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TM M1UM Of J l STiM
by
P a tr ic k F ra n c is F lo o d , B .A .
A T h e sis s u b m itte d in
c o n fo rm ity w ith the re q u ire m e n ts
f o r th e degree o f M a ste r o f A r ts
a t th e U n iv e r s it y o f Western
O n ta r io .
A ssum ption C o lle g e
W indsor, O n ta rio
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
, n ,,
1941
UMI Number: EC54002
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Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
TABLE Off CONTENTS
C h ap te r I - Man and H is A t t it u d e Towards the P ast - p . 1 .
C hapter I I - The M ature o f the H i s t o r ic a l E v e n t
p . 27
C hapter I I I - The N ature and Degrees o f H is t o r ic a l
Knowledge .............................................p . 56
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0 H A P T
K R
T
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Ia n and His. A t t it u d e Towards the Past - p .
1.
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(p. 1)
I t is n o t w ith o u t rea son th a t we s a j
t h a t man is an h i s t o r i c a l a n im a l, f o r he
is endowed w ith an in t e llig e n c e th a t is
capable o f tra n s c e n d in g the k a le id o s c o p ic
f l u x o f s in g u la r s .
H is in t e r e s t is n o t
c o n fin e d s im p ly to what o n ly now appears
1
b e fo re h is eyes. The v e rd u re o f t h is p re ­
se n t scene i s n o t enough to h o ld h is gaze.
£»-eevi
There are o th e r p a s tu re s no lo n g e r/c a p a b le
o f f a s c in a t in g him w it h the magic o f t h e i r
''h i s t o r i c a l i n t e r e s t . "
T h is i s p a r t o f
h is b e in g a p o l i t i c a l or s o c ia l a n im a l.
By t h is p r e r o g a tiv e he be lo ng s to a f r a ­
t e r n i t y w h ich knows n o t the c o n fin e s o f
tim e .
In s h o rt man has a d e e p -ro o te d in s
t e r e s t in the p a r t . He i s n o t m e re ly o f
h is own g e n e ra tio n , b u t o f many.
How i t
b ility
i s a p e c u lia r ly human s o c ia ­
o r p o l i t y th a t s ig n a liz e s man as an
h i s t o r i c a l a n im a l.
It
i s n o t the in s t in c ­
t i v e s o c i a b i l i t y o f the bee o r the a n t in
w h ich th e re i s no p ro g re s s (and by the
same to k e n , no r e tr o g r e s s io n ) th a t a f ­
f i l i a t e s man w it h th e p a s t.
We sa y, r a t h e r ,
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
(P. 2 )
t h a t mam is s o e ia l o r p o l i t i c a l , and hence
h i s t o r i c a l , because he is r a t i o n a l .
it
Thus
is a law from w i t h in , the law o f p e rs o n ,
th a t d e fin e s human s o c i a b i l i t y , human p o lity ,
2
human h i s t o r y .
The h is t o r y o f human
s o c ie ty is th e h is t o r y o f p e rs o n s .
In any
g e n e ra tio n the l i v i n g communicate w it h one
a n o th e r as p e rs o n s .
Through the senses
w h ic h t h e i r in t e llig e n c e s use, the tra n s ­
m is s io n o f th o u g h t is made p o s s ib le .
though i t
And
is im p o s s ib le th a t th e re be d i ­
r e c t com m unication between a l l in d iv id u a ls ,
e it h e r in any one g e n e ra tio n o r in succes­
s iv e g e n e ra tio n s , we are assu red o f th e
c o n t in u it y o f th o u g h t th ro u g h the in s t r u 3
m e n t a lity o f l i t e r a t u r e and t r a d i t i o n .
In any e v e n t, i t
is p la in th a t th e re is
more than a m a te ria l dependence t h a t one
g e n e ra tio n has on a n o th e r.
band to - g e th e r , l i n k
Men, th e r e fo r e ,
them selves w ith th e
p a s t, n o t o n ly th a t th e y may eat o r p ro ­
p a g a te , f o r w hich reasons a n im a ls h e lp one
a n o th e r, bu t to f u l f i l l
the s o e ia l e x i­
g e n cie s o f t h e i r p e r s o n a lit ie s .
T h is why
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(P. 3)
A r i s t o t l e and S t. Thomas c o n s id e r human
a c t i v i t y d ir e c te d to a h ig h e r end than the
p re s e r v a tio n o f the s p e c ie s .
The A n g e lic
D o cto r argues th a t s in c e man is a c re a tu re
midway between c o r r u p t ib le and in c o rru p ­
tib le
th in g s , a t r u t h w h ich he is n e ve r
w eary o f r e p e a tin g , h is s o u l b e in g th e in ­
c o r r u p t ib le p r i n c i p le and h is body the
c o r r u p t ib le one, he has a tw o fo ld p u rp o se ,
one a c c o rd in g to h is in c o r r u p t ib le n a tu re
and the o th e r a c c o rd in g to h is c o r r u p t ib le
n a tu r e .
How i t
i s by h is c o r r u p t ib le na­
tu r e th a t the s p e cie s is p re s e rv e d and by
th e in c o r r u p t ib le th a t in d iv id u a l, or the
p e rs o n , s u r v iv e s .
Hence, th e re is a su­
b o r d in a tio n o f p u rp o se s, f o r the h ig h e r
w i l l alw ays p r e v a i l.
It
i s an " in c o r r u p ­
t i b l e crow n” sought by man, the a c t u a li­
z a tio n o f the p o te n c ie s hidd en in the
depths o f h is p e r s o n a lit y .
I t is here we
be ho ld th e ric h n e s s o f human p e r s o n a lit y ,
from w h ich flo w s in v a rie g a te d p r o fu s io n —
tha nks to the l i b e r t y o f th e s p i r i t — ac­
t i v i t y alw ays stamped w ith t h is name o r
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(P. 4)
th a t.
Human h i s t o r y is a h is t o r y o f names.
A n im als have no names save in human r e l a t i o n ,
no h is t o r y save in c o n n e c tio n w ith human
a c tiv ity .
I f we s tu d y one g e n e ra tio n o f
a n im a l e x is te n c e we s tu d y them a l l : th e
h is t o r y o f th e s q u ir r e l can be g a rn e re d
fro m i t s h a b its f o r one g e n e ra tio n .
Bo,hu­
man h is t o r y is n o t b io lo g y o r n a tu r a l h is ­
to ry .
It
is r a th e r the s t o r y o f the un­
f o ld in g o f p e r s o n a lit ie s *
F or t h i s reason
h i s t o r y r i g h t f u l l y belongs to
th a t group
o f s tu d ie s known as the 'h u m a n itie s ’ .
h e re is i t s
O nly
s p e c i f i c a l l y human v a lu e p re ­
s e rv e d .
lo w i f
the d i g n it y and c o n s is te n c y o f
h i s t o r i c a l knowledge are in p r o p o r tio n to
i t s human v a lu e , lik e w is e i t s
d e g ra d a tio n
and d i s t o r t io n a re in p r o p o r tio n to i t s
d e h u m a n iza tio n .
th a t i t
What we mean to say is
is n o t human to ta ke in to acco un t
o n ly human v a lu e s .
Why is t h is ?
It
is
because a t the v e ry moment th a t man d is ­
cove rs h is h u m a n ity, he a ls o d is c o v e rs i t s
end, and t h is he fin d s to be som e thin g
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«
(P. 5)
superhuman*
Thus to re g a rd the drama o f
p e r s o n a lit y as enacted on t h is e a r t h ly
sta g e as th e c lim a x o f human a c t i v i t y
to s u f f e r fro m the i l l u s i o n
a b s o lu te f i n a l i t y
in fin ity
is
th a t th e re is
in the knowledge o f th e
o f ways in w hich the human person
may d e v e lo p .
A r i s t o t l e , much to h is b i t ­
te rn e s s , was n o t so d e lu d e d .
Though he
r e a liz e d th a t h is t o r y and human persona­
lity
im p lie d a h ig h e r purpose than i t s
f l e e t i n g e x is te n c e here on e a r th , th e
achievem ent o f th a t purpose ha deemed
in a c c e s s ib le .
I t goes w ith o u t s a y in g th a t
C h r is tia n E e v e la tio n c o u ld have r e lie v e d
h is pessim ism ; b u t th a t i t a c t u a lly w ould,
have, is a n o th e r p ro b le m w h ich escapes our
competence.
What we do know, how ever, is
t h a t .Erasmus o f R o tte rd a m , th a t e r u d ite
c la s s ic is t and hum anist o f Renaissance
fame, s u ffe r e d n e it h e r fro m th e cha rac­
t e r i s t i c a l l y pagan pessim ism o f A r i s t o t l e
6
n o r from the ig no ran ce t h a t caused i t .
He became so in te r e s te d in the c u l t u r a l
achievem ents o f th e a n c ie n ts th a t he fo r g o t
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(P. 6)
t h a t man was b u t a p i l g r i m
e t e r n it y .
I t was t h is
on h is way to
" a n th r o p o e e n tr ic "
humanism th a t in s p ir e d a new s c h o la rs h ip ,
one w hich was c r i t i c a l o f any l i t e r a r y
a tte m p t w h ich d id n o t emphasize p u r e ly
’ human1 v a lu e s .
It
is in t h is way t h a t
man may lo s e h is d ir e c t io n in h i s t o r y ’ s
h a lls .
one.
Too much C ic e ro can be bad f o r
When man i s no lo n g e r c o g n iz a n t o f
th e f a c t th a t human a ch ie ve m e n t, no m a tte r
how d a z z lin g , is s t i l l human, he sees o n ly
its
g ra n d e u r, n e g le c tin g the w h ile i t s
m is e ry .
Thus h is t o r y t r u l y c o n c e iv e d ,
c o n s id e re d as knowledge o r w r i t t e n , p ro ­
c la im s i t s
own in s u f f ic ie n c y in th a t v e ry
human g e s tu re o f p o in t in g beyond i t s e l f .
In the f i r s t c h a p te r o f h is book en­
title d
"The S p i r i t o f M e d ia e va l P h ilo s o p h y ",
M. E tie n n e G ils o n w r it e s :
" i s a m a tte r o f
f a c t and p r a c t ic e , h i s t o r i c a l re s e a rc h
proceeds by way o f a b s t r a c t io n , and we
map ou t f o r o u rs e lv e s a c e r t a in lim it e d
domain w hich extends as f a r as ou r eom7
petenee w i l l w a r r a n t. " C o n fro n te d w ith
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ft. 7)
t h is q u o ta tio n p o s i t i v i s t h is t o r ia n s would
u p r a id M. G ils o n f o r h is A r is t o t e lia n is m ,
f o r even perhaps w it h in e x p e rie n c e d th o ra is ts th e y w ould f e e l t h a t i t was an a l l
to o wide u n iv e r s a liz a t io n t h a t w o uld re ­
duce h i s t o r i c a l knowledge to
the a b s t r a c t .
And th e y would be c o r r e c t in t h e ir c r i ­
t ic is m d id n o t th o m is ts c a r e f u ll y d is ­
t in g u is h two form s o f a b s tr a c tio n : fo rm a l
8
and t o t a l ,
how, s in e s h is t o r y cannot be
s a id to be a s c ie n c e , our concern is o n ly
w it h the l a t t e r o f these ty p e s , w h ich as
M a r ita in p o in ts o u t, is f!a t th e bottom o f
9
a l l ways o f k n o w in g .” H i s t o r ic a l knowledge
does n o t escape t h i s e x ig e n c y .
th e re c o u ld be l i t t l e
In f a c t
done in the way o f
re s e a rc h i f the p ro ce ss o f t o t a l a b s tra c ­
t io n d id n o t p e rm it us to c a te g o riz e o u r
d is c o v e r ie s .
Thus G. G. Grump is r i g h t ,
though perhaps unaware o f th e term " t o t a l
a b s t r a c t io n " , when he w r it e s :
"There i s no
harm in d iv id in g up h i s t o r y in t o P o l i t i c a l
H is to r y , the h i s t o r y o f S ta te s o f men as
p o l i t i c a l a n im a ls ; ficonomie and S o c ia l
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(P. 8)
H is to r y , the h is t o r y o f men as p ro d u c in g
and consuming a n im a ls and t h e ir success
and f a il u r e
in both c a p a c itie s ; Le g a l
H is t o r y , the h i s t o r y o f law under w hich
10
men l i v e , e t c . ,
It
is
in t h is sense th a t
h is t o r y proceed by way o f a b s tr a c tio n and
th a t M. O ils o n is c o r r e c t .
C o n s id e rin g t o t a l a b s t r a c t io n as an
in s tru m e n t, we w i l l f in d i t as e x c e e d in g ly
dangerous as i t u s e f u l.
That is why a l l
c la s s if ic a t i o n s o r c a te g o r is a tio n s , though
n e ce ssa ry f o r h i s t o r i c a l re s e a rc h , can be
m is le a d in g and im p e r fe c t.
It
is a v a in
hope to exp ect t h a t the human mind can
w h o lly a p p ro p ria te the r e a l by f i r s t r e ­
m oving some o f i t s
d e te rm in a tio n ,
jju t
t h is i t must do in o rd e r to conceive i t
at a ll:
it
o f know ing.
is p a r t o f our c o n c e p tu a l Y/ays
lo w th e re is no harm in
th is
a r b i t r a r y rem oval o f c e r ta in a sp e cts o f
h is t o r y , p r o v id in g we do n o t, as G ils o n
warns u s , "ta k e the l i m it a t io n s o f our
11
methods f o r the l i m i t s o f r e a l i t y . "
However, w h ile a d m ittin g o f an i n f i n i t e
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
(P. 9)
number o f degrees o f a tte n u a tio n as i t
o s c illa t e s between i t s
lo g ic a l p o le s of
e x te n s io n and com prehension and w h ile
v a ry in g alm o st a t w i l l the depths i t
p e n e tra te s , t h is method o f know ing can
be in a sense f o r g e t f u l o f r e a l i t y
c a te g o rie s i t c re a te s .
in the
A stage m ig h t be
reached where the mind is l e f t to a w o rld
o f lo g ic a l p a t te r n s .
Here human im a g i­
n a tio n can c lo th e and r e e lo th e w ith i t s
own m a te ria ls the in h a b ita n ts o f t h is
w o rld who a re n o th in g more than e n tia
r a tio n is .
There is no end to t h is fa s ­
c in a t in g p a s tim e .
I t has been in d u lg e d
in to some degree by n e a r ly e ve ry h is ­
t o r ia n who a tte m p ts to c o n s tru c t any
k in d o f h i s t o r i c a l s y n th e s is .
it
i s n o t s e r io u s , b u t i t
Sometimes
can be , as i t
was in the g re a t h i s t o r i c a l work o f
G ibbon, "The D e c lin e and H a ll o f th e
Boman E m p ire ".
I t seems t h a t he became
a v ic t im o f h is own s y s te m iz a tio n .
D id
he n o t s e iz e on one a sp e ct o f European
h is t o r y and c a r r y i t
f a r beyond i t s
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(P. 10)
c h r o n o lo g ic a l lim it a t io n s ?
