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Creative ideas of modern society

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A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the School of Philosophy The University of Southern California

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts

by Philip Peichun Cheng June 1942

UMI Number: EP62729

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T h is thesis, w r itte n by

......... P H I L ^ . P , . . O H E N a ............... u n d e r the d i r e c t i o n o f

a c u i ty C o m m it t e e ,

a n d a p p r o v e d by a l l its m e m b e r s , has been presented to a n d accepted by the C o u n c i l on G r a d u a t e S t u d y a n d Research in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l ­ m e n t o f the re q u ire m e n ts f o r the degree o f




D ean

Secretary D a te ..

F a c u lty Com m ittee

C hairm an




INTRODUCTION . *................. .. ..............

II.THE SOURCE OF CREATIVE I D E A S ...................... III.

Definition of creative ideas

1 11



Creative ideas, the product of the active mind


Creative ideas are transcendent ...............


The purposive character of creative ideas . . .



. . . . . . . . . . . .




The expression of creative i d e a s .............


Creative ideas and ideals .....................


Ideals and ethics ...................


The character of creative ideas

Optimistic faith in creative ideas

. . . . . ...........




The awakening of mental power . . . . . . . . .


The discovery of the law of natural order . . .


The-influence of religious faith




The cultural influence of international contacts



The new interest in l i f e ...............


THE MAIN REASONS FOR SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT . . . Discoveries start scientific development The rise of Individualism






The mastery of skill in accuracy and efficiency




PAG-E The expansion

of E u r o p e ...........

The discovery

of new natural

resources ... .

The discovery

of the science




The value of science






. . . . . . .



The conquering of disease



The conquering of time and space

. . . . . .

Creativity begets further creativity

. . . .

59 62 63

The development of mutual trust ................. VII.



. .

64 65 65

The Pessimistic v i e w ........................... Faith in p r o g r e s s ............................ VIII.


. . . . . .

Definition of personalism . . - ............. Contributions of personalism Development of personality IX.


68 7072 73

................... . . • • • • • • •

........... .......... ..

B I B L I O G R A P H Y ........................................

75 78 80 85

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Society is now in a process of very rapid change which, the writer "believes, tends towards a higher level of accomp­ lishment.

Within this process of change, there are inevitably

certain dominant forces controlling the change.

These forces

are creative ideas and they stimulate and develop human progress Although progress shows a curve that rises and falls and is not by any means smooth and constant, the general trend is upward. With this contention in mind, then, the writer has attempted to analyze the reasons for progress in civilization. The origin of creative ideas may be traced far baek in human history, beginning with the first appearance of mental activity.

Wherever the reasoning process exists in man, the

development of creative ideas becomes possible.

However, as it

would take a long treatise to describe the development of creative ideas in its entirety, the present thesis limits itself with a few exceptions to the modern period.

Furthermore, it is

a study of the philosophical interpretation of creative ideas. The author finds that creative ideas are everywhere discernible in the annals of history, but it is his interest to search deeper than this and to account for the philosophical movements which seem to have given direction to man's thought.

In this

study, historical facts may be used for purposes of illustration

but nowhere do they preempt the place of philosophy. The period covered is from about 1682 to the present. The writer understands that life and history form an unbroken, continuous process— the past, present, and future are an in­ dissoluble unit and no portion of it can be segregated without there resulting a distortion of reality.

Yet, for purposes of

study, it is necessary to make artificial divisions, and the writer proposes to consider the last three hundred years, pre­ dominantly scientific in spirit, as the "modern period."


arbitrariness of this division is apparent when one realizes how much scientific activity there was previous to this time and likewise how much of the uncivilized, pre-modern, and un­ scientific remains today.

However, the importance of science

has never been so generally recognized nor so influential as during the last three hundred years.

To an unparalleled degree,

it has directed the shape of human history and thought during that time and so Justifies the author's designation of it as a single period— the modern period. The reader will probably recognize the fact that the writer is Chinese, but he believes that this does not prejudice his judgment.

His praise of xtfestern culture and the sciences,

hox^ever, does not mean that there has been no comparable form of creative activity among the Chinese.

China developed quite

independently, science, mathematics, medicine, chemistry, en­ gineering, and numerous other branches of learning.


5 modern inventions first appeared in China; such as, the seismograph (131 A.D.), the calculation of the circle (463 A.D.), and both the telescope and the microscope (1656 A.D*).


inventions, however, did not effect any great changes in Chinese civilization, whereas scientific discovery brought new techniques, new purposes, and new beliefs to the West.


passing, the writer would like to suggest that there is i n - . teresting material for investigation as to the reasons why China did not develop a modern science.

As this is not a study

of the history of science but of the creative ideas in modern society, it cannot be considered here. Modern society refers to Western society, which is chiefly European and American. Western society?H

Why not use the term 11modern

First of all, because the term "West*1 is

ambiguous and may cause misunderstanding.

Civilization is not

the achievement of one nation or one part of the world but the result of interaction and influence of all peoples.


since the so-called modern pattern of life has been adopted by men in different parts of the world, it does not apply solely to the West. The author intends to limit himself to philosophical interpretations of the development of creative ideas.


presence of creative ideas in other fields than science will also be noted.

Though philosophical thinking is chiefly specu­

lative, it is necessarily related to fact.

Hoxvever, fact is

4 not the only form of reality, nor the facts that are known to man the only facts in existence.

For human knowledge is at

any given time limited, though gradually increasing in volume. Knowledge of the unknown is acquired by proceeding from the known to new syntheses through the agency of creative ideas. Creative ideas are expressed in many forms— in art, science, philosophy, religion, and other fields.


ideas develop a philosophy and in turn a philosophy generates further creative activity.

The drive behind creative activity

is m an1s need to live and work in accordance with the nature of the universe.

But as the nature of the universe is so in­

tricately conceived and constructed and man’s capacity so limited, his achievement is slow and halting.

Yet by reference

to history, it is found that human civilization is a gradual progress from a low and savage stage to a higher and brighter one.

This progress resulted from man’s continued acquisition

of knowledge and application of it.

Whenever man has discovered

a use for his knowledge, he has made a significant step forward. But before this was accomplished there were many unsuccessful attempts.

The method of trial and error was used again and

again before separate*elements of knowledge could be fitted into a reasonable pattern. ducible.

Once arranged, principles were de-

As has been mentioned, the road of progress has not

been smooth but confronted with many difficulties, yet a con­ fidence in his own ability and creative power has lead man to

5 penetrate farther and farther and to dissolve some of the darkness surrounding him* Toward what goal does civilization move? question asked by many philosophers.

This is a

From the direction trace­

able in the records of history, it is presumed that civilization is moving somewhere teleologically. ing towards the perfect.

It is a continuous striv­

The development of creative ideas,

when reaching toward maturity, will approximately fulfill the potentialities of the human mind. always beyond our reach. the universe.

There is something which is

We may call it a guiding principle of

Those who hold the linear concept of progress

would accept this theory.

Furthermore, such 'teleological pur­

pose is accepted generally on the belief that without destination or purpose one is not able to move forward.

It is asserted that

civilization is on the road of continuous progress. The civilized countries of European culture spent about three hundred years passing from the mental outlook of the Middle Ages to the mental outlook of the modern world. tracing the development of


modern science, one finds that the

multiplicity and complexity of today1s inventions had very simple beginnings centuries earlier. At the close of the Middle Ages a new type of thought became manifest.

While inventions were stimulating thought,

thought itself was quickening speculation about the physical universe.

The impetus for this type of thinking was due partly

6 to the works of the ancients*

Through G-reek manuscripts,

ancient discoveries were rediscovered.

For example, in the

year 1500 A.D. Europe actually knew less than Archimedes who died in the year 212 B.C.

Yet in the seventeenth century after

Newton's Principia had been published, the world was entering upon the direct road to modern achievement. The main reasons for scientific development are the rise of individualism, the mastery of skill in accuracy and ef­ ficiency, the expansion of European power, the discovery of new natural resources, the emphasis on freedom and equality. By these developments in the modern world one can see the ex­ pansion of human knowledge, the conquering of diseases, the rapidity of communication, the conquering of space and time, and the doctrine of humanitarianism. The story of the magical change of these ideas has been told often.

Once man gloried in them; lately, however, certain

undesirable elements, which are closely related to this change, have crept into the picture because of lack of adequate direction One wonders whether the rapid progress of science pre-supposes that ethical values should be neglected.

It appears that man

had lost his way in a maze of misunderstanding.


naturally recognized the need for making an analysis of the situation and to find a way out of the quandary.

As a result,

many views in regard to these phenomena appeared, such as dis­ illusionment, pessimism, and the faith in the Inevitability of


Though, indeed, there are undesirable elements in

modern civilization, they can be eliminated.

To know the cause

may provide the knowledge for the removal of the undesirable elements. Fortunately, creative ideas have the power of direction. It is generally believed that the directive power of civiliz­ ation is in the field of philosophy.

Philosophers may gain a

clear view of the trends of society.

The directive power pro­

vides the sound discipline for the avoidance of evil.

For in­

stance, fire is the most dangerous thing, but if controlled, it is productive and one of the most beautiful phenomena in the world.

The avoidance of evil depends on the ability to know

good and evil. The ability to know good and evil is inherent in human nature.

The idea of morality is instinctive.

For instance, we

have the concept of honour, the recognition of seniority, re­ spect for hospitality, the solidarity of the members of the same family, and the vengeance for wrong doing.1

The nature

of man is to choose good instead of evil simply because he knows good is good.

Even the evil doers believe that they are

right according to their standards.

The fact that they possess

a concept of right, even though it differs from that of the rest

1 ^


C f . F. Mentre, Cournot et la Renaissance du probabillsme, au XIX Siecle t p. 549.

of society, implies that they have some idea of morality. Animals are not capable of such distinctions. It seems inevitable that human beings should recognize society's need for directive philosophy. a philosophy.

Personalism is such

Recent personalistic philosophy springs from the

theory of Lotze and his followers.• However, personalistic philosophy has a long history, dating back to Socrates and others.

Its world-wide accomplishment, on the other hand, is

of but recent date.

Its following was increased by French and

derman philosophers during the nineteenth century.

Its strong

Influence in America is due to its emphasis on freedom. Personalism stresses the importance of the person.


person is considered as the originator of accomplishment..Without the emphasis on the value of the person, initiative, discovery, invention, and ideas of novelty which could express individu­ ality, cannot be translated into action.

The modern develop­

ment of science owes its success to the unhampered initiative of individuals.

As it has been said before, evil commonly was

recognized as the orderless management of power.

Likewise, the

suppression of the individual prevents the advance of civili­ zation by the extinction of creative ideas.

What, then, could

be a valid guide for the encouragement of science?


doubt personalistic philosophy is the answer, because it pro­ poses as of first importance the development of the person, all persons, to the ultimate of their potentialities.

9 The real danger for the West is not that developments in seience have over-emphasized the value of material power, but that there is a tendency to accept scientific advances without a ■philosophy to interpret and guide man in their use. If this condition remains disaster will result.

The people of

any nation, East or West, should not be satisfied with mater-, ialistic progress alone.

The spirit is more important than

physical power or possession. We are facing another danger today which is the rise of totalitarianism.

