Seleções de Alfred Whitehead
Seleções de “Modes of Thought”, de Alfred Whitehead. Em breve serão traduzidas e melhoradas (as já traduzidas).
“A mentalidade da humanidade e a linguagem da humanidade criaram uma a outra. Se quisermos assumir o surgimento da linguagem como um dado de fato, então não estaríamos equivocados em dizer que as almas dos homens são um dom da linguagem para a humanidade.
O relato do Sexto Dia deveria ser escrito: Ele lhes deu a fala, e eles tornaram-se espíritos”.
“A linguagem estagna-se ante à intuição. A dificuldade da filosofia está na expressão daquilo que é auto-evidente. Nosso entendimento supera o uso comum das palavras. Filosofia é semelhante à poesia. Filosofia é o esforço para encontrar uma fraseologia convencional para a sugestividade vívida do poeta. É o esforço em reduzir ‘Lycidas’ de Milton à prosa; e portanto produzir um simbolismo verbal manejável para uso em outras conexões de pensamento”.
“The realm of forms is the realm of potentiality, and the very notion of ‘potentiality’ has an external meaning. It refers to life and motion. It refers to inclusion and exclusion. It refers to hope, fear, and intention. Phrasing this statement more generally, — it refers to apetition. It refers to the development of actuality, which realizes form and is yet more than form. It refers to past, present and future”.
“When fundamental change arrives, sometimes heaven dawns, sometimes hell yawns open”.
“Nothing is more interesting to watch than the emotional disturbance produced by any unusual disturbance of the forms of process. The slow drift is accepted. But when for human experience quick changes arrive, human nature passes into hysteria. For example, gales, thunderstorms, earthquakes, revolutions in social habits, violent illnesses, destructive fires, battles, are all ocasions of special excitement. There are perfectly good reasons for this energetic reaction to quick change. My point is the exhibition of our emotional reactions to the dominance of lawful order, and to the breakdown of such order. When fundamental change arrives, sometimes heaven dawns, sometimes hell yawns open”.
“Science is concerned with the facts of bygone transition. History relates the aim at ideals. And between Science and History, lies the operation of the Deistic impulse of energy. It is the religious impulse in the world which transforms the dead facts of Science into the living drama of History. For this reason Science can never foretell the perpetual novelty of History”.
“The topics thus enumerated are generalized statements of the commonplaces of experience. They merely express what of course our lives mean to us in every moment of experience. For this very reason language fails in its analysis. We do not have to indicate for each other the necessities of existence. Language mainly presupposes the necessities and emphasizes the accidents. We rarely mention what must be present. We do mention what might be absent. The whole difficulty of philosophic discussion is this feebleness of language. The title of one outstanding philosophic treatise in the English language, belonging to the generation now passing, is ‘Space, Time, and Deity’. By this phrase, Samuel Alexander places before us the problem which haunts the serious thought of mankind. ‘Time’ refers to the transitions of process, Space refers to the static necessity of each form of interwoven existence, and Deity expresses the lure of the ideal which is the potentiality beyond immediate fact”.
“Apart from Time there is no meaning for purpose, hope, fear, energy. If there be no historic process, then everything is what it is, namely, a mere fact. Life and motion are lost. Apart from Space, there is no consummation. Space expresses the halt for attainment. It symbolizes the complexity of immediate realization. It is the fact of accomplishment. Time and Space express the universe as including the essence of transition and the success of achievement. The transition is real, and the achievement is real. The difficulty is for language to express one of them without explaining away the other.
Finally, there is Deity, which is that factor in the universe whereby there is importance, value, and ideal beyond the actual. It is by reference of the spatial immediacies to the ideals of Deity that the sense of worth beyond ourselves arises. The unity of a transcendent universe, and the multiplicity of realized actualities, both enter into our experience by this sense of Deity. Apart from this sense of transcendent worth, the otherness of reality would not enter into our consciousness. There must be value beyond ourselves. Otherwise every thing experienced would be merely a barren detail in our own solipsist mode of existence. We owe to the sense of Deity the obviousness of the many actualities of the world, and the obviousness of the unity of the world for the preservation of the values realized and for the transition to ideals beyond realized fact.