And though no
c o n s c ie n tio u s h is t o r ia n w o uld f o r an in s ta n t
c a l l M r. H. G. f e l l s '
"The Shape o f Things
to Come" a h i s t o r i c a l w o rk , i t m ig h t he
c la s s if ie d w ith G ibbon’ s w o rk .
the p re s e n t?
Why sto p a t
To c h a r a c te riz e t h is s in a -
g a ia s t the h i s t o r i c a l r e a l, we m ig h t w e ll
bo rrow a term fro m b io lo g y : i f we can b o r­
row i t s method o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , we need
n o t h e s ita te
to a p p ro p ria te i t s
la ng ua ge .
Thus the word " s p e c ie lo g y " , c o n v e rte d to
a more p h ilo s o p h ic a l "s p e e io lo g is m ",
m ig h t n o t be a too bad r e n d it io n of th a t
e r r o r in h i s t o r i c a l m ethodology th a t re ­
c o n s tru c ts and r e i f i e s
in the im a g in a tio n
what i t
e th e r e a liz e s in t o t a l o r lo g ic a l
13
a b s t r a c t io n .
I t f o llo w s , th e n , as Tves
Simon p o in ts o u t in h is O n to lo g y o f
14
Knowledge, th a t h i s t o r y supposes a
minimum o f c o n s tr u c tiv e a c t i v i t y on the
in t e llig e n c e .
T h is is why i t
is opposed
to m a th e m a tica l knowledge w h ie h , as he
e x p la in s , re q u ir e s a maximum c o n s tr u c tiv e
a c tiv ity .
Thus th e m a th e m a tica l w o rld
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
(p. 11)
b r in g s us fa ce to face w it h a w o rld w hich
is se e m in g ly c re a te d in an a p r i o r i fa s h io n .
H is to r y , on the o th e r hand alw ays ta ke s an
a p o s t e r io r i s ta n d .
I t is p la in ,
th e r e fo r e ,
what havoc and m u t ila t io n i s w rought by
th e in d u c tio n o f a c o n s tr u c tiv e method, (one
need-less to say w h ich d e fo rm s ), in t o h is ­
t o r i c a l re s e a rc h .
M athem atics and lo g ic
are p o le s a p a rt fro m h is t o r y .
The a n t i- t r a d i t i o n a l is m
o f D escartes
was p a r t l y due to a d e s ire to m a th e m a tie ise
the r e a l .
A nxious to c l a r i f y w it h mathe­
m a tic a l l u c i d i t y what is so h e te ro g e n e o u s ly
p re s e n te d in s e n s ib le and h i s t o r i c a l re a ­
lity ,
th e re was n o th in g l e f t f o r him to do
b u t re p u d o a te the p a s t.
M a th e m a tic a l con­
c e p ts have no h is t o r y ; th e y a re tim e le s s
as a re a l l e n t ia r a t i o n i s .
What has re ­
s u lte d i n our own day from t h is o v e r e la r ifie a tio n ,
(n o t u n iv e r s a lly , b u t among
c e r t a in id e a l i s t h i s t o r ia n s ) , is a modern
m yth o lo g y no le s s ro m a n tic than th a t o f the
a n c ie n t G reeks.
There is t h is about h is ­
t o r y : no m a tte r how f a r i t may wander from
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(P. 12)
th e t r u t h ,
r e a l.
i t always t r i e s
to appear as
Thus o fte n im a g in a tio n in i t s
c h a r it y becomes ap p re h e n sive o f the na­
kedness o f lo g ic a l o r m a th e m a tic a l s y s te m is a tio n , as i t m ig h t w e ll do in the
ease o f C a rte s ia n ism , and g iv e s i t
c lo th e s .
How th e re a re th re e p o s s ib le ways in
w h ich man may re g a rd the p a s t.
F ir s tly ,
he may re p u d ia te i t a lto g e t h e r ;
t h is i s the
p o s it io n taken by the a n t i - t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s .
Next he may adhere to the p a s t w it h a ro ­
m a n tic te n a c ity ;
t h is
is
the sta n d o f the
tr a d it io n a lis t .
And l a s t l y , he may lo o k
a t the p a s t w ith o u t becoming l o s t in i t ,
as the a n t i - t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s ;
t h is i s
p o s it io n o f the m e ta p h y s ic ia n .
the
I t is
observed th a t the la s t vie?/ i s midway
between the f i r s t tw o .
Thus we say th a t
the p o s it io n o f the m e ta p h y s ic ia n is
a n a lo g ic a l, f o r i t
is
the mean between
a n t i- t r a d i t i o n a l is m , th e r e l a t io n o f
w h ich to the p a s t is e q u iv o c a l, and t r a ­
d it io n a lis m , whose r e l a t io n to the p a s t
is u n iv o c a l.
It
is to be remembered,
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(P. 13)
however, t h a t , when we speak o f these pos­
s ib le
views o f th e p a s t as u n iv o c a l, e q u i­
v o c a l and a n a lo g ic a l, we im p ly , n o t the
method employed th a t g iv e s r is e
to the v ie w ,
b u t the r e l a t io n each view has to the p a s t.
To make t h is p o in t c le a r e r , l e t us take th e
in s ta n c e o f an a n t i - t r a d i t i o n a l ism : i t may
use an u n iv o c a l m ethod, e . g . , th e mathe­
m a tic a l method; b u t the m athem atieism has
an e q u iv o c a l r e la t io n
l y enough, i t
to the p a s t.
C u rio u s­
is p r e c is e ly when an u n iv o e a l
method is s u b s t it u t e d f o r an a n a lo g ic a l
m ethod, th a t the a t t it u d e
towards the p a s t
becomes e q u iv o c a l, and when an e q u iv o c a l
method i s s u b s t it u t e d , a g a in f o r the ana­
l o g i c a l, t h a t the a t t i t u t e
becomes u n iv o c a l.
tow ards th e p a s t
In o th e r w o rd s, when one
has become s c e p t ic a l o f the p a s t, i t
is be­
cause one has become e n c ir c le d by th e u n iv o c it y o f some s c ie n c e , as D e scartes was
by h is m athem atieism o r as Kant was by h is
p h y s ic ia n .
Anyone who w ould t r y to r e b u ild
th e e d if ic e o f p h ilo s o p h y a c c o rd in g to the
e x ig e n c ie s o f any method o th e r tha n the
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(P. 14)
m e ta p h y s ic a l method must s u s c rib e to an
u n iv o c a l method and take an e q u iv o c a l a t­
t it u d e i n r e l a t io n to th e p a s t.
fh a t is th e re about an u n iv o c a l method,
(o r, i f
you w i l l , a method w h ich a p p lie s
o n ly to
th in g s in one way) th a t d riv e s i t s
s u s e rib e rs to sco rn the p a s t?
As we have
a lre a d y in d ic a te d , as in the cases o f
D e scartes and K a n t, i t
i s the employment
o f a p a r t ic u l a r s c ie n c e , and one w h ic h f o r ­
m u la te s u n iv e r s a l la w s , t h a t in v a lid a t e s
a l l knowledge th a t cannot be s y s te m a tiz e d
in t o a p e r f e c t u n it y ; and th e p a s t n e ve r
a d m its of t h is u n it y : t h e r e f o r e ,
o f f e r s n o th in g ;
T h is is
why i t
c o c it y th a t
the p a s t
i t must be re p u d ia te d .
is u s u a lly a rem a rkab le p re ­
leads a man to h is a n t i - t r a ­
d it io n a lis t a t t it u d e .
As C a rd in a l Kewman
w r it e s : '’E very now and the n you w i l l f in d
a p e rson o f v ig o ro u s o r f e r t i l e
m in d, who
r e l i e s upon h is own re s o u rc e s , d e sp ise s a l l
fo rm e r a u th o rs , and g iv e s the w o rld , w ith
the utm ost fe a rle s s n e s s , h is view s upon
r e l i g i o n , o r h is t o r y o r any o th e r p o p u la r
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(P. 15)
15
s u b je c t . ”
On the othQr hand, what is
th e re about
an e q u iv o c a l method th a t in s p ir e s an over­
d e v o tio n t o th e p a s t?
t io n , i t
To answer t h i s ques­
is ne cessa ry to o u t lin e
o f t r a d it io n a lis m .
the n a tu re
There a re two names th a t
s ta n d out as b e in g d o c t r in a lly im p o rta n t in
c o n n e c tio n w ith t r a d it io n a lis m DeBoland and Lammenais.
those o f
But we w i l l n o t
t r e a t t h e i r th e o rie s in p a r t i c u l a r .
What
we w ish to do here i s c o n s id e r t r a d it io n a ­
lis m in g e n e ra l, i . e . , as the s p i r i t o f a
ro m a n tic age -
th a t o f the e a r ly n in e te e n th
c e n tu ry .
To begin w it h , t r a d it io n a lis m
s c e p tic is m ;
it
p u ts no f a i t h in the autonomy
o f human re a so n .
it
is a
And l i k e a l l s c e p tic is m s ,
is n o t a pure p o s it io n .
b e in g a s c e p tic is m i t
In a d d it io n to
is a re a c tio n is m .
l i k e a l l re a c tio n is m s , i t
fa ils
And
to a p p re c ia te
any good in t h a t a g a in s t w h ich i t
r e a c ts .
Thus the t r a d i t i o n a l i s t , s ic k o f the im m ediate
p a s t w ith i t s
swagger o f i t s
n a lis m and w it h i t s
cocksure r a t i o ­
emphasis on p r iv a te
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(P. 16)
o p in io n , became a f r a id o f the fu tu re and
to o k re fu g e in t r a d i t i o n and the g e n e ra l
con sen t of man.
He had had enough o f
V o lt a ir e and h is E n lig h te n m e n t, enough o f
d e i s t i c t h e o r iz in g and o f om n ip oten t
s c ie n c e .
In s h o r t the t r a d i t i o n a l i s t t r ie d
to o ve rthrow th e r u l e o f r a t io n a lis m , b u t in
d o in g so he f e l l in t o an excess e r r o r t h a t o f dogm atism .
A l l t h is was a p a r t o f the g ro w in g
m o ra lis m (we m ig h t say H e g e lia n m oral ism )
th a t had i t s ro o ts in one s id e o f K a n t's
p h ilo s o p h y .
K a n t’ s C r it iq u e o f P r a c t ic a l
Reason i s n o th in g o th e r th a n the e x p re s s io n
o f a f id e ism .
A f t e r d e s tro y in g reason in
the C r itiq u e o f Pure Reason, a l l th e re was
l e f t was c r e d i b i l i t y w ith o u t re a s o n a b le ­
ness.
The t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s
s e iz e d upon t h is
a sp e ct o f K a n tia n is m and t r i e d to re s to re th e
ba la nce between c r e d i b i l i t y and re a so n a b le ­
ness by ba sin g reasonableness on c r e d i b i l i t y .
And the o n ly th in g th a t was c r e d ib le f o r them
was t r a d i t i o n .
Now, i f ,
in a s t r i c t adherence to the
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(P. 17)
p a s t o r to t r a d i t i o n ,
r e la t io n w ith i t ,
th e re i s an u n iv o c a l
a c c o rd in g to the c r i t e r i o n
we have a lre a d y a d o p te d , t r a d it io n a lis m
im p lie s an e q u iv o c a l m ethod.
tend is born o u t, f i r s t
de ism .
T h is , we con­
o f a l l by i t s
fi­
A f id e ism p la c e s undue emphasis on
the w i l l ;
it
i s the a p o th e o s is o f consent
to the r e p u d ia tio n o f in t e ll e c t u a l. a s s e n t .
We see t h is b e t t e r , when we r e a liz e th a t
t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s had a d i s t i n c t a v e rs io n f o r
the "syste m s” b u i l t up oy r a t i o n a l i s t s ,
it
fo r
s u b s titu te d a b lin d f a i t h f o r the u n i-
v o c a l c o n s is te n c y o f m a th e m a tica l and s c ie n ­
tific
o n to lo g ie s .
T h e re fo re , i t was when
m e ta p h y s ic a l and r e l ig io u s t r u t h s c o u ld be
no lo n g e r h e ld to g e th e r in a r a t io n a l syn­
th e s is th a t t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s came to view
them as so many s e p a ra te o r e q u iv o c a l a r ­
t i c l e s o f f a i t h , whose o n ly p o s s ib le u n it y
can be a ch ie ve d by a g e n e ra l con sen t to
a l l o f them.
And by t h e i r f a i l u r e
the
t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s d e m o n stra te d th a t th e re is
r e q u ir e d more than consent to in s u re the
s t a b i l i t y o f i n t e l l e c t u a l and r e lig io u s
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(P. 18)
v a lu e s .
I s an h i s t o r i c movement, t r a d it io n a ­
lis m is a ro m a n tic is m .
I t e x h ib it s , th e re ­
f o r e , an in o r d in a te lo ve f o r o ld c u l t u r a l
fo rm s .
I t does no t take in t o acco un t th a t
c u ltu r e changes w it h tim e and th a t new
c u ltu r e s c o n s ta n tly a r is e .
In t h is case
t r a d i t i o n a l i s t c o n t r a d ic t the m selve s: to
a tta c h o n e s e lf to the p a s t in an u n iv o c a l
r e l a t io n i s
to a f f i r m what is e q u iv o c a l
and changing does n o t change a t a l l .
To co n clu d e , t r a d it io n a lis m , though
it
r e s tr ic ts
i t s e l f m a in ly to metaphy­
s i c a l and r e l ig io u s t r u t h s , p a in ts a fa ls e
p o r t r a i t o f the p a s t.
It
is c o n c e iv a b le ,
th e n , th a t an h i s t o r ia n , w ith a s e n t i­
m e n ta l lam ent f o r the p a s s in g o f c u l­
t u r a l and c o n v e n tio n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , c o u ld
p re s e n t a h is t o r y in a l i g h t th a t w ould
over-em phasize th in g s t h a t a re in the s t r i c t
sense gone fo r e v e r and th a t sh o u ld be l e f t
i n peace.
It
i s p l a i n , th e n , t h a t i t
is
o n ly on c o n d itio n t h a t we take an a n a lo ­
g i c a l view o f h is t o r y th a t we can a v o id
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(P. 19)
b o th th e u n iv o c a l method o f the a n t i - t r a ­
d i t i o n a l i s t and t h e i r e q u iv o c a l a t t it u d e
tow ards the p a s t, on one hand, and the
e q u iv o c a l methods o f the t r a d i t i o n a l i s t
on the o th e r.
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I -Q . f 1 S
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(P. 30)
X.
Ia n is n o t , as D arw in conceived,
him , s im p ly a beast o f p re y , who con­
f r o n t s in n a tu re n o th in g more than a
s e r ie s o f evanescent s ig n a ls th a t de­
mand the utm ost in v ig ila n c e and a cu te ­
ness o f sense.
a n im a l.
He i s n o t a ju n g le
There is more o f v a lu e f o r man
tha n what s a t is f ie s an a n im a l w a n t.
The
sense knowledge o f the a n im a l i s p u r e ly
p ra g m a tic ; here n o th in g i s known f o r the
s im p le kn o w in g .
As S t. Thomas says;
" A n im a l.. . a p p e tit rem visam p e r vim
a p p e tiva m , non solum ad videndum, sed
a lio s u s u s ."
Surama T h e o lo g ic a , Prim a
P a rs , qu. 78, a r t . 1, ad 3.
