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Professor of Philosophy 
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I. The Religious Response i 

II . The Problem of Religion 1 5 

III. Discarded Conceptions of the Spiritual 1.7 

IV. The World of Physical Science 53 

V. The World of Everyday Perception, Its Two 

Aspects 67 

VI. The Responses of Appreciation vs. the 

Responses of Action 83 

VII. How Objects Are Related in Their Aspect 

of VaJtex^ 100 

VIII. How /These Relations Are Verified 133 

IX. The Objective System of Values as the 

Spiritual World 151 

X. Does the Objective System of Values Imply 

a Cosmic Intelligence? 166 

XL Religion and Morality 188 

XII. The Religion of Experience and Experiment xo8 

Index Z53 




No LEADING human interest or social in- 
stitution is more provocative of con- 
troversy than religion. Even upon a ques- 
tion of fundamental fact like that of the 
place and importance of religion in human 
culture, different views are possible and de- 
fensible. When we consider how religion 
has endured through jthe long course of 
social history and how its vital spirit has sur- 
vived innumerable changes of outward form, 
we may be convinced that it stands as a 
permanent and necessary expression of hu- 
man nature, essential to human life, insep- 
arable from human experience. The hostile 
influences which now attack it seem no more 
likely to work its destruction than are the 


storm winds to destroy the granite mountain 
peak against which they blow. But when we 
think of the way in which other cultural in- 
fluences, scientific and ethical, have steadily 
encroached upon religion, we seem driven, in 
spite of ourselves perhaps, to the opposite 
conclusion. In particular is this the case 
when we think of how the advance of scien- 
tific knowledge has undermined the author- 
ity and diminished the prestige of religion. 
Seen in the light of these tendencies religion 
appears as a provisional and pre-scientific in- 
terpretation of the human world. It appears 
as a temporary stage inevitable in the devel- 
opment of human culture but equally certain 
to give way and disappear as man pro- 
gresses to more intelligent interpretations of 
his own life and environment. Even now in 
Western civilization we seem to see the in- 
fluence of religion waning and approaching 
extinction as scientific knowledge becomes 


more widespread and scientific conclusions 
gain more general acceptance. 

What do we mean by religion? Many 
definitions have been proposed and it would 
be interesting to review a number of the most 
successful. But it is not a definition that we 
want, at least not in the textbook sense of a 
formal statement which will apply to all his- 
toric forms of religion from the totemism of 
primitive man and the fetishism of the sav- 
age to enlightened Judaism and Buddhism 
and Christianity. What we should have 
clearly in mind before we begin any discus- 
sion of the present-day problems of religion 
is a descriptive statement on which we can 
agree, as true to the distinctive character of 
religion, true to that germ of meaning which 
has persisted through the long and devious 
courses of social history, has vitalized a be- 
wildering number of savage superstitions 
and fanciful mythologies, and has finally 


come to articulate expression in systematized 

religious belief. 

On one point there is certainty. Religion 
is an expression or attitude of human nature 
in its entirety, of the whole man, not of any 
particular part or special faculty. This is a 
fundamental truth, one too obvious, it would 
seem, to be ignored or denied. Yet it has 
been ignored and virtually denied. The 
reason is that students of a complex response 
like the religious tend to become interested 
in some one special aspect or phase of it, to 
concentrate their attention upon this aspect, 
to emphasize it at the expense of all others, 
and finally to put it in place of the whole. 
So in the case of religion, we have had very 
able writers maintaining that religion was 
essentially belief, belief in super-personal 
powers or deities. We have had others iden- 
tifying k primarily with a mode of emotion 
like the feeling of awe or of adoration or of 



dependence, and still others finding its es- 
sence in acts of worship or of ritualistic 
performance. But such one-sided and partial 
interpretations are now unanimously re- 
jected; it is agreed that the religious response 
involves the whole nature of man and thus 
affects his thinking, his states of feeling, and 
his acts. 

Understanding then that religion is a re- 
sponse of an intelligent human nature in its 
entirety and also that since man is essentially 
a social being any such response of his whole 
nature will have its social reference and im- 
plications, we next ask: What object or 
stimulus calls forth this response? An an- 
swer in harmony with contemporary tend- 
encies of thought would perhaps be that 
religion is a response on the part of the hu- 
man individual to the moral and social values 
which he holds supreme. There is truth in 
this: we all recognize that religious faith in 


its developed form is concerned with our 
moral and social ideals, with the fulfilment 
of our human hopes and aspirations, with the 
realization of our social purposes and our 
personal ideals. But it is more than this. 
What the more is, is indicated by a famous 
definition of religion as faith in the "conser- 
vation" of values. 1 Such faith in the con- 
servation of values, if it has any distinctive 
meaning, necessarily looks beyond our hu- 
man nature and its purposes and ideals to the 
nature of the world, to the character of the 
encompassing universe. It affirms that the 
values which we rate highest are grounded 
in the nature of the existing world; it affirms 
that the universe is such as to guarantee the 
realization of these values. 

Religion, therefore, is not merely a response 
to valued objects, to ideals of excellence and 
worth; it is also a response to the real universe. 

1 Hoffding, Philosophy of Religion, p. lOff. 


Indeed it is, primarily, a response of the in- 
telligent human individual to Universal Real- 
ity. Objection to this statement may un- 
doubtedly be made on the ground that it 
attributes to the average man an interest in 
what is really a metaphysical abstraction. The 
vast majority of human beings, it will be said, 
have never even thought of "reality with a 
capital R," of the Universe as the philosopher 
conceives it. They are concerned only with 
the particular situations and circumstances 
which arise in their own daily lives, are inter- 
ested only in that part of the earth they hap- 
pen to inhabit, and are aware of the natural 
world only as it affects the local conditions 
under which they carry on the business of 

Of course it would be absurd to suppose 
that his religion makes a metaphysician out of 
the ordinary man or that it gives him an in- 
terest in the philosophical problem of the 


Ultimate Reality. By "Universal Reality" as 
the object which calls forth the religious re- 
sponse something is meant admittedly vague. 
Something not definitely conceived after the 
manner of philosophy but none the less real 
for that: the cosmic background of human 
life, the total scheme of things. From time 
to time the average man is reminded of this 
cosmic background of his own life and activi- 
ties by the uncertainty, the hazards, and the 
mystery of human life, features which force 
themselves upon his notice in a multitude of 
ways and a variety of circumstances, in periods 
of crisis and danger, at times of triumph and 
fulfilment, in moments of yearning and as- 
piration, in the bitterness of disappointment 
and the hopelessness of grief. On such occa- 
sions he is reminded that birth and duration 
of life, the preservation of health and per- 
sonal vigor, the unfolding of plans and the 
fruition of friendship, are for him as for all 


human beings in the control of natural forces 
which link up somehow with the cosmic sys- 
tem. Through the use of his own intelligence 
and the knowledge gained by his fellows he 
can, within comparatively narrow limits, pre- 
dict the incidence of these forces and hence 
foresee and control his own future. But in 
spite of the widening area of human control 
each man knows that his life ends as it began, 
in mystery; his successes, so impressive when 
viewed at short range, serve merely to accentu- 
ate his helplessness in the vast driftings of 
cosmic weather. Every man, as we say, owes 
his debt to nature: so every man is eventually, 
brought face to face with the "total scheme 
of things." 

And religion is his personal response to 
this "total scheme of things." What kind of 
response? we next inquire. The religious' 
response is an affirmation on man's part of his 
personal confidence in the Supreme Cosmic 


Power. Now all expressions of confidence 
can have but one rational ground or source. 
We only trust that which we deem trust- 
worthy. The basis of our confidence in any 
object is always some valuable quality or 
qualities which we have found in it. In the 
case of a machine it is its steadiness and effi- 
ciency of operation which we rely on, for 
these are the qualities a machine must have 
if it is to produce the results we desire. So 
in case of the Universe the ground of the con- 
fidence we feel in it is an inherent excellence 
we believe it to possess. But in this case it is 
much more than uniformity and efficiency in 
mode of operation. When we respond to the 
Supreme Cosmic Power with religious faith, 
we are not expecting, if our faith is at all 
intelligent, to obtain from it any of the par- 
ticular objects or results which we as indi- 
viduals happen to desire. It is not even our 
individual interests as we understand them, or 


the private ambitions we have cherished, 
which we rely on the Universe to gain or to 
promote for us. We are not attributing to the 
Universe any special solicitude for, or sym- 
pathy with, these private schemes and ambi- 
s v tions of ours. What we have in mind is rather 
the objects and experiences to which we as in- 
telligent persons attach intrinsic or absolute 
value, the insights and achievements, the loy- 
alties and sympathies, of personal life and 
association. It is these values whose reality 
is at stake. And if we do feel a personal con- 
fidence in the Supreme Cosmic Power (as 
the religious man does) this means that we 
affirm the ultimate reality of, the real con- 
servation of, these values. We have confi- 
dence in the Universe because we believe it is 
essentially good and will make goodness pre- 

The religious response we thus recognize as 
an expression of confidence in Universal Re- 


ality. Its effect is to reassure the human in- 
dividual when confronted with the ultimate 
issues of life, to reassure him since it seems to 
guarantee the reality of those values which he 
in moments of clearest thought and widest 
vision holds highest. We can be still more 
explicit in characterizing the religious re- 
sponse, although we cannot go far in, this 
direction without anticipating conclusions to 
be later arrived at as the result of analysis and 
argument. The values to which religion 
ascribes an ultimate and conquering reality 
are, as was just pointed out, those which our 
reason recognizes as intrinsic and absolute. 
Now, they are all values of personal achieve- 
ment and association. They may seem, it is 
true, to take on an impersonal form when con- 
ceived as Truth or Power or Progress or 
Beauty. But Truth and Power and Progress 
and Beauty imply in their attainment mutual 
insight and community of understanding, co- 


operation and fellowship, love and intelligent 
sympathy, on the part of intelligent persons. 
Hence the values in question, recognized by 
reason as highest, are values realized in in- 
telligent community and through personal 

To believe, as religion does, that these 
values are ultimately real is to believe that 
there is in the Universe an enduring apprecia- 
tion of these values and a prevailing power 
and purpose to realize them. If, however, this 
much is implied in faith in the ultimate con- 
servation of values, religion in effect discovers 
common ground between human nature and 
the cosmic reality. The two are linked to- 
gether by their appreciation of the insights 
and activities of- intelligent community and 
personal association. This kinship makes pos- 
sible personal communion. So the religious 
response tends to develop by inner logic of 
its own, from confidence in, to communion 

with, God. In such communion religious 
faith finds confirmation and fulfilment. For 
it not merely gives assurance of the reality of 
the highest personal and social values; it real- 
izes these values in actual experience. 

Religion we then understand as an expres- 
sion of confidence on the part of human 
beings, individually or collectively, in the 
goodness of the real universe, which leads to 
communion with the power or powers be- 
lieved to control it. 



we propose to understand as a 
response, on the part of the human 
individual, of personal confidence in the real 
universe. We have now to consider the 
problem which this response and the faith be- 
hind it create for modern thought. 

Why, we may wonder, does any problem 
arise at all? Confidence in the Supreme Cos- 
mic Power has been produced in the minds of 
a large proportion of mankind by their ex- 
perience of life and the world; and they have 
expressed the confidence they have felt by ap- 
propriate words and acts. Why need any 
intellectual or theoretical difficulty intrude it- 
self ? Nevertheless, a problem does arise and 

its source is to be found in an assumption as 


to the nature of the world which underlies the 
religious response. Indeed it is not too much 
to say that a definite view of the world is im- 
plied in religious faith. Man can in reason 
' trust a. Universe only if he believes it trust- 
worthy. And he can regard it as trustworthy 
only if he attributes to it an appreciation of 
the values he holds highest, those of personal 
character and personal association, and a pur- 
pose and a power to realize these values. This 
assumption concerning the nature of the world 
it is which creates the theoretical or philo- 
sophical problem of religion. Human thought 
is bound to inquire: Is the religious view of 
the world as truly worthy of man's trust and 
confidence rationally justifiable in view of the 
facts of human experience and the attested 
conclusions of human science? 

To this statement that religion involves a 
view of the world which requires rational 
scrutiny, serious exception may be taken. Is 

not religious faith, it will be asked, essentially 
a venture? Hence, is it not quite wrong to 
insist upon examining beforehand the rational 
grounds for its confidence in the universe? 
To expect in this case anything like rational 
proof or demonstration is to expect that faith 
converts itself into knowledge. If confidence 
in the Universe, honestly and resolutely acted 
upon, produces satisfying results, if it gives 
human beings increased power to realize their 
ideals, if it gives added scope and meaning to 
their social contacts, if it makes their achieve- 
ments more enduring and their friendships 
more fruitful, this is all the justification that 
it needs before the bar of reason, and all it 
can have. Religious faith is essentially ex- 
perimental; in its own field it must precede, 
not follow, knowledge. 

There is a large measure of truth in these 
contentions. But such truth as there is, is 
jquite consistent with the statements just made 

as to the problem of religion. Religion we 
must acknowledge to be an independent 
source of authentic experience as to the world 
in which we live. The f acts which its practice 
brings to light are distinctive facts which must 
be taken account of in any comprehensive 
view of man and his cosmic relations. The 
*"* procedure of religion (as I shall have occasion 
later to emphasize) is necessarily experi- 
mental. And in an important sense the ra- 
tional justification for the assumption on 
which the religious response proceeds is to be 
sought in the results it produces rather than in 
its own logical cogency and rational grounds. 
Certainly it would be a mistake to hold that 
the truth of all religious beliefs should be ra- 
tionally demonstrated before they are accepted 
and acted upon. 

But there is more to be said. Human intel- 
ligence is not a house divided against itself. 
Is it therefore conceivable that a view of the 


world contrary to, or inconsistent with, scien- 
tifically ascertained and verified fact would 
have practical results permanently good? A 
Universe in which such a state of affairs could 
obtain would prove itself to be the reverse 
of trustworthy. A religious faith which, in 
the supposed interests of the higher hopes and 
values of human life, proceeded upon a view 
of the world unscientific and anti-scientific 
could receive the proof it seeks of the essential 
orderliness and rectitude of the universe only 
through its own failure and frustration. Re- 
ligious faith, while it may properly transcend 
or exceed scientific fact, should not contra- 
vene or contradict it. Briefly stated, the view 
of the world on which religion bases its re- 
sponse must be consistent with itself, and 
not inconsistent with the accepted and grow- 
ing body of human knowledge. 

Hence a rational scrutiny of religious belief 
is called for. This is the task of the philos- 

ophy of religion: to examine the beliefs o 
religion and particularly the religious view 
of the world in the light of existing knowl- 
edge. And the purpose of such an examina- 
tion is not to find out whether the beliefs o 
religion are demonstrably true, but whether 
they are tenable, are rationally possible, when 
we take into consideration all the facts of 
everyday human experience and scientific dis- 

Now it is an indubitable fact that the con- 
viction is growing among thinking people 
today that the scientific world-view is incon- 
sistent with that view of the world which is 
implied in the religious response. The steady 
advance of scientific explanation in modern 
times, "the extension of matter and causation 
and the concomitant banishment of spirit and 
spontaneity," as Huxley described it a half- 
century ago, has been a growing source of 
difficulty to religion. It is easy to see why this 


is so. As physical science understands it, the 
existing world is a succession or system of 
events and every event is reducible to a mode 
of motion of material particles, or mass- 
points, or energy-units. And every movement 
of every material particle or energy-unit is 
determined by the movements of other mass- 
points or energy-units and ultimately by the 
whole mechanical system. In such a world, in 
which every event is mechanically determined, 
there is obviously no place for vital synthesis 
and spontaneity, for individual initiative and 
personal freedom, for communal intelligence 
and organizing ideals. If this is the last and 
only word which human intelligence finds it 
possible to say about the existing universe, it 
is absurd to expect from it any solicitude for 
the values, personal and social, which we 
human beings cherish and seek to realize. Per- 
sonal confidence in it, in the sense religion in- 
tends, would be misplaced and mistaken. The 

religious response would be rendered impos- 

Just this conclusion has been reached by 
many minds alive to the trend and import of 
modern scientific progress. How does it stand 
with the so-called intellectual classes today, 
with the working scientists and the writers 
who are seeking to assimilate and impart ideas 
and not merely to please and entertain, with 
the artists who regard their art as a vehicle 
for the expression of vital experience, with 
university teachers and those engaged in social 
research and relief? A generation ago it 
could probably have been said and the state- 
ment would have sounded startling enough at 
the time that only a minority of this class 
were "orthodox" in religious belief. Today 
it is doubtful if more than a minority retain 
any belief in a personal God or in the endur- 
ing reality of the human soul. 

Nor are matters greatly helped by the pub- 


lication of carefully prepared statements by 
leading scientists to the effect that they as 
individuals have no difficulty in reconciling 
a firm religious conviction with their scientific 
knowledge. For a closer examination gener- 
ally shows that the adjustment is accom- 
plished by excluding religion from the intel- 
lectual field altogether and finding a home 
for it in the sphere of feeling and social rela- 
tions. What is meant by religion is, accord- 
ingly, a profound and earnest admiration for 
an ideal of life and character like the Chris- 
tian and a sincere acceptance of the duty of 
social service with resulting obligation to self- 
denial and personal sacrifice. 

Such statements on the part of leading 
scientists, whichupurport to deny any real con- 
flict between the scientific view of the world 


and religious faith, bring forcibly home to 
us the philosophical problem of religion. 
"Our knowledge of the existing world," they 

seem to say, "we shall obtain altogether from 
natural science but at the same time we con- 
fess our need for the inspiring, strengthening, 
and consoling influence of religion in our per- 
sonal conduct and our social relations." But 
we cannot thus escape the question of the reli- 
gious view of the world. Does not religion 
presuppose a conception of the actual world 
which is radically different from, if not dia- 
metrically opposed to, the scientific? Dif- 
ferent it certainly is, and also diametrically; 
opposed if the scientific view of the world isi 
understood as complete and exclusive of all 
other interpretations. But is the scientific 
world-view, does it pretend to be, complete 
and exclusive of all others? 

The thoughtful student of religion today 
has therefore to face the problem of the valid- 
ity, or at least the tenability, of the religious 
view of the world. Is it necessarily incon- 
sistent with the conclusions of natural science?. 


Does it gain any support from the facts of 
everyday experience? These are questions 
which cannot be evaded, because religion can- 
not be limited to the subjective sphere of 
individual hope and aspiration, cannot be re- 
garded, that is to say, as a projection and 
hypostasis of human ideals, or a compensatory 
mirage, and survive. Religious faith has an 
inherent and necessary objective reference; 
it ventures a judgment, it makes an affirma- 
tion, about the real world. Of course if this 
judgment proves untenable in the light of 
human experience it must be given up. We 
do not wish to delude ourselves. But if this 
is the case and the belief in question turns out 
to be unwarranted and indefensible, religion 
itself must be dismissed as a delusion. 

It is no mere symptom of intellectual im- 
maturity, therefore, that religious thought in 
past ages should have affirmed belief in a 
' 'spiritual' ' world. This of course it has done ; 


in f act, confident assurance of the existence of 
another and a higher world than the material 
has been a distinctive mark of the religious 
consciousness in all times. And indeed it 
seems that if it cannot be shown to be in some 
sense reasonable, religion must perish. The 
idea that we can receive from natural science 
all our rational ideas and explanations of our- 
selves and the world in which we live, and still 
retain religion as a source of emotional uplift 
and practical direction, is merely to trifle and 
to temporize. The fate of religion is bound 
up with the fate of belief in a higher spiritual 
world or order; if one is doomed to rejection, 
the other is doomed to extinction. 



s THERE such a thing as a spiritual world- 
order? This is the crucial problem of 
religion. And upon the answer which human 
thought finds itself compelled to give to it 
the future of religion largely depends. 

For religion is definitely committed to the 
belief that the values of personal develop- 
ment and personal association exercise a de- 


termining influence in the real world. Else 
the response of personal confidence in the 
Universe is unreasonable if not impossible. 
And as human intelligence awakens and 
grows it is bound to become increasingly 
aware of this fact, with results which may be 

disastrous to religion. Hence an inquiry into 



the validity of the religious view of the world 
is of momentous interest to every serious stu- 
dent of religion today. On such an inquiry 
we now embark. 

A world-order dominated by the values of 
moral character and social community we call, 
partly for the lack of a better name, "spirit- 
ual." "Spiritual" has at least the merit of 
meaning a type of organization different from 
the material or physical. But it has also mis- 
leading associations, such as those with 
"spiritism" and "spiritualism." Hence it will 
be good policy to begin with a brief review of 
the principal meanings which have been given 
to this much used and much abused term by 
the religious thought of the past. We wish to 
make doubly sure -that we do not give alle- 
giance to any of these old and discarded con- 
ceptions clothed in a new dress. Besides, these 
conceptions are not uninteresting in them- 
selves and contain, along with much error, 


many fruitful suggestions which bear upon 
the solution of our problem. 

Whatever else it may mean, "spiritual" at 
least signifies something radically different 
from the material. The material world is al- 
ways with us, material objects force them- 
selves on our notice every hour in the day, and 
we are very familiar with their qualities. 
Therefore it is not strange that men in their 
first erf orts to conceive of the spiritual drew 
upon their knowledge of material objects and 
material qualities. Is the spiritual different 
from, even opposite to, the material? Well 
then, spiritual objects must be distinguished 
by the lack of those very qualities which make 
material objects material. What are these but 
the degrees of hardness and solidity, of heavi- 
ness and impenetrability, which make matter 
the substantial thing it is? Spirit, it was 
thought, was distinguished by the lack of these 
qualities. But in carrying out this idea early 

human thought was unable to get away en- 
tirely from the material. It contented itself 
with ascribing to the spiritual these physical 
properties reduced to the extreme limit of re- 
finement and attenuation. The spiritual was 
understood as the light and ethereal, the in- 
tangible and (because of its lack of solid sub- 
stance) the invisible. But it was supposed to 
have shape and size. And location, too; for 
while it is extremely mobile it is, at every 
instant, somewhere. 

Thus we can easily understand the line of 
thought which led men to their first concep- 
tion of spirit as the ethereal duplicate, the 
ghostly double, of material body, in particu- 
lar, of course, of the bodies of men and ani- 
mals. This is the theory called animism or 
spiritism and is what the philosopher Haeckel 
had in mind when he ridiculed the Christian 
idea of God as that of a "gaseous vertebrate." 
This conception of the spiritual is as old, or 


nearly as old, as human thought itself, and 
very widespread among the different races of 
mankind. As to the first beginnings of belief 
in spirits in this sense, we can only speculate. 
But students of primitive human thought and 
social life point to several striking ex- 
periences, themselves universal accompani- 
ments of human life, which would almost cer- 
tainly suggest, and lend support to, animism. 
One of these is dreaming. In his dream the 
savage visits places far distant from his en- 
campment, perhaps he hunts and fights with 
former associates and friends who he knows 
on awakening are far removed by barriers o 
land and water from his present abode and 
field of action. Such dream-images, remem- 
bered on awakening, haunt his mind and press 
for explanation. He can easily assure himself 
that he did not, in the bodily sense, leave his 
bed during the time of sleep. What conclu- 
sion more natural, more altogether plausible, 


then, than that his dream self, a second or 
duplicate self, left his body during sleep and 
visited these distant scenes and took part in 
these far-off hunts and fights and feasts and 
revels with acquaintances and relatives from 
whom he had been long separated in waking 

And since the striking thing about the 
dream self was its mobility, which enabled 
it to surmount ordinary barriers of space and 
time, it was naturally supposed to be of a 
light, insubstantial character. And so by an 
inevitable sequence of thought, primitive man 
was led to believe that he possessed a dupli- 
cate self, an ethereal spirit, a ghostly double 
of his everyday bodily self. This belief would 
seem to receive confirmation from the fre- 
quently observed and well-known accompani- 
ments of the swoon, the trance, and the death 
struggle. In such cases it seemed clear that 
the soul or ghost had departed from the body, 


temporarily or permanently, leaving it inert 
and helpless. This was especially indicated 
by the partial suspension of breathing in the 
deep-swoon or trance, and by its final struggle 
to free itself completely from the body in 
death; for the breath, itself invisible but mo- 
bile, ethereal but vitalizing and invigorating, 
seemed the appearance and manifestation of 
the indwelling spirit. 

