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because each phase is a résumé of the past. But this description would apply perfectly to a rigidly mechanical nature. It is entirely consistent with the mechanical theory that time is the 'independent variable.' The formulas of mechanics contain the time-variable, which means (as Bergson does not appear to recognize) lapse of time, together with other variables which are functions of the time-variable. As the value of the time-variable increases, the rest of the system alters according to the law which defines its relation to the time-variable. In other words, it ages, according to law. Such a process would be exemplified in the simplest conceivable mechanical system, that of a single body moving in infinite space at a uniform velocity. Mechanics does not assume the possibility of periodicity or recurrence, but only the possibility of the persistence of some abstract relationship among variables.
Thus the pragmatist's assertion of the temporality of existence is entirely irrelevant to the question of its determination. A temporal existence may be a bare sequence of disjointed events, or a lawless flux of interpenetrating phases; or it may be an order which obeys a law. Which of these it is, must be judged by other evidence than its mere temporality. We are thus brought back again to the general pluralistic doctrine defined above. Since there are disjunctions in the world, these may occur between successive events as well as elsewhere. In other words, we may construe a + b as prior in time to the cor d which are equally consistent with it. We may then say that at the moment when a + b is completed by the addition of b to a, two futures are possible; in the sense that while m is implied, the implication does not determine whether it shall be mo or mo. So far as a +b, or any other attendant conditions are concerned, either will serve.
In this sense it is intelligible, and on pluralistic grounds correct, to say that there is a real contingency and novelty in the world. Events occur which not only have not
i See above, pp. 56 ff.
occurred before, but which are not implied in what has occurred before. “Those parts of the universe already laid down ” do not "absolutely appoint and decree what the other parts shall be.”ı Events occur which cannot be inferred from the past. To predict them, it would be necessary to foresee them. The possibility of such foresight does not contradict their contingency, any more than the bare perception of simultaneous events contradicts their disjunction. The essential point is that they are not implied in something else, but can be known only after the fact. An omniscient mind could know them only by knowing each of them, or embracing them in an empirical aggregate.
It is to be observed that thus far indetermination adds nothing to pluralism. It justifies a belief in multiple possibility, and rids the mind of the necessity of judging everything in the world by everything else in the world. It justifies a worship of some things, and an uncompromising enmity to other things; and does not force man to take the world as all one, for better or for worse. It justifies a belief that the future holds in store things which cannot be inferred from what has already occurred; and hence the hope that the world may be better than its promise. It justifies an adventurous and hardy optimism, and puts the religion of renunciation and acquiescence among the obsolete superstitions. But despite all this it is none the less true that indeterminism in this general pluralistic sense contributes nothing toward proving human freedom. Such indeterminism attaches to man no more than to any other part of reality. It would be perfectly consistent with it that man should be less free than the planets. It proves that existence makes strange bed-fellows, and that the course of events is surprising. But it does not endow man, the moral agent, with any unique share in this disjunction and novelty; nor with any peculiar power to direct it or profit by it. There is an element of chance in life, but it is as likely to be the mishap of which man is the victim, as the opportunity of which he is the master.
1 James: op. cit., p. 150.
$ 6. But there are other pragmatist arguments for indeterminism which will perhaps yield a more positive
freedom. Thus there is an indeterminism Indeterminism as the Sequel to that follows from anti-intellectualism. It conAnti-intellec- sists in the assertion that since determinism is tualism. Will as itself the a device of the intellect, it is relative to the Author of De- interest which moves the intellect, and cannot terminism
therefore be imposed on life itself. Instead of being determined, the will is itself the author of the principle of determination; this principle is not its master, but its creature. Thus, according to Schiller, "determinism is an indispensable Postulate of Science." As such it “has primarily a moral significance; it is an encouragement and not a revelation.” And “it is quite easy to accept it as a methodological assumption without claiming for it any ontological validity.” Whether we accept this postulate or “the ethical Postulate of Freedom” is, in the end, “a matter of free choice," based on their relative serviceability.
Such considerations as these support the indeterministic theory, only provided two further assumptions are made. In the first place, it must be assumed that the agency which formulates and employs a certain category cannot itself be subject to that category. This assumption plays, as we have seen, a notable part in idealistic philosophies, in all philosophies which seek to distinguish and separate the subject of knowledge from the manifold of objects. It is argued that known object implies knowing subject, and that to make this subject itself object is to displace and falsify it. The real subject is that which in every case of knowledge functions as subject. The application to the question of determinism is obvious. It is argued that things are determined by virtue of being objectified,
1 Studies in Humanism, pp. 395, 396, 397, 394, 406.
and that the objectifying activity itself thus escapes determination.
But there is no reason why the subject of knowledge should not in turn be object of knowledge; or why, indeed, it should not be object of knowledge (in relation to another subject) at the same time that it is subject of knowledge. It is necessary only to suppose that the same term may stand in two or more different relations without forfeiting its identity. And unless we are to discredit knowledge altogether we must suppose that the real nature of anything is revealed when it is object of knowledge, and in proportion as that knowledge is reflective and critical. It follows that the subject which objectifies other things, and renders them determinate, may itself be treated likewise; and that only when so treated is its real nature revealed. The subject is then free from determination only in so far as at any given time it is merely knowing and not known. Freedom in this sense is only a mode of nescience.
§ 7. The other assumption which is needed to complete the argument, is the assumption that laws are artificial. Determinism In this application it means that determinism as an Intellec. is a fabrication of the intellect, and imposed cation of Tem- on a plastic material whose real inwardness poral Reality it distorts.
The most notable criticism of determinism on these grounds is that offered by Bergson. It constitutes one of the major applications of his most fundamental and original thesis, to the effect that the intellect spacializes time, and so necessarily falsifies every temporal process by expressing it as a “multiplicity of juxtaposition.” Real time (durée réelle) is "heterogeneous” and “continuous"; the real temporal process is a multiplicity of “interpenetration.” Action, as a real temporal process, is spacialized and falsified by mechanism, by finalism, and even by the majority of indeterminists. By all such “intellectualists,” action is represented as a discrete process, with its component elements and successive phases in external juxtapo
sition to one another. Time is represented as a linear series; and the conditions of action, the moment of choice, and the result of action, are all correlated with the terms of this series. But such a diagram is both discrete and static; whereas the real action flows, and endures. The intellectualistic representation necessarily excludes freedom, because it is the representation of a completed action, and not of an action as it goes on. It is impossible in this way to represent alternative possibilities; for the representation either contains both possibilities, and so is contrary to fact, or it contains one of them to the exclusion of the other, which contradicts the supposition of alternatives. And the finalistic scheme is as rigid as the mechanical scheme. For whether we conceive the later terms of the series as the sequel to the earlier, or the earlier as the foreshadowing of the later, in either case all the terms are there, in place, simultaneously and exclusively."
Bergson's objection to the intellectualist's version of time rests, as we have seen, upon a mistaken conception of the intellectual or analytical method. The spacial representation of time is intended to be a representation of order; and to be a representation of time in so far, and only in so far, as time is orderly. It is not intended to suggest either that time is nothing but order, or that time is spacial like the representation. The properties of order are the same, whether in space, number, the color spectrum, the alphabet, or time. The points on a line furnish a convenient case of order for purposes of demonstration; and their use doubtless reflects the spacializing propensity of the imagination. But if Bergson were a better pragmatist he would not assume, as he appears to do, that representations are mere reproductions of their objects. He would recognize the possibility of meaning non-spacial relations by spacial images. He would not insist, as he
1 Bergson: Time and Free Will, pp. 121, 128, 129, 172 sq., and Ch. III, passim.
• See above, pp. 231 ff.