different minds,
and for the following reasons.

     In the physical world we make with impunity
the assumption that one and the same
material object can figure in an indefinitely
large number of different processes at once.
When, for instance, a sheet of rubber is pulled
at its four corners, a unit of rubber in the middle
of the sheet is affected by all four of the

pulls.  It _transmits_ them each, as if it pulled in
four different ways at once itself.  So, an air-
particle or an ether-particle 'compounds' the
different directions of movement imprinted on
it without obliterating their several individualities.
It delivers them distinct, on the contrary,
at as many several 'receivers' (ear, eye or what
not) as may be 'tuned' to that effect.  The apparent
paradox of a distinctness like this surviving
in the midst of compounding is a thing
which, I fancy, the analyses made by physicists
have by this time sufficiently cleared up.

     But if, on the strength of these analogies, one
should ask:  "Why, if two or more lines can run
through one and the same geometrical point,
or if two or more distinct processes of activity
can run through one and the same physical
thing so that it simultaneously plays a role
in each and every process, might not two or
more streams of personal consciousness include
one and the same unit of experience so that it
would simultaneously be a part of the experience
of all the different minds?"  one would be
checked by thinking of a certain peculiarity by

which phenomena of consciousness differ from
physical things.

     While physical things, namely, are supposed
to be permanent and to have their 'states,' a
fact of consciousness exists but once and _is_ a
state.  Its _esse_ is _sentiri_; it is only so far as it is
felt; and it is unambiguously and unequivocally
exactly _what_ is felt  The hypothesis under
consideration would, however, oblige it to be
felt equivocally, felt now as part of my mind
and again at the same time _not_ as a part of my
mind, but of yours (for my mind is _not) yours),
and this would seem impossible without doubling
it into two distinct things, or, in other
words, without reverting to the ordinary dualistic
philosophy of insulated minds each knowing
its object representatively as a third thing,
-- and that would be to give up the pure-
experience scheme altogether.

     Can we see, then, any way in which a unit of
pure experience might enter into and figure in
two diverse streams of consciousness without
turning itself into the two units which, on our
hypothesis, it must not be?



     There is a way; and the first step towards it
is to see more precisely how the unit enters into
either one of the streams of consciousness
alone.  Just what, from being 'pure,' does its
becoming 'conscious' _once_ mean?

     It means, first, that new experiences have
supervened; and, second, that they have
borne a certain assignable relation to the unit
supposed.  Continue, if you please, to speak of
the pure unit as 'the pen.'  So far as the pen's
successors do but repeat the pen or, being
different from it, are 'energetically'(1) related
to it, and they will form a group of stably
existing physical things.  So far, however, as
its successors differ from it in another well-
determined way, the pen will figure in their
context, not as a physical, but as a mental fact.
It will become a passing 'percept,' _my_ percept
of that pen.  What now is that decisive well-
determined way?

     In the chapter on 'The Self,' in my _Principles_

   1 [For an explanation of this expression, see above, p. 32.]

_of_Psychology_, I explained the continuous identity
of each personal consciousness as a name
for the practical fact that new experiences(1)
come which look back on the old ones, find
them 'warm,' and greet and appropriate them
as 'mine.'  These operations mean, when analyzed
empirically, several tolerably definite
things, viz.:

     1. That the new experience has past time for
its 'content,' and in that time a pen that 'was';

     2. That 'warmth' was also about the pen,
in the sense of a group of feelings ('interest'
aroused, 'attention' turned, 'eyes' employed,
etc.) that were closely connected with it and
that now recur and evermore recur with unbroken
vividness, though from the pen of now,
which may be only an image, all such vividness
may have gone;

     3. That these feelings are the nucleus of 'me';

     4. That whatever once was associated with
them was, at least for that one moment,
'mine' -- my implement if associated with

   1 I call them 'passing thoughts' in the book -- the passage in point
goes from pages 330 to 342 of vol. I.

hand-feelings, my 'percept' only, if only eye-
feelings and attention-feelings were involved.

     The pen, realized in this retrospective way
as my percept, thus figures as a fact of 'conscious'
life.  But it does so only so far as 'appropriation'
has occurred; and appropriation
is _part_of_the_content_of_a_later_experience_ wholly
additional to the originally 'pure' pen.  _That_
pen, virtually both objective and subjective, is
at its own moment actually and intrinsically
neither.  It has to be looked back upon and
_used_, in order to be classed in either distinctive
way.  But its use, so called, is in the hands of
the other experience, while _it_ stands, throughout
the operation, passive and unchanged.

     If this pass muster as an intelligible account
of how an experience originally pure can enter
into one consciousness, the next question is as
to how it might conceivably enter into two.


     Obviously no new kind of condition would
have to be supplied.  All that we should have
to postulate would be a second subsequent

experience, collateral and contemporary with
the first subsequent one, in which a similar act
of appropriation should occur.  The two acts
would interfere neither with one another nor
with the originally pure pen.  It would sleep
undisturbed in its own past, no matter how
many such successors went through their several
appropriative acts.  Each would know it
as 'my' percept, each would class it as a 'conscious'

     Nor need their so classing it interfere in the
least with their classing it at the same time as
a physical pen.  Since the classing in both cases
depends upon the taking of it in one group or
another of associates, if the superseding experience
were of wide enough 'span' it could think
the pen in both groups simultaneously, and yet
distinguish the two groups.  It would then see
the whole situation conformably to what, we
call 'the representative theory of cognition,'
and that is what we all spontaneously do.  As a
man philosophizing 'popularly,' I believe that
what I see myself writing with is double -- I
think it in its relations to physical nature, and

also in its relations to my personal life; I see
that it is in my mind, but that it also is a
physical pen.

     The paradox of the same experience figuring
in two consciousnesses seems thus no paradox
at all.  To be 'conscious' means not simply to
be, but to be reported, known, to have awareness
of one's being added to that being; and
this is just what happens when the appropriative
experience supervenes.  The pen-experience
in its original immediacy is not aware of
itself, it simply _is_, and the second experience is
required for what we call awareness of it to
occur.(1)  The difficulty of understanding what
happens here is, therefore, not a logical difficulty:
there is no contradiction involved.  It is
an ontological difficulty rather.  Experiences
come on an enormous scale, and if we take

   1 Shadworth Hodgson has laid great stress on the fact that the
minimum of consciousness demands two subfeelings of which the
second retrospects the first.  (Cf. the section 'Analysis of Minima' in
his _Philosophy_of_Reflection_, vol. I, p. 248; also the chapter
entitled 'The Moment of Experience' in his _Metaphysic_of_Experience_,
vol. I, p. 34.)  'We live forward, but we understand backward' is a
phrase of Kierkegaard's which Hoffding quotes.  [H. Hoffding:  "A
Philosophical Confession,"
_Journal_of_Philosophy,_Psychology_and_Scientific_Methods_, vol. II,
1905, p. 86.

them all together, they come in a chaos of
incommensurable relations that we can not
straighten out.  We have to abstract different
groups of them, and handle these separately
if we are to talk of them at all.  But how the
experiences ever _get_themselves_made_, or _why_
their characters and relations are just such
as appear, we can not begin to understand..
Granting, however, that, by hook or crook,
they _can_ get themselves made, and can appear
in the successions that I have so schematically
described, then we have to confess that even
although (as I began by quoting from the adversary)
'a feeling only is as it is felt,' there is
still nothing absurd in the notion of its being
felt in two different ways at once, as yours,
namely, and as mine.  It is, indeed, 'mine' only
as it is felt as mine, and 'yours' only as it is
felt as yours.  But it is felt as neither _by_itself_,
but only when 'owned' by our two several remembering
experiences, just as one undivided
estate is owned by several heirs.



     One word, now, before I close, about the
corollaries of the view set forth.  Since the
acquisition of conscious quality on the part of
an experience depends upon a context coming
to it, it follows that the sum total of all experiences,
having no context, can not strictly be
called conscious at all.  It is a _that_, an Absolute,
a 'pure' experience on an enormous
scale, undifferentiated and undifferentiable
into thought and thing.  This the post-Kantian
idealists have always practically acknowledged
by calling their doctrine an _Identitats-_
_philosophie_.  The question of the _Beseelung_ of
the All of things ought not, then, even to be
asked.  No more ought the question of its _truth_
to be asked, for truth is a relation inside of the
sum total, obtaining between thoughts and
something else, and thoughts, as we have seen,
can only be contextual things.  In these respects
the pure experiences of our philosophy
are, in themselves considered, so many little
absolutes, the philosophy of pure experience
being only a more comminuted _Identitatsphilosphie_.(1)

     Meanwhile, a pure experience can be postulated
with any amount whatever of span or
field.  If it exert the retrospective and appropriative
function on any other piece of experience,
the latter thereby enters into its own
conscious stream.  And in this operation time
intervals make no essential difference.  After
sleeping, my retrospection is as perfect as it is
between two successive waking moments of my
time.  Accordingly if, millions of years later, a
similarly retrospective experience should anyhow
come to birth, my present thought would
form a genuine portion of its long-span conscious
life.  'Form a portion,' I say, but not in
the sense that the two things could be entitatively
or substantively one -- they cannot,
for they are numerically discrete facts -- but
only in the sense that the _functions_ of my present
thought, its knowledge, its purpose, its
content and 'consciousness,' in short, being
inherited, would be continued practically

   1 [Cf. below, pp. 197, 202.]

unchanged.  Speculations like Fechner's, of an
Earth-soul, of wider spans of consciousness
enveloping narrower ones throughout the cosmos,
are, therefore, philosophically quite in
order, provided they distinguish the functional
from the entitative point of view, and do not
treat the minor consciousness under discussion
as a kind of standing material of which the
wider ones _consist_.(1)

   1 [Cf. _A_Pluralistic_Universe_, Lect. IV, 'Concerning Fechner,' and
Lect. V, 'The Compounding of Consciousness.']



