Psyche Miniatures, General Series No. 62

To The Reader7
List of the Chief Senses of Some Key Words in Discussion  130


    Let us take the most important word, in the theory of the comparison of senses and in the work of taking statements to bits for the purpose of comparison, and make lists of their chief senses. We will give numbers to these senses, so that we may put a finger on them, without trouble, when in the process of discussion it becomes necessary to give them separate attention. We will be able to see -- together and on one page -- the chief senses which may be coming into use at this point in the discussion. We will then see not only which tricks and twists we will have to keep in mind, but -- and this is more important -- the other possible theories.
    The first reaction of most readers to number (12-112, 3-24 and so on) in pages put before them is normally fear mixed with disgust. It is hoped, however, that here the great help which such numbering gives in keeping different things separate will make you more kind to them. Without them I would be forced to make the discussion at least three times longer, and to say the same thing even more frequently than I do. A numbered list at the end of the book in which lists of all the senses of the key-words are printed together in their numbered order will make the necessary looking forward and back as little trouble as possible. These numbers are only names for the sense, names which make their positions in relation to one another clear to the eye. A number like 5-12 makes us see that the sense it is a name of is a division of sense 5-1 ; 9-211 and 9-212 are different divisions or special forms of 9-21 and so on.
    I give in my account only some of the reasons for making the divisions where I do. The apparatus is a machine for separating the senses of other words when it is necessary to do so. The test of the value of our divisions is the amount of help they give us. It is important to keep in view this fact that we are not here putting on paper something which is given to us, so much as making a machine -- a machine for controlling thought which will let us do some things and keep us from doing other things. It is a good machine if it is of use to us ; any changes which will make it of more use to us will make it better. They are not able to be tested in any other way than this. If the reader is troubled by this word use here, a look at necessary, sense 17-12, in the list at the end of the book, may make the point clearer.
    On the other hand, if it is to be of use, it is necessary to keep some of the divisions in the places in which our minds normally put them. The attempt to make a machine like this is, in fact, a way (and the best way) to the discovery of how our minds do their work. But, as we will see, our minds do their work in a number of different ways. They put the chief divisions, upon which all the other are dependent, in a number of different places for different purposes. So a number of different machines are possible and necessary. Very little of the theory of the connections between these possible machines has been worked out. The history of thought is still waiting for such a theory. The experts have had enough to do putting their machines together or attacking the machines of other experts. They have not made the right sort of comparisons, and their machines have not been put together for this purpose. This sad condition of our theories will seem very strange in the future, because the work is important. The histories of different nations make their ways of thought different ; and the fact that they are different will, in the end, be of value to us all. But there is no need for them to be out of all relation to one another ; as they are now. The machine which is put together in these pages is for the connection of different systems of thought -- of different men, nations, governments, sciences, religions, societies -- with one another. To get things into clear relations to one another we have first to take them to bits. But the purpose is new knowledge and new buildings, not destruction. This machine is only one of a number of possible machines ; it will be tested by the work which it lets us do.
    The most important words in this machine are : --
    I take them in these three groups because the sort of discussion I give them is changed from one group to another. The senses of the words int he last group, for example, have not quite the wide and free ways of being different from one another which those in the first group have. A group is a unit, but senses from all three of them have at times to be kept in view together.
    With accounts of the chief senses of these key-words before us on paper in clear lists, the worst troubles of all discussion will in a short time be seen to give the best chances for new discoveries. they will no longer be, as they are now causes of unfertile doubt and complex errors. The lists in this book will at first not be complete and clear enough to give us every sense which is needed. But even list which are not complete will let us see much which we do not now naturally see without them. Even a bad attempt will be much better than no attempt at all.
    In giving lists of the senses of those words which I take first I have to make use, in special senses, of those which come later. The numbers put with these special senses as directions to the reader to take a look at a later page will make the position clear. When at first you do not see how or why a word is being given some one of its senses, or do not make out which sense it has, go on to the place where the words used in giving it a sense are given their senses and then come back.
    We will take the word thought first -- and let us not be troubled if at first we seem not to be saying anything new or important. All men have knowledge about most of these things from their early years, from the first steps in their learning. Here this knowledge is only being put into order

    1-1 . In the widest sense, any event in the mind.
In this sense all the history of a mind is made up of thoughts; but for most purposes we have to make divisions between thoughts and feelings for example, or between thoughts and desires. Feelings and desires are equally events in the mind. So take as a narrower sense for thought :
    1-2. An event in the mind which puts something before the mind.
