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aspirations and his sense of the power for truths. For the attempt to assert to accomplish something new and real, the truth makes it necessary to depart which every man possesses in some from the pathway of experience - so measure. Just because he felt the deep he thought — and to trust one's self to practical significance of the task which forms of reasoning which, after years of philosophy assumes, in trying to ex- study, he had found himself unable to plain the rationality of a world filled accept as binding. His description, in with suffering and sorrow, he shrank The Pluralistic Universe, of this contest from encouraging the acceptance of in- in his mind is full of the deepest interpretations which might sound well terest. but which a deeper searching of one's In this crusade against an intellectuobservation did not verify as helping to alism which he considered ultra, James a truer and a sounder life. He objected found a powerful ally in the admittedly strongly to the method of education great French philosopher and psychowhich enabled the scholar glibly to logist, Bergson, who with keen argu'throw the rule at the teacher' but left ments asserts that the ultimate facts of him unable to do the sum to which the life are only to be appreciated by imrule applied.
mersing ourselves in life's stream and It is safe to say, of course, that but feeling it. Life implies motion, and few of the colleagues with whom he motion we can create but cannot picjoined issues over philosophic problems ture or describe. What we can do is to would consent to be classed as opposing use the intellect for approaching nearer these propositions stated in this broad and nearer to the point from which, way. Every one acknowledges the with the aid of intuition, we may get claims of observation, thoroughness, the sense of dipping into the fountain and honesty, and so every one is a prag- of reality. matist and an empiricist. But James Closely related to James's confidence believed in drawing trenchant distinc- in experience was his belief in the cretions as an aid to clearer thought and ative power of a voluntary act. He remore fruitful discussion, and conscien- cognized that the practical issues with tiously believed that the existence of a which philosophy indirectly concerns distinct difference of emphasis between itself are so momentous for the everyhis views and those of certain of his day life of men, that it is unwise to colleagues pointed to the practical wait too long before committing one's need of a distinctive name. He longed self to the view which seems the best. to go to the furthest possible limit in his He therefore urged that every one, estimate of spiritual freedom and the after looking at the facts as fairly as possibility of a real unity and harmony he could, should choose and act, even underlying the distracting signs of mul- at the risk of choosing and acting from tiplicity and discord in the world, but reasons that he might afterwards judge he felt that he should best help this to have been mistaken. In thus acting, cause, which he had so much at heart, men might be, he thought, not only by indicating distinctly the features by discovering the truth, but helping to which each man might hope to recog- create it. nize the sought-for angel of his truth, It might be supposed, by one who when met, and by making it perfectly did not know Professor James, that clear what degree of success he himself with his fixed confidence in experience had had. He came, eventually, to di- as the proper touchstone of the truth, rect his search, not for the truth but he would have been led straightway
into the materialistic camp, or, at least, doubtless with his still more strongly into the camp of those who though religious father, he found no difficulty, idealists are practically determinists. in spite of his critical attitude with But not only was it untrue of Professor regard to the doctrine of an all-abJames that he took that road, but a sorbing ‘Absolute,' in reconciling his fair reading of his arguments makes conception of an imperfect, perhaps es- . one agree with him that he was at lib- sentially disjointed and pluralistic urierty, logically, to refuse to take it. verse, helped along by the combined Every book, every essay, of his is re- efforts of the spiritual powers resident dolent with the doctrine that if a man in men, with a belief in the possible and takes his whole self into account, realiz- probable existence of a greater spiriting that he is not only a reasoning ual personality, between whom and being but a feeling and aspiring being, ourselves and all the phenomena of and that his very reasoning is colored the world a perfect intimacy must er. by emotion, then choices, preferences, ist. We cannot prove this, he declares, leaps-in-the-dark, the presentiment of but there is no argument or evidence the eternal in the temporal,' become which can prevent us from assuming it justifiable in so far as they are real. if we will, and if our assumption is This was one of the pragmatic out- sound our acts help to make the truth comes of his radical empiricism. efficient for our needs.