                       THE PLACE OF AFFECTIONAL

                       FACTS IN A WORLD OF PURE


COMMON sense and popular philosophy are as
dualistic as it is possible to be.  Thoughts, we
all naturally think, are made of one kind of
substance, and things of another.  Consciousness,
flowing inside us in the forms of conception
or judgement, or concentrating itself in
the shape of passion or emotion, can be directly
felt as the spiritual activity which it is, and
known in contrast with the space-filling, objective
'content' which it envelops and accompanies.
In opposition to this dualistic
philosophy, I tried, in [the first essay] to show
that thoughts and things are absolutely homogeneous
as to their material, and that their
opposition is only one of relation and of function.
There is no thought-stuff different from
thing-stuff, I said; but the same identical piece

   1 [Reprinted from _The_Journal_of_Philosophy,_Psychology_and_
_Scientific_Methods_, vol II,, No. 11, May 25, 1905.]

of 'pure experience' (which was the name I
gave to the _materia_prima_ of everything) can
stand alternately for a 'fact of consciousness'
or for a physical reality, according as it is taken
in one context or in another.  For the right
understanding of what follows, I shall have to
presuppose that the reader will have read that

     The commonest objection which the doctrine
there laid down runs up against is drawn
from the existence of our 'affections.'  In our
pleasures and pains, our loves and fears and
angers, in the beauty, comicality, importance
or preciousness of certain objects and situations,
we have, I am told by many critics, a
great realm of experience intuitively recognized
as spiritual, made, and felt to be made,
of consciousness exclusively, and different in
nature from the space-filling kind of being
which is enjoyed by physical objects.  In
Section VII, of [the first essay], I treated of
this class of experiences inadequately,

   1 It will be still better if he shall have also read the [essay]
entitled 'A World of Pure Experience,' which follows [the first] and
develops its ideas still farther.

because I had to be brief.  I now return to
the subject, because I believe that, so far from
invalidating my general thesis, these phenomena,
when properly analyzed, afford it powerful

     The central point of the pure-experience theory
is that 'outer' and 'inner' are names for
two groups into which we sort experiences
according to the way in which they act upon
their neighbors.  Any one 'content,' such as
_hard_, let us say, can be assigned to either
group.  In the outer group it is 'strong,' it acts
'energetically' and aggressively.  Here whatever
is hard interferes with the space its neighbors
occupy.  It dents them; is impenetrable
by them; and we call the hardness then a physical
hardness.  In the mind, on the contrary,
the hard thing is nowhere in particular, it
dents nothing, it suffuses through its mental
neighbors, as it were, and interpenetrates
them.  Taken in this group we call both it and
them 'ideas' or 'sensations'; and the basis of
the two groups respectively is the different
type of interrelation, the mutual impenetrability,

on the one hand, and the lack of physical
interference and interaction, on the other.

     That what in itself is one and the same
entity should be able to function thus differently
in different contexts is a natural consequence
of the extremely complex reticulations
in which our experiences come.  To her offspring
a tigress is tender, but cruel to every
other living thing -- both cruel and tender,
therefore, at once.  A mass in movement resists
every force that operates contrariwise to its
own direction, but to forces that pursue the
same direction, or come in at right angles, it is
absolutely inert.  It is thus both energetic and
inert; and the same is true (if you vary the
associates properly) of every other piece of
experience.  It is only towards certain specific
groups of associates that the physical energies
as we call them, of a content are put forth.  In
another group it may be quite inert.

     It is possible to imagine a universe of experiences
in which the only alternative between
neighbors would be either physical interaction
or complete inertness.  In such a world the

mental or the physical _status) of any piece of
experience would be unequivocal.  When active,
it would figure in the physical, and when
inactive, in the mental group.

     But the universe we live in is more chaotic
than this, and there is room in it for the hybrid
or ambiguous group of our affectional experiences,
of our emotions and appreciative perceptions.
In the paragraphs that follow I shall
try to show:

     (1) That the popular notion that these experiences
are intuitively given as purely inner
facts is hasty and erroneous; and

     (2) That their ambiguity illustrates beautifully
my central thesis that subjectivity and
objectivity are affairs not of what an experience
is aboriginally made of, but of its classification.
Classifications depend on our temporary
purposes.  For certain purposes it is
convenient to take things in one set of relations,
for other purposes in another set.  In the
two cases their contexts are apt to be different.
In the case of our affectional experiences we
have no permanent and steadfast purpose that

obliges us to be consistent, so we find it easy to
let them float ambiguously, sometimes classing
them with our feelings, sometimes with
more physical realities, according to caprice
or to the convenience of the moment.  Thus
would these experiences, so far from being
an obstacle to the pure experience philosophy,
serve as an excellent corroboration of its

     First of all, then, it is a mistake to say, with
the objectors whom I began by citing, that
anger, love and fear are affections purely of the
mind.  That, to a great extent at any rate, they
are simultaneously affections of the body is
proved by the whole literature of the James-
Lange theory of emotion.(1)  All our pains,
moreover, are local, and we are always free to
speak of them in objective as well as in subjective
terms.  We can say that we are aware of
a painful place, filling a certain bigness in our
organism, or we can say that we are inwardly
in a 'state' of pain.  All our adjectives of

   1 [Cf. _The_Principles_of_Psychology_, vol. II, ch. XXV; and "The
Physical Basis of Emotion,"  _The_Psychological_Review_, vol. I, 1894,
p. 516.]

worth are similarly ambiguous -- I instanced
some of the ambiguities [in the first essay].(1)
Is the preciousness of a diamond a quality of
the gem?  or is it a feeling in our mind?  Practically
we treat it as both or as either, according
to the temporary direction of our thought.
'Beauty,' says Professor Santayana, 'is pleasure
objectified'; and in Sections 10 and 11 of
his work, _The_Sense_of_Beauty_, he treats in a
masterly way of this equivocal realm.  The
various pleasures we receive from an object
may count as 'feelings' when we take them
singly, but when they combine in a total richness,
we call the result the 'beauty' of the
object, and treat it as an outer attribute which
our mind perceives.  We discover beauty just as
we discover the physical properties of things.
Training is needed to make us expert in either
line.  Single sensations also may be ambiguous.
Shall we say an 'agreeable degree of heat,' or
an 'agreeable feeling' occasioned by the degree
of heat?  Either will do; and language would
lose most of its esthetic and rhetorical value

   1 [See above, pp. 34, 35.]

were we forbidden to project words primarily
connoting our affections upon the objects by
which the affections are aroused.  The man
is really hateful; the action really mean; the
situation really tragic -- all in themselves and
quite apart from our opinion.  We even go so
far as to talk of a weary road, a giddy height, a
jocund morning or a sullen sky; and the term
'indefinite' while usually applied only to our
apprehensions, functions as a fundamental
physical qualification of things in Spencer's
'law of evolution,' and doubtless passes with
most readers for all right.

     Psychologists, studying our perceptions of
movement, have unearthed experiences in
which movement is felt in general but not
ascribed correctly to the body that really
moves.  Thus in optical vertigo, caused by
unconscious movements of our eyes, both we
and the external universe appear to be in a
whirl.  When clouds float by the moon, it is as
if both clouds and moon and we ourselves
shared in the motion.  In the extraordinary
case of amnesia of the Rev. Mr. Hanna, published

by Sidis and Goodhart in their important
work on _Multiple_Personality_, we read that
when the patient first recovered consciousness
and "noticed an attendant walk across the
room, he identified the movement with that of
his own.  He did not yet discriminate between
his own movements and those outside himself."(1)
Such experiences point to a primitive
stage of perception in which discriminations
afterwards needful have not yet been made.
A piece of experience of a determinate sort
is there, but there at first as a 'pure' fact.
Motion originally simply _is_; only later is it
confined to this thing or to that.  Something
like this is true of every experience, however
complex, at the moment of its actual presence.
Let the reader arrest himself in the act of reading
this article now.  _Now_ this is a pure experience,
a phenomenon, or datum, a mere _that_ or
content of fact.  _'Reading'_simply_is,_is_there_;
and whether there for some one's consciousness,
or there for physical nature, is a question
not yet put. At the moment, it is there for

   1 Page 102.

neither; later we shall probably judge it to
have been there for both.

     With the affectional experiences which we
are considering, the relatively 'pure' condition
lasts.  In practical life no urgent need has
yet arisen for deciding whether to treat them
as rigorously mental or as rigorously physical
facts.  So they remain equivocal; and, as the
world goes, their equivocality is one of their
great conveniences.

     The shifting place of 'secondary qualities' in
the history of philosophy(1) is another excellent
proof of the fact that 'inner' and 'outer' are
not coefficients with which experiences come to
us aboriginally stamped, but are rather results
of a later classification performed by us for
particular needs.  The common-sense stage of
thought is a perfectly definite practical halting-
place, the place where we ourselves can
proceed to act unhesitatingly.  On this stage
of thought things act on each other as well
as on us by means of their secondary qualities.

   1 [Cf. Janet and Seailles:  _History_of_the_Problems_of_Philosophy_,
trans. by Monahan, part I, ch. III.]

