10. MONISM AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY
10.0 Authoritative Moral Principles
 THE naive man who acknowledges nothing as real except what he can see with his eyes and grasp with his hands, demands for his moral life, too, grounds of action which are perceptible to his senses. He wants someone who will impart to him these grounds of action in a manner that his senses can apprehend. He is ready to allow these grounds of action to be dictated to him as commands by anyone whom he considers wiser or more powerful than himself, or whom he acknowledges, for whatever reason, to be a power superior to himself. This accounts for the moral principles enumerated above, viz., the principles which rest on the authority of family, state, society, church, and God. The most narrow-minded man still submits to the authority of some single fellow-man. He who is a little more progressive allows his moral conduct to be dictated by a majority (state, society). In every case he relies on some power which is present to his senses. When, at last, the conviction dawns on someone that his authorities are, at bottom, human beings just as weak as himself, then he seeks refuge with a higher power, with a Divine Being, whom, in turn, he endows with qualities perceptible to the senses. He conceives this Being as communicating to him the ideal content of his moral life by way of his senses—believing, for example, that God appears in the flaming bush, or that He moves about among men in manifest human shape, and that their ears can hear His voice telling them what they are to do and what not to do.
 The highest stage of development which Naive Realism attains in the sphere of morality is that at which the moral law (the moral idea) is conceived as having no connection with any external being, but, hypothetically, as being an absolute power in one's own consciousness. What man first listened to as the voice of God, to that he now listens as an independent power in his own mind which he calls conscience.
10.1 Mechanical Necessity
 This conception, however, takes us already beyond the level of the naive consciousness into the sphere where moral laws are treated as independent norms. They are there no longer made dependent on a human mind, but are turned into self-existent metaphysical entities. They are analogous to the visible-invisible forces of Metaphysical Realism. Hence also they appear always as a corollary of Metaphysical Realism, which seeks reality, not in the part which human nature, through its thinking, plays in making reality what it is, but which hypothetically posits reality over and above the facts of experience. Hence these extra-human moral norms always appear as corollaries of Metaphysical Realism. For this theory is bound to look for the origin of morality likewise in the sphere of extra-human reality. There are different possible views of its origin. If the thing-in-itself is unthinking and acts according to purely mechanical laws, as modern Materialism conceives that it does, then it must also produce out of itself, by purely mechanical necessity, the human individual and all that belongs to him. On that view the consciousness of freedom can be nothing more than an illusion. For whilst I consider myself the author of my action, it is the matter of which I am composed and the movements which are going on in it that determine me. I imagine myself free, but actually all my actions are nothing but the effects of the metabolism which is the basis of my physical and mental organization. It is only because we do not know the motives which compel us that we have the feeling of freedom. "We must emphasize that the feeling of freedom depends on the absence of external compelling motives." "Our actions are as much subject to necessity as our thoughts" (Ziehen, Leitfaden der Physiologischen Psychologie, pp. 207, ff.).
10.2 Absolute Spiritual Being
 Another possibility is that someone will find in a spiritual being the Absolute lying behind all phenomena. If so, he will look for the spring of action in some kind of spiritual power. He will regard the moral principles which his reason contains as the manifestation of this spiritual being, which pursues in men its own special purposes. Moral laws appear to the Dualist, who holds this view, as dictated by the Absolute, and man's only task is to discover, by means of his reason, the decisions of the Absolute and to carry them out. For the Dualist, the moral order of the world is the visible symbol of the higher order that lies behind it. Our human morality is a revelation of the divine world-order. It is not man who matters in this moral order but reality in itself, that is, God. Man ought to do what God wills. Eduard von Hartmann, who identifies reality, as such, with God, and who treats God's existence as a life of suffering, believes that the Divine Being has created the world in order to gain, by means of the world, release from his infinite suffering. Hence this philosopher regards the moral evolution of humanity as a process, the function of which is the redemption of God.
"Only through the building up of a moral world-order on the part of rational, self-conscious individuals is it possible for the world-process to approximate to its goal." "Real existence is the incarnation of God. The world-process is the passion of God who has become flesh, and at the same time the way of redemption for Him who was crucified in the flesh; and morality is our co-operation in the shortening of this process of suffering and redemption" (Hartmann, Phanomenologie des sittlichen Bewusstseins, § 871).
10.3 Inferring The True Reality
On this view, man does not act because he wills, but he must act because it is God's will to be redeemed. Whereas the Materialistic Dualist turns man into an automaton, the action of which is nothing but the effect of causality according to purely mechanical laws, the Spiritualistic Dualist (i.e., he who treats the Absolute, the thing-in-itself, as a spiritual something in which man with his conscious experience has no share), makes man the slave of the will of the Absolute. Neither Materialism, nor Spiritualism, nor in general Metaphysical Realism which infers, as true reality, an extra-human something which it does not experience, have any room for freedom.