Totalitarianism is nothing but a doctrine

of the enslavement of the people.

Whenever collective power

is recognized as of highest value, individuals are sacrificed entirely without discrimination and disaster results.


itarianism annihilates personal initiative, freedom, and individualism.

As personal initiative, freedom, and individ­

ualism are destroyed there appears stagnation of mental ac­ tivity and progress will come to an end.

In a world still

dominated by creative ideas, the writer believes that total­ itarianism is on its way to defeat.

In the writer's analysis

of modern society, creative ideas have played an important part.

A higher type of civilization is reached by a balanced

development of creative ideas. sophy of reconstruction.

Modern society needs a philo­

Personalism is such a philosophy;

it can be a guide for creative ideas.

The victory that was

achieved for the democracies in the First World War was the

10 result of Wilson1s creative ideas in regard to self-determination. The potentiality of creative ideas can then be seen clearly. must be remembered that nothing is more important and powerful than an idea when its time has come.


CHAPTER II THE SOURCE OF CREATIVE IDEAS Obviously creativity is dependent upon the mind*


has been shown in Chapter I that modern Western civilization differs from previous civilizations in its emphasis on scien­ tific tenhniques and material improvement.

Furthermore, this

emphasis is an expression of mental creativity.

The authority

of mental power is derived from the Increase of knowledge and the application of it.

Man*s knowledge of the universe has

increased with bewildering speed and his understanding of en­ vironmental conditions has been gained by painstaking research. In astronomy, geology, chemistry, biology, sociology, and a host of other sciences, man has found his mental horizons ex­ panding with unprecedented rapidity. in his thinking has not yet ended.

The consequent revolution Although bewildering, this

expansion of mental horizon and scientific technique has pro­ vided the m&ans by which he can utilize his physical environ­ ment to his own advantage.

And in many respects he has paved

the way to a higher type of civilization.

The translation of

creative ideas into action has been of first importance in the achievement of progress in this direction. DEFINITION OF IDEA The definitions of uideaH have been numerous and contra­

12 dictory.

For purposes of clarification one may refer with

profit to Dr. Wilbur Long's discussion in the Dictionary of 1 ° Philosophy, and to Hoernlfc'.s book, Idealism As A Philosophy One cannot really comprehend the meaning of the word without reviewing its genetic history, so well accomplished in the above cases.

For my particular purposes, however, it will

suffice to consider "idea" as the simplest form of thought or act of intelligence.

From this point of departure, a discussion

of creative ideas is possible. DEFINITION OF CREATIVE IDEAS Accepting this definition of "idea)' it is easy to see that creative ideas emerge from the synthetic operation of the mind upon the materials of its experience.

The mental product

of this operation, especially when actually applied to the transformation of the conditions of human life, is what is meant here by, "creative ideas." insufficient to inspire them.

Sensation alone, however, is Sense may act as a stimulus, a

suggestion, yet not awaken a new image or educe the conception of an archetypal form.

At best it strikes the hour for creation,

as when it summons to work a sculptor capable of shaping a Venus de Milo out of formless stone.

In such a work of reconstruction

Dagobert D. Runes, Ed. , The Dictionary of Philosophy (New York: Philosophical Library, 1942), p. 136. ^ R.F.Alfred Hoernlfe, Idealism As A Philosophy (New York: Richard R. Smitfci, Inc., 1930), pp. 45-75.

13 is revealed the creative power of the mind.

Knowledge is not

a gift of bare experience; it is not derived solely from ex­ perience, but is the result of the dynamic operation of the mind.

What is called a knowledge of facts is but a conscious­

ness of hypotheses that serve sufficiently for human purpose. Hypothesis, it is evident, is-a human creation. straight line is the creation of the mind.

Even a

In E m e r s o n ^ Uriel,

he says: G-ive his sentiment divine Against the being of a line. Line in Nature is not found. Let us take visual space as an illustration. originates

The visual pattern

as aninverted image formed on the retina.

sory analysis

A cur­

shows us that this image is different from

three-dimensional spatial object observed.


This object emerges

only as a mental synthesis in which tactual experience is united with visual perception normally involving the convergence of the images from two eyes. CREATIVE IDEAS, THE PRODUCT OF THE ACTIVE MIND Creative activity, the writer has suggested, manifests itself by thought and deed. exercise this activity.

But there must be freedom to

Creative ideas are formed primarily

under social conditions permitting or encouraging the free play of mental activity.

The mind can transform mere ideas,

under such conditions, into creative ideas.

It is the free

14 act which achieves the greatest progress. event in the linear process of history. finite series of events in time.

The free act is an It leads to an in­

When the individual has free­

dom of choice and is guided by reason, he may attain the secret spring of pother which is indefinitely progressive.

We feel that

the human will, when it is freest and most expansive, is by the same token loyal to something which does not take its rise solely in man but is outside and above.

By acting and thinking in con­

junction with this process, creative ideas are formed. CREATIVE IDEAS ARE TRANSCENDENT According to. the materialist, “creative ideas" so far as such a term has any meaning in his philosophy, are the pro­ duct of a purely physio-chemical process.

That this is not

their true explanation, however, is indicated by their trans­ cendent character.

The fact that the human mind has conceptual \

knowledge of space and time, is proof that creative activity has been applied to man's spatio-temporal experiences.

To be con­

ceptually aware of the Here and the Now implies the mind's transcendence over these realities.

For a consciousness of

the Here as such, implies a consciousness of the Beyond; a consciousness of the present as such, implies consciousness of the past and the future.

In its sensations and experiences,

then, the mind is transcendent. Similarly, the mind transcends the influences of its

15 own body.

It is true that the mind is furnished by all of

the senses that produce a never-ending stream of impressions in it, and that it is influenced by all of the organfe of the human body concerned with adjustment and motion of the human frame.

But it is also true that the mind transcends each and

all of these influences.

It compares, relates, synthesises,

reconstructs, controls these functions of sensation and loco­ motion.

Furthermore, the mind is a unified whole, coordinat­

ing the separate activities of the individual. Among the creatures of earth, however, the transcen­ dent quality of the mind is peculiar to man.

It accords him

a certain amount of freedom in the development and operation of his will.

It grants him the power, within limits, to de­

termine his own destiny.

But for this thesis, the interesting

aspect of this transcendence of the human mind is that it enables the individual to discipline, check, and control the impulses so that they may best develop inherent potentialities and so contribute the maximum of his ability to his contem­ porary world.

The progress of science in the modern period

illustrates how much men can contribute if they so direct their energies.

A man is more than a mere tabula rasa on which

reality makes imprints through the senses, awakens impulses, and Initiates thoughtless action.

Man has the ability to

make these responses the servants of more satisfactory, because directed, purposes.

Berkeley has noted that when we open our

16 eyes, we have no choice as to whether or not we shall see the world about us; for it is there*

Man cannot deny reality, but

his transcendent nature enables him so to respond to it and so to manipulate events that they aid in the achievement of higher * 5 needs. Creative ideas stimulate action toward goals, but the ideas must be given objective form or they remain unproductive. Perhaps an explanation of the fact that the scientific in­ ventions of China never altered Chinese civilization is that they were never given practical application; whereas in the West, creative ideas were immediately put to use.

It is action

which accomplishes the desired changes in society. It might be asked if action is the essence of reality or being?

The answer is affirmative.

then, is the essence of activity? space?

To be is to act.


Is it merely motion in

Such a materialistic proposition must be rejected.

Activity implies purpose— movement toward a goal— which, in turn, requires intelligence, self-consciousness, and selfdirection. THE PURPOSIVE CHARACTER OP CREATIVE IDEAS We have seen that the source of creative ideas is the

^ G-. Berkeley, Essayst Principles, Dialogues (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929), p. 70.

17 mind.

Mind is selective.

It does not attend to all things but

chooses those elements of experience which seem most significant and valuable to its needs.

Individual character and purpose,

as well as native potentiality determine this choice.


by purpose, mind endeavors to establish a relationship between the objects of its experience.

When this relationship is a

unique one, never expressed before, a new synthesis has been made, and the creativity of ideas has been demonstrated.


this new idea must be translated into action, for, as has al­ ready been stated, creativity depends not only upon unique ideas, but especially upon their active control of the self in its re­ lation to its environment. The progress of human creativity has been slow and la­ borious as history well demonstrates.

But progress toward a

higher type of society has been by no means steady. lum has swung far back as well as forward.

The pendu­

For example, in the

Middle Ages, men were so occupied with the life after death that they cared little to devote their energies to improving their surroundings.

The physical universe interested them little

and they never dreamed of its potentialities of temporal power and benefit.

Man's religious nature was considered of prime

importance, the world revolving about this as a ‘center.


world of nature was believed to be teleologically subordinate to him and his eternal destiny.

This conviction was the result

of the union of two great movements— Greek civilization and

18. Christian theology.

The prevailing view was marked by a deep

and persistent assurance that man, with his hopes and ideals, was the controlling factor in the universe.

Today, however,

the materialistic values of the universe have been given inde­ pendent and determinative authority.

And in this respect the

pendulum of thought and therefore values has swung from an al­ most complete denial of the significance of the physical universe to one of pre-eminence. However, this materialistic point of view has not completely dominated contemporary thought.

Since the time of

Leibniz and Berkeley, there has been a continuous protest against it.

The dominant tradition in modern philosophy has

always been one which attempts to defend the cosmic importance of both man and his ideal values.

And this tradition has shown

the way to a recognition of the value of human personality, and to the belief that the progress of society is dependent upon the full development of each individual in society. The purposive character of creative ideas, then, would appear not only in the developments of science, but likewise in the rising level of human standards.

For man's poten­

tialities are not confined to the physical plane, but include moral and spiritual qualities.

Progress in the technical sense

in insufficient; it is subordinate to spiritual and religious purpose.

The reasoning processes must become subservient to

the will which directs them, and education must train the will

19 and moral sense as well- as gather information.

A living philo­

sophy, a living ethic, and a living religion must be recognized as of first importance to mankind.

CHAPTER III CREATIVE IDEAS IN ACTION Creative ideas are inseparable from activity; hence, to know the character of creative ideas requires their obser­ vation in action.

An idea may be present in the mind without

action resulting, but not so with a creative idea.

For the

very nature of the creative ideas (as stated in the definition above) involves activity and purpose, THE CHARACTER OF CREATIVE IDEAS Creative ideas have other qualifying characteristics and of course, they are not restricted to the field of science but operate in all realms of human activity.

They are direc­

tive, descriptive, logical, rational, capable of development, and successive.

The directive power, rests upon the ability of

the person to choose from given possibilities the right thing for himself at the right time. rived from will power. of freedom.

The ability to choose is de­

The power of will implies the exercise

Freedom provides adequate facilities for the re­

alization of the will and for the expression of the directive power of creative ideas. Next, let us consider the descriptive aspect of creative ideas.

V/hat' one knows about things and circumstances

surrounding him is but the idea in the mind of what has been

21 seen, heard, touched, tasted, and perceived.


analysis further clarifies -the nature of the realities of ex­ perience, and aids not only in self-knowledge and expression, but in the communication of ideas to others.

We know what we

know, and at the same time by means of different media— sound, color, language, etc.— we can transmit this knowledge to others* We assume then that ideas may make the same sort of impression upon the understanding of others as upon ourselves, and that creative thought expressed by means of common formulae can be­ come intelligible to others.