Some writers say, or take as said, that the thing which is put, by thought, before the mind is a picture, or that, if it is not a picture, it is something which is like a picture in being a copy of something which is not before the mind (or in the mind) in this sense. These things which, on this theory, are before (in) the mind are frequently named images. For example, when we have a thought of a tree, we will be said to have an image (or picture) of a tree before the mind: and when we have a thought of a noise, we have an image (a copy) of the noise before us, and so on. This theory of images may be wrong. A great number of persons say that they do not ever have images, and persons who sometimes have images say that they are able to have thoughts without having any images. Even those who make use of images in their thought say that their images are sometimes not at all like the things they are having thoughts of. So it is wise not to make our account of thoughts dependent on any theory of images but to say that what is before the mind in thought is in some way the thing which the thought is about and not only some picture or other copy of it in the mind. It will be clear that, if we say this. the word before is not being used in the same way in which it is used when we say 'this book is before my eyes'. We take before here in ' before the mind ' in a special sense (not quite like any other use of it) as the name of the relation which thoughts have to the things they are thoughts about.
    What is important is that thoughts (in this sense, 1-2) put the mind into a special connection with things. A thought is of or about some thing and so it may be true (7-l) or false. A feeling or desire is not about something in the same way (when we are not, as we frequently are, giving to the words feeling or desire a sense which makes them the same as thoughts in this sense). It will be noted that we may equally say that a thought is of something or about it. In most places the two are not different. We may, however make them different -- was we will see in connection with the word thing (2-2) -- and this gives us sometimes a feeling that they are different in some way in other places where, in fact their sense is the same.
    If a thought is of something as it is, then it is true ; if it is of something as the ting is not, then it is false ; and the agreement of thoughts with things may be put to the test. Thoughts are those events in the mind by which the mind has knowledge of things and events. (Normally things and events not in our minds but sometimes other thoughts, feeling and so on in our minds.)
    A division in this sense of thought is of much use : --
    1-21. A thought may be of something as three, as being so ; or it may, 1.22, be only of something, without the question ' Is the something so or not ?' coming up at all. In other words, a thought may be, in addition, a belief (6-2 or 6-3), or it may be only a thought. When we are not deeply interested, or needing to do anything, then our thoughts are frequently without this addition. This division is important when we come to questions about the limits of knowledge, and the different senses of true, belief, fiction, possible and so on.
    Two less interesting senses of thought are :
    1-3. The process of having thoughts (1-2).
We are said to be 'in thought ' as a condition opposite to being, for example, in a deep sleep, or having only feelings.
    1-4. The process of having thoughts (1-2) in an order which is in agreement with the order of facts (4-2) or the attempt to put thought into agreement with facts.
    1-5. A division which is sometimes important comes up with thought (and a great number of other words). A thought may be an event in the history of a mind (1-2) or it may (1-5) be a group of general properties which that event has and other events may have. for example, we say ' Newton's best thoughts took place in Cambridge ' and ' Newton's thought about space was changed by Einstein '. In the second of these we are not saying that Einstein did anything to the events in Newton's history. We are saying that in place of thoughts (such as Newton had) of one sort Einstein made use of thoughts of another sort.
    In sense 1-2 a thought is one event with a fixed place and time : in sense 1-5 a thought is a general (14-12) property which thoughts (1-2) may have. If they have it, we say that they are the same thought, and , by a fiction (3-2) we take them to be one thing (2-4).
    This way of getting a more general sense from an example is used very frequently. Red may be the name of one event of seeing, or it may be, and in general use is, the name of any event like a given thing seen, or an event in the mind of a given sort.   So, in addition, with most words under the heading ' general ' in the Basic list. And when necessary we may make any word general in this way. Trouble and danger of error only come up with a small number of words used in building theories, where we get two different theories -- by taking a word in its general sense or as the name of one event. We will see the point of this more clearly in the discussion of fictions.
    We may now go on from thoughts to things.

    2-1. The word with the most general (14-11) sense possible. We have to say ' Every thing is thing ' because we have no more general word with which to give an account of them. In this sense, to say about anything that it is a thing is not say any thing about it. If it is then it is a thing. So thing, in this sense , is almost without sense. It has less sense than any other word. Like is (13-2) it is an instrument which is of use only in putting the sense of other words together. Minds, events, processes, qualities, properties, numbers, relations, times, points, spaces, changes, rates of change, fictions, doubts, smells, destructions -- all things we have or make names for -- are, in this sense, things.