2.
"Les l o i s de l ’ f t r e
humain ee so n t
done le s l o i s de 1 * e s p r it , ou ( I ’ homme
n ’ e ta n t une personne que du c h e f de
1 ’ e s p r it ) le s l o i s de la p e rson ne. "
J . V ia la to u x , "P h ilo s o p h ie Eeonomique", p . x v .
3.
"Man is n a t u r a lly a ‘ s o c i a l’ o r ’ po­
l i t i c a l ’ a n im a l.
C o n se q u e n tly, the
a p titu d e f o r a c q u ir in g knowledge o f th in g s
is n o t enough; he must be a b le to express
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(P. 21)
h im s e lf v e r b a lly .
Prom t h is n e c e s s ity
aro se th e system o f c o n v e n tio n a l sig n s
c a lle d language, by w h ich men communicate
t h e i r th o u g h t: a w o n d e rfu l in s tru m e n t
fa s h io n e d o f a r t ic u la t e sound p a s s in g
th ro u g h th e a i r ,
im p a rtin g th ro u g h the
most p l i a n t and s u b tle o f m a te ria ls
our in ne rm ost and most s p i r i t u a l s e lv e s .
F u rth e rm o re , because man, u n lik e the
a n im a l, is n o t r iv e t e d to the p re s e n t
moment, i t
is f i t t i n g
th a t he sh o u ld
make h is th o u g h t known to those d is t a n t
in tim e o r space; hence the n e c e s s ity
f o r a second system o f s ig n s , more
m a te ria l and le s s p e r f e c t than th e f i r s t
w h ich i t
re p re s e n ts , and t h is system is
c a lle d ’ w r i t i n g 1 . n
Jacques M a r it a in ,
An In t r o d u c t io n to L o g ie , p . 4-5.
4.
In Book V l l l o f th e E th ic s , when
A r is t o t le
speaks o f the f r ie n d s h ip be­
tween husband and w if e , he e x p la in s th a t
a man and a woman u n ite
f o r a h ig h e r
purpose than p r o c r e a tio n : "Human c re a tu re s
c o h a b it n o t m e re ly f o r the sake o f p r o -
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(P. 22)
c r e a tio n but a ls o w ith a view to l i f e
g e n e ra l.
"Everyman E d i t . , p . 203.
he im p lie s by the phrase " l i f e
is
in
What
in g e n e ra l"
o b v io u s ly th e f u l l developm ent o f man
p e r s o n a lit y .
A gain in
at.
Thomas we re a d : "Q uia
in rebus c o r r u p t i b i l i s n i h i l e s t perpetuum ,
e t semper manens n i s i s p e c ie s ; bonum
s p e e ie i e st p r in c ip a ls in te n t io n s n a tu ra e ,
ad cu ju s co n se rva tio n e m n a tu r a l is g e n e ra tio
o r d in a t u r .
S u b s ta n tia vero in c o r r u p t ib ile s
manent semper non solum secundum speciem ,
sed e tia m secundum in d iv id u a su n t de
p r i n c i p a l i in te n t io n s n a tu r a e ."
Summa
T h e o lo g ic a , Prima P a rs , qu. 93, a r t .1 .
5.
"We cannot a f f o r d w a n to n ly to lo se
s ig h t o f g re a t men and memorable li v e s , and
are bound to s to re up o b je c ts f o r adm ira­
t io n as f a r as may be.
No i n t e l l e c t u a l
e x e rc is e , f o r in s ta n c e , can be more in ­
v ig o r a t in g than to w atch the w o rk in g o f
th e mind o f N a p o le o n ."
L o rd A c to n , The
S tud y of H is to r y , p . 13.
6.
Perhaps more than any o th e r p h ilo s o p h e r
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(P. 23}
o f pagan a n t iq u it y d id A r i s t o t l e
f e e l, o r
r a t h e r e x h ib it , the n e c e s s ity of B e v e la tio n .
T h is does n o t mean th a t he con ceived i t s
p o s s i b i l i t y , b u t h is sad pessim ism is enough
to w a rra n t our t h in k in g t h a t he f e l t the
need o f a s u p e rn a tu ra l c r i t e r i o n .
Once we
a d m it the d o c tr in e o f O r ig in a l S in , we must
suppose, i t
seems, t h a t , in th e s o u ls o f
f a l l e n men, the re was a spontaneous c r y f o r
h e lp .
That t h is h e lp w ould come ‘was an
u n c e r t a in t y .
There was no m e ta p h y s ic a l
n e c e s s ity th a t i t s h o u ld .
Prom a P r o v id e n t ia l
p o in t o f v ie w , ( o r a t le a s t in s o f a r as our
weakened i n t e l l e c t u a l powers connect the
f it t in g n e s s o f h is t o r y w ith the w o rkin g s
o f D iv in e P ro v id e n c e ), i t seems more tha n
c o n je c tu r a l t h a t A r i s t o t l e ' s g re a te s t
triu m p h , the d is c o v e ry o f roan's m is e ry ,
p r e fig u r e d the advent o f C h r is t ia n it y .
It
i s , however, wrong to t h in k th a t reason
c o u ld ever a n t ic ip a t e
a c ts o f P ro v id e n c e .
the g r a t u it y o f th e
T h is i s the business
o f prophecy to w h ich o f f ic e Bod a p p o in te d
th e Jews.
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(P. 24)
7.
p . 1.
8.
Jacques M a r ita in d e s c rib e s t o t a l o r
lo g ic a l, a b s tr a c tio n as “ the a b s tr a c tio n o r
e x t r a c tio n o f the u n iv e r s a l w hole by w hich
we d e riv e ’ man* fro m P e te r and P a u l, ’ an im a l*
from man, e t c . , so by p ro g re s s in g by la r g e r
and la r g e r u n i v e r s a l e T h e
Knowledge, p . 4 7 .
Degrees o f
Here M. M a r ita in shows
th e way in w h ic h th e m ind r is e s from t h i s
p a r t i c u l a r t h in g to more and more in d e te r ­
m in ate n o t io n s .
Form al a b s tr a c tio n on
the o th e r hand, he d e s ig n a te s as ’’ the
a b s tr a c tio n o r e x t r a c tio n o f th e i n t e l l i g i b l e
ty p e , by w h ic h we s e p a ra te the fo rm a l reason
and essence o f an o b je c t o f knowledge fro m
c o n tin g e n t and m a te r ia l d a t a . ’’
9.
10.
ib id .
'o p . c i t . , i b i d .
H is to r y and H is t o r ic a l Beseareh, p . 54.
We m ig h t add t h a t any o th e r c o n v e n ie n t a r ­
rangement i s a llo w a b le .
11.
op.
12.
It
c i t . , ib id .
is one t ilin g
to sa y th a t lo g i c a l
c a te g o rie s a r e , as a l l a b s tr a c tio n s , u l ­
t im a t e ly based on r e a l i t y , b u t a n o th e r to
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(P, 25)
say th a t th e y are r e a l .
T h is i s why we
say th a t the c a te g o ry c re a te d by lo g i c a l
a b s tr a c tio n does no t o f n e c e s s ity conform
to a l i k e
13.
d e te rm in a tio n i n r e a l i t y ,
I t w ould be a d u ll mind to l i v e w it h ,
if
i t d id n o t c o lo u r -i t s
im a g e ry.
a b s tr a c tio n s w ith
In f a c t th e re c o u ld be no a b s tra c ­
t io n s w h a tso e ve r, were i t n o t f o r th e im a g i­
n a t io n .
U n doubtedly the p a r t th a t th e im­
a g in a tio n p la y s in w r i t i n g h i s t o r y is g r e a t;
but i t
can be o v e r-e s tim a te d .
Since th e
im a g in a tio n i s a power s u b s e rv ie n t to the
s p i r i t u a l powers of i n t e l l e c t and w i l l ,
has a fo rm a l dependence on them.
it
C o n v e rs e ly ,
the i n t e l l e c t has a m a te r ia l dependence on
im a g in a tio n , and i t
can r e c o n s tr u c t f o r i t
a w o rld o f im ages, w h e th e r i t be. f o r r e a l
b e in g s or f o r b e in g s o f re a so n .
14.
Le r b le de la f a c u l t y c o n s tr u c tiv e de
1 ’ in t e llig e n c e semble r e d u it au minimum
en h i s t o ir e
e t p o r t ^ au maximum en m atha<*ue
^
m atiq ue ^i c f e s t l ’ § tre m athematique e s t
in d iff^ re m m e n t un p o s s ib le r e e l ou un
ttre
de r a is o n , p . 2 2 9 .
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(P. 26)
15.
On the Scope and Nature of U niversity
E d u c a tio n , p . 121.
O f. S. G ils o n , The
U n ity o f P h ilo s o p h ic a l E xp e rie n c e , p . 7,
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C H A P T E R
II
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lh.g,
t
.Jfaa M ' &
ql isal JS m
ii,«.».■».
37.
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(P. 27)
I t may be s a id th a t th e re are two elem ents
d is c e rn a b le in the h i s t o r i c a l event - p r e d ic ­
t a b i l i t y and u n p r e d i c t a b i lit y .
f o r by th e p r i n c i p le
We say t h is ,
o f s u f f i c i e n t re a s o n , we
have the m e ta p h y s ic a l assurance th a t w h a te ve r
happens i n h is t o r y i s
the r e s u l t o f a eom-
p le x u s o f causes, some o f the e f f e c t s o f
w h ich a re p r e d ic ta b le because o f the s ta ­
b ility
o f n a tu re s in v o lv e d , and o th e rs
w hich are u n p r e d ic ta b le ;
these l a t t e r are
such because o f th re e f a c t o r s
th a t are in ­
s c ru ta b le to th e human in t e llig e n c e , v i z . ,
the elem ent o f chance, the l i b e r t y o f the
human w i l l and D iv in e P ro vid e n ce to w hich
th e se words o f S t. P aul may be a p t ly ap­
p l ie d :
-'How in c o m p re h e n s ib le are H is ju d g ­
m ents, and how unsearchable H is w ays!
Por
who has known the m ind o f the L o r d .? ”
A ll
in a l l th e re i s an in t e r p la y and a succes­
s io n o f many fa c to r s such th a t i f any one o f
them is
la c k in g , we have n o t th is h i s t o r i c a l
e v e n t, b u t a n o th e r.
We m ig h t say a word about the u s e .o f
the terms " p r e d i c t a b i l i t y " and " u n p r e d ic t a b i lit y " .
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(P. 28)
H is to r y , fro m the p o in t o f vie w o f the human
in t e llig e n c e , i s ,
t a b le .
s t r i c t l y s p e a k in g , u n p re d ic -
2
As we m ust, as we have a lre a d y s a id ,
take an a p o s t e r io r i s ta n d , we must w a it f o r
h is t o r y to happen b e fo re we can know i t .
T h is does n o t im p ly , however, th a t we sh o u ld
deny th a t man ca n n o t p ro g n o s tic a te the cou rse
o f h is t o r y a lo n g those lin e s
th a t are in ­
d ic a te d , thanks to the e x ig e n c ie s o f the
i n t e l l i g i b l e , by p a s t and c u r r e n t e v e n ts ,
as M a r ita in has done in h is "Humanisms I n 3
t e g r a l” . But t h is know ledge, though ad­
m i t t in g o f a h ig h degree o f p r e d i c t a b i l i t y ,
(s in c e i t
takes in t o a cco u n t o n ly those
elem ents w h ich cannot be f o r th e in t e llig e n c e
o th e r than th e y a r e ) , is s t i l l ,
c o n je c tu r a l, beeause i t
n e v e rth e le s s ,
does o f n e c e s s ity
r e s t i t s c la im to p r e d i c t a b i l i t y on the
a b ilit y
to a s c e r ta in e f f e c t s w h ic h , s in c e
th e y have n o t been r e a liz e d as t h is or t h a t
e v e n t, have b u t a c o n tin g e n t r e l a t io n to the
4
causes fro m w h ich th e y p ro ce e d . Hence, to
f ix
exa ct dates to p r e d ic te d h is t o r y (and
the h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t, s in c e i t
i s o f the
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(P. 29 )
c o n c re te o rd e r, is alw ays f ix e d
in tim e
and p la c e ) i s beyond human f o r e s ig h t .
In
t h i s sense, the elem ent o f p r e d i c t a b i l i t y
is alw ays c o n d itio n e d by the elem ent o f
u n p r e d i c t a b i lit y .
T h e re fo re , as f a r as
the h i s t o r i c a l event i t s e l f i s concerned
( I . e . som ething w h ich f o r
the D iv in e
I n t e llig e n c e is a lw a ys under th e aspect o f
h a v in g happened), i t
is u n p re d ic ta b le as
f a r as the human i n t e l l e c t is concerned.
T h is does no t mean th a t we can is o la t e i t s
p r e d ic ta b ilit y ,
f o r a t le a s t we can d e s ig ­
n a te those fa c to r s ?/hieh ca n n o t be o th e r
tha n they a r e .
It
is in t h is sense th a t
we use the terms '’p r e d i c t a b i l i t y " and
"u n p r ed ie t ab i 1i t y . f’
The o f f ic e o f th e h is t o r ia n ,
i f we
take i t as one whose o n ly b u sin e ss i t
is
to a s c e r ta in the h i s t o r i c i t y o f an e v e n t,
i.e .,
i t s c h r o n o lo g ic a l, g e o g ra p h ic a l
and c ir c u m s ta n t ia l s it u a t io n ,
fille d
i s no t f u l ­
by d e a lin g w it h the causes o f h is ­
t o r i c a l e ve n ts, b u t w it h the e f f e c t s o f
those causes w h ic h a re the e v e n ts th e m se lve s,
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(P. 30)
It
i s no t so w it h the p h ilo s o p h e r whose
in t e r e s t in h is t o r y converges on the
n a tu re s o f th e eauses th a t produce the
e ffe c ts .
Thus the p h ilo s o p h e r , as p h i l ­
o so ph er, can ta ke an a p r i o r i s ta n d and
d e a l, in s o fa r as h is s c ie n c e a llo w s , w it h
the p r e d i c t a b i l i t y o f h is t o r y ; b u t t h is
n e v e r f a l l s w it h in the p ro v in c e o f the
h i s t o r ia n .
It
is
in t h i s sense th a t
it
i s p e r m is s ib le to say th a t h is t o r y and
p h ilo s o p h y are com plem entary branches o f
know ledge, f o r i t
is
the h is t o r ia n who
com pletes the p ic t u r e o f r e a l i t y by in ­
s e r t in g the d is c re p a n c ie s th a t r e s u lt
when the cause does n o t f o r reasons th a t
escape the p h ilo s o p h e r ’ s competence,
f a i t h f u l l y produce i t s p ro p e r e f f e c t .
U n d o u b te d ly,
the n, the h i s t o r ia n p ro ve s a
most u s e fu l a l l y to the p h ilo s o p h e r , ju s t
as the p h ilo s o p h e r does to
Though i t
the h i s t o r ia n .
is easy enough to see where a
c o n f l i c t may a r is e , in no sense s h o u ld
th e re be, f o r t h e ir re s p e c tiv e p u r s u its
a re a lik e
i n th a t th e y b o th seek t r u t h .
