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Principles


The Philosophy Of Freedom
Principles


PART I : THEORY
The Theory of Freedom


0. THE GOAL OF KNOWLEDGE
1. CONSCIOUS HUMAN ACTION
2. WHY THE DRIVE FOR KNOWLEDGE IS FUNDAMENTAL
3. THOUGHT AS THE INSTRUMENT OF KNOWLEDGE
4. THE WORLD AS PERCEPT
5. OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD
6. HUMAN INDIVIDUALITY
7. ARE THERE ANY LIMITS TO COGNITION?
PART II : PRACTICE
The Reality of Freedom


8. THE FACTORS OF LIFE
9. THE IDEA OF FREEDOM
10. MONISM AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM
11. WORLD PURPOSE AND LIFE PURPOSE 
  (The Destiny Of Man)
12. MORAL IMAGINATION (Darwinism and Morality)
13. THE VALUE OF LIFE (Optimism and Pessimism)
14. THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE GENUS

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PREFACE 
THE GOAL OF KNOWLEDGE

principles of individualism
Principles Of Individualistic Life
1. Free Oneself From Authority
An energetic effort is being made to shake off every kind of authority.
2. Individual Validation
Nothing is accepted as valid, unless it springs from the roots of individuality. Everything which hinders the individual in the full development of his powers is thrust aside.
3. Leaderless Striving
The saying “Each one of us must choose his hero in whose footsteps he toils up to Olympus” no longer holds for us.
4. Individual Selection Of Ideals
We allow no ideals to be forced upon us.
5. Individual Worthiness
We are convinced that in each of us, if only we probe deep enough into the very heart of our being,there dwells something noble, something worthy of development.
6. Rejection Of Conformity
We no longer believe that there is a norm of human life to which we must all strive to conform.
7. Perfection Of Each Individual
We regard the perfection of the whole as depending on the unique perfection of each single individual.
8. Unique Contribution
We do not want to do what anyone else can do equally well. No, our contribution to the development of the world, however trifling, must be something which, by reason of the uniqueness of our nature,we alone can offer.
9. Creative Expression
Never have artists been less concerned about rules and norms in art than today. Each of them asserts his right to express, in the creations of his art, what is unique in him.
10. Dynamic Language
There are dramatists who write in dialect rather than conform to the standard diction which grammar demands.
11. Striving Towards Freedom
[2] No better expression for these phenomena can be found than this, that they result from the individual’s striving towards freedom, developed to its highest pitch.
12. Independence
We do not want to be dependent in any respect, and where dependence must be, we tolerate it only on condition that it coincides with a vital interest of our individuality.

Principles Of Individualistic Truth
0.0 Culture Of Individuality
Today, all human interests tend to center in the culture of human individuality.
0.1 Conviction Of Inner Truth
Truth will be sought in our age only in the depths of human nature. Conviction attaches only to what appears as truth to each of us in our own hearts.
0.2 Truth Empowers
Truth alone can give us confidence in developing our powers. He who is tortured by doubts finds his powers lamed.
0.3 Comprehensible Truth
We no longer want to believe; we want to know. Belief demands the acceptance of truths which we do not wholly comprehend.
0.4 Knowledge Starting From Individual Experience
Starting from the facts nearest at hand, our own immediate experiences, we ascend to a knowledge of the whole universe.
0.5 Individual Drive To Know
Nowadays there is no attempt to compel anyone to understand. We claim no agreement with any one whom a distinct individual need does not drive to a certain view.
0.6 Strive To Live According To Individualistic Principles
Many of my contemporaries strive to order their lives in the direction of the principles I have indicated.To them I would dedicate this book.
0.7 Thought Training In Pure Thinking
The Western world no longer demands pious exercises and ascetic practices as a preparation for science, but it does require a sincere willingness to withdraw oneself awhile from the immediate impressions of life, and to betake oneself into the realm of pure thought.
0.8 Wholistic Science
The more the sciences strive to penetrate deeply into their separate spheres, the more they withdraw themselves from the vision of the world as a living whole. There must be one supreme science which seeks in the separate sciences the elements for leading men back once more to the fullness of life.
0.9 The Principle Question Is Freedom
How philosophy, as an art, is related to freedom; what freedom is; and whether we do, or can,participate in it —these are the principle problems of my book. These questions, in my opinion, are humanity most immediate concern.
0.10 The Value Of Science Is Human Development
The true value of the sciences is seen only when we have shown the importance of their results for humanity. Knowledge has value only in so far as it contributes to the all-round unfolding of the whole nature of the human being.
0.11 Ideas To Serve Human Goals
We each take possession of the world of ideas in order to use them for our own human aims, which transcend those of mere science.
0.12 Master Over Ideas
We must confront ideas as master; or become their slave.

