Harold Joachim's book is interesting for at least two reasons.  First, it is almost certainly responsible for introducing the term 'correspondence theory' to describe a certain theory of truth, and for beginning the whole debate on the idea of correspondence to English philosophy.  Although Bradley talked about 'truth as copying' in Bradley 1883, and refers to 'correspondence with reality' (p. 551), the idea of a correspondence theory seems to begin with this book. 


Second, the book affords an interesting perspective on some of the fundamental ideas of modern philosophical logic, through the spectacles of the English Hegelian school, circa. 1906.  It is one of the first major works to discuss to discuss (or even to show awareness of) the Frege-Russell school.


The second chapter (which is given in full here) is devoted to a discussion of the theory of truth in Russell's Principles of Mathematics.  Russell replied to it twice (Russell 1906, 1907), and Moore reviewed it in 1907.  Russell, Bradley and Moore published important work on the subject for the next ten years.


Russell knew Joachim through his uncle Rollo Russell [A], who had married Gertrude Joachim, Harold's sister.  The whole Russell family divided their time between Pembroke lodge in Richmond, London, and High Pitfold in the Hindhead hills, just north of Fernhurst, where they would spend the summer months in the country.  Russell occasionally played tennis with Harold, who lived nearby (when not walking four miles to 'Friday's Hill', the large farmhouse where Alys Pearsall Smith lived, the daughter of a wealthy Quaker family from Philadelphia with whom he was later to make a disastrous marriage).


In the autumn term of 1892 Russell decided to concentrate on philosophy, and turned for advice to Joachim.  He was given a reading list that included Plato, Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Hume, Locke, Berkeley and Kant.  Joachim was an adherent of the English Hegelian school.  So, while recommending Mills System of Logic, which Russell thought good, but 'full of fallacies', he also had to read Bradley's Principles of Logic, which Russell thought 'first rate, but very hard', and Bosanquet's Logic ('good, but still harder').


After spending some years trying to develop his ideas on Hegelian lines, Russell turned away from Idealism altogether, writing Principles of Mathematics over the period 1898-1903.  Joachim's book is partly a response to this work.  He says in the preface that he submitted the second chapter to 'my friend Mr. Bertrand Russell' before it was printed.  Russell apparently replied in detail, but Joachim did not make many changes as a result. 


The relationship seems to have turned sour afterwards.  Russell replied immediately, presenting a paper to the Moral Science Club at Cambridge, in which he rejected Joachim's monistic theory of truth, in favour of the view that truth is a relation between a judgment and a fact. This may have led to the theory of types that was eventually published in the Principia Mathematica.


In 1919, he wrote a review for The Atheneum of Immediate Experience and Mediation, by Joachim, who had recently been appointed Professor of Logic at Oxford.  The review is highly aggressive. He quotes Joachim as saying that if one denies the axiom that two parallel lines enclose a space, 'the whole of plane geometry comes tumbling down'.  Russell commented: "It is probable that … there is no other university in the world where these words could have been written by a Professor of Logic.  It has been known for over sixty years that the axiom in question is in no way necessary to plane geometry, and that without it self-consistent systems can be constructed which there is no reason, either empirical or a priori, to suppose false".  "Einstein's theory of gravitation has given some ground for supposing that Euclid's is not even the most convenient convention.  Of all this, however, there is no hint in Aristotle or Hegel; therefore Oxford cannot take cognizance of it".


The argument of Chapter II depends almost exclusively on the doctrine of internal relations.  This is the view that that an object is fundamentally changed by entering into a relation with another object.  If the watch is on the table, the predicate 'is on the table' is true of the watch.  If it is not on the table, this predicate is not true of the watch.  The watch is changed in some respect: according to the 'internalist' view held by Bradley and other Idealists including Joachim, the watch is essentially changed by being thus related.  Since everything is related to everything else in some way, the fundamental nature of each thing depends on its relation to everything else.  Thus the whole universe is in a sense One. 


According to Russell, Moore and other analytic philosophers, on the other hand, we can understand relations in a way that avoids this overblown holism.  One object may be externally related to another, in such a way that its essential nature is unchanged by the relation.


The problem posed by Joachim is how we can apprehend objects outside ourselves.  How can I see that the watch is on the table?  Russell's answer is: by being externally related to the proposition: watch on table.  Joachim asks how that which is independent can be apprehended and known as independent?'  For the relation of 'experiencing' the object experienced is precisely the relation which would have to characterize an apprehension, if it apprehended its object and yet left that object independent.


There is also an interesting discussion (§14) of the problem that became known as the Unity of the Proposition.  This is the problem that what is expressed by a sentence in the indicative mood is more than just a list of names.  'Caesar died' clearly differs from 'Caesar's death', by asserting the death of Caesar.  Hence the death of Caesar has an external relation to the truth or falsity of 'Caesar died'.  But then 'Caesar died' must in some way or other contain its own truth or falsehood as an element, i.e. it must be internally related to its truth or falsehood (cf. Principles of Mathematics §52).  This makes it difficult to explain how we grasp the meaning of indicative sentences.


The same problem exercised Frege in some late pieces (such as Frege 1918).  We can understand a question such as "Is the Sun bigger than the moon?" without knowing whether the answer is "yes" or "no".  If the thought corresponding to a question such as "Is the Sun bigger than the moon?" were such that its being consisted in its being true, then grasping the meaning of the question would simultaneously be an act of judging the thought to be true, and so the question would at the same time be its own answer.  Hence the thought embedded in the question must be different from the thought expressed when we answer "yes" or "no".  But this apparently leads to the problem that if a thought has being by being true, a false thought is impossible.













































§ 12.  OUR object in the present chapter is to examine certain views which threaten to invalidate our previous conclusions and to bar the way to our further progress.  In § 11, we arranged these views under two heads.  There was (1) a certain theory as to the nature of sensation, on which the correspondence-notion was to be irrefutably established; and (2) there was a certain theory as to the nature of truth, which had nothing whatever to do with the correspondence-notion.  We shall see, however, that both of our enemies draw their forces from a common base; and it is with that base that we shall be primarily concerned.  A common assumption is made by both, and from that assumption development proceeds in two different ways.  But one of the developments is more or less accidental, whilst the other is the necessary logical extension of the assumption.  In the accidental development, the common assumption is employed as a foundation for the correspondence-notion of truth.  The other development leads to a theory of truth so different from any of the prevailing views that, in endeavouring to state it, I may be accused of setting up a crude and ridiculous travesty.  And the difficulty of a fair statement is increased by the fact that this new theory involves, and also supports, a radically new Logic and Metaphysics.  Thus, in order fully to appreciate it, we should have to enter into a new philosophical universe.


|32  So far as I know, there does not at present exist any systematic exposition of the new Logic and Metaphysics.  The nearest approach to a complete exposition is to be found in the works of Mr. Bertrand Russell.  In his Philosophy of Leibniz, in various articles in Mind, and in his Principles of Mathematics, he constantly applies the principles of the New Philosophy to the solution of the problems with which he is concerned, and to the criticism of current philosophical views.  But – no doubt quite rightly – he neither offers, nor professes to offer, a systematic exposition of the Logic and Metaphysics whose principles he is applying.  We are given to understand, in general, that there is such a system, which will emerge (or perhaps has emerged) triumphant from the gulf of criticism which has swallowed all other philosophies.  But at present we have to construct this new system for ourselves out of Mr. Russell's applications of it, and such construction is necessarily precarious.  At times, indeed, Mr. Russell refers us to the writings of Mr. G.E. Moore.  But although Mr. Moore's Principia Ethica, and his articles in Mind and elsewhere, contain interesting indications (and more or less fragmentary expositions) of a new Logic and Metaphysics, I have not been able to discover in them anything like a systematic account.


