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out. If any particles of dust are present, condensation takes place readily on these as nuclei-a fact familiar to all who have noted the heavy fogs in smoky atmospheres. Should no such dust particles be present, however, under proper conditions, ions act as nuclei for condensation. In this way, when the gas expands, if any ions are present, a small visible water drop forms around the invisible ion. By illuminating the gas immediately after expansion, and by taking an instantaneous photograph, pictures of the arrangements of ions as caused by different agencies have been obtained by Mr. Wilson.

This method has been used to visualize some of the facts of radioactivity. When an atom disintegrates in the manner noted above, the transformation is frequently accompanied by the emission of a rapidly moving electron (in this case generally called a ß particle) and by a much heavier but more slowly moving positively charged a particle. (Incidentally it may be noted that the a particle has been identified with an atom of the rare gas, helium.) Now when a quickly moving charged particle moves through a gas it continually encounters ordinary neutral atoms, from some of which it succeeds in extracting an electron. In other words, as an a or B particle moves along, it ionizes the gas along its path. This has been shown in a beautiful manner by Mr. Wilson. By placing a small quantity of a radioactive substance within his expansion apparatus, he obtained photographs which show the actual paths of a and B particles by the trail of ions left behind them. In the case of an a particle, so many ions are produced that a continuous line is seen on the photographs. In figure 8 the radial lines represent the paths of numerous a particles shot off from the radioactive substance placed at a, while figure 9 shows a photograph of the trails of two single a particles. In the case of the lighter ß particle, a much smaller number of ions are made and a discontinuous line is obtained. This is well shown in figure 10, a reproduction of a photograph of the trail of a single ß particle. In this latter case it will be seen that the individual ions may be counted. Readers interested in modern physics will find a brief but attractive presentation of recent developments along lines discussed in this paper in a small book, "Beyond the Atom," by Prof. Cox.* * "Beyond the Atom," Cox. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1913. 18. net.

J. K. ROBERTSON.

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PRAGMATISM AND IDEALISM.*

T

HE claim of Pragmatism to have given a new and more

fruitful direction to philosophical speculation has naturally given rise to a good deal of discussion. The pragmatists are of opinion that their vigorous assaults on Idealism, or rather on the Absolutism of Mr. F. H. Bradley and Mr. Bernard Bosanquet, have forced those writers to make "concessions" to the practical philosophy for which Pragmatism stands and to abandon the abstract Rationalism in which they had formerly believed. On the other hand these exponents of Absolute Idealism refuse to acknowledge their indebtedness to this bold claimant for the favour of the philosophical public, maintaining that its claim to be the exponent of a "new way of ideas" rests upon its failure to understand itself or to give a clear and unambiguous statement of what it really means, while its attack upon what it is pleased to call “Rationalism" or "Intellectualism" is based upon an entire misunderstanding. The main object of Professor Caldwell in this volume seems to be to "redd the marches". I am afraid that he will be apt to experience the usual fate of peacemakers and come in for the blows of both parties. Of Pragmatism itself he has rather a poor opinion, even going so far as to doubt whether it has any valid claim to be called a philosophy at all, but, low as he would estimate Pragmatism, he seems to have a still lower opinion of the form of Idealism espoused by Mr. Bradley and Mr. Bosanquet, and to the Idealism of writers like Caird and Green he makes only incidental reference.

Professor Caldwell is of the opinion that in spite of all that has been written upon Pragmatism within the last ten years “the issue that it represents is still an open one,” and he therefore proposes to give “a general account of the whole subject” and “an estimate of its significance”. Nor can the reader complain that there is any aspect of the subject that has been lightly passed over; if he has any complaint to make

*Pragmatism and Idealism. By William Caldwell, M.A., D.Sc., Sir William Macdonald Professor of Moral Philosophy, McGill University, Montreal. Toronto: The Macmillan Company of Canada, 1913.

it is rather in regard to the somewhat inordinate length at which what are practically the same points are repeated in a different context without substantial change. Nor can one help thinking that the issue is not clearly and definitely set before the reader, but is obscured by the manner in which the author has first endeavored to state the subject from the point of view—in many cases obscure and confused-of the pragmatists, and then from his own point of view. On the other hand, his treatment of Absolutism seems to me to suffer from a want of sympathetic appreciation. I feel sure that Mr. Bradley or Mr. Bosanquet would regard his statement of their doctrines as little better than a travesty of their real opinions. This is all the more to be regretted that he has proposed to himself an eirenicon, I am sure with entire singleness of heart. The manner in which he quotes sentences from these authors, without the qualifications that give to them their real meaning, is only calculated to produce exasperation and to defeat the object he has in view.

