I now return to the subject, because I believe that, so far from invalidating my general thesis, these phenomena, when properly analyzed, afford it powerful support. Our body itself is the palmary instance of the ambiguous. The puzzle of how the one identical room can be in two places is at bottom just the puzzle of how one identical point can be on two lines. Almost exactly 100 years ago. It did not shrink from such words as fatality, bondage of the will, necessitation, and the like. At the outset of my essay, I called it a mosaic philosophy. That body of yours which you actuate and feel from within must be in the same spot as the body of yours which I see or touch from without.
I consider these experiences Visitiations, mystical and wonderful. The universe of human experience is, by one or another of its parts, of each and all these grades. The attempt, if any one should make it, to sort experiences into two absolutely discrete groups, with nothing but inertness in one of them and nothing but activities in the other, would thus receive one check. But continuous transition is one sort of a conjunctive relation; and to be a radical empiricist means to hold fast to this conjunctive relation of all others, for this is the strategic point, the position through which, if a hole be made, all the corruptions of dialectics and all the metaphysical fictions pour into our philosophy. He also imagined his actions repeated in , which is regarded today as one of the great challenges to libertarian free will.
The heat of the fire passes over, as such, into the water which it sets a-boiling. Depression and poor health continue. He saw his principle of pure experience as abolishing these dualities by a functional analysis of experience. Such propositions are reducible to the S-is- P form; and the terminus that verifies and fulfils is the S P in combination. They cling together persistently in groups that move as units, or else they separate.
Conjunctive transitions are the most superficial of appearances, illusions of our sensibility which philosophical reflection pulverizes at a touch. There is vastly more discontinuity in the sum total of experiences than we commonly suppose. I proceed to act on its account in either case. Thirdly, mystical states are transient; and, fourth, subjects are passive with respect to them: they cannot control their coming and going. Where they do not, or where even as possibles they can not, intervene, there can be no pretence of knowing. But continuous transition is one sort of a conjunctive relation; and to be a radical empiricist means to hold fast to this conjunctive relation of all others, for this is the strategic point, the position through which, if a hole be made, all the corruptions of dialectics and all the metaphysical fictions pour into our philosophy.
As outer, they carry themselves adversely, so to speak, to one another, exclude one another and maintain their distances; while, as inner, But to argue from this that inner experience is absolutely inextensive seems to me little short of absurd. Here whatever is hard interferes with the space its neighbors occupy. For simplicity's sake I confine my exposition to external reality. They have a vivid, unchanging clarity and resonance well beyond that of ordinary experience. We pull against each other. This poses a problem for James in his attempt to explain pure experience, since any statement about it cannot, by this account, take a mental or material predicate. Yet James himself regards this idea as the cornerstone of his radical empiricism.
Souls were detachable, had separate destinies; things could happen to them. What would it practically result in for us, were it true? Certain sequences of pure experiences constitute physical objects, and others constitute persons; but one pure experience say the perception of a chair may be part both of the sequence constituting the chair and of the sequence constituting a person. In this essay But if my reader will only allow that the same now both ends his past and begins his future; or that, when he buys an acre of land from his neighbor, it is the same acre that successively figures in the two estates; or that when I pay him a dollar, the same dollar goes into his pocket that came out of mine; he will also in consistency have to allow that the same object may conceivably play a part in, as being related to the rest of, any number of otherwise entirely different minds. Pure experience is realized experientially as an existential modality of intuition. Throughout the history of philosophy the subject and its object have been treated as absolutely discontinuous entities; and thereupon the presence of the latter to the former, or the 'apprehension' by the former of the latter, has assumed a paradoxical character which all sorts of theories had to be invented to overcome.
Of every extended object the adequate mental picture must have all the extension of the object itself. Failing thus, we ought to let the originally given continuities stand on their own bottom. It is the name of a nonentity, and has no right to a place among first principles. Here James is influenced by the pragmatic ideas of his colleague , who saw three levels of thought - abduction hypotheses based on pure chance , induction working through many examples , and deductions drawing the right logical conclusions According to the idiosyncrasy of the individual, the scintillations will have one character or another. For certain purposes it is convenient to take things in one set of relations, for other purposes in another set. No one single type of connection runs through all the experiences that compose it.
Others are felt to increase or to enlarge their meaning, to carry out their purpose, or to bring us nearer to their goal. To deny plumply that consciousness exists seems so absurd on the face of it — for undeniably thoughts do exist — that I fear some readers will follow me no farther. This is where other less circumspect statements he makes help us fill in our understanding, while at the same time raising new difficulties. That percept was what I meant, for into it my idea has passed by conjunctive experiences of sameness and fulfilled intention. It did so despite the fact that his later writings offer a somewhat reformulated and expanded version of pure experience that is meant to move beyond the psychologistic overtones that Nishida came to feel infected his earliest writings.
By experimenting on our ideas of reality, we may save ourselves the trouble of experimenting on the real experiences which they severally mean. Failing thus, we ought to let the originally given continuities stand on their own bottom. Can be brought out by analysis, this author says. In point of fact the ultimate common barrier can always be pushed, by both minds, farther than any actual percept of either, until at last it resolves itself into the mere notion of imperceptibles like atoms or either, so that, where we do terminate in percepts, our knowledge is only speciously completed, being, in theoretic strictness, only a virtual knowledge of those remoter objects which conception carries out. In the two cases their contexts are apt to be different In the case of our affectional experiences we have no permanent and steadfast purpose that 142 obliges us to be consistent, so we find it easy to let them float ambiguously, sometimes classing them with our feelings, sometimes with more physical realities, according to caprice or to the convenience of the moment. In this way, concepts have a clear instrumental necessity.