Excerpt: ...reality; it jumps across, transcends itself. It does all this by extraneous aid, to be sure, but when the aid has come, it HAS done it and the result is secure. Why not talk of results by themselves, then, without considering means? Why not treat the idea as simply grasping or intuiting the reality, of its having the faculty anyhow, of ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...reality; it jumps across, transcends itself. It does all this by extraneous aid, to be sure, but when the aid has come, it HAS done it and the result is secure. Why not talk of results by themselves, then, without considering means? Why not treat the idea as simply grasping or intuiting the reality, of its having the faculty anyhow, of shooting over nature behind the scenes and knowing things immediately and directly? Why need we always lug in the bridging?-it only retards our discourse to do so. Such abstract talk about cognition's results is surely convenient; and it is surely as legitimate as it is convenient, SO LONG AS WE DO NOT FORGET OR POSITIVELY DENY, WHAT IT IGNORES. We may on occasion say that our idea meant ALWAYS that particular object, that it led us there because it was OF it intrinsically and essentially. We may insist that its verification follows upon that original cognitive virtue in it-and all the rest-and we shall do no harm so long as we know that these are only short cuts in our thinking. They are positively true accounts of fact AS FAR AS THEY GO, only they leave vast tracts of fact out of the account, tracts of tact that have to be reinstated to make the accounts literally true of any real case. But if, not merely passively ignoring the intermediaries, you actively deny them Footnote: This is the fallacy which I have called 'vicious intellectualism' in my book A Pluralistic Universe, Longmans, Green & Co., 1909. to be even potential requisites for the results you are so struck by, your epistemology goes to irremediable smash. You are as far off the track as an historian would be, if, lost in admiration of Napoleon's personal power, he were to ignore his marshals and his armies, and were to accuse you of error in describing his conquests as effected by their means. Of such abstractness and one-sidedness I accuse most of the critics of my own account. In the second lecture of the book Pragmatism, I used the...Read Less
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