Sound, as such, goes through the air
and can be intercepted.  The heat of the fire
passes over, as such, into the water which it
sets a-boiling.  It is the very light of the arc-
lamp which displaces the darkness of the midnight
street, etc.  By engendering and translocating
just these qualities, actively efficacious
as they seem to be, we ourselves succeed in
altering nature so as to suit us; and until more
purely intellectual, as distinguished from practical,
needs had arisen, no one ever thought
of calling these qualities subjective.  When,
however, Galileo, Descartes, and others found
it best for philosophic purposes to class sound,
heat, and light along with pain and pleasure
as purely mental phenomena, they could do so
with impunity.(1)

     Even the primary qualities are undergoing
the same fate.  Hardness and softness are effects
on us of atomic interactions, and the
atoms themselves are neither hard nor soft,
nor solid nor liquid.  Size and shape are deemed

   1 [Cf. Descartes:  _Meditation_ II; _Principles_of_Philosophy_,
part I, XLVIII.]

subjective by Kantians; time itself is subjective
according to many philosophers;(1) and
even the activity and causal efficacy which
lingered in physics long after secondary qualities
were banished are now treated as illusory
projections outwards of phenomena of our
own consciousness.  There are no activities or
effects in nature, for the most intellectual
contemporary school of physical speculation.
Nature exhibits only _changes_, which habitually
coincide with one another so that their habits
are describable in simple 'laws.'(2)

     There is no original spirituality or materiality
of being, intuitively discerned, then; but
only a translocation of experiences from one
world to another; a grouping of them with
one set or another of associates for definitely
practical or intellectual ends.

     I will say nothing here of the persistent
ambiguity of _relations_.  They are undeniable
parts of pure experience; yet, while common
sense and what I call radical empiricism stand

   1 [Cf. A.E. Taylor:  _Elements_of_Metaphysics_, bk. III, ch. IV.]

   2 [Cf. K. Pearson:  _Grammar_of_Science_, ch. III.]

for their being objective, both rationalism and
the usual empiricism claim that they are exclusively
the 'work of the mind' -- the finite
mind or the absolute mind, as the case may be.

     Turn now to those affective phenomena
which more directly concern us.

     We soon learn to separate the ways in which
things appeal to our interests and emotions
from the ways in which they act upon one
another.  It does not _work_ to assume that physical
objects are going to act outwardly by
their sympathetic or antipathetic qualities.
The beauty of a thing or its value is no force
that can be plotted in a polygon of compositions,
nor does its 'use' or 'significance' affect in
the minutest degree its vicissitudes or destiny
at the hands of physical nature.  Chemical
'affinities' are a purely verbal metaphor; and,
as I just said, even such things as forces, tensions,
and activities can at a pinch be regarded
as anthropomorphic projections.  So far, then,
as the physical world means the collection of
contents that determine in each other certain

regular changes, the whole collection of our
appreciative attributes has to be treated as
falling outside of it.  If we mean by physical
nature whatever lies beyond the surface of our
bodies, these attributes are inert throughout
the whole extent of physical nature.

     Why then do men leave them as ambiguous
as they do, and not class them decisively as
purely spiritual?

     The reason would seem to be that, although
they are inert as regards the rest of physical
nature, they are not inert as regards that part
of physical nature which our own skin covers.
It is those very appreciative attributes of
things, their dangerousness, beauty, rarity,
utility, etc., that primarily appeal to our
attention.  In our commerce with nature these
attributes are what give _emphasis_ to objects;
and for an object to be emphatic, whatever
spiritual fact it may mean, means also that it
produces immediate bodily effects upon us,
alterations of tone and tension, of heart-beat
and breathing, of vascular and visceral action.
The 'interesting' aspects of thins are thus

not wholly inert physically, though they be
active only in these small corners of physical
nature which our bodies occupy.  That,
however, is enough to save them from being
classed as absolutely non-objective.

     The attempt, if any one should make it, to
sort experience into two absolutely discrete
groups, with nothing but inertness in one of
them and nothing but activities in the other,
would thus receive one check.  It would receive
another as soon as we examined the more
distinctively mental group; for though in that
group it be true that things do not act on one
another by their physical properties do not
dent each other or set fire to each other, they
yet act on each other in the most energetic
way by those very characters which are so
inert extracorporeally.  It is by the interest
and importance that experiences have for us,
by the emotions they excite, and the purposes
they subserve, by their affective values, in
short, that their consecution in our several
conscious streams, as 'thoughts' of ours, is
mainly ruled.  Desire introduces them; interest

holds them; fitness fixes their order and connection.
I need only refer for this aspect of
our mental life, to Wundt's article 'Ueber
psychische Causalitat,' which begins Volume
X. of his _Philosophische_Studien_.(1)

     It thus appears that the ambiguous or amphibious
_status_ which we find our epithets of
value occupying is the most natural thing in
the world.  It would, however, be an unnatural
status if the popular opinion which I cited
at the outset were correct.  If 'physical' and
'mental' meant two different kinds of intrinsic
nature, immediately, intuitively, and
infallibly discernible, and each fixed forever
in whatever bit of experience it qualified,
one does not see how there could ever have
arisen any room for doubt or ambiguity.
But if, on the contrary, these words are
words of sorting, ambiguity is natural.  For
then, as soon as the relations of a thing are
sufficiently various it can be sorted variously.

   1 It is enough for my present purpose if the appreciative characters
but _seem_ to act thus.  Believers in an activity _an_sich_, other than
our mental experiences of activity, will find some farther reflections
on the subject in my address on 'The Experience of Activity.'  [The next
essay.  Cf. especially, p. 169.  ED.]

Take a mass of carrion, for example, and the
'disgustingness' which for us is a part of the
experience.  The sun caresses it, and the
zephyr wooes it as if it were a bed of roses.
So the disgustingness fails to _operate_ within
the realm of suns and breezes, -- it does not
function as a physical quality.  But the carrion
'turns our stomach' by what seems a direct
operation -- it _does_ function physically, therefore,
in that limited part of physics.  We can
treat it as physical or as non-physical according
as we take it in the narrower or in the wider
context, and conversely, of course, we must
treat it as non-mental or as mental.

     Our body itself is the palmary instance of
the ambiguous.  Sometimes I treat my body
purely as a part of outer nature.  Sometimes,
again, I think of it as 'mine,' I sort it with
the 'me,' and then certain local changes and
determinations in it pass for spiritual happenings.
Its breathing is my 'thinking,' its sensorial
adjustments are my 'attention,' its
kinesthetic alterations are my 'efforts,' its
visceral perturbations are my 'emotions.'

The obstinate controversies that have arisen
over such statements as these (which sound so
paradoxical, and which can yet be made so
seriously) prove how hard it is to decide by
bare introspection what it is in experiences
that shall make them either spiritual or
material.  It surely can be nothing intrinsic in
the individual experience.   It is their way of
behaving towards each other, their system of
relations, their functions; and all these things
vary with the context in which we find it
opportune to consider them.

     I think I may conclude, then (and I hope
that my readers are now ready to conclude
with me), that the pretended spirituality of
our emotions and of our attributes of value,
so far from proving an objection to the philosophy
of pure experience, does, when rightly
discussed and accounted for, serve as one of
its best corroborations.



                       THE EXPERIENCE OF ACTIVITY(1)


     IN casting about me for a subject for your
President this year to talk about it has seemed
to me that our experiences of activity would
form a good one; not only because the topic
is so naturally interesting, and because it has
lately led to a good deal of rather inconclusive
discussion, but because I myself am growing
more and more interested in a certain systematic
way of handling questions, and want to get
others interested also, and this question strikes
me as one in which, although I am painfully
aware of my inability to communicate new
discoveries or to reach definitive conclusions,
I yet can show, in a rather definite manner,
how the method works.

   1 President's Address before the American Psychological Association,
Philadelphia Meeting, December, 1904.  [Reprinted from _The_
_Psychological_Review_, vol. XII, No. 1, Jan., 1905.  Also reprinted
with some omissions, as Appendix B, _A_Pluralistic_Universe, pp.
370-394.  Pp. 166-167 have also been reprinted in
_Some_Problems_of_Philosophy_, p. 212.  The present essay is referred to
in _Ibid._, p. 219, note.  The author's corrections have been adopted
for the present text.  ED.]


     The way of handling things I speak of, is, as
you already will have suspected, that known
sometimes as the pragmatic method, sometimes
as humanism, sometimes as Deweyism,
and in France, by some of the disciples of
Bergson, as the Philosophie nouvelle.  Professor
Woodbridge's _Journal_of_Philosophy_(1) seems
unintentionally to have become a sort of meeting
place for those who follow these tendencies
in America.  There is only a dim identity
among them; and the most that can be said at
present is that some sort of gestation seems to
be in the atmosphere, and that almost any day
a man with a genius for finding the right word
for things may hit upon some unifying and
conciliating formula that will make so much
vaguely similar aspiration crystallize into
more definite form.

     I myself have given the name of 'radical
empiricism' to that version of the tendency in
question which I prefer; and I propose, if you
will now let me, to illustrate what I mean by
radical empiricism, by applying it to activity

   1 [_The_Journal_of_Philosophy,_Psychology_and_Scientific_Methods_.]

as an example, hoping at the same time incidentally
to leave the general problem of activity
in a slightly -- I fear very slightly -- more
manageable shape than before.

     Mr. Bradley calls the question of activity a
scandal to philosophy, and if one turns to the
current literature of the subject -- his own
writings included -- one easily gathers what
he means.  The opponents cannot even understand
one another.  Mr. Bradley says to Mr.
Ward:  "I do not care what your oracle is,
and your preposterous psychology may here be
gospel if you please; . . . but if the revelation
does contain a meaning, I will commit
myself to this:  either the oracle is so confused
that its signification is not discoverable, or,
upon the other hand, if it can be pinned down
to any definite statement, then that statement
will be false."(1)  Mr. Ward in turn says
of Mr. Bradley: "I cannot even imagine the
state of mind to which his description applies.
. . . [It] reads like an unintentional travesty

   1 _Appearance_and_Reality_, second edition.  pp. 116-117. --
Obviously written _at_ Ward, though Ward's name is not mentioned

of Herbartian psychology by one who has
tried to improve upon it without being at the
pains to master it."(1)  Munsterberg excludes a
view opposed to his own by saying that with
any one who holds it a _Verstandigung_ with
him is "_grundsatzlich_ausgeschlosen_"; and
Royce, in a review of _Stoud_,(2) hauls him over
the coals at great length for defending 'efficacy'
in a way which I, for one, never gathered
from reading him, and which I have
heard Stout himself say was quite foreign to
the intention of his text.