10.4 Imposed Principles
 Naive and Metaphysical Realism, if they are to be consistent, have to deny freedom for one and the same reason, viz., because, for them, man does nothing but carry out, or execute, principles necessarily imposed upon him. Naive Realism destroys freedom by subjecting man to authority, whether it be that of a perceptible being, or that of a being conceived on the analogy of perceptible beings, or, lastly, that of the abstract voice of conscience. The Metaphysician, content merely to infer an extra-human reality, is unable to acknowledge freedom because, for him, man is determined, mechanically or morally, by a "thing-in-itself."
10.5 Accept The Moral Principles Of Others
 Monism will have to admit the partial justification of Naive Realism, with which it agrees in admitting the part played by the world of percepts. He who is incapable of producing moral ideas through intuition must receive them from others. In so far as a man receives his moral principles from without he is actually unfree. But Monism ascribes to the idea the same importance as to the percept. The idea can manifest itself only in human individuals. In so far as man obeys the impulses coming from this side he is free.
10.6 Free When Obey Self
But Monism denies all justification to Metaphysics, and consequently also to the impulses of action which are derived from so-called "things-in-themselves." According to the Monistic view, man's action is unfree when he obeys some perceptible external compulsion; it is free when he obeys none but himself. There is no room in Monism for any kind of unconscious compulsion hidden behind percept and concept. If anybody maintains of the action of a fellow-man that it has not been freely done, he is bound to produce within the visible world the thing or the person or the institution which has caused the agent to act. And if he supports his contention by an appeal to causes of action lying outside the real world of our percepts and thoughts, then Monism must decline to take account of such an assertion.
10.7 Realization Of The Free Spirit Within
 According to the Monistic theory, then, man's action is partly free, partly unfree. He is conscious of himself as unfree in the world of percepts, and he realizes in himself the spirit which is free.
10.8 Moral Laws Conceived By Individuals
 The moral laws which his inferences compel the Metaphysician to regard as issuing from a higher power have, according to the upholder of Monism, been conceived by men themselves. To him the moral order is neither a mere image of a purely mechanical order of nature nor of the divine government of the world, but through and through the free creation of men. It is not man's business to realize God's will in the world, but his own. He carries out his own decisions and intentions, not those of another being. Monism does not find behind human agents a ruler of the world, determining them to act according to his will. Men pursue only their own human ends. Moreover, each individual pursues his own private ends. For the world of ideas realizes itself, not in a community, but only in individual men. What appears as the common goal of a community is nothing but the result of the separate volitions of its individual members, and most commonly of a few outstanding men whom the rest follow as their leaders. Each one of us has it in him to be a free spirit, just as every rosebud is potentially a rose.
10.9 Freedom Stage Of Development
 Monism, then, is in the sphere of genuinely moral action the true philosophy of freedom. Being also a philosophy of reality, it rejects the metaphysical (unreal) restriction of the free spirit as emphatically as it acknowledges the physical and historical (naively real) restrictions of the naive man. Inasmuch as it does not look upon man as a finished product, exhibiting in every moment of his life his full nature, it considers idle the dispute whether man, as such, is free or not. It looks upon man as a developing being, and asks whether, in the course of this development, he can reach the stage of the free spirit.
10.10 Discover Self
 Monism knows that Nature does not send forth man ready-made as a free spirit, but that she leads him up to a certain stage, from which he continues to develop still as an unfree being, until he reaches the point where he finds his own self.
10.11 Free Moral World Conception
 Monism perceives clearly that a being acting under physical or moral compulsion cannot be truly moral. It regards the stages of automatic action (in accordance with natural impulses and instincts), and of obedient action (in accordance with moral norms), as a necessary propaedeutic for morality, but it understands that it is possible for the free spirit to transcend both these transitory stages. Monism emancipates man in general from all the self-imposed fetters of the maxims of naive morality, and from all the externally imposed maxims of speculative Metaphysicians. The former Monism can as little eliminate from the world as it can eliminate percepts. The latter it rejects, because it looks for all principles of explanation of the phenomena of the world within that world and not outside it.
10.12 Humanist Morality
Just as Monism refuses even to entertain the thought of cognitive principles other than those applicable to men (p. 125), so it rejects also the concept of moral maxims other than those originated by men. Human morality, like human knowledge, is conditioned by human nature, and just as beings of a higher order would probably mean by knowledge something very different from what we mean by it, so we may assume that other beings would have a very different morality. For Monists, morality is a specifically human quality, and freedom the human way being moral.