Under these circumstances I have thought it worth while to discuss, so far as possible without personal reference and without personal controversy, a theory of truth which seems to me both important and erroneous.  The theory in question has been suggested to me by the writings of Messrs. Russell and Moore, and I gratefully acknowledge my obligation.  But although I have made use of their writings, and have not scrupled to employ their |33 terminology where it seemed convenient, I have no desire to attribute to them a view which perhaps they do not hold, not to impute to them those logical and metaphysical positions on which that view, as I conceive it, depends.  Still less must the reader suppose that the logical affiliation here ascribed to that view – its derivation from the assumption that 'experiencing makes no difference to the facts' – either is, or would be, recognized by Messrs. Russell and Moore.  For my purposes it is irrelevant whether any philosopher actually holds the view which I am about to discuss.  It seems to me to follows logically from an assumption which is commonly made, and to involve certain logical and metaphysical principles which are worth examining.  Occasionally I have criticized statements quoted verbatim from Mr. Russell, because they seemed to me the best expositions and illustrations of the type of theory in question.  But though I may have been thus led to adopt at times a polemical tone, and to attack the views of an actual philosopher, my primary object is to conduct an impersonal examination of a certain assumption and an impersonal criticism of certain logical and metaphysical principles.


§ 13.  In sensation – so we are to assume – we are in direct contact with the Real.  The Real is indeed 'given' to us, and it is also 'accepted'.  But what is given to us in sensation is independent of the acceptance and of the recipients, and is, in that independence, the stubborn authority which controls in the end all our thinking, feeling and doing.  The Real in sensation is present to a sentient consciousness: for 'sensation' is a complex, which includes 'something' and also the 'awareness' thereof.  But the nature of the Real is in no way affected by its presence to the sentient consciousness: i.e. our |34 'acceptance', if t is note purely passive, at least in no way modifies the 'something' which we accept.  Sensation – the sentient apprehension of a sensible quality – must be analysed into two simple factors and a relation.  The factors are (1) the Quality – a simple, timeless, unchangeable, independent Real; and (2) the Apprehension – something 'mental' or 'psychical'.  And if we would avoid the errors of Idealism, we must remember that, although in the complex these factors are united by a relation, each factor is (and remains what it is) independently of the other.  Thus it is the first duty of any sound philosophy to separate the factors, and to study each strictly by itself.  As to the relation, we must observe that it is a unique, not further definable, relation which obtains between 'subject' and 'object' in Experience; and its character is such that it holds the related factors together, and yet leaves them completely untouched and unaffected by the union [1]. 


The above 'assumption' is simply a plain statement of the facts.  It will be welcomed by common sense, and it will clear the most formidable difficulties out of the path of philosophy.  And, first, we may indicate how it is to be used in defence of the correspondence-notion of truth.  By analysis of our sentient experience we can separate out the indubitably Real; and this is the ultimate standard, correspondence with which constitutes truth.  When we talk of the 'facts of the case', of the 'actual historical events',  Of the 'original' of a portrait, or of the 'nature of things' which science is to represent, we mean, in the last resort, this Real given in sensation.  No doubt this Real, as we experience it, is always given in relation to our apprehension, and always in conjunction and combination with |35 much that is 'the work of the mind'.  But we must separate out what is 'given' from what which is superimposed upon it; and again we must cut this purified 'given' clear from the manner of its acceptance and the nature of the recipients.  The work of separation and dissection is hard, but not impossible; and the residuum is a standard whose independent Reality is beyond suspicion.


The only adequate answer to this defence of the correspondence-notion is the criticism of its assumption; and I shall enter upon that presently.  But, in the meantime, it should be noticed that, even granting the assumption, some of the chief difficulties in the correspondence-notion are still unsolved.  For, assuming the unchangeable and independent Real immediately given in sensation, what is to correspond to it, and what is the nature of the correspondence?  Is the 'mental factor' (e.g. in a 'true' system of judgments) a complex tissue woven with mental schemata of synthesis out of psychical replicas of the Real given in sensation?  Or are there no psychical replicas, no mental counterparts of the given Real? and is the 'mental factor' a mere form, a mere scheme of principles of synthesis?  It seems necessary to adopt one of these two alternatives; and yet, whichever we choose, 'correspondence' is meaningless.  For the 'mental factor' either is entirely, or essentially contains, a formative structure which just is not the structure of the Real.  And 'correspondence', as we saw, requires identity of structure in the corresponding factors.


We may next proceed to develop our 'assumption' in a far more radical fashion; and, cutting ourselves loose from the correspondence-notion altogether, we may formulate a new theory of truth.


§ 14.  For, if we can sever the 'Real' in sensation from everything 'mental', we are logically entitled to |36 go further.  It is ridiculous to suppose that my vision makes the greenness of the tree, or my hearing the harmony of the chord.  No doubt, to be experienced, the greenness must be seen, and the harmony must be heard.  But the fundamental postulate of all Logic is expressed in our 'assumption': viz. that the 'experiencing' makes no difference to the facts.  The notes of the chord are in harmony, or the harmony is there, whether I hear them or not.  No matter whether I see it or not, the tree is green.  Its greenness is there, an independent unchangeable fact [2].  Now the same holds in principle of Judgment and Inference.  For it is ridiculous to suppose that the equality of the interior angles of a triangle to two right angles is made by me in the judging; or that this 'truth' became true when the first geometer discovered it, and would cease to be true if no one believed it.  No doubt, to be experienced, the equality must be judged, or in some way apprehended.  But we must sever the psychical apprehension from the 'truth' apprehended.  The 'truth' is there, timelessly, unchangeably, independently itself; a complex, whose simple constituent elements yet eternally and inseparably cohere to form a single entity [B].  Such an entity is possessed of a genuine unity; since, although for analysis it is complex, it cannot be compounded out of the simple elements which analysis reveals as its constituents.  It may be called a 'Proposition' [C], to distinguish it alike from the simple entities (e.g. the real qualities, which are given in sensation), and from that which current Logic calls a 'Judgment'.  A 'judgment', in ordinary logical usage, is a hybrid, in which psychical elements (such as belief, apprehension, &c.) are unwarrantably blended with the purely logical fact, the |37 complex, and yet single entity which we have called a 'Proposition'.


'Truth' and 'Falsity', in the only strict sense of the terms, are characteristics of 'Propositions'.  Every Proposition, in itself and in entire independence of mind, is true or false; and only Propositions can be true or false [D].  The truth or falsity of a Proposition is, so to say, its flavour, which we must recognize, it we recognize it at all, immediately: much as we appreciate the flavour of a pineapple or the taste of gorgonzola [3].


'Knowledge' is a complex, involving true propositions and belief: i.e. it is the appreciation of the flavour of these entities, combined with retention of the true and rejection of the false propositions.  And 'Error' is a complex, involving false propositions and belief: i.e. it is the misappreciation of flavours, combined with rejection of the true and retention of the false propositions.  The true and the false – i.e. propositions, their eternal relations, their combination into inferences, &c. – are the subject-matter of Logic.  Psychical phenomena – e.g. belief, apprehension &c. – are the subject-matter of Psychology.  Knowledge and Error are the subject-matter of Epistemology, a complex science involving both Logic and Psychology.