While his course of lectures upon It is idle to say, he would insist, that pragmatism was in progress I wrote to this procedure is unscientific; that the him, saying that although the prac- truly scientific man does not assume tical value of his recommendations to but always proves the truth. For not rigid honesty in applying the test of only does every progressive scientific experience seemed undeniably of value, man necessarily use his imagination in yet I thought the tendency of his doc- forecasting his results, but the attitude trine might be to encourage, among of holding back from a decision for the some persons, a too narrow conserva- chance of a greater certainty is in ittism of a materialistic stamp. He wrote self an emotional, and not alone a raback, saying for himself at least, – tional, attitude. There are times when ‘Surely you know there is an essence in you must 'believe what is in the line of me (whatever I may at any moment your needs, for only by such belief is appear to say) which is incompatible the need fulfilled. ... You make one with my really being a physico-chem- or the other of two universes true by ico-positivist.'
your trust or mistrust, both uniThis quality in Professor James's verses having been only maybes, in mind which enabled him to maintain his this particular, before you contributed stout adherence to scientific accuracy your act.' Applying this principle to and to assert the necessity for taking the question of religious belief, he experience as the court of last resort, says, (This) 'command that we shall yet at the same time to recognize the
put a stopper on our heart, instincts existence of influences that transcend and courage, and wait – acting of the evidence of the senses, kept him course meanwhile more or less as if in touch at once with science and with religion were not true-till doomsday, religion, and made it possible for him or till such time as our intellect and to believe in a real spiritual freedom. senses working together may have
Instinctively devout and possessing raked in evidence enough — this comreligious sentiments, and sympathizing mand, I say, seems to me the queerest
idol ever manufactured in the philo- one, and especially so for the reason sophic cave.' Again, ‘Better face the that Professor Royce, who had always enemy than the eternal Void.'
been one of James's most loyal friends In the same essay from which the and admirers, made an exceedingly last sentence is quoted, James points warm-hearted and eloquent address. out that the chief and primary func- I quote here a few of his sentences, tion of the intellect is to bring practical though the choice is difficult where results to pass; to answer the question, everything was so good: 'What is to be done?' and says, 'It Nothing is more characteristic of was a deep instinct in Schopenhauer Professor James's work as a teacher which led him to reinforce his pessi- and as a thinker than is his chivalrous mistic argumentation by a running fondness for fair play in the warfare volley of invective against the prac- and in the coöperation of ideas and of tical man and his requirements. No ideals. We all of us profess to love hope for pessimism unless he is slain.' truth. But one of James's especial ofIn the whole set of inspiring essays fices in the service of truth has been which The Will to Believe leads off as the love and protection and encourwith a trumpet's note, this thesis, that agement of the truth-seekers. He has the will, if strong enough to lead to done much more than this for the cause action, is a real factor in the world's of truth; but this at least he has alprogress, is maintained with strong ways done. emphasis; and in the lectures on the He has lately warned us much against Pluralistic Universe the same theme is thinking of truth as a mere abstrac
a taken up again and reinforced.
tion. And indeed it has always been Even in his psychology he fore- his especial gift to see truth incarnate, shadowed a certain portion of this -embodied in the truth-seekers,— and philosophic attitude by asserting it as to show his own love of truth by listat least possible, and scientifically quite ening with appreciation, and by helpas admissible as the opposite assump- ing the cause of fair play, whenever he tion, that in the act of attention the found somebody earnestly toiling or will adds something new to the forces suffering or hoping in the pursuit of theretofore present in the world. This any genuine ideal of truth. ... Other was a great step for an academic psy- men talk of liberty of thought; but few chologist to take.
men have done more to secure liberty Though frankly iconoclastic and of thought for men who were in need of outspoken, and a hard-hitter in an
fair play and of a reasonable hearing intellectual combat, Professor James than James has done.' made no enemies, but usually drew James was one of the first among procloser and closer, as time went on, the fessional psychologists to recognize the
, ties of early friendships. Soon after full bearing of the contributions which his complete retirement, his colleagues medical observation - that is, the psyof the department of philosophy at chology of the unusual or the slightly Harvard asked him to let them have twisted mind — has made to the more his portrait painted, to be hung upon classical psychological attitudes and inthe walls of the Faculty Room in Uni- sights. In the early portion of his short versity Hall. When the portrait was but stirring address, The Energies of finished, Professor James entertained Men, he says, “Meanwhile the clinical the whole division of philosophy at his conceptions, though they may be house. The occasion was a memorable vaguer than the analytic ones, are certainly more adequate, give the con- the significant elements of a situation, creter picture of the way the whole as a skillful commander recognizes the mind works, and are of far more urgent points of strength and weakness of his practical importance. So the “physi- adversary's lines. cian's attitude," the “functional psychology," is assuredly the thing most William James was a manly and a worthy of general study to-day. radiant being. Loving and loved, he The truth of these propositions has
made all men think, and helped many been amply verified, and the fact that a doubting soul to feel a man's glow of he made them is but one more illustra- hope and courage, each for his own tion of his power to see and seize upon work. This was a noble task.