1. Addition to the Revised Edition (1918)
In forming a judgment about the argument of the two preceding chapters, a difficulty may arise from what may appear to be a contradiction. On the one side, we have spoken of the experience of thinking as one the significance of which is universal and equally valid for every human consciousness. On the other side, we have pointed out that the ideas which we realize in moral action and which are homogeneous with those that thinking elaborates, manifest themselves in every human consciousness in a uniquely individual way. If we cannot get beyond regarding this antithesis as a "contradiction," and if we do not recognize that in the living intuition of this actually existing antithesis a piece of man's essential nature reveals itself, we shall not be able to apprehend in the true light either what knowledge is or what freedom is. Those who think of concepts as nothing more than abstractions from the world of percepts, and who do not acknowledge the part which intuition plays, cannot but regard as a "pure contradiction" the thought for which we have here claimed reality. But if we understand how ideas are experienced intuitively in their self-sustaining essence, we see clearly that, in knowledge, man lives and enters into the world of ideas as into something which is identical for all men. On the other hand, when man derives from that world the intuitions for his voluntary actions, he individualizes a member of the world of ideas by that same activity which he practices as a universally human one in the spiritual and ideal process of cognition. The apparent contradiction between the universal character of cognitive ideas and the individual character of moral ideas becomes, when intuited in its reality, a living concept. It is a criterion of the essential nature of man that what we intuitively apprehend of his nature oscillates, like a living pendulum, between knowledge which is universally valid, and individualized experience of this universal content. Those who fail to perceive the one oscillation in its real character, will regard thinking as a merely subjective human activity. For those who are unable to grasp the other oscillation, man's activity in thinking will seem to lose all individual life. Knowledge is to the former, the moral life to the latter, an unintelligible fact. Both will fall back on all sorts of ideas for the explanation of the one or of the other, because both either do not understand at all how thinking can be intuitively experienced, or, else, misunderstand it as an activity which merely abstracts.
2. Addition to the Revised Edition (1918)
On page 180 I have spoken of Materialism. I am well aware that there are thinkers, like the above-mentioned Th. Ziehen, who do not call themselves Materialists at all, but yet who must be called so from the point of view adopted in this book. It does not matter whether a thinker says that for him the world is not restricted to merely material being, and that, therefore, he is not a Materialist. No, what matters is whether he develops concepts which are applicable only to material being. Anyone who says, "our action, like our thought, is necessarily determined," lays down a concept which is applicable only to material processes, but not applicable either to what we do or to what we are. And if he were to think out what his concept implies, he would end by thinking materialistically. He saves himself from this fate only by the same inconsistency which so often results from not thinking one's thoughts out to the end. It is often said nowadays that the Materialism of the nineteenth century is scientifically dead. But in truth it is not so. It is only that nowadays we frequently fail to notice that we have no other ideas than those which apply only to the material world. Thus recent Materialism is disguised, whereas in the second half of the nineteenth century it openly flaunted itself. Towards a theory which apprehends the world spiritually the camouflaged Materialism of the present is no less intolerant than the self-confessed Materialism of the last century. But it deceives many who think they have a right to reject a theory of the world in terms of Spirit, on the ground that the scientific world-view "has long ago abandoned Materialism."
11. WORLD PURPOSE AND LIFE PURPOSE
(The Destiny Of Man)
11.0 Concept Of Purpose
 AMONG the manifold currents in the spiritual life of humanity there is one which we must now trace, and which we may call the elimination of the concept of purpose from spheres to which it does not belong. Adaptation to purpose is a special kind of sequence of phenomena. Such adaptation is genuinely real only when, in contrast to the relation of cause and effect in which the antecedent event determines the subsequent, the subsequent event determines the antecedent. This is possible only in the sphere of human actions. Man performs actions which he first presents to himself in idea, and he allows himself to be determined to action by this idea. The consequent, i.e., the action, influences by means of the idea the antecedent, i.e., the human agent. If the sequence is to have purposive character, it is absolutely necessary to have this circuitous process through human ideas.
11.1 Percept Cause Precedes Percept Effect
 In the process which we can analyze into cause and effect, we must distinguish percept from concept. The percept of the cause precedes the percept of the effect. Cause and effect would simply stand side by side in our consciousness, if we were not able to connect them with one another through the corresponding concepts.