 

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CHAPTER 1 
CONSCIOUS HUMAN ACTION

principles of action
1.0 The Question Of Freedom
Is the human being free in action and thought, or inescapably controlled by necessity?
1.1 Freedom of Indifferent Choice
(support) Neutrally choosing, entirely at will, one or the other of two possible courses of action.
(opposed) There always exists a specific reason to explain why we carry out an action.
1.2 Freedom Of Choice
(support) Make a free choice according to our own wants and preferences.
(opposed) We are not free to desire or not desire arbitrarily.
1.3 Free Necessity Of One's Nature
(support) Freedom is to express the necessity of our own nature.
(opposed) However complex, our nature is determined by external causes to act in a fixed and exact way.
1.4 Free From External Influences
(support) We act on an idea only if it is first accepted by our character.
(opposed) An idea is made into a motive according to the 'necessity' of our characterological disposition.
1.5 Action Resulting From Conscious Motive
(support) Rather than blind urge, we act according to a conscious motive.
(opposed) The knower has been separated from the doer. We don’t always do what we know should be done.
1.6 Free When Controlled By Rational Decision
(support) Freedom is to determine one's life and action by purpose and deliberate decisions.
(opposed) A rational decision may emerges in me with the same necessity as hunger and thirst arise.
1.7 Free To Do As One Wants
(support) To be free does not mean being able to determine what one wants, but being able to do what one wants.
(opposed) If a motive works on me, and I am compelled to follow it because it proves to be the “strongest” of its kind, then the thought of freedom ceases to make any sense.
1.8 Spontaneous Unconditioned Will
(support) Our will is the cause of our movement, the willing itself is unconditioned; it is an absolute beginning (a first cause and not a link in a chain of events).
(opposed) We do not perceive the causes that determine our will, so we believe it is not causally determined at all.
1.9 Knowledge Of The Reasons
(support) Freedom is an action of which the reasons are known.(opposed) What is the origin of the thoughts that cause us to act?
1.10 Driving Force Of The Heart
(support) Love, compassion, and patriotism are driving forces for action where heart-felt sensibility prevails.(opposed) The heart and its sensibility do not create the motives of action. They allow them to enter.The motives have already been established.
1.11 Idealistic Thought
(support) Love determines our action.
(opposed) Feelings are determined by thought. Love is based on the thoughts we form of the love done. The more idealistic the thoughts, the more blessed is our love.
1.12 Perception Of Good Qualities
(support) We see the good qualities of the loved one. Many pass by without noticing these good qualities.
(opposed) Seeing good qualities is determined by love which opens the eyes to see them. The love is there because mental pictures have been made of the good qualities.

 

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CHAPTER 2 
THE FUNDAMENTAL DESIRE FOR KNOWLEDGE

principles of knowledge
2.0 The Drive To Know
We seek something more in things that exceeds what is immediately given to us. This addition we seek splits our whole being into two parts; our objective outer perception and our subjective inner thought-world. We become conscious of contrasting with the world. The universe appears to us as two contrasting sides: Self and World
2.1 Materialism
Materialism begins with the thought of Matter or material processes. But, in doing so, it is confronted by two different sets of facts, the material world and the thoughts about it. Thoughts are understood as purely physical processes.
2.2 Spiritualism
The Spiritualist denies Matter (the World) and regards it as merely a product of Mind (the Self).
2.3 Realism
If one would really know the external world, one must look outwards and draw on the fund of experience.
2.4 Idealism
What Fichte has actually accomplished is a magnificent thought-picture of the world, but one without any empirical content.
2.5 Materialistic Idealism
Materialism explains all world phenomena, including our thoughts, to be the product of purely material processes, but, conversely, Matter and its processes are themselves a product of our thinking.
2.6 Indivisible Unity
The third form of Monism sees the indivisible unity of Matter and Mind in even the simplest physical particle.
2.7 Polarity Of Consciousness
We first encounter the basic and original polarity in our own consciousness. We are the ones who detach ourselves from the mother   soil of Nature and contrast ourselves with the World as Self.
2.8 Feeling Impulse
It is true that we have estranged ourselves from Nature; but it is equally true that we feel we are within Nature and belong to her. This can only be due to Nature's influence on us, which also lives in us.
2.9 Knowing Nature Within
We can only find Nature outside us after we first know it within us. What corresponds to Nature within us will be our guide.
2.10 Something More Than “I"
We must come to a point where we can say: Here we are no longer merely 'I', here is something more than 'I'.
2.11 Description Of Consciousness
I have not been concerned with scientific results, but rather with a simple description of what we all experience in our own consciousness. Even those sentences about the attempts to reconcile Mind with the World have only been included to clarify the actual facts.
2.12 Facts Without Interpretation
My concern is not how science has interpreted consciousness, but rather how we experience it moment by moment.