     In these discussion distinct questions are
habitually jumbled and different points of
view are talked of _durcheinander_.

     (1) There is a psychological question:  "Have
we perceptions of activity? and if so, what are
they like, and when and where do we have

     (2) There is a metaphysical question:  "Is
there a _fact_ of activity? and if so, what idea
must we frame of it?  What is it like? and what

   1 [_Mind_, vol. XII, 1887, pp. 573-574.]

   2 _Mind_, N.S., vol. VI, [1897], p. 379.

does it do, if it does anything?"  And finally
there is a logical question:

     (3)  "Whence do we _know_ activity?  By our
own feelings of it solely? or by some other
source of information?"  Throughout page
after page of the literature one knows not
which of these questions is before one; and
mere description of the surface-show of experience
is proffered as if it implicitly answered
every one of them.  No one of the disputants,
moreover, tries to show what pragmatic consequences
his own view would carry, or what
assignable particular differences in any one's
experience it would make if his adversary's
were triumphant.

     It seems to me that if radical empiricism be
good for anything, it ought, with its pragmatic
method and its principle of pure experience,
to be able to avoid such tangles, or at least
to simplify them somewhat.  The pragmatic
method starts from the postulate that there is
no difference of truth that does n't make a
difference of fact somewhere; and it seeks to
determine the meaning of all differences of
opinion by making the discussion hinge as soon
as possible upon some practical or particular
issue.  The principle of pure experience is also
a methodological postulate.  Nothing shall be admitted
as fact, it says, except what can be
experienced at some definite time by some experient;
and for every feature of fact ever so
experienced, a definite place must be found
somewhere in the final system of reality.  In
other words:  Everything real must be experiencable
somewhere, and every kind of thing
experienced must be somewhere real.

     Armed with these rules of method let us see
what face the problems of activity present to us.

     By the principle of pure experience, either
the word 'activity' must have no meaning at
all, or else the original type and model of what
it means must lie in some concrete kind of
experience that can be definitely pointed out.
Whatever ulterior judgements we may eventually
come to make regarding activity, _that_sort_
of thing will be what the judgements are about.
The first step to take, then, is to ask where in
the stream of experience we seem to find what

we speak of as activity.  What we are to think
of the activity thus found will be a later

     Now it is obvious that we are tempted to
affirm activity wherever we find anything
_going_on_.  Taken in the broadest sense, any
apprehension of something _doing_, is an experience
of activity.  Were our world describable
only by the words 'nothing happening,'
'nothing changing,' 'nothing doing,' we should
unquestionably call it an 'inactive' world.
Bare activity then, as we may call it, means
the bare fact of event or change.  'Change taking
place' is a unique content of experience,
one of those 'conjunctive' objects which radical
empiricism seeks so earnestly to rehabilitate
and preserve.  The sense of activity is thus
in the broadest and vaguest way synonymous
with the sense of 'life.'  We should feel our
own subjective life at least, even in noticing
and proclaiming an otherwise inactive world.
Our own reaction on its monotony would be
the one thing experienced there in the form of
something coming to pass.


     This seems to be what certain writers have
in mind when they insist that for an experient
to be at all is to be active.  It seems to justify,
or at any rate to explain, Mr. Ward's expression
that we _are_ only as we are active,(1) for
we _are_ only as experients; and it rules out Mr.
Bradley's contention that "there is no original
experience of anything like activity."(2)  What
we ought to say about activities thus elementary,
whose they are, what they effect, or
whether indeed they effect anything at all --
these are later questions, to be answered only
when the field of experience is enlarged.

     Bare activity would thus be predicable,
though there were no definite direction, no
actor, and no aim.  Mere restless zigzag movement,
or a wild _Ideenflucht_, or _Rhapsodie_der_
_Wharnehmungen_, as Kant would say,(2) would

   1 _Naturalism_and_Agnosticism_, vol. II, p.245.  One thinks naturally
of the peripatetic _actus_primus_ and _actus_secundus_ here.  ["Actus
autem est _duplex_:  _primus_ et _secundus_.  Actus quidem primus est
forma, et integritas sei.  Actus autem secundus est operatio."  Thomas
Aquinas:  _Summa_Theologica_, edition of Leo XIII, (1894), vol. I,
p. 391.  Cf. also Blanc:  _Dictionaire_de_Philosophie_, under 'acte.'

   2 [_Appearance_and_Reality_, second edition, p. 116.]

   3 [_Kritik_der_reinen_Vernunft,_Werke_, (1905), vol. IV, p. 110
(trans. by Max Muller, second edition, p. 128).]

constitute and active as distinguished from an
inactive world.

     But in this actual world of ours, as it is
given, a part at least of the activity comes
with definite direction; it comes with desire
and a sense of goal; it comes complicated with
resistances which it overcomes or succumbs to,
and with the efforts which the feeling of resistance
so often provokes; and it is in complex
experiences like these that the notions of
distinct agents, and of passivity as opposed
to activity arise.  Here also the notion of
causal efficacy comes to birth.  Perhaps the
most elaborate work ever done in descriptive
psychology has been the analysis by various
recent writers of the more complex activity-
situations.(1)  In their descriptions, exquisitely

   1 I refer to such descriptive work as Ladd's (_Psychology,_
_Descriptive_and_Explanatory_, part I, chap. V, part II, chap. XI, part
III, chaps. XXV and XXVI); as Sully's (_The_Human_Mind_, part V); as
Stout's (_Analytic_Psychology_, book I, chap. vi, and book II, chaps. I,
II, and III); as Bradley's (in his long series of articles on Psychology
in _Mind)_; as Titchener's (_Outline_of_Psychology_, part I, chap. vi);
as Shand's (_Mind_, N.S., III, 449; IV, 450; VI, 289); as Ward's
(_Mind_, XII, 67; 564); as Loveday's (_Mind_, N.S., X, 455); as
Lipp's (Vom Fuhlen, Wollen Und Denken, 1902, chaps II, IV, VI);
and as Bergson's (_Revue_Philosophique_, LIII, 1) -- to mention only
a few writings which I immediately recall.

subtle some of them,91) the activity appears as
the _gestaltqualitat_ or the _fundirte_inhalt_ (or as
whatever else you may please to call the conjunctive
form) which the content falls into
when we experience it in the ways which the
describers set forth.  Those factors in those
relations are what we mean by activity-situations;
and to the possible enumeration and
accumulation of their circumstances and ingredients
there would seem to be no natural
bound.  Every hour of human life could contribute
to the picture gallery; and this is the
only fault that one can find with such descriptive
industry -- where is it going to stop?
Ought we to listen forever to verbal pictures
of what we have already in concrete form in
our own breasts?(2)  They never take us off the
superficial plane.  We knew the facts already --
less spread out and separated, to be sure -- but

   1 Their existence forms a curious commentary on Prof. Munsterberg's
dogma that will-attitudes are not describable.  He himself has
contributed in a superior way to their description, both in his
_Willenshandlung_, and in his _Grundzuge_ [_der_Psychologie_], part II,
chap. IX, section 7.

   2 I ought myself to cry _peccavi_, having been a voluminous sinner in
my own chapter on the will.  [_Principles_of_Psychology_, vol. II, chap.

we knew them still.  We always felt our own
activity, for example, as 'the expansion of an
idea with which our Self is identified, against
an obstacle';(1) and the following out of such a
definition through a multitude of cases elaborates
the obvious so as to be little more than an
exercise in synonymic speech.

     All the descriptions have to trace familiar
outlines, and to use familiar terms.  The activity
is, for example, attributed either to a
physical or to a mental agent, and is either
aimless or directed.  If directed it shows tendency.
The tendency may or may not be resisted.
If not, we call the activity immanent, as
when a body moves in empty space by its momentum,
or our thoughts wander at their own
sweet will.  If resistance is met, _its_ agent complicates
the situation.  If now, in spite of resistance,
the original tendency continues, effort
makes its appearance, and along with effort,
strain or squeeze.  Will, in the narrower sense
of the word, then comes upon the scene, whenever,

   1 [Cf. F.H. Bradley, _Appearance_and_Reality_, second edition, pp.

along with the tendency, the strain and
squeeze are sustained.  But the resistance may
be great enough to check the tendency, or even
to reverse its path.  In that case, we (if 'we' were
the original agents or subjects of the tendency)
are overpowered.  The phenomenon turns into
one of tension simply, or of necessity succumbed-
to, according as the opposing power is
only equal, or is superior to ourselves.

     Whosoever describes an experience in such
terms as these describes an experience _of_ activity.
If the word have any meaning, it must
denote what there is found.  _There_ is complete
activity in its original and first intention.
What is 'known-as' is what there appears.
The experiencer of such a situation possesses all
that the idea contains.  He feels the tendency,
the obstacle, the will, the strain, the triumph, or
the passive giving up, just as he feels the time,
the space, the swiftness or intensity, the movement,
the weight and color, the pain and pleasure,
the complexity, or whatever remaining
characters the situation may involve.  He goes
through all that ever can be imagined where

activity is supposed.  If we suppose activities
to go on outside of our experience, it is in forms
like these that we must suppose them, or else
give them some other name; for the word
'activity' has no imaginable content whatever
save these experiences of process, obstruction,
striving, strain, or release, ultimate _qualia_ as
they are of the life given us to be known.