Can we further describe the difference between true |38 and false propositions?  Both, as we have seen, are eternal unchangeable entities: and it seems as if there were nothing more to be said, except that they just do differ, precisely qua true and false.  The difference is immediate, must be apprehended intuitively, and there is the end of the matter.  Yet we may endeavour to carry our analysis a little further.  For a true proposition, we may say, involves an element which is not contained in a false proposition; and it is this additional element which constitutes its truth.  The element in question attaches to the Proposition in itself: i.e. is a constituent of its being for Logic, and not for Psychology.  We may adopt Mr. Russell's terminology, and call this element 'assertion', if we remember that it is 'assertion' in a strictly logical and non-psychological sense – whatever that may mean.  The presence of the same element will serve to distinguish a genuine proposition (e.g. 'Caesar died') from the content of a Proposition from which the like of the Proposition has vanished (e.g. 'Caesar's death') [4].




§ 15.  The theory of truth which has just been sketched rests upon an assumption claiming to express 'the fundamental postulate of all Logic'.  Once grant that 'experiencing makes no difference to the facts', and the theory inevitably follows.  And you cannot refuse to grant a principle of this kind – so it may be urged – if you are to have a Logic at all [5].  It is difficult to argue convincingly against such a position.  For if an assumption is the basis of all Logic, then arguments directed against it appear, by a very natural confusion, to be eo ipso devoid of logical cogency.  The assumption, in fact, gets established by a kind of ontological proof.


I shall, however, endeavour to show: (1) that the assumption, in any sense in which it is true, is irrelevant to the theory of truth which professes to be based on it; whilst, on the other hand, the assumption, in the sense in which that theory uses and interprets it, is false; (2) that if, accordingly, this assumption be rejected, the theory has to choose between two disagreeable alternatives.  For either the 'independent truth' will be and remain entirely in itself, unknown and unknowable; or, if known or knowable, the truth will become a private and personal possession, dependent for its being upon an individual intuition which itself is a particular psychical existent – and thus the theory will have defeated its own object, which was to vindicate the independence of truth.


(1)  'Experiencing makes no difference to the facts.  Sensating, conceiving, judging, leave untouched and independent the Real Qualities sensated, and the |40 Entities conceived or judged'.  How are we to interpret this statement?  It is tolerably plain from the illustrations [6] how 'experiencing' is interpreted.  It is my sensating, my hearing, my judging – i.e. the actual sensating, the actual thinking, of a particular subject at a particular time – which are to 'make no difference to the facts'.  The tree is green, the notes form a harmonious chord, the angles are equal to two right angles, whether I, or you, or Euclid, or any individual subject, is or is not actually experiencing them.


It is not so plain how we are to interpret 'the facts', to which no difference is made.  'Greenness', 'Harmony', 'Equality' are to remain eternally and unalterably themselves, whether they are also experienced or not.  They are 'the facts', and they are there independently and in themselves.  But what is their being there?  Not, on the theory, 'their being experienced'; for that is to mean their 'being actually sensated or judged', a mere adventitious accident of their being there.  Then does it mean 'their being as objects of possibly-actual sensating and judging'?  Is greenness, e.g. there, in the sense that it is such that, under determinate conditions, there is an actual sensated green, or an actual sensating of green?  But this would imply, in the 'independent facts', and essential relatedness, not indeed to my sensating or thinking qua 'this' and 'mine', but to sensating and thinking as the common modes in which I and you and other individual subjects manifest their being as conscious.  And an 'essential relatedness' would mean that 'the facts', in and by themselves, are not there at all; that what is there is something within which the so-called 'facts' are a partial factor, dependent for its being and nature on another factor, and incapable of being 'in itself' or independent.  And |41 this other factor is of the nature of 'experiencing', though it is not my experiencing qua 'this' and 'mine'.


Either, then, we shall have to say that the being there of the facts is their combining with another factor (of the nature of 'experiencing') to constitute a whole, whose factors involve one another; and this interpretation destroys the relevancy of the assumption.  For, if our theory of truth is to follow, the facts must be entirely in themselves and independent.  Or we shall have to maintain that the whole constituted by 'the facts' and 'experiencing' (in any sense of the term) is no genuine whole, but a mere external adjustment.  The two factors are, or may be, related; but the relation when, or as, it obtains, leaves each precisely what it was, viz. absolutely in itself and independent.  The assumption, as this interpreted, is relevant, and the theory proceeds.  But as thus interpreted the assumption is false, conflicts with common sense, and is in the end unmeaning.


For let us consider.  Greenness [7] is there, in itself; and, though it may be sensated, its relation to the sentient consciousness leaves it in the relation precisely what it was when not so related, and what it will be again when no one is sensating it.  Now this does not mean merely that greenness is essentially the same, whether I see it or you see it: i.e. as the common content of percipient consciousness of the human type.  Nor does it mean that greenness, whether I conceive it or you – i.e. as the common content of human abstract thought – is the same concept.  All this may be true; but it is not relevant.  The theory maintains that greenness is what it is in complete independence of any and all forms of experiencing, and indeed of everything other than itself.  It means that greenness neither |42 itself is, not ever enters as a factor into, a whole such that the determinate natures of its constituents reciprocally involve one another.  Greenness is, for the theory, an ultimate entity in the nature of things, which has its being absolutely in itself.  How, under these circumstances, greenness can yet sometimes so far depart from its sacred aloofness as to be apprehended (sensated or conceived); and how, when this takes place, the sensating or conceiving subject is assured that its immaculate perseitas is still preserved – these are questions to which apparently the only answer is the dogmatic reiteration of the supposed fact: 'It is so; and if you cannot see it, you are wanting in philosophical insight'.  But the plain man, as well as the philosopher, has his 'insight'.  He will tell you that greenness is to him a name for a complex fact, the factors of which essentially and reciprocally determine one another.  And he will say that if you choose to select one factor out of the complex, and to call it 'greenness', there need be no dispute about the term; but, as thus isolated, your greenness is an abstraction, which emphatically, in itself and as such, is not there nor anywhere.  If you appeal to your doctrine of a 'unique relation', and urge that greenness both 'is there' in itself and also is (at times or always) in relation to sentient or conceptual consciousness, he will ask you how you reconcile this 'both' and 'also'.  He will question in what sense it is the same greenness, which is both in itself and also in relation to something else.  And, if you deny that there is here anything to reconcile, he will appeal to his 'insight'.  Who shall say that his is the insight of a lying prophet, whilst yours bears the divine stamp of truth? [8]




§ 16.  It is worth while, perhaps, to pursue the criticism of this assumption a little further.  Greenness is an entity in itself.  And though, as experienced, it is related to a sentient consciousness, yet even in that relation it remains in itself and unaffected by the sentience.  It is then entirely irrelevant to the nature of greenness what the nature of the sentience may be?  Clearly, the sentience to which greenness can be related is 'vision', not 'hearing'.  But are we to understand that this restriction is not based on the nature of greenness as such, but is just a fact.  And presumably also the restriction in the range of the sentience – the restriction, e.g. of vision to colour, of hearing to sound, of this type of vision greenness, &c. – is just a fact, which in no way enters into the nature of the sentience.  Vision and greenness come together, and we have a 'seeing of green', or a 'sensated green'; but the meeting of the two is cool and unconcerned, and indicates no affinity in their natures.  Their meeting is one of those ultimate inexplicabilities of which – on some theories at any rate – the Universe is full.