After a chapter dealing with the general character of Pragmatism, we have another on Pragmatism and the Pragmatic Movement, a third on its Fundamental Characteristics, a fourth on Pragmatism and Human Activity, with an Appendix on Philosophy and the Activity Experience; and only after this somewhat long introduction do we come to the critical estimate that has been promised us. But this is by no means the end of the book; for, after the subject seemed to have been exhausted we have two other chapters, entitled Pragmatism as Humanism and Pragmatism as Americanism, which are followed by a chapter containing a comparison of Pragmatism with the Rationalism of Mr. Bosanquet, and, in order that no relevant issue may be passed over, a final chapter on Pragmatism and Idealism in the Philosophy of Bergson.

The main contention of Pragmatism, we are told, is that “true ideas are working ideas, and that truth itself, like a creed or a belief, is simply a working valuation of reality." It has "succeeded in a measure, in clearing itself from liability to the superficial interpretation that it met with a few years ago, when it was scoffed at for teaching that you may believe 'what you like,' for speaking, for example, as if the theoretical' consequences of truth were not to be considered as well as the 'practical'." Professor James has explained that by 'conse

quences' we may mean "intellectual or theoretical consequences as well as practical consequences." Nevertheless Professor Caldwell is of opinion that Pragmatism is infected with fundamental weaknesses which prevent it from being more than a stimulus to action. Its attempt to test the truth of a belief by its consequences “is not only harmless but also useless, seeing that Omniscience alone could bring together in thought or imagination all the consequences of an assertion” (p. 127). And not only so, but it is positively false to say that a proposition is true because it is useful. "Constantine believed eminently in the concord-producing utility of certain confessions enunciated at the Council of Nice, but his belief in this does not prove their truth or reality outside the convictions of the faithful.” (p. 129). Besides, pragmatists are so confused in the expression of their doctrine "that it is almost impossible to extract any consistent meaning out of it" (129). A second defect of Pragmatism is its imperfect logic and theory of knowledge. It "fails to connect its hints about the practical or experimental origin of most of our points of view about reality with the problem of the validity of first principles generally" (132). Another defect of Pragmatism is that it fails to give any consistent account of the nature of reality. Apparently the universe "is gradually being brought into being by the creative efforts of ourselves and of beings higher or lower than ourselves in the scale of existence". Thus it is liable to the charges of 'subjectivism' and 'irrationality' (134). Lastly, Pragmatism has a very unsatisfactory ethical doctrine, avowing as it does its affinity with utilitarianism. It fails to provide a theory of the ordinary distinction between right and wrong. Anything is moral, it holds, which makes possible a “transition from individualism to efficient social personality."

Thus, "the whole tendency of the pragmatist treatment of ethical principles is to the effect that standards and theories of conduct are valuable only in so far as they are to a certain extent 'fruitful in giving us a certain 'surveying power' in the perplexities and uncertainties of direct personal behaviour.' They are all, in other words, merely relative or useful, and none of them is absolute and authoritative" (139).

After this very severe criticism of Pragmatism one is surprised to find that it is “true" "in the main" (162), a "living and credible philosophy” (164), “if indeed we may call it a philosophy at all" (161). Apparently what is especially valuable in this "approach to philosophy", is its "insistence upon the ethical and the personal factors that enter into truth." "In the thought," says our author, "of the reality of the life and work of human beings who have given all for truth and goodness and love, there is surely at least a partial clue to the value of the great idea after which Pragmatism is blindly groping in its contention of the importance even to metaphysics of the notion of our human, 'purposive' activity" (148). It is in this direction that "many important concessions" are said to have been made to pragmatists by representative rationalists (2). In support of this contention such sayings of Mr. Bradley are quoted as that “no truth is idle”, that "all truth has practical and aesthetic consequences", and that there is "no such existing thing as pure thought”. Mr. Bradley, we are told, "has of recent years made many such concessions" and has "now certainly abandoned an abstract formalistic Rationalism”. (75 note 2). In proof of this assertion the following statements are quoted: "This denial of transcendence, this insistence that all ideas, and more especially such ideas as those of God, are true and real just so far as they work, is to myself most welcome" (Mind, 1908, p. 227). Again: "I long

” ago pointed out that theory takes its origin from practical collision. If Pragmatism means this, I am a Pragmatist." And: “We may reject the limitation of knowledge to the mere world of events which happen, and may deny the claim of this world to be taken as an ultimate foundation. Reality or the Good will be the satisfaction of all the wants of our nature, and theoretical truth will be the perception of ideas which directly satisfy one of those wants, and so invariably make part of the general satisfaction" (Mind, July, 1904, p. 325).

(. Whether Mr. Bradley has made the "concessions" alleged will depend upon the meaning we attach to Pragmatism and upon our general view of his philosophy. Now Professor Caldwell has himself told us that “it is almost impossible to extract any consistent meaning out of Pragmatism". The relation of Mr. Bradley therefore to it requires us to settle first what is the precise sense in which the pragmatist holds that truth must be determined by "practical" consequences. This question is discussed by Mr. Bradley himself in his article on the Ambiguity of Pragmatism, a paper which was first

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