    2-2. In a narrower sense only those things ( 2-1) are things about which other things are said. This sense is sometimes a little hard to see. The division is between words used as names of substances and words used as names of properties (12-2). But these two words substance and property are almost as hard as thing to make clear in their different senses. Our best way of getting the question straight will be to give some examples. It is hard only because it is so very simple.
    When we say ' grass is green ' grass is the name of a thing (in this sense) but green is not. Grass here is a substance -- we are saying something about it. Green here is a property, a property of grass ;, it i something we are saying about grass. If we say ' green is pleasing to the eyes ', now green has become a substance -- we are saying something about it. The division, you see, between things (in this sense) and what are not things is a question only of how we are using our words. It is not a division in the things (2-1) we have thoughts of, but only in the order in which our thoughts are put into language. For this reason it may seem unimportant, but, as we will see later, for some questions it is very necessary to be clear about it.
    It is with this division that a thought of something or a thought about it may be made to seem different. A thought may be of grass when nothing more is said, but about grass when it is a thought that grass is green.
    In Logic the discussion of this question makes use of the word abstract. An abstract thought (Latin 'taken from ') is of a property taken from the substance which has the property ; or of a substance taken from the properties which it has. In 1-2 and 2-2 it is not possible to have a thought of a substance without any properties but it frequently seems possible to have thoughts of properties -- for example, green -- without any thought of any thing which is green. So we may get the idea that green is something which may have existence by itself without anything which is green. The discovery that this is an error comes with deeper thought about the question. What we see is a green space. Green, like other properties, only comes to us joined tb other things -- not by itself -- but we do not necessarily take note of the other things it is joined to.
    2-3. A thing is a body. In this much narrower sense bodies only are things, bodies being what we are able to see or to have knowledge of by touch, smell, hearing, or other forms of observation through the senses (8-2). Earth, grass, bread, bits of iron, and anything which has the same sort of existence as these, are things in this sense.
    2-4. A thing is anything which has existance for some time. Most bodies have existence for some time and so are things in this sense, in addition. But we take, as having existence for some time, some things which are not bodies -- our minds, for example, nations, laughs, digestion, events, chains of events, acts and processes. The important point is that things in this sense keep the same (or seem to be the same) long enough for us to go with them in thought from one condition to another (See system, 11-3). We are able to say of them that they are now this and then that, now here, for example and then there, now red and then green, now quick and then slow. If, for example, a mind does not keep, in some ways the same from year to year, it is not possible to give a history of it. Our tendency to make up histories, to give accounts which seem to be about one thing and its changes, and not only about the way in which different things take one another's places, or different events come one after another is responsible for our wide use of this sense of thing. The question ' Is a mind one thing, in fact ?' (in this sense of thing) -- that is to say, ' Does it keep the same ?' is possibly not one to which we will ever be able to give an answer. The question may only be about the way in which our thoughts make an attempt to give order to events. So a thing (in this sense) may be only a trick of our thoughts to make their work simple. The question comes up very 'clearly in connection with the new ideas in science. Is an electron a thing in this sense, for example, of are the waves with which men of science give an account of the motion of light ? And how about the points of which space has been said to be made ? Or how about nations when they go through a change of organization or government ? Or ideas when we have seen that they are not wise but foolish ? Are they the same things before and after ? A great number of errors in thought are caused by the fact that we do not take enough care here and do not' keep the question ' Is this the same thing still ?' enough in mind. Most discussions of political questions come to nothing because they are not about anything in this sense (2-4). With this we come to:

    3 1. In the book-trade and in law, a work of fiction is a story not put forward as fact. Much the same sense is used in books about 37 the art of writing :-- the invention of events in prose of in verse. But fiction has an important sense in the theory of the connections of thoughts with things and to this it is wise to give special attention.