Thus, Space, Time, and Deity are general terms which indicate three types of reflective notions. The understanding of the nature of things in terms of such concepts is what distinguishes the human species from the other animals. The distinction is not absolute. The higher animals show every sign of understandings and of devotions which pass beyond the immediate enjoyments of immediate fact. Also the life of each human being is mainly a dumb passage from immediacy to immediacy devoid of the illumination of higher reflection. But when all analogies between animal life and human nature have been stressed, there remains the vast gap in respect to the influence of reflective experience. This reflective experience exhibits three main characteristics which require each other for their full understanding. There are the experiences of joint association, which are the spatial experiences. There are the experiences of origination from a past and of determination towards a future. These are temporal experiences”.
“There are experiences of ideals — of ideals entertained, of ideals aimed at, of ideals achieved, of ideals defaced. This is the experience of the Deity of the universe. The intertwining of success and failure in respect to this final experience is essential. We thereby experience a relationship to a universe other than ourselves. We are essentially measuring ourselves in respect to what we are not. A solipsist experience cannot succeed or fail, for it would be all that exists. There would be no standard of comparison. Human experience explicitly relates itself to an external standard. The universe is thus understood as including a source of ideals.
The effective aspect of this source is Deity as immanent in the present experience. The sense of historic importance is the intuition of the universe as everlasting process, unfading in its deistic unity of ideals.
Thus there is an essential relevance between Deity and historic process. For this reason, the form of process is not wholly dependent upon derivation from the past. As epochs decay amid futility and frustration, the form of process derives other ideals involving novel forms of order.
Science investigates the past, and predicts the future in terms of the forms of past achievement. But as the present becomes self-destructive of its inherited modes of importance, then the Deistic influence implants in the historic process new aims at other ideals.
Science is concerned with the facts of bygone transition. History relates the aim at ideals. And between Science and History, lies the operation of the Deistic impulse of energy. It is the religious impulse in the world which transforms the dead facts of Science into the living drama of History. For this reason Science can never foretell the perpetual novelty of History”.
“[…] philosophy is mystical. For mysticism is direct insight into depths as yet unspoken. But the purpose of philosophy is to rationalize mysticism: not by explaining it away, but by the introduction of novel verbal characterizations, rationally coordinated.
Philosophy is akin to poetry, and both of them seek to express that ultimate good sense which we term civilization. In each case there is reference to form beyond the direct meanings of words. Poetry allies itself to metre, philosophy to mathematic pattern”.
“logic presupposes metaphysics”.
“This doctrine exactly inverts Hume’s point of view, and the variant points of view derived from his doctrines. Hume makes the qualifications primary; and the world is introduced as a secondary conjecture. It is to be noticed that our exposition is nothing else than the expansion of the insight that ‘power’ is the basis of our notions of ‘substance’. This notion of ‘power’ is to be found in Locke and in Plato, flittingly expressed and never developed. Our experience starts with a sense of power, and proceeds to the discrimination of individualities and their qualities”.
“Philosophy is the product of wonder”.
“Another item in the commonsense doctrine concerns empty space and locomotion. In the first place, the transmission of light and sound shows that space apparently empty is the theatre of activities which we do not directly perceive. This conclusion was explained by the supposition of types of subtle matter, namely the ether, which we cannot directly perceive. In the second place, this conclusion, and the obvious behaviour of gross ordinary matter, show us that the motions of matter are in some way conditioned by the spatial relations of material bodies to each other. It was here that Newton supplied the great synthesis upon which science was based for more than two centuries. Newton’s laws of motion provided a skeleton framework within which more particular laws for the interconnection of bodily motions could be inserted. He also supplied one example of such a particular law in his great law of gravitation, which depended upon mutual distances”.
“Newton’s methodology for physics was an overwhelming success. But the forces which he introduced left Nature still without meaning or value. In the essence of a material body — in its mass, motion, and shape — there was no reason for the law of gravitation. Even if the particular forces could be conceived as the accidents of a cosmic epoch, there was no reason in the Newtonian concepts of mass and motion why material bodies should be connected by any stress between them. Yet the notion of stresses, as essential connections between bodies, was a fundamental factor in the Newtonian concept of nature. What Newton left for empirical investigation was the determination of the particular stresses now existing. In this determination he made a magnificent beginning by isolating the stresses indicated by his law of gravitation. But he left no hint, why in the nature of things there should be any stresses at all. The arbitrary motions of the bodies were thus explained by the arbitrary stresses between material bodies, conjoined with their spatiality, their mass, and their initial states of motion. By introducing stresses — in particular the law of gravitation — instead of the welter of detailed transformations of motion, he greatly increased the systematic aspect of nature. But he left all the factors of the system — more particularly, mass and stress — in the position of detached facts devoid of any reason for their compresence. He thus illustrated a great philosophic truth, that a dead nature can give no reasons. All ultimate reasons are in terms of aim at value. A dead nature aims at nothing. It is the essence of life that it exists for its own sake, as the intrinsic reaping of value”.