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(P. 31)
f
No?/ i t
is
q u ite p l a i n t h a t the h is ­
t o r i c a l event is p r e d ic ta b le o n ly to the
e x te n t th a t we can depend on the f i x i t i e s
o f n a tu r e s .
t h is ?
B u t how fa r can we depend on
M a rita in w r it e s :
event can be fo re se e n i f
"A f o r t u it o u s
its
c o n s titu e n t
r
o
fa c t o r s are s u f f i c i e n t l y s im p le .'1 By a
f o r t u it o u s event i s meant one w h ich is
n o t the r e s u lt o f a c t i v i t y n o rm a lly f l o ­
w in g from a g iv e n n a tu r e , b u t the r e s u lt
o f a c t i v i t y p ro c e e d in g fro m in t e r s e c t in g causal
c h a in s .
Thus eve ry f o r t u it o u s e ve n t i s n o t
s t r i c t l y s p e a k in g a r e s u lt o f th e n a tu re
of it s
causes.
Nor is e v e ry h i s t o r i c a l
event a f o r t u it o u s e ve nt; m ira c le s a re n o t
f o r t u it o u s , n o r are the w o rk in g s o f D iv in e
P ro v id e n c e , and c e r t a in l y these a re h is ­
t o r i c a l e v e n ts .
T h is we w i l l see.
It
is
s u f f i c i e n t to say here th a t e ve ry n a tu re
w i l l f a i t h f u l l y a c t a c c o rd in g to i t s
p ro v id e d th a t i t
f e r i n g causes.
end
does n o t meet an in t e r ­
H is t o r y , th e n , is made up
n a tu re and the f o r t u i t o u s .
As Jacques
M a r ita in w r it e s : " E x is te n t, r e a l i t y
is
thus
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(P. 32)
composed o f n a tu re and the a d v e n t it io u s :
th a t is why th e re is a m eaning in tim e and
its
d u ra tio n c o n s titu te s ( ir r e v e r s ib le )
7
h is to r y .”
On t h is b a s is , i t
seems, th a t i t
is
a llo w a b le to speak o f the " n a tu r a ln e s s ” o f
an h i s t o r i c a l event e it h e r b e fo re o r a f t e r
it
has happened, f o r the same asp ect o f
n a tu ra ln e s s is p re s e n t in b o th in s ta n c e s .
Thus p r e d i c t a b i l i t y and u n p r e d i c t a b i lit y
a re n o t opposed to one a n o th e r as known
to unknown, f o r we n e ve r e lim in a te com­
p l e t e l y one elem ent or the o th e r .
Even
th o s e , who w o u ld d e c la r e , l i k e L ie b n it z ,
th a t we c o u ld know, i f
i t were p o s s ib le
to o e n e tra te the in n e r c o n s t it u t io n o f
,i.
any one cause, a l l h i s t o r i c a l events from
tim e 's b e g in n in g to tim e 's end, w o u ld n o t
assume the superhuman a u d a c ity to u n ra v e l
th e c o m p le x ity o f causes t h a t concur to
make r e a l even th e most i n s i g n i f i c a n t o f
h i s t o r i c a l happenings - no one n o t even
l i e b n i t z who saw t h is w o rld as the "b e s t
p o s s ib le ” ,
fh ile
c o n te n d in g th a t any one
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(P. 33)
o f h is monads (w h ich are m e ta p h y s ic a l u n it s
somewhat a k in to a n g e ls and w h ich , th e r e fo r e ,
can be s a id to be causes) c o n ta in e d in
m in ia tu r e the h is t o r y o f the u n iv e r s e , he
admitted th a t no man c o u ld even hope to
lo o k in s id e these "w indow less *’ m icrocosm s.
In any case we can c r e d it L ie b n it z w ith an
i n t u i t i o n o f the elem ent o f p r e d i c t a b i l i t y
in h i s t o r y .
D e sp ite what we s h a ll para­
d o x ic a lly term "th e e x ig e n c ie s o f the
u n p re d ic ta b le , " th e re a re f ix e d laws th a t
c o n tr ib u te to the way in w h ic h t h is e v e n t
w ill
f in d i t s e l f r e a liz e d .
And though we
w o u ld n o t know ahead o f tim e th a t i t would
be Kant who w o uld " r e lie v e " th e s c e p tic is m
o f Hume, i t
seems in
the l i g h t o f the
h is t o r y o f th o u g h t th a t preceded him th a t
K a n t’ s p h ilo s o p h y v/as a most n a tu r a l r e s u lt
o f Hume’ s .
H is to r y abound w it h such in s ­
ta n ce s - a l l o f w h ich le a d us to conclude
th a t the n e c e s s itie s o f n a tu re s impose
th e m se lve s, though n o t a b s o lu t e ly , on the
h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t.
The r e c o g n itio n o f i n t e l l i g i b l e
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(P. 34)
n e c e s s itie s in h is t o r y is n o t, as we have
a lre a d y in tim a te d , the o f f ic e
o f the h is ­
t o r ia n who would l i m i t h im s e lf to th e mere
c a to lo g u in g o f e v e n ts .
H is to r y as such
does n o t d e a l w i t h ne ce ssa ry c a u s a lit y .
H is to r y i s n o t a s c ie n c e .
The h i s t o r i c a l
e v e n t, w it h i t s am azing c o m p le x ity and i n t ­
r ic a t e
d e L ica e y, can never be re s o lv e d in
human p ro g n o s is .
In t r u t h the h i s t o r i c a l
e ve n t is a p ro d u c t o f the gods.
m ethodology does n o t reduce i t s
H is t o r ic a l
o b je c t to
th e c o n t r o lle d c o n d itio n s o f the e x p e ri­
m e n t / f o r e ve ry h i s t o r i c a l e ve n t is g iv e n
w it h i t s
own a c c id e n ts w ith o u t w hich there
would be no h i s t o r y .
H is to r y , th e n , is
ne ver re co u n te d in the u n iv e r s a l p r o p o s itio n ,
b u t always u n iq u e ly and ir r e v o c a b ly in the
s in g u la r ;
thus h is t o r ia n s w r ite
’’Napoleon I
won the B a t t le o f A u s t e r l i t z ” , n o t " i l l men
w in b a t t l e s . "
to e lim in a te
To the degree th a t we a tte m p t
the u n p re d ic ta b le f a c t o r in the
h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t, to the same degree w i l l
8
we become u n h is t o r ic a l.
th a t i t
It
is c e r t a in , th e n ,
is an a b s u r d ity to reduce h i s t o r y to
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(P. 3 5 )
m etaphysics o r m eta ph ysics to h i s t o r y .
The
"p e re rm is p h ilo s o p h ia " has no h is t o r y .
There is no h is t o r y o f ,/i shorn.
There is
no h is t o r y o f God.
In the l i g h t o f these t r u t h s ,
the d i­
s a s te r th a t a tte n d e d H e g e l’ s m e ta p h y s ic a l
e n te rp ris e
i s n o t s u r p r is in g - he t r ie d
to w r it e a h is t o r y o f God as he c le a r ly
in d ic a te s in the p a n t h e is t ic c o n c lu s io n
o f h is "P h ilo s o p h y o f H is t o r y ” : "T hat
the H is to r y of the W orld , w ith a l l i t s
ch a n g in g scenes i t s
an na ls p re s e n t is
t h is pro cess o f developm ent and the
r e a li z a t io n o f the S p r i r t -
t h is is
tr u e T heodicaea, th e j u s t i f i c a t i o n
9
in h i s t o r y . "
the
o f God
I t is h a r d ly n e ce ssa ry to say th a t
to w r it e a h is t o r y of God Hegel had to
fo rm u la te a d o c tr in e o f r e l a t iv i s m .
H is
c o n c e p tio n o f God c o u ld n o t be t h a t o f
the C h r is t ia n God.
come o f age.
L ittle
H is God had n o t y e t
d id he r e a liz e th a t
lie t z c h e w o uld announce the u n tim e ly
death o f h is y o u th fu l d e it y .
” 0 ’ e s t la
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(P. 36)
m ort de Dieu que H ie tz c h e se s e n t ir a la
te r r ib le
m is s io n d 'a n n o n c e r", says Jacques
10
Mari t a i n . This i s 'p r o o f enough o f the
in te lle c tu a l f o l l y
o f H e g e l's r e la t iv is m -
God s u ffe r e d the same fa te as any o th e r
h i s t o r i c a l , m o rta l t h in g .
However t h is may be, the g e nius o f
Hegel d id n o t c o m p le te ly f a i l .
One reason
i s th a t h is system is a pa nth eism and,
th e r e fo r e , a d m ittin g o f some t r u t h .
At
le a s t we can d e te c t the elem ent o f s c ie n ­
tific
n e c e s s ity th a t be lo ng s r i g h t f u l l y
to th e o d ic y and the elem ent o f h is t o r ie is m
t h a t be lo ng s to h i s t o r i c a l a n a ly s is .
t h is
t h is
In
th e o lo g ic a l h is t o r ie is m w h a t,
th e $ , is more n a t u r a l than to eonceive
th e S p i r i t as u n fo ld in g a c c o rd in g to a
n e ce ssa ry d ia le c t ic ?
-
Is n o t the S p i r i t
f o r th o m is ts , an ens r a t io n i s
o f the
f i r s t m ag nitu de , a lo g ic a l b e in g - sub­
je c t to c e r ta in lo g ic a l law s?
Though
f o r Hegel th e S p i r i t i s som ething q u ite
r e a l; n e v e rth e le s s , he co n ce ive d i t
a f t e r the fa s h io n o f an ens r a t i o n i s .
The
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(P. 37)
r o le o f lo g i c ,
th e r e fo r e , i s v e ry im ­
p o r ta n t in h is t o r y :
” The lo g i c a l, and - as
s t i l l more p ro m in e n t -
the d i a l e c t i c a l na­
tu r e o f the idea in g e n e ra l, v i z . , th a t i t
i s s e lf- d e t e r a in e d th a t i t assumes succes­
s iv e
forms w hich i t
s u c c e s s iv e ly tra n s c e n d s ;
and by t h is pro cess o f tra n s c e n d in g i t s
e a r l i e r stages g a in s an a f f ir m a t iv e , and,
in f a c t a r ic h e r and more c o n c re te s h a p e ;t h is n e c e s s ity o f i t s n a tu re , and the neces­
s a ry s e rie s o f pure a b s tr a c t forms w hich
the Idea s u c c e s s iv e ly assumes i s e x h ib ite d
11
in the a s p e c t o f l o g i c . ”
T h is im p o s itio n
o f lo g i c a l and id e a l n e c e s s ity on h is t o r y
i s n o th in g o th e r than fin a tte m p t to e t e r • n a liz e
the p re s e n t scene: the a p o th e o s is o f
what is in s ta n ta n e o u s , im m ediate, e x p e d ie n tfo r i t i s
the p re s e n t scene th a t is G-od-is
a l l th a t m a tte rs in t h is H e g e lia n is m ; a l l
h is t o r y becomes a p re p a ra tio n fo r the issue
th a t o n ly now o b ta in s ; and once i t ceases
to be-as i t
i s lo s t i n ir r e v o c a b le
t im e - i t
is r e le g a te d to th e le s s im p o rta n t fu n c tio n
w h ich is to m in is te r to a more im p o rta n t Now.
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(P. 38)
We m ig h t add t h a t , though H i t l e r may n o t be
c o g n iz a n t o f the in t r i c a c i e s o f H e g e lia n is m ,
he is a t le a s t h e ir to i t s
12
e x ig e n c ie s .
We know th a t Germany is t r a d i t i o n a l l y
the la n d where the deed assume im p ortan ce
o ve r the word:
the German w ord f o r h is t o r y ,
"G e s e h ic h te ” from "G eschechen", to happen,
13
seems to bear t h i s o u t. How Hegel g iv e s
t h i s word a s p e c ia l s ig n if ic a n c e :
"In our
language the term ’ H is t o r y 1 u n ite s the
o b je c tiv e sid e w it h the s u b je c tiv e s id e ,
and denotes q u ite as much the h i s t o r i a
rerum p-es t a r urn r as the re s ge stae them14
s e lv e s . " T h is in t e r p r e t a t io n u n ite s h is ­
t o r y as known and h i s t o r y as ha ppening in
one m a n ife s ta tio n o f w hat he term s "an
in t e r n a l p r in c ip le common to them b o th
15
th a t produces them s y n c h ro n o u s ly ." Prom
t h i s he reasons th a t where we f in d no w r i t ­
ten h is t o r y (no s u b je c tiv e h i s t o r y ) , th e re
i s no o b je c tiv e h is t o r y :
"The p e rio d s -
w h e th e r we suppose them to be c e n tu rie s
o r m il le n ia -
th a t were passed by n a tio n s
b e fo re h is t o r y was w r i t t e n among them - and
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(P. 39)
w h ic h may have been f i l l e d ' w i t h r e v o lu tio n s ,
nomadic w a n d e rin g s, arid the s tra n g e s t mu­
ta t io n s - a re on t h a t account d e s t it u t e o f
o b je c tiv e h is t o r y , because th e y p re s e n t no
s u b je c tiv e h i s t o r y , no a n n a ls .
We need n o t
suppose th a t the re c o rd s o f such, p e rio d s
have a c c id e n tly p e r is h e d ; r a t h e r because
th e y were n o t p o s s ib le , do we f in d them
16
w a n tin g .'1 Id e a lis m m i t s p u r ity * . The
more h is t o r y is w r i t t e n the more o b je c tiv e
i t becomes I I t was t h i s s p i r i t
o f H e g e lia n ism -
o r we m ig h t say a le s s p r i m it iv e K a n tia n is m 17
t h a t launched a ro m a n tic , n a t io n a l is t move­
ment in h is to r io g r a p h y - volum inous h is ­
to r io g r a p h y ; and n a t u r a lly s o , f o r h is ­
t o r y depends on the w r i t i n g .
The f*Monu-
menta Germanica h i s t o r i c a " , m a rv e llo u s fo r
its
docum entation and p o s it iv e d e t a i l , was
a t y p ic a l r e s u l t .
Thus we see th a t H e g e l’ s
e ty m o lo g ic a l in t e r p r e t a t io n o f the German
'’G ese hich te1* is c o n d itio n e d t o such an e x te n t
by h is id e a lis m t h a t i t
is n o t the a c tu a l
eve nt th a t he makes th e word s i g n i f y , b u t
its
i d e a l i s t i c r e a li z a t io n in th o u g h t.
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(P.
40}
H e g e l's p a n t h e is t ic id e a lis m and the
s u b je c t iv is m i t
im p lie s , as w e ll as th e
l o g i c i s i m i t em ploys, are n o t in k e e p in g
w it h the ir r e d u c ib le r e a l i t y
t o r i c a l e v e n t.
o f the h is ­
A g a in , we i n s i s t th a t h is ­
t o r y does n o t d e a l w ith p rim a ry c a u s a lit y .
H is to r y , we c o n te n d , i s o n ly o f the tem poral
o rd e r and, hence, o f the e x i s t e n t ia l o rd e r,
where what i s in p lie d in the n a tu re s o f
th in g s are o fte n p re v e n te d fro m r e a li z in g
t h e i r ends.