    3-2. A thought 'used as if there was a thing (2-4) in agreement with it, when there is, in fact, no such thing. So a man of science may make use of the thought of an electron or of waves, or a writer on the history of societies may have the thought of a ' natural man ' without having any belief that there are electrons or natural men. Thoughts of this sort may be of great use, if we take care, at the right point, not to give belief to the idea that there are such things (in sense 2-3 or in sense 2-4). More of our thoughts are fictions than we take to be so. It is possible, for example that our minds, and a great number of the events which we say take place within them, are fictions. A mind, we may say, is a system of events. As such it is a thing (in senses 2-1 and 2-2) but it is not quite certain that it is a thing in sense 2-4, though our ways of talking about it make it seem so. In the same way we make use of the word thought as if a thought is a thing (2-4). But when we have, as we say, ' the same thought again ', it is not certain at all that one and the same thing has come again. And when we say that two men have the same thought, we are not saying that one thing is in their two minds. We are only saying that it is as if this is so. We are all in agreement that the only thing which has come about is that two events, which are much the same, have taken place in them. This is an example of the use of the word thought as the name of a fiction. This question is important in the theory of the mind generally. Some authorities have seemed to say that events in the mind (thoughts, feelings, desires and so on) may by the force of other thoughts, feelings and desires, be put into a part of the mind which is not conscious, and that later they come up again (frequently seeming very: different) to give us trouble. These. theories may be fine if they are saying it is as if this was so ; but if they are saying that a desire may go on having existence in the unconscious for years without doing. anything then they are probably wrong. To say this is like saying that Winter is keeping quiet somewhere all the summer waiting for its turn to come again and make us cold. Such views are not in 39 agreement with our knowledge of how things generally go on.
    Fictions are common everywhere in our use of language. It is hard, in fact, to be quite certain that any of our thoughts are not fictions. We will probably be in agreement that some thoughts of pains are not that some thoughts of pains are not fictions but even the thoughts we make use of every minute in seeing, for example, coloured spaces and things, are probably not in that relation to fact which would make them other than fictions. But here we have to take special care with the word fact, to which we will now go on. In which of its senses was I using the word in my last statement?

Another word with senses hard to make clear because they are so simple.
    4-l. Anything which is so. Here ' so ' is short for ' in agreement with a thought which is of it '. In this sense, a fact is that about which we have a thought when the thought is true. It will be seen that, in 4-1, it is not possible for there to be facts of which it is not possible for us to have true thoughts. But we frequently have false thoughts and say that they are false because they are not in agreement with the things they are about. Another sense for fact is needed.
    4-11. When our thought is false, the question is more complex. There is a fact upon which the error of our thought is dependent. That is to say, there is a fact with which our thought is not in agreement. We may not have enough knowledge to give us a true thought in place of our false thought, though, at the same time, having enough knowledge to be certain that our thought is false. For example, we may have the false thought that Bacon was the writer of Shakespeare's works. We may be certain that this is false, but not be able to say who was the Writer of them. A picture will be of help.
        A   ________ ________ _________
        B   ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
A is as things are.
B is as, in a false thought, they seem to be.
    Here there is a fact A which is the fact which makes our thought false -- it is not in agreement with our thought. But there will be millions of facts which are not in agreement with any one thought. For example, facts about the stars are not in agreement with the thought that fishes have warm blood. How are we to say which fact, by not being in agreement with this thought, makes it false? We do so here without trouble, but in fields about which we have not got a very great amount of knowledge our danger of error is very great. This is why this question, which, in this example, may seem very unnecessary, is important. We are able to take the right fact -- the cold blood of fishes -- into View here because we are certain in which senses we are taking fish, blood and warm and we are certain that it is not possible for blood to be warm and cold. We have made the senses of these words such that this is so. Only by doing this may we be certain which fact makes any thought false. When we have done so we get the sense for fact 4-11 -- that which makes a thought false, when it is false.
    We saw that with 4-1 it is not possible for there to be facts about which it is not possible for us to have thoughts. We have a strong feeling that this is a limit we have no need to put -- that there may be facts of which we may not ever have thoughts, things no man will ever have any knowledge about. So another and a wider sense of fact is needed :
   4.2. Anything (or group of things) which is (has been, will be) is a fact ; any bit of the way things are.
    4-21. Some writers make all facts in this sense complex. For them a fact is like A--B or AB, not like A or B separate and taken one by one.
    4-22. Some writers say in addition that anything which may be is a fact (not only a thing which is, was, or will be). For them, it is a fact that the earth may come to an end tomorrow, (In this connection see possible, 18-3).
    4-3. Our only way of putting a thought to the test is by comparison with other thoughts, and by having other thoughts about it. To get at facts We have. to have thoughts about them. This seems right, but it may not be true of those facts which are our histories while we go through them. These events in our minds, some say, may be got at straight without any need for us to have thoughts about them. (Bergson is a representative of this sort of view.) But generally it is true that the test of a thought is another thought. If this is so, then the question ' Is X a fact ?' (4-1) or ' Is the statement X true ?' becomes a question not about the agreement of a thought with a fact but about the agreement of a number of thoughts with one another.