11.2 Conceptual Factor Of Effect
The percept of the effect must always be consequent upon the percept of the cause. If the effect is to have a real influence upon the cause, it can do so only by means of the conceptual factor. For the perceptual factor of the effect simply does not exist prior to the perceptual factor of the cause. Whoever maintains that the flower is the purpose of the root, i.e., that the former determines the latter, can make good this assertion only concerning that factor in the flower which his thought reveals in it. The perceptual factor of the flower is not yet in existence at the time when the root originates.
11.3 Real Influence Of Concept (Action)
In order to have a purposive connection, it is not only necessary to have an ideal connection of consequent and antecedent according to law, but the concept (law) of the effect must really, i.e., by means of a perceptible process, influence the cause. Such a perceptible influence of a concept upon something else is to be observed only in human actions. Hence this is the only sphere in which the concept of purpose is applicable.
11.4 Imagined Purpose In Nature
The naive consciousness, which regards as real only what is perceptible, attempts, as we have repeatedly pointed out, to introduce perceptible factors even where only ideal factors can actually be found. In sequences of perceptible events it looks for perceptible connections, or, failing to find them, it imports them by imagination. The concept of purpose, valid for subjective actions, is very convenient for inventing such imaginary connections. The naive mind knows how it produces events itself, and consequently concludes that Nature proceeds likewise. In the connections of Nature which are purely ideal it finds, not only invisible forces, but also invisible real purposes. Man makes his tools to suit his purposes. On the same principle, so the Naive Realist imagines, the Creator constructs all organisms. It is but slowly that this mistaken concept of purpose is being driven out of the sciences. In philosophy, even at the present day, it still does a good deal of mischief. Philosophers still ask such questions as, What is the purpose of the world? What is the function (and consequently the purpose) of man? etc.
11.5 Laws Of Nature
 Monism rejects the concept of purpose in every sphere, with the sole exception of human action. It looks for laws of Nature, but not for purposes of Nature. Purposes of Nature, no less than invisible forces (p. 118), are arbitrary assumptions.
11.6 Purposes Of Life
But even life-purposes which man does not set up for himself, are, from the standpoint of Monism, illegitimate assumptions. Nothing is purposive except what man has made so, for only the realization of ideas originates anything purposive. But an idea becomes effective, in the realistic sense, only in human actions.
11.7 Human Destiny
Hence life has no other purpose or function than the one which man gives to it. If the question be asked, What is man's purpose in life? Monism has but one answer: The purpose which he gives to himself. I have no predestined mission in the world; my mission, at anyone moment, is that which I choose for myself. I do not enter upon life's voyage with a fixed route mapped out for me.
11.8 Only Doers Realize Purposeful Ideas
 Ideas are realized only by human agents. Consequently, it is illegitimate to speak of the embodiment of ideas by history. All such statements as "history is the evolution of man towards freedom," or "the realization of the moral world-order," etc., are, from a Monistic point of view, untenable.
11.9 Formative Principle
 The supporters of the concept of purpose believe that, in surrendering it, they are forced to surrender also all unity and order in the world. Listen, for example, to Robert Hamerling (Atomistik des Willens, vol. ii, p. 201):
"As long as there are instincts in Nature, so long is it foolish to deny purposes in Nature. Just as the structure of a limb of the human body is not determined and conditioned by an idea of this limb, floating somewhere in mid-air, but by its connection with the more inclusive whole, the body, to which the limb belongs, so the structure of every natural object, be it plant, animal, or man, is not determined and conditioned by an idea of it floating in mid-air, but by the formative principle of the more inclusive whole of Nature which unfolds and organizes itself in a purposive manner."
And on page 191 of the same volume we read:
"Teleology maintains only that, in spite of the thousand misfits and miseries of this natural life, there is a high degree of adaptation to purpose and plan unmistakable in the formations and developments of Nature—an adaptation, however, which is realized only within the limits of natural laws, and which does not tend to the production of some imaginary fairyland, in which life would not be confronted by death, growth by decay, with all the more or less unpleasant, but quite unavoidable, intermediary stages between them.
 When the critics of Teleology oppose a laboriously collected rubbish-heap of partial or complete, imaginary or real, maladaptations to a world full of wonders of purposive adaptation, such as Nature exhibits in all her domains, then I consider this just as amusing—”
11.11 Coherence Within Whole
 What is here meant by purposive adaptation? Nothing but the consonance of percepts within a whole. But, since all percepts are based upon laws (ideas), which we discover by means of thinking, it follows that the orderly coherence of the members of a perceptual whole is nothing more than the ideal (logical) coherence of the members of the ideal whole which is contained in this perceptual whole. To say that an animal or a man is not determined by an idea floating in mid-air is a misleading way of putting it, and the view which the critic attacks loses its apparent absurdity as soon as the phrase is put right. An animal certainly is not determined by an idea floating in mid-air, but it is determined by an idea inborn in it and constituting the law of its nature. It is just because the idea is not external to the natural object, but is operative in it as its very essence, that we cannot speak here of adaptation to purpose. Those who deny that natural objects are determined from without (and it does not matter, in this context, whether it be by an idea floating in mid-air or existing in the mind of a creator of the world), are the very men who ought to admit that such an object is not determined by purpose and plan from without, but by cause and law from within.