Once the idea of soul or spirit in this sense 
had taken form and been generally accepted, 
it was employed to explain the behaviour of 
natural objects and the working of natural 
processes. That soul or spirit which by its 
temporary absence during sleep leaves the 
body inert and helpless must of course be the 
moving, directing power of the body, the 
cause of its actions, the source of its efficiency, 
Is it not then to be inferred that the behaviour 
of physical objects, as well, of course, as that 
of animals and plants, is due to the spirits 

which dwell in and control them? And with 
regard to the spirits of dead humans of whose 
continued existence we are assured by our 
dreams of renewed intercourse with them, 
must they not have an abiding-place? An 
abiding-place in the home of departed spirits 
where they go to join the souls of ancestors 
long dead and of the ancient heroes of the 
tribe. From the continuing spirits of heroic 
ancestors to divine spirits is but a short step 
and to imagine them exercising power over 
natural objects and processes, either directly 
or through lesser spirits, an almost inevitable 
consequence. With the result, however, that 
man's everyday world seemed to draw a large 
part of its interest and significance from the 
host of spirits supposed to people and govern 

It is scarcely necessary to say that the exist- 
ence of spiritual objects in this first sense has 
not been verified in fact. Animism may be 


dismissed as a pre-scientific idea, unacceptable 
to developed intelligence. Ghosts, along with 
centaurs and mermaids, goblins and fairies, 
have been relegated to the limbo of the fanci- 
ful and fictitious. The normal advance of 
human knowledge is itself sufficient to seal 
the doom of this type of "spiritism." Ghost- 
stories are among the first of traditional be- 
liefs to succumb to rational scrutiny and scien- 
tific criticism. And as for the behaviour o 
natural objects, which was assumed to require 
for its explanation the existence and inter- 
vention of spirits, this is found by increasing 
experience to be due to natural causes and 
resident forces. The events of nature are 
found to be linked together in such uniform 
and necessary connection that the cause of 
each occurrence is to be found in some other 
event or occurrence which inevitably precedes 
it in the system of nature. Indeed, the diffi- 
culty of getting even a fair hearing for Psychic 

Research is partially due to the general feel- 
ing that here we have an attempt to revive a 
discredited spiritism. 

A se^xwid conception of the spiritual brings 
us much nearer our modern idea of the soul 
or self. In this conception two of the positive 
attributes which distinguish conscious per- 
sonality gain recognition. One of these is the 

N continuing unity, the self-identity, which is 
inseparable from individual personality as we 
observe and deal with it in ourselves and other 
human beings. The second is the power of 

v self-directed activity whose possession by 
human beings leads us to hold them individu- 
ally responsible because capable of free 
choice. Combining these two attributes a con- 
ception is formed of the spiritual as unitary, 


self-active being. Springing as it does from 
an increasing insight into the characteristics of 
human personality, this conception applies 
primarily to the human self or soul, but is 


equally applicable to all beings of similar 
characteristics and powers throughout the 

This second conception of the spiritual, 
taken very seriously as it certainly was, called 
for a sharper distinction between the spiritual 
and the material. Not merely must we deny 
to the spiritual the grosser properties of mat- ' 
ter such as solidity and impenetrability; we 
must also deny to it all material and spatial ^ 
properties whatsoever. This because what is 
extended in space is always an aggregate or 
collection of parts, hence never can possess 
real unity. In the spatially extended world 
the pursuit of ultimate arid indivisible parts is 
hopeless from the start; space and the matter 
which fills it are infinitely divisible. Even 
the human body, abode of the soul and sub- 
ject to its controlling influence, is a collection 
of tissues and organs; these in turn are com- 
posed of cells, and the cell itself is revealing 


to the microscope an elaborate structure of 
constituent parts. These constituent parts will 
doubtless disclose a structure of their own, 
and so the analysis will be pushed on until we 
come perhaps to the electron. And if the elec- 
tron is accepted by the physicist as the ultimate 
unit this is simply because the limits have been 
reached of man's power of physical explora- 
tion and explanation. 

Of course the second conception is not, like 
the first, such an idea as might occur to the 
mind of a savage while puzzling over the 
memory of last night's dream or when gazing 
at the still, set features of a fellow from whose 
body life had departed after struggles of 
which he was an awestruck witness. It is 
rather the product of systematic reflection and 
presupposes some power of abstract reasoning. 
Its source, in Occidental thought at least, was 
the philosophy of the Greeks, particularly of 
Plato. It was readily accepted by the religious 

philosophy of mediaeval Christianity, how- 
ever, because it attributed to the human soul 
that integrity and independent reality which 
souls must possess if their salvation and 
eternal well-being are to be regarded as the 
principal aim of divine creation. Besides, the 
conception of spirit as unitary, self-active be- 
ing or substance appeared to furnish the basis 
for a conclusive demonstration of immortality. 
For the soul, if a simple unity, is indivisible. 
And since all decay consists in the disintegra- 
tion of a whole and the separation of its 
constituent parts, the soul cannot suffer dis- 
integration and decay. It is incorruptible and 
indissoluble; therefore, it is immortal. A neat 
demonstration, indeed. Its logic is sound if 
its premises are true. But that is the question. 
Evidently the conception of spiritual exist- 
ence we are considering has much to recom- 
mend it. Else it would not have appealed to 
great philosophers and seemed convincing to 


acute theologians. But how has it met the 
test of continued criticism in an age of in- 
creasing respect for scientific standards of 
proof and verification ? Not at all well : it has 
been shown to have def ects and these def ects 
have caused it to be rejected in modern times 
by psychologists and even by philosophers 
committed to the idealistic view. In the first 
place, if spirit exists in the character supposed, 
we should be able to find evidence, incontro- 
vertible evidence, of its existence in the facts 
of common human experience. But such evi- 
dence is difficult if not impossible to produce. 
The sceptic Hume has given classic expres- 
sion to the difficulty of such verification. 
"When I enter most intimately into what I 
call myself," he writes, "I always stumble on 
some particular perception or other, of heat 
or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or 
pleasure. I never catch myself at any time 
without a perception and never can observe 

anything but a perception." To be sure, if 
what we mean by soul or self is just the pro- 
gressive organization of all personal activity, 
"mental" and "bodily," this is just the way 
not to discover it. Still we must, I think, ad- 
mit that the test is a fair one when applied to 
the existence of the self or soul as a simple, 
unitary being. If such unitary, self -active be- ' 
ings exist, they must, it would seem, signalize 
their existence in some verifiable detail of ex- 
perienced fact. And it will be not unreason- 
able to look for evidence of their existence, 
if not among the sense-impressions we re- 
ceive from the outer world, at least among the 
items of our inner experience. Nowhere do 
they reveal themselves, however; no attested 
empirical fact bears witness to their existence. 
But spirit in this conception is not merely 
an indivisible unity, it is a source of original i 
activity. When we consider, in the second 
place, the nature of this activity and what it 


accomplishes in the actual world we are 
plunged into even greater difficulties. Not 
merely is evidence lacking that such activity 
does exist but it is hard to understand how 
even it could exist and operate. If spirit has 
no spatial properties whatsoever, it has no 
place in or from which to act, hence no point 
of contact with the living organism which is a 
material body in space. How then can it be 
conceived to exercise constant control over 
bodily actions or even to influence them in any 
way? The mere fact that we cannot under- 
stand how spirit in this sense can act on body 
is no final reason for denying that it does act 
on body, if there is convincing evidence of 
such action. But such evidence has not been 
presented. Those acts and achievements of 
our conscious lives which are supposed to be 
due to the direct intervention of soul are ex- 
plained by modern psychology as the results 
of other activities and experiences with which 

they are correlated in a variety of sequences 
and patterns. In the case of voluntary choice, 
for instance, where it was supposed that the 
soul could finally tip the scales one way or 
another, psychologists see the resulting deci- 
sion as the outcome or outgrowth of many 
interrelated tendencies and experiences work- 
ing together. 

Still a third conception of spirit and spirit- 
ual existence remains. This has found favour 
in recent times partly because of the failure 
of the two conceptions we have been discuss- 
ing. According to this view the spiritual 
realm is the inner life of conscious experience 
as contrasted with the outer world of physical 
f act. Spiritual, that is to say, is identified 
with the conscious and subjective. Here at 
last we seem to be on solid ground, to have 
discovered a spiritual world whose existence 
cannot be doubted by any sane mind. So far 
as evidence for its existence is concerned, the 

existence of consciousness is testified to by 
the very activity of scientific intelligence 
which undertakes to investigate and examine 
it. And not only is consciousness an undeni- 
able fact of every man's experience, it is an 
ultimate and irreducible aspect of the world. 
[All attempts to reduce consciousness to a form 
of physical energy have failed and, we may 
confidently predict, will fail. After claiming 
that the iron laws of physical necessity account 
for all forms of existence, Ernst Haeckel 
found himself forced to recognize conscious- 
ness as an original property of the One Uni- 
versal Substance. Much the same subterfuge 
was forced upon Herbert Spencer: after pro- 
fessing to deduce all the phenomena of evolu- 
tion, including life and mind, from the Per- 
sistence of Force, he was compelled to assert 
that the dualism of spirit and matter as "sym- 
bols of the Unknowable" is, for our knowl- 
edge, ultimate. And contemporary philoso- 

phers who discard the concept of conscious- 
ness as useless for rational interpretation are: 
confronted with the alternative of admitting 
the existence of some other type of relation 
besides the physical or else leaving salient fea- 
tures of our actual human world unexplained* 
Even this third conception, though it ap- 
pears to be impregnable, is proving difficult to 
defend. It is of course a matter of common 
knowledge that consciousness as we possess 
and experience it, the inner or subjective life 
of human beings, is somehow dependent upon 
the activity of our highest nervous centre, the 
brain. But contemporary psychology is hav- 
ing notable success in linking it up in a de- 
tailed and thoroughgoing manner with the 
bodily reactions we make, through the instru- 
mentality of our nervous systems, to the en- 
vironment. So far has this gone, indeed, that 
one school of present-day psychologists is pro- 
posing to leave consciousness entirely out of 


account. The human mind, these psycholo- 
gists contend, can be understood altogether in 
terms of observable organic behaviour. 

This refusal on the part of behaviourists ta 
admit that consciousness exists as a scientific 
fact is not likely to make a deep or perma- 
nent impression on modern thought. It is an 
extreme and doctrinaire position. It hinges 
upon technical points of scientific procedure 
too fine-drawn and theoretical to weigh 
heavily against the assurance which common 
sense gives to every man, that he knows of the 
existence and contents of his own conscious- 
ness if he knows anything at all. But, un- 
fortunately for this third conception of 
spiritual existence which we are examining, 
the same cannot be said about many recent 
discoveries in the field of psychology. These 
suggest that certain forms of mental activity 
hitherto regarded as the peculiar and perhaps 
exclusive property of conscious mind are so 

intimately connected with organic responses 
that it is hard to see how they can have any in- 
dependent existence apart from the life and 
activity of the human body. Take such feel- 
ing-states as emotions and sentiments, for ex- 
ample. Emotions have been known by their 
characteristic bodily expressions, to be sure, 
but the distinctive quality, the real core, of 
fear or anger or love or joy or grief was sup- 
posed to consist in a state of consciousness. 
But recent investigation has brought to light 
a complex of bodily disturbances which go 
far toward accounting for what is distinctive 
in emotional reactions. We now know that 
these are in large part due to the effect 
upon our internal organs of circulation, respi- 
ration, digestion, and elimination of secretions 
poured into the blood stream by the adrenal 
glands aroused to activity by external situa- 
tions which strongly stimulate our funda- 
mental instincts. Or consider reflective" 


thought and creative imagination. Here we 
seem to invade the very citadel of conscious- 
ness, for these are activities which have no 
necessary external accompaniment or overt 
bodily expression. But psychologists have 
proved that even these activities involve 
bodily responses, imperceptible, to be sure, 
but none the less real and invariably present: 
minute and invisible movements of the speech 
organs and, correlated with these, slight in- 
cipient movements of the larger muscles 
throughout the body. This accumulating evi- 
dence of the intimate connection of "mental'* 
activity with bodily reaction is influencing the 
thought of our time and is making the pro- 
posal to find in consciousness the key to the 
spiritual principle in the world seem doubt- 
ful if not positively invalid. 

The three conceptions of the spiritual, as 
ghost, as unitary, self-active being, and as in- 
ner consciousness, turn out to be one and all 


untenable. Perhaps it would be more, dis- 
criminating and just to say that the first is un- 
tenable, the second explains little or nothing, 
and the third is beset with so many difficulties 
as to be as much a hindrance as a help. It 
would be unfair to dismiss these conceptions 
as wholly false and absurd; they do contain in 
spite of all their defects a considerable amount 
of truth. Even animism for all its crudity re- 
flects a fundamental fact of human experience, 
the fact that man does distinguish himself 
from his body and does exercise a degree of 
control over it; its mistake was in supposing 
this power to be possessed by "ghost" the 
like of which was resident in all living beings 
and in objects of nature as well. The unitary, 
self-active soul theory expresses a true insight 
into the f act that there is another type of unity 
in the world besides that possessed by ma- 
terial objects and living bodies; its mistake 
lay in conceiving of this self -identical and 

self -active unity as a single, indivisible thing. 
The view which identifies the spiritual with 
the conscious and subjective is also based on 
an indubitable fact, the fact that we have in 
consciousness, and especially in intelligent 
consciousness, an operative organization not 
found elsewhere in nature; its mistake has 
been to identify conscious intelligence too 
closely with the inner, subjective states of the 
human mind. These three conceptions of the 
spiritual are encumbered with too much diffi- 
culty and error, however, to be useful at pres- 
ent in formulating the religious view of the 
world or in reconciling it with the conclusions 
of natural science. It is surely not surprising, 
in view of this history of collision with ad- 
vancing science and of refutation by its em- 
pirical researches, that an increasing number 
of thoughtful people should have decided 
that belief in any kind of spiritual reality is 
unscientific and should have resolved to pin 

their faith to the experimentally attested Con- 
clusions of the exact sciences. 

Nor is it at all strange that in this crisis, 
zealous champions of religion, anxious to re- 
tain its benefits for the relief and inspiration 
of humanity, should have tried to divorce it 
from any belief about the ultimate nature of 
the world and, with this end in view, should 
have proposed to take it merely as faith in 
our own highest social and moral ideals. But 
all such attempts, praiseworthy in intention, 
are foredoomed to failure. Religion stands or 
falls with the validity of a "spiritual" inter- 
pretation of existing reality. If the existing 
universe be wholly mechanical in its nature 
and workings, personal confidence in it is mis- 
placed and personal communion with it im- 
possible. And, contrariwise, if personal 
confidence in the real world is justified, and 
personal communion with it possible and 

fruitful, then it cannot be wholly mechanical 
and must have a spiritual aspect. 

In the face of this record of defeat and 
failure it requires courage to assert that there 
is a spiritual interpretation of the world which 
is rationally tenable, one which is not incon- 
sistent with the results of science and which 
is supported by the facts of observation and 
experiment. Yet this is the claim I shall try 
to substantiate in the chapters which follow. 



SINCE the crucial difficulty with the reli- 
gious world-view today is its alleged in- 
consistency with the conclusions of modern 
natural science, it will be necessary as a first 
step to say something about the scientific 
world-view. Our present purpose does not 
call for a complete statement of this view, 
even in general outline; if such is desired it 
can easily be found in books on the subject 
written by competent scientific authorities. I 
shall be content with a brief reference to cer- 
tain outstanding features of the scientific con- 
ception of the world which are of importance 
to our inquiry. 

The first thing we have to notice is that 
the scientific view of the world is not, and 


does not purport to be, a description of exist- 
ing objects as we encounter them in our ordi- 
nary experience of the world. It is an ex- 
planation or interpretation of the objects and 
events of the experienced world in terms of a 
selected group of attributes or properties. The 
properties selected are the material or physical 
qualities, what we commonly mean by matter 
and motion. 

It is sometimes said that physical science 
disregards all the innumerable differences of 
quality which objects display. Perhaps a truer 
statement would be that it translates or re- 
duces these qualitative differences into differ- 
ences which can be quantitatively determined 
and co-ordinated. Even the slight acquaint- 
ance which we all have with scientific methods 
and conclusions is sufficient to afford illustra- 
tion of this. Differences in colour and in 
brightness science reduces to differences in 
length, amplitude and form of light-waves, 

differences in tone to differences in rate, am- 


plitude and form of air- vibrations, and differ- 
ences in taste, odour, temperature, and the 
like, to differences in the physico-chemical re- 
actions of the sense organs to variations in the 
physical stimulus. Thus qualitative differ- 
ences disappear from the world and with them 
goes the most of what we find interesting and 
valuable in existing objects. In place of the 
world we perceive with its rich diversity of 
colours and sounds, of tastes and odours and 
textures, of pleasant warmth and scorching 
heat and freezing cold, science offers us a sys- 
tem of moving particles which weave by their 
regular motions patterns of increasing com- 
plexity beginning with the atom and extend- 
ing to stellar systems and galaxies which trav- 
erse the illimitable abysses of space. The 
atom, which was for long accepted as the ulti- 
mate physical unit, turns out to be a planetary 
system containing a positively charged nucleus 

around which revolve a number of electrons 
or negative charges. Qualitative differences 
supposed to hold between different sorts of 
atoms, the "elements" of chemistry, turn out 
to be based on, or reducible to, the number of 
electrons which rotate about the central 
nucleus. Through a crossing of the paths of 
their outermost electrons, atoms become en- 
tangled and constitute molecules. Out of 
such clusters of entangled atoms the things we 
recognize and deal with are composed. In- 
creasingly extensive physical complexes give 
us planets with their satellites and stars and 

Scientific explanation of the world is thus 
an explanation of the character and changes 
of existing objects in terms of their geometri- 
cal and mechanical properties. The said prop- 
erties are extension in space and time, motion, 
inertia or mass, and force. As a system of 
mass-points in regular motion, science under- 

stands the world. Now what advantages does 
it gain by singling out these properties and 
disregarding all others? The answer is that 
objects in their geometrical and mechanical 
properties have simple and constant relations 
which are capable of exact quantitative deter- 
mination and mathematical statement. For 
objects in their size, shape, and movement are 
measurable and to measure is to discover a 
precise and constant quantitative ratio be- 
tween two magnitudes determined by the 
number of times one contains the other. So 
when we say an object weighs five pounds, the 
number 5 symbolizes a constant quantitative 
relation between the object in question and a 
pound weight. Measurement is the first es- 
sential of scientific explanation. When such 
precise quantitative determinations of differ- 
ent sets of events are made, the investigator 
is in a position to detect relations of cor- 
respondence or concomitant variation between 


them. When Kepler discovered the orbits of 
the planets to be ellipses of which the sun 
occupies one focus he was able to prove that 
the rate or time of planetary movement was 
proportionate to the area swept by a radius 
vector from the planet to the sun. Such uni- 
formities of relation between classes of objects 
or events which have been quantitatively de- 
fined and determined are what we call "laws" 
of nature, a "law" of nature being nothing, as 
the scientist reminds us, but a description in 
terms at once general and exact of the way in 
which objects behave, or events occur. But 
explanation by physical law, be it noted, al- 
ways consists in explaining the movement of 
one class of bodies by its determinate quantita- 
tive relation to the movement of another class 
of bodies, and ultimately by its relation to the 
whole interlocking system of regular motion 
by which its own movement is completely 


While all this applies to the science of 
physics and the type of explanation which it 
offers, does it hold true of all other natural 
sciences? Physics is after all but one of the 
natural sciences; there are many others: chem- 
istry and astronomy and geology and biology 
and anthropology and psychology. As far as 
chemistry is concerned, it is now generally ad- 
mitted that the phenomena which it investi- 
gates, of "chemical reaction," are ultimately 
explainable only by the physics of the atom. 
In astronomy and geology the only type of 
explanation regarded as final is that in terms 
of physico-chemical law. The biological 
sciences are more debatable ground, it is true; 
the question whether the forms and processes 
of life can be explained scientifically in other 
than physico-chemical terms is a subject of dis- 
pute among biologists themselves. But since 
both parties agree that many vital reactions 
can be explained physico-chemically, and a 


large, influential group of biologists believes 
that we shall never have a true science of the 
living organism until all its processes are ex^ 
plained physico-chemically, it does not seem 
necessary to make an important exception of 
biology and its allied sciences. Hence we 
seem to have sufficient reason for treating such 
explanation as we have been considering 
explanation by physical law and in exact 
mathematical terms as the method charac- 
teristic of modern natural science. 

Enough has been said, I trust, about the 
nature and methods of scientific explanation 
to establish the first point. This was that sci- 
ence explains the existing world not by dis- 
covering relations and connections which we 
can all observe between the objects of our 
common perception, but by interpreting the 
objects and occurrences we perceive as due to 
the behaviour of objects which are impercep- 
tible and can be conceived or pictured only by 


the scientific imagination, such as atoms, elec- 
trons, radiant energy, fields of force, etc. De- 
spite the fact that these scientific objects and 
forces cannot be directly perceived, science 
does not doubt that they really exist, that they 
in fact constitute the reality of the world of 
common perception. Why is this? 

The reason, of course, is that while the ob- 
jects and processes by which science explains 
the changes that occur in the actual world can- 
not be directly perceived, their existence and 
operation can be indirectly verified by obser- 
vation and experiment. If we are to under- 
stand the meaning of scientific verification, 

however, we must no,t think of the observation 

to which the scientist appeals as merely a 

passive looking, to which experimentation is 
an incidental aid. To guard against this mis- 
understanding it is perhaps better to think of 
the method of scientific verification as prima- 
rily that of experimentation, i.e., the manipu- 


lation and control of observed objects and 
forces. Measurement, which, as we have seen, 
is the first step in scientific investigation, al- 
ways involves some kind of manipulation, de- 
pending of course upon the instrument em- 
ployed. In the simplest and, in some ways, 
the typical case of applying the measuring rod, 
we compare two objects in respect to one 
dimension by juxtaposition. 

Observation as the final court of appeal in 
scientific verification always involves a pro- 
gramme of action varying from a few pre- 
paratory adjustments of the body and sense 
organs of the observer, to a lengthy, detailed, 
and complicated course of laboratory proce- 
dure requiring the use of special instruments 
and technique. A definitely prescribed pro- 
gramme of action which can be repeated by 
the observer or by other observers at will is 
what we call an experiment. Now what sug- 
gests in the first place such a programme of 


action, and what directs the course it is to 
take? It is suggested to the mind of the in- 
vestigator by an anticipatory idea of certain 
changes which will be perceptible somewhere, 
sometime, in the actual world, in conse- 
quence of a uniformity of relation or law 
which he has been led by previous observa- 
tions and experiment to suppose exists in the 
world of nature. This anticipatory idea, or 
"hypothesis," dictates his preliminary move- 
ments and manipulations. These may be brief 
and simple or prolonged and difficult, but 
their outcome is to put the investigator in a 
position to make a direct and decisive observa- 
tion. And it is this which either verifies or 
disproves the supposed uniformity of relation 
which is under test. If the facts as perceived 
from the point of vantage gained by the series 
of preliminary movements bear out the antic- 
ipation of the investigator, his hypothesis 
within the field of its intended application 

stands verified and is accepted as true to fact. 
This agreement may be direct, in which case 
what is perceived carries out or reproduces 
with greater vividness and fulness of detail 
the connection or sequence which the investi- 
gator has anticipated in imagination, as when 
certain paths of motion or structural patterns 
appear in the field of the microscope. Or it 
may be indirect, in which case the f acts which 
observation discovers serve to reproduce or 
confirm certain consequences of the supposed 
laws, previously deduced and kept clearly in 
mind, as when the bending of light rays, of 
the shifting of lines in the spectrum, bears out 
some far-reaching physical hypothesis. 