 

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CHAPTER 3
THOUGHT AS THE INSTRUMENT OF KNOWLEDGE

principles of thinking
3.0 Reflective Thought
The purpose of my reflection is to form concepts of the event. I try to add to the occurrence that runs its course without my participation a second process which takes place in the conceptual sphere. This conceptual process depends on me.
3.1 Observation Of Thought
Thought, as an object of observation, differs essentially from all other objects. I observe the table, and I carry on my thinking about the table, but I do not at the same moment observe this thought. While the observation of things and events, and thinking about them, are everyday occurrences filling my ongoing life, observation of the thought itself is a kind of exceptional state.
3.2 Formation Of Concept
I am definitely aware that the concept of a thing is formed by my activity, while the feeling of pleasure is produced in me by an object the same way as change is caused in an object by a stone falling on it.
3.3 Thinking Contemplation Of Object
While I am reflecting on the object, I am absorbed in it; my attention is turned to it. To become absorbed in the object is to contemplate by thought.
3.4 Thinking Contemplation Of Thought
I can never observe the present thought in which I am actually engaged; only afterward can I make the past experience of my thought process into the object of my present thinking.
3.5 Know Content Of Concept
It is possible to know thought more immediately and more intimately than any other process in the world. Because we produce it ourselves we know the characteristic features of its course and the details of how the process takes place.
3.6 Guided By Content Of Thought
What I observe in studying a thought process is not which process in my brain connects the concept lightning with the concept thunder, but my reason for bringing these two concepts into a specific relationship. Introspection shows that in linking thought with thought I am guided by the content of my thoughts; I am not guided by any physical processes in my brain. Many people today find it difficult to grasp the concept of pure thinking.
3.7 I Produce My Content Of Thought
In thought I observe something that I produce. I give to my existence the definite, self-determined content of my thought-activity. From here I can go on to ask whether other things exist in the same or in some other way.
3.8 Remain Within Realm Of Thought
When I observe my own thought what hovers in the background is nothing but thought. I can remain within the realm of thought.
3.9 Create Before Knowing
What is impossible with Nature ---creation before knowing--- we achieve with thinking. We must resolutely think straight ahead and only afterward by introspective analysis gain knowledge of what we have done. We ourselves first create the object that we are to observe.
3.10 Self-Supporting Thought
Thought is self-supporting, not dependent on anything else. In thought we have the principle of self-subsistence. Thought can be grasped by thought itself.
3.11 Impartial Consideration Of Thinking
We must first consider thinking in an impartial way, without reference to either a thinking subject or conceived object. Before anything else can be understood, thought must be understood.
3.12 Application Of Thought
Thought is a fact, and it is meaningless to speak of the correctness or falsehood of a fact. At most I can have doubts about whether thought is correctly applied.

 

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CHAPTER 4
THE WORLD AS PERCEPT

principles of perception
4-0 Reactive Thinking
When we see a tree, our thinking reacts to our observation; a conceptual element comes to the object,and we consider the object and the conceptual counterpart as belonging together. Concepts are added to observation.

4.1 Conceptual Search
I first search for the concept that fits my observation. Someone who does not reflect further, observes,and is content to leave it at that. I can never gain the concept by mere observation, no matter how many cases I may observe.
4.2 Conceptual Reference
When I as thinking subject, refer a concept to an object, we must not regard this reference as something purely subjective. It is not the subject that makes the reference, but thinking.
4.3 Conceptual Relationship
Thinking is able to draw threads from one element of observation to another. It connects specific concepts with these elements and in this way brings them into a relationship with each other.
4.4 Correction Of My Picture Of World
Every broadening of the circle of my perceptions compels me to correct the picture I have of the world.We see this in everyday life, as well as in the intellectual development of humankind.
4.5 Mathematical And Qualitative Percept-Picture
I should like to call the dependence of my perception-picture on my place of observation,"mathematical", and its dependence on my organization, "qualitative." The first determines the proportions of size and mutual distances of my perceptions, the second their quality.
4.6 Subjective Percept-Picture
The recognition of the subjective character of our perceptions can lead to doubt whether anything objective underlies them. From this point of view, nothing is left of the perception when we take away the act of perceiving.
4.7 Mental Picture: After-effect Of Observation
When the tree disappears from my field of vision, an after-effect remains in my consciousness: apicture of the tree. This element I call my
mental picture, my representation of the tree.
4.8 Mental Picture: Caused By Unknown Thing-In-Itself
The Kantian view limits our knowledge of the world to our mental pictures, not because it is convinced that nothing can exist beyond these mental pictures, but rather it believes us to be so organized that we can only experience the change in our own Self, not the thing-in-itself that causes this change.
4.9 Mental Picture: What My Organization Transmits
Physics, Physiology, and Psychology seem to teach that our organization is necessary for our perceptions, and that, consequently, we can know nothing except what our organization transmits to us from the things.
4.10 Perceived World Is A Projection Of Soul Qualities
All of the qualities that we perceive in the world are the product of the soul and transferred to the external world.
4.11 External Perception Is Mental Picture
I must consider the table, —which I used to believe had an effect on me and produced a mental picture of itself in me— as being itself a mental picture. If everything is a mental picture then they could have no effect on each other.
4.12 Objective Existence Of Own Organism
He would, to be consistent, have to regard his own organism also as a complex of mental pictures. But this removes the possibility of regarding the content of the perceptual world as a product of the mind's organization. Only my real eye could have the mental pictures "sun" and "earth".