Examples of the descriptive power

of creative ideas may be. found in works of art, in literature, and in music* Creative ideas are logical and imply the m ind’s ability to recognize both order and confusion.

The power to make a

distinction between these two states proves the presence of a logical sense and it then follows that the ability to reason enables one to deduce principles.

And knowledge of principles

is very essential to the creative activity of the mind*


the logical nature of creative ideas, greatly increases


significance. Creative ideas are capable of development.

They are

not derived from the idea unaided, but through the agency of the person possessing the idea.

A person cannot exist without

ideas, nor can creative ideas function without .the person evolv­ ing them from simple ideas already in the mind.

The character

22 of the person and the vitality of his mind, therefore, are very important as he it is who transforms ideas into creative ideas. Creative ideas are successive. another.

One idea suggests

The succession of ideas parallels the process of

events in'time.

Both are like a flowing river.

And just as

the swiftness and activity of a river depend upon the headwater and the form of the channel through which the river flows, so do the vitality and creativity ofjdeas in the mind depend upon the character of the individual concerned. The person is the organizer and producer of ideas.


the management and manipulation of different ideas, the facul­ ties of the mind are developed gradually.

The aim of education

is to develop ideas in the minds of the people.

Memory, for

instance, is but the preservation of ideas in the mind.


utility of memory does not selely depend upon the preservation of ideas, but upon the active management of ideas and the fulfil­ ment of the capacity for creativity.1 Intelligence, is measured chiefly by the creativity of ideas in the mind of the person. THE EXPRESSION OF CREATIVE IDEAS The revolutionary possibilities of science have found acceptance in modern society as in no previous era.

To the

man who wishes to change his environment, science offers as­ tonishingly powerful tools.

If knowledge consists of the power

23 to produce changes, science gives this in abundance.

In the

early stages of human development, man's activities were greatly limited by the physical conditions of his environment, but with the developments of modern science he has found many magnificent tools with which to effect his desires and ambitions.

He has

to obey the laws of nature, but is not enslaved by them. Increased knowledge and the resulting mechanical de­ vices revolutionized human society. and modern industrial cities.

They have created factories

For the masses they have made

physical existence infinitely more comfortable and life happier in the large.

The spread of western culture reaches every

corner of the earth and produces the vision of an even greater age.

Modern technique has immensely increased the number who

can enjoy a certain measure of satisfaction. It is found that change in the methods of work has been an important step along the road of modernization.


was less change in methods of work during the period from an-, cient Egyptian civilization to 1750 than there was from 1750 to the present. acquired:

Certain fundamental advances had been slowly

speech, fire, writing, agriculture, the domestication

of animals, the working of metals, gunpowder, printing, and the art of governing a large empire from a central location.


latter, however, could not attain anything like its present perfection before the invention of the telegraph and steam engine.

Each of these advances, because it came slowly, fitted

24 in without too much difficulty to the frame-work of traditional life, and men were at no point exposed to a sudden revolution in their daily habits.

Thus, in general, the effects of science

have been advantageous to men. The principle of creative activity, can be applied to art also.

In the realm of art,. superior achievement is that

which can stimulate the creative imagination of the observers so that they participate in* aesthetic satisfactions.


the feelings of different observers may vary, the power to call forth a response lies in the work of art itself and is the re­ sult of the activity of creative ideas. The same is true of creative ideas in the field of literature.

The best literature is that which has a strong

creative idea to convey to the reader.

Take the Bible as an

illustration: its value does not only rest upon its record of historical events, but also in its revelations and inspiration through interpretations of human experience.

Furthermore, the

- best literature appeals to the intellectual understanding of the reader as well as to his emotions. This intellectual appeal in creative ideas has farreaching results in the building of character.

The status of

great men, sages, and geniuses, does not depend so much upon their rhetoric, exhortations, or advice to their followers as it does upon their own example in character and personality. Bergson in his Two Sources of Morality and Religion clearly

26 indicated this power when he wrote: Why is it, then, that saints have their imitation, and why do the great moral leaders draw the mass after them? They ask nothing, and yet they receive* They have no need to exhort; their existence suffices where­ as natural obligation is a pressure or a propulsive force, complete and perfect morality has the effect of the appeal. The creative ability to follow in the footsteps of the saints is already present in the mind of.the readers, the observers, and the followers.

Thus, a living example of a way of life

is more influential than countless words. CHEATIVE IDEAS AND IDEALS At this point it is advisable to make a distinction be­ tween creative ideas and ideas and ideals.

An ideal is a pro­

duct of thought appearing as an object worthy of contemplation or aspiration.

For instance, an ideal of the patriot is re­

presented by Washington.

Ideals are the result of many people*s

thoughts, whereas a creative idea is effected perhaps by other people*s thoughts, but is most directly a product of individual experience and reflection. ideas are dynamic. ideas.

By their very nature, creative

Ideals are the outcome of many creative

Ideals and creative ideas are not synonymous but they

influence each other.

It must be noted here that.only those

Ideas which have creative possibilities last long enough to have any marked influence upon mankind. ideals.

Men live by their

Ideals can change the manner and course of thought


Henri Bergson, Two Sources of Morality and Religion (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 193577 P* 26.


and direct the course of mental activity.

Ideals are formed

chiefly by tradition, education, and the type of reality ex­ perienced.

Education and religion have continuously dealt with

the problem of how to change ideas into ideals.

Ideals determine

one’s pattern of life, also in another way, they establish a certain philosophy of life.

There are three kinds of ideals

which affect the form of society, viz., the Ideal of self-hood, the ideal of discipline, and the ideal of judgment. It is said that among the G-reek philosophers, Anaxagoras (about 500 B.C.) seems to have been the first to arrive at the 2 significant principle of self-hood or personality. For him, mind was that which can exist in all beings; it can direct them and it can differentiate itself from them. and creates.

It both controls

It is obvious., then, that the mind has the capacity

for creativity.

The recognition of self-hood enables the es­

tablishment of individualism.

It was Socrates, who in G-reek

thought emphasized the dignity of moral idealism and freedom, which is the foundation of individualism. The idea of discipline■is likewise a high type of per­ sonal attainment.

To control the activity of the mind is to

attain a higher level of liberty.


Xenophon in Memorabilia

B. A. G-. Fuller, A History of Philosophy (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1936), p. 34.

27 praised Socrates1 attainment in the matter of discipline, say-ing: Socrates disciplined his mind and body by such a course of life, that he who should adopt a similar one, would if no supernatural influence prevented, live in good spirits and uninterrupted health, nor would he ever be in want of the necessary expense for

it.3 The disciplined mind is necessary to independent thinking. disciplined mind furnishes a higher type of freedom.


If we ob­

serve contemporary society carefully, we will find that many people still accept the disciplined mind as an ideal.


is the first example of this of outstanding significance, and henceforth he it was who set the standard or ideal for subse­ quent thinkers. Judgment is another desirable type of human attainment. A sound perspective may be obtained when the arguments on both sides of an issue are considered without bias.

Judgment gives

a balanced view of fact and opinion- and enables one to produce, a more or less unprejudiced description of a given situation. Socrates set for himself such a standard of sound judgment, and, according to Xenophon in the Memorabilia: Concerning justice, too,- he did not conceal what sentiments he entertained, but made them manifest even by his actions, for he conducted hliself, in his private capacity, justly and beneficiently towards

^ C. M. Bakewell, Source Book in Ancient Philosophy (New York: Charles S c r i bners Sone, 1921), p. 87.

28 all men, and as a citizen, he obeyed the magistrate in all that the laws enjoined*4 The law may be wrong

but Socrates never let

from what he considered the course of justice*

his judgmentveer By this kind

of judgment one is certain to understand what is right and wrong.

It has been shown in history that judgment has been

influenced by tradition, customs, and the ruling political authority; but one who has attained such independence of judg­ ment as possessed by lesser values*

Socrates, will not be influenced to accept

The example of Socrates


other menofstrong

character has had great influence on subsequent generations in respect to the formation of ideals for conduct. IDEALS AND ETHICS Ideals recognized by society constitute the basic pro­ positions of ethics.

The essentials of ethics, in brief, are

the fundamental principles which are recognized by customs and established by traditions and legislated into law.


in ethics, however, vary with different cultures and different ideals.

For instance, in a society where love of freedom pre­

vails, the man is condemned who recognizes force as the only means of success.

Thus, with the spread of modern scientific

culture to the far reaches, of the earth, a new type of ethics

4 Ibid. . p. 88

29 Has followed and brought in its wake, new and disruptive in­ fluences. in ethics.

Hostility and wars are the results of this conflict But through the travail and devastation perhaps

men will realize at last that they must adopt-a type of mutually recognized ethics in order to resolve their differences. .The hoped-for outcome of the present tragedy is that men will turn to the study of the ethical and social problems involved.

It is imperative that men try to substitute moral

guidance for blind scientific progress. OPTIMISTIC FAITH IN CREATIVE IDEAS It seems almost inevitable that there should be some misuse of.the gifts of science, but if man wishes to make this less prevalent and turn civilization from the road of des­ truction, strong moral character must be developed.

Such a

victory over his own weak e r .impulses, such achievement in moral standards will bring man to another and higher level of civilization.

This writer believes that human beings/ by

purposive development of creative ideas can and will achieve these desired ends.

The virtues which should be prized today,

therefore, if civilization is to mean moral advance, must be identified with spiritual values— love of truth, beauty, righteous­ ness, care for the suffering, sympathy with the oppressed, and belief in the brotherhood of man.

These are the principles of

the Sermon on the Mount, and they must be adopted by all who believe in progressive human achievement.

CHAPTER IV FORESHADOWING-S OF MODERN CREATIVE IDEAS Civilization is the result of a gradual progress in which man has painfully worked his way forward from a low and savage stage to a brighter and more complex one.

In order to

follow the trend of modern progress, we must trace the develop­ ment of creative ideas.

Man has now at his command a vast

accumulation of knowledge which is of no advantage unless he knows how to use it.

That is the purpose of education.


the earliest times,

man has tried

in every way to learn some­

thing from nature.

As soon as he

acquired a little knowledge

of nature he wanted to preserve and transmit it to posterity; in this way knowledge increased with the march of time.


ever, history has more than once shown us that certain types of knowledge acquired by the ancients was forgotten or ignored by posterity and a different interest substituted.

It is ob­

vious that the change in the trend of thought and the influence of ideas did give direction to society and find out the change of thought is

its progress.


to trace the development of

ideas and their effect on society. There are two theories relative to the evolution of society: the theory of retrogression and the theory of pro­ gress.

One remarkable man, the Franciscan friar Roger Bacon

(about 1210-1292), who stands alone on an isolated pinnacle in

31 the Middle Ages, deserves particular consideration.

It has

been claimed for him that he first recognized the idea of pro­ gress.^*

His aim was to develop higher education and introduce

into the universities a wide, liberal, and scientific program of secular studies.

With Bacon we see the beginnings of a

change in thought which led directly to the modern period. The civilized countries of Europe spent about three hundred years in passing from the mental atmosphere of the Middle Ages into the mental atmosphere of the modern world. These three hundred years were one of the conspicuously pro­ gressive periods in history.