“Thus for Newtonians, Nature yielded no reasons: it could yield no reasons. Combining Newton and Hume we obtain a barren concept, namely a field of perception devoid of any data for its own interpretation, and a system of interpretation, devoid of any reason for the concurrence of its factors. It is this situation that modern philosophy from Kant onwards has in its various ways sought to render intelligible. My own belief is that this situation is a reductio ad absurdum, and should not be accepted as the basis for philosophic speculation. Kant was the first philosopher who in this way combined Newton and Hume. He accepted them both, and his three Critiques were his endeavour to render intelligible this Hume-Newton situation. But the Hume-Newton situation is the primary presupposition for all modern philosophic thought. Any endeavour to go behind it is, in philosophic discussion, almost angrily rejected as unintelligible”.
“My aim in these lectures is briefly to point out how both Newton’s contribution and Hume ‘s contribution are, each in their way, gravely defective. They are right as far as they go. But they omit those aspects of the Universe as experienced, and of our modes of experiencing, which jointly lead to the more penetrating ways of understanding. In the recent situations at Washington, D.C., the Hume-Newton modes of thought can only discern a complex transition of sensa, and an entangled locomotion of molecules, while the deepest intuition of the whole world discerns the President of the United States inaugurating a new chapter in the history of mankind. In such ways the Hume-Newton interpretation omits our intuitive modes of understanding”.
“I now pass on to the influence of modern science in discrediting the remaining items of the primary commonsense notion with which science in the sixteenth century started its career. But in the present-day reconstruction of physics fragments of the Newtonian concepts are stubbornly retained. The result is to reduce modern physics to a sort of mystic chant over an unintelligible Universe. This chant has the exact merits of the old magic ceremonies which flourished in ancient Mesopotamia and later in Europe. One of the earliest fragments of writing which has survived is a report from a Babylonian astrologer to the King, stating the favourable days to turn cattle into the fields, as deduced by his observations of the stars. This mystic relation of observation, theory, and practice, is exactly the present position of science in modern life, according to the prevalent scientific philosophy”.
“The notion of empty space, the mere vehicle of spatial interconnections, has been eliminated from recent science. The whole spatial universe is a field of force, or in other words, a field of incessant activity. The mathematical formulae of physics express the mathematical relations realized in this activity”.
“For the modern view process, activity, and change are the matter of fact. At an instant there is nothing. Each instant is only a way of grouping matters of fact. Thus since there are no instants, conceived as simple primary entities, there is no nature at an instant. Thus all the interrelations of matters of fact must involve transition in their essence. All realization involves implication in the creative advance”.
“The discussion in this lecture is only the prolegomenon for the attempt to answer the fundamental question, — How do we add content to the notion of bare activity? Activity for what, producing what, Activity involving what?
The next lecture will introduce the concept of Life, and will thus enable us to conceive of Nature more concretely, without abstraction.
The use of philosophy is to maintain an active novelty of fundamental ideas illuminating the social system. It reverses the slow descent of accepted thought towards the inactive commonplace. If you like to phrase it so, philosophy is mystical. For mysticism is direct insight into depths as yet unspoken. But the purpose of philosophy is to rationalize mysticism: not by explaining it away, but by the introduction of novel verbal characterizations, rationally cordinated”.
“Philosophy is akin to poetry, and both of them seek to express that ultimate good sense which we term civilization. In each case there is reference to form beyond the direct meanings of words. Poetry allies itself to metre, philosophy to mathematic pattern”.
“Science can find no individual enjoyment in nature: Science can find no aim in nature: Science can find no creativity in nature; it finds mere rules of succession. These negations are true of Natural Science. They are inherent in its methodology. The reason for this blindness of Physical Science lies in the fact that such Science only deals with half the evidence provided by human experience. It divides the seamless coat — or, to change the metaphor into a happier form, it examines the coat, which is superficial, and neglects the body which is fundamental”.