     Were this the end of the matter, one might
think that whenever we had successfully lived
through an activity-situation we should have
to be permitted, without provoking contradiction,
to say that we had been really active,
that we had met real resistance and had really
prevailed.  Lotze somewhere says that to be an
entity all that is necessary is to _gelten_ as an
entity, to operate, or be felt, experienced, recognized,
or in any way realized, as such.(1)  in
our activity-experiences the activity assuredly
fulfils Lotze's demand.  It makes itself
_gelten_.  It is witnessed at its work.  no matter
what activities there may really be in this extraordinary
universe of ours, it is impossible

   1 [Cf. above, p. 59, note.]

for us to conceive of any one of them being
either lived through or authentically known
otherwise than in this dramatic shape of something
sustaining a felt purpose against felt
obstacles and overcoming or being overcome.
What 'sustaining' means here is clear to anyone
who has lived through the experience, but to
no one else; just as 'loud,' 'red,' 'sweet,' mean
something only to beings with ears, eyes, and
tongues.  The _percipi_ in these originals of experience
is the _esse_; the curtain is the picture.
If there is anything hiding in the background,
it ought not to be called activity, but should
get itself another name.

     This seems so obviously true that one might
well experience astonishment at finding so
many of the ablest writers on the subject
flatly denying that the activity we live through
in these situations is real.  Merely to feel active
is not to be active, in their sight.  The agents
that appear in the experience are not real
agents, the resistances do not really resist, the
effects that appear are not really affects at all.(1)

   1 _Verborum_gratia_:  "The feeling of activity is not able, _qua_
feeling, to tell us anything about activity" (Loveday:  _Mind_, N.S.,
vol, X, [1901], p. 463; "A sensation or feeling or sense of activity ...
is not, looked at in another way, an experience _of_ activity at all.
It is a mere sensation shut up within which you could by no reflection
get the idea of activity. . . . Whether this experience is or is not
later on a character essential to our perception and our idea of
activity, it, as it comes first, is only so for extraneous reasons and
only so for an outside observer" (Bradley, _Appearance_and_Reality_,
second edition, p.605);  "In dem Tatigkeitsgefuhle liegt an sich nicht
der geringste Beweis fur das Vorhandesein einer psychischen Tatigkeit"
(Munsterberg:  _Grundzuge_der_Psychologie_).  I could multiply similar
quotations and would have introduced some of them into my text to make
it more concrete, save that the mingling of different points of view in
most of these author's discussions (not in Munsterberg's) make it
impossible to disentangle exactly what they mean.  I am sure in any
case, to be accused of misrepresenting them totally, even in this note,
by omission of the context, so the less I name names and the more I
stick to abstract characterization of a merely possible style of
opinion, the safer it will be.  And apropos of misunderstandings, I may
add to this note a complaint on my own account.  Professor Stoud, in the
excellent chapter on 'Mental Activity,' in vol. I of his
_Analytic_Psychology_, takes me to task for identifying spiritual
activity with certain muscular feelings and gives quotations to bear him
out.  They are from certain paragraphs on 'the Self' in which my attempt
was to show what the central nucleus of the activities that we call
'ours' is.  [_Principles_of_Psychology_, vol. I, pp. 299-305.]  I found
it in certain intracephalic movements which we habitually oppose, as
'subjective,' to the activities of the transcorporeal world.  I sought
to show that there is no direct evidence that we feel the activity of an
inner spiritual agent as such (I should now say the activity of
'consciousness' as such, see [the first essay], 'Does Consciousness
Exist?').  There are, in fact, three distinguishable 'activities' in the
field of discussion:  the elementary activity involved in the mere
_that_ of experience, in the fact that _something_ is going on, and the
farther specification of this _something_ into two _whats_, an activity
felt as 'ours,' and an activity ascribed to objects.  Stout, as I
apprehend him, identifies 'our' activity with that of the total
experience-process, and when I circumscribe it as a part thereof,
accuses me of treating it as a sort of external appendage to itself
(Stout: op.cit., vol. I, pp. 162-163), as if I 'separated the activity
from the process which is active.'  But all the processes in question
are active, and their activity is inseparable from their being.  My book
raised only the question of _which_ activity deserved the name of
'ours.'  So far as we are 'persons,' and contrasted and opposed to an
'environment,' movements in our body figure as our activities; and I am
unable to find any other activities that are ours in this strictly
personal sense.  There is a wider sense in which the whole 'choir of
heaven and furniture of the earth,' and their activities, are ours, for
they are our 'objects.'  But 'we' are here only another name for the
total process of experience, another name for all that is, in fact; and
I was dealing with the personal and individualized self exclusively in
the passages with which Professor Stout finds fault.

     The individualized self, which I believe to be the only thing
properly called self, is a part of the content of the world experienced.
The world experienced (otherwise called the 'field of consciousness')
comes at all times with our body at its centre, centre of vision, centre
of action, centre of interest.  Where the body is is 'here': when the
body acts is 'now'; what the body touches is 'this'; all other things
are 'there' and 'then' and 'that.'  These words of emphasized position
imply a systematization of things with reference to a focus of action
and interest which lies in the body; and the systematization is now so
instinctive (was it ever not so?) that no developed or active experience
exists for us at all except in that ordered form.  So far as 'thoughts'
and 'feelings' can be active, there activity terminates in the activity
of the body, and only through first arousing its activities can they
begin to change those of the rest of the world.  [Cf. also
_A_Pluralistic_Universe_, p. 344, note 8. ED.]  The body is the storm
centre, the origin of co-ordinates, the constant place of stress in all
that experience-train.  Everything circles round it, and is felt from
its point of view.  The word 'I,' then, is primarily a noun of position,
just like 'this' and 'here.'  Activities attached to 'this' position
have prerogative emphasis, and, if activities have feelings, must be
felt in a particular way.  The word 'my designates the kind of emphasis.
I see no inconsistency whatever in defending, on the one hand, 'my'
activities as unique and opposed to those of outer nature, and, on the
other hand, in affirming, after introspection, that they consist in
movements in the head.  The 'my' of them is the emphasis, the feeling of
perspective-interest in which they are dyed.

It is evident from this that mere descriptive
analysis of any one of our activity-experiences
is not the whole story, that there is something

still to tell _about_ them that has led such able
writers to conceive of a _Simon-pure_ activity,
an activity _an_sich_, that does, and does n't

merely appear to us to do, and compared with
whose real doing all this phenomenal activity
is but a specious sham.

     The metaphysical question opens here; and
I think that the state of mind of one possessed
by it is often something like this:  "It is all very
well," we may imagine him saying, "to talk
about certain experience-series taking on the
form of feelings of activity, just as they might
take on musical or geometric forms.  Suppose
that they do so; suppose we feel a will to stand
a strain.  Does our feeling do more than _record_
the fact that the strain is sustained?  The _real_
activity, meanwhile, is the _doing_ of the fact;
and what is the doing made of before the record
is made.  What in the will _enables_ it to act thus?
And these trains of experience themselves, in
which activities appear, what makes them _go_
at all?  Does the activity in one bit of experience
bring the next bit into being?  As an empiricist

you cannot say so, for you have just
declared activity to be only a kind of synthetic
object, or conjunctive relation experienced between
bits of experience already made.  But
what made them at all?  What propels experience
_uberhaupt_ into being?  _There_ is the activity
that _operates_; the activity _felt_ is only
its superficial sign."

     To the metaphysical question, popped upon
us in this way, I must pay serious attention
ere I end my remarks; but, before doing so, let
me show that without leaving the immediate
reticulations of experience, or asking what
makes activity itself act, we still find the distinction
between less real and more real activities
forced upon us, and are driven to much
soul-searching on the purely phenomenal plane.

     We must not forget, namely, in talking of
the ultimate character of our activity-experiences,
that each of them is but a portion of a
wider world, one link in the vast chain of processes
of experience out of which history is
made.  Each partial process, to him who lives
through it, defines itself by its origin and its

goal; but to an observer with a wider mind-
span who should live outside of it, that goal
would appear but as a provisional halting-
place, and the subjectively felt activity would
be seen to continue into objective activities
that led far beyond.  We thus acquire a habit,
in discussing activity-experiences, of defining
them by their relation to something more.  If
an experience be one of narrow span, it will be
mistaken as to what activity it is and whose.
You think that _you_ are acting while you are
only obeying someone's push.  You think you
are doing _this_, but you are doing something of
which you do not dream.  For instance, you
think you are but drinking this glass; but you
are really creating the liver-cirrhosis that will
end your days.  You think you are just driving
this bargain, but, as Stevenson says somewhere,
you are laying down a link in the policy
of mankind.

     Generally speaking, the onlooker, with his
wider field of vision, regards the _ultimate_outcome_
of an activity as what it is more really
doing; and _the_most_previous_agent_ ascertainable,

being the first source of action, he regards
as the most real agent in the field.  The others
but transmit the agent's impulse; on him
we put responsibility; we name him when one
asks us 'Who's to blame?'

     But the most previous agents ascertainable,
instead of being a longer span, are often of
much shorter span than the activity in view.
Brain-cells are our best example.  My brain-
cells are believed to excite each other from
next to next (by contiguous transmission of
katabolic alteration, let us say) and to have
been doing so long before this present stretch
of lecturing-activity on my part began.  If any
one cell-group stops its activity, the lecturing
will cease or show disorder of form.  _Cessante_
_causa,_cessat_et_effectus_ -- does not this look as
if the short-span brain activiteis were the more
real activities, and the lecturing activities
on my part only their effects?  Moreover, as
Hume so clearly pointed out,(1) in my mental
activity-situation the words physically to be

   1 [_Enquiry_Concerning_Human_Understanding_, sect VII, part I,
Selby-Bigge's edition, pp. 65 ff.]

uttered are represented as the activity's immediate
goal.  These words, however, cannot
be uttered without intermediate physical processes
in the bulb and vagi nerves, which processes
nevertheless fail to figure in the mental
activity-series at all.  That series, therefore,
since it leaves out vitally real steps of action,
cannot represent the real activities.  It is something
purely subjective; the _facts_ of activity
are elsewhere.  They are something far more
interstitial, so to speak, than what my feelings

     The _real_ facts of activity that have in point
of fact been systematically pleaded for by
philosophers have, so far as my information
goes, been of three principal types.