This period is conveniently called

the Renaissance, lasting from the fourteenth into the seven­ teenth century.

The great results which the human mind

achieved at this stage of its development were two: selfconfidence was restored to man and life on this planet was re­ cognized as possessing an Intrinsic value.

The significance

of the Individual and his life in this world was acknowledged. Up to 1700-, there was an awakening of mental power, the discovery of the law of natural order,

the influence of

religious faith, the new interest offered by life on earth, and the cultural influence from international contacts.


of these topics will be explained as a form of the development of creative ideas.

^ J. B. Bury, The Idea of Progress (London: The Macmillan Company, 1920), p. 13.


THE AWAKENING OF MENTAL POWER The awakening of mental power caused people to realize the possibility of creative activities.

They became aware of

the world of physical objects, and began to acquire a detailed knowledge of it.

They began to understand the nature of their

physical surroundings and to attempt to use this knowledge to improve and preserve their own existence. The study of the works of the ancients throws light on the subject for the benefit of later seekers of truth.

In his

study of the classical writers, Copernicus came across a state­ ment that certain Pythagorean philosophers explained the phenomena of the daily and yearly motion of the heavenly bodies by supposing the earth itself to rotate on its axis and to have an orbital motion.


It was held that any opinion that had been

entertained by an ancient might be true, and this contributed to Copernicus1 study.

During the period of the awakening of

mental power, the Arabs had also made contributions of value. The Arabs were more experimental and scientific in their works, especially in chemistry.

They hoped to transmute base metal

into gold; to discover the philosopher’s stone, and to concoct the elixir of, life.

Partly on this account, chemical investi­

gations were viewed with favour.

Through the Dark Ages it was

^ W. R. Sedgewick and H. W. Taylor, A Short History of Science (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1921), p. 195.

33 mainly by the industry of the Arabs that civilization was preserved, and it was largely from them that Roger Bacon and his contemporaries acquired scientific knowledge*

The scien­

tific method came into the world full-fledged with Galileo (1564-1642), and his contemporary Kepler,


It was

Kepler, and before him, Galileo, who verified the Gopernican hypothesis that the earth and. the other planets revolved around the sun. The philosophy of the n-ew experimental methods was first studied by Francis Bacon (1561-1626).

Warned by the

failure of the scholastic methods to give a true knowledge of nature, Bacon laid stress exclusively on the value of experi­ ment . Newton* s publication of the Prlnci~pia established the outlook of classical physics.

It is really a great contri­

bution to the development of science.

Newton’s science was

mathematical, but a century later a non-mathematical science •was introduced by Darwin (1809-1882) in his explanation of evolution.

Many important discoveries followed.

published^his Mechanik in 1883. sentative works.

Ernest Mach

This is but one of the repre­

Henceforth, science assumed a dominant place

in human thought. THE DISCOVERT OF THE LAW OF NATURAL ORDER In arriving at a scientific law there are three main

34 steps to be taken. ficant facts.

The first consists in observing the signi­

The second is deriving an hypothesis, which,

if true, would account for the facts.

The third deduces from

the hypothesis consequences which can be tested by observation. If the consequences are verified, the hypothesis is provision­ ally accepted,as true, although it will usually require modi­ fication later on, as the result of the discovery of further facts.

According to scientific theory, no facts and no hypo­

theses are isolated; they exist within the general body of scientific knowledge. to other facts.

The significance of a fact is related

To say. that a fact is significant in science,

is to say that it helps to establish or refute some general law for science.

Though it starts from observation of the particular

it is not concerned essentially with the particular, but with the general.

Specific facts are significant not in themselves

but in their relation to laws and principles. Science, ideally, consists of a set of propositions arranged in a hierarchy, the lowest level of the hierarchy being concerned with particular facts, and the highest with some general law, governing everything in the universe. There can be no living science unless there is a wide­ spread, distinctive conviction of the existence of an order of things, and in particular an order of. nature.

35 THE INFLUENCE OF RELIG-IOUS FAITH The influence of religious faith is another factor which contributed to the development of science in modern society. The essence of religion is built upon faith in G-od.

Faith is

built upon intuition and undemonstrable conviction.

Faith is

the seed, belief is its development and conviction is the fruit.

Thus faith, intuition, and conviction are Joined in a

series for the verification of truth. natural and external.

Scientific truth is

It does not depend upon personal re­

cognition, because it exists by itself.

The only difference

between faith and scientific truth is that the validity of scientific truth is demonstrable but faith possesses only per­ sonal and subjective authority. Religion Is built upon faith, intuition and conviction. However, religion is not alone in needing faith, for every branch of human thought resorts to its power in some way or another.

In the modern world a faith in the betterment of the

conditions of life Is universally accepted, otherwise there would be no attempt at social improvement.

Science offers

powerful tools for the benefit of society.

But without religion

and faith there is lack of enthusiasm and incentive to use them. Reformation must be initiated and carried out by a large-scale movement and the chief aim of reformation must be to emphasize the importance of personal values.

In this way we will achieve

36 a living religion*

Religion found an ally in scientific pro­

gress because it was given new methods to achieve its ideals, and likewise science would do well to utilize the guidance which religion can provide* THE NEW INTEREST IN LIFE Just as the West was awakening in the Middle Ages, the seat of the Moslem culture shifted from the eastern Caliphate to Moorish Spain.

The Moors established in Spain a civilization

which attracted the attention of E u r o ^ a n s and there inspired a new interest in the pursuit of the new scientific knowledge. It was their interest in human beings which shifted their at­ tention and stimulated their activity.

From Spain came first

the knowledge of the great whitings of Aristotle; but the Moslems had also salvaged from the ancient world something in which Aristotle, for all his genius, was totally deficient— mathematical and mechanical science.

The greatness of the

Arabs seems to have lain in their ability to assimilate the best in the intellectual heritage of the people with whom they came in contact, rather than in striking originality..


took the mathematical and medical knowledge of the Hellenistic world, which the Romans had disdained and Western Christianity had cast aside, and patiently set to work on that long process of slow development and practical effort which the G-reek s at their best rather scorned.

They gained from India the inais-

37 pensable "Arabic notation and the Algebraic form of thought"; and in Spain in the tenth century they created a civilization in which science had ceased to be mere lore and had been ap­ plied to the arts and crafts of practical life.

The practi­

cality of these people was one of the reasons for their pro­ sperity in Spain. The new interest in science was first found in the works of western scholars and soon spread to the universities. The earliest university statutes (Paris, 1215) present only the most sketchy outline of a curriculum.

They list lectures

in arts and theology. . In arts, rhetoric, the Quadrivium and Donatus's Barbarism (a very brief tract on incorrect Latin, written and spoken) are subjects for lectures on festival days. Ethics was a required subject, while the study of Aristotle and certain other heretics was prohibited.

The Council of

Vienne (1311) directed the universities of Paris, Oxford, Bologna, and Salamanca to teach Hebrew, G-reek, Arabic, and Chaldee, and to translate from these languages into Latin. This same policy was repeated at Basel in 1434.

Roger Bacon

recommended changes in the curriculum which were gradually adopted.

The scientific studies of such men as Albertus Magnus

and Roger Bacon sowed seeds which had already come to vigorous growth when Francis Bacon wrote of the inductive method.


has been observed that x^hoever employed this method found it profitable.

38 THE CULTURAL INFLUENCE OF INTERNATIONAL CONTACTS A new interest in life resulted from the contact of the Europeans with the Arabs, by communication and the inter­ change of ideas.

As individuals enjoy the privilege of mutual

exchange of ideas, so do races and nations.

Ancient philo­

sophers derived great advantage from travel.

For example,

Pythagoras- was the first philosopher who traveled widely and he greatly benefited from an exchange of ideas with many dif­ ferent peoples and handed this advantage down to his followers. Another instance of the value of the exchange of ideas is that resulting from the revolutionary movement of the eighteenth century.

Concern for the social and moral con­

dition of man swept America and from there spread to France and other nations. In the last years of the reign of Louis XIV and during the immediate years which followed, there was a strong contrast between this mental attitude respecting social conditions and the grim realities— the social evils and the miseries of the kingdom, the gross mls-government and oppression.

Slowly but

surely the hew ideals from America began to assert themselves in France.

What was the value of the achievements' of science-,

and the improvement of the arts of living, living conditions could not be affected?

they argued, if Was not some radical

39 reconstruction possible in the social fabric, corresponding to the radical reconstruction by Descartes in the principles of science and in methods of thought?

Year by year the in­

adequacy, of the ruling powers became more glaring and the most gifted thinkers towards the middle of the century began to con­ centrate their thought on the problem of social science and to turn the light of reason on the nature of man and the foun­ dations of society* At the same time the Jesuits came back from China where the Pope had sent them.

They brought with them recognition of

the fact that China was a great nation and the government was on a better basis than that of France. adopted the income tax system of China.

Thereafter, France The Jesuits brought

with them ideas of liberalism from the ancient philosopher Laotzu, vho was the advocate of the doctrine of following the laws of nature.

Rousseau, a man of learning, was influenced

in his vievrs concerning nature by Laotzu, though Rousseau went farther in expounding a doctrine of individual freedom.


the end of the nineteenth century, when China’s political regime reached its lowest ebb, the concept of democracy was carried from the West to China and gave impetus to the revolution of 1911.

From these examples, one can see how international con­

tacts greatly influence the patterns of national life, Nov/, in the modern period, the people of the east have much to learn from the people of the West— namely, the achieve­

40 ments of science.

But the present writer is convinced that

the marvelous achievements of science are insufficient; there is something more important than that, which is, an under­ standing of creative ideas and a philosophy of life which enjoins the use of science for the betterment of human life. The betterment of the conditions of m a n !s existence is the highest accomplishment to be sought.

CHAPTER V THE MAIN REASONS FOR SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT The present century is greatly influenced by what is termed 11technology11; it is sometimes called the ‘‘mechanical age.11

This modern civilization, differing in many fundamen­

tals from any previous period of world culture, may be said to depend upon many new inventions and discoveries*

In pre­

modern days, the most important feat probably was the discovery of the function of the seeds of plants, resulting in the free­ ing of mankind from dependence on accidental sources of food. But in the modern period, inventions and discoveries were ac­ celerated by the use of scientific methods and great progress has been made in the last three hundred years. The most Important of these later achievements was the discovery of the use of coal as fuel. in the invention of the steam engine.

For this resulted

The principle of the

steam engine was known seventeen centuries earlier, but it only became practicable in modern times through the use of coal as fuel.

Second In importance, perhaps, was metallurgy.

The metals, iron and steel, might never have been rendered useful had it not been for the perfection of the blast furnace, the Bessemer converter, and the modern rolling mill.


there came the development of electric power, beginning with the physical researches of Orsted, Ampere, Henry, and Faraday,

42 and culminating in modern dynamos and motors.

The fourth basic

invention which may be said to support modern technology is the intennal combustion engine, with its application to' automo­ biles, motor boats, air craft, and other vehicles. is cement.

The fifth

Of course, there are many others which might be

noted too, but those inventions mentioned here are perhaps the most important, as far as the establishment of methods and pro­ cedure in modern technology was concerned. * Governmental organization for cooperative research work was first started in Germany.1

The Reichs^nstalt in Berlin

was a direct outcome of the war of 1870.