The de facto restriction in the range of relata on either side seems, indeed, to go much further.  For, on the one hand, greenness does not manifest its independent and simple nature to the vision of every subject: a colour-blind subject e.g. sees (or thinks he sees) 'redness'.  Even within the 'normal' vision [9], it seems given to the very few – to a 'philosopher' here and there – to see the self-identical simple Quality, which |44 is greenness.  The painter sees many different greennesses where the untrained eye sees but one.  And if the painter finds a name for each different shade, and recognizes each as an ultimate simple Quality, who will guarantee that his discrimination is both legitimate and adequate; that each of his Simples us really different from all its neighbours, and that none of his Simples can possibly itself prove manifold?


On the other hand, that my vision here and now should be a vision of greenness and not e.g. of redness; still more that it should be a vision of the ultimate simple greenness, and not of a confused complex of many undiscriminated shades of greenness: this, if it takes place, takes place by a miraculous de facto coincidence.  And it requires a correspondingly miraculous 'insight' to assure me that it takes place.


We may at this point detect in the New Philosophy a strong family resemblance to an extreme Occasionalism, without the Deus ex machina to render Occasionalism plausible.  Sentience has been pulverized into atomic sensatings, and the object or sphere of sentience into atomic Qualities.  Atom on one side comes together with Atom on the other side; but why this Atom should be related to that, or indeed any Atom to any other, is a question which cannot be answered.  It cannot be answered, for there is no rational ground for the relation.  The meeting, the relation, between this Atom and that is a coincidence, which just happens or de facto is.  We must take it on faith; for we are told that it is, and those who tell us tell us also that they are possessed of philosophical insight [10].




§ 17.  But we shall be accused of misrepresentation.  'You are neglecting', we shall be told, 'a vital distinction, which our theory emphases.  What actually exists, what actually takes place, is always complex.  The simple Qualities do not, as such, exist.  They have being or "are", eternally, timelessly, and not in place.  Instances of them – actual cases or occurrences of them – are compounded of other elements besides their simple selves.  What is actually being seen, exists and is a complex.  The actual seeing occurs, and it too is a complex.  Greenness in relation to this or these absolute points of Space, and that or those absolute moments of Time, is a complex which exists as a particular case of greenness: this green on that leaf here and now.  Vision here and now, or then and there, is a complex fact, a particularized occurrence of the Simple Sentience which is related to the Simple Quality.  We have insisted on this distinction, and we have described the peculiar relations of "occupying" Time and Space, which are involved.'


I confess that I have no acquaintance with 'absolute moments' and 'absolute points'.  What an absolute moment or an absolute point may be, or how it is distinguished from other absolute moments or points, how it is recognized, or how anything can be said about it which will serve to fix its absolute individuality: of all this I am ignorant, and I have not yet found anyone to enlighten me.  But for the sake of argument I will assume that there are such entities, and that the objector has an immediate and infallible acquaintance with some (if not with every one) of them.  Still it seems to me that my criticism retains it force.  For now it applies to the combination of the Atomic Simples, which constitute the existing complexes.  That these Atomic Simples should combine to form a complex – or indeed that any Simples should |46 combine – is a de facto coincidence, an arbitrary irrational fact, if it be 'fact' at all.  The objector himself is a mere unfounded coincidence: a 'class of psychical existents' related to certain absolute points of Space, and related also successively to certain absolute moments of Time [11].  And if I am told that facts are often irrational, and that these de facto coincidences are and must be accepted, still I must protest against the barbarous treatment to which the Simple Entities are subjected.  How can you play fast and loose with their simplicity?  How can you treat them as each absolutely simple and independent, and also as related to one another to form a complex?  Greenness here and now is this complex fact, this case of green actually existing.  The same greenness there and then is that different complex fact, that case of green actually |47 existing.  And again, neither here nor there, neither now nor then, the same greenness 'is' (we must not say 'exists'), pure and simple and self-contained, one of the ultimate components of the Universe.  The temporal and spatial relations, I further understand you to say, are in all cases precisely and numerically the same relations.  The same greenness is united, in the two cases, by two relations (each precisely and numerically the same) to a different pair of points and a different pair of moments.  The same greenness and 'precisely and numerically the same' relations enter as constituents into an indefinite number of different complexes [12].


|48  In this account of the union of Simple Entities to form Complexes, I can see nothing but a statement of the problem in terms which render its solution inconceivable.  If you tell me that a penny in my pocket is 'the same' coin as a penny in yours, I agree that in a sense this is true enough.  But if for the penny you substitute a simple eternal entity, and then go on to maintain that this simple self-identical entity is both in my pocket and in yours, and also in no place and at no time, I can only protest that a simplicity of this kind is too deep for me to fathom.  Nor does it make the least difference if you call your simple entity a 'universal'.  And if, finally, you insist that the relation of the simple entity to the points of Space which are my pocket, is 'precisely and numerically the same' as its relation to the points of Space which are your pocket, I must admit that I am unable to distinguish a 'precise numerical identity' if this kind from numerical diversity.


If, on the other hand, each different complex involves different relations and different constituents, and each relation and each constituent is a simple entity, then (I suggest to you) the game is up.  For then the Universe is really and unambiguously a multiplicity of Simples, and there is neither universality nor unity anywhere, except the unity of the units.  Each Simple Element is what it professes to be, absolutely one, absolutely itself, absolutely other than everything else.  And there, where your theory begins, it must also end.  A Logic of abstract identity has carried you where it carried Antisthenes – beyond the reach of argument, and beyond the reach of knowledge.


For any monistic philosophy the fundamental difficulty is to find intelligible meaning within its system for the relative independence of the differences of the One.  For any pluralistic philosophy the funda- |49  mental difficulty is to render any union of its ultimate simple entities intelligible without destroying their simplicity.  In the first case we have One, and find it difficult to reconcile with its Unity the being of a variety or plurality within it.  In the second case we have Many, and find it difficult to, whilst retaining the simplicity, and the independence of the elements of the Many, to recognize the being and the unity of anything not simple.  With the difficulties of Monism I have here no special concern.  I will only say that the Monist could 'solve' his difficulties with far fewer ultimate indefinables and immediate intuitions than the present pluralistic theory makes free to assume, though he would perhaps not call it a 'solution'.  But what I here wish to point out is this: the present theory rests its account of the complex facts upon certain assumptions, which are simply and solely statements of the problem to be solved.  Thus, it insists that the union of the Independent Simples is a union by external relations; and that 'external relation' is a name for the problem to be solved.  The problem is, 'How can elements, each absolutely simple and in itself, coalesce to form a complex in any sense a unity?'  And the answer given is, 'By being externally related'; i.e. by coalescing to form a unity and yet not ceasing to be independent.  Again, 'How can that, which is independent, yet be apprehended and known as independent?'  The theory answers: 'In virtue of the unique relation of "experiencing" to the object experienced'; i.e. in virtue of an immediate apprehension which is just of the miraculous nature demanded for the solution of the problem.  For this 'unique relation', when you ask what it is, is precisely the relation which would have to characterize an apprehension, if it apprehended its object and yet left that object independent.  And finally, there is a problem as to how |50 the simple, eternal, and self-identical can enter as a constituent into complexes, which are changing, different, and many.  And the theory answers, 'By being related, in a not further explicable manner, to the different points and moments'.  But these inexplicable relations are mere names for the problem.  For they are simply formulations of the assertion that the simple, eternal and self-identical is yet also a constituent of many different complexes, connected with many different places and times [13].