As l a r i t a i n
says in h is "Degrees
o f Kno?/ledge": "E v e ry e x i s t i n g t h in g has
i t s n a tu re o r essence, b u t the e x i s t e n t ia l
p o s it io n o f th in g s is n o t im p lie d in t h e ir
n a tu r e , and eve n ts occur among them w h ich
in
them selves are n o t d e riv e d from these
n a tu re s and w h ic h no one n a tu re e s s e n t ia lly
18
im p lie s
The rem arkable t h in g about K a n tia n is m
and H e g e lia n ism is t h a t th e y t r y to impose
the n e c e s s itie s o f scie n ce i n an a b s o lu te
way on the h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t y ,
s u b m itte d r e a l i t y
Once Kant
to the e x ig e n c ie s o f
Newtonian p h y s ic s e x i s t e n t ia l r e a l i t y ,
or
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(P. 41)
b e t t e r , h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t y , was view ed in
the c o ld l i g h t o f p h y s ic a l a b s o lu te s ,
hot
o n ly d id he m isco n ce ive the n a tu re o f
s c ie n c e , b u t a ls o th a t o f m e ta p h y s ic s .
In
f a c t had he formed a c o r r e c t idea o f
s c ie n c e , i t w o u ld have been because he had
f i r s t formed a c o r r e c t idea o f m e ta p h y s ic s .
He made h is m is ta k e in c o n c e iv in g p h y s ic s
as the s c ie n c e , p a r e x c e lle n c e .
I t at­
tempted n o t o n ly to embrace r e a l i t y , b u t
a ls o to assume the p o s it io n o f the s c ie n t ia
r e c t r ix .
When a p a r t ic u l a r s c ie n c e suc­
ceeds in d e lu d in g a th in k e r to the e x te n t
t h a t i t appears com petent to answer the
most fun da m enta l q u e s tio n s , p h ilo s o p h e rs
add ’ ism* to the name o f the scie n ce in
o rd e r to g iv e i t a p h ilo s o p h ic a l connota­
t io n .
Thus I .
G ils o n has d e s c rib e d K a n t's
19
p h ilo s o p h y as a 'p h y s ic is m '. And r i g h t l y
so- f o r a l l p h ilo s o p h y is
be c a lle d ' is m a tic is m 1.
is m a tie , and m ig h t
However t h is may
b e , Kant t r i e d to make p h y s ic s h is meta­
p h y s ic s .
And as the scie n ce o f r e a l i t y i t
c o u ld say th a t i t was unknowable; as the
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(P. 42)
s c ie n t ia r e c t r i x i t
c o u ld say th a t meta­
p h y s ic s has no v a l i d i t y .
A t le a s t K a nt had made scie n ce se­
c u re .
B u t what o f h is t o r y ?
s u rv iv e in a Newtonian w o rld ?
w e r, n o .
Gould i t
VYe ans­
K a n tia n is m presupposes the
a b s o lu te r ig o u r o f p h y s ic a l c o n s o lit y
and, hence, the p o t e n t ia l a b s o lu te n e s s
o f p h y s ic a l c e r t it u d e .
This is n o th in g
more or le s s than a d e te rm in is m -
20
t u r a l d e te rm in is m ” - w h ich in
”na-
th e o ry
d e s tro y s the u n p re d ic ta b le elem ent in
the h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t.
m a te ly to i t s
C a rrie d u l t i ­
lo g ic a l u n r e a lit y , i t i s
supposed t h a t , i f
any man c o u ld know
a l l the in d iv id u a l happenings from the
b e g in n in g o f tim e - and he would have
to know them a l l ,
f o r th e f a i l u r e to
know any one o f them would d e s tro y the
r e p r e s e n ta tiv e v a lu e o f the a ll- e m b ra c in g
fo rm u la he w o uld in d u c t iv e ly d e riv e - he
c o u ld p ro g n o s tic a te w ith a b s o lu te a c c u ra c y
a l l th e e v e n ts fro m now t i l l
tim e .
the end o f
N eedless to sav t h is is pure
«/
i
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(P. 43)
mechanism: in no sense i s
v is io n f o r the a c t i v i t y
fre e a g e n ts .
the re any p ro ­
o f i n t e l l i g e n t and.
In the same way Jean Jacques
Rousseau c o u ld s c o f f a t m ira c le s :
"S in ce
a m ira c le is an e x c e p tio n to the laws o f
n a tu r e , in o rd e r to judge them, i t
is
n e ce ssa ry to know these la w s , and in
o rd e r to judge s u r e ly ,
i t is n e ce ssa ry to
know a l l o f them: because o n ly one o f them
th a t is n o t known can, in c e r t a in in s ta n c e s ,
unknown to w itn e s s e s , change the e f f e c t o f
those th a t a re known.
A lso whoever p ro ­
nounces th a t such and such an a c t is a
m ir a c le d e c la re s th a t he knows a l l the
laws o f n a tu r e , and t h a t he knows in
21
what way t h is a c t is an e x c e p tio n .”
d i f f e r e n t is G. I .
How
C h e s te rto n who c o u ld
d ic t a t e to h is s e c re ta r y t h a t i t was a
m ira c le t h a t the sun sh o u ld r is e
t h is
m o rn in g .
To r e f u te t h i s v ie w th a t would
p e t r i f y the h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i n t h is
s c i e n t i f i c d e te rm in is m , i t
to
is ne e e ssa ry
the A r is t o t e lia n vie w o f chance and
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(P .
the new and deeper meaning i t
hands o f S t. Thomas.
44)
re c e iv e s in the
In t h is way we w i l l
a p p re c ia te th e tremendous r o le
o f P rovide nce
and the ir r e d u c ib le m y s te ry o f the l i b e r t y o f
the human w i l l in th e c o n s t it u t io n o f the
h is to r ic a l
e ve n t.
To b e g in w ith A r i s t o t l e was deeply
co n scio u s o f the p a r t p la y e d by n a tu re s in
th e d e te rm in a tio n o f the h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t.
He n o tic e d
the u n if o r m it y e x h ib ite d in
a n im a l g e n e r a tio n .
Thus he up r a id s De­
m o c ritu s and some o f the a n c ie n t a to m is ts
% ho a t t r i b u t e
our Heaven and a l l th e w o rld s
22
to chance h a p p e n in g s .”
”It
i s n o t , "he s a y s ,”
a m a tte r o f chance w hat s p rin g s fro m a g iv e n
snerm, sin ce an o liv e comes from such a one,
23
and a man fro m such a n o th e r .
f o r the same
reason we a s c rib e p r e d i c a t a b i l i t y to the
h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t.
E ith e r we must do t h i s o r
c o n s id e r a l l u n ifo rm a c t io n an e x c e p tio n to
the r u le o f chance.
s till
In any eve nt th e re is
som ething e ls e to e x p la in ; how i s i t
th a t so many n a tu re s are u n f u l f i l l e d ?
Are
n o t the p a th s o f the fo r e s t and lik e w is e th e
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a n n a ls o f h is t o r y stre w n w it h
the wreckage
o f u n re a liz e d f r u i t i o n and broken p ro m ise s?
A lre a d y we have in d ic a te d the answer
to t h is query when we s a id above th a t
e v e ry n a tu re w i l l a c t a c c o rd in g to i t s
p ro v id e d th a t i t
end
i s n o t in t e r f e r e d w it h .
However, to make i t
more c le a r , we w i l l
d is tin g u is h between the no rm al e f f e c t , or
th e e f f e c t p e r s e . o f a g iv e n cause, and
the e f f e c t s w h ich proceed fro m them
a c c id e n t a lly o r p a r a c c id e n s .
Mow the
e f f e c t p e r se o f a g iv e n cause o f f e r s
no p ro b le m , and i f a l l e f f e c t s were p e r se r
n e it h e r w ould h is t o r y p re s e n t a problem :
th e o lo g ia n s , m e ta p h y s ic ia n s , m a th e m a tic ia n s ,
lo g ic ia n s and s c ie n t is t (and here the " n a tu r a l
d e te r m in is ts " would have an o p p o r tu n ity
to do t h e i r b i t ) w ould go ahead and w r it e
a l l h is t o r y .
T his i s n o t the case, f o r as
S t . Thomas says: " I t is n o t tr u e
th a t g iv e n
any cause ’w h atsoe ver, the e f f e c t must
fo llo w
of n e c e s s ity , because some causes a re
so ordered to
t h e ir e f f e c t s , as to produce
them, no t o f n e c e s s ity , but in the m a jo r it y
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(P. 46)
o f eases, and in the m in o r it y to f a i l in
24
p ro d u c in g them.
f o r exam ple, the p e r se
e f f e c t o f a g iv e n seed i s to produce a
p la n t o f a c e r t a in k in d ;
e a ts t h is seed i t s
b u t i f a b ir d
f u n c tio n w i l l be to
n o u ris h the organism o f the b ir d .
it
can h a r d ly be s a id th a t i t
Now
is the
n a tu re o f the seed to p ro v id e fo o d f o r
b ir d s .
T h e re fo re we must .say th a t the
seed is n o t p e r se b u t p e r a ccid e n s food
f o r b ir d s .
low the h is t o r ia n would
re c o rd the in c id e n t o f the b i r d e a tin g
the seed in t h is fa s h io n :
th e s e e d ".
"The b ir d a te
But would i t n o t be im­
p o s s ib le f o r him to form t h is p r o p o s itio n
if
the n a tu re o f the seed im p lie d th a t i t
must become a p la n t?
Now we a re re a d y to answer the "n a t­
u r a l d e te rm in is t s " .
T h e ir fundam ental
e r r o r i s , as we have a lre a d y in d ic a te d , a
f a ls e a p p r e c ia tio n o f the n a tu re o f
s c ie n c e .
I f th e y base t h e ir judgm ents on
•the h i s t o r ic a r e a l , and t h is the y do when
th e y adhere to a p u r e ly in d u c tiv e lo g ic ,
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(P. 47)
th e y ean ne ver fo rm u la te co h e re n t laws by
w h ich th e y may p r e d ic t h is t o r y , f o r , as we
have ju s t seen, the h i s t o r i c a l p r e p o s itio n
may express what is a c c id e n ta l to the
n a tu re o f the th in g , as in the case o f the
seed b e in g eaten by the b i r d .
It
is p l a i n from the above th a t th e re
w i l l be as many h i s t o r i c a l p r o p o s itio n s
as th e re a re re c o rd e d h i s t o r i c a l e v e n ts .
A ls o each p r o p o s it io n w i l l be unique and
in d e m o n s tra b le .
I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t th a t
the same may be s a id o f th e p r u d e n t ia l
p r o p o s it io n .
Since man must a c t in the
m ilie u o f the p r e d ic ta b le and th e un­
p r e d ic ta b le , each new s it u a t io n w i l l fo rc e
him to make a unique d e c is io n ,
lie cannot
be g u id e d w h o lly by precedence, f o r the
s it u a t io n
once,
th a t he faces now occu rs o n ly
how sin ce i t
is the v ir t u e o f
prudence th a t enables man to cope w ith
t h i s p a r t ic u l a r s it u a t io n and s in c e i t
is
on th e p r u d e n tia l p r o p o s it io n th a t man
a c t s , human h is t o r y is n o th in g more than
the h i s t o r y o f p ru d e n ce .
Thus th e
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(P. 48)
p r u d e n t ia l p r o p o s it io n and h i s t o r i c a l p ro ­
p o s it io n are in one sense the same.
There
are |?ut two senses in w h ich th e y may be
s a id to be d i f f e r e n t .
F i r s t , the h i s t o r i c a l
p r o p o s itio n has an a p o s t e r io r i r e l a t io n
to the e ve n t w hich i t
re c o u n ts , whereas
the p r u d e n tia l p r o p o s it io n has an a p r i o r i
r e l a t io n to the a c t i v i t y
it .
th a t flo w s from
Second, the h i s t o r i c a l p r o p o s itio n
i s s p e c u la tiv e
in t h a t i t
does n o t eon-
t e p la te any a c t io n ; whereas the p r u d e n t ia l
p r o p o s itio n has some im m ediate a c tio n in
v ie w .
Human h i s t o r y ,
then expresses in
i t s p r o p o s itio n s what man f r e e ly and in ­
t e l l i g e n t l y do es.
Once we a d m it th a t the h i s t o r i c a l
e ve n t depends f o r i t s p e c u lia r c o n s t it u t io n
in tim e on the e te rn a l decrees o f D iv in e
P rovidence and on the te m p o ra l, p r u d e n t ia l
d ic ta t e s o f man, we can say th a t i t
i n t e l l e c t ana f i l l ,
is
in s e p a ra b le in God,
b u t d i s t i n c t in man, th a t h o ld sway o v e r
the h i s t o r i c a l r e a l.
Thus as we pass down
fro m the D iv in e n u le r in an a n a lo g ic a l
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(P . 49)
decensus (and a n a lo g ic a l i t must be: God’ s
super-em inence demands i t ) ,
ou r p a th s d i­
v e rg e , f o r what is One in God becomes
many in th in g s ;
i n t e l l e c t and w i l l appear
as two d i s t i n c t powers in man; on t h is
le v e l he li v e s ,
so to speak, in two
s e p a ra te w o rld s -
the s p e c u la tiv e and
th e p r a c t ic a l ; c o n tin u in g our descensus
we f i n d o u r p a th s a g a in converge as we
approach the h i s t o r i c a l r e a l; and now
the i n t e l l e c t and w i l l appear as i f one
s y n th e s is e d in the o rd e rs o f A r t and
P rudence.
Needless to say the D iv in e
iiu le does n o t s to p where man b e g in s ,
f o r God r u le s men th ro u g h man’ s p ru ­
dence.
H is to r y , th e n , ta ke s p la c e '
when man a c ts in the o rd e rs o f A r t and
P rudenee, o r when what we des ig n a te
h e re as n a tu r a l
th in g s ’ a n im a ls e t c . , )
a c t a c c o rd in g to t h e ir n a tu re s in s o fa r
as th e y are no t in t e r f e r e d w it h . (Man’ s
lib e r ty ,
i t m ig h t seem, in t e r f e r e s w ith
the r u le o f P ro v id e n c e .
B u t t h is d i f ­
f i c u l t y d isa p p e a rs when we r e a liz e th a t
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(P. 50)
God made man fre e and th a t i t
i s , t h e r e fo r e ,
p a r t o f the P r o v id e n t ia l p la n th a t he s h o u ld
govern f r e e l y ) .
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(P. 51}
1.
Romans, x l ,3 4 ,3 5 .
2.
O f. su p ra , p . 11
3.
la r it a in 's
"Humanisms In te g r a e " c o u ld
a lm o st be c a lle d a h is t o r y of the f u t u r e .
I t makes no p re te n s e , however, a t p r e d ic t in g
c h r o n o lo g ic a l h is t o r y ;
i t rem ains w it h in
the safe l i m i t s o f i n t e l l i g i b l e
n e c e s s itie s ,
w h ich may f a i l in d iv id u a l in s ta n c e s , b u t
w h ich in the lo n g ru n c o n t r o l and d ir e c t
human f a t e s .
4.
O f. S t. Thomas, Summa T h e o lo g ic a ,
Prim a P a rs , qu. 14, a r t . 13.