The conclusions of physical science are ac- 
cepted as true, therefore, and its laws as really 
existing, because they enable us to predict 
what we shall find in advance of actual ob- 
servation, to anticipate the course of nature 

and thus to gain a measure of control over its 

Three salient facts have emerged from this 
brief discussion of the scientific view of the 

First: Science explains the world altogether 
in terms of its primary or physical properties, 
extension in time and space, motion and mass. 
It conceives of every change in existing ob- 
jects as due to the motion of mass-points or 
energy-units, and understands every motion of 
every particle to be proximately caused by the 
motion of some other particle and ultimately 
by the universal or cosmic system of regular 
motion. ^ 

Second: The first and essential condition 
of such explanation as science undertakes is 
enumeration and measurement. By the prac- 
tical art of measurement various objects and 
occurrences are reduced to multiples of some 
fixed quantitative unit. Thus each different 


object or event is determined quantitatively by 
its position in a series constituted by the repeti- 
tion of an identical unit: inch, foot or mile, 
linear, square or cubic; second or minute or 
hour or years; miles per hour, vibrations per 
second, etc. Between these quantitative 1 
determinations of different classes of objects 
or events, correspondences and uniform varia- 
tions are discovered and symbolized in mathe- 
matical equations which stand as exact indices 
of the causal dependence of one physical event 
upon another in the mechanical system. 

Third: The conclusions of physical science 
are accepted as true, its laws as really holding, 
because they enable the investigator to pre- 
dict what events will occur in advance of 
present perception, in this way to anticipate 
the course of nature, and so to gain a measure 
of control over its processes. 



MODERN science explains the existing 
world as a mechanical system, an 
order of physical events. Its success represents 
perhaps the most notable achievement of 
human thought and certainly we have no rea- 
son to question the validity of its conclusions 
within the field marked off by its own aim 
and method of approach. 

Our query is whether another explanation 
of the world as organized by the values of 
personal life and association may not also 
be valid. Whether, more definitely, the reli- 
gious view of the world as spiritually or- 
ganized is necessarily inconsistent with the 
conclusions of science and whether it is not 



supported by evidence of equal weight drawn 
from human experience and human experi- 

Are there, then, any facts or features of the 
world of everyday experience which can serve 
as an empirical basis for another interpreta- 
tion besides the scientific? I mean features of 
existing objects which all can perceive, facts 
which are open to the experience of every- 

We think at once of the great variety of 
different qualities which things present. We 1 
think of the colours and the sounds, the tastes 
and odours, the textures and temperatures of 
things. These diverse qualities seem to be- 
long more intimately to the objects which 
possess them than do the physical properties. 
Thus it is the familiar bright red which marks 
the mail-box as receptacle for my letters; it is 
the clusters of fragrant purple blossoms 
among masses of green leaves which make the 


lilac bush beautiful to look at; it is the 'cut 
and colour of clothing, the cast of feature and 
staccato footfall which identify the moving 
figure as that of an acquaintance hurrying 
away to his morning work. 

Now it is just this wealth of different quali- 
ties apparent in the world which physical 
science, as we have seen, neglects and finally 
erases from the picture. Yet just these dif- 
ferent qualities give to things their distinctive 
character. And not their distinctive character 
merely, but such interest and value as they 
possess. So the apple whose location in that 
dish merely gives it place in my visual field 
and has little or no connection with any of its 
intrinsic qualities as an apple this apple ap- 
peals to me because of its ripe colour, its 
fragrance, and its presumed crispness and 
sweetness, each reinforcing the other and 
blending in an attractive harmony. So the 
blue sky, the bright sun and the fresh breeze 

of a summer morning, and the warmth and 
colour and texture and snug fit of a winter 

It would be a mistake, of course, to rep- 
resent these different qualities which things 
possess as altogether separate from their physi- 
cal attributes or to suggest that the two have 
nothing to do with one another. As we well 
know, colour is frequently a sign of distance 
and size and weight. Sound and odour often 
serve to signify location and motion. Texture 
and temperature are frequently indices of 
purely physical properties. On the other 
hand, it is equally well-known that size and 
shape and proportion are inseparable from 
colour-pattern and help to determine the dis- 
tinctive character, the essential nature we at- 
tribute to objects. In the illustrations just 
used the familiar shape as well as the colour 
identifies the mail-box, and the height, pro- 
portion, and rate of movement help to identify 


the moving figure as that of a man. No, the 
difference is not simply between the spatial 
and quantitative properties of objects, on the 
one hand, and the whole variety of other 
qualities, on the other. It is primarily a dif- 
ference in meaning and, as such, has funda- 
mental importance. In the one class we have 
those properties called geometrical and me- 
chanical which define the external relations 
which objects sustain to other objects collo- 
cated with them in the physical system. In 
the other class we have those diverse qualities 
which characterize objects intrinsically, which 
constitute in their varying combinations the 
distinctive nature which each possesses. 

It is certainly a striking fact that science in 
its interpretations of the world leaves out of 
account the very qualities which give meaning 
and value to objects. This of itself would be 
sufficient reason for questioning the complete- 
ness and adequacy of the scientific explana- 

tion. But if we are to base any conclusions or 
build any arguments upon the nature and im- 
portance of these diverse qualities, let us at 
first be sure that they exist as an authentic and 
ineradicable feature of the world we perceive. 
For one certainly gets the impression from 
some current expositions of the scientific view 
that these "secondary" qualities, colours and 
sounds, tastes, odours, and the like, are simply 
eliminated from the actual world when the 
white light of scientific intelligence is turned 
on it. 

Are these qualitative differences then in- 
separable from the world we perceive and the 
objects it contains? Are the objects which 
we encounter and observe from day to day 
really complexes or patterns of diiferent quali- 
ties? If now we consider how we come by 
our perceptions of the world and the objects 
it contains we shall see how essential to the 


world as we know it, how ineradicable from 
the world, such diversity of quality is. 

Our perceptions of the world which is the 
common theatre of our human life and action 
arise as the result of two responses. These 
two responses work together; they are in fact 
parts of one response which we as living 
individuals make to our external environment. 
The first is that of bodily movement, of the 
successive motor adjustments called forth by 
the external stimuli which play upon our sense 
organs without cessation during our waking 
hours. We stop to listen; we turn to look; 
we wince and draw back the hand; we start 
and jump. These motor reactions are not 
originally voluntary, we do not "intend" 
them; they are reflexive, instinctive, habitual. 
We find ourselves making them, and they are, 
as we know, the imperative conditions of or- 
ganic survival. They are simply to be accepted 
as the price we pay for continuing to live and 

act. But we cannot thus respond to our 
vironment with continuous motor readjust- 
ment without (so far as we are conscious at 
all) acknowledging the external existence of 
the objects which evoke the successive move- 

So far as we are intelligent, however, we do 
more than acknowledge the external existence 
of the stimulus, we refer the response to the 
particular object which here and now evokes 
it. Our sensory-motor responses to external 
stimuli when they reach a certain degree of 
complexity are accompanied by another re- 
sponse which we may call that of Intelligent 
interpretation. That sound (which makes me 
stop and listen) I recognize as the ringing of 
the telephone bell; the moving shadow 
(which causes me to turn and look) I see to be 
that of a man passing my window; the sting- 
ing pain (which makes me wince and rub my 
hand) I perceive to be that of a mosquito bite. 


This is the response of our intelligence, which 
locates and recognizes and interprets objects 
by attributing to them certain distinctive 
qualities and relations which, for our pur- 
poses, identify them. The qualities are the 
ones just referred to as giving character to 
our world: shapes and colours, sizes and dis- 
tances, tones and rhythms, motions and 
weights and textures, tastes and smells, tem- 
peratures and impacts. In different .blends 
and patterns they combine to constitute the 
nature of objects and these in their turn are 
woven by various relations into the structure 
of our world. 

Thus we become aware of the world of 
everyday perception, by a combined response 
of sensory-motor mechanisms and active in- 
telligence. The two work in closest functional 
interdependence: intelligence is aroused to ac- 
tivity by incipient motor responses to sensory 
stimuli while these movements are directed 


to completion by the interpretation which in- 
telligence puts on the stimulus. The sound 
which checks the writing movements of my 
fingers and causes my head to turn slightly to- 
wards the door I recognize as the footsteps 
of some one approaching my door and I drop 
my pen to meet an expected caller. 

As we should suppose from these funda- 
mental facts, the qualities we perceive in 
things have a direct bearing upon action. Since 
it is practical interest that determines what 
objects are perceived we should expect that 
the resulting perception would bear directly 
upon the fulfilment of this practical interest. 
In order to understand how it does, we shall 
have to consider the way in which a practical 
interest gains fulfilment or realization. Sup- 
pose that my notice is attracted by a particular 
style of cap in a show-window, a style of cap 
I have long wanted. How in this case does 
my interest gain fulfilment? By my going 


into the shop, finding a cap of the desired sort 
in my own size, paying the price, and carry- 
ing it away to be worn at my pleasure. As 
long as I merely perceived the cap in the shop- 
window I was prevented by actual conditions 
from enjoying its possession and use, from 
noting how it looked on my head, from put- 
ting it to ordinary wear and appreciating its 
jaunty appearance, its comfortable fit. In 
order to realize these qualities I had to make 
the series of movements which were required 
in order so to change my own position rela- 
tive to the perceived object that I could freely 
and without hindrance make the movements 
involved in appropriating, examining, and 
enjoying it. 

In the fulfilment of a practical interest, as 
this example shows, two steps must be taken. 
First, the bodily movements must be made 
which directly or through a chain of physical 
intermediaries gut one in possession of the 

desired object or, at least, in such close prox- 
imity to, or effectual control of it, that one is 
able freely and fully to examine and enjoy its 
characteristic qualities. These motor re- 
sponses are made under external conditions 
set by the physical environment, and hence 
are subject to check and control by the results 
that eventuate as the movement proceeds. Sec- 
ond, the constituent qualities of the object in 
their distinctive pattern must be freely ex- 
plored and enjoyed through the sensory and 
motor responses (such as handling, manip- 
ulating, listening, tasting, smelling, and the 
like) requisite for such appreciative realiza- 

Now these two steps involved in the fulfil- 
ment of a practical interest are reflected in the 
two classes of attributes which perceived ob- 
jects are observed to possess. Here in the con- 
ditions of purposive action, then, we find the 
original source of this outstanding feature of 

the world of everyday perception. The physi- 
cal properties of things, such as location and 
distance relative to surrounding objects, size 
and shape, rate and direction of motion, relate 
themselves to our powers of bodily movement, 
each individual occupying as he does the 
centre of his own field of vital reaction and 
motor response. Their primary function is to 
indicate or map out the movements which the 
individual must make in order to appropriate 
or to avoid (for escape is sometimes a positive 
practical interest) the observed object. The 
second class of qualities relate themselves to 
our powers of appreciation and enjoyment. 
It is by virtue of the varied qualities which 
they combine into attractive patterns or har- 
monies that objects appeal to human indi- 
viduals as sources of possible satisf action. Per- 
ceptions are, therefore, plans of action and 
promises of satisf action; they map out courses 


of possible movements and identify sources of 

possible satisfaction. 

But while objects attract our attention and 
afford us use and enjoyment by virtue of the 
different qualities which are combined in 
them, is it true that all qualities and complexes 
of qualities perceived in objects make this 
appeal to us or hold forth this promise of 
satisfaction? Certainly it is not a fact that 
all qualities possessed by objects attract us or 
promise on closer acquaintance to afford us 
satisfaction. Many objects by their distinc- 
tive character repel us with the threat of pain 
and dissatisfaction, and prompt us to avoid 
them as quickly and completely as possible. 
Such objects have an interest for us, a nega- 
tive value, one may say; the response they 
evoke promises at least the satisfaction of es- 
cape. But are we not indifferent to many of 
the qualities, the sights and the sounds, the 
feels and the tastes and odours which the 


tKings around us have or would have if we 
cared to take the trouble to investigate them? 
No doubt every human individual is at a par- 
ticular time indifferent to the character of 
most of the things in the world; he is ab- 
sorbed in the pursuit of urgent present aims. 
But it does not follow that he will always 
be indifferent to the nature of the objects 
he now disregards. Nor does it follow that 
his fellows will not discover that the quali- 
ties he never deigns to notice have a lively 
practical import and interest for mankind. 
Indeed, as men explore and exploit the re- 
sources of the existing world they are bring- 
ing within the range of human concern and 
possible satisfaction more and more ob- 
jects to whose qualities mankind has been 
wholly indifferent. Thus it is impossible to 
say that the distinctive character of any exist- 
ing object is without human interest and 
value. Indeed, as man's intellectual curiosity 


grows and his technical proficiency improves, 
he proceeds increasingly on the assumption 
that no natural object or force is without ra- 
tional significance and possible use. Can we 
not then agree that value is a principle of cor- 
relation and organization among existing ob- 
jects as universal as that of physical causation? 



is not the slightest doubt that the 
JL variety of sensory qualities we have 
been considering, the colours and bright- 
nesses, the tones and noises, the tastes and 
temperatures and odours not the slightest 
doubt that these different qualities exist as 
genuine ineradicable facts of human experi- 
ence. Neither is there the least doubt that it 
is this wealth of different qualities which 
gives to objects such interest and value as 
they have for us. 

But we have now to ask a further question, 
a question of critical importance to our in- 
quiry. Does this range or variety of different 

qualities which we perceive in objects require 


for its explanation an objective order or sys- 
tem analogous to the order of physical events? 
In other words, do the different qualities 
which appear in a countless variety of blends 
and patterns imply a relation as objective and 
universal as that of physical causation? It 
was suggested at the close of the last chapter 
that the meaning and value of these qualita- 
tive differences may be the key to their objec- 
tive correlation and organization. 

The mere suggestion that we can find in the 
meaning and value of the things we perceive 
any clue to their order and organization as 
objective facts will arouse, in some quarters 
at least, the strongest objection. Granted that 
things get their meaning and value for us 
human beings from their qualitative like- 
nesses and differences, what has this to do, it 
may be asked, with their own nature as parts 
of the real world? This objection, in the 
several forms which it assumes, requires an- 

swer if the case is not to be closed in advance 
against the line of thought we are pursuing. 
In the first place, we may consider the view 
quite commonly held by enthusiasts for the 
methods of exact science that the different 
qualities which we perceive in the objects of 
our environment represent nothing but the 
effects which objects have, by virtue of their 
primary or physical qualities, upon our human 
organism, in particular, of course, our sense 
organs and brain. These organic effects, it 
will be further said, are in real fact physico- 
chemical reactions, and thus all the variety of 
different qualities we observe turn out to be 
mere subjective appearances, existing in our 
human consciousness but having no place in 
the world of scientific fact. True it is that 
since the time of Newton this view has been 
widely accepted by scientists as an integral 
part of the scientific conception of the world, 
and so possessing the validity and certainty 

of attested scientific truth. Thus supported it 
has gained wide credence and has seemed to 
many people to substantiate a materialistic in- 
terpretation of the world. But recent authori- 
tative studies of the method and scope of the 
exact sciences have demonstrated that the 
view in question is no part of the established 
conclusions of physical science and that we 
are today justified in dismissing it as an un- 
founded philosophical theory grafted on to 
the growing body of scientific knowledge. 
Professor Whitehead attacks the theory be- 
cause it destroys the unity of the natural world 
and therefore undermines the foundations of 
\ natural science itself. As he says, it "bifur- 
cates" nature into two divisions, "namely into 
the nature apprehended in awareness and the 
nature which is the cause of that awareness. 
The nature which is the fact apprehended in 
awareness holds within it the greenness of the 
trees, the song of the birds, the warmth of 

the sun, the hardness of the chairs, the feel of 
the velvet. The nature which is the cause of x 
the awareness is the conjectural system of 
molecules and electrons which so affects the 
mind as to produce the awareness of apparent 
nature/* 1 Professor E. A. Burtt also attacks 
this view in his recent study of the historical 
beginnings and development of the modern 
scientific world-view. "But when in the in- 
terest of clearing the field for exact mathe- 
matical analysis," he writes, "men sweep out 
of the temporal and spatial realm all non- / 
mathematical characteristics, concentrate them 
in a lobe of the brain, and pronounce them 
the semi-real effects of atomic motions out- 
side, they have performed a rather radical 
piece of cosmic surgery which deserves to be 
carefully examined." 2 And the result of his 

1 Whitehead, The Concept of Nature, p. 30. 

2 Burtt, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern 
Science, p. 312. 

own examination, in agreement with that of 
Whitehead, is to show that when you have 
emptied the natural world of all. except its 
geometrical and mechanical properties and 
then proceed to suppose these are the cause of 
our human sensations you have left on your 
hands unexplained the world of sensory ap- 
pearance with its infinite variety of colours, 
sounds, temperatures, textures, and the rest, 
which is the sole empirical source of our 
knowledge of that other scientific order of 
mathematico-physical events. As Professor 
Hoernle forcibly puts it: "The theory of mat- 
ter which we are criticising may be described 
as the offspring of an unholy marriage be- 
tween the old search for an ultimate substance 
and the new causal theory of colours, sounds, 
etc., as sensations produced in our minds. 
This twist of the theory makes out of the 
world actually perceived by our senses a sub- 
jective illusion and out of the material world 


which causes it, a doubtful guess." 3 We are 
abundantly justified, therefore, in rejecting 
the claim advanced in this first type of ob- 
jection as a mistaken theory, false metaphysics 
instead of true science. 

A second type of objection appeals to the 
authority of biology rather than physics and 
has more strength and plausibility than the 
first. While we must admit, it maintains, that 
the variety of different qualities we perceive 
in things is a genuine fact of our human con- 
sciousness, still these qualitative differences 
Only signify the bearing which various objects 
of the environment have upon the vital well- 
being of our species, indicating the kinds of 
response which the human individual must 
make if he is to survive. Thus the qualities 
which make objects interesting and valuable 
really exist (as constituents of our human con- 
sciousness) and their value is a real fact (for 

3 Hoernle, Matter, Life, Mmd, and God, p. 75. 

us human beings) . Hence while their value 
is a f act, it is a subjective fact, a fact of human 
psychology; it resides in the satisfactions 
which objects on account of their utility afford 
us rather than in the objects themselves. This 
objection is more weighty than the first and 
has a basis of scientific fact. Our sense organs 
and pathways of nervous transmission are the 
products of natural selection, and the qualities 
we discriminate and enjoy through them have 
unquestionable connection with the condi- 
tions of our organic well-being. Thus the 
colour of the fruit is a sign of its ripeness and 
ripeness means edibility, appeased hunger, 
and renewed strength. Thus a specific colour, 
red or yellow, say, means "can eat," "will 
nourish." But not all the blends and patterns 
of colours and sounds and odours which we 
perceive and seek to experience and to enjoy 
have this direct bearing upon our biological 
well-being. Patterns of colour and sound may 


be attended to and enjoyed for their own sake 
as beautiful. The aesthetic delight which a 
fruit cluster furnishes us may not be in the 
least diminished by knowledge that the fruit 
is poisonous. 

But such truth as is contained in this sec- 
ond type of objection finds expression also in 
a third argument which is urged against the 
kind of interpretation proposed. Hence we 
can pass on at once to the last and most for- 
midable of the objections we have to take into 
account. The different qualities which ex- 
ternal objects present to our senses are, it is 
claimed, subjective because of being deter- 
mined to some extent by the sense organs and 
powers of sensory discrimination and synthesis 
of the individual observer. Hence no con- 
stant and universally valid relations are 
possibly discoverable between objects as com- 
plexes of qualities; their relations in this as- 
pect of their nature (which gives them value) 

are necessarily confused and shifting. In 
this respect they contrast unfavourably with 
the relations which hold among objects by 
virtue of their physical properties and which 
are found to be both constant and uniform 
when observed under experimental conditions 
at different times and by different observers. 
It cannot be denied that there is an element 
of subjectivity in our perception of the vari- 
ous qualities possessed by existing objects. 
Sense-perceptions do differ with the sensory 
endowment of different individuals; the vari- 
ous degrees of colour blindness and tone 
deafness are proof enough of that. It is also 
a fact that some individuals perceive har- 
monies of tone and colour and form which 
are quite imperceptible to others. There is 
no doubt that the trained naturalist or prac- 
tised woodsman perceives much more in the 
forest or bush than is apparent to the aver- 
age person and that much of what he does 

perceive in common with the latter he per- 
ceives quite differently. Of course it may be 
answered that in such cases as the last the 
actual sense-impressions are the same in both 
cases, the difference in what is perceived being 
entirely due to a difference in the associated 
ideas supplied by past experience and accumu- 
lated knowledge. But such a reply, while 
largely true, merely brings to light a new 
difficulty -that in the aspect of existing ob- 
jects we are considering, i.e., the complicated 
and changing patterns of diverse qualities 
they present, it is often quite impossible to 
distinguish what comes by the senses from 
what is contributed by imagination and 

These are serious objections, we must agree. 
How can we hope to reach an interpretation 
of the world which shall possess a validity as 
objective and universal as that of physical 
science when we start with data as subjective, 

shifting, and unreliable as these qualitative 
differences seem to be? Indeed we must ac- 
knowledge, I think, that the validity of such 
an interpretation of the^real universe in terms 
of significance and value rather than of physi- 
cal causation can be established only if two 
conditions are fulfilled. The first is that 
constant and uniform relations shall be dis^ 
covered and experimentally verified between 
objects in their aspect of value, i.e., as blends 
and patterns of diverse qualities. The sec- 
ond is that these relations shall prove to be 

*** . . 

such as to organize existing objects into a 

coherent system through which the ideals of 
personal development and association obtain 

These conditions are, I believe, capable of 
fulfilment. Uniformities of relation between 
objects in their aspect of value are discovered 
by our responses of appreciation. There are 
three of these: I shall call them the responses 


of appreciative understanding, practical con- 
trivance and invention ,and aesthetic apprecia- 
-. tion f They are all of them psycho-physical 
activities. Each one is a function of our 
organizing intelligence and each one has its 
own particular bodily expression. Apprecia- 
tive understanding involves and depends on 
articulate speech, practical invention involves 
and depends on manual dexterity and con- 
trivance, aesthetic perception involves and de- 
pends on sense-organ adjustments and emo- 
tionally expressive movements which (in the 
case of some individuals at least) lead on 
to artistic production. 

These responses differ from that of action 
through which, as we have seen, the physical 
properties of objects are first brought to light 
and then (by measurement and experimenta- 
tion) their laws of operation are defined and 
verified. But this difference should not be 
misunderstood. It is not that action consists 

in bodily movement while appreciation is a 
purely mental or spiritual activity. Both are 
psycho-physical activities; they are activities 
of intelligence and at the same time involve 
bodily movement. ^Action is the attempt 
of individual intelligence through bodily 
movement to bring about some change 
in the physical relationship of objects within 
its field of influence. Such changes may be 
brought about by bodily movements which 
merely alter the location of the agent rela- 
tive to surrounding objects; or the agent may 
through movements of his own, initiate a 
series of changes in his physical environment. 
Appreciation is an effort to discover relations 
which exist among objects in virtue of their 
intrinsic and diverse qualities, relations which 
give them meaning and value. These rela- 
tions, when apprehended or envisaged by in- 
telligence, are denned and actualized by 
motor responses confined to our own bodies 

and thus under our own control, such as those 
of language, of incipient manipulation, and 
of aesthetic-emotional expression. 