It was established

in two divisions— one devoted to pure science, the other to the application of it.

Its founders realized the close inter­

dependence of the two.

The first division dealt, to a large

extent, with questions bearing on the fundamental units and standards of measurements in heat, electricity, light, and other branches of physics.

The second division was concerned

mostly with the application of the principles which resulted from these investigations and aided the advance of German in­ dustry and manufacture.

Since the beginning of the U^entieth

century there have occurred in the United States, inventions and discoveries which promise revolutionary results.


1 F. H. Hooper, The Encyclopaedia Brltannica, 14th Edition, Volume 19, p. 204.

43 system of advanced study is called “organized research.11


American corporations have established we11-equipped labor­ atories, staffed by engineers and scientific men of proven ability.

This effort toward organization is an attempt to

equip staffs of speciali&s who will progress farther and faster in scientific invention or discovery than is possible for the independent inventor .who works alone with limited equipment and meagre funds.

It is noteworthy that this idea of sponsored

research has been tried twice before in history; first by Aristotle under the patronage of Alexander the Great, and second, by the Alexandrian school in Egypt under the auspices of the Ptolemies. DISCOVERIES START SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT Invention is the expression of social tension.


every period a people live under a kind of social tension that must be relieved.

Something needs to be expressed.

Relief c

comes through an expressive artist, philosopher, military leader, or scientist, depending upon the crucial social need of the moment.

Hence, Dante, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Newton,

Watt, Morse, Bell, Edison, and Marconi must be regarded as fuses that blow and that enable society to short-circuit itself by following the lines of least resistance.

The human race

is no more intelligent today than it was in the days of ancient Egypt, Greece, or Rome.

It is merely that the point of view

44 toward life has been changed. The social and economic tension shapes the destiny of invention, and the great inventions are well illustrated by the history of the steam engine. Queen Elizabeth's reign, England fuel.

We find that as early as was suffering from a lack of

The forests had been hewn down.

Coal was indispensable

in industry, and with the lapse of time it became more and more difficult to obtain coal because

the pits were inundated.


soon as the principle of the pump was discovered, it was ap­ plied to this situation.

The early pumps were driven by animal

or human power and could not cope with steadily rising water. Mine after mine was abandoned. . By the .eighteenth century, England was facing a fuel famine. In the seventeenth century scientists discovered, much . to their astonishment,

that nature does not abhor a vacuum;

indeed, a vacuum can_be artificially created in several dif­ ferent ways.

The butch Huygens, actually blew out the air in

a vessel by means of gunpowder, and this invented a primitive internal-combustion engine.

He had an ingenious assistant,

Dennis Papin, who discovered a simpler and more effective way to create a vacuum. from the outside.

Papin invented the cylinder which is heated Boon the water boils away into a steam, and

the resultant pressure, raises the piston.

The steam escapes

through a small hole and quenches the flame.

The cylinder

cools, and what steam remains within it condenses— in other

45 words, shrinks into drops. cylinder.

A partial vacuum is created in the

Since there is nothing to resist', the piston falls—

forced down by the weight of the outer air. The experimentation with vacuums attracted the attention of the public and also that of two Englishmen, Newcomen and Savary, who knew all about Papin's discovery.

Each man had

developed a pump of his own, but instead of engaging in sense­ less commercial rivalry they Joined forces.

They recognized

and utilized the possibilities of Paj>in's discovery and the re­ sult was the Newcomen-Savary pump in which Papin's piston was made to do the real work.

The first pump was installed in 1711.

It proved so successful that in a few years Newcomen engines were found all over England.

They saved the country from a

fuel crisis, by draining the mines. If one studies the history and phases of inventions, one invariably finds that the process is a development from a simple to a complex form. covery is made.

First a physical or chemical dis­

Then the discovery is applied.

to element and a mechanical organism is evolved.

Element is added Every great

contrivance was a gradual growth as the result of the combin­ ation of creative ideas.

Inventions are composites.

It fol­

lows then, that Inventors must be equipped with mechanical elements and apparatus which can be combined, or principles which they have learned in order to produce new results.


most of these elements and principles have been devised or dis­

46 covered in the past, we must recognize that heritage is a con­ tributing factor in invention. fit of past research. technical achievement.

Every inventor enjoys the bene­

Every invention is dependent on past A mechanical principle is similar in

this respect to the principle, of free speech— common property that is handed down from one generation to another.

It is be­

cause they are invariably composed of familiar, inherited elements that many inventions seem disappointingly obvious when they are first disclosed. Take another illustration, Leonardo da Vinci invented hundreds of mechanisms, many of them very serviceable, and many utterly impractical. machine.

One of his inventions was a flying

He decided that flapping wings would probably not

solve the problem of artificial flight, although he devised a man-driven flapping wing machine for himself.

Every mechanic

now sees that the wings should merely support the load and the propulsion should be delegated to another mechanism.


eventually saw this, too, and actually invented a screw pro­ peller.

It could not possibly have worked because it had only

one blade.

That was as far as Leonardo could go for lack of

technical heritage, for lack of enough elements to synthesize. Moreover, there was also lack of a suitable engine.

No in­

v e n t i o n can appear until there is an adequate accumulation of knowledge on the subject. The sudden recognition of relationships between mechan-

47 ical elements may result in an invention.

For Instance,

Cartwright, a clergyman and a poet, turned his mind to the in­ vention of the revolutionary power-loora.

One cannot say that

there is no relation between his clerical and his poetical mind,

'Despite the legend that Watt dreamed of steam power

while he watched the kettle boiling on the hearth, he never concerned himself with the stdam engine until a model of the Newcomen pump was given to him to repair in his capacity as instrument maker in Glasgow College.

Eli Whitney was not a

cotton grower when he invented the cotton gin, but a young teacher who thought of becoming a lawyer.

Neither Howe nor

Singer had ever been employed by a clothing manufacturer, yet each invented a sewing machine.

Hussey was a retired sailor

who successfully competed with McCormick in the invention and introduction of reapers.

Both Fulton and Morse were artists.

Westinghouse was not a railway employee when he invented the airbrake. Thus, each new discovery adds to the total sum of scientific knowledge and provides a springboard for the future progress of science.

New discoveries create new tools and

new formulae for future inventors. THE RISE OF INDIVIDUALISM Individualism implies diversity and the condition of separateness.

There is a tendency or attitude on the part of

48 the individual favoring the freedom of its activities from the authority of others.

This tendency is based upon the need for

independence of growth.

In the sixteenth century, individual­

ism was fostered in religion by Protestantism and resulted in the overthrow of theological authoritarianism.

On November 1,

1517, Martin Luther defiantly posted his ninety-five theses against the sale of indulgences upon the door of the Church of Wittenburg.

There were other reformers in other countries who

had announced the same principle against the authority of the church in this period.

Henceforth, people no longer needed to

be dependent upon the clergy m a n s sole interpretation, and only those interpretations of the Bible based upon reason were ac­ ceptable to a free-thinking individual. Individualism in the seventeenth century took the form of Puritanism.

In the field of religion this stemmed especially

from the Protestant organizations and from the middle of the sixteenth cehtury, purifying parties increased in power.


Puritan way of life became popular during the seventeenth cen­ tury and it still figures prominently in the most popular standards of life today. In the eighteenth century, individualism found greatest expression in the economic field. attention of the public.

Economic interest drew the

Adam Smith's work, The Wealth of

Nations (1776) is indicative of this trend. In the nineteenth century, France, England, and Germany

49 were suddenly swept by a tide of patriotism and nationalism. Nationalism may be termed as individualism'from the point of view of the nation as a unit.

From this time on, nationalism

has passed into every corner of the earth, and even now nationalism is still in the ascendant. Individualism inspires independence of thought, which is advantageous to society; difference and diversity of ideas are inherent in the nature of man and interests and benefits for all.

produce an abundance of

Individualism-and its needs

are at the basis of the desire for equality and liberty in the political scheme. THE MASTERY OF SKILL IN ACCURACY AND EFFICIENCY Great advancements were made through the invention of simple and complicated tools.

These were adapted by the mathe­

matical mind for calculation and measurement.

Observation of

phenomena became one of the important steps in the accumulation of data.

Mathematics helped considerably toward the measure­

ment of materials used in the sorting of data and statistics, and secondarily in the formulation of laws and principles. Accuracy in measurement makes for exactness in observation. The invention of tools is still in process.

With the appli­

cation of the modern telescope and microscope, man's knowledge broadened a thousand times.

The measurement of time is a step

50 toward recognizing the relationship between phenomena*


the invention of measurement of the wave length of electricity, the use of the transmission of sound and vision was achieved* The value of mathematics in science is beyond estimate. People began to find ways to transact business ef­ ficiently, and this is another step toward progress.

Where ef­

ficiency is not regarded as important, one does not see much accomplished.

The aim of efficiency is to accomplish two

things: the conquering of space, and the conquering of time. THE EXPANSION OF EUROPE Increase in the populations of Europe started a search for new lands.

The trade route from Europe to the Orient at

that time was under the control of the Moslems and so a new route was desired.

Furthermore, Columbus, wishing to find a

westward route, did discover the islands in the Caribbean Sea which he believed to be India.

This voyage, whatever its pur­

pose, did prove that the sea and ocean could be traversed and used by men of enterprise. Modern Western civilization represents a fusion of the Hellenistic world and customs and thoughts of the barbarian invaders of the Empire*

It is the product of the work of

generations, chiefly from northwestern Europe, who lived after the ancient Roman Empire had entered upon social and Intellectual disintegration.

51 THE DISCOVERY .OF NEW NATURAL RESOURCES Scientific developments also pushed man forward to find new natural resources.

For instance, the partition of

Africa was initiated by the discovery of new natural re­ sources.

Minerals as well as agricultural resources were

found in Africa.

These materials were in immediate demand

as they were required by the newly developed industrial cen­ ters of Europe. THE DISCOVERY OF THE SCIENCE OF MAN A great step was taken in the last century when the science of man and research along the line of the values of life in the three fields of religion, philosophy, and science gained favor.

Hobbes in his Leviathan,

(1651), had already

sketched the main outline of the science of human nature. Its fundamental principle was sensationalism— that all knowledge and all mental life start from the reception of stimuli from without; its laws were determined by the association of these elements in various more complex-groups#

Throughout, the

analogy with Newtonian physics was complete.

Locke was the

man who primarily popularized and developed sensationalism; Hartley was the one who most elaborately formulated the laws of association.

In a famous passage, Locke compared the mind

to a tabula rasa, a completely blank tablet.

This conception

52 of Locke's was upheld until the eighteenth century; and many were the attempts made to develop explicitly the laws by which these sensations were combined to form the adult mind, memory, thought, personality, character, and sentiment.

David Hartley

stands as the real founder of the associationist psychology* Its most extended development is to be found, however, in James Mill's Later Analysis of the Human Mind (1829).

