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FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES.

Activity Of Consciousness
Aim And Method Of Naturalism
Autonomy Of Spirit
Consciousness Of The Ego
Constructive Criticism
Contrast Between Darwinian And Post-darwinian Views
Creative Power Of Consciousness
Criticisms Of The Mechanistic Theory Of Life
Crities Of Darwinism
Darwinish In General
Darwinism And Teleology
Darwinism In The Strict Sense
De Vries's Mutation-theory
Differences Of Opinion As To The Factors In Evolution
Eimer's Orthogenesis
Evolution And New Beginnings
Feeling
Feeling Individuality Genius And Mysticism
Freedom Of Spirit
Fundamental Principles Of Naturalism
Genius
Goethe's Attitude To Naturalism
Haeckel's Evolutionist Position
Heredity
How All This Affects The Religious Outlook
How The Religious And The Naturalistic Outlooks Conflict
Immortality
Individual Development
Individuality
Intuitions Of Reality
Irritability
Is There Ageing Of The Mind?
Lamarckism And Neo-lamarckism
Machnical Theories Criticism
Mind And Spirit The Human And The Animal Soul
Mystery : Dependence : Purpose
Mysticism
Natural Selection
Naturalism
Naturalistic Attacks On The Autonomy Of The Spiritual
No Parallelism
Other Instances Of Dissatisfaction With The Theory Of Descent
Parallelism
Personality
Pre-eminence Of Consciousness
Preyer's Position
Religion And The Theory Of Descent
Self-consciousness
Spontaneous Generation
Teleological And Scientific Interpretations Are Alike Necessary
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Space
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Time
The Antimony Of The Conditioned And The Unconditioned
The Characteristic Features Of Darwinism
The Conservation Of Matter And Energy
The Constructive Work Of Driesch
The Contingency Of The World
The Dependence Of The Order Of Nature
The Development Of Darwinism
The Ego
The Fundamental Answer
The Law Of The Conservation Of Energy
The Mechanics Of Development
The Mystery Of Existence Remains Unexplained
The Organic And The Inorganic
The Position Of Bunge And Other Physiologists
The Problema Continui
The Real World
The Recognition Of Purpose
The Religious Interpretation Of The World
The Spontaneous Activity Of The Organism
The Supremacy Of Mind
The Theory Of Descent
The True Naturalism
The Two Kinds Of Naturalism
The Unconscious
The Unity Of Consciousness
The Views Of Albrecht And Schneider
The Views Of Botanists Illustrated
The World And God
Theory Of Definite Variation
Theory Of Life
Underivability
Various Forms Of Darwinism
Virchow's Caution
Virchow's Position
Weismann's Evolutionist Position
Weismannism
What Is Distinctive In The Naturalistic Outlook
What Is Distinctive In The Religious Outlook



The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Time








A few examples may serve to make the point clear. The first of the
antinomies is also the most impressive. It brings before us the
insufficiency of our conceptions of time, and shows the impossibility of
transferring, from the world as it appears to us, to real Being any mode
of conceiving time which we possess. The difficulty is, whether we are to
think of our world as having had a beginning or not. The naive outlook
will at once assume without further ado a beginning of all things.
Everything must have had a beginning, though that may have been a very
long time ago. But on more careful reflection it is found impossible to
imagine this, and then the assumption that things had no beginning is made
with as little scruple. Let us suppose that the beginning of things was
six thousand, or, what is quite as easy, six thousand billion years ago.
We are at once led to ask what there was the year before or many years
before, and what there was before that again, and so on until we face the
infinite and beginningless. Thus we find that we have never really thought
of a beginning of things, and never could think of it, but that our
thinking always carries us into the infinite. Time, at any rate, we have
thought of as infinite. We may then amuse ourselves by trying to conceive
of endless time as empty, but we shall hardly be able to give any reason
for arriving at that idea. If time goes back to infinity, it seems
difficult to see why it should not always have been filled, instead of
only being so filled from some arbitrary point. And in any case the very
fact of the existence of time makes the problem of beginning or not
beginning insoluble. For such reasons Aristotle asserted that the world
had no beginning, and rejected the contrary idea as childish.

But the idea of no beginning is also childish or rather impossible, and in
reality inconceivable. For if it be assumed that the world and time have
never had a beginning, there stretches back from the time at which I now
find myself a past eternity. It must have passed completely as a whole,
for otherwise this particular point in time could never have been arrived
at. So that I must think of an infinity which nevertheless comes to an
end. I cannot do this. It would be like wooden iron.

The matter sounds simple but is nevertheless difficult in its
consequences. It confronts us at once with the fact, confirmed by the
theory of knowledge, that time as we know it is an absolutely necessary
and fundamental form of our conceptions and knowledge, but is likewise the
veil over what is concealed, and cannot be carried over in the same form
into the true nature of things. As the limits and contradictions in the
time-conception reveal themselves to us, there wakes in us the idea which
we accept as the analogue of time in true being, an idea of existence
under the form of "eternity," which, since we are tied down to temporal
concepts, cannot be expressed or even thought of with any content.(2)





Next: The Antimony Of The Conditioned And The Unconditioned

Previous: The Real World



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