The ground and goal of human life (1919) by Charles Gray Shaw

The ground and goal of human life (1919) by Charles Gray Shaw

The ground and goal of human life

The work contained in the following pages expresses, as it were, a treaty of peace between the forces of Individualism here and those of scientific-social thought there. To one who has followed the parallel histories of egoism militant on the one side and naturalism triumphant on the other, the present situation appears full of promise for a future understanding between man and the things and persons around him.

For the comprehension of this situation, one can do no better than to conduct an analytical review of the way in which the effort toward selfhood has expressed itself; just such a progressive delineation of individualism has engrossed the first two parts of the present work. The third, which is the progressive portion of the book, seeks to show in just what way a man may re-relate his mind to nature, in what corresponding manner the individual may seek new repose in the social order. New years bring new problems with them; and, when the times are as suggestive as those of the new peace, it becomes imperative that one should cast about for new ideals.

To the restricted number of individuals who are tempted to persist in the old anarchism of individualism in its antebellum days, it may be suggested that newer, deeper types of nationalism may offer to such liberals something like the social environment which their nature seems to demand. Those who before the war felt themselves ' superfluous ' may come to the realization that even the most delicious, the most dissatisfied personality may find his place in the political world order.


Problem 4

1. Selfhood, Scientism, and Sociality S

2. The Anti-Scientific and Anti-social 29

3. Higher Synthesis 12


Part One

The Naturalization of Life 19

I. The Transmutation of Mind and World 19

1. The Self as Thinker 21

2. The Empirical Ego 25

II. The Actual Naturalization of Life 33

1. The Surrender to Naturalism 34

2. The Ambiguous Elevation of the Physical 40

(i) The Naturalistic and Humanistic /)l

(2) The Objective and Subjective 47

3. The Elevation of the Biological 52

(i) Positivism and Humanism 53

(2) Biology and Psychology 57

III. The Insufficiency of Scientism 62

1. The Sensational Inadequacy of Scientism 63

2. The Volitional Impotence of Scientism 70

3. The Intellectual Disappointment of Scientism 75

Part Two
The Struggle Jor Serfhood

I. The Struggle for the Joy of Life 87

1. The Inward Enjoyment of Life 88

2. The Independence of Soul-States 97

3. The Rights of Aestheticism 107

(i) The Aesthetic and Analytic 108


(2) Aestheticism as Individualism 116

II. The Struggle for the Worth of Life: 121

1. Selfhood in Worth 122

2. The Individualistic Initiative I33

3. The Demands of Immoralism 145

III. The Struggle for the Truth of Life 163

1. The Truth of Selfhood 164

(i) The Passion for Predication 165

(2) Humanistic Criteria of Truth 170

2. The Affirmation of the Self I7S

3. The Claims of Irreligion i85


Part One

The Socialization of Life 207

1. The Transvaluation of Self and Society 208

1. Selfhood in Selfishness 209

2. Selfhood in Strength 220

II. The Practical Socialization of Life 225

1. The Socialization of Work 226

2. The Socialization of Morality 234

(i) The Social Source of Morality 235

(2) The Social Sanction of Morality 243

III. The Inadequacy of the Social 252

1. Lack of Life-Content in Sociality 253

2. Lack of Life-Character in Sociality 263

Part Two

Thb; Repudiation of Sociality 273

I. Life the Place of Joys 274

1. Humanity and Happiness 275

( 1 ) Happiness as Willed 277

(2) The Consciousness of Happiness 287

2. The Individual as Decadent 292

(i) The Aesthetic Form of Decadence 293

(2) The Anti-Social Character of Decadence. 297

II. Life the Place of Values 304

I. The Humanistic Nature of Value 304

(i) Value and Desire 305

(2) Values as Volitional 311

2. The Individual as Pessixnist 318

(i) Pessimism as Nihilism 318

(2) The Pessimism of Will 324

III. Life the Place of Truths 330

1. Truth and Life 331

(i) Sociality and Truth 332

(2) Humanity and Truth.; 33S

2. The Individual as Skeptic 342

(i) Skepticism as Dilettantism 343

(2) Social Skepticism 349


Part One

The Joy of Life in the World-Whole 366

I. One's Own Life 367

1. Egoism and Individualism 368

2. Naturistic Possibilities of Selfhood 374

3. Social Possibilities of Selfhood 383

II. The Enjoyment of Existence 391

1. Joy and Pleasure 392

2. The Aesthetic Nature of Enjoyment 400

3. Enjoyment as Vision 410

III. The Aesthetic Synthesis 416

1. The Aesthetic Synthesis with Nature 417

2. The Aesthetic Synthesis with Humanity 426

Part Two

The Worth of Life in the World-Whole 437

I. One's Own Work 438

1. The Truth of Work in Nature 439

(i) Work as Creative 439

(2) Work as Intelligible 444

2. The Worth of Work 447

(i) The Eudaemonistic Element in Work 448

(2) The Characteristic Element in Work 452

IL The Character of World-Work 458

1. The Freedom of Work 459

2. The Value of Work 470


The Practical Synthesis 480

1. The Hedonic Synthesis 480

(i) Naturalism and Nihilism 481

(2) Sociality and Humanity 486

2. Value as Synthetic Principle 494

( 1 ) Man as Valuer 496

(2) Humanity a World of Values 501

Part Three

The Truth of Life in the World 509

L One's Own Self 51°

1. The Self as Knower 512

2. Selfhood and Solipsism 520

3. Individualism and Nominalism 528

II. Knowledge as Intellectual Life 536

1. The Understanding as Human 537

2. The Origin and Ground of Knowledge 542

3. The Object of Knowledge 551

III. The Intellectual Synthesis SSS

1. Knowledge as Interpretation 556

2. The Essence of Subjectivity S&1.

3. The Character of Objectivity 572

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