“The disastrous separation of body and mind which has been fixed on European thought by Descartes is responsible for this blindness of Science. In one sense the abstraction has been a happy one, in that it has allowed the simplest things to be considered first, for about ten generations. Now these simplest things are those widespread habits of nature that dominate the whole stretch of the universe within our remotest, vaguest observation. None of these Laws of Nature gives the slightest evidence of necessity. They are the modes of procedure which within the scale of our observations do in fact prevail. I mean, the fact that the extensiveness of the Universe is dimensional, the fact that the number of spatial dimensions is three, the spatial laws of geometry, the ultimate formulae for physical occurrences. There is no necessity in any of these ways of behaviour. They exist as average, regulative conditions because the majority of actualities are swaying each other to modes of interconnection exemplifying those laws. New modes of self-expression may be gaining ground. We cannot tell. But, to judge by all analogy, after a sufficient span of existence our present laws will fade into unimportance. New interests will dominate. In our present sense of the term, our spatio-physical epoch will pass into that background of the past, which conditions all things dimly and without evident effect on the decision of prominent relations”.
“Yet it is untrue to state that the general observation of mankind, in which sense-perception is only one factor, discloses no aim. The exact contrary is the case. All explanations of the sociological functionings of mankind include ‘aim’ as an essential factor in explanation. For example, in a criminal trial where the evidence is circumstantial the demonstration of motive is one chief reliance of the prosecution. In such a trial would the defence plead the doctrine that purpose could not direct the motions of the body, and that to indict the thief for stealing was analogous to indicting the sun for rising? Again no statesman can conduct international relations without some estimate — implicit or explicit in his consciousness — of the types of patriotism respectively prevalent in various nations and in the statesmen of these nations. A lost dog can be seen trying to find his master or trying to find his way home. In fact we are directly conscious of our purposes as directive of our actions. Apart from such direction no doctrine could in any sense be acted upon. The notions entertained mentally would have no effect upon bodily actions. Thus what happens would happen in complete indifference to the entertainment of such notions”.
“The points that I would emphasize are, first that this sharp division between mentality and nature has no ground in our fundamental observation. We find ourselves living within nature. Secondly, I conclude that we should conceive mental operations as among the factors which make up the constitution of nature. Thirdly, that we should reject the notion of idle wheels in the process of nature. Every factor which emerges makes a difference, and that difference can only be expressed in terms of the individual character of that factor. Fourthly, that we have now the task of defining natural facts, so as to understand how mental occurrences are operative in conditioning the subsequent course of nature”.
“Let us ask about our overwhelming persuasions as to our own personal body-mind relation. In the first place, there is the claim to unity. The human individual is one fact, body and mind. This claim to unity is the fundamental fact, always presupposed, rarely explicitly formulated. I am experiencing and my body is mine. In the second place, the functioning of our body has a much wider influence than the mere production of senseexperience. We find ourselves in a healthy enjoyment of life by reason of the healthy functionings of our internal organs — heart, lungs, bowels, kidneys, etc. The emotional state arises just because they are not providing any sensa directly associated with themselves. Even in sight, we enjoy our vision because there is no eyestrain. Also we enjoy our general state of life, because we have no stomachache. I am insisting that the enjoyment of health, good or bad, is a positive feeling only casually associated with particular sensa. For example, you can enjoy the ease with which your eyes are functioning even when you are looking at a bad picture or a vulgar building. This direct feeling of the derivation of emotion from the body is among our fundamental experiences. There are emotions of various types — but every type of emotion is at least modified by derivation from the body. It is for physiologists to analyse in detail the modes of bodily functioning. For philosophy, the one fundamental fact is that the whole complexity of mental experience is either derived or modified by such functioning. Also our basic feeling is this sense of derivation, which leads to our claim for unity, body and mind”.
“While we exist, body and soul are inescapable elements in our being, each with the full reality of our own immediate self. But neither body nor soul possesses the sharp observational definition which at first sight we attribute to them. Our knowledge of the body places it as a complex unity of happenings within the larger field of nature. But its demarcation from the rest of nature is vague in the extreme. The body consists of the cordinated functionings of billions of molecules. It belongs to the structural essence of the body that, in an indefinite number of ways, it is always losing molecules and gaining molecules. When we consider the question with microscopic accuracy, there is no definite boundary to determine where the body begins and external nature ends. Again the body can lose whole limbs, and yet we claim identity with the same body. Also the vital functions of the cells in the amputated limb ebb slowly. Indeed the limb survives in separation from the body for an immense time compared to the internal vibratory periods of its molecules. Also apart from such catastrophes, the body requires the environment in order to exist. Thus there is a unity of the body with the environment, as well as a unity of body and soul into one person”.