    This gives us 4-3, a fact is that which a thought which is in agreement with the rest of true thoughts (7-2) is of. On this view, the question ' Is a thought true ?' becomes equally a question about the agreement of thoughts with one another not about the agreement of a thought with things. This View goes with the View that all things are thoughts (which has the name ' Idealism ' in the history of thought). But there is no need to take this last view even if we take the first that thought has to be tested by thought. The two may be taken separately, though they have been made by some writers to seem dependent upon one another.
    The connections between 4-1 and 4-3 are very interesting. The purpose of thought, we have said, is to put thoughts into agreement with things. We are only able to do this by putting our thoughts into agreement with One another, changing some and keeping others the same. But our purpose is still to put our thoughts into agreement with things. The hard part of this work is to keep ourselves from taking the divisions between our thoughts for divisions between things -- to keep as right balance between the questions : 'Which is the way of things ?' and ' How may we best get our thoughts in order ?' The special interest of much early Chinese teaching seems to have been in this balance between these two questions.

    A different sort of question now comes up. Take the four statements:
        This is apple-green
        This is green
        This is coloured
        This is able to be seen
Are these all statements of facts, in the same sense ? Do they all equally put forward facts ?
    In 4-1, they are, they do. (I am taking them to be true.) In 4-2 (any bit of the way things are) we will have some doubts about it, for good and bad reasons. A bad reason of a sort very frequently put forward goes like this. If 'This is green' is the same as ' This is coloured' and 'This is red' is the same as 'This is coloured ', then ' This is green ' is the same as ' This is red '. But these are not the same, so This green ' is not the same as ' This is coloured. This is a bad sort of reason because it does not take enough note of changes in the senses of red, green, coloured and same, In the sense in which we may say that ' This is green ' is the same as ' This is coloured ' (that is, ' This has some co1our'), 'This is green' and 'This is red' are the same. This sort of argument comes from using a word-machine without enough care. I give this example here because most of the troubles of logic come up in this way.
    A good reason for having doubts about our question is that the ' This ' in my examples is, we have a strong feeling, completely and in full detail what it is -- that is to say, it is apple green, a quite fixed, special, one and only one, colour not like any other colour. It will not be only green, or only' coloured, or only able to be seen. These accounts, it will seem to us, are not full enough, not complete. To take a parallel : If we say that a man is in London, we are certain that this account of where he is is not complete. We are certain that with more knowledge and a need for more detail, a fuller account is possible. He is in a certain house, say, in a certain room, in a certain position in the room and so on. He is not W4 in London. And the account ' He is in London ' is not in agreement with fact (4-2) in quite the same way as a fuller account will be in agreement with fact.
    Is the answer the same with 'This is coloured '? As I have said, we have a strong feeling that it is the same. That accounts like ' This is able to be seen ' or ' This is green ' are only loose accounts -- full enough, it may be, for our needs of the minute or as complete as our knowledge goes, but not in agreement with things as they are in the way in which ' This is apple green ' is. Is this feeling right ? At present no certain answer is possible. It may be that we take our ideas of how things are, in these ways, from our experience of the Way in which things (as bodies 2-3) are at all times in fixed places -- not somewhere in a field but at a pain! in a field. (Science, we may take note, has sometimes had doubts about this in talking about the places of very small bodies (electrons) in very quick motion ; but with greater bodies, like the man in London, we are all quite certain about it. Electrons, as we have seen, seem to be fictions of another sort from greater bodies, if such bodies are fictions.) The question is a very complex one. Here the best thing to do will be to keep it separate from another question, which is not so complex, and put it on one side.
    The other question is this : When we see a bit of green what do we see ? The expert in seeing colours will say that the colour he sees is not fixed in the way in which it is taken to be by those who are not experts. A bit of green, for the expert, may be changing all the time from minute to minute, with every other bit of colour with which he puts it. The common opinion takes colour to be something fixed, like the liquid in the pot which the man in the colour-trade puts on with his brush. To the common man everything has its colour, which keeps the same, though it may seem different in different lights. This opinion is of much use in business, in getting the right liquids put on. But for the colour-expert it is the cause of a great number of errors. The colour he sees is an effect of the processes in his eye and mind, processes very complex and changing, So the colour which common opinion says is green, he will see as yellow, or blue, or even misted with red. And he is able frequently to make the common man see the colours as fully and as delicately by turning his attention in the right way to the question.