Hartley be­

lieved that this principle of association would do for the science of man as much as Newton's gravitation principle had done for astronomy, A corollary was drawn from Locke's sensationalism; namely, that what men are depends on their experience— all present difference and inequality must be due to differences in environment, and men must, at birth, be exactly equal. Following from this, the necessary doctrine of democratic faith is that men are born equal and education alone is needed to perfect human life and to bring into existence the ideal democratic society. No wonder that the men of the eighteenth century were intensely hopeful of the future; all that is bad is due to a faulty education and a faulty environment.

To some extent

all thinkers drew such deductions from the theories of Locke and Hartley.

The French naturally went further in applying

these theories than the English, since French conditions were far worse for the middle classes.

53 Such consequences were dramatically the result of the new science of human nature initiated by Hobbes.and Locke. All men are equal at birth.

They build their knowledge and

beliefs from experience, and this process entirely depends upon their environment. In The Spirit of Laws (17£8) Montesquieu presented his o p i n i o n s of a science of society.

He said:

I first examined men and I believe that in their infinite diversity of laws and manners they were not conducted solely by their caprice and fancy. The physiocrats, with their leaders Quesnay and Mirabeau and Mercier de la Riviere, envisaged their special subject from a wide philosophical point of view; their general economic theory was equivalent to a theory of human society. They laid down the doctrine of a natural order in political communities, and from this they deduced their economic teachings.

They believed that society could not progress toward

.a state of happiness through the increase of wealth, as this interest was dependent upon the growth of justice and liberty. They insisted on the importance of the increase and diffusion of knowledge.



Baron de Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws (London: Isaiah Thomas, 1802), p. 2. ^ J. B. Bury, The Idea of Progress (London: The Macmillan Company, 1920), p. 173.

The science of man aims to discover the principles of human life and to act upon them in order to secure satis­ faction.

There seemed to he a need for individual initiative,

in even the field of social affairs.

Methods.of self-control

were expounded in the theory of education.

It is believed

that there still exists room for advancement in the science of man..

The believer in progress must recognize that there

itfill be further development along this line in the future.

CHAPTER VI THE ACHIEVEMENTS OP MODERN SCIENCE Great achievements have been attained by modern science. Such achievements may be considered as the fulfilment of the desires and dreams of many previous philosophers and scientists. On making a wide survey of the world, one finds that nothing is more striking than the efforts made by all creatures to fulfil the law of their nature and to secure the free and un­ impeded play of every instinct and ability.

Human achieve­

ments are directly attributable to the expansion and elevation of the mind.

It is a fact that expansion and elevation of the

mind are aims of human activity.

The history of the world shows

that the progress man has made is toward greater and greater respect for individual growth and the progress of the last three hundred years illustrates a partial success along this, line. Discoveries of the seventeenth century paved the way for modern experimental science.

Harvey (1578-1657) discovered

the principle underlying the circulation of blood.1


Torricelli (1608-1647) inspired by the Dialogues of Galileo, in experimenting with mercury, found that the atmospheric

1 W. T. Sedgwick and H. W. Tyler, A Short History of Science (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1921), p. 225.

56 pressure did rise to thirty-three feet, and invented Torricelli's barometer.

A philosophy for experimentation was worked out by

Robert Boyle (1627-1691). chemistry.

Alchemy was in this way replaced by

This was done by Robert Boyle in his Sceptical

Chymist in 1661.

Two G-erman contemporaries of Boyle, Becker

(1625-1682) and Stahl (1660-1734) studied the principle of combustion and advanced beyond the old theories.

Meanwhile, a

crude type of organic chemistry was suggested by Herman Boerhaave (1663-1738), a physician of Leyden.

Dr* Stephen Hales (1677-

1761), an English clergyman of strong scientific bend, did similar work in England.

Modern ideas of light and optics

are indebted to the work of Snellius, Descartes, and Hewton, and to the work of R&mer on the velocity of light. Salileo had a fairly good telescope.

In 1609

The microscope was first

used in 1650. A further advance in science was when the first scientific academies were established.

The Royal Society of

London grew out of informal meetings for the discussion of new ideas.

It was chartered in 1662.

The French Academy began its

meetings in 1666; and the corresponding Berlin Academy appeared in 1700.-

The oldest American society for the promotion of

science is the American Philosophical Society, which first met at Philadelphia for the purpose of -promoting useful knowledge. It was proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1743 but was not organ­ ized until 1769.

57 The achievements of the eighteenth century lay the foundations for modern interpretations of scientific research, such as the theories of sound, heat, light, electricity and magnetism.

Many subjects were organized as independent branches

of science during this period, such as botany, zoology, physio­ logy. Far-reaching in their consequences at this period were the political and social revolutionary movements.

The American

Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1793 greatly ac c e l erated human progress.

Between 1760 and 1770, the in­

dustrial revolution started in England.

Before that time,

whatever machinery existed was run mostly by hand or foot, and hence was easily operated in the various homes of the workers; but within the next thirty years the factory system appeared, with operative labour in or about some central plant, wnd with machinery operated by means of water and steam.

With these

changes, which increased the individual output and took work and worker out of the home, a revolution began which effected the entire social structure. Advancement in natural science in the nineteenth cen­ tury was concerned primarily with cosmology and theories of evolution.

One of the most brilliant single achievements of

nineteenth century science was the detection by Adams and Leverrier of the presence in the solar system of Neptune, a new and hitherto unknown planet.

In the middle of the nineteenth

58 century, a new and promising solution of the long-standing problem of the origin of different species of plants and animals was brought to light by means of natural rather than supernatural law. . This was propounded by Darwin and Wallace. With the rapid increase of knowledge in this field there came a gradual appreciation of the permanence and scope of natural law.

The publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859

resulted in the establishment of what is now known as the theory or doctrine of organic evolution.

Such increase in

all types of knowledge necessitated reorganization and re­ classification of data.

Specialization was a direct result of

this and it, in turn, by segregating the different departments of learning and knowledge gave great impetus to research. It comprises perhaps one of the most significant steps in the advancement of knoifledge known in the last century. THE VALUE OF SCIENCE We shall now try to estimate the value of science to man.

In the first place, science provides the better use of

natural resources.

There can be no doubt that science has in­

creased the number of natural elements or resources for which man finds important use.

Chemistry and physics have given t

treatment of an almost infinite number of products coming out of resources heretofore neglected. ganizes knowledge.

Secondly, science or­

The organization of present-day science

59 is the result of a practically continuous but irregularly stimulated effort on the part of mankind to understand the universe. ** Thirdly, there has been developing a tendency toward the nobler use of the achievements of science.

The possibilities

of seiende for the physical and intellectual growth of human beings are practically limitless.

There is no doubt that the

possibilities of longevity have been greatly increased by medicine, and that science, through knowledge of heredity and the in­ fluence of environment, can better the situation of mankind in other ways.

How much more is accomplished in the future will

depend upon the increase of knowledge and on unselfish wisdom in its application.

It is unbelievable that man should fail

to apply to himself the principles and methods of research used so successfully in respect to the non-human world. THE CONQUERING- OF DISEASES One of the most significant advances of modern science has been in the conquest of disease.

There are a number of

diseases still in the process of investigation, but there is hope that in time, they, too, will be conquered. vitaligy are based in part upon heredity.

Health and

Most individuals

are apparently healthy at birth, nevertheless.

But a large

number of defects develop later on due to low vital resistance, weak lungs, weak kidneys, a weak digestive apparatus, or the

60 like.

For every person, from birth, a constant fight must be

waged against invasion of harmful bacteria,, fatigue, poison, and accidents.

The maintenance of health and vitality by the

individual is based upon the instinct of self-preservation.


primary interest of every animal is that of keeping alive.


life be worth living, it is logical to yield to the instinct of prolonging it at least a& long as any satisfaction can be had from it or given by it.

G-reat success on this score has been

achieved by the science of medicine. Many evils, such as plagues, pestilences, and epi­ demics are capable of control and prevention.

G-reat strides

have been made in the improvement of public health in recent years.

In the year 1892 the wealthy city of Hamburg was ter­

rorized by a severe epidemic of cholera.

Typhoid fever epi­

demics are caused by the typhoid bacillus, which was discovered by Koch about 1879. proportions.

Malaria fever is a disease of world-wide

In 1880 the malaria microbe was discovered.


1899 a further discovery was made that bacteria are transmitted from victim to victim through the bite of the anaopheles mos­ quito in whose bodies the bacteria live a cycle of their'lives. There are a number of diseases that have been conquered by medical discovery within this last hundred years.

This has

been a real blessing to man and a direct result of the progress of science. Before the nineteenth century disease was regarded as

61 incurable, and mysterious.

Epidemics, plagues, and pestilences

came and went without apparent reason.

The most, fatal and most

famous of these was the Black Death of the fourteenth century. Others have been the Plague of Athens, the Sweating Sickness, the Dancing Mania, and leprosy.

One of the worst and commonest

was scurvy which attacked sailors, soldiers, prisoners, and the poor. Attempts to .explain disease were manifold.


man, naturally attributed these to the power of the evil spirits and sought prevention and cure in exorcism and the casting out of devils.

At the beginning of the nineteenth

century little was known of pathology.

The older theories

explaining disease were discredited, but beyond a general belief in a physical basis for disease, almost nothing was proven. Scurvy, indeed, had been shown to result from a lack of cer­ tain kinds of food, and smallpox had been found preventable both by.innoculation and vaccination. The invention of the microscope had served to reveal what have been termed 11the footprints of disease11 within the cells and tissues, making possible the work in cellular patho­ logy by Virchow.

Pasteur, between 1859-1865, proved beyond a

doubt that yeast is the agent of alcholic fermentation and that other microbites are the agents of other familiar fer­ mentations,

such as the butyric and acetic.

marked bynotable precision and refinement.

His work was In the meantime,

62 Lister, an English surgeon residing in Edinburgh, encouraged by Pasteur*s researches, introduced a new scientific treatment of open wounds based on the germ theory.

To judge from these

few examples, It is easy to see that medical discoveries have contributed vastly to the health of mankind. THE CONQUERING OF SPACE AND TIME Speedy means of communication is one of the marvelous achievements of modern science.

The communication of ideas

and the interaction of them is much faster than it used to be. Its consequences provide a great impulse to progress.


1830 and 1850 railway transportation was developed throughout Great Britain and was introduced on the continent, and electri­ city was subdued and put to use by the invention of the tele­ graph.

Among other things, the great Exhibition of London in

1851 gave public recognition to the material progress of the age and the growing power of man over the physical world.


aim, said a contemporary, was 11to seize the living scroll of human progress, inscribed with every successive conquest of m a n ’s intellect.”

The 'Prince Consort, who originated the idea

of the exhibition, explained its significance in a public speech, when he said: The distances which separated the different nations and parts of the globe are rapidly vanish­ ing before the achievements of modern inventions and we can traverse them with Incredible ease; the language of all nations are known and these

63 acquirements placed within the reach of everybody; thought is communicated with rapidity, and even by the power, of lightnirrg. Rapidity of communication constitutes one instance of the conquest of space. long remain isolated.

It now,looks as though no nation can All peoples are becoming more dependent

upon each other because they are learning to know and appre­ ciate each other1s products and genius.

In one’s breakfast

one may find coffee from Brazil, sugar from Cuba, tea from China, butter from Australia, and in addition, fruits from California. Furthermore, intellectual movements and conditions are no longer restricted within the boundaries of one nation, but have subtle influence on far distant lands.

