This book unifies or qualitatively solves science, religion, and philosophy--basing everything on experimental, verifiable evidence
Introductory remarks.-- pt. 1. Formal unification; or theory of language.-- pt. 2. Concrete unification; or physical science.-- pt. 3. Spiritual unification; or humanics
Excerpt from John Dewey introduction:
Mr Klyce has invited me to write some prefatory words for his book. In spite of my technical incompetency in physical sciences and realizing the handicap that imposes upon me, I have gladly consented. Although the argument of the book as a whole must finally stand or fall with the treatment of topics where my lack of knowledge makes it impossible for me to have a real judgment, the sincerity and power of the book, and the radical simplicity of its unifying idea give it every claim to a hearing. And judging from the parts where it is possible for me to follow intelligently, I have a strong presentiment the other parts do not go far wrong in a substance:
Mr. Klyce himself makes plenty of allowance for deviations in special points. Mr Klyce says somewhere in effect that every reader of this book will have in the end to rewrite it for himself. My introductory remarks can not take any other form than re-writing that portion of Part One which sets forth the fundamental logic — or method — of the book. He says that the book unifies or qualitatively solves science, philosophy, and religion. Many cultivated readers will be likely to stop right here.
While they tolerate or laud classic philosophers for attempting such unification, they associate, with painfully good reason, contemporary professions of such solutions with pretentious ignorance. To make such a claim is the common sign of the incompetent amateur in philosophy and science. My first rewriting is of this phrase.
Mr. Klyce emphasizes qualitative unification. He exPressly points out that concrete problems of science and practical life are solved only in living them intelligently. For the word qualitative, we may write the word formal, and contrast it with material unifications. Then we note that such attempts as are in unenviable repute owe their offensive arrogance to claiming material unification. Every philosopher deals with the problem of formal unification, either positively or negatively.
Let us return then to the hypothesis that in actual use names call attention to features of a situation; that they are tools for directing perception or experimental observations.
The first thing to be noted is that the situation" is referred to only in the (literally) most general way, as the limiting including thing within which specific things are pointed out. A gesture calls attention to a dogfight. It doesn't call attention to the town, to the world of the sun and its light or to the previous history of the animals or to the position and expectations of the observer.
And if some special feature within the dogfight is then pointed out, a broken leg, the fight itself is no longer specified. It takes care of itself. It is now the situation as the entire visible scene was formerly the situation within which the fight was discriminated. The situation as such in short is taken for granted. It is not stated or expressed.
It is implicit, not explicit. Yet it supplies meaning to all that is stated, pointed out, named. Its presence makes the difference between sanity and insanity. We may say if we will that it is ignored. But the ignoring is not the ignorance of denial. Ignoring means "understood," assumed as a matter of course as the background and foreground which gives intelligibility and state-ability to what is explicit, expressly pointed out. Now the implicit situation cannot (save arbitrarily; that is, by some agreement for a purpose) be stopped short of Everything.
The setting, Dewey's Introduction the implicit situation, shades off from the explicit, indefinitely and continuously. Everything" is understood, im- plied, then as the setting, or meaning-giving force, of what we explicitly say or state. Recur now to the actual naming or pointing. It discriminates, distinguishes something; makes it explicit, states or expresses it.
That which is pointed to gives the meaning of the word or directive gesture. But the lone thing pointed at has no meaning. We always distinguish one thing from something. All explicit names point out then a comparison- contrast of at least two things. This by itself, as Mr Klyce points out, has no meaning. It is not an expression or statement, but merely another thing, a noise or figure. This explicitly implies That; Here explicitly implies
There; Now, Then. In short, the simplest possible intelligible statement explicitly implies a number of things related together, while it implicitly implies a sum total or Everything with which the related plurality of things is continuous. This is a "trick" of language just as a watch may be called a trick of steel. It is the only way a thing can be done, in one case keeping time, in another case giving direction to observations of existence. Size and complexity in both cases may vary indefinitely; substitutes may be found for steel and different signs in language. But the way, the principle, remains the same. Here is the qualitative or formal unification. This is one way in which one basic proposition of Mr Klyce may be rewritten.
This way of writing will probably appeal especially to those habituated to philosophical modes of writing. For it suggests that the problem of statement, or language, is identical with what in philosophical writing is called the epistemological problem, the problem of knowledge. Science is the expression of experiments with things. It isn't the things over again, nor is it simply the experiments. It is the communication of them with their results inconsistent form.
The simplest and most objective way to examine knowledge experimentally is to examine consistent expression or statement experimentally — to see what happens when we do or make it. The method as used by Mr Klyce gets rid of an enormous amount of cumbrous and largely effete psychology. It cuts out an enormous mass of historical reminiscence that obstructs the path of one who approaches the subject in the traditional way.
To philosophical readers (to those who use that particular dialect) I would point out the freshness and directness of Mr Klyce's method of approach to the old problem of the nature of knowledge. This remark applies to his method irrespective of the results he has obtained by its use. Let us now return to an inspection of these results. In any intelligible statement, from a gesture to a complete discourse on science, there are two kinds of implications, one implicit, the other explicit.
The explicit implication is that of relations between elements; that is, between distinguished parts. The implicit understood or taken for granted is, ultimately, as we have seen nothing less than the universe or Everything." Now (l) this implicit implication is strictly ineffable. It cannot be stated. For it is required to give meaning to any statement. Yet it is convenient, and for consistent expression of complex matters, it is necessary, to have a term to refer to it.
It is necessary to have a word that reminds us that whatever we explicitly state has this implicit, unstate-able, ineffable implication. Hence the terms which Mr Klyce calls One word, like all, nothing, only, being, every, infinity, universe, whole, never, always. These words have no (definite) meaning. In philosophical terminology, they are transcendental, noumenal, a priori. They are religious terms, like God, eternity, perfect rest or peace, complete salvation. An experimental realization of their meaning is had only emotionally, and the emotion may be poetic esthetic or in some cases mystic. Speaking in philosophical terminology, we have here revealed the truth and the falsity of the whole brood of absolutistic, transcendental philosopher
They have had a genuine experience of which is reqmred for the meaning of any consistent statement. But they assert that these One terms themselves have a meaning, that they are terms of the statement. Or if they are professional mystics, the ineffable character is recognized, but the experience is regarded as a special, separated, not to say unique, experience, instead of what is implicit, in some degree of intensity, in every experience.
Authored by Klyce, Scudder, 1879-1933;
Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931;
Dewey, John, 1859-1952;
Cooke, Morris Llewellyn, 1872-1960
Publication date: 1921
publisher Winchester, Mass.: S. Klyce
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