A machine is produced in accordance with a purpose, if I establish a connection between its parts which is not given in Nature. The purposive character of the combinations which I effect consists just in this, that I embody my idea of the working of the machine in the machine itself. In this way the machine comes into existence as an object of perception embodying a corresponding idea. Natural objects have a very similar character. Whoever calls a thing purposive because its form is in accordance with plan or law may, if he so please, call natural objects also purposive, provided only that he does not confuse this kind of purposiveness with that which belongs to a subjective human action. In order to have a purpose, it is absolutely necessary that the efficient cause should be a concept, more precisely a concept of the effect. But in Nature we can nowhere point to concepts operating as causes. A concept is never anything but the ideal nexus of cause and effect. Causes occur in Nature only in the form of percepts.
11.12 Purposes Of Absolute Cosmic Being
 Dualism may talk of cosmic and natural purposes. Wherever for our perception there is a nexus of cause and effect according to law, there the Dualist is free to assume that we have but the image of a nexus in which the Absolute has realized its purposes. For Monism, on the other hand, the rejection of an Absolute Reality implies also the rejection of the assumption of purposes in World and Nature.
Addition to the Revised Edition (1918)
No one who, with an open mind, has followed the preceding argument, will come to the conclusion that the author, in rejecting the concept of purpose for extra-human facts, intended to side with those thinkers who reject this concept in order to be able to regard, first, everything outside human action and, next, human action itself, as a purely natural process. Against such misunderstanding the author should be protected by the fact that the process of thinking is in this book represented as a purely spiritual process. The reason for rejecting the concept of purpose even for the spiritual world, so far as it lies outside human action, is that in this world there is revealed something higher than a purpose, such as is realized in human life. Ana when we characterize as erroneous the attempt to conceive the destiny of the human race as purposive according to the pattern of human purposiveness, we mean that the individual adopts purposes, and that the result of the total activity of humanity is composed of these individual purposes. This result is something higher than its component parts, the purposes of individual men.
12. MORAL IMAGINATION
(Darwinism and Morality)
12.0 Selection Of Idea To Realize In Action
 A FREE spirit acts according to his impulses, i.e., intuitions, which his thought has selected out of the whole world of his ideas. For an unfree spirit, the reason why he singles out a particular intuition from his world of ideas, in order to make it the basis of an action, lies in the perceptual world which is given to him, i.e., in his past experiences. He recalls, before making a decision, what someone else has done, or recommended as proper in an analogous case, or what God has commanded to be done in such a case, etc., and he acts on these recollections. A free spirit dispenses with these preliminaries. His decision is absolutely original. He cares as little what others have done in such a case as what commands they have laid down. He has purely ideal (logical) reasons which determine him to select a particular concept out of the sum of his concepts, and to realize it in action. But his action will belong to perceptible reality. Consequently, what he achieves will coincide with a definite content of perception. His concept will have to be realized in a concrete particular event. As a concept it will not contain this event as particular. It will refer to the event only in its generic character, just as, in general, a concept is related to a percept, e.g., the concept lion to a particular lion. The link between concept and percept is the idea (cp. pp. 104 ff.). To the unfree spirit this intermediate link is given from the outset. Motives exist in his consciousness from the first in the form of ideas. Whenever he intends to do anything he acts as he has seen others act, or he obeys the instructions he receives in each separate case. Hence authority is most effective in the form of examples, i.e., in the form of traditional patterns of particular actions handed down for the guidance of the unfree spirit. A Christian models his conduct less on the teaching than on the pattern of the Savior. Rules have less value for telling men positively what to do than for telling them what to leave undone. Laws take on the form of universal concepts only when they forbid actions, not when they prescribe actions. Laws concerning what we ought to do must be given to the unfree spirit in wholly concrete form. Clean the street in front of your door! Pay your taxes to such and such an amount to the tax-collector! etc. Conceptual form belongs to laws which inhibit actions. Thou shalt not steal! Thou shalt not commit adultery! But these laws, too, influence the unfree spirit only by means of a concrete idea, e.g., the idea of the punishments attached by human authority, or of the pangs of conscience, or of eternal damnation, etc.
