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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 Individuality Genius And Mysticism
Freedom Of Spirit
Fundamental Principles Of Naturalism
Goethe's Attitude To Naturalism
Haeckel's Evolutionist Position
How All This Affects The Religious Outlook
How The Religious And The Naturalistic Outlooks Conflict
Individual Development
Intuitions Of Reality
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
Natural Selection
Naturalistic Attacks On The Autonomy Of The Spiritual
No Parallelism
Other Instances Of Dissatisfaction With The Theory Of Descent
Pre-eminence Of Consciousness
Preyer's Position
Religion And The Theory Of Descent
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
Various Forms Of Darwinism
Virchow's Caution
Virchow's Position
Weismann's Evolutionist Position
What Is Distinctive In The Naturalistic Outlook
What Is Distinctive In The Religious Outlook

What Is Distinctive In The Naturalistic Outlook

At first tentative, but becoming ever more distinctly conscious of its
real motive, Naturalism has always arisen in opposition to what we may
call "supernatural" propositions, whether these be the naive mythological
explanations of world-phenomena found in primitive religions, or the
supernatural popular metaphysics which usually accompanies the higher
forms. It is actuated at the same time by one of the most admirable
impulses in human nature,--the impulse to explain and understand,--and to
explain, if possible, through simple, familiar, and ordinary causes. The
sane human understanding sees all about it the domain of everyday and
familiar phenomena. It is quite at home in this domain; everything seems
to it well-known, clear, transparent, and easily understood; it finds in
it intelligible causes and certain laws which govern phenomena, as well as
a constant association of cause and effect. Here everything can be
individually controlled and examined, and everything "happens naturally."
Things govern themselves. Nothing unexpected, nothing that has not its
obvious causes, nothing mysterious or miraculous happens here. Sharply
contrasted with this stands the region of the apparently inexplicable, the
supernatural, with all its influences and operations, and results. To the
religious interpretation in its naive, pious, or superstitious forms of
expression, this region of the supernatural seems to encroach broadly and
deeply on the domain of the everyday world. But with the awakening of
criticism and reflection, and the deepening of investigation into things,
it retreats farther and farther, it surrenders piece after piece to the
other realm of thought, and this arises doubt and suspicion. With these
there soon awakens a profound conviction that a similar mode of causal
connection binds all things together, a glimmering of the uniformity and
necessity embracing, comprehending, and ultimately explaining all things.
And these presentiments, in themselves at first quite childishly and
almost mythologically conceived, may still be, even when they first arise,
and while they are still only vaguely formulated, anticipations of later
more definite scientific conceptions. Such a beginning of naturalistic
consciousness may remain quite naive and go no farther than a silent but
persistent protest. It makes free use of such familiar expressions as
"everything comes about of itself"; "everything happens by natural means";
"it is all 'nature' or 'evolution.' " But from the primitive naturalistic
outlook there may arise reconstructions of nature and cosmic speculations
on a large scale, expanding into naturalistic systems of the most manifold
kinds, beginning with those of the Ionic philosophers and coming down to
those of the most recent times. Their watchwords remain the same, though
in an altered dialect: "nature and natural phenomena," the denial of
"dualism," the upholding of the one principle "monism," the
all-sufficiency of nature, and the absence of any intervening influences
from without or beyond nature. Rapidly and of necessity this last item
becomes transformed into a "denial of teleology": nature knows neither
will nor purpose, it has only to do with conditions and results. With
these it deals and through them it works. Even in the most elementary
naturalistic idea, that "everything happens of itself," there lurks that
aversion to purpose which characterises all naturalistic systems.

A naturalism which has arisen and grown in this manner has in itself
nothing to do with concrete and exact knowledge of nature. It may comprise
a large number of ideas which are sharply opposed to "science," and which
may be in themselves mythological, or poetical, or even mystical. For what
"nature" itself really is fundamentally, how it moves, unfolds, or impels,
how things actually happen "naturally," this naturalism has never
attempted to think out. Indeed, naturalism of this type, though it opposes
"dualism," does not by any means usually intend to set itself against
religion. On the contrary, in its later developments, it may take it up
into itself in the form of an apotheosis and a worship of nature. Almost
invariably naturalism which begins thus develops, not into atheism, but
into pantheism. It is true that all is nature and happens naturally. But
nature itself, as Thales said, is "full of gods," instinct with divine
life. It is the all-living which, unwearied and inexhaustible, brings
forth form after form and pours out its fulness. It is Giordano Bruno's
"Cause, Principle, and Unity," in endless beauty and overpowering
magnificence, and it is Goethe's "Great Goddess," herself the object of
the utmost admiration, reverence, and devotion. This mood may readily pass
over into a kind of worship of God and belief in Him, "God" being regarded
as the soul and mind, the "Logos" of Heraclitus and the Stoics, the inner
meaning and reason of this all-living nature. And thus naturalism in its
last stages may sometimes be quite devout, and may assure us that it is
compelled to deny only the transcendental and not the immanent God, the
Divine being enthroned above the world, but not the living God dwelling
within it. And ever anew Goethe's verse is quoted:

What God would outwardly alone control,
And on His finger whirl the mighty Whole?
He loves the inner world to move, to view
Nature in Him, Himself in nature too,
So that what in Him works, and is, and lives,
The measure of His strength, His spirit gives.

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