§ 18.  (2)  I have endeavoured to show that the assumption that 'experiencing makes no difference to the facts' is either false, or irrelevant to the theory of truth which we are here discussing.  And if my arguments have carried conviction, the remainder of my task will not be difficult.  For it will not be hard to show that this theory, which set out to vindicate |51 the independence of truth, must end by making truth a private and personal possession, dependent upon an individual intuition which itself is a particular psychical existent; unless indeed truth is to remain entirely in itself, for ever unknown and unknowable even to the advocates of the theory [14].  Truth is a quality of certain propositions: it attaches to these independent entities immediately and as they are in themselves.  Propositions are true or false, and their truth or falsity have not to wait for our recognition.  Our recognition, when it comes, is – like the appreciation of a flavour – an immediate intuitive apprehension.  The truth as recognized, as known, is therefore a matter of personal intuition – or rather of intuition which is a psychical existent, one member of the 'class of psychical existents' constituting a 'person' [15].


'But', we shall be told, 'you are neglecting an obvious distinction.  For though the recognition, when it comes, is intuitive, immediate, individual, and personal, the truth in itself is impersonal and independent'. 


Truth in itself, truth neither known nor recognized, may be anything you please.  You can say what you like about it, and it is not worth any one's while to contradict you; for it remains beyond all and any knowledge, and is a mere name for nothing.  And I hesitate to believe that the theory which we are criticizing worships this 'unknown God', or maintains the 'independence of truth' in this futile sense.  The truth, whose independence it wishes to vindicate, is known or knowable, or in some way experienced.  'Yes', we shall be told, 'it is apprehended by an immediate intuition, and in the intuition is recognized as independent of the intuition'.  But this is the old assumption that 'experiencing makes no difference to the facts', interpreted in the sense in which it is false. 


|52  For let us consider once more what we are asked to accept.  The truth as apprehended by the intuition is known, and known as independent.  Independent of what?  If the view means merely 'independent of the intuition qua this act of intuiting here and now', we may at once accept this with certain reservations.  But if this were all that the view intended, the 'true', though not identical with the 'mental' qua this psychical occurrence, might still be essentially related to mind.  Even an Idealist Logic would agree that truth is in this sense 'independent' of the intuition; but it would draw a distinction, which its critics do not appear to admit [16], between the intuition as apprehension of truth and the intuition as psychical fact, as this act of intuiting here and now.  It would not agree that 'mind', or everything 'mental', is nothing but this psychical phenomenon, this psychical existent or class of psychical existents; nor would it admit without qualification that truth is in no sense 'here' or 'now', 'this' or 'that', but wholly and absolutely eternal, timeless, and unchanging.  The theory sets on one side mind, everything mental or psychical; and on the other side the Simples (Qualities, Moments, and Points) and the Complexes or Propositions which are 'true' or 'false'.  It interprets mind, the mental, as nothing but psychical fact or occurrence; and rightly refuses to identify the true with this.  But since it recognizes nothing as mind or mental other than the mere psychical fact qua occurrence or qua existent, it is forced to identify the true with the non-mental, i.e. with that which is |53 independent of mind altogether, unknown and unknowable [17].  And it only appears to escape this conclusion by the postulate that 'experiencing makes no difference to the facts'; i.e. by assuming that in the purely factual and individual psychical occurrence 'the true' stands revealed in its universal, eternal, and independent nature.  The true stands revealed in and to this psychical existent; but the revelation in no way affects the character of the existent psychical fact.  That is, and remains, barely particular in spite of the universal character of what it apprehends; barely subjective, in spite of the independent being of the true which reveals itself to it; and a mere temporary occurrence, although it apprehends the timeless in its timelessness.  The psychical existent may be an intuition of truth, 'belief in what is true' or knowledge [18]; or it may be a perverted and illusory intuition, belief in what is false or 'error'.  The difference falls entirely on the side of what is revealed.  On the side of the mind there is in both cases alike a phenomenon of belief, which for the psychologist is the same fact.  The content of the intuition, if it has a content, has nothing to do with truth or falsehood; for the content is psychical and is the concern of psychology, whilst truth and falsehood belong to the entirely extra-mental.  They attach to the independent propositions, and are studied by the logician.  The logician, however, is driven to the uncomfortable conception of a 'strictly logical assertion', |54 an assertion which is 'non-psychological' [19]; a conception which, if it means anything, is an attempt to reintroduce into the notion of truth essential relatedness to 'mind', and to restore to 'mind' its universal character.  The psychologist is condemned to study mental states, psychical existents, in entire abstraction (if they are cognitional states) from what they apprehend or believe.  And we have to introduce the science of Epistemology (more complex than Logic or Psychology, because it involves them both) to study knowledge.  For knowledge qua 'belief' is the subject of Psychology, and qua belief in what it is true presupposes the science of Logic [20].


Now I would suggest to the advocates of this theory that there is an unpleasant choice before them, which they are bound to make.


(i) Are they prepared to abide by their pluralism?  If so, the 'independent truth' – in the sense of the unknown and unknowable truth – may figure in their philosophy, if they think it worth while; but in the truth as known will require a different consideration.  For the truth as known will be the truth as revealed in and to this psychical existent.  They may make their bow to the Independent Truth; but, except for this empty courtesy, their theory will be indistinguishable from extreme Subjective Idealism.  Truth will be for them dependent upon the barely particular psychical existent, my belief or your belief.


(ii)  Or do they prefer to abide by the independence of Truth as known?  If so, let them develop to its consequence their conception of a 'logical assertion'; and let them examine their assumption that 'mind' and the 'mental' are nothing but particular occurrences or |55 existents.  They will be driven to the recognition of a universal, which is neither a 'simple entity' nor a complex of simple constituents.  They will begin to suspect their pluralism, and even perhaps to distrust the power of 'inexplicable relations' to constitute unity in a world of atomic simples.


§ 19.  The only other alternative, so far as I can see, is to raise the old cry of 'experiencing makes no difference to the facts'; and to insist that my immediate intuition – this particular psychical existent – reveals to me the eternal independent truth, and reveals also to me that its revelation is of this kind.


I do not propose to bring forward any further arguments against this assumption; but I will add a few remarks on the meaning of 'immediate intuition'.


The bare fact that an apprehension is 'immediate' does not, to my mind, create a presumption in favour of its truth.  On the contrary, it rouses suspicion.  For an 'immediate apprehension' is one, the grounds of which are not stated; and if, in a philosophical treatise, the grounds of a belief are not stated, there is at least a possibility that the grounds are obscure, or perhaps that there are not logical grounds.  If, in a philosophical work, the author appeals to an immediate intuition, I inevitably suspect that his opinion rests on mere prejudice, or at least that he is unaware of its grounds.  An 'immediate intuition', in short, is a belief which the believer cannot justify, or at any rate has not yet justified, by rational grounds.  An 'immediate difference' is the name given to an experience of difference which is as yet obscure and imperfectly developed, because the precise identity and the precise distinctions within the identity are not yet fully recognized.  A difference which we accept, perhaps on rational but not yet explicit grounds, |56 or perhaps without any logical justification (on 'psychological grounds'), is accepted 'immediately'.  And the immediacy, which attaches to our acceptance, is transferred to that which is experienced, and the experienced is called an 'immediate difference'.  The difference e.g. between blue and red is for us at first just a difference.  We feel it, experience it immediately, and there seems no more to be said.  But as knowledge grows, we can and do mediate it.  A partial mediation in the case just quoted is achieved, when we express the physical conditions of blue and red in terms of precise quantitative distinctions within the identity 'wavelengths of ether'.  Undoubtedly there remains in such cases, and perhaps in all cases, a residuum opaque to mediating thought.  The Universe is one; but its unity is expressed and revealed in an infinity of individual differences, which retain for the finite mind their 'irrational flavour', their 'immediacy', however far the work of rational mediation has progressed.  But the immediate apprehension of these individual differences sets its problems to thought, and is not their solution.  And though thought cannot by its mediation exhaust the data – though finite intelligence cannot entirely overcome the opacity of its material – it attains to truth in so far as its mediation progresses, and not in so far as its progress is barred.