"Quieumque
c o g n o s e it e ffe e tu m c o n tin g e n turn in causa
sua tantum , non ha be t de eo n i s i eonje c tu ra le m c o g n itio n e m .*1
5.
M an's knowledge i s li m it e d , on one
hand, by the e xce ssive i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y
o f those o b je c ts w h ic h a re above him ,
and, on the o th e r hand, by th e p o v e rty of
in te llig ib ility
Thus, when i t
o f those th in g s below him ,
is a case o f know in g the
D iv in e Essence we a re b lin d e d by the
e xce ssive l i g h t o f the D iv in e i n t e l ­
lig ib ility .
i s S t. Thomas w r it e s :
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(P. 52)
"Hespondeo dicendum , quod cum unumquodque
s i t c o g n o s c ib le secundum quod e s t in a e tu ,
Deus q u i e s t a c tu s p u ru s absque omni
p e rm ix tio n e p o te n tia e , quantum in se e s t,
maxima co g n o s c ib le in se, a l i c u i i n t e l l e c t u i
c o g n o s c ib le non e s t, p r o p te r excessum
in te llig ib ilis
supra in te lle c t u m .
s o l q u i e s t maxima v i s i b i l i s ,
S ie u t
v id e r i non
p o te s t a v e s p e r t ilio n e p r o p te r excessum
lu m in is . ’1
Sunma T h e o lo g ic a , Prim a P a rs,
qu. 12, a r t . 1 .
We see, th e r e fo r e ,
th a t
because God is pure a c t and because
som ething is knowable a c c o rd in g as i t
in a c t ,
is
th a t God i s suprem ely knowable
and, hence, but v e ry im p e r fe c tly to u s f
low when i t
is a case o f know ing a
m a te ria l th in g , w h ic h can ne ver be in
any sense p u re a c t and w hich is a lw a ys,
t h e r e fo r e , a m is tu re o f a c t and p o te n c y ,
we have n o t an excess o f i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y ,
but a d e fic ie n c y ; f o r w h ich reason we can
say th a t a p u r e ly p o t e n t ia l t h in g is
c o m p le te ly u n i n t e l l i g i b l e and unknowable
to the human i n t e l l e c t .
In f a c t a p u r e ly
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( P . 53)
p o t e n t i a l t h in g is n o th in g o th e r than prim e
m a tte r and, hence, n o th in g a t a l l .
way man's knowledge is li m it e d
In t h is
to the degree
th a t a t h in g is perm eated w it h m a tte r o r to
the degree t h a t i t
is in p o te n c y .
Thus th in g s th a t f o r us a re n o t y e t
a c t u a l, v i z . ,
fu tu r e c o n tin g e n t e v e n ts , are
unknowable to th e degree th a t we are un ab le
to p r e d ic t w hether or n o t and when th e y
w i l l be a c tu a liz e d .
Our knowledge i s to
t h is e x te n t measured by tim e , w h ich is
n o th in g e ls e b u t th e su cce ssio n o f the
a c t u a liz a t io n s o f m a te ria l p o te n c ie s !
G od's
know ledge, on the o th e r hand, s in c e He is
c o m p le te ly in a c t ,
is measured fcot by tim e ,
b u t by e t e r n it y w h ic h im p lie s no su cce ssio n
v/h a tso e ve r.
^ence, He knows fu tu r e con­
tin g e n t eve n ts as p re s e n t: " L ic e t c o n tin g e n tia
fia t
in a c tu su cce ssive non tamen.
Deus
su cce ssive e o g n o s e it c o n tin g e n tia , p ro u t
in suo esse, s ic u t n o s, sed s im u l. " S t. Thomas
up. c i t . ,
qu. 14, a r t . 13.
6.
A P refa ce to M e ta p h y s ic s , p . 141.
7.
The Degrees o f Knowledge, p . 34.
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(P. 54)
8.
nWhere i t
ir r e v e r s ib le
de als w it h c o n tin g e n t and
f a c t s , h is t o r y i s , and has
to b e , h is t o r ic is m ,
f o r , a lth o u g h e ve ry­
th in g happens a c c o rd in g to i n t e l l i g i b l e
causes, n o t e v e r y th in g happens a c c o rd in g
to u n iv e r s a l la w s .”
S. G ils o n , U n ity o f
P h ilo s o p h ic a l E xp e rie n c e , p . 319.
9.
P h ilo s o p h y o f H is t o r y , p . 457
10.
Humanisine I n t e g r a l, p . 42.
11.
o p . c i t . , p . 63 .
12.
There are many t e x t s in
’ Mein la m p f’
th a t can be c it e d to b r in g t h is o n t.
To
c it e one: fo le a r n h is t o r y means to se a rch
and f i n d the fo rc e s th a t cause the e f f e c t s
w h ich we l a t e r face as h i s t o r ic a l, e v e n ts .”
p . 19.
(M ein Kampf, B eynal and H itc h c o c k ,
New Y o rk , 1 9 4 0 ).
13 .
op. e i t . , e d i t o r ’ s n o te , p . 63.
14.
op. e i t . , p . 60.
15.
op. e i t . , i b id .
16.
op. e i t . , i b i d .
17.
G f. Garebon J . H. Hayes, HA P o l i t i c a l
and C u lt u r a l H is to r y o f Modern E u ro p e ,M
V o l. 11, p . 172.
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(P. 55)
18.
p . 34 .
19.
U n ity o f P h ilo s o p h ic a l E x p e rie n c e , p . 227.
20.
O f. J . l a r i t a i n ,
21.
L e ttr e s de la Montague.
22.
Phys. ] X
1?.
23 .
Phys. t r ,
7.
24 .
Sumna T h e o lo g ic a ,
The Degrees o f Knowledge, p . 36.
Prim a P a rs, qu. 115, a r t . 6 .
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
EJr. J B
III
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
TM ..i;iaiui:e_.aiia_l]egrie es„of lliaAfi£ifiaiJfcQElfl4g9 ^ •.,*&« 56,*
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(P. 56)
Mow th a t we have a n a lyze d the fo rc e s
th a t concur and c o n f l i c t to produce the
h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t, we w i l l a tte m p t to
d e s ig n a te the n a tu re o f h i s t o r i c a l knoiQ
le d g e .
A lre a d y we have in d ic a te d s e v e ra l
th in g s t h a t may be s a id a b ou t h is t o r y as
a branch o f know ledge,
f o r one t h in g we
have s a id th a t i t
is n o t re d u c ib le
to a
p u r e ly s c i e n t i f i c
d is c ip lin e and t h a t, f o r
t h is rea son , s h o u ld n o t be con fuse d w it h
those departm ents o f knowledge th a t are
s c ie n c e s .
In t h is c h a p te r we propose to
c l a r i f y some o f these n o tio n s touched
upon in th a t la s t c h a p te r and to i n t r o ­
duce new ones in an a n a ly s is o f the
n a tu re o f h i s t o r i c a l knowledge and i t s
d iv is io n s .
In the custom ary d e s ig n a tio n o f a
bra nch o f human know ledge, we speak o f
two elem ents; i t s m a te r ia l o b je c t and
its
fo rm a l o b je c t .
The m a te r ia l o b je c t
o f a branch o f knowledge is what i t
d e a ls w ith and the fo rm a l o b je c t is
the a sn e ct under w h ich i t
-i.
is vie w e d .
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(P. 57)
F o r t h is reason one departm ent o f knowledge
can d i f f e r from a n o th e r even though th e y •
s tu d y the same o b je c ts f o r exam ple, b o th
c h e m is try and n a tu r a l p h ilo s o p h y t r e a t
o f b o d ie s , but each fro m i t s
o f v ie w .
own p o in t
How, does h is t o r y a d m it o f such
d e s ig n a tio n ?
Does i t have a fo rm a l and
m a te r ia l o b je c t?
C e r ta in ly i t has a m a te r ia l o b je c t
v iz . ,
c o n tin g e n t e v e n ts .
For one th in g ,
c o n tin g e n t events are common *o b je c t* -m a tte rf
( o r the m a te ria l o b je c t) f o r many s c ie n c e s .
P h ysics has c o n tin g e n t events f o r i t s
m a te r ia l o b je c t.
The p h ilo s o p h y o f n a tu re
a ls o has c o n tin g e n t e ve n ts f o r i t s
o b je c t.
m a te r ia l
B ut does i t n o t seem th a t h i s t o r y
n e v e r a ris e s from the w o rld of c o n tin g e n t
e v e n ts ?
And f o r t h i s re a so n c o u ld we n o t
say th a t i t
has no fo rm a l o b je c t?
It
w ould seem th u s; b u t i t must have some
f o r m a lit y , f o r , no m a tte r how m in u te ,
human knowledge ne ver p e n e tra te s the
in e f f a b le s in g u la r .
T h e re fo re , we say
t h a t h is t o r y is o f a l l branches o f
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(P.
58)
knowledge p o o re s t in f o r m a lit y .
There i s alw ays a p o s s i b i l i t y o f con­
fu s in g the o rd e r o f the mind w ith the
o n to lo g ic a l o rd e r.
For th is re a so n i t would
be w e ll to d is t in g u is h between h is t o r y
as i t happens and h is t o r y as i t
is known.
H is to r y w i l l have, n o t o n ly from the p o in t
o f view o f knowledge (ta k e n here as in ­
fo rm a tio n ) b u t a ls o from the p o in t o f
view o f the manner i t
e x is t s , a d i f ­
fe r e n t e x is te n c e in the mind as known.
M oreover, sin ce w r it t e n h is t o r y im p lie s
a fu rth e r in te lle c t u a l a c t iv it y , v iz . ,
t h a t o t the a r t o f the h is t o r ia n ,
th e re w i l l be a d iffe r e n c e between h i s t o r y
as known and h is t o r y as w r it t e n ^
It
is
these thre e a s p e c ts , h is t o r y as i t
happens, h is t o r y as i t
as i t
is known and h is t o r y
is w r i t t e n , th a t we propose to
d is c u s s now.
(a )
F i r s t o f a l l , h i s t o r i c a l events suc­
ceed one a n o th e r in ir r e v e r s ib le
so ir r e v e r s ib le
sequence—
in d e e d , th a t n o t even God’ s
om nipotence can change i t s
te m p o ra l o rd e r
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(P. 59)
f o r the D iv in e omnipotence does n o t extend
to a n y t h in g t h a t im p lie s c o n t r a d i c t i o n , and
to say t h a t G-od can make the p a s t not to
have been c e r t a i n l y im p lie s c o n t r a d i c t i o n !
Once the event t h a t happens i n time escapes
b e fo re the d u r a t io n le s s i n s t a n t , (w h ic h would
be, were i t n o t f o r memory, alm ost n o t h in g
at a ll) ,
it
has i t s p e c u l i a r c o n s t i t u t i o n
once and f o r a l l .
how i t
i s im p o rta n t
to note a t t h i s n o i n t t h a t i t
i s the r e a l
time o f common-sense and n a t u r a l p h i­
lo sop hy i n which i t
t h i s t o r y take p la c e ;
is p o s s ib le t h a t
it
is n o t the ma­
th e m a tic a l e n t i t y o f a r e l a t i v i s t p h y s ic s
w h ich may dispense w i t h s u cce ssio n in
(b )
o rd e r to s a t i s f y the e x ig e n c ie s of
m ath em atica l d e d u c tio n ,
fh u s i t i s
o n ly on c o n d it io n t h a t we accept the
r e a l i t y of s u c c e s s io n and by the
same token i t s
ir r e v e r s ib ility ,
th a t
h i s t o r y has any m e ta p h y s ic a l p o s s i b i l i t y ,
A c c o rd in g to a p h y s ic o - m a th e m a tica l
o n t o lo g y , h i s t o r y may be re v e rs e d ; -once
tim e becomes a v a r i a b l e , i t assumes a
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(P. 60)
m athem atical e l o s t i e i t y
t h a t robs i t
of its
i r r e v e r s i b l e d u r a t io n .
In h is "Tbeonas”
I . M a r i t a in p o in t s o u t how ab surd are the
p o s s ib ilitie s
consequent on the a d o n tio n
o f a cornu l a t e l y r e l a t i v i s t view o f r e a l i t y ;
to g iv e one example: "Supposing t h a t the
ca p tu re of P e tro g ra d by Youndeniteh - an
event which th e y were e x p e c tin g '.- had
caused a r i s e
in Russian s to c k s on the
Hew York exchange;
f o r ob se rve rs w h ir le d
a lo n g by a Movement whose speed in r e l a t i o n
to the e a r th was p e r im p o s s ib le , s u p e r io r
to t h a t o f l i g h t ,
(c )
the su cce ssio n o f the
eve nts would be re v e rs e d ,
when, 0 Beauty
o f science*. 0 r e a c t i v i t y o f our concepts*,
the r i s e
i n v alue s w ould take Diace f i r s t
4r
and the c a p tu re of P e tro g ra d would lim p
2
i n a bad seco nd .''
h a tu r a lly h is to r y is a
sheer i m p o s s i b i l i t y f o r anyone who would
sJfscribe to t h i s ro m a n tic r e l a t i v i s m .
it
But
i s no t an in c o n c e iv a b le im a g in in g to
u n d e rs ta n d how an h i s t o r i a n , p re o c c u p ie d
w i t h a p u r e ly r e l a t i v i s t n o t io n o f tim e ,
c o u ld p a i n t a r a t h e r d i s t o r t e d p i c t u r e o f
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(P . 61)
the. p a s t ,
f o r one t h i n g he would take no
cognizance o f ca u sa l sequences, f o r , f f
h i s t o r y a d m its o f r e v e r s i b i l i t y ,
the re i s no
reason why e f f e c t s can n o t be produced w i t h ­
out causes.
So much f o r h i s t o r y as i t
happens.
then what happens i n h i s t o r y i s known,
i t g a in s th e re b y a new e x is te n c e ,
v e ry reason, i f
be s t u d ie d .
f o r th is
f o r no o t h e r , h i s t o r y s h o u ld
B e fo re i t
is known, the h i s ­
t o r i c a l event has ( e x c e p t, o f cou rse, f o r
(d )
its
e x is te n c e in the memories o f those who
took p a r t in the event a n f o f those who
were immediate w itn e s s e s ) b u t a ' p h y s i c a l '
e x is te n c e : l i k e G ra y 's "touts in g l o r i o u s
3
t o i l t o n " , the d ra m a tis personae o f h i s t o r y
and the events t h a t y th e y make and th a t
o c c u r about them, a re le s s , i f th e y escape
the n o t ic e o f the minds o f men, le s s n o t
i n them selves, but in n o t b e in g in o th e rs
as known,
fh e re i s a m e ta p h y s ic a l reason
f o r t h i s - and one q u it e d i f f e r e n t from
the H ege lia n reason t h a t in s p i r e d the
volum inous h i s t o r io g r a p h y o f w hich we spoke
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(P. 62)
above.
T his reason i s b ro u g h t to mind
i n the te rm , " ens e n t e n tio n a le ( i n t e n t i o n a l
b e in g ) w h ic h s i g n i f i e s an emergence from
the s ta te o f p u r e l y p h y s ic a l e x is te n c e ,
from the s ta te
o f m ere ly "h a v in g happened"
3 (a ) in the case o f h i s t o r y ,
"known to have happened".
to the s t a t e o f
Thanks to
t h i s emergence fro m the o b l i v i o n o f p h y s ic a l
e v e n t u a l i t y to the re a lm o f i n t e n t i o n a l ! t y thanks to b e in g known - h i s t o r y is l i v e d
and r e l i v e d by su cce ed in g g e n e r a tio n s .