    Teaching in one business is very like teaching in another. If we are able to take note of how our greater knowledge or power has come to us in one sort of learning, we will see that the same steps, the same divisions and comparisons will give us new power in another. So it is here. If we go in thought through the different senses of colour, and then make the same sort of attempt to go through the different senses of other words -- noise, idea, desire, fact, thing, thought, and so on, we will see that the same questions come up with them all. We see that, as it is with the colour which a man sees, so it is with the senses in which he takes his words. To get a clear and free control of these questions is the purpose of all learning.
    Coming back now to fact and the hard question we put on one side :-- It may be that in the way things are (facts, 4-2) there are parts which are not fixed and complete in one and only one way (see in comparison the position of the man in London). But even if this is so, it is wise for us to take facts to be so fixed, because by doing so, we are best able to make our knowledge wider. When, as with the seeing of colour, more knowledge is possible, facts which seem not to be fixed seem so because we take one sense of a word for another (green liquid for green thing seen) or because we do not give enough attention to them.
    One other hard point and then we will be ready to put this question in clear order. Our thought (1-2) of something may not say clearly what the something is. It may, so far as it goes, say nothing which is not true of the something and still not say anything about it in detail. It may not be, in detail, representative of the thing. But this quality of being general is a quality of the thought (1-2). As an event in a mind, it is fixed, though the detailed qualities of the thing of which it is a thought are not fixed by it. It is a thought of something as being in a general way of a sort, for example, coloured. The thing may be green or blue or red . . . without the thought of it as coloured being false. So, even though we do not have the belief that a thing 2-1 may be only coloured without being of some special colour (or only green without being some special green); we may say ' That this is coloured is a fact ', or ' That he is in London is a fact '.
    4-4. Fact here will then have the sense parallel to 41 -- that which is in agreement with the thought of it. Here, the that may be a fiction. There will be a parallel sense, in addition, for false thoughts : 4-41 ' That he is in Paris is not a fact '.
    It seems probable that our knowledge will not ever be complete enough for us to make use of sense 4-1 in the ways in which it is different from 4-4. In other words, it is an open question if our thought is ever completely special, of things as they are, It may be only of facts as we take them in our thoughts to be. Another way of putting this is to say that all thought is general, is of things as in sorts, or of a thing as being of a sort. (See, in comparison, general 14-12.)

    5-001. Those processes (thoughts 1-2) by which we have knowledge.
    5-002. That of which we have knowledge.
    With most of the senses of knowledge this division is possible. If we do not keep a watch on it, we will get into trouble. The two things we have most need to keep separate have the same name -- the picture and that which is pictured, the measure and that which is measured, the thought and that which is before the mind in thought.
    5-1. Knowledge as Reaction. Our knowledge is a reaction in us to something.
    That is to say -- when we have knowledge, changes take place in us which are parallel in some ways to the thing or event the knowledge is of. If, every time, our knowledge took the form of a picture coming into or before the mind, then this would be clear. But the other processes which take the place of pictures are parallel in other ways, and which these ways are is sometimes a hard question.
    An instrument for measuring heat is made so that something in it -- generally a thin line of metal -- becomes longer when the heat becomes greater and shorter when the heat becomes less. The changes in it are parallel to changes in the heat in a simple way. Most of the instruments of science are so made that the parallels by which they give us the measures we take with them are as simple as possible. But in between, say, the motions of a needle which give us a measure of the condition of a system and the changes which are so measured (see 5-001, 5-002), a very great number of very complex processes may come. Or between the picture we take with a camera and the thing the picture is of. When it is we who have knowledge (in this sense) and not only such specially designed instruments, these processes which come in between are probably very much more complex and, what is the important point, the parallels between the changes in us and the changes in the things of which we have knowledge (A -- -- B and a -- -- b) are not so simple. They are more like
        A ; , . B                   A - - - B
        a - - - b   than like   a - - - b
    But, for us to have knowledge in this sense 5-1, there has to be some parallel. As we will see when we come to the senses of cause, to say that A has knowledge of a (in this sense) is to say that a is the cause (in 9-5 of the senses of cause) of A. Our minds are systems which go through changes which are parallel. more or less, with changes in the things round about us. Between these things and ourselves come long chains of events (having a connection one with another in the same sort of way). We may say that ' Every effect is a knowledge of its cause ' (if we are using effect, knowledge and cause in these special senses). But in saying this we are in great danger of being taken to be saying something quite different -- that which we would be saying if we were using other senses of these words.
