Page:Avenarius and the Standpoint of Pure Experience.djvu/30

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who would feel it a relief to return to their earlier realism, and would be happy to have it occur if they only knew how to escape from idealism logically, with a good conscience.” But they can not escape the conclusion that consciousness and its phenomena are all that is given in experience. “And yet with all these consistent deductions there is usually not lacking a dualistic discontent. Something about this view of the world is wrong and were better got rid of. One can’t just say what the disturbing factor is, in this so strictly logical Weltbegriff.”[1]

Avenarius has his own explanation, but we need not go so far as his theory of ‘introjection’ would take us in order to see that idealism, whether it be true or not, seeks to have us view the world in a way that is opposed to our organic constitution. Avenarius would say that idealism is thus biologically untenable (‘biologisch unhaltbar’).

There is then a natural view of that experience which we call the outer world, just as there is a natural view of that experience which stands for our fellow being. And it is not strange that natural views of these things should regard them as being really what they seem to be, transcendent realistic facts.

The critical philosopher is the man who seeks to emasculate his natural view of the world. Of course, in so doing, he may be getting nearer to metaphysical truth. He will have a greater or a less success in obeying the commands of reason, but he can hardly eliminate altogether the influence of his natural organic attitude. So that the ‘critical’ doctrine which results will be a compromise between nature and reason. I do not say that this is an interference with the function of critical doctrines; far from it.

But not every one is a critical philosopher; relatively few do emasculate their natural view of the world. I venture to say that even the majority of philosophers have the same quiet assurance about their outer world, that the plain man has, although they can state more problems about it. For the greater part of humanity, the realistic nature of the world is a simple fact of experience, and for the rest, whatever they may say about it, it is a fact of experience, too. Those for whom it is not a fact of experience are the cases referred to above whose reality-functions, if I may call them so, have become disorganized.


We mean by realism a conception which describes the world as consisting of mutually independent objects. The ‘independent’ as thus used has a metaphysical meaning. But the idea of metaphys-

  1. ‘Der Menschliche Weltbegriff,’ p. 109.