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sense, as man's personal agency is—nay, the one perpetual miracle—it is nevertheless our surest datum and our only clue to the mystery of existence.
This position is maintained in several of the essays against the lower monism of the naturalistic systems. In the long essay entitled “A New Theory of the Absolute,” it is defended against the Spinozism which permeates Mr Bradley's statement of metaphysical monism. This essay emphasises, on the one hand, the necessary limitations of human insight and, on the other hand, the validity or practical truth of our human rendering of the divine. Such a view of the cosmos must rest ultimately, I think, upon a conviction of the absolute value of the ethical life. For there is no such thing as a philosophy without assumptions. Every idealistic theory of the world has for its ultimate premiss a logically unsupported judgment of value — a judgment which affirms an end of intrinsic worth, and accepts thereby a standard of unconditional obligation.
On account of this unity of contention, the essays have been brought together, in the hope that they may serve a useful purpose. The paper on Professor Huxley’s “ Evolution and Ethics” appeared in ‘Blackwood's Magazine,' three of the others in the ‘Contemporary
Review,' and the short paper on “The Use of the Term
Naturalism,'” in the Philosophical Review. To the editors and proprietors of these Reviews I am indebted for their courtesy in sanctioning this republication. The essays are republished without substantial alteration, but I have availed myself of the opportunity of revision, and have also reinserted a few passages which had been omitted, in order to bring the treatment within the ordinary compass of review-articles. The second part of the essay on “The 'New' Psychology and Automatism,” though written in 1892 as an integral part of the discussion, is now printed for the first time. It gives the question a wider range, and will be found, I hope, to make the treatment more complete. Mechanism in physiology, "presentationism” in psychology, materialism and sheer pantheism in philosophy, may be regarded as different aspects of the same preconception—the denial of the presence of a real cause at any point in the sequence of events.
I desire in conclusion to express my thanks to my colleague, M. Charles Sarolea, for his kindness in reading the proofs and making many helpful suggestions.
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH, February 1897.