Everything which enters into human experience may 'be for' the experiencing subject in the form of immediacy, however inadequate that form may prove for some of the matter which comes under it.  And because every experience may 'be for' the subject under this form, the 'immediacy' of an experience can as such decide neither its truth or its falsity.  That 'Baal is the only Lord,' that 'blue differs from red', that '2+2=4', and that 'God was made man', these are, or may be, all of them 'immediate expe- |57 riences' and their 'immediacy' guarantees neither their truth nor their falsity.  The fact that anything is experienced in the form of immediate feeling or intuition, or on the other hand in the form of mediate reflective thought, does not of itself approve the experience as true or condemn it as false.  The truth or falsity of an experience depends, if you like to put it so, primarily upon what the experience is; but what the experience is, it is as a whole [21], and not in severance from the form under which its matter is experienced.  And what 'the experience as a whole' is, can be revealed to human subjects only in so far as that experience is raised to the level of mediate thought.  It is in the attempt to mediate our 'immediate experiences' that their truth or falsity is revealed; and except in so far as that attempt is made, and in being made succeeds or fails, they possess for us neither truth nor falsity.


This 'blue differs from red', and '2+2=4'; and the 'immediate experiences' are said to be true.  But their truth is revealed to us only in so far as they endure the test of mediation.  Their 'truth' means for us that a whole system of knowledge stands and falls with them, and that in that system they survive [22] as necessary constituent elements.  Again, the believer's intuition that 'Baal is the only Lord' is an immediate experience, which is false.  But if it be false, its falsity does not depend upon its immediacy.  It is not because it is an emotional unmediated faith that it is false, any more than the Christian's emotional |58 faith that 'God was made man' is true (if it be true) because of its immediacy.  That the 'immediate experience' of the Baal-worshipper is false, means for us in the end that it will not stand mediation.  The moral and religious experiences of the past and the present (even of the Baal-worshippers themselves) reveal themselves, when critically analysed and reconstructed, as a texture into which this immediate intuition can in no sense be woven; they form a system in which this would-be truth cannot as such survive.


No doubt there are 'immediate experiences' which have left mediation behind, and which sum up in themselves, in a clarified and concentrated form, the work of critical analysis and reflective reconstruction.  The 'beatific vision' of the saint, the 'inspiration' of the artist, the 'intuition' of the scientific discoverer, are all of them 'immediate experiences'.  And, sometimes at any rate, they indicate a level of consciousness more developed (and not more inchoate) than the level of the discursive understanding.  But even so it is not qua 'immediate' that such experiences command the respect of the seeker after truth.  Their claim to be experiences of the truth is entitled to recognition only in so far as their transparent  form of immediate intuition is the outcome and the sublimated expression of rational mediation.  Otherwise they are legitimate objects of suspicion and distrust.


§ 20.  We have rejected the view that Truth and Falsity are qualities of independent entities, immediate flavours, so to say, of 'propositions' which are by no means 'mental' or essentially related to mind.  We have refused to admit that 'experiencing makes no difference to the facts', in the sense that 'the facts' are what they are in and for themselves, and in entire independence of any and all experience of them.  Ex- |59 perience, we have insisted, is a unity of two factors essentially inter-related and reciprocally involving each other for their being and their nature.  Truth and Falsity do not attach to one of those factors in itself, if only for the reason that neither factor is, or can be, in itself.


With this conclusion we might be content to pass on.  But, before we do so, it will be best to guard ourselves against a misunderstanding, which is possible and indeed probable, though not really justified by what we have said.  For we may be told, that if our opponents have erred by abstraction, we ourselves are equally guilty.  We have denied that Truth and Falsity attach to propositions in themselves, for we have denied that Qualities and Propositions in themselves 'are' anything but unreal abstractions.  It may be assumed that therefore we are bound to maintain that Truth and Falsity attach to the psychical occurrences, or states, of this and that finite individual as such; and that what 'is', and what alone 'is', is the finite subject and his psychical events.  In short, it may be assumed that, since we have rejected a Realistic Pluralism, we must be advocating a Subjective Idealism; and that, having insisted that 'experiencing makes a difference to the facts', we must mean that this or that psychical occurrence, this factual event in or of my mind, constitutes and is the only Reality and the only Truth.


It will not help us to protest that my mind (as an independent, purely self-contained and exclusive, entity) and my ideas (as mere psychical existents) are unreal abstractions, which we have done our best to discredit [23].  'For surely', it will be said, 'my mind is at any rate not yours, and at any rate it occurs in time with its own individual and distinctive process.  A |60 mind in general is a fiction as unreasonable as a psychical state which is not particularized in time, and not confined to an individual subject.  And how would it help you, even if we admitted this universal mind, which is neither mine nor yours, whose processes and states are not existent and particular, but timeless and universal?  It would be a mind whose thoughts might be "true", but its thoughts would have no relation to our thoughts, and their "truth" would be in a world apart from human judgment and inference.  Moreover, though you disclaim the title of Subjective Idealists, you call yourselves Idealists; and Idealism is and must be subjective Idealism.  Out of its own mouth it stands condemned.  For, though it may make play with a distinction between two factors within experience – that which is experienced and the experiencing thereof – it is ultimately driven to recognize mind and nothing but mind everywhere.  In the end it is forced to maintain that whatever is is "spirit" or "spiritual", "mind" or "mental", a "self" or "psychical states and processes" of a "self".  Knowledge is for it that process in which mind comes to recognition of itself; that consummation in which "spirit greets spirit", or in which the objectivity and externality in the subject-matter vanish into the "transparent subjectivity" of pure self-consciousness, i.e. of "thought thinking thought".  Reality, for all forms of Idealism, is of this "unsubstantial stuff".  It is "ideas", "thoughts", "spiritual" or "psychical" processes; and these and their like are in, or of, individual minds.  If, then, you face the logical consequences of your idealistic position, the Universe will be for you the complex of the psychical processes within a finite spirit, viz. yourself.  Such a complex, invested perhaps with the kind of inner consistency which attaches to a coherent dream, is the | 61 utmost that you are logically entitled to accept as Real.  For there is no logical warrant for the ornamental additions which some Idealists have made to their Solipsism.  They have no right to recognize other finite spirits or a divine and infinite spirit, except as psychical states of their own, as part and parcel of their dream.'


Subjective Idealism had rightly fallen into discredit.  It will not stand as a theory of Reality; and it affords no foundation for a sane theory of knowledge or of conduct.  It fails when it takes the consistent form of Solipsism; and it fails equally when it assumes the half-hearted form of a spiritual pluralism.  Neither I myself and my psychical states, nor an assemblage of finite selves each wrapped up in his own ideas, can constitute the ultimate reality.  And the failure of Subjective Idealism is in no way lessened by the introduction of an infinite mind and its psychical states besides the finite self or selves.  It is indeed 'a short way with Idealists' to identify them with advocates of this theory: and if the identification were established, Idealism would be finally refuted [24].  But the point at issue is whether this |62 identification is sound or not: and I am contending that it is not.  The Subjective Idealist maintains that he knows directly only his own ideas or psychical states, is aware only of affections of his psychical subjectivity.  He is confined to states and processes of his own self-contained and exclusive psychical being.  Anything else – if there be anything else – is for him, as he knows it, a state or process of himself.  And if, by a precarious inference or by an illogical postulate, he admits the being of other finite subjects and of an infinite subject or God, these are all external to one another and to him, and self-contained and exclusive like himself.  But throughout I have been insisting that self-contained and exclusive entities of this kind are fictions.  I have tried to show that the Universe is not a whole of independent and reciprocally-exclusive parts, and that a Universal is not another entity alongside of its particulars.  It is unwarrantable, therefore, to accuse me of postulating a 'universal mind which is neither mine nor yours', or a 'mind in general', or a 'divine mind' which is external to the finite minds.  Such a postulate is utterly inconsistent with all that we have been maintaining; and certainly it would in no way support our theory.  And if, in the consum- |63 mation of knowledge, 'spirit greets spirit', or 'mind recognizes itself', or self-consciousness has become 'the transparent unity of thought with thought for its object', has any Idealist ever suggested that this consummation is embodied e.g. in my apprehension of this green leaf here and now, taken strictly and solely as this my particular experience?  Or has any Idealist acquiesced in the interpretation which identifies 'spirit', 'mind', 'consciousness' – the 'spiritual', the 'mental' – with purely particular, self-contained, exclusive existents capable of external (and no other) relations to one another?