Of course these two types of response, ac- 

s* n ~"" 1 

tion and appreciation, are not two separate: 
powers or faculties which operate in inde- 
pendence of each other. We are prompted to 
act, and the course of our action is in a gen- 
eral way predetermined, by the attractiveness 
of the ideal object which appeals to us as de- 
sirable. And appreciation not merely appre- 
hends meanings and realizes values which 
exist; it imagines possibilities of meaning and 
value which need to be verified by action and 

Why are these responses of appreciation so 
generally neglected today as sources of in- 
formation about the character and organiza- 
tion of the real world? The answer to this 
question is not far to seek. Our era is the 
era of scientific discovery; our age is the age 


of mechanical invention. Intellectually speak- 
ing we live under a spell cast by the rapid 
triumphal advance of modern natural science, 
culminating as it has in the evolutionary 
world-view, the unlocking of the atom, and 
the discovery of its hidden sources of energy. 
And as if this were not enough to turn the 
heads of our generation, human invention 
applying itself to the physical field and as- 
sisted by increasing knowledge of the laws 
and forces of nature, has in the last century 
produced a series of mechanical marvels cul- 
minating in the automobile, airplane, motion 
picture and radio, which completely dominate 
our everyday practical life. The use and en- 
joyment of these mechanical instruments of 
rapid movement and sensory stimulation have 
become the absorbing preoccupation of civi- 
lized society today. It is no wonder, therefore, 
that in our time men look to outward action, 
to physical experiment, as the sole source of 

information about the existing world, the sole 
key to the mysteries of the real universe. It 
could scarcely be otherwise. But such a one- 
sided and inadequate approach to the cen- 
tral problem of life brings its logical and 
moral penalties from which our age has not 
escaped. The complaint is general that con- 
temporary civilization has been mechanized, 
that in making itself efficient it has made it- 
self trivial, shallow, and commonplace. Such 
is the inevitable result of neglecting our pow- 
ers of appreciation, of failing to make sus- 
tained collective effort to increase and deepen 
our appreciation of the essential meaning and 
unity of the world, of its hidden potentialities 
of development and progress, of its ever- 
changing interest and permanent beauty. 



WHAT uniformities of relation are dis- 
covered by our responses of appreci- 
ation? This is the question to be answered 
in the present chapter. It is the question upon 
which the whole issue turns; for unless such 
relations are discoverable and can be clearly 
defined there is no reason to believe in the ex- 
istence of a "spiritual order." 

The first of these relations which hold 
among objects in virtue of the different quali- 
ties which make them interesting and valuable 
is coherence of character. It is discovered by 
the response of appreciative understanding. 

While the objects of perception change and 
pass, the correlated qualities which charac- 


terize them continually recur, or rather per- 
sist, as the permanent kinds and classes of 
things we encounter in daily life. The coat 
which I now wear has kept its identity in 
spite of wear and tear, because it continued 
to possess certain qualities like comparative 
wholeness, fit, warmth, etc. In time it will 
go to pieces and be discarded. But as long 
as I live and am active I shall need a coat; 
its place will be taken by another garment pos- 
sessing the same character and standing in the 
same relations to the rest of my wardrobe, to 
my health and comfort, to my individual pos- 
sessions, to the industrial economy, and to 
social conventions. Particular objects of per- 
ception change and pass, it is true, but still 
they are woven by identities and diversities of 
constituent qualities into a permanent system 
of meaning. Coats and pencils, houses and 
trees, even mountains and lakes, appear and 
disappear, but the intelligible world to which 

they belong and which makes place for these 
and all related classes and kinds of objects, 

If we fail to understand this, it is because 
we think of our perceptions as impressions 
made on our senses by external objects which 
get what permanence and order they possess 
from the regular course of physical nature. 
But such an understanding of perception is 
certainly far from the truth. When we per- 
ceive an object we identify it as possessing 
certain qualities and complexes of qualities 
which are familiar because they are con- 
stantly recurring in the same and different 
connections. And these constituent qualities 
which we recognize in an object because we 
have met each and every one of them in many 
other objects as well, serve to interconnect it 
with these objects by countless threads of 

Even the different sense-qualities which 

we recognize and identify in objects imply 
and connote one another. To discriminate 
a specific hue and tint of colour is to presup- 
pose the whole range or system of colours. 
Colours are inseparable from shape and tex- 
ture. Colour, shape, and texture, in some 
objects at least, involve qualities of taste and 
smell and temperature. But so far as our 
everyday dealings with objects are concerned, 
the meaning which any object has for us de- 
pends upon which of its qualities are selected 
as the key to its nature. Upon the desk be- 
fore me is a long slender metal object. I see 
it as a paper knife. As such it is part of the 
equipment of my desk, thus falls in with pen- 
cil and paper and blotter, suggests books and 
periodicals and, if this line of association pre- 
vails, the whole field of my professional work. 
But this paper knife is shaped like a dagger. 
If this feature dominated my attention, I 
would perceive it not as a paper knife but 

as a weapon. It would then bring to my mind 
the other weapons used in human combat and 
might suggest the subject of human warfare 
at large and its effects upon international re- 
lations and the social history of mankind. Or 
again the object in question, being artistically 
designed, might be perceived as a table orna- 
ment. As such, it would belong by nature 
with other objects beautifully wrought in 
brass and iron, and thereupon by implication 
with beautiful creations in other branches of 
fine art. 

In the case of most familiar things, it is the 
human use they subserve, the human interest 
they fulfil, which is the feature about them af- 
fording the most convenient and meaningful 
basis of classification. In the previous illus- 
tration, I perceived the brass-piece as a paper 
knife because its adaptation to this use caught 
my attention as the outstanding thing about 
it. A primitive savage if he noticed it would 

probably perceive it as a deadly weapon. 
When an object is thus understood in terms 
of its human use or social function, it is given 
a meaning which persists as its permanent 
character in spite of all physical wear and tear, 
as long as it retains these crucial qualities 
which make it useful. This meaning is shared 
by all other objects which in spite of inciden- 
tal differences possess these same important 
^qualities. Hence the object implies a group 
of objects which although differing endlessly 
among themselves still form a single class be- 
cause they have in common some humanly in- 
teresting and socially important quality. 
And this interest, served by the class to which 
the object belongs, implies other diverse and 
correlated interests along with the classes and 
kinds of objects which serve them. Thus the 
meaning of any object implies the real ex- 
istence of a system of objects related to the 
persisting interests of the human individual 


and of mankind. It is this system which the 
response of appreciative understanding calls 
up; within its enduring organization a perma- 
nent place is found for the object of present 
apprehension; the object perceived loses its 
connection with the confused and changing 
sense-world and becomes a member of that 
more stable order of meaning and value which 
human intelligence and invention have dis- 

Still, the meaning which is given to ob- 
jects when they are interpreted in the light 
of their bearing upon human needs and in- 
terests is in many cases only provisional and 
is certainly inadequate. Such interpretation 
answers very well in the case of objects of 
human contrivance and manufacture: cloth- 
ing and implements and weapons, house fur- 
nishings, cooking utensils, vehicles, and the 
like. Even in the case of other classes of ob- 
jects, such as those of the natural world, it 

would be a mistake, however, to suppose that 
this type of interpretation is wholly human 
and subjective, and that the meanings which 
are thus defined have no objective import 
or significance. It is true that the interests 
and purposes of human individuals differ and 
that under their influence each individual 
would be led to a somewhat different under- 
standing of the objects of his environment, 
natural and social. On the other hand, it is 
equally true that the fundamental interests of 
mankind are identical and common interests 
which, with the advance of industrial arts 
and social regulation, become organized into 
a stable and inclusive system. Now it throws 


no little light upon the nature of the exist- 
ing world and the objects which compose it, 
that these varied but enduring interests of 
human nature have found in the existing 
world the specific qualities and complexes of 
qualities required for their satisfaction. 


These interests and desires, persisting through! 
years and generations of organized social life, 
have been met by objects characterized by 
similarly permanent differences of quality and 
relation. The continuing identity of personal 
and social experience which accompanies the 
ceaseless change of vital process and of in- 
dividual existence in the human species finds 
its complement in an enduring system of dif- 
ferent but interrelated qualities in the objects 
of the external world. 

In spite of all this, we should agree that 
to understand a certain kind of tree as the 
tree-whose-bark-makes-good-corks is inade- 
quate and that the meaning thus given to the 
tree has little objective significance. This 
way of understanding objects we are not 
wrong in regarding as an anthropomorphic 
conceit, resting upon the assumption, of 
course untenable, that the life of our human 
species is the be-all and end-all of the natural 

universe, and our needs and wants the key to 
the nature of its every object. In truth such 
interpretation of natural objects is not merely 
inadequate; it defeats its own purpose. It 
takes no account of things which have not 
been recognized as useful or injurious or 
pleasing; it encourages the neglect of all prop- 
erties in objects except those of known prac- 
tical import and utility. But the fulfilment of 
the increasing needs of associated mankind 
depends upon the discovery of new uses for 
familiar objects and also of new sources for 
supplying them. 

Hence man is led to seek an understanding 
of objects based upon their own inherent 
character rather than his interests and desires. 
To gain such an understanding of an object 
he must select as the key to its meaning not j 
such of its qualities as have a direct human ! 
import and utility but those which serve to 
connect it most intimately with other mem- 

bers of the class to which it belongs and to 
distinguish it most clearly from other types 
and kinds of objects. He must discover those 
characteristics common to vast numbers of ob- 
jects whose differences and variations serve as 
the most illuminating, comprehensive and en- 
during marks of distinction and bonds of re- 
lation between them. This change from a 
subjective to an objective interpretation of 
natural phenomena is well illustrated by the 
history of attempted classification of plant 
and animal forms. Men first classified berries 
and fruit, we may suppose, as good to eat, 
not good to eat, and poisonous; animals as 
dangerous and harmless. Aristotle made an 
attempt at objective classification. But the 
first classification to gain general acceptance 
was that of Linnaeus, successful because based 
upon a detailed study of the structure of 
countless plant and animal forms and a selec- 
tion for purposes of classification, of struc- 

tures whose variations clearly distinguished 
the sub-classes or varieties within the unity 
of the species. The Linnsean system lasted 
until the middle of the nineteenth century 
when the general acceptance of the Darwin- 
ian principle set naturalists to looking for 
other structures more valuable as bases of 
classification because they indicated funda- 
mental and far-reaching relations of descent 
among living forms. 

By such a process of correlation based upon 
an analysis of their own intrinsic qualities and 
relations, the meaning of observed objects is 
enlarged far beyond the limits set by the vital 
necessities of any individual or the practical 
interests of any group. Once this attempt at 
a complete understanding of existing objects 
is begun it cannot stop short of its goal (not 
yet attained and probably never to be at- 
tained) of a systematic correlation which shall 


include all objects and organize them into a 
coherent, self -consistent system. 

In explaining the order and organization 
of this world, different principles of interpre- 
tation are employed: the physico-mathemati- 
cal, in terms of quantitative correspondence 
and mathematical ratio; the evolutionary in- 
terpretation in terms of development and 
emergence; the ethical interpretation, in terms 
of personal character and association. But in 
all these interpretations, the identities or uni- 
formities discovered are, from the standpoint 
of appreciative understanding, identities in 
difference, uniformities which connect objects 
of diverse character into an organized sys- 

Undoubtedly human interest and purpose 
are operative in this intellectual enterprise, 
this attempt at a complete understanding of 
the existing world. But they are interests 
not of particular individuals or groups of in- 


dividuals, but of the social intelligence of 
man in the general and inclusive sense. They 
are interests in a common understanding, in 
the communication of meaningful experi- 
ences, in the rational control of existing ob- 
jects. In so far as these interests gain fulfil- 
ment, the unity and continuity of the world 
of social intelligence finds its external com- 
plement in the enduring character and coher- 
ent organization of the world of intelligible 
meaning. And this, be it noticed, is no mere 
"thought-world"; it is a real world, the in- 
telligible world of rational insight and dis- 

There are other modes of appreciation than 
the intellectual, two other appreciative re- 
sponses besides that of understanding. 
Both of these other responses bring to 
light fundamental forms of correlation 
between existing objects in their aspect 
of value. The organizing relation discov- 

ered by our response of practical invention 
is what we may call the functional adapt- 
ability of objects. It means that objects re- 
veal to our inventive imagination potencies 
of functional contribution to the coherent sys- 
tem which includes them, contribution to its 
stability and further , development. Objects 
may appeal, that is to say, to our powers of 
practical invention as capable of contribut- 
ing through their distinctive qualities to the 
formation of new objects with new combina- 
tions of qualities which are also interesting 
and valuable. 

The progress of social organization among 
men has depended from the beginning upon 
such practical discoveries and inventions. 
They range from the simplest practical ad- 
justments and contrivances to the most elabor- 
ate mechanical and social inventions. The 
many uses to which water and fire have been 
put are excellent illustrations of the relation- 

ship to which I am now referring. Water 
possesses among other properties that of be- 
ing a solvent. When set boiling by fire its 
power as a solvent and chemical agent is 
greatly increased. This fact makes possible 
the cooking of meat and vegetables and the 
brewing of nutritious and stimulating drinks. 
Certain leaves and berries, to take the latter 
case, contain a substance that is stimulating 
or strengthening to the human organism. 
These leaves or berries, perhaps after crush- 
ing or pulverizing, are boiled or simmered 
in water and the result is .a new drink with 
properties of its own. Another property of 
fire, or of the heat it gives oF, is to dry and 
harden, as the sun dries and hardens the clay, 
or fire dried the moisture and mud in the cave- 
man's home. Special kinds of clay are capa- 
ble of being easily moulded into the shape of 
containers and receptacles. Let the fire be 
applied to the moulded clay under suitable 

conditions and the result is pottery with its 
new and distinctive qualities and its many 

Precisely, the same relation among objects, 
that of contributing through characteristic and 
distinctive qualities to the formation of new 
objects with novel and important properties 
of their own, is illustrated by the most ad- 
vanced methods of mechanical production. 
Contiguous deposits of coal and iron ore in- 
terest the industrial promoter because of the 
possibility they create of the economical 
manufacture of steel and steel products. Also 
large supplies of pulpwood along with water- 
falls for the generation of electrical power, 
because they offer favorable conditions for 
the manufacture of paper. No more perfect 
illustration of the relation in question could 
be afforded than that of the automobile or 
airplane. The properties of gasoline had 
been long known. It was valued as a sol- 

vent and a cleaning agent; while its inflam- 
mability and explosiveness were much feared. 
But vaporized and brought into effective 
connection with the electric spark, a water or 
air cooling system, and other devices and 
agencies, it has given us the internal combus- 
tion engine. And introduced into an ap- 
propriate structure made possible by the quali- 
ties of steel, aluminium and fibre, this has 
given us the automobile and airplane. 

Nor is this adaptability, this potentiality, 
of new properties and effects confined to in- 
animate ob j ects. It holds true of living beings 
as well. Let the dog be harnessed to the sled 
and trained to pull it and he manifests quali- 
ties of obedience, steadiness, and endurance 
that he has never shown when running wild 
or when kept as a pet. The work of Bur- 
bank and others in plant breeding has opened 
a wide range of new possibilities in the way 
of producing plant-forms with new charac- 

ters and combinations of characters. There 
is no reason to suppose that the animal or- 
ganism, even including man, is any less plas- 
tic and adaptable, although there may be more 
technical difficulties in exploring its poten- 
tialities. We are even considering the pos- 
sibility of moulding the dispositions and 
impulses of the human individual to suit the 
requirements of civilized social life by a proc- 
ess of selective breeding. 

In the field of social conduct and control 
inventive intelligence in the same way sees 
possibilities of eliciting new responses by al- 
tering the forms and conditions of social in- 
teraction. The introduction of the "fine" or 
compensation to replace blood-revenge was 
such a social invention: the custom, that is to 
say, of requiring the offender to humble him- 
self, to make public redress and to present 
substantial gifts in order to repair the injury 
done, created a totally new social situation 


to which the parties concerned reacted in an 
unprecedented way. The development of the 
technique of modern publicity and advertis- 
ing has likewise meant the emergence of new 
tendencies and propensities on the part of the 
buying public which promise to have im- 
portant economic and social consequences. 

Certainly the value which we appreciate 
in objects consists to a large extent in the 
potencies of adaptation, use, and develop- 
ment, which they reveal to our inventive 
imagination. The inventive imagination 
is aroused, is fired by the varied and 
endless possibilities which it sees in the 
object, by the range of new objects and ac- 
tivities to which it opens the way. These pos- 
sibilities present themselves only when our 
thought has discovered the distinctive quali- 
ties and relations which give meaning and 
character to existing objects. Before such 
attributes and relations are understood, con- 


structive imagination has no material to work 
with. But once they are discovered, the quali- 
ties which characterize existing objects appear 
to inventive imagination as susceptible of 
separation and recombination, their relations 
of alteration and readjustment. The result of 
such imagination is the appearance of new 
features of special interest and significance. 
Because these possibilities of reconstruction 
and transformation in actual objects await 
such discovery, however, we have no reason 
to think of them as existing merely in thought 
and imagination. They are in the real world 
itself, in the structure and possibilities of 
actual objects. To be sure, particular con- 
structions and readjustments have to be 
worked out by detailed experimentation but 
the general possibilities of adaptation and re- 
construction are resident in the actual world. 
As far as the verification by practical experi- 
ment is concerned this, as we shall see later, 


begins with the response of practical con- 
trivance itself. 

But, we may ask ourselves^ is not this rela- 
tion one which objects sustain in virtue of 
their physical properties and the laws which 
govern their interaction? Do not all prac- 
tical inventions in the industrial and social 
fields depend upon the physical uniformities 
which determine the behaviour of all natural 
objects? Have not the triumphs of modern 
mechanical invention been consequent upon 
the progress of modern physical science? 
These questions may confuse us for the mo- 
ment, but such truth as they contain in no 
way affects the validity of the statements 
which have just been made. To be sure the 
practical intelligence of the mechanical in- 
ventor, medical innovator, or social engineer 
is made more effective by exact information 
regarding uniformities of physical action, of 
vital process, and of psycho-physical response. 


But what his imagination works with is the 
available materials and forces, identified by 
their characteristic attributes and relations. 
It will doubtless help him to know 
about molecular structure, atomic weight, 
wave-frequency, lines of force, and the 
like. But what he is directly concerned 
with is not atoms and ether and elec- 
trons and chemical valencies, but materials 
like wood and steel, aluminium and copper 
and concrete, and forces like steam and elec- 
tricity. And what his inventive imagination 
envisages is not a physico-chemical resultant, 
but a new object: a machine, remedy, pro- 
cedure, institution, possessing hitherto un- 
known and humanly interesting and useful 
properties of its own. After his experiments 
have succeeded and his invention is made, 
after the new object with its distinctive and 
original properties has been brought into ex- 
istence, it is possible to trace out the uni- 


formities of physical connection on which it 
has depended. But at no time past or pres- 
ent would the sum-total of scientific knowl- 
edge enable anyone who was master of the 
whole of it to anticipate all the practical dis- 
coveries that would be made in his own, not 
to speak of future, generations. Nor is it con- 
ceivable that it ever would. 

At first such invention is merely a utilizing 
on the part of some human individual of the 
different qualities of some one or two mate- 
rials in the fulfilment of an urgent present 
need. Thus primitive man fashions a new 
tool or weapon, or devises a new way of pro- 
ducing a desired result. So the hard and 
heavy and sharp-edged piece of stone is com- 
bined with the light and tough and rigid 
handle of wood and the result is a stone-ham- 
mer, or a tomahawk, or a spear. So a new 
method is devised for influencing the be- 
haviour of fellow-men: a gift that will arouse 

their gratitude or incline their favour, or a 
glorification of past triumphs which will in- 
flame their pride and arouse them to new 
undertakings, Such simple inventions are 
not mere individual adjustments to environ- 
ment in the biological sense, however. They 
are adaptations of the properties and forces 
which the intelligence common to all men 
recognizes objects to possess. Based upon 
relations which are generally intelligible, the 
new methods and instrumentalities are under- 
stood as generally efficacious and available. 
They can be repeated or reproduced by others 
and do actually associate many individuals 
in industrial and social activities which have 
a common interest and significance. 

As the scope of practical invention en- 
larges, a greater variety of materials and 
forces is utilized, more extended and elabo- 
rate methods of operation are employed, and a 
^greater and greater number of individuals are 


associated as co-workers in practical enter- 
prise. Lodges and wigwams and houses are 
built, pottery is manufactured, skins are 
tanned and cut to pattern and sewed, the 
metallurgical arts are developed. The fam- 
ily is organized, judicial systems are adminis- 
tered, towns are laid out and built and 
drained, civic relations are ordered and regu- 

The universal, the objective, import of 
practical contrivance and invention becomes 
progressively clearer as social evolution pro- 
ceeds. Unmistakably it proves itself to be 
not simply the exercise of ingenuity and cun- 
ning on the part of individuals and groups, 
in order to increase their comfort or minister 
to their convenience, but rather an effort put 
forth by the practical intelligence of man- 
kind to utilize all the resources of physical and 
of human nature in creating new sources of 
appreciable value, new objects of intelligible 

worth. Its concern is not so much with the 
satisfaction of pressing subjective needs as 
with the realization of objective possibilities 
of new and interesting results in the forces 
of the physical world. So we see that the su- 
preme interest of modern invention and tech- 
nology is in the discovery and contrivance of 
new sources of mechanical power, in the 
waterfalls, in the tides, in the sun's rays, in 
the atom itself , power that may be used for 
any practical purpose whatsoever, and whose 
release and control signifies a final step in 
man's effort to unlock the resources and real- 
ize the potencies of the natural world. Of 
course practical invention of this order which 
ha^ no specific utility but increases man's 
rational control over the potencies of his 
physical environment has nevertheless its im- 
mediate human value in so far as it implies 
the co-operative achievement of mankind in 

the discharge of one comprehensive social 

A third uniformity of relationship among 
objects in their aspect of value, that of sig- 
nificant harmony, is discovered by the re- 
sponse of aesthetic perception. Aesthetic 
perception is sense-perception made more 
vivid, penetrating, and significant by addi- 
tional responses of imagination, emotion, and 
motor impulse.. Not all objects call forth this 
response; it is certain, however, that many 
which do not would do so if our attention 
were not diverted from their intrinsic quali- 
ties by our curiosity as to their meaning or 
our desire to employ them for some practical 
purpose. But all objects which we feel to be 
in any sense or degree beautiful do evoke the 
response in question. They are for the most 
part objects of sight and hearing, although 
odours and perhaps other sense-qualities, in 

addition to form and colour and rhythm and 
tone, contribute to the impression of beauty. 
What precisely is the type of relation dis- 
covered by this response of aesthetic percep- 

- tion? When an object is appreciated as 

beautiful its diverse and interrelated quali- 
ties, whether of form and colour, light and 
shade, or tone and rhythm, so reinforce and 
enhance one another that they blend into a 
more and more intimate and perf ect harmony. 
This harmony is so close and compelling that 
it cuts the object off from its external sur- 
roundings, lifts it completely out of its physi- 
cal background, and sets it in a new relation. 
Thus the spectacle of the open sea stretching 
away beyond the rocky point, its rippling 
waves sparkling and glowing with the colours 
of the sunset sky, holds me spellbound: I am 
not merely oblivious of my immediate sur- 
roundings, I am reminded of the persistent 
features of human life, its ever-changing pros- 

pects, its challenging hazards, its dark under- 
currents, its mysterious horizons. 

