Page:Appearance and Reality (1916).djvu/337

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

events, may be attacked perhaps from the ground of psychology itself. There are psychical facts, it may be urged, which are more than events, and these facts, it may be argued, refute our definition. I must briefly deal with this objection, and my reply may be summed up thus. There are psychical facts, which are more than events; but, if they are not also events, they are not facts at all. I will take these two propositions in their order.[1]

(a) We have seen that my psychical states, and my private experience, can be at the same time what they are, and yet something much more.[2] Every distinction that is made in the fact of presentation, every content, or “what,” that is loosened from its “that,” is at once more than a mere event. Nay an event itself, as one member in a temporal series, is only itself by transcending its own pre-

  1. There are some distinctions which we must keep in mind. By existence (taken strictly) I mean a temporal series of events or facts. And this series is not throughout directly experienced. It is an ideal construction from the basis of what is presented. But, though partly ideal, such a series is not wholly so. For it leaves its contents in the form of particulars, and the immediate conjunction of being and quality is not throughout broken up. Thisness, or the irrelevant context, is retained, in short, except so far as is required to make a series of events. And, though the events of the whole series are not actually perceived, they must be taken as what is in its character perceptible. Any part of a temporal series, no matter how long, can be called an event or fact. For it is taken as a piece, or quantity, made up of perceptible duration. By fact I mean either an event, or else what is directly experienced. Any aspect of direct experience, or again of an event, can itself be loosely styled a fact or event, so far as you consider it as a qualifying adjective of one. I may notice, last, that an immediate experience, e.g. of succession, can contain that which, when distinguished, is more than one event, and it can contain also an aspect which, as distinguished, is beyond events. But I should add that I have not tried to use any of the above words everywhere strictly.
  2. See above, p. 300, and compare Chapters xix. and xxi. And for the relation of existence to thought see, further, Chapter xxiv.