NATHAN IN THE WELL
BY ATKINSON KIMBALL
THREE years ago, we moved per- on moving to the country, wanted a manently into the real country, taking field of clover, and asked the local with us as our most valuable asset, a storekeeper to quote lowest prices on fresh, city eye which we had uncon- clover plants. I believe this was the sciously been cultivating all our lives. man who sowed clipped oats, expecting To a man born and brought up in the to raise a crop of oats already clipped. city, the commonest things in the coun- Like most humorous things, this has try seem marvelous.
its elements of the pathetic; city people In my college days in the city, hav- transplanted to the country always reing read somewhere of caged crickets, mind me, in their eagerness and ignorI remember asking a classmate who ance, of slum children in Central Park; hailed from the suburbs, what crickets but, personally, I would not purchase looked like, and whether they were immunity from rural ridicule by the easy of capture. At the time, I could surrender of the privileges given me by not understand his broad, suburban my fresh city eye. grin. This naïveté of the city man was For instance, after three years of exemplified by a friend, who averred living in the country, I never draw a that no one could raise good vege- pail of water from the well without tables in the country. I gathered that an appreciation of its charm such as one's radishes would be tough and one's a country-bred man, I imagine, could lettuce bitter unless subjected to some
He might gape at open mysterious city process, grafting per- plumbing, looking at it with his fresh haps. But since living at Half Acre, country eye, where I should simply I have learned that some vegetables take it for granted; but I am afraid he are raised in the country, after all, and never could fully experience what might very good ones, too. Another friend, be called the sentiment of a well, that
delightful, inverted tower of darkness when I go to nature's bounteous breast, 'and dampness and coolth. If there is n't I feel that I am drawing up more than such a word as coolth there ought to water in my bucket. This is sometimes be.
literally true; sometimes, a new-frog, Our tower, if turned skyward, would disdaining the time-honored method rival Pisa's leaning miracle; and it is of three feet up and two feet down surmounted by a well-curb resembling again, steps into my elevator, and rea miniature judge's stand at a country gards me placidly with his complacent, fair, so that an involuntary exclama- human countenance. tion of a visitor might naturally be, Less attractive, are the pale, amor“How many laps to the mile?' It has phous earthworms, sprawling lifelessly no primitive, picturesque sweep: but, in the bucket after a rain-storm; and, on the other hand, there is no modern two years ago, some inspired person contraption such as a chain pump; and suggested that we get a trout to eat the old oaken bucket, made of ash, the earthworms. We immediately fastened to a romantic rope such as took fire at the idea; we could n't unsailors use at sea, descends and ascends derstand why we had n't thought of a the cylinder of greened granite boulders trout before; we remembered that every worn smooth, ages back, in some ter- well-regulated well had a trout in it. minal moraine. The source of our With some difficulty, a man was found drink, strangely enough, is also the con- who could find a trout. He found it; servator of our food-supply. In early and the trout duly arrived in state one spring and late fall, before and after morning in a gypsy kettle. the capricious visits of the ice-man, a He was a trout of size and substance; small flotilla of pails rides safely in the he was evidently a trout of the world. land-locked harbor, moored with mar- He bore his honors calmly, with neither line twisted around tiny cleats. No pride nor meekness; he was reserved danger of anything being tainted by without being taciturn. He was a New anything else in those separate com- England trout. Something in his grave partments; no trouble but a hearty demeanor, the light of experience and heave ho! of hunger, and the food of sagacity glowing in his eye, caused us our selection appears before us, cool to divine his name; for if a well is noand sweet in its receptacle of frosted thing without a trout, what is a trout silver. Our subterranean, superaque
without a name? Slowly, solemnly, ous refrigerator is simple, sanitary, and the gypsy kettle was lowered into the as inexpensive as the sky.
well; and Nathan the Wise officially To my city consciousness, it's won- became a member of our family. derful to draw water from the ground. For weeks afterward, I drew water Pipes, conduits, bottles, I can under- very gingerly, and then I grew careless; stand; it's difficult for me to appre- but apparently I never hurt Nathan hend that simply by digging anywhere, with the bucket, and on the other hand,
, if you dig deep enough, you can get he was evidently too contented to make living water filtered by the earth. I use of the frog-elevator. The rainknew a man before the days of aero- worms disappeared; and whenever we planes, who took delight in kite-flying. felt too weak to walk by faith alone, As the string ran out and the kite soar- we dropped a grasshopper or a cricket, ed, he felt an exalting of his spirit, as with which I have become tolerably if, in some vicarious way, he, himself, familiar, into the well; and the miniawere piercing the empyrean; similarly, ture sea was stirred as by the surge of VOL. 106 - NO. 6