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It is generally assumed that in fighting Germany we were fighting a specific doctrine of life. Many crusaders are now in search of the doctrine which has brought on this iniquitous war. To hunt down the German philosophy has become a favorite indoor sport. But what is the result? The result threatens to blur all distinctions. The adjective "German" now connotes everything and denotes nothing. If, for instance, the national differentia of both German philosophy and German politics be Egotism, as has been maintained, many doctrines having their origins outside the boundaries of Germany would have to be defined as "German." Again, if Germany's national trait be "Absolutism" in logic and morals (and this too has been seriously held), what Ishall we do with Belgium? Shall we call her German because in defiance of all consequences she remained absolutely true to her duty? Not Germany but Belgium is the nation that acted in conformity with Kant's Categorical Imperative. If it is true that America's national philosophy is pragmatism, then the "masters" of Germany are entitled to American citizenship. It is

1 An address before the Philosophical Union of the University of California, February 22, 1918.

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ot essentially naosophical. Philobe correlated with superficial and arbitrary A attitude which finds The same holds of ionalism, mysticism, To establish a definite nations and philothe facts of history. doctrines grow and on one another. A d to predominate in a cher eschewed by it. The e soon gains mastery over Jacism come here to mind. grimage of Hegel's phito which Hegel gave exmant philosophy in England er its collapse in Germany. on between pragmatism and the nother instructive example. Shall the Germans, speak of unser Proeunt Mr. John Dewey among the

I am intentionally indulging in these vagaries to show how slippery is the field of Rassenlehre and NationalKultur. It comes perilously near being the home of the sophist and the partisan. Unrestrained imagination masquerading as "science," what can it not prove? There is no "race" or "nation" which could not be selected as the protagonist of all nobility or all baseness. Houston Stewart Chamberlain's book (Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts) should serve as a terrible example. As Josiah Royce remarks: "When men marshal all the resources of their science to prove that their own race-prejudices are infallible, I can feel no confidence in what they imagine to be the result of Science."2 We also agree with him that "no race of men . . . can lay claim to a fixed and hereditary type of mental life such as we can now know with exactness to be unchangeable." " There is nothing in the inherent nature of one race or nation which makes it immune from the vices or the crimes of another. In our eagerness to be different from the Germans we are in danger of becoming like them in emulating the superficial and capricious methods of their race-theorists. Let us leave it to them to inoculate philosophy with a racial or national "culture."

The issues of philosophy are too grave for facile theories. So are the issues of the war. The war is a struggle of general ideas of which there are exponents in every nation and some of which come to predominate now in this, now in that country. Racial and national conflicts themselves may be interpreted in terms of a deeper opposition. There are after all but a few fundamental problems, towards which there are but a limited number of ultimate attitudes. One such problem, of which the war of nations is only one instance, is the problem of multiplicity. And this problem is as general as it is

2 Race Questions and Other American Problems. New York. 1908. P. 9. 3 Ibid. P. 47.

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