    This is the starting-point of a theory of knowledge which becomes, when it is worked out in detail with a theory of signs, very complex. It is the theory used in Science. We have, however to keep separate :--
    5-11. Our reaction as the effect in us of the causes of which we so have knowledge and
    5-12. Our reaction to these reactions. In sense 5-l1 we have much knowledge, to only a part of which do we have a farther reaction as something about which we may make comparisons or records.
    5-13. By some writers, knowledge is given a. narrower sense of the same sort, For them, we have knowledge only of those changes, in agreement (parallel) with which there are changes in us without there being any events in between our changes and the changes we sO have knowledge of. (In the special language of ' philosophy . this is ' immediate ', or ' direct ' knowledge or knowledge of ' data '.) It is not at all certain that there is any such knowledge. It may be that we only seem to have it because we give to the word knowledge a quite different sense which we do not keep separate enough from 5-1 :--
    5-2. To be knowledge is to be an event in a mind, part of the history of a mind, a bit of experience.
    In this sense the knowledge and that of which the knowledge is, are not different. Knowledge is of itself ; then I have a pain, the pain and my having it are one and the same. So, for sense 5-2, with all knowledge. When, as we say, I see a colour, the seeing of it -- the having of the colour in my mh1d-and the coming into being of the colour are one and the same. There are not two things -- the colour and my seeing it -- but only one, though our way of using language may make them seem different. In this Sense to have something given to us in knowledge is only to have it as part of our current of conscious events, our experience. We have this knowledge of our histories as we go through them. But this is quite a different thing from, later on, having knowledge of our past, by taking thought about it, looking up old letters and so on.
    It is not hard to see that, if we do not keep this sense of knowledge separate from 5-1, we may get a false idea that some things are given to us straight (5-11) without there being any events in between our knowledge (5-1) and them. When we see a colour, what do we see -- a body (or lighted space), waves of light, changes in the eye, changes in the nerves coming from the eye, changes in the parts of the brain, or an event in the mind ? We may say that it is any of them or all of them -- but in giving different answers we are taking see in different senses. See here, it will be noted, is only a special example of knowledge.
    5-3. Knowledge is a special relation between the mind (or some event in the mind) and things.
    This sense is sometimes only 5-1 put in another form of words. The special relation would then be that agreement between the event which is the knowledge and the thing of which it is knowledge. But, for some writers, this is a quite different sense, and the special relation is one which does not come between any other things or events. Knowledge, for them, is not like any other sort of relation. Discussion of this view is hard because our only way of making anything clear is by comparison of it with other things which are more or less like it. And if knowledge is such a very special event that it may not be taken as coming under or inside any other sorts of events, very little may be said about it. This is not a good reason for saying there is no such thing, but it is a good reason for saying that attempted discussions of it will not go very far. This sense of knowledge is part of a system of thoughts, which, at present, has no connection with the system of thoughts whid1 is science. (See in comparison Thought 1-2 and fact 4-3. By the use, with great care, of senses like these, it may be possible to give them some connection -- but this is one of the hardest questions in the theory of thought.)
    5-4. That is knowledge which is said by an authority not able to be in error.
    Knowledge, whichever of these senses we give it, is true. In this it has one opposite -- error. But it has another sort of opposite -- Belief, or Opinion.

    As with Knowledge we have :
    6-001 . The process of having the belief, and
    6-002. That about which we have a belief.
    We may in addition have, as with knowledge, Belief as the name of the relation between 6-001 and 6-002. These changes frequently give trouble in discussion, if we are not looking out for them.
    6-1. A thought taken to be true without being tested.
    6-11. A thought taken to be true which is not able to be tested. A thought may be not able to be tested, because our powers are not great enough. For example, 'that there are conscious beings in some of the stars '. This thought is of the same sort as others which are able to be tested. For example 'that there are conscious beings in Africa '. But a thought may be not able to be tested because it is of a sort, no example of which is able to be tested. Such thoughts are common in theories about the mind. For example, ' that the mind goes on for ever, that it is not in space or time, that it is itself unchanging though there are changes in its ways of acting and being acted upon . . .' Some writers have said that they have knowledge of these things. They were saying that these thoughts were true, were of facts (in 4-2). Which sense of knowledge they were using, is open to doubt.
    6-2. thought we take for a guide in our acts of feelings. There is no need here for the thought to be true (in other senses than 7-22 and 7-3).