It
is on t h i s account t h a t h i s t o r y is some­
t h in g d ra m a tic , f o r i s n i t i n t e n t i o n a l i t y
the m etaphusical b a s is f o r drama?
l a y we
n o t c o n s id e r the events themselves as
sep ara te p h y s ic a l e n t i t i e s t h a t assume new
and drank t i c
life
i n the minds o f the
s p e c ta to r s ?
There i s a s e c r e t j o y o f mind
when i t r i s e s above p h y s ic a l happenings,
even when i t watches o th e r minds in a c t io n and s t i l l more im p o rta n t - when i t
does no t
i t s e l f become a p a r t o f the drama t h a t i t
w itn e s s e s .
Though a l l knowledge i s good in i t s e l f -
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(P. 63)
and f o r t h i s reason e v e ry new h i s t o r i c a l
f a c t s h o u ld be welcomed - h i s t o r i c a l
knowledge by i t s e l f is n o t s u f f i c i e n t f o r
3 (b )
the p e r f e c t i o n o f the human i n t e l l e c t .
For one t h i n g , the r e p e t o ir e o f h i s ­
t o r i c a l knowledge i s too la rg e f o r any one
man or f o r any group of men to m aste r;
and f o r a n o th e r the human mind i s n o t a l l
memory.
Man i s more than an e n c y c lo p a e d ia ,
he i s a m e ta p h y s ic a l a n im a l.
Greatness o f
memory does n o t d i s t i n g u i s h him as t r u l y
human.
As C a rd in a l hewman w r i t e s : "There
a re men who embrace i n t h e i r minds a vast
m u lt it u d e
o f id e a s , b u t w i t h l i t t l e
sen­
s i b i l i t y about t h e i r r e a l r e l a t i o n s t o ­
wards each o t h e r .
There may be a n t i ­
q u a ria n s , a n n a l i s t s , n a t u r a l i s t s ;
may le a rn e d i n the law;
in s t a t is t ic s ;
the y
th e y maybe versed
they are most u s e f u l in
t h e i r own p la c e ;
I s h o u ld s h r in k from
sp e a kin g d i s r e s p e c t f u l l y o f them; s t i l l ,
th e re i s n o t h in g i n such a tta in m e n ts to
g u a ra n te e the absence o f narrowness o f
4
B U M ."
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(P. 64)
3 (c)
Alm ost in s e p a ra b le from a d is c u s s io n o f
h i s t o r y as known i s h i s t o r y as w r i t t e n .
The
t h i n g t h a t in te r s e n e s between these two
a s p e c ts is the a r t o f the man who w rite s .,
Here we must r e - i n t r o d u c e the n o t io n o f i n te n tio n a lis ts ,
is
f o r j u s t as h i s t o r y as known
the i n t e n t i o n a l e x is te n c e o f h i s t o r y
as known.
Thus the a r t o f the l i t e r a r y
h i s t o r i a n c o n fe rs on the m a t e r ia ls in w hich
he w o rk s , v i z . , words or m a t e r i a l s ig n s the
c o n v e n tio n a l r e p r e s e n t a t io n s o f c o n c e p ts,
an i n t e n t i o n a l o r q u a l i t a t i v e
e x is te n c e
w hich re n d e rs them i n t e l l i g i b l e
to o t h e r s .
How because the re i s an a n o lo g ic a l
r e l a t i o n between the knowledge o f h i s t o r y and
its w ritin g ,
th e re can be as many d i f f e r e n t
r e n d i t i o n s o f the h i s t o r y as th e re a re men
who w r i t e i t .
h is to ric a l lite ra tu re
is
n e ver p h o to g r a p h ic , o r in p h il o s o p h ic a l
language, i t
is n o t an u n iv o c a l t r a n s l a t i o n
o f what has happened..
Thus j u s t as we say
t h a t a r t in te rv e n e s between h i s t o r y as hap­
p e n in g , so a ls o we say t h a t mind in te r v e n e s
between h i s t o r y as happening and h i s t o r y
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(P. 65)
5 (d )
w ritte n .
Mow does t h i s double i n t e r v e n t i o n
n e c e s s a r ily im p ly a double d i s t o r t i o n
be­
tween h i s t o r y as happening and h i s t o r y as
w ritte n ?
I s w r i t t e n h i s t o r y i n t h i s case
b u t a poor i m i t a t i o n o f what r e a l l y hap­
pened?
Mot a t a l l .
Though th e re i s a
d i f f e r e n c e between h i s t o r y as happening
and h i s t o r y as known, i t
is n o t a d i f ­
fe re n ce w hich deforms; the f a c t t h a t man's
i n t e l l i g e n c e cannot e x h u rs t the m u i t i p i u i t y
o f h i s t o r i c a l enents does n o t mean t h a t what
he does know i s n o t a tr u e knowledge;
tru th
has many degrees, and does n o t demand
a b s o lu te com pleteness.
M oreover, as we have
a lr e a d y in d i c a t e d , the r e l a t i o n between what
i s known and what i s w r i t t e n ia a n a l o g i c a l .
In t h i s r e l a t i o n ,
p a r ity ,
because,
though i t a d m its o f d is ­
there i s no need f o r d i s t o r t i o n ,
thanks to i n t e n t i o n a l b e in g ,
the
e s s e n t ia l q u a l i t i e s t h a t e x i s t in the mind
are reproduced by the a c t o f the h i s t o r i a n
i n h is wr i t i n g s .
The way in which the h i s t o r i a n d e s c rib e s
h i s t o r i c a l events depends on the degree o f
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(P. 66)
p r o f i c i e n c y he lias a t t a i n e d ,
now t h is p r o -
f i c i e n q y v a r ie s in i t s degree to the e x te n t
th a t two extremes are a v o id e d : o ve r-g e n ­
e r a l i z a t i o n and o v e r - p a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n .
3 (e )
F i r s t the p i c t u r e
■prints
.i.
t h a t the h i s t o r i a n
o f the. ps. a s t must be more than a
b ro ad o u t l i n g ; he must speak in terms le ss
vague than " e r a s ” o r " p e r io d s " .
‘T his
tendency to o v e r - g e n e r a liz e i s n o t u s u a l­
l y a s c r ib e d to h i s t o r i a n s b u t to p h i ­
lo so p h e rs who are o ft e n too r e a d i l y s a t i s ­
f i e d w i t h a s u p e r f i c i a l acq ua in ta nce w i t h
the paste.
Second, the h i s t o r i a n s h o u ld n o t
concern h im s e lf w i t h the m im it e s t d e t a i l ; he
s h o u ld n o t o v e r - s p e c ia liz e as m ig ht an o v e rzealous b i o l o g i s t who would devote h i s l i f e
to the anatomy o f amaeboid pseudopodiae.
i'ha f i r s t r u l e
of lit e r a r y h is to ry i t
seems, sho u ld be the r u l e
Since i t
o f p r o p o r tio n a lity ,
i s an im p o s s ib le ta s k to amoss the
i n f i n i t y of h is to r ic a l fa c ts ,
i t s h o u ld n o t
be expected t h a t the h i s t o r i a n be c o n c e r•L
ned o n ly w i t h p o s i t i v i s t i c d e t a i l .
3 ,4 (a §
And sin ce
an h i s t o r i a n who re fu s e s to b o th e r h im s e lf
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(P. 67)
w i t h any d e t a i l , ^ r e s e n ts o n ly a s u p e r f i c i a l
g e n e ra ly a t i o n , the tr u e h i s t o r i a n must be
ever c a u tio u s in h i s docum entation to
in s u re
t h a t what he says i s
tru e ,
th u s
th e re sho u ld be a p r o p o r t i o n a l i t y between
g e n e r a l i z a t i o n and p a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n .
G e n e r a liz a tio n s h o u ld be the in s tru m e n t
whereby an o r g a n ic p i c t u r e o f h i s t o r y is
p re s e n te d .
P a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n , on the o th e r
hand, s h o u ld be the in s tru m e n t whereby
th is p ic tu re
i s e n ric h e d i n d e t a i l .
fu rth e r illu s tr a te
To
t h i s p o in t l e t us take
t h in s ta n c e o f an a r t i s t who would p a in t
a p i c t u r e o f a G othic C a th e d ra l:
i f he
c o n c e n tra te s h is whole a t t e n t i o n on
re p ro d u c in g e v e ry d e t a i l w i t h
p a t ie n c e , he w i l l f a i l ,
it
the utm ost
f o r he w i l l f i n d
im p o s s ib le to g iv e ?qual a t t e n t i o n to
e ve ry p a r t ;
if
on the c o n t r a r y , he ne­
g l e c t s to in c lu d e any d e t a i l w h a tso e v e r,
he w i l l e q u a lly f a i l ,
fo r h is p a in tin g
w i l l be out a shadow on h is canvas.
In
the same ways the h i s t o r i a n may go
a s tra y .
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(P. 68)
3 ,4 (b )
The A n c ie n t problem o f the One and
the M u l t i p l e a r is e s even f o r the l i t e r a r y
h is to r ia n ,
fo r i t
is h is ta s k to s t r i k e
the p ro p e r balance between a p r o f u s io n o f d e t­
a i l , p re s e n te d in innum erable h i s t o r i c a l
e v e n ts , and what may be common , to e ve ry
e v e n t, p re se n te d in no one event b u t i n a i l
o f them,
how to the degree t h a t the h i s ­
t o r i a n becomes le s s concerned w i t h the de­
t a i l o f the i n d i v i d u a l e v e n ts ,
to the same
degree does he become le s s the h i s t o r i a n .
Does t h i s mean t h a t as the h i s t o r i a n
g e n e r a lis e s the v a l i d i t y o f h is w r i t i n g a
d im in is h ?
To t h i s
q u e s tio n we answer f y e s f ,
i f the h i s t o r i a n g e n e r a lis e s w ith o u t p h i ­
lo s o p h iz in g , and ’ n o ' ,
and p h ilo s o p h iz e s ,
i f he g e n e r a liz e s
in o th e r words, mere
g e n e r a l i z a t i o n is n o t p h ilo s o p h y ;
the f a c t
som ething appears vague does n o t mean t h a t
it
i s p h ilo s o p h y .
Thus i f
the h i s t o r i a n
rem ains s im p ly the h i s t o r i a n , g e n e r a l iz a t io n
or p a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n serves m e re ly to
s h o rte n o r le n g th e n the h is to n e d t r e a t i s e
he w r i t e s .
But i f he p h ilo s o p h iz e s (and t h i s
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( P. 69)
he w i l l n a t u r a l l y d o ),
though h is h i s t o r y may
la c k p a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n , i t g a in s in d e p th .
It
i s on t h i s b a s is t h a t we w i l l d is c u s s the
v a rio u s degrees o f h i s t o r y .
In the f i r s t degree o f h i s t o r y l i t t l e
a tte m p t i s made to go beyond the h i s t o r i c a l
fa c t i t s e l f .
Bince here the h i s t o r i a n i s
concerned o n ly w i t h the w o r ld o f p a r t i c u l a r
e f f e c t s , b o th p h ilo s o p h y and g e n e r a l iz a t io n
a re a t a minimum.
In t h i s re a lm o f h i s t ­
o r i c a l re s e a rc h we have a group o f f a i t h f u l
s c h o la rs whose o f f i c e
is
to p ro v id e the
m a t e r ia ls b o th f o r those who, re m a in in g
w i t h i n the f i e l d
o f h i s t o r y , c o n s t r u c t more
g e n e r a liz e d s y n th e s is o f h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t y ,
and f o r those who, s te p p in g o u ts id e the
scope o f secondary c a u s a l i t y , a tte m p t to
e x p la in h i s t o r y i n a p h i l o s o p h i c a l way.
T h e re fo re , we say th a t e v e ry h i s t o r i c a l exig e s is t h a t dispenses w i t h the m in u tia e
oft
e x h a u s tiv e docum entation i n o rd e r to
g iv e e i t h e r a more concise account o f h i s ­
t o r y or a p h i l o s o p h ic a l ( o r
e x p la n a tio n f o r i t ,
t h e o lo g i c a l )
depends m a t e r ia l i t e r
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(P. 70)
( m a t e r i a l l y ) on what i s d is c o v e re d i n the
f i r s t degree o f h i s t o r y .
To those who la c k the a s s i d u i t y to
de lve i n t o d u s ty tomes f o r obscure i n f o r ­
m a tio n , i t may seem t h a t the o r i g i n a l work
done in the f i r s t degree o f h i s t o r y r e q u ir e s
but l i t t l e
ta le n t.
Thus d e r is i o n may be the
reward o f the l i f e f s work o f some p o o r d o c ile
s c h o la r who spent lo n g hours i n d e te r m in in g
the a u t h e n t i c i t y o f m a n u s c rip ts o r i n unear­
t h in g b i t s o f in f o r m a t io n h ig h e r to unknown.
We m ig h t do w e l l ,
th e n , to e v a lu a te the
t a l e n t s o f these whose work predom inates
in the a c c u m u la tio n o f s m a ll d is c o v e r ie s .
To b e g in w i t h , we w i l l p u t the meaning o f the
p ro b le m i n the form o f a q u e s tio n :
I s the
b u sin e ss o f o r i g i n a l h i s t o r i c a l d is c o v e r y
to be c o n sid e re d as a ne cessa ry e v i l to be
l e f t to d u l l e r m inds?
lo t a t a ll;
fo r in
a d d i t i o n to h u m i l i t y , d o c i l i t y , p a tie n c e and
lik e
v i r t u e s o f s in c e r e a p p l i c a t i o n , th e r e
i s r e q u ir e d a t a l e n t w h ic h i s n o t g iv e n to
a ll
men.
iv e n e s s " .
T h is t a l e n t we term " i n v e n t t)
low in v e n tiv e n e s s is an unborn
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(P. 71)
t a l e n t , l i k e t h a t o f p o e t r y or p h ilo s o p h y ;
j u s t as some men are p r o f i c i e n t a t judg­
ment and o th e rs a t re a s o n in g , th e re are
some who are i n t e l l e c t u a l l y adept i n
a r r a n g in g concepts i n c o n v e n ie n t and
o r d e r l y fa s h io n ; t h i s p ro ce ss o f m e n ta l
c o n s t r u c t io n p la c e s concepts s id e by
s id e in e n n u c ia t iv e ^ p r o p o s i t i o n s . le a v in g
them to be combined i n the judgment in
a n o th e r o p e r a tio n o f the m ind.
Thus the
in v e n tiv e mind has a v o c a t io n , v i s . ,
to
p la c e w i t h i n reach a w e a lth o f concepts
f o r those who would ju d g e .
p o rta n t, a t th is p o in t,
It
i s im­
to note t h a t
in v e n tiv e n e s s be lo ng s t o the f i r s t
o p e r a tio n o f the m ind -
t h a t o f con­
c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o r sim p le ap p re h e n s io n ,
an o p e r a tio n w ith o u t w hich judgment would
be im p o s s ib le ,
fo llo w s ,
f h a t i s more, (and t h i s
f o r judgm ent, the second o p e r a tio n
o f the m ind, depends on the f i r s t )
it
is
a m a t e r ia l dependence t h a t judgment has
on the c o n s t r u c t iv e p ro ce ss o f concep­
t u a l i z a t i o n o r sim ple a p p re h e n s io n .