Does this relation seem vague and fanciful 
and to deserve to be dismissed by a question- 
begging epithet, such as "mystical" has be- 
come in this scientific age? It is revealed in 
clearest and most convincing way by every 
object of natural or created beauty, by every 
bit of landscape, by every bird-song or rose- 
bud or painting or sculptured figure or 
musical composition or architectural monu- 
ment which we appreciate or enjoy as beauti- 
ful. Because of the intrinsic harmony of their 
different qualities these objects signify the es- 
sential unity of the real world in some one of 
its important phases or expressions. And the 
creation and enjoyment of beauty in its vari- 
ous forms have played too extensive and in- 
fluential a part in the social life of man to be 
dismissed as subjective whim or fancy or 

amusement. It would be just as arbitrary and 
dogmatic to question the real truth and ade- 
quacy of scientific conclusions as to deny that 
poetry or music has any objective import or 

If further light is desired on the nature of 
the relationship we are discussing, this is sup- 
plied by an examination of the responses in- 
volved in aesthetic appreciation. The free 
and harmonious play of perceptual faculties 
kindles the imagination which, working with 
similar freedom and spontaneity, supple- 
ments the object with a variety of congenial 
images and ideas and suggestions. The play 
of perception and imagination is accompanied 
by an emotional response with a definite 
bodily resonance. Indeed the emotional re- 
sponse if at all strong is connected with the 
arousal by the object, of a group of harmon- 
ious motor impulses which profoundly modify 

and readjust the bodily attitudes of the sub- 
ject. We can easily see why such a response 
as this neither explores the cognitive implica- 
tions nor brings out the practical potencies of 
the object. Perception and imagination are 
too completely absorbed in the object to ex- 
plore its detailed connections with other ob- 
jects in the world of understood fact, and the 
motor tendencies are, through their harmon- 


ious adjustment, too completely in equilib- 
rium to initiate any course of action with re- 
gard to it. But the response does nevertheless 
disclose one of the fundamental relationships 
among objects in their aspect of value. 
Through its effect upon feeling, imagination, 
and motor attitude, the object in aesthetic per- 
ception suggests by a kind of emotional gen- 
eralization certain broad features of the real 
world which arouse the same feeling of in- 
clusive unity and completely fulfilled mean- 


ing. The beauty of wild flowers growing in 
the trenches of Flanders has suggested to 
many observers as well as to poet and painter 
the frailty and heroism of human nature, the 
shortness and the splendour of human life. 



IN THE last chapter a most important for- 
ward step was taken in our argument. 
We found reasons for believing that our re- 
sponses of appreciation bring to light three 
uniformities of relation among the objects of 
the existing world. These enduring forms 
of relation are: coherence of character, June- 
tlonal adaptability, and significant harmony. 
These are relations which hold among ob- 
jects in virtue of the different qualities which 
make them valuable, rather than of their 
physical properties which we take account of 
in action. They are uniformities of intrinsic 
nature rather than of external determination. 
Now the next question is: Can these relations 

discovered by our responses of appreciation be 


verified as conclusively as science verifies its 
laws of physical causation? Science verifies 
the existence of physical laws by observation 
and experiment. Are the uniformities of re- 
lation existent among objects in their aspect 
of value also susceptible of empirical and ex- 
perimental verification? 

An experiment is a test or trial. The ex- 
perimenter wishes to find out if some con- 
clusion or conjecture to which he has been 
led is true in fact. He thereupon engages 
in a definitely planned course of action which 
his tentative conclusion suggests, and care- 
fully observes the consequences. If they turn 
out to be what his own theory had led him 
to anticipate, he regards this theory as veri- 
fied. Since the experiment proceeds under a 
prearranged plan which prescribes definite, 
detailed conditions, it can be repeated by any- 
one who is interested in the subject and thus 


the results originally obtained can be tested 
and confirmed by any and all investigators. 

Such experimentation necessarily involves 
action. For only if it entails a sequence of 
movements, a course of motor manipulation, 
does it fall within that outer world whose 
regular processes are open to the observation 
of all and can be relied upon to repeat them- 
selves in case of all observers. 

These conditions are fulfilled by the experi- 
ments of physical science. In this field of 
experimentation, motor adjustment and 
manipulation necessarily play a prominent 
part. For the generalizations of the scientist 
refer to the relations of physical determina- 
tion among objects and these relations re- 
veal themselves in the limitations which the 
external world imposes upon our motor re- 
sponses. Sometimes the projected sequence 
of movements will be simply that of the ob- 
server to some point of vantage relative to 


the object and of focusing or fixating his 
sense organs upon it. And the outcome tells 
the tale: Will the projected series of move- 
ments be met by a succession of external 
stimuli which permit it to proceed unhindered 
to its anticipated ending? Sometimes the 
motor adjustments involve the manipulation 
of materials and the employment of instru- 
ments and apparatus like the telescope and 
microscope and chronoscope. As we know, 
laboratory experimentation is a technical 
art requiring experience and skill for 
its successful performance, but always the 
scientific observer must, as we commonly 
say, keep an open mind. He must be 
prepared for surprises as he surveys the 
field of his microscope or telescope, be pre- 
pared to make unexpected stoppings and 
shifts and alterations in his responses of visual 
accommodation and general sensory-motor 
adjustment. Likewise the manipulations and 
technical contrivances of laboratory experi- 

mentation are subject to external control; the 
chemist who embarks upon an extended ex- 
perimental investigation must be prepared to 
alter his procedure the moment an unex- 
pected turn of events calls a halt in his pro- 
jected course of operation. 

When we turn from the field of physical 
events to that of intrinsic values we leave the 
world of action (in the ordinary sense) for 
that of appreciation. Do we find in this lat- 
ter field of value any motor responses which 
make possible experimental investigation and 
experimental verification? On first thought 
we shall be inclined to answer: No, apprecia- 
tion is a purely mental or spiritual activity, 
not a physical response. But this answer, 
while natural, is mistaken, a serious error, due 
to the preconceptions of traditional dualistic 
psychology and philosophy. Have we not 
found that the three responses instrumental 
in appreciation those of understanding and 

insight, practical contrivance and invention, 
and aesthetic perception -are in part bodily 
responses? Understanding and insight are 
not merely ^responses of our cognitive intelli- 
gence, they involve responses of our organs 
of articulate speech. Contrivance and inven- 
tion are not merely responses of our practical 
intelligence, they are also responses of our 
powers of motor manipulation and adjust- 
ment. The perception of beauty is not merely 
a response of our aesthetic intelligence, it is 
also a response of the mechanism of sensory 
adjustment supplemented by a variety of 
motor responses, some verbal and some deter- 
mining the general bodily attitude. 

Because each of these three responses is 
influenced by both the ideals of intelligence 
and the mechanisms of the body, (is in fact 
a psycho-physical response) , they all proceed 
experimentally. Our intelligent interpreta- 
tions are freely conceived in the realm of ideal 


possibility, but they are also expressed in 
words, thus tested under fixed conditions of 
consecutive, consistent discourse, and modi- 
fied in the light of the observed outcome. 
Our practical intelligence freely imagines 
new uses to which familiar objects may be 
put, new combinations and adaptations that 
can be made of existing materials and agen- 
cies, but at the same time it is rehearsing 
through slight motor responses the actual 
manipulations required to make the combina- 
tions and adaptations which are being imag- 
ined. Thus it is reminded of the limitations 
which external conditions impose upon our 
practical constructions and at the same time 
obtains fruitful suggestions as to other 
changes and transformations that may be 
wrought in existing objects. Our powers of 
aesthetic perception play freely with the beau- 
tiful object, but the resulting synthesis of 
qualities perceived and imagined is coritin- 

ually redirecting the sensory apparatus and 
motor impulses so that the meaning envisaged 
is corrected, modified, and enriched. It is 
extremely important to remember that the 
values we appreciate in existing objects are 
not discoveries of abstract intelligence as sep- 
arated from body, nor are they properties of 
pure reason projected into, or enforced upon, 
material objects; they are features of the real 
world explored or, better, worked out by 
intelligent interaction of a bodily organism 
with its external environment. 

But, we may ask, do not these three re- 
sponses of appreciation differ in essential 
ways from those responses of outward move- 
ment on which the experimental procedure of 
science depends? It is true that they are, at 
least largely, imperceptible, and hence not 
open to general observation. And, secondly, 
they are to such an extent controlled by in- 
dividual intelligence and will that they lack 


the regularity and uniformity characteristic 
of mechanical causation. In this connection, 
it should not be forgotten, of course, that 
these responses are all subject to habit which 
tends to reduce all our activities to something 
like mechanical regularity. But there is a dif- 
ference between the three responses involved 
in appreciation and the responses of gross 
bodily movement and outward action; this 
must be admitted. Indeed, were this not the 
case, were the responses of intellectual in- 
sight and practical invention and aesthetic 
perception not more directly under the con- 
trol of individual intelligence, and did they 
not work with greater freedom and spon- 
taneity than those of ordinary bodily move- 
ment, they could not be effective in appreci- 
ation. While this is true, it is also true that - 
each of these responses extends itself on the 
bodily side into the external world of out- 
ward movement and common observation: in- 


sight and understanding express themselves 
externally in oral and written discourse, prac- 
tical contrivance and invention in mechanical 
instruments, methods and appliances, and 
social customs, procedures and institutions, 
and aesthetic perception in artistic creations 
of all sorts. 

Through these external expressions, these 
physical extensions, of the three responses of 
appreciation, the constant relations discov- 
ered among objects in their aspect of value 
become capable of experimental investigation 
and verification. Through them the values 
discovered in appreciation are communicated 
by their discoverers to others and made in- 
telligible to them so that they can try for 
themselves to realize them in the objects of 
everyday perception. Thus the uniformly 
valuable features of existing objects gain so- 
cial corroboration and general recognition. 
Those identities and differences of meaning 

which connect a given object with all other 
objects of human interest are expressed in 
spoken words and given permanent embodi- 
ment in descriptive, historical, and scientific 
writings. Thus the opinions and conclusions 
of one individual can be examined and criti- 
cized by others who will pass independent 
judgment upon their consistency with fact. 
Adaptations of actual objects to rational uses 
are embodied in mechanical appliances and 
social procedures, to be employed and tested 
by others contemporary with the inventor and 
of later generations. Intrinsic and signifi- 
cant harmonies felt through aesthetic percep- 
tion are given sensuous embodiment in 
painting and sculpture, poem and song, 
drama and instrumental music, architectural 
design and decorative embellishment; thus 
they can be critically appraised and, if beauti- 
ful, can be enjoyed by all. 
Suppose now that individual experience 

and judgment are corroborated and the ex*- 
istence of these values in actual objects is so- 
cially verified. The particular insight, the 
practical invention, the artistic creation, is. 
added to the accumulating body of literature, 
of industrial and social procedures and insti- 
tutions, and of products of fine art in all its 
forms, which constitute the material of social 
culture. The accumulated material of social 
culture, therefore, embodies and symbolizes 
the fact that objects in their aspect of value 
disclose themselves to our intellectual insight, 
our practical intelligence, and our aesthetic 
intuition, as a developing system correlated by 
identities of meaning, presenting limitless 
possibilities of expansion and reorganization, 
and mirroring its own unity in the structure 
and constitution of some of its component 

The true function and importance of these 
products of social intelligence only become 

clear when they are thus understood as the en- 
during and generally intelligible symbols o 
the relations which connect objects so far as 
they possess rational and personal value. 
Scientific and historical writings, poetry, 
drama, music, paintings, architecture, indus- 
trial tools and methods, political forms and 
procedures, social customs and institutions, 
all these furnish the human individual with 
the means of relating the objects of his own 
everyday perception, whose value he has ap- 
preciated perhaps subjectively and in terms 
of his own needs and desires, to the one ob- 
jective value-system. They enable him to 
verify in the most convincing way possible, 
'i.e., by his own practical experimentation, the 
objective values inherent in the objects he 
perceives. As members of civilized society 
we have, each one of us, ready at hand and 
available for use, the means and the methods 
for testing and appreciating the real values of 


existing things. As a matter of fact, we have 
become so accustomed to the presence of these 
agencies and instrumentalities which social 
progress has placed at our disposal that our 
appreciation of their marvellous efficacy has 
been dulled and deadened by very familiarity. 
But they do create possibilities of realizing 
the substantial, the universal values in every- 
day things and everyday activities, which 
arise from moment to moment in connection 
with the commonest incidents and most ordi- 
nary occupations of every passing day. 

Imagine that I am sitting outdoors and a 
beetle lights on my sleeve. I may glance 
with admiring curiosity at its odd markings, 
or flick it off with instinctive repugnance. But 
if I am versed in entomology I can identify 
it by its scientific name and this name will be 
a key to its structural peculiarities and life- 
habits, its place in the family of beetles, and 
its genetic relations to other insects and to the 


divergent forms of evolving life. Or think of 
the farmer ploughing his field on a spring 
morning. Considered as events in space and 
time, his own steps, the pull of the horses, the 
drag and thrust of the plough as it turns up 
sod and loam, all of them dissolve into the. 
ceaseless process of physical change. And in- 
deed the performance may have little enough 
meaning for the human actor; just a familiar 
sequence of external occurrences and habitual 
responses of sensation and movement. But 
the plough itself as the embodiment and sym- 
bol of man's protracted and severe struggle, 
first to extract from the earth a regular if 
scanty food supply, this familiar and prosaic 
instrument takes the act of ploughing out of 
its purely physical setting and places it in en- 
tirely different relations. It appears as a 
necessary f actor in the far-reaching industrial 
enterprise of producing and distributing the 
amount of suitable food required to maintain 

all members of human society in health and 
strength, and thus as an essential part of the 
great co-operative task of mankind in de- 
veloping and utilizing the resources of this 
planet and of the natural world. 

Even the money which I pay over the 
counter when I buy some needed article 
these coins are symbols of the exchange value 
of the article purchased, linking my transac- 
tion with the organized system of commerce 
and industry whereby the economic needs of 
human society are met and its cultural inter- 
ests given opportunity of fulfilment. Like- 
wise the telephone which I use symbolizes the 
wider relations of my conversation as part of 
the intricate web of intercommunication on 
which the organized life of society depends. 
Marking a ballot is a trivial act, physically 
considered; only enough energy is expended 
to move very slightly an arm and the fingers 
holding a pencil which rubs over a white sur- 


face and leaves a black mark. But the ballot 
symbolizes the value of political co-operation 
and, if thoughtfully employed, brings home 
to me the significance of citizenship in a self- 
governing nation. The architectural dignity 
and appropriateness and beauty of a public 
auditorium or legislative chamber frequently 
help legislators, committee members, dele- 
gates, and visitors to realize the social import 
and value of proceedings which, divorced 
from this context, seem frivolous, ineffective, 

The individual who would realize these 
values for himself must acquire from his 
social surroundings, language habits, practi- 
cal skill, and aesthetic discrimination, as well 
as develop his original capacity for using 
these responses as tools of exploration, ex- 
perimentation, and appreciation. Then, the 
accumulated culture of the race embodying 
the insights, inventions, and aesthetic intui- 

tions of his fellows will provide him with 
a means of interpreting objects of direct per- 
ception in terms of inclusive human life and 
experience. And the three responses re- 
ferred to, when thus trained in the field of 
social inter-communication, will equip him 
with permanent symbols in which to embody 
his own discoveries, practical achievements, 
and artistic creations, and thus make them 
part of the spiritual heritage of humanity. 



F WE accept the conclusions of the last 
two chapters and are convinced that exist- 
ing objects in their aspect of value are 
uniformly related in the manner described, re- 
lated by their coherence of character, func- 
tional adaptability, and significant harmony, 
a third and final question remains. 

Do these relations, inhering as they do in 
the qualitative differences rather than the 
quantitative determinations of existing ob- 
jects, organize them into a system just as 
real as the order of physical events? If it 
can be shown that they do, we shall have 
proof of the existence of a spiritual world, 

an objective order, organized in accordance 



with the values of personal intelligence and 
personal association. And religious faith 
will have gained that firm footing in the ob- 
jective world, in the real universe, which it 
must have if it is to maintain itself in a scien- 
tific age. 

Now it can be shown that the relations we 
have been discussing do organize existing 
objects into a permanent, but developing sys- 
tem. These three relations prove on closer 
examination to be different forms of one 
more comprehensive relation or, considered 
from another point of view, different stages 
or moments in one inclusive process. 

We are now in a position to understand 
how this is. Coherence of character means 
that all existing objects are woven by identi- 
ties and diversities of their constituent quali- 
ties into a unitary system of meaning. This 
system of meaning with all its possibilities of 
further analysis and explication is, as a whole, 

implied in the intrinsic nature of every ob- 
ject included within it. Not the "flower in 
the crannied wall" merely, but objects much 
less significant apparently, the tiniest bit of 
living protoplasm, the smallest grain of 
sand, are found, when all their relations are 
explored, to imply the whole intelligible 
universe. Functional adaptation means that 
objects because of their distinctive and per- 
manent characteristics present various possi- 
bilities of reconstruction and are capable of 
exhibiting, under the requisite adjustment, 
new qualities and attributes. Human inven- 
tion takes advantage of this outstanding fea- 
ture of actual objects. When man noticed the 
tendency of smoke always to rise he cut a hole 
in the top of his tent or lodge to permit it to 
escape; later on, this characteristic taken in 
combination with the incombustibility of cer- 
tain materials like stone or brick gave him 
the fire-proof chimney with its steady draught. 

-Significant harmony means that certain ob- 
jects, not on account of their intellectual im- 
plications nor their practical instrumentality 
but by virtue of their self-contained and self- 
revealing harmony, have the power of ex- 
pressing the system of meaningful objects as 
a whole or in one of its salient aspects. The 
artist is successful in so far as he is able to 
avail himself of this capacity of sense-imagery 
to suggest through its own patterns and har- 
monies the ultimate meaning of things. 

All the endless variety of objects which the 
world contains are organized into an endur- 
ing system by their intelligibility, their pur- 
posive adaptability, and their aesthetic sig- 
nificance. As intelligible, they imply one 
another by nature and, in their distinctive 
meanings, are mutually illuminating. As pur- 
posively adaptable, they effectively reinforce 
one another in producing results increasingly 
serviceable. As aesthetically significant, they 


are constantly and cumulatively revealing 
through their own intrinsic harmonies that in- 
clusive unity of which they are special ex- 

Such is the organized system of valuable 
objects or, as it has sometimes been called 
to distinguish it from the system of physical 
or material objects, the realm of ends. The 
realm of ends is a developing system, a di- 
versified unity, which is constantly revealing 
new possibilities of expansion and enrich- 
ment. This it does in all three types of rela- 
tion by which it is organized. Suppose that 
an object is understood in terms of its rela- 
tion to the intelligible system. This does not 
exhaust its intellectual interest. On the con- 
trary, it offers to attentive thought greater 
and more varied possibilities of meaning to 
be explored and appreciated. Since the liv- 
ing organism has been understood by evolu- 

tionary science in its wider and cosmic 


relations, its processes have become an ever 
more fascinating and fruitful subject of study. 
The same is true of the fossil as understood 
by the geologist, the relics of earlier civiliza- 
tions as interpreted by the archaeologist, and 
of similar objects in every field of investiga- 
tion. The evocation of new and useful prop- 
erties in existing materials and forces by in- 
ventive skill has not diminished but increased 
their possibilities of adaptation to rational 
purposes. This is well illustrated by the re- 
cent remarkable progress in mechanical in- 
vention and control. The invention of the 
telegraph and telephone with the discovery 
of electro-magnetic waves led to the invention 
of the wireless telegraph, the broadcasting of 
speech and music, and television. In the same 
way, the beauty of the sunset sky, the cul- 
tivated countryside, the surging waves, grow 
as we contemplate them. Because of the new 
intimations of meaning' which a great work 


of art is constantly suggesting to our atten- 
tive scrutiny, it is a constantly increasing 
source of enjoyment. 

Our activities of appreciation are responses 
to the real value of existing objects. This 
value consists in their possibilities or poten- 
cies of original contribution to the organized 
system to which all by virtue of their distinc- 
tive characteristics belong. In our apprecia- 
tions we respond to the infinitely diversified, 
continually growing unity of the real world, 
the cosmic reality and to objects in their 
relation to this universal system. Our re- 
sponses of appreciation are not limited, how- 
ever, to discovering what potencies are in- 
herent in existing objects of contributing to 
the Universal System. They also seek, and 
find, realization in oral and written discourse, 
mechanical and social invention, and the crea- 
tions of fine art. These fruits or products - 
of social culture are the external signs and 

symbols, the objective expression and embodi- 
ment, of the possibilities of mutual implica- 
tion, functional co-operation, and reconciling 
harmony resident in the objects of the actual 

The conception at which we have arrived 
of the objective system of values as the in- 
finitely varied possibilities resident in actual 
objects of original contribution to the di- 
versified and developing unity to which all by, 
virtue of their distinctive characteristics be- 
long, is true, as far as it goes, but it is not 
complete. We have no acquaintance with 
this objective value-system apart from the 
activity of conscious intelligence. The pos- 
sibilities of functional contribution referred 
to, that is to say, the intelligibility, adaptabil- 
ity, and significant harmony, of existing ob- 
jects are inherent in the nature of these 
objects, we have reason to believe. But judg- 
ing on the basis of our human experience, we 


cannot understand how these possibilities 
could be defined, selected for realization, or 
actually realized, except through the activity 
of conscious intelligence. Indeed, intelli- 
gence fully developed, as we know it, is just 
the explicit formulation, deliberate selection, 
and effectual realization of these possibilities. 
It finds expression in the pursuit and progres- 
sive attainment of the ideals of Truth, Power, 
Progress, and Beauty. 

Our idea of the character and activity of 
developed or complete intelligence repre- 
sents, to be sure, the ideal limit of that pro- 
gressive development which human intelli- 
gence has undergone in the course of man's 
social history. In the less complete forms 
in which we directly encounter it in ourselves 
and other human beings, intelligence is con- 
cerned primarily and (in most cases) prin- 
cipally with realizing the possibilities in 
actual objects of contributing not to the ob- 


jective and universal system but to the main- 
tenance and expansion of some lesser system 
such as individual and family prosperity or 
national welfare. But as moral and social 
development proceeds there is no doubt that 
intelligence is more and more effectively con- 
strained by the appeal of universarand ob- 
jective values. 

The intelligence which is involved in the 
discovery and realization of the objective sys- 
tem of values is (so far as our experience 
goes) not individual but social intelligence. 
Indeed it is hard to see how it could be other- 
wise under any conditions we can imagine^ 
Of course the natural existence of the human 
individual is too short, the range of his per- 
ceptive faculties too small, his mental ener- 
gies too limited, and the conditions and cir- 
cumstances of his life too hampering, to 
permit him to go far with the appreciative ex- 
ploration of the values of the real world. 


But apart from these limitations which might 
conceivably be regarded as accidental rather 
than essential to the individual intelligence, 
the possible values, intellectual, practical, and 
aesthetic, of the existing world are so in- 
finitely many and varied that it is impossible 
to imagine how any individual, having of 
necessity a definite and therefore limited point 
of view, and choosing and acting consistently 
with this, could explore and realize them all. 
We can imagine their being realized on a 
scale at all extensive only by a society of inter- 
communicating individuals, the community 
of personal intelligence. In such a society 
each individual chooses freely in accordance 
with the interests dictated by his own unique 
outlook and realizes directly and by his own 
efforts certain values which appeal to him, 
and realizes indirectly by communication 
other values which have been experienced 
and appreciated by his fellows. In the case 

of intellectual insights and discoveries, such 
intercommunication takes place through ar- 
ticulate speech, spoken and written; in the 
case of practical invention, through objective 
example and demonstration; in the case o 
aesthetic perception, through emotional ex- 
pression and artistic production. 