Joachim's Notes


[1]  Cf., however, below, p.50, note.


[2] The tree may cease to be green, but the 'greenness' itself is eternal and unchangeable.


[3] Cf. Russell, The Principles of Mathematics, I, Preface, p. v. "The discussion of indefinables – which forms the chief part of philosophical logic – is the endeavour to see clearly, and to make others see clearly, the entities concerned, in order that the mind may have that kind of acquaintance with them which it has with redness or the taste of a pineapple" (cf. ib. p. 129).  What is here said of the primary propositions, or 'indefinables', appears to be extended elsewhere to all propositions.  Cf. Russell on 'Meinong's Theory of Complexes and Assumptions' (III), in Mind, n.s. 52, p. 523: 'It may be said – and this is,  I believe, the correct view – that there is no problem at all in truth and falsehood; that some propositions are true and some false, just as some roses are red and some white; that belief is a certain attitude towards propositions, which is called knowledge when they are true, error when they are false'.  Cf. also ib., p. 524.


[4]  Cf. Russell Principles of Mathematics §38.  " The question is: How does a proposition differ by being actually true from what it would be as an entity if it were not true?  It is plain that true and false propositions alike are entities of a kind, but that true propositions have a quality not belonging to false ones, a quality which, in a non-psychological sense, may be called being asserted.  Yet there are grave difficulties in forming a consistent theory on this point, for if assertion in any way changed a proposition, no proposition which can possibly in any context be unasserted could be true, since when asserted it would become a different proposition.  But this is plainly false …  Leaving this puzzle to logic, however, we must insist that there is a difference of some kind between an asserted and an unasserted proposition." Cf. also §52: "But there is another" [i.e. non-psychological] "sense of assertion, very difficult to bring clearly before the mind, and yet quite undeniable, in which only true propositions are asserted.  True and false propositions alike are in some sense entities, and are in some sense capable of being logical subjects; but when a proposition happens to be true, it has a further quality, over and above that which it shares with false propositions, and it is this further quality which is what I mean by assertion in a logical as opposed to psychological sense.  The nature of truth, however, belongs no more to the principles of mathematics than to the principles of everything else.  I therefore leave this question to the logicians with the above brief indication of a difficulty".


[5]  Cf. above, §13, p.33, §14, p.36.


[6] Above, §14, p.36.


[7]  I use the term 'greenness' to mean the eternal unchangeable quality 'green', in distinction from this or that instance of green.


[8]  It is no answer, from the point of view of the theory in question, to say: 'Our insight is justified by the consistency of the system of judgments into which it develops'.  For if systematic consistency, or coherence, is to be the test of truth, the whole position is abandoned.  'Truth' is then no longer an immediate quality of Propositions in themselves.  On the appeal to 'Insight', see below, §18 and 19.


[9] What 'normal' means, for the theory which we are considering, is a difficult question.  Is 'the normal vision' that of the majority?  Or is the normality, e.g. of my vision, guaranteed to me by immediate inspection?


[10]  Cf. Russell, 'Meinong's Theory of Complexes and Assumptions' (III), in Mind, n.s. 52, p. 519: 'And this theory would render far more intelligible the curious fact that the apprehension of simples, so far from being easy, is possible only to minds with a high degree of philosophical capacity'  (Italics mine).  How is the 'degree of philosophical capacity' measured?


[11]  Cf. Russell Principles of Mathematics, I, p. 523: 'What we called, in chapter vi, the class as one, is an individual, provided its members are individuals: the objects of daily life, persons, tables, chairs, apples, &c., are classes as one [cf. §74].  (A person is a class of psychical existents, the others are classes of material points, with perhaps some reference to secondary qualities).'  The addition of the temporal and spatial relations of the 'class of psychical existents' is suggested by what Mr. Russell says elsewhere (e.g. c. liii): for a 'person' is related to a Body, and a Body is presumably a class of 'terms which occupy both points and instants'.  But a 'class of psychical existents', with or without this addition, is an 'unfounded coincidence' in the sense of my criticism.


A somewhat different account of personal identity is tentatively propounded at p. 470: 'Thus if the mind is anything, and if it can change, it must be something persistent and constant, to which all constituents of a psychical state have one and the same relation.  Personal identity could be constituted by the persistence of this term, to which all a person's states (and nothing else) would have a fixed relation' … I regret that I cannot understand this passage.  Is the 'persistent term' a simple entity within the personality, differing in its relation to the person from his other states solely by its persistence?  Or is this 'term' – as Mr. Russell's first sentence seems to say – identical with the whole mind?  If so, are the 'constituents of a psychical state', the 'person's states', not mental at all, or, if mental, within another mind?


[12]  Cf; Russell, l.c. pp. 51, 52: 'I conclude, then, that the relation affirmed between A and B in the proposition "A differs from B" is the general relation of difference, and is precisely and numerically the same as the relation affirmed between C and D in "C differs from D".  And this doctrine must be held, for the same reasons, to be true of all other relations: relations do not have instances, but are strictly the same in all propositions in which they occur'.  I have assumed that the simple Qualities (like Relations) 'do not have instances': e.g. that the 'greenness' which is a constituent of this case of green is 'precisely and numerically the same' as the 'greenness' which is a constituent of that case of green, and also as 'greenness' pure and simple.  This green and that green may be called 'numerically diverse instances' of the simple universal 'greenness'; but their numerical diversity (as I understand) is due to the different points and moments involved, and is not strictly a numerical difference in the 'greenness' which is a constituent of them.  Mr. Russell, in a written reply which he has been good enough to send to me, repudiates the above interpretation of this doctrine.  He says that his argument apples only to Relations; that on the question of 'particular greennesses' he has no opinion either way; and that he does not deny that 'greenness' exists.  But if the simple Qualities (e.g. 'greeness') exist, the argument of § 15, 16 applies without any qualification, and I have no need to repeat it here,  And the question whether 'greenness' has or has not numerically diverse instances of itself, is of no importance.  For whichever alternative Mr. Russell may finally decide to adopt, his theory is equally impossible.  If the simple 'greenness' becomes numerically multiple in the different complexes of which it forms a constituent, how can it be said to be 'unaffected' by being related to different entities? whilst, if it does not become numerically multiple, how can it – a simple numerically identical entity – enter into different existent complexes?