12.1 Concrete Idea
 Even when the motive to an action exists in universal conceptual form (e.g., Thou shalt do good to thy fellow-men! Thou shalt live so that thou promotest best thy welfare!), there still remains to be found, in the particular case, the concrete idea of the action (the relation of the concept to a content of perception). For a free spirit who is not guided by any model nor by fear of punishment, etc., this translation of the concept into an idea is always necessary.
12.2 Moral Imagination
 Concrete ideas are formed by us on the basis of our concepts by means of the imagination. Hence what the free spirit needs in order to realize his concepts, in order to assert himself in the world, is moral imagination. This is the source of the free spirit's action. Only those men, therefore, who are endowed with moral imagination are, properly speaking, morally productive. Those who merely preach morality, i.e., those who merely excogitate moral rules without being able to condense them into concrete ideas, are morally unproductive. They are like those critics who can explain very competently how a work of art ought to be made, but who are themselves incapable of the smallest artistic production.
12.3 Moral Technique
 Moral imagination, in order to realize its ideas, must enter into a determinate sphere of percepts. Human action does not create percepts, but transforms already existing percepts and gives them a new character. In order to be able to transform a definite object of perception, or a sum of such objects, in accordance with a moral idea, it is necessary to understand the object's law (its mode of action which one intends to transform, or to which one wants to give a new direction). Further, it is necessary to discover the procedure by which it is possible to change the given law into the new one. This part of effective moral activity depends on knowledge of the particular world of phenomena with which one has got to deal. We shall, therefore, find it in some branch of scientific knowledge. Moral action, then, presupposes, in addition to the faculty of moral concepts and of moral imagination, the ability to alter the world of percepts without violating the natural laws by which they are connected.
This ability is moral technique. It may be learnt in the same sense in which science in general may be learnt. For, in general, men are better able to find concepts for the world as it is, than productively to originate out of their imaginations future, and as yet non-existing, actions. Hence, it is very well possible for men without moral imagination to receive moral ideas from others, and to embody these skilfully in the actual world. Vice versa, it may happen that men with moral imagination lack technical skill, and are dependent on the service of other men for the realization of their ideas.
 In so far as we require for moral action knowledge of the objects upon which we are about to act, our action depends upon such knowledge. What we need to know here are the laws of nature. These belong to the Natural Sciences, not to Ethics.
12.4 History Of Moral Ideas
 Moral imagination and the faculty of moral concepts can become objects of theory only after they have first been employed by the individual. But, thus regarded, they no longer regulate life, but have already regulated it. They must now be treated as efficient causes, like all other causes (they are purposes only for the subject). The study of them is, as it were, the Natural Science of moral ideas.
 Ethics as a Normative Science, over and above this science, is impossible.
12.5 Normative Moral Laws
 Some would maintain the normative character of moral laws at least in the sense that Ethics is to be taken as a kind of dietetic which, from the conditions of the organism's life, deduces general rules, on the basis of which it hopes to give detailed directions to the body (Paulsen, System der Ethik). This comparison is mistaken, because our moral life cannot be compared with the life of the organism. The behavior of the organism occurs without any volition on our part. Its laws are fixed data in our world; hence we can discover them and apply them when discovered. Moral laws, on the other hand, do not exist until we create them. We cannot apply them until we have created them. The error is due to the fact that moral laws are not at every moment new creations, but are handed down by tradition. Those which we take over from our ancestors appear to be given like the natural laws of the organism. But it does not follow that a later generation has the right to apply them in the same way as dietetic rules. For they apply to individuals, and not, like natural laws, to specimens of a genus. Considered as an organism, I am such a generic specimen, and I shall live in accordance with nature if I apply the laws of my genus to my particular case. As a moral agent I am an individual and have my own private laws.