     The first type takes a consciousness of wider
time-span than ours to be the vehicle of the
more real activity.  Its will is the agent, and its
purpose is the action done.

     The second type assumes that 'ideas' struggling
with one another are the agents, and
that the prevalence of one set of them is the


     The third type believes that never-cells are
the agents, and that resultant motor discharges
are the acts achieved.

     Now if we must de-realize our immediately
felt activity-situations for the benefit of either
of these types of substitute, we ought to know
what the substitution practically involves.
instead of saying naively that 'I' am active
now in delivering this address, I say that _a_
_wider_thinker_is_active_, or that _certain_ideas_are_
_active_, or that _certain_nerve-cells_are_active_, in
producing the result?

     This would be the pragmatic meaning of the
three hypotheses.  Let us take them in succession
in seeking a reply.

     If we assume a wider thinker, it is evident
that his purposes envelope mine.  I am really
lecturing _for_ him; and although I cannot surely
know to what end, yet if I take him religiously,
I can trust it to be a good end, and willingly
connive.  I can be happy in thinking that my
activity transmits his impulse, and that his
ends prolong my own.  Son long as I take him

religiously, in short, he does not de-realize my
activities.  He tends rather to corroborate the
reality of them, so long as I believe both them
and him to be good.

     When now we turn to ideas, the case is different,
inasmuch as ideas are supposed by the
association psychology to influence each other
only from next to next.  The 'span' of an idea
or pair of ideas, is assumed to be much smaller
instead of being larger than that of my total
conscious field.  The same results may get
worked out in both cases, for this address is
being given anyhow.  But the ideas supposed
to 'really' work it out had no prevision of the
whole of it; and if I was lecturing for an absolute
thinker in the former case, so, by similar
reasoning, are my ideas now lecturing for me,
that is, accomplishing unwittingly a result
which I approve and adopt.  But, when this
passing lecture is over, there is nothing in the
bare notion that ideas have been its agents
that would seem to guarantee that my present
purposes in lecturing will be prolonged.  _I_ may
have ulterior developments in view; but there

is no certainty that my ideas as such will wish
to, or be able to, work them out.

     The like is true if nerve-cells be the agents.
The activity of a nerve-cell must be conceived
of as a tendency of exceedingly short reach, an
'impulse' barely spanning the way to the next
cell -- for surely that amount of actual 'process'
must be 'experienced' by the cells if what
happens between them is to deserve the name
of activity at all.  But here again the gross
resultant, as _I_ perceive it, is indifferent to the
agents, and neither wished or willed or foreseen.
Their being agents now congruous with
my will gives me no guarantee that like results
will recur again from their activity.  In point
of fact, all sorts of other results do occur.  My
mistakes, impotencies, perversions, mental obstructions,
and frustrations generally, are also
results of the activity of cells.  Although these
are letting me lecture now, on other occasions
they make me do things that I would willingly
not do.

     The question _Whose_is_the_real_activity?_ is
thus tantamount to the question _What_will_be_

_the_actual_results?_  Its interest is dramatic; how
will things work out?  If the agents are of
one sort, one way; if of another sort, they may
work out differently.  The pragmatic
meaning of the various alternatives, in short,
is great.  It makes no merely verbal difference
which opinion we take up.

     You see it is the old dispute come back!
Materialism and teleology; elementary short-
span actions summing themselves 'blindly,' or
far foreseen ideals coming with effort into act.

     Naively we believe, and humanly and dramatically
we like to believe, that activities
both of wider and of narrower span are at
work in life together, that both are real, and
that the long-span tendencies yoke the others
in their service, encouraging them in the right
direction, and damping them when they tend
in other ways.  But how to represent clearly
the _modus_operandi_ of such steering of small
tendencies by large ones is a problem which
metaphysical thinkers will have to ruminate
upon for many years to come.  Even if such
control should eventually grow clearly picturable,

the question how far it is successfully
exerted in this actual world can be answered
only by investigating the details of fact.  No
philosophic knowledge of the general nature
and constitution of tendencies, or of the relation
of larger to smaller ones, can help us to
predict which of all the various competing
tendencies that interest us in this universe are
likeliest to prevail.  We know as an empirical
fact that far-seeing tendencies often carry out
their purpose, but we know also that they are
often defeated by the failure of some contemptibly
small process on which success depends.
A little thrombus in a statesman's
meningeal artery will throw an empire out of
gear.  I can therefore not even hint at any solution
of the pragmatic issue.  I have only wished
to show you that that issue is what gives the
real interest to all inquiries into what kinds of
activity may be real.  Are the forces that really
act in the world more foreseeing or more blind?
As between 'our' activities as 'we' experience
them, and those of our ideas, or of our brain-
cells, the issue is well-defined.


     I said a while back(1) that I should return to
the 'metaphysical' question before ending; so,
with a few words about that, I will now close
my remarks.

     In whatever form we hear this question propounded,
I think that it always arises from two
things, a belief that _causality_ must be exerted
in activity, and a wonder as to how causality is
made.  If we take an activity-situation at its
face-value, it seems as if we caught _in_flagrante_
_delicto_ the very power that makes facts come
and be.  I now am eagerly striving, for example,
to get this truth which I seem half to
perceive, into words which shall make it show
more clearly.  If the words come, it will seem as
if the striving itself had drawn or pulled them
into actuality out from the state of merely
possible being in which they were.  How is this
feat performed?  How does the pulling _pull?_
How do I get my hold on words not yet existent,
and when they come by what means have
I _made_ them come?  Really it is the problem of
creation; for in the end the question is:  How do

   1 Page 172.

I make them _be?_  Real activities are those
that really make things be, without which
the things are not, and with which they are
there.  Activity, so far as we merely feel it, on
the other hand, is only an impression of ours,
it may be maintained; and an impression is,
for all this way of thinking, only a shadow of
another fact.

     Arrived at this point, I can do little more
than indicate the principles on which, as it
seems to me, a radically empirical philosophy
is obliged to rely in handling such a dispute.

     If there _be_ real creative activiteis in being,
radical empiricism must say, somewhere they
must be immediately lived.  Somewhere the
_that_ of efficacious causing and the _what_ of it
must be experienced in one, just as the what
and the that of 'cold' are experienced in one
whenever a man has the sensation of cold here
and now.  It boots not to say that our sensations
are fallible.  They are indeed; but to see
the thermometer contradict us when we say 'it
is cold' does not abolish cold as a specific nature
from the universe.  Cold is the arctic

circle if not here.  Even so, to feel that our
train is moving when the train beside our window
moves, to see the moon through a telescope
come twice as near, or to see two pictures
as one solid when we look through a
stereoscope at them, leaves motion, nearness,
and solidity still in being -- if not here,
yet each in its proper seat elsewhere.  And
wherever the seat of real causality _is_, as ultimately
known 'for true' (in nerve-processes,
if you will, that cause our feelings of activity
as well as the movements which these
seem to prompt), a philosophy of pure experience
can consider the real causation as no other
_nature_ of thing than that which even our
most erroneous experiences appears to be at
work.  Exactly what appears there is what we
_mean_ by working, though we may later come
to learn that working was not exactly _there_.
Sustaining, persevering, striving, paying with
effort as we go, hanging on, and finally achieving
our intention -- this _is_ action, this _is_ effectuation
in the only shape in which, by a pure
experience-philosophy, the whereabouts of it

anywhere can be discussed.  Here is creation
in its first intention, here is causality at work.(1)
To treat this offhand as the bare illusory surface
of a world whose real causality is an unimaginable
ontological principle hidden in the
cubic deeps, is, for the more empirical way of
thinking, only animism in another shape.  You
explain your given fact by your 'principle,' but
the principle itself, when you look clearly at it,
turns out to be nothing but a previous little
spiritual copy of the fact.  Away from that one
and only kind of fact your mind, considering
causality, can never get.(2)

   1 Let me not be told that this contradicts [the first essay], 'Does
Consciousness Exist?' (see especially page 32), in which it was said
that while 'thoughts' and 'things' have the same natures, the natures
work 'energetically' on each other in the things (fire burns, water
wets, etc.) but not in the thoughts.  Mental activity-trains are
composed of thoughts, yet their members do work on each other, they
check, sustain, and introduce.  They do so when the activity is merely
associational as well as when effort is there.  But, and this is my
reply, they do so by other parts of their nature than those that
energize physically.  One thought in every developed activity-series is
a desire or thought of purpose, and all the other thoughts acquire a
feeling tone from their relation of harmony or oppugnancy to this.  The
interplay of these secondary tones (among which 'interest,'
'difficulty,' and 'effort' figure) runs the drama in the mental series.
In what we term the physical drama these qualities play absolutely no
part.  The subject needs careful working out; but I can see no