 

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CHAPTER 5
OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD

principles of conception
5.0 Finding The Concept That Corresponds To The World
For anyone with the view that the whole perceived world is only a picture called up in my mind and is actually the effect of unknown things acting on my soul, of course the real question of knowledge will not be concerned with the representations that only exist in my mind, but with the things that are independent of us and lie beyond the reach of our consciousness. He asks: How much can we learn about things indirectly, seeing that we cannot observe them directly?
5.1 The Awakened State Of Thinking
If the things of our experience were "mental pictures", then our everyday life would be like a dream,and the discovery of the true state of affairs would be like waking.
5.2 Thought That Applies To The World
If we want to make an assertion about anything it requires the help of thought. If my thought does not apply to the world, then this result is false.
5.3 World Connects With Corresponding Concept
The world produces thinking in the heads of people with the same necessity as it produces the blossom on a plant? Set the plant before yourself. It connects itself, in your mind, with a definite concept. Why should this concept belong any less to the whole plant than leaf and blossom?
5.4 Process Of Growth
The picture which presents itself to me at any one moment is only a chance cross-section of an object which is in a continual process of growth.
5.5 Indivisible Existence of Concept With Percept
It is possible for a mind to receive the concept at the same time as, and united with, the perception. It would never occur to such a mind that the concept did not belong to the thing. It would have to ascribe to the concept an existence indivisibly bound up with the thing.
5.6 Isolate And Grasp Single Concepts
The human being is a limited being. Only a limited part of the total universe that can be given us at any one time. It is necessary to isolate certain sections of the world and to consider them by themselves. Our understanding can grasp only single concepts out of a connected conceptual system.
5.7 Self Definition Through Thinking
Self-perception must be distinguished from self-determination by means of thought. My self-perception confines me within certain limits, but my thinking is not concerned with these limits. I am the bearer of an activity which, from a higher sphere, determines my limited existence.
5.8 In Thinking We Are The All One Being
In thinking, the concept unites our particular individuality with the whole of the cosmos. In so far as we sense and feel (and also perceive), we are single beings; in so far as we think, we are the all-one being that pervades everything.
5.9 Will Is Objectified In Action And Known By Thinking
The actions of our body become known to us only through self-observation, and that, as such, they are in no way superior to other percepts. If we want to know their real nature, we can do so only by means of thought, by fitting them into the ideal system of our concepts and ideas.
5.10 Corresponding Intuition
An external object which we observe remains unintelligible until the corresponding intuition arises within us which adds to the reality what is lacking in the percept. What appears to us in observation as separate parts becomes combined, bit by bit, through the coherent, unified world of our intuitions. By thinking we fit together again into one piece all that we have taken apart through perceiving.
5.11 Conceptual Connections Of Percepts
Concepts links all our percepts to each another and shows them to us in their mutual relationship.
5.12 Conceptual Intuition Corresponds To Objective Percept
The content of a percept is immediately given and is completely contained in what is given. The question concerning the "what" of a percept can only refer to the conceptual intuition that corresponds to the percept.

 

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CHAPTER 6
HUMAN INDIVIDUALITY

principles of mental picturing
6.0 Corresponding Concept Relates Self To The World
I am really identical with the objects; not, however, "I" in so far as I am a perception of myself as subject, but "I" in so far as I am a part of the universal world process. I can discover the common element in both (percept and self) , so far as they are complementary aspects of the world, only through thought which by means of concepts relates the one to the other.
6.1 Sense Perception Of Motion
Just as we can say that the eye perceives a mechanical process of motion in its surroundings as light,so we can affirm that every change in an object, determined by natural law, is perceived by us as a process of motion.
6.2 Mental Picture: Conceptual Intuition Related To A Percept
The moment a percept appears in my field of observation, thinking also becomes active through me. An element of my thought system, a definite intuition, a concept, connects itself with the percept.
6.3 Mental Picture: Individualized Concept
The full reality of a thing is given to us in the moment of observation through the fitting together of concept and percept. By means of a percept, the concept acquires an individualized form, a relationship to this particular perception.
6.4 Mental Picture: Acquired Experience
The sum of those things about which I can form mental pictures may be called my total experience.
6.5 Mental Picture: Subjective Representation Of Reality
Reality presents itself to us as the union of percept and concept; and the subjective representation of this reality presents itself to us as mental picture.
6.6 Refer Percepts To Feelings
We are not satisfied merely to refer the percept, by means of thinking, to the concept, but we relate them also to our particular subjectivity, our individual Ego. The expression of this individual relationship is feeling, which manifests itself as pleasure or displeasure.
6.7 Two-Fold Nature: Thinking And Feeling
Thinking is the element through which we take part in the universal cosmic process; feeling is that through which we can withdraw ourselves into the narrow confines of our own being.
6.8 True Individuality
A true individuality will be those who reach up with their feelings to the farthest possible extent into the region of the ideal.
6.9 Point Of View
Ideas give to our conceptual life an individual stamp. Each one of us has his special standpoint from which he looks out on the world. He has his own special way of forming general concepts.
6.10 Intensity Of Feelings
Each of us combines special feelings, and these in the most varying degrees of intensity, with our perceptions.
6.11 Education Of Feelings
Knowledge of things will go hand in hand with the development and education of the life of feeling.
6.12 Living Concepts
Feeling is the means whereby, in the first instance, concepts gain concrete life.