12.6 Traditional Moral Doctrines
 The view here upheld appears to contradict that fundamental doctrine of modern Natural Science which is known as the Theory of Evolution. But it only appears to do so. By evolution we mean the real development of the later out of the earlier in accordance with natural law. In the organic world, evolution means that the later (more perfect) organic forms are real descendants of the earlier (imperfect) forms, and have grown out of them in accordance with natural laws. The upholders of the theory of organic evolution believe that there was once a time on our earth, when we could have observed with our own eyes the gradual evolution of reptiles out of Proto-Amniotes, supposing that we could have been present as men, and had been endowed with a sufficiently long span of life. Similarly, Evolutionists suppose that man could have watched the development of the solar system out of the primordial nebula of the Kant-Laplace hypothesis, if he could have occupied a suitable spot in the world-ether during that infinitely long period. But no Evolutionist will dream of maintaining that he could from his concept of the primordial Amnion deduce that of the reptile with all its qualities, even if he had never seen a reptile. Just as little would it be possible to derive the solar system from the concept of the Kant-Laplace nebula, if this concept of an original nebula had been formed only from the percept of the nebula. In other words, if the Evolutionist is to think consistently, he is bound to maintain that out of earlier phases of evolution later ones really develop; that once the concept of the imperfect and that of the perfect have been given, we can understand the connection. But in no case will he admit that the concept formed from the earlier phases is, in itself, sufficient for deducing from it the later phases. From this it follows for Ethics that, whilst we can understand the connection of later moral concepts with earlier ones, it is not possible to deduce a single new moral idea from earlier ones. The individual, as a moral being, produces his own content. This content, thus produced, is for Ethics a datum, as much as reptiles are a datum for Natural Science. Reptiles have evolved out of the Proto-Amniotes, but the scientist cannot manufacture the concept of reptiles out of the concept of the Proto-Amniotes. Later moral ideas evolve out of the earlier ones, but Ethics cannot manufacture out of the moral principles of an earlier age those of a later one. The confusion is due to the fact that, as scientists, we start with the facts before us, and then make a theory about them, whereas in moral action we first produce the facts ourselves, and then theorize about them. In the evolution of the moral world-order we accomplish what, at a lower level, Nature accomplishes: we alter some part of the perceptual world. Hence the ethical norm cannot straightway be made an object of knowledge, like a law of nature, for it must first be created. Only when that has been done can the norm become an object of knowledge.
 But is it not possible to make the old a measure for the new? Is not every man compelled to measure the deliverances of his moral imagination by the standard of traditional moral principles? If he would be truly productive in morality, such measuring is as much an absurdity as it would be an absurdity if one were to measure a new species in nature by an old one and say that reptiles, because they do not agree with the Proto-Amniotes, are an illegitimate (degenerate) species.
12.7 Outcome Of Evolution Is An Ethical Individualist
 Ethical Individualism, then, so far from being in opposition to the theory of evolution, is a direct consequence of it. Haeckel's genealogical tree, from protozoa up to man as an organic being, ought to be capable of being worked out without a breach of natural law, and without a gap in its uniform evolution, up to the individual as a being with a determinate moral nature. But, whilst it is quite true that the moral ideas of the individual have perceptibly grown out of those of his ancestors, it is also true that the individual is morally barren, unless he has moral ideas of his own.
 The same Ethical Individualism which I have developed on the basis of the preceding principles, might be equally well developed on the basis of the theory of evolution. The final result would be the same; only the path by which it was reached would be different.
12.8 Rejection Of Supernatural Influence
 That absolutely new moral ideas should be developed by the moral imagination is for the theory of evolution no more inexplicable than the development of one animal species out of another, provided only that this theory, as a Monistic world-view, rejects, in morality as in science, every transcendent (metaphysical) influence. In doing so, it follows the same principle by which it is guided in seeking the causes of new organic forms in forms already existing, but not in the interference of an extra-mundane God, who produces every new species in accordance with a new creative idea through supernatural interference. Just as Monism has no use for supernatural creative ideas in explaining living organisms, so it is equally impossible for it to derive the moral world-order from causes which do not lie within the world. It cannot admit any continuous supernatural influence upon moral life (divine government of the world from the outside), nor an influence either through a particular act of revelation at a particular moment in history (giving of the ten commandments), or through God's appearance on the earth (Divinity of Christ). Moral processes are, for Monism, natural products like everything else that exists, and their causes must be looked for in nature, i.e., in man, because man is the bearer of morality.
 Ethical Individualism, then, is the crown of the edifice that Darwin and Haeckel have erected for Natural Science. It is the theory of evolution applied to the moral life.
12.9 Characterization Of Action
 Anyone who restricts the concept of the natural from the outset to an artificially limited and narrowed sphere, is easily tempted not to allow any room within it for free individual action. The consistent Evolutionist does not easily fall a prey to such a narrow-minded view. He cannot let the process of evolution terminate with the ape, and acknowledge for man a supernatural origin. Again, he cannot stop short at the organic reactions of man and regard only these as natural. He has to treat also the life of moral self-determination as the continuation of organic life.
 The Evolutionist, then, in accordance with his fundamental principles, can maintain only that moral action evolves out of the less perfect forms of natural processes. He must leave the characterization of action, i.e., its determination as free action, to the immediate observation of each agent. All that he maintains is only that men have developed out of non-human ancestors. What the nature of men actually is must be determined by observation of men themselves. The results of this observation cannot possibly contradict the history of evolution. Only the assertion that the results are such as to exclude their being due to a natural world-order would contradict recent developments in the Natural Sciences.