Thus the values inherent in the world are 
realized by countless individuals of succeed- 
ing generations, each with his own unique 
personal outlook which renders some par- 
ticular facts or features especially luminous 
and significant. The real world discloses 
countless facets of meaning and value which 
through intercommunication are made access- 
ible to the experience of all individuals. 
Since, then, the standpoint of each individual 
brings to light with exceptional clearness 
some element of truth, utility or beauty in the 
world, and since these individual apprecia- 

tions are capable of illumination and enrich- 
ment through comparison with, and inter- 
pretation by, the insights, inventions, and 
intuitions of all the others, the possibilities of 
meaning and value which the existing world 
contains for the associated intelligence of 
mankind are infinitely many and varied. The 
realization of these objective values by a 
society of intercommunicating individuals is 
accompanied, furthermore, by the apprecia- 
tion and enjoyment of three cognate values, 
viz., mutual insight and understanding, co- 
operative endeavour, and aesthetic sympathy. 
These three values are both personal and ob- 
jective. They are personal because they rise 
out of, and are realized through, personal 
association; they are objective because they 
are based upon capacities characteristic of in- 
telligent personality under any and all condi- 
tions of its existence. 


In concluding this chapter let us summarize 
the conclusions which have been reached re- 
garding the existence of a spiritual order or 
world, before going on to discuss their bear- 
ing upon religion. There is a spiritual order 
or world, i.e., an objective system organized 
on the basis of intrinsic meaning and value 
rather than physical causation. This objec- 
tive system of values is constituted by three 
relations which hold among existing things: 
their intelligibility to our thought, their 
adaptability to our rational purpose, their 
significance to our aesthetic perception. In 
virtue of these relations, existing objects pos- 
sess infinitely varied possibilities of f unctional 
contribution to the diversified and developing 
unity of the real world. The existence of this 
cosmic system of values depends, in our ex- 
perience of it, upon the activities of conscious 
intelligence by which these possibilities are 

formulated, chosen, and realized. Their actual 
progressive discovery and realization asso- 
ciates human individuals in common insight 
and mutual understanding, in co-operative 
endeavour and imaginative sympathy. 



THE faith of religion in the reality of a 
spiritual as distinct from a material 
world has good and sufficient grounds. 
This is an important conclusion but does riot 
bring us to the end of our inquiry. We have 
still to consider whether belief in the exist- 
ence of such a spiritual order as the system of 
values is sufficient by itself for the needs of 
religion. Or must genuine religion go further 
and affirm belief in the existence of a Supreme 
Spirit, a Cosmic Intelligence, a Divine Pur- 
pose, or a Personal God? 
;fdp not think that the facts of man's reli- 
gious experience and history would support 
us in saying that it must. We cannot doubt 


that many individuals have responded to the 
existing universe with genuinely religious 
emotions of awe and reverence and personal 
confidence who saw no evidence in it of the 
controlling influence of a cosmic purpose or a 
divine personality. Great religions of the 
Orient have refused to ascribe anything like 
self-conscious intelligence or personal charac- 
ter to the Universal Reality. 

What is indispensable to religion is be- 
lief in the reality of the highest values with 
which we human beings are acquainted. This 
is equivalent to believing that Universal Re- 
ality possesses moral and spiritual values, 
since the highest values we know are those 
of social intelligence and personal associa- 
tion. So even when religious faith is limited 
to the vaguest cosmic emotion it never fails 
to ascrjbe to the Cosmos attributes of spiritual 
value like inherent order and majesty, trust- 
worthiness and ultimate intelligibility. And 

religions like Buddhism which refuse to at- 
tribute to Reality any definite characteristics, 
such as those of moral and social value, seem 
to mean quite otherwise in their underlying 
import. For by depreciating separate indi- 
viduality, condemning individual desire, and 
representing the acquisition of altruistic vir- 
tue as the only road to the attainment of. 
eternal reality they practically assign highest 
reality to these spiritual values. 

Belief in the reality of the values esteemed 
by social intelligence and sought through 
personal association we therefore take to be 
the irreducible minimum of religion, and can- 
not accord a like position to belief in a uni- 
versal spirit or personal deity. While it is 
desirable to make this point perfectly clear, 
it is at the same time a fact that belief in God 
or in gods has held a central place in the 
religions of mankind. Indeed, more, it has 
seemed to the vast majority of men a necessary 

implication of belief in the conservation of 
values, scarcely distinguishable in matter of 
fact from this latter belief. Proof of this is 
found in the historic fact that man's concep- 
tion of God has kept fairly even pace in its 
development with his understanding of the 
values realized through rational insight and 
socially-adjusted conduct. Primitive man at- 
tributed to the gods superhuman power and 
little else, although this power differed from 
the power of purely natural forces by being 
responsive to human appeal. Then as social 
evolution proceeded and man gained a fuller 
understanding of the values of personal intel- 
ligence and co-operation, to power was added 
justice and to justice was added wisdom and 
the "beauty of holiness," and to wisdom and 
holiness has finally been added universal be- 

Hence it is a fair question, and one sug- 
gested by the conclusions reached, whether 

the objective system of personal and social 
values does not imply the reality of a com- 
prehensive and co-ordinating intelligence. 
Of course it should be understood that this 
question is, philosophically speaking, a 
speculative one. No strict demonstration of 
God's existence (or His non-existence) is 
possible; the idea of proving the existence of 
God in stria accord with the canons of logic 
was given up long ago. And while the be- 
lief in question is, as we shall see later on, 
subject to experimental investigation and 
testing, no such verification as is obtainable 
for the generalizations of physical science 
is in the nature of the case possible. 

Understanding the existence of God, then, 
as an admissible postulate or hypothesis the 
postulate, that is to say, of the reality of an 
All-Comprehensive or Cosmic Intelligence 
which organizes objects in their aspect of 


value we may now consider what reasons 
may be adduced in its support. 

The system of values really exists. This, 
the conclusion we have reached, will now be 
taken as established fact and the starting- 
point of further reflection. What does it 
mean ? That the obj ects of the existing world 
so far as their value is intelligently appre- 
ciated prove to be related in ways other than, 
and different from, that of physical causation. 
They reveal coherence of character, potencies 
of adaptation and transformation, and in- 
trinsic harmonies which are significantly ex- 
pressive. This does not mean that objects 
in their aspect of value constitute one per- 
fectly organized system, one complete and 
self-contained whole. The system of values 
as brought to light in our experience is es- 
sentially a developing system, and there is 
no reason to doubt that human intelligence 
and invention really assist in its development. 

But while it is a developing system and is 
developed (in part, at least) by human in- 
strumentality, it is, nevertheless, a system and 
a meta-physical system. 

Now is such a system conceivable apart 
from an immanent, organizing intelligence? 
It is true, to be sure, that values are in a sense 
created by our own rational insight, practi- 
cal contrivance, and aesthetic perception. But 
they are also and at the same time discovered. 
For if existing objects were not intelligible, 
they would disclose no identities and dif- 
ferences of meaning; if they did not possess 
a certain order and fitness they would not be 
adaptable to rational uses; if the qualities 
of some of them were not intrinsically har- 
monious they would not reflect the nature 
and system of the whole. So the question 
returns: Is the intelligibility, the order and 
adaptability, the expressive unity, of actual 

objects conceivable apart from an intelligence 
which knows and contrives and perceives? 

One reply would be: Certainly not, the 
system of objective values implies the com- 
munity of creative human intelligence; but 
there is no reason to go further. Still, there 
are difficulties which this solution does not 
wholly remove. Let us consider these diffi- 
culties as they first present themselves in 
their more obvious and (if you will) more 
superficial aspect. 

The human individuals who share the life 
of intelligent community have each a brief 
existence and a fragmentary experience. If 
they alone constitute the community of in- 
telligence, can it be said to possess any real 1 
unity and continuity? Suppose that some 
cosmic collision extinguished all life on this 
planet. Would the system of personal and 
social values then be destroyed? Or that 
some earthly influence hostile to man such 

as an insect-carried plague destroyed civili- 
zation and reduced mankind to a few bands 
of roving savages. Would the community 
of intelligence be correspondingly shrunk 
near to the vanishing-point? If such is the 
case, the existence of the system of values is, 
despite all its coherence and organization and 
potencies of development, at the mercy of the 
circumstances and vicissitudes that jeopardize 
the existence of our organic species on this 
planet. If, on the other hand, we are con- 
vinced that the system of values does possess 
real organization and inherent potencies of 
continuous and consistent development, must 
we not rather suppose that conscious intel- 
ligence and rational purpose exist in some 
more comprehensive and enduring form than 
we are able to observe in the case of human 

Supposing the objection to be, nevertheless, 
maintained that we have already attributed 


a common reason to mankind and thus have 
already provided or allowed for a compre- 
hensive principle of intelligent community, 
the answer will merely put the argument in 
another form. Human nature has two sides: 
man is both a natural being and a self-con- 
scious person. He is linked by his organism 
with the succession of physical events to 
which, as stimuli, he must respond with ap- 
propriate movements in order to preserve his 
organic existence. But man as an intelligent 
person is capable of taking the comprehen- 
sive, the universal point of view. His world 
is a world of objects possessing identity of 
character and permanent possibilities of de- 
velopment and reorganization, the world as it 
must reveal itself to intelligent individuals in 
all times and places. This comprehensive 
and universal outlook makes the intelligent 
man a spectator of universal evolution, in- 
cluding of course the incidents, the progress, 

and the approaching end of his own or- 
ganic existence as well as the natural life and 
death of generations of his fellows. No 
view of man or of his destiny deserves serious 
consideration which does not give due weight 
to the fact that man is unique among all the 
forms of life we know in being intelligently 
aware of the fact that he is a living being with 
a limited span of life and therefore a being 
capable of effectually relating his own brief 
period of bodily life and activity to the 
larger issues of human progress and world- 
history which far transcend it in past and 
future. Of all the characteristics of man this 
is perhaps the most remarkable and signifi- 
cant, and if contemporary naturalistic theories 
are constrained to ignore it they convict them- 
selves of a one-sidedness and inadequacy 
which is certain to be paid for by a reaction 
to idealistic views. 

Now we grant that the succession of physi- 

cal events with which man's organic existence 
connects him requires for its explanation a 
physical universe or order of events in space- 
time. Does not the universality of man's ra- 
tional outlook which associates him with 
others in the community of intelligence 
equally require for its explanation the con- 
ception of an all-comprehensive intelligence 
. which embraces within its permanent unity 
all intelligent individuals? 

Are we not then bound to agree that the 
system of values implies the existence of a 
developing social consciousness which en- 
dures and embraces the consciousness of 
human individuals so far as they realize in 
their own conscious experience the universal 
values? I believe that we are, that this is a 
reasonable inference. But what are we to 
think of the scope and limits of this con- 
sciousness? Did it emerge when human in- 
telligence first appeared in the process of 

organic evolution? Has the natural universe 
come to consciousness of its own immanent 
values, come to consciousness of itself, so to 
speak, in the insights and ideals of human 
society and civilization? 

This conclusion would doubtless meet the 
approval of many today who, while accept- 
ing the f acts of science, wish to give due rec- 
ognition to the idealistic factor in evolution. 
Perhaps it is as far as we can go. Yet there 
are further considerations which force them- 
selves upon our notice. If the system of 
values exists objectively, how are we to un- 
derstand its existence before human intel- 
ligence appeared on the scene of cosmic 
evolution? Man did not put in his appear- 
ance until comparatively late in our earth's 
history, say a half million years ago. What 
are we to think of the period, the millions of 
years, when the earth existed without intel- 
ligence and without any life at all? And what 


of the vast stretches of stellar evolution an- 
tecedent to the origin of the earth? Did the 
system of values exist at all? If it did not, 
what ground is there for asserting that values 
are inherent in the real nature of things ? But 
if, on the other hand, we are convinced that 
the system of values, qua real, did exist 
through the long courses of cosmic evolution, 
does not its existence imply as a necessary 
correlate a comprehensive and equally endur- 
ing intelligence? 

We are, to be sure, quile familiar with the 
answer which the naturalistic evolutionism of 
our day is prepared to give to such a question 
as this. Yes, we shall be told, the values 
which man discovers and appreciates in the 
actual world, along with all the other func- 
tions and manifestations of life, existed in 
the period previous to man's advent and, for 
that matter, to the origin of life itself. But 
they existed potentially) were latent in the 


simpler forms of life and, still earlier, in mat- 
ter itself. 

There is an assumption present in such 
reasoning, however, which is generally over- 
looked. And this assumption, when ex- 
plicitly stated and impartially examined, 
proves to be somewhat questionable, to say 
the least. It is assumed that the order of 
physical events, which is not a fact of direct 
experience but an inference based upon the 
facts of common perception, existed through- 
out the whole course of evolution and fur- 
nished the real framework within which the 
whole process in all its phases, of value as 
well as of physical occurrence, proceeded. But 
the attributes of value, the permanent correla- 
tion of diverse qualities, the capacities for 
reorganization and adaptation, the intrinsic 
and expressive harmonies, are features of 
existence no less actual and important than its 
strictly physical attributes. And these at- 

tributes of value, as we have also seen, require 
for their explanation the community of intel- 
ligence. This latter, the unity of associative 
or communal intelligence, is therefore on an 
equal footing with the order of physical 
events: both are inferences based upon the 
facts of everyday experience; both may with 
an equal right claim to signify the truth of 
the world of everyday fact, the reality inher- 
ent in existing things. But why then suppose 
that the earlier stages of evolution when many 
of the features of the now-existing world 
were not in evidence, proceeded within the 
space-time frame exclusively, and not within 
the organizing, associating unity of intel- 
ligence as well? 

But this latter point need not be pressed to 
the limit; a case can hardly be made out on 
this ground alone. For it will be open to the 
naturalistic evolutionist to reply that so far 
as scientifically verifiable fact is concerned, 

there is convincing proof that the physical 
forces we can observe to be now working in 
the natural world were also operative in all 
earlier stages of evolution, while there is no 
empirical evidence of the influence of intel- 
ligence or of rational purpose on the course 
of cosmic affairs before the time when the 
products of human art and the relics of man's 
social culture begin to appear. This brings 
us back to the underlying question upon 
which the whole argument turns. What 
meaning can we give to the existence of the 
system of values as latent or potential 'in the 
natural world during the earlier stages of its 
evolution? Exist in some sense these values 
must have, else their appearance at a later 
stage would have been a break in the con- 
tinuity of the evolutionary process. Yet there 
is no empirical evidence, it is said, of their 
influence or effect upon the course of events 
at particular times and places. So we must 


content ourselves with saying that they existed 
potentially, they were latent, in the natural 

How, we still seek to know, are we to con- 
ceive of the potential existence of the system 
of values in the physical universe? Physical 
forces determine the effect of particle on par- 
ticle, of event upon event, in the space-time 
system. But the presence in the natural world 
of the system of values even in potentia means 
the existence of another type of relation be- 
sides that of external or physical determina- 
tion between mass-points in motion. It means 
the existence of a relation between the parts 
or members, i.e., specific objects and events, 
and an organizing unity or whole which in- 
cludes them, not as a space-time system in- 
cludes the succession of physical events in 
sequence of external determination, but or- 
ganically, by virtue of their intrinsic adapt- 
ability and their distinctive possibilities of 

f unctional contribution. If this relation exists, 
then existence, real existence of some sort, 
must be granted to the "whole," to those en- 
during unities and forms which determine the 
progressive organization of the natural world 
and the explicit realization of its immanent 
values. In what sense can the "whole" 'exist, 
potentially if you will, but nevertheless really 
and effectively? I find it difficult if not 
impossible to understand it except as an anti- 
cipatory selection of objects, of existing ma- 
terials, on the basis of their intrinsic charac- 
ter and fitness. One hesitates to mention 
purpose in this connection because purpose 
suggests to so many minds a power which 
arbitrarily interferes with, and sets aside, the 
regular order of nature in pursuit of some 
aim of its own. But purpose need not be 
given this narrowly human, this anthropo- 
morphic, meaning. It may mean simply the 
immanent order of nature or, more definitely, 

the effective ordering which proceeds in the 
natural world. Only so far as it involves an 
anticipatory selection, it implies the influence 
in all stages of evolution of an inclusive and 
organizing intelligence. 

The argument may be put in a different 
way but the reasoning is in substance the 
same. The problem is that of explaining 
the origin of the objective system of values. 
Now if we desire to explain the occurrence of 
any physical event we try to discover the 
physical event or configuration of physical 
events which invariably precedes it, and when 
we have found this we are satisfied that we 
have disc6vered the cause of the occurrence 
which required explanation. If, however, it is 
the system of values which we have to ex- 
plain, the explanation must necessarily take 
a different form. For the system of values is 
not a physical event or a configuration of 
physical events. It can only originate as the 

anticipatory and incipient realization of the 
possibilities of mutual implication, functional 
adaptation, and significant harmony, inherent 
in the nature of things. But these possibilities 
are, as far as we can see, infinitely or, at least, 
indefinitely many and varied. Consequently, 
in order to explain the origin of the existing 
system of values we must postulate some crea- 
tive agency which selects from the indefinite 
range of possibilities just these for realization. 
.[And this creative agency is the Cosmic Intel- 
ligence which we call God. "The religious 
insight," says Professor Whitehead, "is the 
grasp of this truth: That the order of the 
world, the depth of the reality of the world, 
the value of the world, in its whole and in its 
parts, the beauty of the world, the zest of life, 
and the mastery of evil, are all bound up to- 
gether not accidentally, but by reason of this 
truth: that the universe exhibits a creativity 

with infinite freedom, and a realm of forms 
with infinite possibilities; but that this crea- 
tivity and these forms are together impotent to 
achieve actuality apart from the completed 
ideal harmony which is God." 1 

1 Whitehead, Religion m the Making, p. 119. 



WE ARE now ready to apply the conclu- 
sions which have been reached re- 
garding the real system of values and the com- 
munity of intelligence it presupposes, to the 
subject of religion, and to ask whether they 
do not point the way to a type of religion 
which is supported by the facts of experience 
and susceptible of experimental testing and 

As a preliminary to this final step, we 
shall find it helpful to consider very 
briefly the relation of religion to morality. 
For these two major departments of human 
conduct and culture, while having much in 
common, have also instructive points of dif- 


ference which bear directly upon the solution 
of our problem. 

Morality like religion is interested in the 
values which existing objects and situations 
may possess. Indeed morality, as it is gener- 
ally understood, means that sort of conduct 
which aims to realize the more inclusive and 
enduring goods of social life and personal 
intelligence rather than the more limited and 
fleeting satisfactions of natural appetite and 
individual desire. Moral reflection cannot 
accept unquestioningly, however, the hard 
and fast distinctions which are made by pop- 
ular morality between higher and lower 
goods. For morality inevitably becomes con- 
ventionalized: men are dominated by the 
compelling sanctions of the moral tradition 
in which they have been reared, in their judg- 
ments of right and wrong. 

Hence we shall avoid confusion if from the 
start we think of morality as the effort to 

realize through appropriate courses of action 
the greatest values of human life, to attain 
what is sometimes called the highest human 
good. A difference between morality and 
religion at once appears. Morality consists 
in the practical pursuit of objects of great 
value and their progressive realization by 
dint of strenuous effort, usually prolonged, 
arduous, and exacting. Its interest is practical 
in a way religion's is not; it is concerned with 
the motives which are incentives to right ac- 
tion, and with the practical ways and means 
whereby these motives can be made effective 
in the realization of the greatest good. Its 
temper is strenuous, resolute, heroic. 

Evidently if moral intelligence is to succeed 
in this practical enterprise it must undertake 
some comparison of the different sorts of ob- 
jects as a preliminary to grading or organizing 
them in order of their enlarging scope and 
increasing importance. Some values, as we 

know, are entirely subjective and relative. Ice- 
cream has value to me if I like it (which not 
all persons do) ; its value is relative to my 
individual taste. Other values are obviously 
relative to the customs and culture of par- 
ticular social groups. Holding solemn and 
ceremonial family festival yearly in honour 
of family ancestors has positive and decided 
value to one brought up in a society where 
ancestor- worship flourishes. Money has great 
value as providing the material means for the 
liberation and fulfilment of personal powers 
under the guidance of socially-responsible 
intelligence, but used as a means for escaping 
social responsibility, securing bodily ease and 
comfort, and enjoying a continual round of 
private pleasure it has much less value. Bodily 
health and vigour have a very high value as 
the indispensable condition of personal ac- 
tivity and satisfaction. This value like that 
of money is relative and subordinate, how- 

ever; not many would purchase life and health 
at any price of social dishonour, betrayal of 
friends, or loss of family affection. 

In contrast, with these subjective and rela- 
tive values, we have found that there are cer- 
tain values which are objective because 
acknowledged by personal intelligence in its 
universal outlook and capacity. These are 
the values of rational insight and mutual un- 
derstanding, of fellowship in constructive 
achievement, and of the perception of beauty 
with its suggestions of ultimate harmony and 
social fulfilment. 

But such objective values cannot even be 
pursued, much less realized, by isolated 
human individuals. They are essentially 
common goods which can be sought only by 
co-operation and enjoyed only in community. 
-.Their realization calls for the participation 
of individuals in a common stock of knowl- 
edge, in the discharge of a common social 


task, and in the sympathetic perception of the 
significant features of our common human lot. 
\ And such participation in its turn depends 
upon intercommunication 1 between human 
individuals. Hence we must allow that the 
actual realization of these personal goods 
which moral duty recommends to human in- 
dividuals is accomplished as much (or more) 
by intercommunication between the indi- 
vidual and his fellow-men as by his own 
original initiative and activity. 

As a matter of fact, this antithesis between 
what is individually produced and what is so- 
cially acquired in the moral attainments of 
the human being is an unreal one. Have 
we not seen that those activities by which the 

1 The importance of intercommunication as a means, 
in fact taking human life in the large and mankind as a 
whole, the principal means, of realizing the values of 
personal life and association is explained in my book, 
The Moral Standards of Democracy (Appleton, 1925). 
I have there shown that the fundamental forms of human 
association are modes of mtercornmunication. 

real value of existing objects is discovered and 
appreciated, i.e., intellectual insight, practical 
invention, and aesthetic perception, involve 
bodily responses by which their results are 
socially communicated? I refer of course to 
~l" articulate speech, spoken and written, to man- 
ual contrivance and technical skill, and to 
emotional expression and artistic production. 
Through these bodily agencies of communi- 
cation, intelligible experiences of the real 
truth of things, of their adaptability to ra- 
tional uses, and of their intrinsic and ex- 
pressive harmonies are exchanged, and so 
made the property of social intelligence, avail- 
able to all individuals who wish to share in 
their realization. 

The forms of articulate speech serve to 
stereotype and signalize by means of con- 
ventional vocal sounds and visible charac- 
ters what kinds of objects and connections 
of situations and events it is advantageous 

for us with the vital and social interests of 
human beings to take notice and cognizance 
of. So the individual who learns to utilize 
the resources of language in interpreting the 
objects and events of his world and the re- 
sults of his dealings with them, is really shar- 
ing in the social experience of intelligible 
meaning. His world has become the world of 
rational discourse, of experience translated 
into terms of our common human intel- 
ligence. He is participating in the interpreta- 
tions and appreciations of mankind, given 
objective expression in the external medium 
of articulate speech. Once any one of us has 
learned in this way to give external and in- 
telligible expression to his experience in deal- 
ing with actual things, he is in a position to 
communicate these experiences to others and 
to check them by the results of others' observa- 
tion, action, and enjoyment. He can of course 
understand and appreciate the experiences of 


others when they are told, described, or ex- 
plained. The inevitable and constant inter- 
change and comparison of experiences which 
follow tend to correct the deficiencies and 
distortions due to subjective ignorance and 
prejudice. Through such discussion the ideas 
of individuals are rectified and illuminated 
and their estimates criticized and confirmed. 
The resources of speech are not limited to 
the spoken word, however. The written rec- 
ord gives permanent embodiment and endur- 
ing expression to what successive generations 
of men from the dawning of civilization have 
found to be intelligible and significant in the 
existing world. The individual who is cap- 
able of reading with understanding and ap- 
preciation this literature is introduced to the 
experience of humanity. He is given a share 
in the interests and insights, the revelations 
and disappointments of his fellows in all 
ages who have faced with an intelligence akin 


to his own the vicissitudes of life upon this 
planet. And one who thus widens his intel- 
lectual horizons to include the significant ex- 
periences of humanity gains a new perspec- 
tive for interpreting his own experience. He 
looks at the world of nature and of social life 
from the standpoint of humanisty and the 
progressive stages in man's long and often 
painful struggle upward from the brute; he 
reviews in his own consciousness the course 
of cosmic evolution and world history. 