 

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CHAPTER 7
ARE THERE ANY LIMITS TO COGNITION?

principles of cognition
7.0 Cognitive Unity 
It is due, as we have seen, to our organization that the full, complete reality, including our own selves as subjects, appears at first as a duality. Cognition overcomes this duality by fusing the two elements of reality, the percept and the concept gained by thinking, into the complete thing.
7.1 Hypothetical World Principle and Experience
It is quite natural that a dualistic thinker should be unable to find the connection between the world principle which he hypothetically assumes and the things given in experience.
7.2 Ego-hood's Questions and Answers
It is not the world which sets us the questions, but we ourselves. Only when the Ego-hood has taken the two elements of reality which are indivisibly united in the world and has combined them also for itself, is cognitive satisfaction attained.
7.3 Reconcile Familiar Percepts and Concepts
Our cognition is concerned with questions which arise for us through the fact that a sphere of percepts, conditioned by place, time, and our subjective organization, is confronted by a sphere of concepts pointing to the totality of the universe. My task consists in reconciling these two spheres,with both of which I am well acquainted.
7.4 Conceptual Representation Of Objective Reality
We can obtain only conceptual representatives of the objectively real.
7.5 Real Principles in addition to Ideal Principles
The ideal principles which thinking discovers seem too airy for the dualist, and he seeks, in addition,real principles with which to support them.
7.6 Real Evidence of Senses in addition to Ideal Evidence
The naïve person demands the real evidence of his senses in addition to the ideal evidence of his thinking.
7.7 Vanishing Perceptions and Ideal Entities

Its realities arise and perish, while what it regards as unreal, in contrast with the real, persists. Hence naïve realism is compelled to acknowledge, in addition to percepts, the existence of something ideal. It must admit entities which cannot be perceived by the senses.
7.8 Perceptible Reality and Imperceptible Reality
Metaphysical realism constructs, in addition to the perceptible reality, an imperceptible reality which it conceives on the analogy of the perceptible one.
7.9 Sum of Perceptions and Laws of Nature
If we reject the untenable part of metaphysical realism, the world presents itself to us as the sum of percepts and their conceptual (ideal) relationships. Monism combines one-sided realism with idealism into a higher unity.
7.10 Separation and then Reunion of “I” into World Continuity
Bridging over the antithesis can take place only in the quite specific way that is characteristic of the particular human subject. As soon as the I, which is separated from the world in the act of perceiving,fits itself back into the world continuum through thoughtful contemplation, all further questioning ceases, having been but a consequence of the separation.
7.11 Sum of Effects and Underlying Causes
This is an inference from a sum of effects to the character of the underlying causes. We believe that we can understand the situation well enough from a sufficiently large number of instances to know how the inferred causes will behave in other instances. Such an inference is called an inductive inference.
7.12 Subjective and Objective World Continuity
Through considerations of the process of cognition he is convinced of the existence of an objectively real world continuum, over and above the "subjective" world continuum which is cognizable through percepts and concepts. The nature of this reality he thinks he can determine by inductive inferences from his percepts.

 

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CHAPTER 8
THE FACTORS OF LIFE

principles of personality
8.0 Cognitive Personality
If we call the establishment of such a thought connection an "act of cognition", and the resulting condition of our self "knowledge", then, assuming the above supposition to be true, we should have to consider ourselves as beings who merely cognize or know.
8.1 Feeling Personality
The Naïve Realist holds that the personality actually lives more genuinely in the life of feeling than in the purely ideal element of knowledge.
8.2 Perception of Feeling
To begin with, feeling is exactly the same, on the subjective side, as the perception is on the objective side.
8.3 Incomplete Feeling
Feeling is an incomplete reality, which, in the form in which it first appears to us, does not yet contain its second factor, the concept or idea.
8.4 Feeling Of Existence
The concept of self emerges from within the dim feeling of our own existence.
8.5 Cultivation Of Feeling
The cultivation of the life of feeling appears more important than anything else.
8.6 Feeling Knowledge
Attempts to make feeling, rather than knowing, the instrument of knowledge.
8.7 Philosopher Of Feeling
Makes a universal principle out of something that has significance only within one's own personality.
8.8 Feeling Mysticism
Wants to raise feeling, which is individual, into a universal principle.
8.9 Willing Personality
The individual relation of our self to what is objective.
8.10 Philosophy Of Will
The will becomes the world-principle of reality.
8.11 Real Experience Of Feeling and Willing
Besides the ideal principle which is accessible to knowledge, there is said to be a real principle which cannot be apprehended by thinking but can yet be experienced in feeling and willing.
8.12 Universal Will
The will as a universal world-process.

