Time and Free Will; An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1913 edition. Excerpt: ... to consider time, even our time, as a cause of gauA or loss, as a concrete reality, or a force in its own J way. Thus, while we ought only to say (if we kept aloof from all presuppositions concerning free will) that the law of the conservation of energy governs physical phenomena and may, one day, be extended to all phenomena if psychological facts also prove favourable to it, we go far beyond this, and, under the influence of a metaphysical prepossession, we lay down the principle of the conservation of energy as a law which should govern all phenomena whatever, or must be supposed to do so until psychological facts have actually spoken against it. Science, properly so called, has therefore nothing to do with all this. We are simply confronted with a confusion between concrete duration and abstract time, two very) different things. In a word, the so-called physical determinism is reducible at bottom to a psychological determinism, and it is this latter doctrine, as we hinted at first, that we have to examine. Psychological determinism, in its latest and most precise shape, implies an associationist piychoiogioai conception of mind. The existing state depend^nas- o* consciousness is first thought of as concaepfem at necessitated by the preceding states, but mlnd- it is soon realized that this cannot be a geometrical necessity, such as that which connects a resultant, for example, with its components. For between successive conscious states there exists a difference of quality which will always frustrate any attempt to deduce any one of them a priori from its predecessors. So experience is appealed to, with the object of showing that the transition from one psychic state to another can always be explained by some simple reason, the...