One cannot ignore

Communism in Russia any more than one can ignore the Totali­ tarianism of Germany and Italy.

The diffusion of ideas is

faster than it was formerly, and has intensified the problem of international relations. CREATIVITY BEGETS FURTHER CREATIVITY The achievement of the scientific spirit is a great' gain over the mere acquisition of scientific information.


develops in man, courage and serenity, for it provides a dis-

^ J. B. Bury, Ideas of Progress (London: The Macmillan Company, 1920), p. 330.

64 ciplined, unprejudiced attitude which gives welcome response to any disclosure of truth.

One cannot but believe the atti­

tude of creativity begets further creativity. invention of the telegraph for an illustration.

Let us take the A great ad­

vance over the Mvors^ei telegraph recorded itself^when Edison devised the quadruplex telegraph. Morse for his earlier discoveries.

But Edison was indebted to The scientific spirit and

the creative ideas of Morse greatly influenced and aided those of Edison, helping to keep in motion the wheel of creativity. THE DEVELOPMENT OF MUTUAL TRUST The greatest influence for human advancement is to be found in the development of mutual trust and the will for social contract.

Long ago men took the first step in this direction

when they substituted money for barter; then the next step, which was not taken until thousands of years after the intro­ duction of money into use, was the substitution of credit for cash. trust.

Credit has been developed from a condition of mutual Without trust there can be no functioning of the modern

banking system.

Credit is now used quite universally.


it is possible that similar trust might be used in political and national fields as well as in banking.

The present lack

of trust among nations might be removed were men to apply some scientific thought to the situation and establish a basis for a perpetual peace.

CHAPTER VII PHILOSOPHICAL INTERPRETATIONS OF PROGRESS As I .have pointed out in Chapters V and. VI, the de­ velopment of creative ideas during the last three hundred years has been mainly in the field of science.

Philosophers have

tried quite naturally to analyze the nature and direction of this progress. the subject.

There have been many and conflicting views on The following are but a few representative ones. DISILLUSIONMENT

The story of the magical growth of science has been told often.

Men could glory in the discoveries of science when

they were used for m a n ’s benefit, buto when used for destructive purposes, they terrified men.

For these scientific creations

of the human brain were sometimes transformed by a false code of morality into so many Frankenstein monsters to ruin and destroy humanity. With an extreme materialistic emphasis, the products of scientific discovery dislocate human values.

For example,

the present catastrophic war is a product of materialistic emphasis.

No one can deny this fact.

At the moment it has

reached enormous proportions of destruction.

Is civilization

to be destroyed by such monsters as machine guns, explosive bombs, battleships, submarines, and the like?

Probably this

66 condition is due to lack of moral strength with which to counter­ balance materialistic progress and find better uses for theise inventions. History has demonstrated that any ill-balanced condition seems to give opportunity for destruction.

It shows that there

is a need for moral strengthening of the fiber of modern civi­ lization.

Will the rapid progress of science permanently de­

stroy ethical values or has it simply neglected them? may have lost the guidance he needs in this dilemma.

Mankind Let us

see what some of the philosophers have thought about it. First, let us consider the attitude of disillusionment with science.

Arthur Balfour in his The Foundations of Belief

explained his position as follows: Man so far as natural science by itself is able to teach is no longer the final cause of the universe, the Heaven-descended heir of all the ages. His very existence is an accident, his story a brief and transitory episode in the life of one of the nearest of the planets. Of the combination of causes which first converted a dead organic compound Into the living progenitors of humanity, science, indeed, as yet knows nothing. It Is enough that from each be­ ginning famine, disease, and mutual slaughter, fit nurses of the future lords of creation, have grad­ ually evolved, after infinite travail, a race with conscience enough to feel that it is vile, and in­ telligence enough to know that it is insignificant. We survey the past, and see that its history is of blood and tears, of helpless blundering, of wild revolt, of stupid acquiescence, of empty aspirations. We sound the future, and learn that after a period, long compared with the individual life, but short indeed compared with the divisions.of time open to our investigation, the energies of our' system will decay, the glory of the sun will be dimmed, and the earth, hideous and inert, will no longer tolerate the

67 race which for a moment has disturbed its solitude* Man will go to the pit, and all his thoughts will perish. The picture presented here shows that the progress of science is not a blessing to mankind*

The author, however, feels that

modern science has had this bad effect on man, not because of any inherent evil in science, but because of its misuse by man. Many philosophers have discussed this matter, yet they reached no agreement as to a remedy.

Hugh Eliot, in discussing this

point, said in Modern Science and Materialism: If we learn nothing else for certain, we learn at least this, that the farther we travel, the more obscure and insignificant does man appear. And three points emerged which we shall have occasion to impress later on. Firstly, the uniformity of natural law remains as absolute in this region of infinite greatness as in our own world of human dimensions.. Secondly, no sign of purpose can be detected by our most powerful telescopes. Thirdly, this great new sphere of experience affords not the smallest trace of evidence for the existence of any spiritual entity. We find nothing but unimaginable tracts of space and time, in which are fortuitous, and have not the smallest relation to the advan­ tage or requirements of man. Even with the aid of the most powerful Instruments of science man is unable to solve the mysteries of life.


he becomes disturbed and loses his faith in God.

If man were

able to regain his faith in G-od and human purposes, perhaps

. ^ Arthur Balfour, The Foundations of Belief (London: Longman's, Green & Company, 1895), pp. 29-31. ^ Hugh S. R. Elliot, Modern Science and Materialism (New York: Longman's, Green & Company, 1912), p. 59*


he would not be led to such destructive thinking. THE PESSIMISTIC VIEW A pessimistic point of view has manifested itself in the minds of many deep thinkers.

Probably no one else was as

deeply touched by this as the pessimist Schopenhauer. the

For him,

essence of nature and life was a dumb,

restless activity,

an utterly Irrational force whose gropings

produced the world

and all that lives therein.

Schopenhauer defined time as an

unceasing stream in xdiich the present is nothing but a series of Incidents of sorrow. Time is like an unceasing stream, and the pre­ sent a rock on which the stream breaks itself, but does not carry away with it.^ In his interpretation there is nothing about the nature or the value of progress. happenings.

Life is but the expression of sorrowful

And the attainment of desire produces only pain.

Schopenhauer said again: Thus between desiring and attaining all human life flows on throughout. The wish Is, in its nature, pain; the attainment soon begets satiety; the end was only apparent; possession takes away the charm; the wish, the need, presents itself under a new form; when it does not, then follows desolation, emptiness, enui against which^the con­ flict is just as painful as against w a n t .-

^ D. H. Parker, Editor, Schopenhauer Selections (New York: Charles Scribner1s Sons, 1928), p. 196. 4 Ibid.. pp. 333-34.

69 A view like this does not attribute any value to progress. In science, in art, in devotion to his fellow sufferers, ac­ cording to Schopenhauer, man can indeed find temporary conso­ lation in self-forgetfulness; these moments, however, are not worth the suffering involved. Many people who share this view face the world with no solution to its problems.

What are they going to do in

respect to the evil around them?

Bo they wish to help society

or do they just Tyrant to keep themselves free from trouble? The pessimist does not acknowledge the possibility of improv­ ing his environment. Some people would find consolation in the pursuit of of art.

The aim is to have temporary relief from the evil


E. Renan expressed this view.

Evil may be a good,

Renan said: The pearl-bearing oyster seems to me the best image of the universe and the degree of conscious­ ness we may suppose in things. At the bottom of the abyss, obscure germs create a mind singularly illserved by organs, and yet prodigously able to at­ tain its ends. What we may call a disease of this little living cosmos brings about a selection of ideal beauty, which men value as fine as gold. The general life of the Universe is like that of the oyster vague, obscure, singularly, troubled and hence sluggish, suffering creates spirit, intellec­ tual and moral motion. The disease of the world, if you will, in truth the pearl of the world, spirit, is the end, the final course, the last and certainly most brilliant result of the world in which we life.0 ^ J. R. Randall, The Making of the Modern Mind (New York: Dodge Publishing Company, 19127T P* 569.


Renan*s analogy is most unfortunate because there is no possi­ bility of comparison between-the oyster.

life of man and the life of an

In contradistinction to the oyster, man has the

ability to remove the causes of evil and to change his en­ vironment.

It is evident, therefore, that the naturalistic

or laissez faire attitude does not make the most of life*s possibilitie s. FAITH IN PROGRESS There are other philosophers who have a faith in pro­ gress.

The main achievement according to this:type of philo­

sophy is to create a worthy lifeon earth.

Civilization may

compared to a garden created by man in the midst of wilderness.


of a forest

Only by constant care can man keep his garden

in beautiful shape, free from an invasion of weeds and wild animals.

Applying the figure to the modern scene, there is

a tendency on the part of man not to be enslaved by the de­ velopment of science but to master it.

The advancement of

science should serve to accomplish man's highest ideal.


is an independent spirit.-in man which prevents him from let­ ting his powers stagnate.

Living is not solely dependent upon

material gains, but upon spiritual ones as well. The term progress implies, that civilization has moved, is moving, and will move in a desired direction.

But in order

to ascertain that we are moving In a desired direction, we

71 should know precisely what the destination is.

To most minds,

the desirable end of human development would be a condition of society in which all the inhabitants of the planet would enjoy as happy an existence as possible.

The theory of human

progress is one which involves a prophecy of the future from an understanding of the past.

It is based upon an interpre­

tation of history which regards men as slowly advancing in a definite and desirable direction, and Infers that this progress will continue indefinitely. This theory is based on a faith in human destiny. The positive and constructive elements of m a n 1s endeavour to understand the physical universe have stimulated his imagin­ ation and spurred him to ever greater effort.

This effort is

not a produet of recent endeavour; it has its roots deep in his cultural history. separate from man.

It is not to be regarded as a thing

It is rather a part of his nature which

transcends all so-called political, national, and economic systems; and, as history demonstrates, has survived the rise and fall of a fluctuating progress. Speculation has led to the conclusion that man needs a guide for the utilization of the products of science.


out the recognition of personality, no satisfactory purposes can be described.

In making a plan for the world, it is de­

sirable to include man as well as the inanimate objects of order his environment. The world/is personal and therefore must be moral♦

CHAPTER VIII PERSONALISM AND ITS CONTRIBUTIONS As it has been mentioned before, creative ideas are not limited to the field of science.

The development of science

is but one of the most obvious forms of creative ideas.


one is going to observe the exact state of the Western world, Inevitably he will find some forms of creative ideas outside the realm of science.

In the field of religion, for instance,

there have been many and different interpretations of reve­ lation according to the doctrine of Christianity.

But Christian­

ity has helped to an understanding of the values of other re­ ligions than its own.

And understanding of religious values

in other religions is one step of a very productive trend of thought. The spirit of creativity is closely allied to the philosophical in m a n ’s nature.

In the writer's opinion, both ,

are an expression of personality.

Creativity is an expression

of the person, for it takes creative ability to transcend the idea of space and time and to visualize the facts of history. In the process of progress, creative ideas are evolved in the establishment of new human relationships and new scientific relationships.

One may ask naturally if modern progress is

based upon creative ideas, and if creative ideas are good in character?

If so, why do we have evil?