 

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CHAPTER 9
THE IDEA OF FREEDOM

principles of freedom
9.0 Intuitive Action
By an act of thinking I link up my individual faculty (my will) with the universal world-process. The conceptual content of an act of will is not deduced from the action. It is got by intuition.
9.1 Conceptually Determined Action
If the conceptual intuition (ideal content) of my act of will occurs before the corresponding percept (the action), then the content of what I do is determined by my ideas. The conceptual intuition of an act of will is determined only by the conceptual system itself. In other words, the determining factors for my will are to be found, not in the perceptual, but only in the conceptual world.
9.2 Motive Of Will
The conceptual factor, or motive, is the momentary determining cause of an act of will. The motive of can be only a pure concept, or a concept with a definite relation to perception, i.e., a mental picture.
9.3 Characterological Disposition
The characterological disposition is formed by the more or less permanent content of our subjective life, by the content of mental pictures and feelings. It is determined especially by my life of feeling.
9.4 Levels Of Morality
The levels of driving force are: instinct, feelings, thinking and forming mental pictures, and conceptual thinking. The levels of motive are egoism, moral authority, moral insight, and conceptual intuition.
9.5 Moral Intuition
Among the levels of characterological disposition, we have singled out as the highest the one that works as pure thinking or practical reason. Among the motives, we have singled out conceptual intuition as the highest. On closer inspection it will at once be seen that at this level of morality driving force and motive coincide.
9.6 Moral Motive
How can an action be individually made to fit the special case and the special situation, and yet at the same time be determined by intuition in a purely ideal way? This objection rests upon a confusion of the moral motive with the perceptible content of an action. Of course, my "I" takes notice of these perceptual contents, but it does not allow itself to be determined by them.
9.7 Ethical Individualism
The sum of ideas which are effective in us, the concrete content of our intuitions, constitutes what is individual in each of us. To let this content express itself in life is both the highest moral driving force and the highest motive a man can have. We may call this point of view ethical individualism.
9.8 Love For The Objective
While I am performing the action I am influenced by a moral maxim in so far as it can live in me intuitively; it is bound up with my love for the objective that I want to realize through my action. I do not work out mentally whether my action is good or bad; I carry it out because I love it.
9.9 Expression Of Ideals In Individual Way
The animal instinct which drives a man to a criminal act does not belong to what is individual in him.The fact that something ideal expresses itself in its own unique way through these instincts, passions,and feelings, constitutes my individuality.
9.10 Harmony Of Intentions
If we both draw our intuitions really from the world of ideas, and do not obey mere external impulses(physical or moral), then we can not but meet one another in striving for the same aims, in having the same intentions.
9.11 Concept Of The Free Human Being
The intellectual life overcomes his twofold nature by means of knowledge, the moral life succeeds through the actual realization of the free spirit.
9.12 Moral World Order
Man does not exist in order to found a moral order of the world. The social order arises so that it may react favorably upon the individual.

 

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CHAPTER 10
MONISM AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM

principles of moral authority
10.0 Authoritative Moral Principles
The naïve man allows his basis for action to be dictated to him as commandments by any man considered wiser or more powerful than himself, or acknowledged for some other reason to be a power over him. In this way arise, as moral principles, the authority of family, state, society, church and God.
10.1 Mechanical Necessity
If the hypothetically assumed entity is conceived as in itself unthinking, acting according to purely mechanical laws, as materialism would have it, then it must also produce out of itself, by purely mechanical necessity, the human individual with all his characteristic features. I believe myself free;but in fact all my actions are nothing but the result of the material processes which underlie my physical and mental organization.
10.2 Absolute Spiritual Being
Another possibility is that a man may picture the extra-human Absolute that lies behind the world of appearances as a spiritual being. In this case he will also seek the impulse for his actions in a corresponding spiritual force. To this kind of dualist the moral laws appear to be dictated by the Absolute, and all that man has to do is to use his intelligence to find out the decisions of the absolute being and then carry them out.
10.3 Inferring Without Experiencing The True Reality
As in materialism, so also in one-sided spiritualism, in fact in any kind of metaphysical realism inferring but not experiencing something extra-human as the true reality, freedom is out of the question.
10.4 Imposed Principles
Metaphysical as well as naïve realism, consistently followed out, must deny freedom for one and the same reason: they both see man as doing no more than putting into effect, or carrying out, principles forced (imposed) upon him by necessity.
10.5 Free When Follow Own Moral Intuition
Whoever is incapable of producing moral ideas through intuition must accept them from others. 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
If anyone asserts that the action of a fellow man is done unfreely, then he must identify the thing or the person or the institution within the perceptible world, that has caused the person to act.
10.7 Realization Of The Free Spirit Within
According to the monistic view, then, man's action is partly unfree, partly free. He finds himself to be unfree in the world of percepts, and he realizes within himself the free spirit.
10.8 Moral Laws Conceived By Individuals
The moral laws which the metaphysician who works by mere inference must regard as issuing from a higher power, are, for the adherent of monism, thoughts of men.
10.9 Freedom Stage Of Development
Monism sees in man a developing being, and asks whether, in the course of this development, the stage of the free spirit can be reached.
10.10 Discover Self
Monism knows that Nature does not send man forth from her arms 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 comes to the point where he finds his own self.
10.11 Free Moral World Conception
Monism frees the truly moral world conception both from the mundane fetters of naïve moral maxims and from the transcendental moral maxims of the speculative metaphysician.
10.12 Humanist Morality
Morality is for the monist a specifically human quality, and freedom the human way of being moral.