“But in conceiving our personal identity we are apt to emphasize rather the soul than the body. The one individual is that cordinated stream of personal experiences, which is my thread of life or your thread of life. It is that succession of self-realization, each occasion with its direct memory of its past and with its anticipation of the future. That claim to enduring self-identity is our self-assertion of personal identity”.
“Yet when we examine this notion of the soul, it discloses itself as even vaguer than our definition of the body. First, the continuity of the soul — so far as concerns consciousness — has to to leap gaps in time. We sleep or we are stunned. And yet it is the same person who recovers consciousness. We trust to memory, and we ground our trust on the continuity of the functionings of nature, more especially on the continuity of our body. Thus nature in general and the body in particular provide the stuff for the personal endurance of the soul. Again there is a curious variation in the vividness of the successive occasions of the soul’s existence. We are living at full stretch with a keen observation of external occurrence; then external attention dies away and we are lost in meditation; the meditation gradually weakens in vivid presentation: we doze; we dream; we sleep with a total lapse of the stream of consciousness. These functionings of the soul are diverse, variable, and discontinuous. The claim to the unity of the soul is analogous to the claim to the unity of the body, and is analogous to the claim to the unity of body and soul, and is analogous to the claim to the community of the body with an external nature. It is the task of philosophic speculation to conceive the happenings of the universe so as to render understandable the outlook of physical science and to combine this outlook with these direct persuasions representing the basic facts upon which epistemology must build. The weakness of the epistemology of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was that it based itself purely upon a narrow formulation of sense-perception. Also among the various modes of sensation, visual experience was picked out as the typical example. The result was to exclude all the really fundamental factors constituting our experience”.
“In such an epistemology we are far from the complex data which philosophic speculation has to account for in a system rendering the whole understandable. Consider the types of community of body and soul, of body and nature, of soul and nature, or successive occasions of bodily existence, or the soul’s existence. These fundamental interconnections have one very remarkable characteristic. Let us ask what is the function of the external world for the stream of experience which constitute the soul. This world, thus experienced, is the basic fact within those experiences. All the emotions, and purposes, and enjoyments, proper to the individual existence of the soul are nothing other than the soul’s reactions to this experienced world which lies at the base of the soul’s existence”.
“Thus in a sense, the experienced world is one complex factor in the composition of many factors constituting the essence of the soul. We can phrase this shortly by saying that in one sense the world is in the soul.
But there is an antithetical doctrine balancing this primary truth. Namely, our experience of the world involves the exhibition of the soul itself as one of the components within the world. Thus there is a dual aspect to the relationship of an occasion of experience as one relatum and the experienced world as another relatum. The world is included within the occasion in one sense, and the occasion is included in the world in another sense. For example, I am in the room, and the room is an item in my present experience. But my present experience is what I now am”.
“But this baffling antithetical relation extends to all the connections which we have been discussing. For example, consider the enduring self-identity of the soul. The soul is nothing else than the succession of my occasions of experience, extending from birth to the present moment. Now, at this instants I am the complete person embodying all these occasions. They are mine. On the other hand it is equally true that my immediate occasion of experience, at the present moment, is only one among the stream of occasions which constitutes my soul. Again, the world for me is nothing else than how the functionings of my body present it for my experience. The world is thus wholly to be discerned within those functionings. Knowledge of the world is nothing else than an analysis of the functionings. And yet, on the other hand, the body is merely one society of functionings within the universal society of the world. We have to construe the world in terms of the bodily society, and the bodily society in terms of the general functionings of the world”.