   2 I have found myself more than once accused in print of being the
assertor of a metaphysical principle of activity.  Since literary
misunderstandings retard the settlement of problems, I should like to
say that such an interpretation of the pages I have published on Effort
and on Will is absolutely foreign to what I mean to express.
[_Principles_of_Psychology_, vol II, ch. XXVI.]  I ow all my doctrines
on this subject to Renouvier; and Renouvier, as I understand him, is (or
at any rate then was) an out and out phenomenalist, a denier of 'forces'
in the most strenuous sense.  [Cf. Ch. Renouvier:
(1885), vol. II, pp. 390-392; _Essais_de_Critique_Generale_ (1859), vol.
II, sections ix, xiii.  For an acknowledgement of the author's general
indebtedness to Renouvier, cf. _Some_Problems_of_Philosophy_, p. 165,
note.  ED.]  Single clauses in my writing, or sentences read out of
their connection, may possibly have been compatible with a
transphenomenal principle of energy; but I defy anyone to show a single
sentence which, taken with its context, should be naturally held to
advocate that view.  The misinterpretation probably arose at first from
my defending (after Renouvier) the indeterminism of our efforts.  'Free
will' was supposed by my critics to involve a supernatural agent.  As a
matter of plain history the only 'free will' I have ever thought of
defending is the character of novelty in fresh activity-situations.  If
an activity-process is the form of a whole 'field of consciousness,' and
if each field of consciousness is not only in its totality unique (as is
now commonly admitted) but has its elements unique (since in that
situation they are all dyed in the total) then novelty is perpetually
entering the world and what happens there is not pure _repetition_, as
the dogma of the literal uniformity of nature requires.
Activity-situations come, in short, each with an original touch.  A
'principle' of free will if there were one, would doubtless manifest
itself in such phenomena, but I never say, nor do I now see, what the
principle could do except rehearse the phenomenon beforehand, or why it
ever should be invoked.

for philosophy is to leave off grubbing underground
for what effects effectuation, or what
makes action act, and to try to solve the concrete
questions of where effectuation in this
world is located, of which things are the true
causal agents there, and of what the more
remote effects consist.

     From this point of view the greater sublimity
traditionally attributed to the metaphysical
inquiry, the grubbing inquiry, entirely disappears.
If we could know what causation
really and transcendentally is in itself, the only
_use_ of the knowledge would be to help us to
recognize an actual cause when we had one,
and so to track the future course of operations
more intelligently out.  The mere abstract
inquiry into causation's hidden nature
is not more sublime than any other inquiry
equally abstract.  Causation inhabits no more
sublime level than anything else.  It lives,
apparently, in the dirt of the world as well
as in the absolute, or in man's unconquerable
mind.  The worth and interest of the world
consists not in its elements, be these elements

things, or be they the conjunctions of things;
it exists rather in the dramatic outcome in
the whole process, and in the meaning of the
succession stages which the elements work out.

     My colleague and master, Josiah Royce, in
a page of his review of Stout's _Analytic_Psychology(1)
has some fine words on this point
with which I cordially agree.  I cannot agree
with his separating the notion of efficacy from
that of activity altogether (this I understand
to be one contention of his) for activities are
efficacious whenever they are real activities at
all.  But the inner nature both of efficacy and
of activity are superficial problems, I understand
Royce to say; and the only point for us
in solving them would be their possible use in
helping us to solve the far deeper problem of
the course and meaning of the world of life.
Life, says our colleague, is full of significance,
of meaning, of success and of defeat, of hoping
and of striving, of longing, of desire, and of
inner value.  It is a total presence that embodies
worth.  To live our own lives better in

   1 _Mind_, N.S., vol. VI, 1897; cf. pp. 392-393.

this presence is the true reason why we wish to
know the elements of things; so even we psychologists
must end on this pragmatic note.

     The urgent problems of activity are thus
more concrete.  They are all problems of the
true relation of longer-span to shorter-span
activities.  When, for example, a number of
'ideas' (to use the name traditional in psychology)
grow confluent in a larger field of
consciousness, do the smaller activities still
co-exist with the wider activities then experienced
by the conscious subject?  And, if so,
do the wide activities accompany the narrow
ones inertly, or do they exert control?  Or do
they perhaps utterly supplant and replace
them and short-circuit their effects?  Again,
when a mental activity-process and a brain-
cell series of activities both terminate in the
same muscular movement, does the mental
process steer the neural processes or not?  Or,
on the other hand, does it independently short-
circuit their effects?  Such are the questions
that we must begin with.  But so far am I from
suggesting any definitive answer to such questions,

that I hardly yet can put them clearly.
They lead, however, into that region of pan-
psychic and ontologic speculation of which
Professors Bergson and Strong have lately enlarged
the literature in so able and interesting
a way.(1)  The result of these authors seem
in many respects dissimilar, and I understand
them as yet but imperfectly; but I cannot help
suspecting that the direction of their work is
very promising, and that they have the hunter's
instinct for the fruitful trails.

   1 [Cf. _A_Pluralistic_Universe_, Lect. VI (on Bergson); H. Bergson:
_Creative_Evolution_, trans. by A. Mitchell; C.A. Strong:
_Why_the_Mind_Has_a_Body_, ch. XII.  ED.]



               THE ESSENCE OF HUMANISM(1)

HUMANISM is a ferment that has 'come to
stay.'(2)  It is not a single hypothesis of theorem,
and it dwells on no new facts.  It is
rather a slow shifting in the philosophic perspective,
making things appear as from a new
centre of interest or point of sight.  Some
writers are strongly conscious of the shifting,
others half unconscious, even though their own
vision may have undergone much change.  The
result is no small confusion in debate, the half-conscious
humanists often taking part against
the radical ones, as if they wished to count
upon the other side.(3)

   1 [Reprinted from
_The_Journal_of_Philosophy,_Psychology_and_Scientific_Methods_, vol. II,
No. 5, March 2, 1905.  Also reprinted, with slight changes in
_The_Meaning_of_Truth_, pp. 121-135.  The author's corrections have been
adopted for the present text.  ED.]

   2 [Written _apropos_ of the appearance of three articles in _Mind_,
N.S., vol. XIV, No. 53, January, 1905:  "'Absolute' and 'Relative'
Truth," H.H.Joachim; "Professor James on 'Humanism and Truth,'"
H.W.B.Joseph; "Applied Axioms," A. Sidgwick.  Of these articles the
second and third "continue the humanistic (or pragmatistic)
controversy," the first "deeply connects with it." ED.]

   3 Professor Baldwin, for example.  His address 'On Selective
Thinking' (_Psychological_Review_, [vol. V], 1898, reprinted in his
volume, _Development_and_Evolution) seems to me an unusually
well-written pragmatic manifesto.  Nevertheless in 'The Limits of
Pragmatism' (ibid., [vol. XI], 1904), he (much less clearly) joins in
the attack.


     If humanism really be the name for such
a shifting of perspective, it is obvious that
the whole scene of the philosophic stage will
change in some degree if humanism prevails.
The emphasis of things, their foreground and
background distribution, their sizes and values,
will not keep just the same.(1)  If such
pervasive consequences be involved in humanism,
it is clear that no pains which philosophers
may take, first in defining it, and then in
furthering, checking, or steering its progress,
will be thrown away.

     It suffers badly at present from incomplete
definition.  Its most systematic advocates,
Schiller and Dewey, have published fragmentary

   1 The ethical changes, it seems to me, are beautifully made evident
in Professor Dewey's series of articles, which will never get the
attention they deserve till they are printed in a book.  I mean:  'The
Significance of Emotions,' _Psychological_Review_, vol. II, [1895], p.
13; 'The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology,' ibid., vol. III [1896], p.
357; 'Psychology and Social Practice,' ibid., vol. VII, [1900], p. 105;
'Interpretation of Savage Mind,' ibid., vol. IX, [1902], p.217; 'Green's
Theory of the Moral Motive,' _Philosophical_Review_, vol. I, [1892], p.
593; 'Self-realization as the Moral Ideal,' ibid., vol. II, [1893], p.
652; 'The Psychology of Effort,' ibid., vol. VI, [1897], p.43; 'The
Evolutionary Method as Applied to Morality,' ibid., vol XI, [1902], pp.
107, 353; 'Evolution and Ethics,' _Monist_, vol. VIII, [1898], p.321; to
mention only a few.

programs only; and its bearing on many
vital philosophic problems has not been traced
except by adversaries who, scenting heresies in
advance, have showered blows on doctrines --
subjectivism and scepticism, for example --
that no good humanist finds it necessary to
entertain.  By their still greater reticences, the
anti-humanists have, in turn, perplexed the
humanists.  Much of the controversy has involved
the word 'truth.'  It is always good in
debate to know your adversary's point of view
authentically.  But the critics of humanism
never define exactly what the word 'truth'
signifies when they use it themselves.  The
humanists have to guess at their view; and
the result has doubtless been much at beating of
the air.  Add to all this, great individual differences
in both camps, and it becomes clear that
nothing is so urgently needed, at the stage
which things have reached at present, as a
sharper definition by each side of its central
point of view.

     Whoever will contribute any touch of
sharpness will help us to make sure of what's

what and who is who.  Anyone can contribute
such a definition, and, without it, no one
knows exactly where he stands.  If I offer my
own provisional definition of humanism(1) now
and here, others may improve it, some adversary
may be led to define his own creed more sharply
by the contrast, and a certain quickening
of the crystallization of general opinion
may result.


     The essential service of humanism, as I conceive
the situation, is to have seen that _though_

     Since this formula also expresses the main
contention of transcendental idealism, it needs
abundant explication to make it unambiguous.

   1 [The author employs the term 'humanism' either as a synonym
for 'radical empiricism' (cf. e.g, above, p. 156); or as that general
philosophy of life of which 'radical empiricism' is the theoretical
ground (cf. below, p. 194).  For other discussions of 'humanism,' cf.
below, essay XI, and _The_Meaning_of)Truth_, essay III.  ED.]

