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quately trained for their duties. Narrowness of view is an ethical crime. And engineering as a profession has certain relations to the rest of life that we should not neglect. Utility and economy are very well in their way but the problems of applied science are fast becoming much more than can be met by a solution, measured only in dollars and cents. The ultimate question is, what will best fulfill the needs of the race?
DISCUSSION. DEAN KENT: On the general ground that an educated man should be interested in whatever interests humanity at large, an engineer may be pardoned if he devotes a portion of his time to reading a little philosophy such as he finds in the present paper. Humanity at large is now interested in Russia, in China, in the North Pole, in the Hague Conference, in the cure of consumption and of graft, in bacteria and protoplasm, in radium and electrons, in literature and the drama, in politics, in automobiles, in golf, in sociology, and in women's clubs. The intelligent engineer, to keep abreast of the times and to hold his own in conversation or even to be able to read with satisfaction in an ordinary modern magazine or newspaper must devote at least a small portion of his time to nearly all of these subjects. A hundred years ago he would not have needed to know anything about any one of them and therefore he might have devoted his leisure time to such subjects as conversation on the beauties of the Latin sonnet recently written by his friend in Oxford or to so and so's paper on the Greek aorist, or he might have reveled in study of Kant's
“Critique of Pure Reason,” but the modern man has little time for any of such recreations. He must confine himself to the list of things I have given above with other modern fads, and if he meddles with philosophy at all, it must be in very minute doses. In fact for the last fifty years philosophy has gone out of fashion and it may be worth while considering whether the fact that it did go out of fashion is not one of the great causes of the scientific and intellectual advance of the race in the past fifty years. Nevertheless, every once in a while we see in some magazine or paper such names as Kant, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Schopenhauer, Hamilton and Lewes, and he is an ignorant man to whom these names do not bring some mental conceptions. The engineer who wishes to be educated should at least do so much as to read the article “Philosophy” in one or two good encyclopædias, but an engineer's life is too short for him to spend much time on the subject, unless he intends to adopt it as a hobby, just as some engineers take golf, others automobiling, and others novel reading. It is well that some people are so constituted that they can devote a large portion of their lives to a hobby; it is well for the information of the world at large that one man can spend years in collecting and studying musical instruments used in ancient times in the South Sea Islands, that another can study the languages of the extinct Indian tribes, that another can hunt for the north pole, another make explorations in Babylonia, another investigate the colors of butterfly wings, and another devote himself to the study of philosophy, which, as Kant says in one of his definitions, is “a mere idea of a possible science which exists nowhere in the concrete but which we try to approach on different paths.'
I occasionally read a little philosophy as a recreation, and so I have read Mr. Jones's paper. I have tried hard to find the meaning of it and to follow his argument to the effect that philosophy is of benefit to the engineering student, but I must confess that I am not quite clear as to what he means in many of his paragraphs and I fail to see that he has proved at all that philosophy ought to be studied by an engineer to any more serious extent than he should study any one of the long catalogue of things that I have named above. Any man who makes a hobby of one subject is apt to appreciate its value to far greater extent than his neighbors, and it is all right of course for him to preach about his hobby and try to get his neighbors to believe in it, but he must not be disappointed if they are so much taken up with their own hobbies as to have no time for any of his.
To criticize Mr. Jones's paper throughout would involve the writing of a longer article than the paper itself and I do not believe that our Proceedings would be benefited by any such article. I will only say that I not only differ with him as regards the benefit of philosophy to an engineering student, but also think a great many of his dogmatic statements are entirely wrong. For instance, his statement, “Our ability to grasp the nature of things depends upon the ratio of the rate of change taking place in them to the rate of change of our conscious activities.” Let us consider the diamond. Does our ability to .grasp as much as the sciences of chemistry, crystallography, optics and mechanics have revealed to us concerning the diamond depend upon the ratio of the rate of change taking place in the diamond to the rate of change of our conscious activities? Again, “The only possible comparison of the worth of individual life is whether the sum is fuller consciousness or not.” The sentence is rhetorically defective in that it does not show whether the worth of an individual life to one's self is meant or the worth to humanity. If the sentence means that the life which has the fuller consciousness is the more valuable then I must take exception to it. Suppose the concept should be toothache or corns! In that case, the fuller consciousness is not to be desired.
MR. BASSETT JONES, JR.: My paper was given its full mete of criticism before it aroused Mr. Kent's merriment. It was submitted both to those whose judgment in matters of philosophy would, I believe, be generally recognized as adequate, and also to my school-boy brother in order to discover whether the argument was expressed in a form that would be ordinarily clear. I do not lay claim to any special ability in the matter of clear-written expression, but I did believe that I had so addressed my paper that its meaning and purpose could be grasped by people of ordinary intelligence. That my argument has not seemed clear, to Mr. Kent at least, is to me a source of keen disappointment!
Mr. Kent enunciates a variegated list of subjects, which he truly says should command the interest of every educated man. But the interest which each of these subjects will have for any individual will be tempered largely, I take it, by the individual's own ideals and his general attitude to life-in other words, by his philosophy. What place the individual will give to politics, biology, ionization of matter, literature, sociology, or what-not, and what bearings he will conceive that any or all of these subjects have upon his own life will, of course, depend on what theory of reality he holds, and on what relations he considers that reality bears to himself. His opinions of the nature of the cosmos of which he forms a part may not be definitely articulated in his mind, but he nevertheless guides his life, and therefore indirectly helps to guide the life of others by these opinions.
But with the rise of society comes the necessity of unity in belief and action-and by society I mean that “socius,” or relation of alter and ego, that is moulded, not by mere sympathy and intellectuality as such, but by the highest ethical influence, namely the category of the “ought."
If then we are to work together for the common good we must set before ourselves an ideal end that will at the same time be one for all good citizens and many for the separate individuals. The ideal must be such that all can strive for it alike, and yet the paths by which we, severally, can reach for it may be diverse. You and I, each one of us, must make our lives such that while we each pursue our separate specialties, we are yet working together to better ourselves as a collective whole. To do this we must, so to speak, pool our interests, beliefs and actions in order that we may achieve that common destiny which the psychologist, sociologist and philosopher alike