    6-21. A feeling, desire, impulse, tendency in the mind, may take the place of thought (in its narrower senses).
    These divisions make it possible for the common question ' Is it possible for a man to be without beliefs ?' to be answered in more than one way. It is not possible for him to do anything without something guiding his acts ; but it is possible for him to do almost anything without, in so doing, having any thoughts which he is certain are true.
6-3. A thought we are certain is true. We frequently give the name knowledge to such 59 thoughts, without looking into the reasons why we are certain. 6-4. Some writers say that. there is a special feeling or condition of the mind -- not the same as the feeling which comes when we are certain, but the cause of this feeling-and give the name belief to this. Here the same questions come up as with knowledge 5-3, and discussion of it is equally hard and for the same reasons.

    The senses of true may now be put in order without much trouble. They come from the senses of the words which have been listed earlier, and here we are going over the field again.
    We have to keep separate the sense in which a thought is true and that in which a statement is true. A statement is only true if the thought at the back of it is true and it is in agreement with this thought.
    7-1. A thought is true if it is in agreement with that which it is of.
    7-2. A thought is true if it is in agreement with all other thoughts with which it may be put into comparison. May here has two senses :--
    7-21. With which it is possible to put 60 it into comparison. (See 4-3 and possible.)
    7-22. With which it is wise to put it into comparison.
This last division gives us the question ' Are there different systems of thoughts or is there only one system? ' If a thought is true by being in agreement with other thoughts, then it seems possible that there are a number of systems formed of thoughts which are in agreement with the other thoughts in the same system but not in agreement with the thoughts in the other systems. This takes us to another question. ' If a thought A is in agreement with a thought B, and B is in agreement with a thought C, is it possible for A not to be in agreement with C? '
    In making an attempt to give an answer to any question like this, it is very important to keep in view that we are not attempting to say how things are, but to make a decision about how we will put a machine, an apparatus of divisions and senses together. Or we may be attempting to make discoveries about how we have put it together and how we are using it. But we are not giving an answer about anything other than our ways of putting our thoughts together. Such questions are of great use if we keep this in mind we do not, they Will only get in our way.
    So the question is, ' Which decision, the present condition of our knowledge, the wisest-that there is one system thoughts or that there are a number them ?' Writers who take fact as 4-3 and knowledge as 5-2 commonly say that there is only one system. That, of two thoughts which are not in agreement with one another, one is false. Writers who take fact as 4-4, and knowledge as 5-1, will probably say that there are a great number of systems no one of which is complete, and that the question of the relations of the systems to one another is one to which an answer will be possible only after a great amount of work has been done. They may say, in addition, that, till this work is done, it is wise to go on with it Without troubling about the agreement of thoughts which seem clearly to be not about the same things or formed in the same sorts of ways This, they may say, is the art of thought -- to put this question about how far thoughts are in agreement with one another only at the right times and with the right examples. Thoughts frequently seem not to be in agreement only because we have not given enough attention to separating the senses of the words.
    7.3. A thought (felling, desire, etc. . .) which we have a need to take as a guide in our acts is frequently said to be true.
    7.4. A thought which comes with a feeling like the feelings which come with true (7.1, 7.2) thoughts is frequently said to be true.
    I have kept the question -- which the reader has probably had a strong desire to put -- about the sense of the word Sense, itself, to the end of this p art, because with these lists of the senses of the other words before us, I am now able to give it without trouble.

    8-1 . The sense of sense I have been using in every place but one (p.35) is the same as 1-5 of thought. A sense is a property of a thought. Two thoughts are different when they have different properties which make them thoughts of different sorts of things.
    8-2 . Other quite different senses of sense are common. Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting are named senses, the five senses ; so is any way of getting knowledge which does not come under these heads but is of the same general sort. Experts say that we have not five but about fifteen senses -- muscle sense, heat and cold senses and so on. Sense taken in this way is best looked on as another word made up of the same letters, not as the same word taken in another sense. So, equally, with sense as a name for strong desires, those of sex, for example.
    A use of sense which is nearer to the one we are making is that in which persons who are wise are said to have sense, that is, to have good sense.
    8-3 . Good sense is, at least in part, a power to keep our thoughts, the senses of our words, in the right places. So there is a connection between the control of the senses of words and good sense. One who is not able to keep the senses of his words in order is said to be ' out of his senses '. In this sense, who among us is in them ?
< prev   | home |   next >