And
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(P . 72)
by the same token c o n c e p t u a lis a t io n i s
s a id to hate a fo rm a l dependence on ju dg­
m ent.
Because o f t h i s r e c i p r o c a l i n t e r ­
dependence t h a t e x i s t s between these two
o p e r a tio n s , one w h ic h does n o t , however,
p re e lu d e d i v i s i o n o f la b o u r , f o r one
man may form and arra n g e the concepts w h ile
a n o th e r may judge them, the ?fork o f o r­
i g i n a l h i s t o r i c a l d is c o v e r y , where inven­
tiv e n e s s abounds, makes p o s s ib le and
encourages judgm ent.
It
is
to be conceded,
t h e r e f o r e , t h a t the w ork o f the h i s t o r i a n
i n the f i r s t degree o f h is t o r y ; , however
t e d io u s , however th a n k le s s , is none the
le s s h o n o u ra b le , none the le s s n e c e s s a ry .
The f i r s t degree o f h i s t o r y i s de­
fin itiv e .
Here, no ve n tu re i s made in t o
the realm o f judgm ent.
The h ig h e s t pos­
s i b l e m en tal a c t i v i t y i s the fo r m a tio n o f
e n n u n c ia tiv e p r o p o s i t i o n s .
As we in d ic a t e d
in the l a s t p a ra g ra p h , the e n n u n c ia tiv e
p r o p o s i t i o n , o r s im p ly the a n n u n c ia tio n
belongs to the f i r s t o p e r a tio n o f the mind.
Now s in c e i t
i s e a s i l y p o s s ib le to confuse
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(P. 73)
i t w i t h the second o p e r a t io n o f the m ind, or
judgm ent, i t w ould be w e l l to is s u s t r a t e the
d i f f e r e n c e t h a t e x i s t s between these two
o p e r a t io n s .
example.
The b e s t way to do t h i s i s by
I t i s p o s s ib le f o r ins.tance to
say;
'’There i s a s q u i r r e l c lim b in g a t r e e , ”
w i t h o u t , however, m aking a judgm ent, as we
w ould i f we say;
’’The s q u i r r e l
c lim b in g a t r e e . ”
I n the f i r s t case we m e re ly p la c e d two con­
c e p ts s id e by s id e ;
i n the second we made a
fo rm a l a c t' o f judgment because we u n i t e
con cep ts.
d is tin g u is h
lo w i t
the
is on t h i s b a s is t h a t we
the f i r s t degree o f h i s t o r y
fro m the second.
Once t h i s is . g r a n t e d
a n o th e r d i f f i c u l t y a r i s e s .
I t p re s e n ts
i t s e l f i n the form o f a p a ra d o x .
Since
man i s ]?y n a tu re g iv e n to judgm ent, how
can the re be a f i r s t degree o f h i s t o r y ?
To
t h i s we answer t h a t , a lth o u g h the f i r s t
degree o f h i s t o r y r e q u ir e s b e fo re a l l e ls e
a most a cu te h a b it th a t p e r f e c t s
in i t s f i r s t o p e r a t io n ,
the i n t e l l e c t
the p o s s i b i l i t y o f
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(P.
74)
judgment is n o t excluded; r a t h e r i t
is
encouraged, n o t so much p e rh a p s , in
the
mind' o f the 1f a c t - f i n d e r ’ , b u t i n the
minds o f o th e rs 'who depend on h is d i s ­
c o v e rie s f o r th e e la b o r a t i o n o f t h e i r
judgm ents.
But even the ’ f a c t - f i n d e r 1 can
s te p out o f h i s o f f i c e in t o
the seeond
degree o f h i s t o r y ; a l l he must do i s make
a judgm ent.
We s h o u ld n o t ,
th e re fo re ,
t h i n k t h a t the. f a c t - f i n d e r c o m p le te ly
»
i s o l a t e s h i m s e l f i n the f i r s t degree
o f h i s t o r y / f o r o fte n he is
found to be
a man o f v e r y capable judgment; bu t i n
h i s h u m i l i t y he p r e f e r s the ta s k o f making
judgments e a s ie r f o r h i s more a m b itio u s
b re th re n .
To those men o f scie n ce whose p r im a r y
concern i s the fo r m u la tio n o f u n iv e r s a l
law s, i t may seem t h a t
the te d io u s e f f o r t o f
amassing f a c t s y i e l d s b u t l i t t l e
tru th .
We
must p a r t i a l l y agree w i t h these men, f o r
the o n ly sense i n w h ich t r u t h is s a id to
be in the 'a n n u n c ia tio n i s
th a t i t
in the sense
i s knowledge: a l l knowledge is
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(P. 75}
t r u t h , b u t t r u t h i s fo u n d p r o p e r ly in the
judgm ent.
As S t . Thomas w r i t e s i n the De
T e rita te ;
" . . j u s t as t r u t h i s found in the
i n t e l l e c t b e fo re i t
a ls o is i t
i s fou nd i n t h in g s , so
found more p r o p e r ly i n the
i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t o f composing and d i v i d i n g
than i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t o f fo rm in g
7
the q u i d d i t i e s ■o f t h i n g s . "
The second degree o f h i s t o r y depends
m a t e r i a l l y on the f i r s t .
T h is i s the
degree o f h i s t o r y w i t h w h ic h most o f us
a re f a m i l i a r .
I t is p re d o m in a te ly the
bu sin ess o f the l i t e r a r y h i s t o r i a n .
Here
i t i s a ease o f p r e s e n t in g a more co n cis e
p i c t u r e o f h i s t o r i c a l h a p p en in gs.
Hence,
g e n e r a l iz a t io n o f the d is c o v e r ie s o f the
f i r s t degree i s n e c e s s a ry .
As such i t
supposes an in d u c t iv e pro cess whereby
judgments a re made a b ou t a g iv e n asseimblage o f f a c t s .
B u t i t must be remembered
t h a t 'these judgments are h i s t o r i c a l
judgm ents, and t h a t th e y have no more
m a t e r i a l va lu e than the in f o r m a t io n from
w h ic h th e y are d e r iv e d .
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(P. 76)
I t i s h a r d l y supposed t h a t th e re ever
was a p u r e ly o b je c t i v e l i t e r a r y h i s t o r i a n .
There are many f a c t o r s Yfhieh e n te r i n
to
d i s t o r t or to improve a l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y .
A man's p h ilo s o p h y , h is r e l i g i o n and a
thousand and one o th e r p r e d i s p o s it io n s
serve e i t h e r to e n r ic h or blacke n the
pages he w r i t e s .
For example, a man versed
i n t e c h n i c a l i t i e s o f a r c h i t e c t u r e p re s e n ts
a b e t t e r p i e t u r e o f the h i s t o r y o f arch­
i t e c t u r e than a man who is p r o f e s s e d ly
a s c ie n tis t.
lo w , s in c e i t
is p la in
t h a t the h i s t o r i a n does n o t d e r iv e h i s
te c h n ic a l knowledge, h i s r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s
and h is p h ilo s o p h y from
h is to ry i t s e l f ,
or
a t le a s t n o t a l l from h i s t o r y , he must
re c e iv e them from o th e r s o u rc e s .
Pure
h i s t o r y does n o t p r e ju d ic e or enhance
its e lf.
It
i s always from w i t h o u t th a t
i t s c o r r u p t io n o f f l o w e r i n g cornes-.
There­
f o r e , we say th a t h i s t o r y has a fo rm a l
dependence on those d i s c i p l i n e s t h a t are
above i t .
In the l i g h t o f t h i s ,
i f h is to ry
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(P. 77)
is in flu e n c e d o n ly from w i t h o u t ,
i t m ight
seem t h a t one co u ld never be obsessed by
the d e s ir e to s tu d y more and more h i s t o r y .
,/e speak o f " h i s t o r i c i s m " as an overr d e v o tio n
to h i s t o r y .
But i s
t y r a n n iz e s ?
It
i t h is to r y i t s e l f th a t
is easy t o imagine how one
m ig ht be fa s c in a t e d w i t h the i n t r o c i e s o f
mathematics- or s c ie n c e , because the f o r ­
mulae d e riv e d are u n iv e r s a l and, hence,
much more s a t i s f y i n g than accumulated
fa c ts .
How h i s t o r y i t s e l f , as we s a id above,
cannot be an end.
t y r a n n iz e .
I t cannot obsess o r
Something more p ro fo u n d d r iv e s
a man to s tu d y more and more h i s t o r y .
There i s a g r e a t e r r e a l i t y w h ich e v e ry man
se e ks .
H is i n t e l l e c t always a tte m p ts to
u n ify .
T h e re fo re , i f he has an over­
d e v o tio n to h i s t o r y ,
it
i s because he
seeks u n i t y — a u n i t y w h ic h h i s t o r y can
n e v e r g i v e , but w hich he ever expects to
a tta in .
T h is c o n s t it u t e s the i n t e l l e c t u a l
s i n o f h i s t o r i c ism o r too much h i s t o r y ,
it
i s n o t an e r r o r in h i s t o r y , f o r a man may
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(P. 78)
s tu d y a l l the h i s t o r y he w a n ts , p ro v id e d
t h a t he knows t h a t i t w i l l never g iv e him
u lt im a t e u n i t y .
But th is
i s an u n n a t u r a l
t h i n g , f o r man, a m e ta p h y s ic a l a n im a l,
soomer or l a t e r , c o n s c io u s ly or u n c o n s c io u s ly ,
p h ilo s o p h iz e s .
T h is b r in g s us to the t h i r d
degree o f h i s t o r y -
the p h ilo s o p h y o f h i s t o r y .
The p h ilo s o p h y o f h i s t o r y depends
m a t e r i a l l y on the f i r s t
to ry .
two degrees o f h i s ­
I t seeks to b r i n g i n t o a g r e a te r
s y n th e s is the accum ulated f a c t s o f h i s t o r y
as such .
I t does t h i s n o t by way o f
g e n e r a l i z a t i o n b u t by way o f in t r o d u c in g an
e x p la n a tio n f o r h i s t o r i c a l events in a p h i­
lo s o p h ic a l way.
Thus i t
tre a ts of in t e l­
l i g i b l e n e c e s s i t i e s w h ic h in l a s t r e s o r t
d e term in e the course o f h i s t o r y .
it
can by i t s
Since
s u p e r io r v i s i o n p e n e tr a te
the causes o f th in g s and e v e n ts , i t has a
fo rm a l r u l e
over the lo w e r h i s t o r i c a l
s t u d ie s .
F in a lly ,
in the f o u r t h degree o f h i s t o r y ,
*
we have a s t i l l h ig h e r f o r m a l i t y to w h ick
a l l h i s t o r y s h o u ld t u r n f o r gu id a n ce ,.
This
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(P. 79)
i s the th e o lo g y o f h i s t o r y w ith o u t w hich the
p h ilo s o p h y o f h i s t o r y w ould be b u t an ens
r a tio n is .
F o r example, were i t n o t f o r the
th e o lo g y o f h i s t o r y the B ir t h , o f C h r is t
w ould assume no more im portance than
A le x a n d e r’ s conquest o f E g ypt.
The im­
p o rta n ce o f the th e o lo g y o f h i s t o r y i s
expressed i n these words o f James M ozley:
” A C h r is t ia n i s bound by h is v e ry creed
to su sp e ct e v i l , and cannot re le a s e
h i m s e l f ................ He sees i t where o th e rs
do n o t ; h is i n s t i n c t
is d i v i n e l y s t r e n ­
gthened; h is eye is s u p e m a t u r a l ly keen;
he has a s p i r i t u a l i n s i g h t , and senses
e x e rc is e d to d i s c e r n .............. lie owns the
d o c t r in e o f o r i g i n a l s in ;
t h a t d o c t r in e
p u ts him n e c e s s a r ily on h i s guard., a g a in s t
appearances, s u s ta in s h is apprehension
under p e r p l e x i t y , and p re p a re d him f o r
r e c o g n iz in g anywhere what he knows to
8
to be e v e ry w h e re .”
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»
HOT 1 S
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
(P. 80)
1.
O f. St Thomas, Surnrna T h e o lo g ic a , prim a
P a rs , qu. 25, a r t . 4 .
2.
pp . .69-70.
3.
B legy W r itt e n in a County C hurchyard.
4.
r,The Nature and scope o f U n i v e r s i t y
E d u c a tio n ,” p . 127
5.
" I t n o t i n f r e q u e n t l y happens t h a t
whereas some have l i g h t e s p e c i a l l y to ju dg e,
o th e rs are g i f t e d r a t h e r to m a t e r i a l l y a r ­
range in o r d e r l y sequence, to c o n s t r u c t
or ‘ compose’ c o n c e p ts ."
Jacques m a r i t a i n ,
An I n t r o d u c t io n t o L o g ic , p p . 87 -88 .
6.
O f. J . M a ri t a i n ,
op. c i t . , p . 86.
7.
qu. 1, a r t . 3.
8.
T h is passage i s quoted by L o rd A e to n ’ s
"'The Study o f H is to r y ) ' p . 71, from Essays, 1.3 08 .
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
ACTON, LORD
The Study o f H i s t o r y
M acM illa n & Co. , (London: 1895)
ARISTOTLE
The Hieomaehean E th ic s
J . M . Dent (London: 1911)
CHUMP, C.G.
H i s t o r y and H i s t o r i c a l Research
George Hontledge & Sons, (London:
IS
GILSON, ETIENNE
The S p i r i t o f M e d ia e va l P h ilo s o p h y
Sheed and Sard (London: 19367
The U n it y o f P h ilo s o p h ic a l Experience
S c r ib n e r ’ s (Hew York: 1937)
HAYES, O.Jf.H.
A P o l i t i c a l and C u l t u r a l H i s t o r y
o,^ .Hpdern .fit
M acM illa n & G o . , (New York: 1935)
MARITAIN, JACQUES
Thepaas.
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MANJ JOHN HENKI
New YorN: 194
An I n t r o r j p ^ t i nn t . n T.ngiii
Sheed & iYard (London £ New Y o rk: 192
A r t and S c h o la s t ic is m
(London & New Y o rk: 1.934)
Humanisme In te g r a l
Fernand Aufeier ( H a r is : 1934)
The Dflgrflwa o f Knowledge
The C entenary Press (London: 1937)
Qri the Scope and Nature o f
U n i v e r s i t y E ducation
J . M. Dent & Co7, (London: 1915)
Mi s t or y a £ Jfa U p ,aaphy
Henry H o lt & Co. , (le w York: 1927)
THILLY,
I T L'l A O
Summa T h e o lo g ie s
l a r i e t t i ( T a u r in : 1938)
Quaestiones D ie p o ta ta a
Burns & Oates (London: 1898)
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
VIALTGUX
J.
WALLACE, IIL L A A M
P h ilo s o p h ic Seonomique
Desclee de Brouwer, ( P a r i s :
K ant
Blodkwood (London: 1901)
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
1932)
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