It seems, at first sight, to confine itself to
denying theism and pantheism.  But, in fact,
it need not deny either; everything would
depend on the exegesis; and if the formula
ever became canonical, it would certainly
develop both right-wing and left-wing interpreters.
I myself read humanism theistically
and pluralistically.  If there be a God, he is
no absolute all-experiencer, but simply the
experiencer of widest actual conscious span.
Read thus, humanism is for me a religion
susceptible of reasoned defence, though I am
well aware how many minds there are to whom
it can appeal religiously only when it has
been monistically translated.  Ethically the
pluralistic form of it takes for me a stronger
hold on reality than any other philosophy I
know of -- it being essentially a _social_ philosophy,
a philosophy of _'co,'_ in which conjunctions
do the work.  But my primary reason
for advocating it is its matchless intellectual
economy.  It gets rid, not only of the standing
'problems' that monism engenders ('problem
of evil,' 'problem of freedom,' and the

like), but of other metaphysical mysteries and
paradoxes as well.

     It gets rid, for example, of the whole agnostic
controversy, by refusing to entertain the hypothesis
of trans-empirical reality at all.  It gets rid
of any need for an absolute of the Bradleyan
type (avowedly sterile for intellectual
purposes) by insisting that the conjunctive
relations found within experience are faultlessly
real.  It gets rid of the need of an absolute
of the Roycean type (similarly sterile) by
its pragmatic treatment of the problem of
knowledge [a treatment of which I have already
given a version in two very inadequate
articles].(1)  As the views of knowledge, reality
and truth imputed to humanism have been
those so far most fiercely attacked, it is in
regard to these ideas that a sharpening of
focus seems most urgently required.  I proceed
therefore to bring the view which _I_ impute
to humanism in these respects into focus as
briefly as I can.

   1 [Omitted from reprint in _Meaning_of_Truth_.  The articles referred
to are 'Does Consciousness Exist?' and 'A World of Pure Experience,'
reprinted above.]



     If the central humanistic thesis, printed
above in italics, be accepted, it will follow
that, if there be any such thing at all as knowing,
the knower and the object known must
both be portions of experience.  One part of
experience must, therefore, either

     (1) Know another part of experience -- in
other words, parts must, as Professor Woodbridge
says,(1) represent _one_another_ instead of
representing realities outside of 'consciousness'
-- this case is that of conceptual knowledge; or else

     (2) They must simply exist as so many ultimate
_thats_ or facts of being, in the first instance;
an then, as a secondary complication,
and without doubling up its entitative singleness,
any one and the same _that_ must figure
alternately as a thing known and as a knowledge
of the thing, by reason of two divergent
kinds of context into which, in the general
course of experience, it gets woven.(2)

   1 In _Science_, November 4, 1904, p. 599.

   2 This statement is probably excessively obscure to any who
has not read my two articles, 'Does Consciousness Exist?' and 'A World
of Pure Experience.'


     This second case is that of sense-perception.
There is a stage of thought that goes beyond
common sense, and of it I shall say more presently;
but the common-sense stage is a perfectly
definite halting-place of thought, primarily
for the purposes of action; and, so long
as we remain on the common-sense stage of
thought, object and subject _fuse_ in the fact of
'presentation' or sense-perception -- the pen
and hand which I now _see_ writing, for example,
_are_ the physical realities which those words
designate.  In this case there is no self-transcendency
implied in the knowing.  Humanism,
here, is only a more comminuted _Identitasphilosophie_.(1)

     In case (1), on the contrary, the representative
experience does transcend itself in knowing
the other experience that is its object.  No
one can talk of the knowledge of the one by the
other without seeing them as numerically distinct
entities, of which the one lies beyond the
other and away from it, along some direction

   1 [Cf. above, p. 134; and below, p.202.]
and with some interval, that can be definitely
named.  But, if the talker be a humanist, he
must also see this distance-interval concretely
and pragmatically, and confess it to consist
of other intervening experiences -- of possible
ones, at all events, if not of actual.  To call my
present idea of my dog, for example, cognitive
of the real dog means that, as the actual tissue
of experience is constituted, the idea is capable
of leading into a chain of other experiences
on my part that go from next to next and
terminate at last in vivid sense-perceptions
of a jumping, barking, hairy body.  Those _are_
the real dog, the dog's full presence, for my
common sense.  If the supposed talker is a
profound philosopher, although they may not
_be_ the real dog for him, they _mean_ the real dog,
are practical substitutes for the real dog, as
the representation was a practical substitute
for them, that real dog being a lot of atoms,
say, or of mind-stuff, that lie _where_ the sense-
perceptions lie in his experience as well as in
my own.



     The philosopher here stands for the stage of
thought that goes beyond the stage of common
sense; and the difference is simply that he
'interpolates' and 'extrapolates,' where common
sense does not.  For common sense, two
men see the same identical real dog.  Philosophy,
noting actual differences in their perceptions,
points out the duality of these latter,
and interpolates something between them as
a more real terminus -- first, organs, viscera,
etc.; next, cells; then, ultimate atoms; lastly,
mind-stuff perhaps.  The original sense-termini
of the two men, instead of coalescing with
each other and with the real dog-object, as at
first supposed, are thus help by philosophers to
be separated by invisible realities with which
at most, they are conterminous.

     Abolish, now, one of the percipients, and
the interpolation changes into 'extrapolation.'
The sense-terminus of the remaining percipient
is regarded by the philosopher as not quite
reaching reality.  He has only carried the procession
of experiences, the philosopher thinks,

to a definite, because practical, halting-place
somewhere on the way towards an absolute
truth that lies beyond.

     The humanist sees all the time, however,
that there is no absolute transcendency even
about the more absolute realities thus conjectured
or believed in.  The viscera and cells
are only possible percepts following upon that
of the outer body. The atoms again, though
we may never attain to human means of perceiving
them, are still defined perceptually.
The mind-stuff itself is conceived as a kind
of experience; and it is possible to frame the
hypothesis (such hypotheses can by no logic
be excluded from philosophy) of two knowers
of a piece of mind-stuff and the mind-stuff
itself becoming 'confluent' at the moment at
which our imperfect knowing might pass into
knowing of a completed type.  Even so do you
and I habitually represent our two perceptions
and the real dog as confluent, though only provisionally,
and for the common-sense stage
of thought.  If my pen be inwardly made of
mind-stuff, there is no confluence _now_ between

that mind-stuff and my visual perception of
the pen.  But conceivably there might come to
be such confluence; for, in the case of my hand,
the visual sensations and the inward feelings
of the hand, its mind-stuff, so to speak, are even
now as confluent as any two things can be.

     There is, thus, no breach in humanistic
epistemology.  Whether knowledge be taken
as ideally perfected, or only as true enough to
pass muster for practice, it is hung on one continuous
scheme.  Reality, howsoever remote, is
always defined as a terminus within the general
possibilities of experience; and what knows it is
defined as an experience _that_'represents'_it,_in_
because it leads to the same associates, _or_
_in_the_sense_of_'point_to_it'_ through a chain
of other experiences that either intervene or
may intervene.

     Absolute reality here bears the same relation
to sensation as sensation bears to conception
or imagination.  Both are provisional or final
termini, sensation being only the terminus
at which the practical man habitually stops,

while the philosopher projects a 'beyond' in
the shape of more absolute reality.  These
termini, for the practical and the philosophical
stages of thought respectively, are self-
supporting.  They are not 'true' of anything
lese, they simply _are_, are _real_.  They 'lean
on nothing,' as my italicized formula said.
Rather does the whole fabric of experience
lean on them, just as the whole fabric of the
solar system, including many relative positions,
leans, for its absolute position in space,
on any one of its constituent stars.  Here,
again, one gets a new _Identitatsphilosophie_ in
pluralistic form.(1)


     If I have succeeded in making this at all
clear (though I fear that brevity and abstractness
between them may have made me fail),
the reader will see that the 'truth' of our mental
operations must always ben an intra-experiential
affair.  A conception is reckoned true by
common sense when it can be made to lead to a

   1 [Cf. above, pp. 134, 197.]

sensation.  The sensation, which for common
sense is not so much 'true' as 'real,' is held to
be _provisionally_ true by the philosopher just
in so far as it _covers_ (abuts at, or occupies the
place of) a still more absolutely real experience,
in the possibility of which to come remoter
experient the philosopher finds reason
to believe.

     Meanwhile what actually _does_ count for true
to any individual trower, whether he be philosopher
or common man, is always a result of his
_apperceptions_.  If a novel experience, conceptual
or sensible, contradict too emphatically our
pre-existent system of beliefs, in ninety-nine
cases out of a hundred it is treated as false.
Only when the older and the newer experiences
are congruous enough to mutually apperceive
and modify each other, does what we treat as
an advance in truth result.  [Having written of
this point in an article in reply to Mr. Joseph's
criticism of my humanism, I will say no more
about truth here, but refer the reader to that
review.(1)]  In no case, however, need truth

   1 [Omitted from reprint in _Meaning_of_Truth_.  The review referred
to is reprinted below, pp. 244-265, under the title "Humanism and Truth
Once More."  ED.]

consist in a relation between our experiences
and something archetypal or trans-experiential.
Should we ever reach absolutely terminal
experiences, experiences in which we all agreed,
which were superseded by no revised continuations,
these would not be _true_, they would be
_real_, they would simply _be_, and be indeed the
angles, corners, and linchpins of all reality, on
which the truth of everything else would be
stayed.  Only such _other_ thins as led to these
by satisfactory conjunctions would be 'true.'
Satisfactory connection of some sort with such
termini is all that the word 'truth' means.
On the common-sense stage of thought sense-
presentations serve as such termini.  our ideas
and concepts and scientific theories pass for
true only so far as they harmoniously lead back
to the world of sense.

     I hope that many humanists will endorse
this attempt of mine to trace the more essential
features of that way of viewing things.  I
feel almost certain that Messrs. Dewey and

Schiller will do so.  If the attackers will also
take some slight account of it, it may be that
discussion will be a little less wide of the mark
than it has hitherto been.