“In this survey of the observational data in terms of which our philosophic cosmology must be founded, we have brought together the conclusions of physical science, and those habitual persuasions dominating the sociological functionings of mankind. These persuasions also guide the humanism of literature, of art, and of religion. Mere existence has never entered into the consciousness of man, except as the remote terminus of an abstraction in thought. Descartes’ ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ is wrongly translated, ‘I think, therefore I am’. It is never bare thought or bare existence that we are aware of. I find myself as essentially a unity of emotions, enjoyments, hopes, fears, regrets, valuations of alternatives, decisions — all of them subjective reactions to the environment as active in my nature. My unity — which is Descartes’ ‘I am’ — is my process of shaping this welter of material into a consistent pattern of feelings. The individual enjoyment is what I am in my role of a natural activity, as I shape the activities of the environment into a new creation, which is myself at this moment; and yet, as being myself, it is a continuation of the antecedent world. If we stress the role of the environment, this process is causation. If we stress the role of my immediate pattern of active enjoyment, this process is self-creation. If we stress the role of the conceptual anticipation of the future whose existence is a necessity in the nature of the present, this process is the teleological aim at some ideal in the future. This aim, however, is not really beyond the present process. For the aim at the future is an enjoyment in the present. It thus effectively conditions the immediate self-creation of the new creature”.
“We can now again ask the final question as put forward at the close of the former lecture. Physical science has reduced nature to activity, and has discovered abstract mathematical formulae which are illustrated in these activities of Nature. But the fundamental question remains, How do we add content to the notion of bare activity? This question can only be answered by fusing life with nature”.
“In the first place, we must distinguish life from mentality. Mentality involves conceptual experience, and is only one variable ingredient in life. The sort of functioning here termed ‘conceptual experience’ is the entertainment of possibilities for ideal realization in abstraction from any sheer physical realization. The most obvious example of conceptual experience is the entertainment of alternatives. Life lies below this grade of mentality. Life is the enjoyment of emotion, derived from the past and aimed at the future. It is the enjoyment of emotion which was then, which is now, and which will be then. This vector character is of the essence of such entertainment”.
“The emotion transcends the present in two ways. It issues from, and it issues towards. It is received, it is enjoyed, and it is passed along, from moment to moment. Each occasion is an activity of concern, in the Quaker sense of that term. It is the conjunction of transcendence and immanence. The occasion is concerned, in the way of feeling and aim, with things that in their own essence lie beyond it; although these things in their present functions are factors in the concern of that occasion. Thus each occasion, although engaged in its own immediate self-realization, is concerned with the universe”.
“The process is always a process of modification by reason of the numberless avenues of sup-ply, and by reason of the numberless modes of qualitative texture. The unity of emotion, which is the unity of the present occasion, is a patterned texture of qualities, always shifting as it is passed into the future. The creative activity aims at preservation of the components and at preservation of intensity. The modifications of pattern, the dismissal into elimination, are in obedience to this aim”.
“In so far as conceptual mentality does not intervene, the grand patterns pervading the environment are passed on with the inherited modes of adjustment. Here we find the patterns of activity studied by the physicists and chemists. Mentality is merely latent in all these occasions as thus studied. In the case of inorganic nature any sporadic flashes are inoperative so far as our powers of discernment are concerned. The lowest stages of effective mentality, controlled by the inheritance of physical pattern, involves the faint direction of emphasis by unconscious ideal aim. The various examples of the higher forms of life exhibit the variety of grades of effectiveness of mentality. In the social habits of animals, there is evidence of flashes of mentality in the past which have degenerated into physical habits. Finally in the higher mammals and more particularly in mankind, we have clear evidence of mentality habitually effective. In our own experience, our knowledge consciously entertained and systematized can only mean such mentality, directly observed”.
“The qualities entertained as objects in conceptual activity are of the nature of catalytic agents, in the sense in which that phrase is used in chemistry. They modify the aesthetic process by which the occasion constitutes itself out of the many streams of feeling received from the past. It is not necessary to assume that conceptions introduce additional sources of measurable energy. They may do so; for the doctrine of the conservation of energy is not based upon exhaustive measurements. But the operation of mentality is primarily to be conceived as a diversion of the flow of energy”.
“In these lectures I have not entered upon systematic metaphysical cosmology. The object of the lectures is to indicate those elements in our experience in terms of which such a cosmology should be constructed. The key notion from which such construction should start is that the energetic activity considered in physics is the emotional intensity entertained in life”.
“Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains. There have been added, however, some grasp of the immensity of things, some purification of emotion by understanding. Yet there is a danger in such reflections. An immediate good is apt to be thought of in the degenerate form of a passive enjoyment. Existence is activity ever merging into the future. The aim at philosophic understanding is the aim at piercing the blindness of activity in respect to its transcendent functions”.