 

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CHAPTER 11

WORLD-PURPOSE AND LIFE-PURPOSE
(THE DESTINY OF MAN)

principles of purpose
11.0 Concept Of Purpose
Overcoming of the concept of purpose in spheres where it does not belong.
11.1 Percept Cause Precedes Percept Effect
The percept of the cause precedes the percept of the effect.
11.2 Conceptual Factor Of Effect
If the effect is to have a real influence upon the cause, it can do so only by means of the conceptual factor.
11.3 Real Influence Of Concept (Action)
A perceptible influence of a concept upon something else is to be observed only in human actions.
11.4 Imagined Purpose In Nature
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 will do it in the same way.
11.5 Laws Of Nature
Monism looks for laws of nature, but not for purposes of nature.
11.6 Purposes Of Life
Nothing is purposeful except what the human being has first made so, for purposefulness arises only through the realization of an idea.
11.7 Human Destiny
My mission in the world is not predetermined, but is at every moment the one I choose for myself.
11.8 Only Doers Realize Purposeful Ideas
Ideas are realized purposefully only by human beings. Consequently it is not permissible to speak of the embodiment of ideas by history.
11.9 Formative Principle
The formative principle of the totality of nature unfolds and organizes itself.
11.10 Teleology
The theory of purpose maintains that there is a high degree of purpose and plan unmistakably present in the formations and developments of nature.
11.11 Coherence Within Whole
The systematic coherence of the parts of a perceptual whole is simply the ideal coherence of the parts of an ideal whole contained in this perceptual whole.
11.12 Purposes Of Absolute Cosmic Being
Wherever there is a systematic linking of cause and effect for our perception, the dualist may assume that we see only the carbon copy of a connection in which the absolute cosmic Being has realized its purposes.

 

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CHAPTER 12

MORAL IMAGINATION
(DARWINISM AND MORALITY)

principles of moral ideas
12.0 Selection Of Idea To Realize In Action
A free spirit acts according to his impulses, that is, according to intuitions selected from the totality of his world of ideas by thinking. 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 world of percepts given to him, that is, in his past experiences.
12.1 Concrete Mental Picture
Whenever the impulse for an action is present in a general conceptual form (for example, Thou shalt do good to thy fellow men! Thou shalt live so that thou best promotest thy welfare!) then for each particular case the concrete mental picture of the action must first be found.
12.2 Moral Imagination
The human being produces concrete mental pictures from the sum of his ideas chiefly by means of the imagination. Therefore what the free spirit needs in order to realize his ideas, in order to be effective,is moral imagination.
12.3 Moral Technique
Moral action, in addition to the faculty of having moral ideas (moral intuition) and moral imagination, is the ability to transform the world of percepts without violating the natural laws by which these are connected. This ability is moral technique. It can be learnt in the same sense in which any kind of knowledge can be learnt.
12.4 History Of Moral Ideas
Moral imagination can become objects of knowledge only after they have been produced by the individual. We therefore deal with them as with a natural history of moral ideas.
12.5 Normative Moral Laws
Some people have wanted to maintain the standard-setting (normative) character of moral laws. As amoral being, I am an individual and have laws of my very own.
12.6 Traditional Moral Doctrines
But can we not then make the old a measure for the new? Is not every man compelled to measure the products of his moral imagination by the standard of traditional moral doctrines?
12.7 Outcome Of Evolution Is An Ethical Individualist
Ethical Individualism, far from being in opposition to the theory of evolution, is a direct consequence of it.
12.8 Rejection Of Supernatural Influence
Monism rejects, in morality as in science, every transcendent (metaphysical) influence. Moral processes are 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.
12.9 Characterization Of Action
The characterizing of an action, whether it is a free one, he must leave to the immediate observation of the action.
12.10 Action Is Image Of An Ideal Intuition
If a human being finds that an action is the image of such an ideal intuition, then he feels it to be free.In this characteristic of an action lies its freedom.
12.11 Freedom Is To Determine Own Motives
To be free means to be able of one's own accord to determine by moral imagination those mental pictures (motives) which underlie the action. A free being is one who can want what he himself considers right.
12.12 Submission To Others
Not until they would 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.

