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AUTONOMY OF SPIRIT.

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 Fundamental Answer








How can the religious conception of the world justify itself and maintain
its freedom in face of such views of spirit and spiritual being? It is
questionable whether it is worth while attempting to do so. Is not the
essence of the validity and freedom of spirit made most certain simply
through the fact that it is able to inquire into it? If we leave popular
naturalism out of the question, is not the attempt made by scientific
naturalism the best witness against itself? For scientific study, and the
establishment of fundamental conceptions and guiding principles are only
possible if mind and thought are free and active and creative. The direct
experience that spirit has of itself, of its individuality and freedom, of
its incomparability with all that is beneath it, is far too constant and
genuine to admit of its being put into a difficulty by a doctrine which it
has itself established. And this doctrine has far too much the character
of a "fixed theory" to carry permanent inward conviction with it. Here
again, the mistake made is in starting with scepticism and with the fewest
and simplest assumptions. It is by no means the case that in order to
discover the truth we must start always from a position of scepticism,
instead of from calm confidence in ourselves and in our conviction that we
possess in direct experience the best guarantee of truth. For we
experience nothing more certainly than the content and riches of our own
mind, its power of acting and creating, and all its great capacities. And
it is part of the duty laid upon us by the religious conception of the
universe, as well as by all other idealistic conceptions, to follow this
path of self-assurance alone, that is, through self-development and
self-deepening, through self-realisation and self-discipline, to use to
the full in our lives all that we have in heart and mind as possibilities,
tendencies, content, and capacities, and so practically to experience the
reality and power of the spiritual that the mood of suspicion and distrust
of it must disappear. The validity of this method is corroborated by all
the critical insight into the nature of our knowledge that we have gained
in the course of our study, and it might be deepened in regard to this
particular case. For here, if anywhere, we must recognise the limitations
of our knowledge; the impossibility of attaining to a full understanding
of the true nature and depths of things applies to the inquiring mind and
its hidden nature. From Descartes to Leibnitz, Kant, and Fries, down to
the historian of materialism itself, F. A. Lange, it has been an axiom of
the idealistic philosophy, expressed now in dogmatic, now in critical
form, that the mathematical-mechanical outlook and causal interpretation
of things, not excluding a naturalistic psychology, is thoroughly
justifiable as a method of arranging scientifically the phenomena
accessible to us and of penetrating more deeply towards an understanding
of these. It is, indeed, justifiable, so long as it does not profess to
reveal the true nature of things, but remains conscious of the free
spirit, whose own work and undertaking the whole is.

Yet here again it is by no means necessary to surrender to naturalism a
field which it has tried to take possession of, but is certainly unable to
hold. We need not try to force naturalism to read out of empirical
psychology the high conclusions as to human nature and spirit which
pertain to the religious outlook, or to find in the "simplicity" of the
"soul monad" a kind of physical proof of its indestructibility, or
anything of that kind. We maintain that to comprehend the true inwardness
of the vitality, freedom, dignity, and power of the spirit is not the
business of psychology at all, but may perhaps be dealt with in ethics, if
it be not admitted that with these concepts one has already entered the
realm of religious experience, and that they are the very centre of
religious theory. But undoubtedly we must reject in great measure the
claims which naturalism makes upon our domain, and maintain that the most
important starting-points for the higher view are to be found in the
priority of everything spiritual over everything material, in the
underivability of the spiritual and the impossibility of describing it in
corporeal-mathematical terms and concepts.





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