The second agency of intercommunication 
is another bodily mechanism peculiar to man: 
thejtiand with its opposed thumb, the flexible 
wrist, and correlated muscles of the arm and 
shoulder and back. Its function is the mani- 
pulation of physical objects, the fashioning 
and fabrication of mechanical instruments, 
the combining of materials, and the adjust- 
ment and control of natural forces and tend- 
encies with a view to the production of desir- 

able results. The field of its exercise is the 
physical and the social environment. In the 
former its activity consists in the contrivance 
and use of tools, appliances and machines, 
and the devising of technical methods and 
processes. In the social field its work is the 
invention of methods of social procedure, 
organization, 'and control. Such for example 
are the modes and methods of government, 
the forms of social intercourse and amuse- 
ment, the customs and usages of courtship, 
marriage and family life. These tools, meth- 
ods, and appliances invented and employed in 
the industrial field, these social rites, proce- 
dures and ceremonies, are all of them objec- 
tive expressions of the power of man's practi- 
cal intelligence to realize in outward perform- 
ance the values he finds in existing things. In 
one case it is the materials and forces of the 
physical world, in the other it is the psycho- 
physical tendencies and aptitudes of the 

human organism, which the intelligence of 
man adapts to its own rational uses. 

Through the intelligent use of these prac- 
tical methods and devices, the individual 
shares in the power which the rational will of 
man has gained over the agencies of his physi- 
cal and social environment. Thus he is en- 
abled to realize more fully than he could do 
by his own unaided efforts the practical values 
of his situation, its promise and potency of 
further adaptation and transformation. Thus 
the child who is reared in a modern home is 
at once introduced by early training to the 
practical values realized by the equipment and 
appliances of the house and the customs and 
observances of family life. He is taught to 
use knife and fork at the table and to observe 
the decorum and amenities of the family 
meal. He is trained to use the telephone. He 
is taught the forms of polite greeting and 
grateful acknowledgment. He learns by in- 


struction and example how to welcome call- 
ers and to see that they are comfortably seated. 
Now all this may seem to be a matter of 
outward performance, the acquisition of skill 
in making certain bodily movements. But 
with a normally intelligent and well-disposed 
child it is much more. It means, at the very 
least, the beginning of a reali2ation of the 
practical value of a modern house as the centre 
of family life and community intercourse, As 
his own outlook broadens, he finds himself 
sharing with increasing satisfaction in the 
varied activities, social and economic, of the 
home, family life, and the circle of family 
acquaintances. In a like manner but on a 
larger scale the machinery of economic pro- 
duction, distribution and exchange, the meth- 
ods and procedures of government, the tech- 
nique of education, sanitation and relief, all 
embody the practical values which the in- 
telligence of man has discovered in his physi- 

cal and social environment. The individual 
who uses them efficiently and with an under- 
standing of their social purpose increases his 
own power and scope of action by allying 
himself in co-operative endeavour with count- 
less numbers of his fellows who in all ages 
have laboured effectively to adapt the ma- 
terials and forces of nature to the welfare of 

The bodily structures involved in aesthetic *" 
expression and artistic production constitute 
a third agency by which experiences of mean- J 
ing and value are communicated. As means 
pf aesthetic expression the fine arts have de- 
veloped: dancing, music, poetry, drawing, 
painting, sculpture, and architecture. Prod- 
ucts of fine art give objective embodiment to 
that meaning which the artist feels to be 
present in the thing or situation, the meaning 
which stirred his emotion and kindled his 
fancy. This meaning is often vague and de- 


fies articulate expression. Like all meanings 
it is generated; it resides in a certain har- 
mony of character and unity of pattern which 
the object is felt to possess. Through the 
emotion it has aroused the object appears to 
signify pervasive and typical, apparently 
commonplace but nevertheless fundamental, 
features of human experience. This signifi- 
cance the artist seeks to express in his medium 
while his fellows, through an acquaintance 
with, and appreciation of, his poem, picture, 
or song, share in the emotional experiences 
which inspired it. Thus they increase their 
own capacity for appreciating the emotional 
and imaginative values of objects and situa- 
tions which they themselves experience. 

We now understand how as individuals we 
enlarge our experiences by activities of inter- 
communication, and thereby come to par- 
ticipate in the realization of those objective 
values of personal and social community 


which we as moral agents feel it our duty to 
realize. Even with the help of this embodied 
system of social culture, however, it is impos- 
sible for us as individuals to go far in moral 
attainment or to realize the rational good in 
all its interdependent aspects, intellectual, 
practical, and aesthetic." Attainment in a 
single field must be purchased at the expense 
of neglect of others; if one has attained any 
depth of insight into the nature of the world 
and the character of his fellow-men, or played 
any effective part in the work of industrial 
amelioration or social improvement, or given 
^artistic expression to the beauty inherent in 
nature and in human life, he must be content 
with his life's opportunity. Yet practical at- 
tainment is the essence of morality and moral 
ideals are objectives or aims of action to be 
progressively realized in the succeeding acts 
or series of acts of everyday life. It is not sur- 
prising that men should from sheer discour- 


agement periodically lose their moral nerve, 
and times occur like the present when all talk 
of pursuing and realizing absolute or uni- 
versal moral values is regarded as extravagant 
and visionary and the mere mention of a Sum- 
mum Bonum, is apt to provoke a derisive 

Religion (if we now return to the original 
subject of our thought) in contrast with mor- 
ality is not satisfied, even provisionally, with 
the realization of any one aspect or compo- 
nent part of the system of objective values. 
It is concerned and solely concerned with the 
realization of the system of values in its en- 
tirety, with its realization not in part but as 
a whole. Nor is it content like morality to 
pursue and to realize these values gradually 
by the slow and difficult path of practical 
endeavour. Religion seeks, or proposes, the 
present realization of the entire system of 
values. Confidence in the real universe means, 


as we have seen, faith in the objective reality 
and controlling influence of the highest values 
of personal life and association. But this 
faith means more than intellectual assent to 
the^real existence of these values. It means, 
when we identify it with religion, a realiz- 
ing sense of the objective existence of per- 
sonal and social values in their interdepend- 
ence and unity. Unwilling to wait until in 
the slow course of time action shall have 
wrought its utmost in practical attainment, 
religion proposes to avail itself of all the re- 
sources of human thought and motor adjust- 
ment in a supreme effort at present realization 
of the system of objective values. 

But if it is impossible to realize any one 
of these values, either truth, or practical 
power and organization, or beauty, even par- 
tially except through mtercommunication, it 
is still less possible to realize the whole sys- 
tem of objective values except through inter- 


communication. To what source shall we 
look, however, for such communication? The 
system of values in its entirety has been real- 
ized by no human individual, nor by any 
group of intercommunicating individuals. 
Obviously there is just one direction in which 
to look. All the possibilities inherent in the 
actual world of contributing to the life of 
personal-social community are envisaged only 
by the Cosmic Intelligence, in which all the 
personal and social values realized by human- 
ity are comprehended and conserved in their 
interdependence and unity. Now this is just 
the quarter to which religion does look. It 
proposes the present realization of the system 
of personal and social values through inter- 
communication with the Supreme Intel- 
ligence. In all ages, communion with God, 
however crudely conceived, has been the 
primary concern of religion. And com- 
munion with God as the method and the sole 


method of realizing the true meaning and en- 
during value of the changing events of the 
natural world and the fleeting prospects of 
human life. 

It is one thing to propose such communica- 
tion with the Divine Intelligence and to 
rhapsodize over the benefits it may confer on 
mankind, and it is another thing to say how 
within the limits of observed fact it may be 
carried on, and how the fruits of such com- 
munication or pretended communication may 
be experimentally tested and verified. What 
means has man of communicating with the 


Cpsmic Intelligence? He has the three 
psycho-physical agencies of communication 
which have been referred to: articulate 
speech, practical contrivance and invention, 
and aesthetic-emotional expression. How 
religion would employ these agencies for 
purpose of communication with God will be 
discussed in the concluding chapter. 



IN CURRENT writings on the subject, "ex- 
perimental" or "experimentalist" religion 
seems to mean little more than that type of 
religion in which the human individual falls 
back entirely upon his own observation and 
experience. Instead of accepting the claims 
of supernatural revelation, or conforming to 
the usages of established religious institutions 
like churches, he shapes his religious beliefs 
in accordance with the facts of his own ex- 
perience and the exigencies of his own be- 
haviour. And such beliefs in the matter of 
religion as he finds helpful in meeting the 
complex and changing situations of the mod- 
ern world, as seem to aid in adjusting him 


to his social and cosmical environment, he 
will be inclined to accept. 

It is true that Professor Kirsopp Lake, who 
has recently called our attention to the im- 
portance of experimentalism in religion and 
has written in an illuminating way of junda- 
mentalhm, msttfutionalism, and experimen- 
talism as the real divisions of Protestant 
Christianity, does give to experimentalism a 
somewhat more definite meaning. The ex- 
perimentalist holds, he says, that there are two 
great experiments in life which are the basis 
of religion. 1 Both depend upon individual 
choice. The first is when a man chooses to 
become the servant of a great and inclusive 
purpose which he believes that he discovers 
in life. The second is made when such an 
individual, conscious of the impending failure 
of the first experiment on account of his own 

1 Lake, The Religions of Yesterday and Tomorrow, 
pp. 65, 66. 


weakness, turns to the source of life for 
strength and comfort and purification. But 
as to the procedure followed in these two 
experiments, Professor Lake evidently be- 
lieves that no general statements can be made; 
it is entirely an individual matter. "Each o 
these experiments can be made in many dif- 
ferent ways; no one way is the way any more 
than any one kind of test-tube is the test-tube. 
No conclusion can be valid which ignores the 
results obtained by any one of these ways." 2 
Unless experimentation can be given some 
more precise meaning in the field of religion 
there is little reason to recommend it as a 
method of investigation or a basis of belief. 
Certainly experimental procedure as it is 
fruitfully employed in the natural sciences 
signifies something much more definite than 
this. The student of a science like physics 
who is to follow the approved method of ex- 

2 Op. Cit., p. 66. 


perimental procedure in his study of the sub- 
ject is not simply turned loose in the physics 
laboratory with instructions to do what he 
can with the apparatus and to observe and 
record the results of his "experimentation." 
Such a method would not take him far toward 
a mastery of the subject. Authorities would 
generally agree, I think, that there are three 
requirements for fruitful experimentation in 
any scientific field. First, the student must 
have some clear notion of the aim and scope 
of his science; second, he must have some 
preliminary acquaintance with technical 
methods of experimentation appropriate to 
the field; and, third, he must have some 
knowledge of the results which previous in- 
vestigators in the field have gained by use of 
these methods. 

Are not these three requirements manda- 
tory if the experimental procedure is to be 
followed in religion? To be sure, religious 


inquiry is different from scientific investiga- 
tion. The values whose reality religion af- 
firms are values at once social and personal; 
they presuppose the community of social in- 
telligence, without doubt, but they imply the 
distinctness of individual personality as well. 
Religion is an intimately individual and, in 
this sense, a subjective concern; it is the 
response of the human individual with out- 
look and aspirations altogether unique and 
his own, to the total scheme of things. Hence 
we must admit, I think, that private judgment 
will always hold its place as a final court 
of appeal in religion; each individual must 
make his own reckoning with the ultimate 
issues of life and the cosmic powers which 
control his final destiny. 

Is a truly experimental procedure there- 
fore impossible in religion? Certainly if ex- 
perimental religion can mean nothing more 
than trusting to one's own observation and 


the results of one's own dealings with the 
situations of daily life, it promises little or 
nothing in the way of objective results. 

The approach to the problem of religion 
outlined in the foregoing chapters indicates, 
I believe, that the three requirements of ex- 
perimental procedure just mentioned may be 
fully met in the religious field and a genuinely 
experimental method adopted in religious 
inquiry. The aim of religion, we have found 
reason to believe, is the realization of the ob- 
jective system of personal and social values 
through communication with the Cosmic In- 
telligence. The means of realization are 
predetermined for us human beings by the 
fact that we possess three psycho-physical 
agencies of personal communication: articu- 
late speech, practical invention and construc- 
tion, and aesthetic perception and expression. 
Applied in the field of religion these methods 
of intercommunication take the forms of 

'prayer, devoted service, and wor ship. In each 
of these methods the human individual has 
the advantage of being able to check and 
corroborate the results he has gained by the 
experiences of other inquirers who have used 
the same method of communication. He can 
turn for purpose of guidance and confirma- 
tion to the literature of religious thought and 
meditation, to the characters and careers of 
those great leaders who are shining examples 
of heroic devotion to the good of humanity 
and the cause of the world, and to those sym- 
bols and rituals, that music and architecture, 
which persist through the ages because they 
have been felt by countless thousands to em- 
body and express the feeling of unity with, 
and completeness in, the Divine. 

Let us then direct our attention to these 
three forms of religious response prayer, de- 
voted service, and worship which we inter- 
pret as methods of realizing the objective 


system of values through intereommunica- 
tion with the Universal Intelligence. 

"Prayer," says William James, "is the very 
soul and essence of religion." 3 Prayer, from 
the standpoint we have been led to adopt, is 
a mode of intercommunication. It is inter- 
communication with the Cosmic Intelligence 
by articulate speech, which helps us to realize 
the personal meaning of the world and the 
larger significance of the events and situa- 
tions of our own life in relation to the whole. 
Obviously it is not the prayer of petition we 
are discussing, but rather the prayer of com- 
munion. Again quoting from James: "Not- 
withstanding the recency of the opposite be- 
lief, everyone now knows that droughts and 
storms follow from physical antecedents and 
that moral appeals cannot avert them. But 
petitional prayer is only one department of 
prayer; and if we take the word in the wider 

3 James, Varieties of Religious Experience, p. 464. 

sense as meaning every kind of inward com- 
munion or conversation with the power rec- 
ognized as divine, we can easily see that 
scientific criticism leaves it untouched." 4 

We shall not have to ask, it is needless to 
say, what language God speaks or to consider 
(as the psychologists of religion do) whether 
verbal "inspiration" and automatic writing 
have a supernatural source. Such questions 
are bound to appear to us irrelevant and, in 
the light of the larger issues involved, some- 
what trivial. The conditions of the genuine 
prayer of communion, as we understand them, 
are simple but fundamental. The human 
individual perplexed and baffled, perhaps by 
incongruous and incomprehensible happen- 
ings of recent experience, perhaps by the more 
general inconsequence of natural events and 
the perversity of human fortune, perhaps by 
the still deeper-lying conflict between his 

4 Op. CH., p. 463. 

own personal hopes and ideals and the ruth- 
less forces of physical nature working with- 
out and within his organism, yearns after the 
inclusive and reconciling view. He formu- 
lates his problems and perplexities in words; 
he addresses them to the Supreme Intel- 
ligence; he waits earnestly and expectantly 
for light. And light does come : an illuminat- 
ing change of perspective occurs; he sees 
things in altered proportions which he rec- 
ognizes as true proportions because now they 
fit together; implications and interdepend- 
encies previously hidden begin to appear as 
he views his own experience and ideals in the 
larger setting of human relationships and 
world-order. He is ready to return with re- 
newed hope and interest to his daily tasks and 
face courageously their confusing detail, their 
apparent futilities, their inevitable disap- 
pointments. When this occurs, prayer of 
communion has taken place. 


The effect of the prayer of communion is 
evidently to give reality and increased motive- 
force to our personal and social ideals. Of 
such prayer can be said what Hocking says of 
worship: it "recovers the worth of life by 
recovering the natural vigor of the whole 
idea." 5 Emphatically it is not a way of tak- 
ing a "moral holiday," of resting our harassed 
and weary souls by soothing visions of an 
eternally perfect order which we accept for 
the nonce as a substitute for the actual world. 
It is true that such mystical contemplation is 
often paralyzing to moral effort. But it is 
strange that minds which see this very clearly 
do not also see that it is equally paralyzing 
to moral effort to begin to doubt whether our 
ideals have sufficient foundation in the real 
nature of the world to be capable of fulfil- 
ment in any event. Let it be granted that we 
need to believe that our efforts in behalf of 

5 Hocking, The Meaning of God in Human Ex- 
perience, p. 419- 


moral righteousness really count, and there is 
work for us to do which has not already been 
done and which will remain undone unless 
we do it. But we need just as well to believe 
that there is work which can possibly be done. 
And the work of realizing the ideals of per- 
sonal and social intelligence is capable of 
human accomplishment only if there is suffi- 
cient coherence of character, sufficient possi- 
bilities of adaptation and development, suffi- 
cient order and harmony, in the actual world 
to afford increasing scope and satisfaction to 
the activities of intelligent community. Now 
the prayer of communion helps to convince 
us that there are such "significant structures" 6 
(to use Professor Adams' pregnant phrase), 
such valuable meanings and potencies and 
harmonies, inherent in the world for us to 
realize. Consequently it is not simply com- 
pensatory and consoling; it is also inspiring 

6 Cf . G. P. Adams, Idealism and the Modern Age. 

and invigorating. It renews our conviction 
of the value of our ideals and it strengthens 
our faith in the possibilities of their realiza- 

Prayer we have been discussing as one of 
the principal modes of response by the human 
individual to the Cosmic Intelligence. The 
fact that it employs the instrumentality of 
articulate speech, however, precludes the pos- 
sibility of its ever being merely an individual 
response. For articulate speech, upon whose 
resources the individual must depend in 
prayer, is a social product. The very language 
of prayer into which the individual can hardly 
help falling is socially standardized. With 
the prevalence and psychological influence 
of the conventional "language of prayer" we 
are not at all concerned; it is not of first im- 
portance and may be as much a hindrance as 
a help. But what is of utmost importance is 
that the fruits of this type of communication 

by men in many generations past have been, 
preserved in an extensive literature and have 
thus been made available for use by any in- 
dividual who cares to take them seriously. 
Such an inquirer may learn what insights, cor- 
relations, and interpretations have been at- 
tained by the most sensitive and appreciative 
minds of the past in the prayer of communion, 
and then he may test them for himself by us- 
ing the same method and noting whether it 
brings him a similar illumination. If the 
insights and interpretations in question are 
in this manner verified, they will have con- 
ferred a great boon upon the individual. For 
they will have carried him much further to- 
ward a realization of the system of values 
than he could go by his own initiative and 
unaided effort. 

The religious writings to which I refer 
are much more extensive than the literature 
of religious devotion in the narrower and 

more conventional sense. They include 
works of religious thought and meditation 
and a considerable portion of what passes for 
theology and philosophy as well. For in many 
cases the latter have importance not as in- 
tellectual formulations or logical demonstra- 
tions but as recorded insights and interpreta- 
tions that have come as the fruits of religious 
meditation and communion with God. They 
are not to be judged logically by the strength 
of the premises and the cogency of the argu- 
ment but experimentally by the test of per- 
sonal intercourse and communion with the 
Supreme Intelligence. 

The second of the three distinctively reli- 
gious responses we are describing is that of 
devoted service to the cause of world-better- 
ment and human progress. In speaking of 
"devoted service" as a religious response I do 
not refer to altruistic endeavour earnestly if 
intermittently undertaken as a moral duty. I 

mean devoted service as a means of realizing 
through intercommunication the objective 
values of personal development and associa- 
tion. Such service calls for complete forget- 
fulness of self, the entire abandonment of 
self-interest and selfish ambition. It involves 
self-sacrifice, that characteristic note ever 
present in all profoundly religious experience, 
the losing of life in the lesser individual sense 
that it may be found in its larger universal 
reality. And inasmuch as such service brings 
into action our bodily powers of practical in- 
vention and adaptation, it is open to experi- 
^mental use as a method of religious communi- 

How can service, a mode of outward action 
or practical performance, be a means of inter- 
communication? How in particular is the 
kind of service we have in mind devoted 
and loyal service to the cause of world-better- 
ment SL means of communication with the 

Cosmic Intelligence? We are so used to 
identifying all communication with verbal 
interchange that we are sometimes slow to 
see that the term may and does have a broader 
signification, and that there are other methods 
of personal intercommunication besides that 
by articulate speech. In the case of the kind 
of practical response which religion inspires, 
the human individual who, in entire forget- 
fulness of his private wishes and self-centred 
ambitions, devotes himself to the whole- 
hearted and effectual pursuit of the values of 
personal and social community, experiences 
a working comradeship with the Universal 
Unifying intelligence. In result there is com- 
municated to him a realizing sense both of 
the nature and worth of those rational ideals 
which give meaning and value to the world 
and also of the prevailing power of that 
Cosmic Purpose which is working for their 
fulfilment and fruition. 

That communication of this sort is an actual 
possibility and not a mystic fancy is con- 
clusively proved by the experience of thou- 
sands of men who threw themselves with 
complete self-abandonment into their coun- 
try's service during the Great War. Many, 
an indefinitely large number, of these reported 
that the result of thus breaking over the bar- 
riers which business ambition and private 
interest had built up, was a tremendous en- 
largement of the meaning and scope of their 
lives. Now for the first time, as the result of 
their act of patriotic devotion, they realized 
what their country and its institutions meant 
to them and, in the light of this revelation, 
the preservation of these institutions for their 
children and their children's children was the 
one practical purpose that absorbed all their 
interest and attention and energy, that became 
the only thing in the least worth while. And 
with this convincing realization of the worth 


and importance of the social cause there went, 
we were told, a sense of greatly increased 
power. Individuals were no longer held back 
by the thought of their own disabilities and 
comparative impotence. They were swept up 
and borne along by the irresistible social 
forces with which they had allied themselves. 
Not as helpless pawns, however; for they felt 
themselves endowed with the might of these 
forces, they thrilled with the sense of a new 
power that had been communicated to them. 
Such loyal service is what religion pro- 
poses, not to "king and country," but to uni- 
versal progress, to the "flag of the world," 
in Chesterton's picturesque phrase. And when 
we think of the complete self -surrender, the 
unstinted heroic devotion which is called 
for, it seems to us matter-of-fact modern 
people as quite beyond the power of the 
normal human being. However this may be, 
it is undoubtedly the spirit which has charac- 


terized pre-eminently the great moral and re- 
ligious leaders of mankind: Socrates the phi- 
losopher who held his own life or death as of 
no account if justice and virtue could be pre- 
served among his fellow Athenians and the 
laws upheld which had been enacted to main- 
tain them, Gautama the Buddha who did not 
hesitate to renounce all the emoluments of 
royal lineage and princely estate to go forth 
a humble wanderer in search of a way of sal- 
vation for his people, and Jesus the Christ 
who saw that he must suffer many things in 
order that the gospel of the Kingdom of Love 
should be preached in all the world as a wit- 
ness to the nations. And it is this supreme 
devotion to the service of humanity and the 
good of the world which is the secret of the 
power of such personalities as these over 
millions of their fellow-men. 