Footnote: We are entitled to speak of thoughts (ethical ideas) as objects of observation. For, although the products of thinking do not enter the field of observation, so long as the thinking goes on, they may well become objects of observation subsequently. In this way we have gained our characterization of action.
12.10 Free Action Is Image Of An Ideal Intuition
 Ethical Individualism, then, has nothing to fear from a Natural Science which understands itself. Observation yields freedom as the characteristic quality of the perfect form of human action. Freedom must be attributed to the human will, in so far as the will realizes purely ideal intuitions. For these are not the effects of a necessity acting upon them from without, but are grounded in themselves. When we find that an action embodies such an ideal intuition, we feel it to be free. Freedom consists in this character of an action.
12.11 Freedom Is To Determine Own Motives
 What, then, from the standpoint of nature are we to say of the distinction, already mentioned above (p. 8), between the two statements, "To be free means to be able to do what you will," and "To be able, as you please, to strive or not to strive is the real meaning of the dogma of free will”? Hamerling bases his theory of free will precisely on this distinction, by declaring the first statement to be correct but the second to be an absurd tautology. He says, "I can do what I will, but to say I can will what I will is an empty tautology." Whether I am able to do, i.e., to make real, what I will, i.e., what I have set before myself as my idea of action, that depends on external circumstances and on my technical skill (cp. p. 200). To be free means to be able to determine by moral imagination out of oneself those ideas (motives) which lie at the basis of action. Freedom is impossible if anything other than I myself (whether a mechanical process or God) determines my moral ideas. In other words, I am free only when I myself produce these ideas, but not when I am merely able to realize the ideas which another being has implanted in me. A free being is one who can will what he regards as right. Whoever does anything other than what he wills must be impelled to it by motives which do not lie in himself. Such a man is unfree in his action. Accordingly, to be able to will, as you please, what you consider right or wrong means to be free or unfree as you please. This is, of course, just as absurd as to identify freedom with the faculty of doing what one is compelled to will. But this is just what Hamerling maintains when he says, "It is perfectly true that the will is always determined by motives, but it is absurd to say that on this ground it is unfree; for a greater freedom can neither be desired nor conceived than the freedom to realize oneself in proportion to one's own power and strength of will." On the contrary, it is well possible to desire a greater freedom and that a true freedom, viz., the freedom to determine for oneself the motives of one's volitions.
12.12 Submission To Others
 Under certain conditions a man may be induced to abandon the execution of his will; but to allow others to prescribe to him what he shall do—in other words, to will what another and not what he himself regards as right—to this a man will submit only when he does not feel free.
 External powers may prevent me from doing what I will, but that is only to condemn me to do nothing or to be unfree. Not until they enslave my spirit, drive my motives out of my head, and put their own motives in the place of mine, do they really aim at making me unfree. That is the reason why the church attacks not only the mere doing, but especially the impure thoughts, i.e., motives of my action. And for the church all those motives are impure which she has not herself authorized. A church does not produce genuine slaves until her priests turn themselves into advisers of consciences, i.e., until the faithful depend upon the church, i.e., upon the confessional, for the motives of their actions.
Addition to Revised Edition (1918)
In these chapters I have given an account of how every one may experience in his actions something which makes him aware that his will is free. It is especially important to recognize that we derive the right to call an act of will free from the experience of an ideal intuition realizing itself in the act. This can be nothing but a datum of observation, in the sense that we observe the development of human volition in the direction towards the goal of attaining the possibility of just such volition sustained by purely ideal intuition. This attainment is possible because the ideal intuition is effective through nothing but its own self-dependent essence. Where such an intuition is present in the mind, it has not developed itself out of the processes in the organism (cp. pp. 146 ff.), but the organic processes have retired to make room for the ideal processes. Observation of an act of will which embodies an intuition shows that out of it, likewise, all organically necessary activity has retired. The act of will is free. No one can observe this freedom of will who is unable to see how free will consists in this, that, first, the intuitive factor lames and represses the necessary activity of the human organism, and then puts in its place the spiritual activity of a will guided by ideas. Only those who are unable to observe these two factors in the free act of will believe that every act of will is unfree. Those who are able to observe them win through to the recognition that man is unfree in so far as he fails to repress organic activity completely, but that this unfreedom is tending towards freedom, and that this freedom, so far from being an abstract ideal, is a directive force inherent in human nature. Man is free in proportion as he succeeds in realizing in his acts of will the same disposition of mind, which possesses him when he is conscious in himself of the formation of purely ideal (spiritual) intuitions.