The question

73 easily answered by the fact that the existence of evil is but the misuse or the mismanagement of the powers given man. The optimist believes that the fulfilment of personality naturally involves the avoidance of evil. With the present extreme inclination toward material­ ism by a certain group of people, one realizes that in social and political life, there exists an encroachment upon spiritual rights.

Numberless experiments indicate that the only lasting

power in politics and government is that which is based upon the spiritual principle of freedom.

How is one able to attain

the condition of freedom and also have a. happy society?


sonalism furnished an answer by providing a philosophy based on the recognition of human values as of first importance. DEFINITION OF PERSONALISM Personalism according to H. Wildon Carr is a form of idealism of the Leibniz and Berkeley type, an idealism which stresses the reality of the individual.

Dr. Carr explains:

. . . Instead, however, of starting as Leibniz does with the metaphysical concepts of the monad, or as Berkeley does with the psychological concept of spiritual substance, it takes as its primary unit the individual in its highest expression as an ethical and religious personality. As a meta­ physical theory it is the concept of reality as a world of persons with a supreme person at the head. Personality is the effect of the primary idea, and nature is a derivative idea. Nature is the ex­ pression of the world of persons and the means by

74 which they in ter-communicate.^* It is clearly

indicated by Carr that .personality is the pri­

mary idea and nature the derivative.

Creative ideas are de­

rived from the primary idea. We must go on to find out what personality is.


theory of creative personality has been expounded by Dr. H. T. Flewelling. both immanent

Personality, according to Dr. Flewelling, is and transcendent; and he has said:

. . . It is the rare gift of personality to be at the same time both immanent and transcendent. It is measurably so in human experience. We are im­ manent in every work we do, in that our work is the expression of our desires, skills, and motives. We transcend’our work in that we could ourselves find expression in countless other ways. The immanent and transcendental character of personality pro­ vides man with a superior type of creativity. Furthermore, the creative ability of an individual depends largely on the ability to choose. is derived from will power.

The ability to make a choice

The mind is selective of the

things upon which it places its attention, and it selects seriously only when driven by will or purpose.

This is to

show that choice can be willed, because an individual is per­ fectly able to take or discard whatever he chooses.

■** R. T. Flewelling, Creative Personality (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1926), p. iv. Ibid., p. 268.

75 Bergson separates the x^ill from the intellect, treat­ ing them both as if they were independent of each other.


whole discussion of the vital impulse and its operation in the evolutionary process assumes such a separation and loses much of its meaning when this assumption is brought to light and the error involved in it is exposed.

But from actual experi­

ence, will and intelligence are inseparable.

It is an idea

in the mind which makes it possible to make a choice.


man has the ability to choose, based upon experiments and facts, he is inclined to choose good instead of evil.


preference for good establishes the desire for the betterment of society at large. CONTRIBUTIONS OF PERSONALISM The contributions to the philosophy of personalism have been -manifold.

In all, however, the development of per­

sonality is stressed as of primary importance.

Without the

full development of personality, progress is slow.

First of

all, personalism gives a better explanation of creative imagination, which is the mother of possibilities of dis­ coveries and inventions in various fields.

Creative imagin­

ation is derived from the exercise of the mental and emotional faculties, both conscious and unconscious.

Dr. R. T. Flewelling

describes this in his Creative Personality: The creative imagination will be found in close

76 alliance with mysticism in religion and in art in the power it possesses for unlocking unsuspected creative faculties. The emotional life of the^in­ dividual is all hound up with the imagination.0 Without creative imagination, nothing new is possible.


ination is the mother of* hidden possibilities and these possi­ bilities in turn are given form by discoveries and inventions. Secondly, the recognition of human value is another contribution of personalism.

Values are fundamental to life.

Values establish the standards and ideals of human living. For illustration, let us examine the nature of scientific discoveries.

What is in the mind of a discoverer?

There must

exist a kind of value which he considers to be precious.


guides his activity, his research, his unselfish loyalty to an idea.

He lives for its realization.

the great forces of history.

Values of conduct are

Dr. Flewelling emphasized that

fact when he said: ♦ . . They fyalxxe^ are the forces that make human history; they build kingdoms and destroy empires, they put to fight the armies of aliens, quench the violence of fire, and turn the edge of the sword. They form the heart of philosophy and inspire science; without them life would be useless, and explanation and even knowledge valueless. The force of value s can be measured only by accomplishment. In our world, moral values are neglected sometimes, but in the

3 Ibia., p. 280. 4 Ibid. . p. 264.

77 long run this omission produces devasting results. good standards are ignored, evil ones will prevail.

For, if History

demonstrates this fact many times over. Thirdly, personalism gives us a better understanding of the cosmic order. creative.

The cosmic order of the universe is

Man is governed by laws just as the cosmos is.


best thing for man to do is to work in harmony with those laws as he understands them. tence of a living God.

The cosmic order rests upon the exis­ Dr. Flewelling explained fully the

existence of such order by saying: He God maintains and upholds the whole order of relations which constitute the cosmos. Matter is not independent of him, natural law is but the uniformity of his free activity, life is his mani­ festation, upon him this whole field of life is momen­ tarily dependent for its existence. The truth is not so much that he did create the world, as that he did create the world under the temporal and spatial order. Space is the established relation between things made necessary for the development of personality, and time is the condition of moral development. He lives and his life is manifested in ceaseless crea­ tivity, and this immanent and transcending God sur­ vives the welter of time and change through the possession of enduring self-consciousness and selfdirection, which is what we mean by personality. We know then that the development of creative activity is in harmony with natural order.

Why, then, do some oppose the

natural order and create evil?

Because they do not understand

or cannot understand the laws of human nature.

5 Ibid., p. 270.

The writer

78 believes that, in the case of his own country at least, it is necessary to acquire the technique of scientific tools and at the same time a philosophy of life which integrates, de­ velops, nourishes, and directs their utilization* THE DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONALITY The importance of personalism lies in its emphasis on the need of full development of personality*


aims at the development of personality by achieving internal unity and detachment.

Personality has never fully realized

itself, nor has it come to the fulfilment of its unselfish spirit.

This attainment is not possible until man is freed

from every lesser desire* Furthermore, -the highest achievement of personality leads to a new social order.

The greatest gift to society is

the gift of great personality, for in perfecting himself in this manner, the individual throws his full weight toward the progress of the social order.

Materialistic progress brings

less to the social order than does the gift of personality. Finally, the development of personality requires the active interest of the individual just as science did. this interest nothing can be achieved.


The profound principle

of Individualism, written by the Roman Stoics into the legal code of the Roman Empire became the foundation of modern civi­ lization.

It is believed that man is free, that he can not

be coerced; and that, therefore, he is responsible for his -acts The progress of modern science owes its success to individual­ ism.

But, if freedom extends too far, it endangers the path

of individualism by endangering society.

Therefore, it is

believed that the responsibility of the public is to correct license in this direction.

It is believed that with the full

development of personality, well-disciplined in character, soundly poised, may achieve the desired conditions in society.

CHAPTER T X CONCLUSION With a glance at the history of modern society within the past three hundred years, one realizes that a pattern of modern thought has been formulated and developed to a certain extent.

The character of this development is chiefly along

the line of creative ideas in the fields of science.


vity starts with the awakening of mental power and the inception of ideas.

This phenomenon existed long before the three

hundred year period studied, but it reached world-wide pro­ portions only during that time.

Within the modern period cer­

tain principles give proof to the importance of creativity. These principles are summarized as follows: Creative ideas initiate inventions.


ideas initiate inventions and discoveries and make the develop­ ment of science possible.

What men want is the establishment

of new relationships,and the discovery of new relationships Is closely connected with creative ideas.

Each person is

thinking more or less in fragmentary ways and at odd moments. We are seeking some means of distinguishing the temporal in our thought from the permanent and the universal*

If one

watches a rainbow with a vieitf to discovering its real and outer truth, one shall ask others what they have seen about it.

One may decide then that the color is beautiful, one may

81 copy its design, one may investigate even what is the theoret­ ical cause of the rainbow and what is its relation to the re­ flection of light#

This kind of investigation is found in the

field of science. ’2.

Right Tiise of creative ideas#

Science is a social

act, based upon the accumulation of m a n ’s interpretations of his experiences as a whole throughout the ages.

It aims at

individual and social adequacy in terms of everyday living. As the methods of natural science become more and more the standard for determining knowledge, science loses its inclusive connotations and becomes restricted in common usage to natural science. As has been demonstrated, creative ideas are not limited to the field of science; the development of science is but one type of activity in which creative ideas operate. Admittedly , science in Its proper place, its methods, its at­ titudes, its results., constitutes one of the great gifts to modern civilization .

But one of the most dangerous foes of

any civilization is a narrow and restricted attitude toward truth.

The scientific method and the attitude of reverence

for science as a final and exclusive purveyor of truth rather than as merely one approach to it, has led mankind to untold misery.

As a result, we have today a world rich in technolo­

gical creations, but devoid of adequate social purpose and dynamics.

82 The above existing condition has been realized by many philosophers.

A re-statement of human values has been urged

in order to reduce the authority given to science.

It has been

shown that specialization and departmentalization in the realms of science, carried to an extreme, make the scientist competent only in a fractional part of knowledge.

He becomes ignorant

of all other things— more a stranger in this vast world than primitive man with his infantile mythology.

Each person’s con­

ceptual equipment and vocabulary becomes incommunicable and we thus become strangers to each other and find human thought entering into the confusion of Babel. need for order and for unity is based.

On this assumption, the The recognition of

human interdependence makes the right use of creative ideas essential. From the writer’s observation of the civilization of the West, the real danger ahead is not solely in the develop­ ment of materialism.

This creates problems beyond a doubt, but

it does not obviate the possibility of finding a philosophy which can restore equilibrium in human society.

The real

danger lies in a nation’s adopting all the applied sciences and materialistic progress without any philosophy either of its own or a borrowed one as a guide.

This will certainly

result in a calamity of gigantic proportions. 3*

The higher motives for accomplishment♦

The higher

83 motives for accomplishment in human endeavor are to establish a social order based upon the principle of equality and liberty and the enlargement of personality.

Furthermore, these motives

work in a way harmoniously with each other. complish this desirable result?

How are we to ac­

It is believed that personality

has the power to turn life in a direction with effectiveness and in full consciousness of the higher motives.

It must be

added that the most complete form of self-consciousness In­ cludes an appreciation of the meaning of life, a sense of moral obligation toward mankind.

The man who considers and trains

his motives with an understanding of social relations, and spiritual values, most completely realizes his destiny. *The linear concept of time.

History is not a

repetition of itself but a constant progress.

History finds

its way up and down, but, generally speaking, it is moving in a direction of higher realization.

The outlook for the future

is that man will come into close relationship with the laws of the universe, will realize his moral and spiritual possibil­ ities.

Man must realize that ideas , creative ideas, should

be directed to the end of producing a living philosophy, a living ethic, and a living religion.

The ability to reach

such goals in the future is dependent upon the full develop­ ment of personality. The writer has emphasized in this thesis the importance

84 of creative ideas as a form of the full development of per­ sonality.

To inquire what are the guiding principles that

supplement and discipline creative ideas, would necessitate another treatise, which naturally would he in the field of directive philosophy and living religion.



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