[13]  Hitherto I have assumed that the relation of 'experiencing' to the 'facts' is to be external in the sense that it is to leave both relata untouched and independent.  Mr. Russell, however, in his article on 'Meinong's Theory', &c. (Mind, n.s. 52, p. 510), says: 'But the peculiarity of the cognitive relation … lies in this: that one term of the relation is nothing but an awareness of the other term – an awareness which may be either that of presentation or that of judgment.  This makes the relation more essential, more intimate, than any other; for the relatedness seems to form part of the very nature of one of the related terms, namely of the psychical term'.  I confess that this 'essential' and 'intimate' relation looks tome like a miracle postulated ad hoc, and a miracle strangely discordant with the philosophical position which it is designed to support.  Mr. Russell's description of the cognitive relation appears to mean that, if A be the psychical term and B the other term, then A's very nature involves B, but B does not involve A.  And although A's very nature involves B, it involves a B in itself or a B which is by its very nature not related to A or anything.  For, given A, there is something, 'part of whose very nature' is 'relatedness': and relatedness presumably to something definite (viz. to this 'fact', B), not to a something in general which is nothing in particular.  Yet although, given A, there is 'relatedness to B', the B in question must be in itself and unrelated; for otherwise what becomes of its 'independence'?


[14]  Cf. above, p.39.


[15] Cf. above, p.46, note.


[16]  Cf. Russell, 'Meinong's Theory', &c. (I) Mind, n.s. 50, p. 204.  '… that truth and falsehood apply not to beliefs, but to their objects; and that the object of a thought, even when this object does not exist, has a Being which is in no way dependent upon its being an object of thought: all these are theses which, though generally rejected, can be supported by arguments which deserve at least a refutation (Italics mine).


[17]  Cf. e.g. Russell, Principles of Mathematics, I, p. 451: 'The argument that 2 is mental requires that 2 should be essentially an existent.  But in that case it would be particular, and it would be impossible for 2 to be in two minds, or in one mind at two times.  Thus 2 must be in any case an entity, which will have being even if it is in no mind'.


[18]  Cf. Russell, l.c. Mind, n.s. 50, p. 205; No. 51, pp. 353, 354.


[19]  Above, p. 38.


[20]  Above p. 37.  Cf. e.g. Russell, Mind, n.s. 50, p. 205.


[21]  If we are to sever the form of apprehending from the matter apprehended, we must look rather to the matter than to the form as determining the truth or falsity of the total experience.  But the severance, I should contend, is indefensible; and, if it is made, the problem as to the nature of truth and falsity will remain insoluble.


[22] See below, §§ 30-7.


[23] Cf. above, pp. 24, 25.


[24]  Cf. G.E. Moore, 'The Refutation of Idealism', Mind ns 48, pp. 433-53.  The reader of Mr Moore's article will notice that he has made his task easy for himself by his formulation of the purport of Idealism.  Cf. e.g. p. 433: 'Modern Idealism, if it asserts any general conclusion about the universe at all, asserts that it is spiritual … Chairs and tables and mountains seem to be very different from us; but, when the whole universe is declared to be spiritual, it is certainly meant to assert that they are far more like us than we think.  The idealist means to assert they are in some sense neither lifeless nor unconscious, as they certainly seem to be; and I do not think his language is so grossly deceptive, but that we may assume him to believe that they really are very different from what they seem.'  On p. 434 'stars' and 'planets', 'cups' and 'saucers', take the place of 'chairs and tables and mountains' as examples of things which the Idealist is supposed to regard as being 'really very different from what they seem'.  When Spinoza maintained that 'omnia, quamvis diversis gradibus animata tamen sunt', some critics were naοve enough to protest that a stone or lamp or chair surely had no soul.  Similarly, Mr. Moore appears to suppose that the Idealists, who hold that the universe is in its ultimate reality 'spiritual', understand by the universe in its ultimate reality the assemblage of what the unreflecting perceptive consciousness takes as 'things'.  Chairs, tables, mountains, stars, planets, cups and saucers, Mr. Moore apparently assumes, are as such ultimately real.  Ordinary people attach certain properties to them; and the Idealist, with his strange love of paradox, attaches quite other properties to them.  They – the chairs and tables and saucers &c. – remain these individual things; but have now 'in some sense' acquired life and consciousness.  Even if Mr. Moore really had reduced all Idealism to Subjective Idealism, his 'refutation' is far from convincing; but it will be time enough for Idealists to meet Mr. Moore's 'refutation' when the reduction has been made.



Editor's Notes


[A] Rollo Russell was Bertrand's father's younger brother, who became Russell's guardian when his father died.  Regarded as harmless and ineffectual, he had abandoned a career at the Foreign Office because of bad eyesight, and lived with the grandparents at Pembroke Lodge, in Richmond Park.   Bertrand's brother Frank detested his uncle.  "My Uncle Rollo possessed the outward figure of a man, but was a perfect production of his sheltered life, the extreme instance of what a man can become when he spends his whole life surrounded by adoring females.  They treated him in the best Jane Austen manner as the male to be looked up to as their natural protector, as the counsellor to be relied upon … In actual fact he passed his whole life under the dominion either of people or of phantoms, and never once knew the meaning of freedom .. In speech he was halting, inconclusive and nervous; in appearance small and shy.  It will be gathered I did not admire him, and this tendency not to admire was increased by the way in which he was looked up to, quoted and deferred to by the rest of the household".  (Frank Russell, My Life and Adventures).



[B] The idea that a proposition is timeless and independent of the human conception of it was advocated by Bolzano in the first half of the nineteenth centuryand then independently by Moore in a paper published in 1898.  Moore was opposed to the Idealist conception of Truth (as advocated by Bradley and Bosanquet), and aimed to replace it with a 'Realist' theory that distinguishes what we believe (a proposition) with our belief in it.  The first published statement of this his theory was 'The Nature of Judgment' which appeared in Mind in January 1899, although the paper had previously been read to the Cambridge Moral Science Club (21 October 1898) and the Aristotelian Society (9 December).  Moore also claimed that a proposition is made up of atomic elements called 'concepts', whereas on the Hegelian view, it is an unanalysable unity.


On this view, Logic and Metaphysics are closely connected, even indistinguishable (hence Joachim's frequent and patently sarcastic references to 'the new Logic and Metaphysics'. 


[C]  For a definition of the terms 'proposition' and 'judgment', see Joyce's definitions here.  In traditional logic, following Aristotle's definition in de Interp. c. 6, §1, a proposition was a form of language: a verbal expression in which we 'affirm' or 'deny' an attribute of a subject.  It is the outward verbal expression of a judgment, which is the joining (or separation) in thought of the two concepts signified by the terms of the proposition.


[D] In traditional logic, truth is relational, "the conformity of the mind with its object".  With negative judgment.  In what way, in judging that something is not the case, my mind is in correspondence with reality. But negation is a secondary and subsidiary form of truth. In affirmation there is perfect correspondence between the mental form expressed in the predicate and the objective reality. (Aquinas, I. Sent. d. 19, Q. 5, Art. i, ad. i.).





Bradley, F.H., The Principles of Logic, Oxford 1883

Frege, G., "Die Verneinung", in Beitrage zur Philosophie des deutschen Idealismus I (1918-19), pp. 143-57, transl. by Geach as "Negation" in Black 1967, pp. 373-89.

Moore, G.E., "Mr. Joachim's Nature of Truth", Mind ns 16, 229-35.

Russell: Geometry, non-Euclidean (Encylopedia Britannica) 1902.

Russell, B., "On the Nature of Truth" Mind, ns 15, 1906, pp. 528-533.

Russell, B., "On the Nature of Truth" Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, ns 7, 1907, pp. 28-49.

Wolenski, J. Essays in the History of Logic and Logical Philosophy, Jagellionian University Press, 1999



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