Certainly their lives and their characters 
have had a marvellous, in the case of the last 

an almost miraculous, influence upon their 
own and subsequent generations. Probably 
the most of the honest ? unselfish effort which 
has been put forth by men to serve their fel- 
lows and to contribute to world-welfare has 
been inspired by the words and deeds of these 
historic personalities, and effectively carried 
on through their continuing influence. Per- 
haps this is because in the case of outward 
action, and particularly action of this type 
which must be co-operative in order to serve 
its social purpose, individual example and 
personal demonstration are more potent and 
necessary than in affairs of thought or senti- 
ment. At any rate it is a fact that a large 
proportion of those who by responding with 
loyal devotion to world-welfare realize 
through communication with the World- 
Spirit the system of universal values, do so 
through the influence and intermediation of 
some outstanding historic person whom they 

accept as the incarnation or unique revelation 
of the Divine. The Christian accepts the 
invitation which Jesus issues to all the chil- 
dren of men to follow him in the path of 
human service and to see whether they do 
not share in his convincing realization of 
divine fellowship and eternal life. 

We are wrong, it then seems, to suppose 
that this second type of religious response 
by devoted service requires such exceptional 
capacities as to be necessarily limited to a 
few outstanding individuals. Quite possibly 
the average man may require the inspiration, 
the'guidance, the encouragement, which can 
only come from the example of a great reli- 
gious leader. But while he may be aroused 
to action by the appeal which such a char- 
acter makes to his feelings and imagination, 
still the experiment is his own and the result- 
ing experience his own. Furthermore, there 
is no reason to doubt that those who loyally 


devote themselves to human service in any 
walk of life whatever do realize by com- 
munication the worth and the meaning of 
those personal and social values which are 
being realized in the world, whether it be 
the toiler who labours faithfully in loyal de- 
votion to his job and the future prospects 
of his family and the welfare of the com- 
munity as he understands it, or the house- 
wife and mother who works incessantly and 
patiently to maintain the requisite conditions, 
material and social, of a wholesome family 
life, or the professional man who strives with 
unswerving loyalty to realize the social ideals 
of his profession. 

It is no accident or idiosyncrasy that Josiah 
Royce, one of the great philosophers of the 
last generation, distinguished by the depth 
of his insight into the moral and religious 
experience of mankind, found the key to 
this side of human life in loyalty. And 

loyalty, when all its implications are realized, 
he understood to be the practical service of 
the conscious superhuman unity of life. 7 All 
lesser loyalties, all serving of imperfect and 
even of evil causes, he held to be but the 
fragmentary form of the service of the cause 
of universal loyalty. 8 "Through our actual 
human loyalty," he says, "we come like 
Moses face to face with the true will of the 
world, as a man speaks to his friend." 9 

Worship, the third of the responses of re- 
ligious communion, may be given a very 
general meaning or may be taken in a more 
restricted way. In its larger reference it cer- 
tainly includes prayer and might include some 
forms of practical service as well. But taken 
more specifically, as we shall understand it in 
the present connection, it means a response 

7 Royce, Philosophy of Loyalty, p. 374. 

8 Op. at., p. 375. 

9 Op. at., p. 390. 

of emotion and imagination to certain per- 
ceived objects principally of sight and hear- 
ing which have a symbolic import and sig- 
nificance. With these objects we are well 
acquainted: religious ritual and ceremonial, 
religious music and ecclesiastical architecture, 
decorations and furniture, including of course 
a variety of religious emblems such as the 
cross, the crescent, and the lotos flower. 

Sensory stimuli of the sort mentioned, in 
the .place of worship, call forth from wor- 
shippers responses of perception, emotion, 
imagination, and motor readjustment. They 
watch together the appointed course of the 
"service" or the orderly procedure of ritual 
performance, they listen together to the words 
pronounced from the pulpit or before the 
altar and to the chanting of the choir, they 
rise in unison and join in singing and verbal 
recitation. Their faces and bodily postures 
express reverential and sympathetic feeling. 

Now these overt responses have an intel- 
ligible meaning. They mean a reassuring 
common realization of the final fulfilment of 
personal hopes and ideals, of the ultimate 
harmony between man's highest interests and 
the nature of the existing world. They have 
this meaning because of the feeling they 
arouse of sympathetic accord with the World- 
Spirit, of reconciling love between the wor- 
shipper and God. Thus through the emo- 
tional rapport which it brings about between 
the worshippers and the Cosmic Intelligence, 
worship realizes by intercommunication the 
values of universal spiritual community. 

The power of religious ritual over human 
feeling is, no doubt, due in large measure to 
the meaning which its successive acts and 
symbolic objects have acquired through the 
influence of tradition and associated ideas. 
At their best they are visible symbols, sensuous 
embodiments, of what is noblest in human 

aspiration and attainment, of unswerving 
fidelity, unsullied purity, perfect justice, 
heroic devotion, sacrificial service, and con- 
quering love. As such, they help to give 
reality to the highest personal and social 
values by clothing them in sensuous imagery 

/ which supplies food for imagination and 
stimulus for feeling. Indeed, to the scepti^ 
cally-minded we may seem to have here the 
whole explanation of the rational meaning 
which the response of religious worship was 
said to have for the worshipper. Customary 
rites and ceremonies performed in a conven- 
tionally ecclesiastical atmosphere and setting 
acquire (so it may appear), through long 
association dating back to childhood, a hyp- 
notic power over the human individual, 

t throwing him into a submissive and credulous 
attitude of mind and preparing him to accept 
without question whatever vague ideas of per- 
sonal security and final fulfilment may be sug- 

gested. This explanation has some plausi- 
bility and contains more than a grain of truth. 
Yet there are many persons who would accept 
it without hesitation and still continue to be- 
lieve that when they were enjoying natural 
beauty they were "communing" with nature, 
i.e.j realizing through the feeling of aesthetic 
appreciation which had been engendered in 
them, an essential kinship of the outer world 
with their own personal nature and longings. 
The parallel thus drawn is assuredly rele- 
vant and valid. The response of religious 
worship is intimately related to that of aes- 
thetic' intuition. It calls into play the same 
psycho-physical processes of perceptual co- 
ordination, associative linking, emotional re- 
verberation, and motor adjustment. Like the 
aesthetic perception it is called forth by the 
objects of present perception and it looks for, 
and depends upon, social confirmation. It is 
indeed hard to see why if objective signifi- 


cance and real meaning should be granted to 
the response of aesthetic perception, it should 
be altogether denied to religious worship, and 
any meaning that seems to attach to this latter 
should be lightly dismissed as subjective and 

Beauty and the effects of beauty upon the 
human mind and spirit play an important part 
in religious worship. Not merely as an ex- 
ternal aid and embellishment, however; al- 
though it is often introduced in this way and 
proves to be a somewhat distracting influence. 
Rather because the two responses of aesthetic 
enjoyment and religious worship are inti- 
mately related and have much in common.: 
Both are responses of feeling and imagination 
evoked by sense-objects perceived in a sym- 
bolic significance. Aesthetic enjoyment finds 
in the pattern and harmonies of sense-quali- 
ties a revelation of permanent meaning in the 
changing events of nature and the dissolving 


panorama of human life. It is, moreover, 
essentially communicative. It expresses itself 
in changes of facial expression and bodily 
attitude which register in external movement 
the emotion which has been engendered. The 
artistic impulse has its root in this tendency 
of aesthetic intuition to express itself ex- 
ternally so that the meaning it has found may 
be appreciated by others and the feeling 
aroused may be enhanced by their sympathetic 
enjoyment. Thus aesthetic appreciation is a 
veritable form of intercommunication among 
men, uniting them in a sympathetic apprehen- 
si6n of significant features of our common 
human experience. 

In religious worship the factor of intercom- 
munication is, if anything, still more promi- 
nent. All the resources of sense-imagery 
seem to be utilized in an appropriate and im- 
pressive architecture, in pictures and mural 
decorations, in the pomp and pageantry of 

ritual, in instrumental music and vocal inton- 
ation, in poetry and song. But in actual f act 
the sense-symbols employed are the result of a 
long-continued and thoroughgoing selection. 
Such imagery has been chosen (consistent 
with the ruling purpose, a large place being 
given to imaginative biography, legendary 
history, and folk-myth) as will arouse in the 
consciousness of the worshipper a feeling of 
unity with the Universal Spirit, of love be- 
tween himself and God. And such feeling 
of love which links the worshipper and his 
fellow-worshippers with God of course car- 
ries a meaning. It conveys assurance that the 
values of intelligent community in the uni- 
versal sense will be finally and fully realized. 
Whether the response of religious worship 
does thus realize the system of personal and 
social values can only be ascertained by per- 
sonal experiment. No one can demonstrate 
that in the nature of the case it must do so. 

On the other hand, neither can any- 
one prove on grounds of scientific psy- 
chology that it does not and cannot; 
for such pretended scientific proof is always 
found to rest on unproved philosophical 
assumptions. Individual observation and ex- 
perience are therefore the final court of ap- 
peal. But a definite method of experimenta- 
tion has been worked out and in a broad sense 
has been socially standardized. Furthermore, 
a considerable literature embodying the re- 
corded results of previous experimentation in 
this line exists for the guidance of the in- 
vestigator. To be sure, despite agreement so 
far as the general nature of the response is 
concerned, he will find the widest diversity 
in the modes and forms of worship among 
different religions and among different seas 
of the same religion* These differences are 
frequently supposed to symbolize and reflect 
differences in theological conception and doc- 

trinal belief. But in their supposed theo- 
logical significance he will not, if he is wise, 
take them very seriously. These differences 
do also reflect, however, differences in tem- 
perament and mental outlook as between dif- 
ferent races and different types of mind with- 
in the same race and, so far as they do, they 
deserve thoughtful attention. The individual 
who wishes to make the fairest and most 
fruitful investigation should take pains to 
choose the form of worship most suited to his 
own taste and temperament. 

To many minds it is bound to seem in the 
highest sense improbable that a response like 
that of religious worship should throw any 
light upon the nature of the ultimate cosmic 
reality. Is it at all likely, they will ask, that 
a response, admittedly of feeling and imagi- 
nation rather than reason, to a set of sense- 
stimuli selected for their influence upon 
human emotion, has any objective import and 

validity? While such doubts are natural and 
not altogether unreasonable, it is well to re- 
member two things. One is that natural 
science, to whose methods and authority we 
rightly defer, limits itself to investigating the 
order of events in nature, to describing in 
exact terms the processes of nature, and never 
attempts to discover the character of the force 
or reality which manifests itself in the orderly 
processes of the natural world. The other is 
that in aesthetic enjoyment, a response which 
has much in common with religious worship, 
we -seem to come into most intimate and satis- 
fying contact with the reality of the world. 
In this connection, I think of the view of the 
late Bernard Bosanquet, eminent as a phil- 
osopher. In seeking for some illustration of 
the "Absolute," Le., reality in its unity and 
value, he turns not to a masterpiece of scien- 
tific reasoning like Newton's Principle* or 

Darwin's Origin of Species, nor to a notable 
achievement in mechanical construction or 
social organization, but to a work of art. He 
chooses a poem, Dante's Divine Comedy. For 
purposes of the illustration he has in mind, it 
does not greatly matter, he says, whether a 
poem is purely imaginative or, like Dante's, 
semi-historical. "For here we have actual 
persons shown as moving freely, and ob- 
viously themselves and self-determined, while 
no less obviously, though merely through a 
deeper insight into their selves, exhibited as 
elements within an embracing spiritual uni- 
verse. And this spiritual world we feel on 
the whole with immense reservations not 
to be an arbitrary and artificial comment on 
the imagined factual history as lying outside 
it, but to be of the nature of a revelation of 
the true appearance which such histories 
might yield under intense illumination with-. 


out detriment to its factual objectivity for the 
common eye." 10 

Reviewing the three distinctively religious 
responses, pray er } devoted service, and wor- 
ship, we see that all of them, as responses of 
intercommunication with the Cosmic Intel- 
ligence, involve a constant interchange be- 
tween the individual and society. On the one 
side we have the original insights, achieve- 
ments, and intuitions of individuals; on the 
other side we have the socially accumulated 
fruits of human communion and devotion 
preserved in the literature of prayer and medi- 
tation, in historical and legendary narrative, 
and in rituals of worship. For the individual 
of our day to turn his back on the religious 
experiences of previous generations, sifted 
and organized for his appropriation, and to 
rely entirely upon his own initiative and ob- 

10 Bosanquet, Principle of Individuality and of Value, 
p, 385. 

servation in religion, is of course tlhe sheerest 
intellectual and practical folly. He compels 
himself to go slowly and haltingly, with much 
fumbling and many false starts, over ground 
that he could cover in a fraction of the time 
with the illuminating suggestions and expert 
guidance of the great religious leaders of the 

Unfortunately, however, the results of ex- 
perience and inquiry in religion as in other 
departments of human culture tend to be- 
come stereotyped into a body of fixed doctrine 
resistive to change and growth, and the in- 
stitutions established to propagate and foster 
them become narrow and hidebound in their 
principles and their practice. Hence, instead 
of encouraging free inquiry and facilitating 
individual experiment, they stifle original in- 
sight, suppress freedom of thought, and dis- 
courage individual experiment. When this is 
the case, it is the right, it is the duty, of the 

individual to defend and to maintain his own 
freedom of opinion, his own originality of 
outlook, his own initiative in observation and 
experiment. In so doing he will not only 
preserve his own integrity of mind and spirit, 
he will serve the best interests of his fellows 
as well. For only under such conditions of 
complete personal freedom can he make any 
original contribution in thought or action 
which will enrich the religious experience of 
humanity. I cannot do better than quote in 
this connection the words of Hoffding, whose 
Phihsophy of Religion n has been a source 
of light to many students of religion during 
the past quarter-century. 

"There is no doubt that we live in an age 
which must be described as 'critical/ not or- 
ganizing. But this is not an admission that 
the only forces in operation are disintegrat- 
ing forces. There is nothing to prevent 

11 Page 314 

smaller groups of persons forming round a 
common tendency of thought and spirit, or a 
common symbol. And such union is often 
deeper and freer than one in which traditional 
authority is the uniting bond. Moreover, the 
principle of personality, itself the expression 
of a great truth, may be regarded as one of 
the highest spiritual values. Whatever faith 
a man has or will have, the fact that he puts 
his whole soul into it, and that in the dis- 
covery and appropriation of that which he 
believes, his individuality finds scope to de- 
velop, invests it with a value which not even 
the best guaranteed ready-made system could 
ever command. This is a point at which all 
men may arrive at mutual understanding, 
however widely they may differ in respect to 
the content of their faith. As the apprecia- 
tion of personal nuances increases, the per- 
sonal accent will be less and less sacrificed to 
the integrity of positive and negative dogmas. 

Here we catch a glimpse of an extension of 
the spiritual world which is certainly no less 
important than the extension of the material 
world in its time. The finest flower of all 
culture blossoms in the sympathetic under- 
standing of the personalities of other men 
and it may perhaps follow, as a result of these 
personalities, that they will regard essential 
questions from a point of view very different 
from that which we ourselves occupy. Up to 
the present, few steps have been taken along 
this path. But the principle of personality 
is a positive and fertile principle, precisely 
because it points us to this path, and in so 
doing opens up the possibility of a feeling of 
solidarity deeper than any which is condi- 
tioned by adhesion to the same dogmas." 

Personality is indeed, as our own argument 
has conclusively shown, the "positive and fer- 
tile principle" which gives to human life such 
permanent meaning and value as it possesses. 

Personality is the source both of man's moral 
achievements and his religious aspirations. 
As living individuals we are born, pass 


rapidly to the end of a succession of chang- 
ing experiences and our lives have no more 
meaning than any other sequence of events 
in nature, the formation and disappearance 
of a cloudlet in the summer sky or the sweep 
of the little whirlwind which stirs the dust 
for a few hundred feet on the city pavement. 
But, as we have seen, the words and the ac- 
tions, the looks and the gestures, of human 
individuals may have a personal and com- 
municable meaning. And when they do it is 
because they realize in some manner or de- 
gree the value which is inherent in the actual 
world. This value consists in the positive 
contribution which the varied objects and 
successive events of the natural world are cap- 
able of making to the enduring, developing 
community of associated intelligence. 

It is quite possible that in emphasizing the 
personal and communicable meaning which 
attaches to the discoveries and inventions, the 
aesthetic perceptions and artistic productions, 
of individuals in relation to the achievements 
of others in these different fields of social 
culture, we have neglected the personal 
meaning and value of human individuality it- 
self. For personality, be it remembered, is 
individual, uniquely individual, in outlook, 
as well as inclusively social in reference. 
Human individuality embodies and expresses, 
in varying proportions and interrelations, the 
objective values which give personal meaning 
to human life and link the individual with 
his fellows in a community of thought and 
feeling and achievement. The behaviour of 
each individual includes modes of speaking 
and_writing, practical ways of dealing with 
people and things, changing shades of facial 
expression and characteristic bodily postures, 


all combined in a unique whole. Hence each 
is capable of communicating, and to some 
extent does communicate, a distinctive and 
interesting point of view, new and valuable 
methods of physical control and social ad- 
justment, original intuitions of beauty in the 
natural world and the social scene. Of 
course, the degree in which individuals actu- 
ally realize the personal meaning of their own 
individuality varies widely, from near zero 
at the one extreme to the few individuals at 
the other who are outstanding because of the 
fulness with which they express in conversa- 
tion, demeanour and action, the system of 
values in its entirety. 

The claim may be justly made on behalf 
of Christianity that alone among universal 
religions it has ascribed absolute value to per- 
sonality, that it has indeed valued human life 
and character solely on account of its personal 
meaning. And this personal meaning it has 

understood in terms of functional contribu- 
tion to the universal social community. If 
this is true, then the Christian religion has a 
message for a period like our own when civi- 
lized social life is increasingly dominated by a 
machinery of physical control and social in- 
teraction which, while it multiplies our social 
connections, to a like extent depersonalizes 
our social relations. If we are to save our 
personal lives and human associations from 
complete mechanization, we must turn the 
greatly increased range of social contact and 
influence which machinery has made possible, 
into a means for realizing the personal and 
communicable values of mutual understand- 
ing, co-operation in productive endeavour, 
and intelligent sympathy. Such effort to 
realize the values of personal and social com- 
munity will scarcely be made by any consider- 
able portion of civilized mankind without 
faith in the "reality" of these values, faith, 

that is to say, in the possibility of converting 
the objects and events of the natural world 
into means for their realization. This faith 

- i 

inevitably seeks verification and fulfilment in 
the present realization through intercommuni- 
cation with the Universal Intelligence of the 
values of spiritual insight, loyal service, and 
discerning love. And it is the peculiar dis- 
tinction of Christianity that it exalts in the 
person of its Founder a life and character 
which perfectly exemplifies and effectively 
communicates these values in their complete 
and convincing unity. 


Action, 95 
Adams, H. P., 219 
Aesthetic appreciation, 130 
Aesthetic perception, 127 
Aesthetic sympathy, 163 
Ancestor worship, 34, 191 
Animism, its origin, 30 

its rejection, 35 
Anthropomorphism, 108, 148 
Appreciation, 94 
Articulate speech, 139 
Artistic creation, 143, 145 
Attributes of God, 169 

Beauty, 428, 129 
and religious worship, 236 

Behaviorism, denies conscious- 
ness, 46 

Belief in God, 22, 166 

Blood-revenge and compensa- 
tion, 118 

Body and mind, 42, 48 

Bosanquet, 241 

Buddhism, 168, 227 

Burtt, E. A., 87 

Christianity, 250 

Classification, logical and sci- 
entific, 104, 110 

Coherence of character, 100, 
153, 158 

Communication, of meaning, 


with God, 207 
Communion, with God, 13, 


with nature, 235 
Community of intelligence, 

177, 188, 193 

Confidence, in Supreme Cos- 
mic Power, 9 
in the world, 21 
Consciousness, as irreducible, 

Contemporary mechanistic 

civilization, 99, 251 
Controversy over religion, 1 
Co-operative endeavor, 163 
Cosmic catastrophe, 173 
Cosmic emotion, 167 
Cosmic intelligence, 166, 184, 

186, 206 

Credulity, religious, 234, 240 
Cultural influences, 2 

Dante, 242 

Definition, of religion, 3 
of the spiritual, 50 

Demonstration, of God's ex- 
istence, 17, 170 

Devoted service, 222 ff. 

Diverse qualities of perceived 
objects, 68 




Dreams, 30 

Dualism in psychology and 
philosophy, 137 

Electrons, 56 , 

Evolution of universe, 175, 

179 . _ , . 

Experience, religious, 243 

Experiment, 134 

Experimental procedure in sci- 
ence, 61, 135, 210 

Experimentalism in religion, 
208, 212 

Extinction of religion, 26 

Failure of supernaturalism, 48 
Flanders, 132 

Functional adaptability, 114, 
117, 153, 158 

Great War, 225 

Haeckel, 30, 44 
Highest human good, 190 
Hocking, E. W., 218 
Hoernle, R. F. A., 88 
Holding, H., 6, 245 
Human needs, 106 
Hume, 40 
Huxley, 20 
Hypothesis, in science, 63 

in religion, 170 
Ideals, personal and social, 12, 

159, 192 
Immortality, demonstration of, 


Individuality, 249 
Inspiration, 208 

Intelligence, individual and 

social, 113, 160 
Intelligent interpretation, 74 
Intercommunication, between 

individuals, 192 
aesthetic, 201 &. 
practical, 197 ff. 
verbal, 194 ff. 
with God, 212, 243 , 
Inventive imagination, 114, 

James, William, 215 
Jesus Christ, 227, 252 

Kepler, 58 

Laboratory method, 136, 211 
Lake, Kirsopp, 209 
Leaders, religious, 228, 229 
Literature of religious devo- 
tion, 21, 239, 243 
Loyalty, 230 

Machine, 10 
Man, 5 
Matter, 54 
Meaning, 101 fF. 
Measurement, 57, 62 
Mechanical appliances, 143 ff. 
Mechanical invention, 98 
Mechanical production, 116 
Mediaeval theology, 39 
Modern technology, 126 
Moral standards of democracy, 


Morality, 189 
Motion, 55 



Motor manipulation, 139 
Mutual understanding, 163 
Mystery of life, 8 

Natural selection, 90 
Naturalistic evolutionism, 179, 

Newton, 85 

Objective reference of reli- 
gious faith, 24, 51 

Objectivity of values. See 
System of values 

Orthodoxy declining, 22 

Personal values, 11 

Personality, human, 246 ff. 
of God, 167 

Physical order, 180, 183 

Plato, 38 

Potentiality of value in world, 
182 V 

Practical interest of percep- 
tion, 76 

Pragmatic justification of re- 
ligion, 17 

Prayer, 215 ff. 

Psychic research, 35 

Psychology, 43 

Purpose in evolution, 184 

Qualitative diversity in exist- 
ing world, 68 ff . 

Reality, 7 

Realm of ends, 155 

Religion, vs. culture, 2 

vs. morality, 190, 204 

vs. science, 20 

Ritual, 232 ff. 
Royce, 231 

Scientific method, 59 
Scientific vs. religious view of 

the world, 21 
Scientists' defense of religion, 


Secondary qualities, as exist- 
ent, 72 

as organized, 84 
Significant harmony, 127, 128, 

151 ff. 
Social institutions, 118, 143 

ff., 198 
Socrates, 227 

Soul, as self-active being, 36 
Spencer, 44 

Spiritual, its meaning, 28 
Spiritual world, affirmed by 

religion, 25 
Spiritualism, 28 
Subjectivity, of secondary 

qualities, 85, 92 
of values, 107, 192 
Symbols, social, 145 ff. 

religious, 232 ff. 
System (objective) of values, 

144, 157, 164, 171 

Theology, 222 
Trustworthiness of world, 16, 


Twofold attributes of per- 
ceived objects, 78 

Twofold response in percep- 
tion, 73, 75 

256 INDEX 

Uniformities of relation, 100, Verification, in science, 61, 64 

134 in religion, 134, 138 

Universe, 6 

Whitehead, A. N., 86, 186 

Value, objectivity of, 93 #., World as perceived, 54, 68, 

133, 151, 164. 180 

of perceived objects, 80 Worship, 231 
Verbal discourse, 143 ff. 


0CT S 



I I III If " 

44 756 589 

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