 

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CHAPTER 13

THE VALUE OF LIFE
(OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM)

principles of life's value
13.0 Good World Or Miserable Life
One view says that this world is the best that could conceivably exist, and that to live and to act in it is a blessing of untold value. The other view maintains that life is full of misery and want; everywhere pain outweighs pleasure, sorrow outweighs joy.
13.1 Best Possible World (cooperative participation)
The world is the best of all possible worlds. A better world is impossible for God is good and wise.From this optimistic standpoint, then, life is worth living. It must stimulate us to co-operative participation.
13.2 Pain Of Striving (universal idleness)
Eternal striving, ceaseless craving for satisfaction which is ever beyond reach, this is the fundamental characteristic of all active will. For no sooner is one goal attained, than a fresh need springs up, and soon. Schopenhauer's pessimism leads to complete inactivity; his moral aim is universal idleness.
13.3 Pain Outweighs Pleasure (unselfish service)
The human being has to permeate his whole being with the recognition that the pursuit of individual satisfaction (egoism) is a folly, and that he ought to be guided solely by the task of dedicating himself to the progress of the world. Hartmann's pessimism leads us to activity devoted to a sublime task.
13.4 Pleasure Of Striving (future goal)
Striving (desiring) in itself gives pleasure. Who does not know the enjoyment given by the hope of a remote but intensely desired goal?
13.5 Quantity Of Pleasure (rational estimation of feeling)
What is the right method for comparing the sum of pleasure to pain? Eduard von Hartmann believes that it is reason that holds the scales.
13.6 Quality Of Pleasure (critical examination of feeling)
If we strike out feelings from the pleasure side of the balance on the ground that they are attached to objects which turn out to have been illusory, we make the value of life dependent not on the quantity but on the quality of pleasure, and this, in turn, on the value of the objects which cause the pleasure.
13.7 Pursuit Of Pleasure (hopelessness of egotism)
If the quantity of pain in a person's life became at any time so great that no hope of future pleasure could help him to get over the pain, then the bankruptcy of life's business would inevitably follow.
13.8 Value Of Pleasure (satisfaction of needs)
The magnitude of pleasure is related to the degree of my need. If I am hungry enough for two pieces of bread and can only get one, the pleasure I derive from it had only half the value it would have had if the eating of it has satisfied my hunger.
13.9 Will For Pleasure (intensity of desire)
The question is not at all whether there is a surplus of pleasure or of pain, but whether the will is strong enough to overcome the pain.
13.10 Magnitude Of Pleasure (amusement)
If it is only a question whether, after the day's work, I am to amuse myself by a game or by light conversation, and if I am totally indifferent to what I do as long as it serves the purpose, then I simply ask myself: What gives me the greatest surplus of pleasure?
13.11 Highest Pleasure (realization of moral ideals)
Moral ideals spring from the moral imagination of man. They are his intuitions, the driving forces which his spirit harnesses; he wants them, because their realization is his highest pleasure.
13.12 Joy Of Achievement (measure achievement against aims)
He acts as he wants to act, that is, in accordance with the standard of his ethical intuitions; and he finds in the achievement of what he wants the true enjoyment of life. He determines the value of life by measuring achievements against aims.

 

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CHAPTER 14

THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE GENUS

principles of free individuality
14.0 Group Member
A person bears the general characteristics of the groups to which he belongs.
14.1 Group Characteristics
If we ask why some particular thing about a person is like this or like that, we are referred back from the individual to the genus.
14.2 Generic Medium For Individual Expression
A man develops qualities and activities of his own, and the basis for these we can seek only in the man himself. What is generic in him serves only as a medium in which to express his own individual being.
14.3 Individual Capacities And Inclinations
A man's activity in life is governed by his individual capacities and inclinations, whereas a woman's is supposed to be determined solely by the mere fact that she is a woman.
14.4 Individual Social Decision
What a woman, within her natural limitations, wants to become had better be left to the woman herself to decide.
14.5 Unique Characteristics
Determining the individual according to the laws of his genus ceases where the sphere of freedom (in thinking and acting) begins.
14.6 Intuitive Conceptual Content
The conceptual content which man has to connect with the percept by an act of thinking in order to have the full reality cannot be fixed once and for all and bequeathed ready-made to mankind. The individual must get his concepts through his own intuition.
14.7 Individual Concrete Aims
It is not possible to determine from the general characteristics of man what concrete aims the individual may choose to set himself.
14.8 Individual Views And Actions
And every kind of study that deals with abstract thoughts and generic concepts is but a preparation for the knowledge we get when a human individuality tells us his way of viewing the world, and for the knowledge we get from the content of his acts of will.
14.9 Emancipation Of Knowing
If we are to understand a free individuality we must take over into our own spirit those concepts by which he determines himself, in their pure form (without mixing our own conceptual content with them).
14.10 Emancipation Of Being
Only to the extent that a man has emancipated himself in this way from all that is generic, does he count as a free spirit within a human community.
14.11 Intuitive Conduct
Only that part of his conduct that springs from his intuitions can have ethical value in the true sense.
14.12 Moral Life Of Humanity
The moral life of humanity is the sum-total of the products of the moral imagination of free human individuals.

 


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