Page:Educational Review Volume 23.djvu/58

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In entering the practical arena the philosopher is indeed insensitive or unobservant who does not become conscious of a decided climatic change. He is probably already familiar with various uncomplimentary remarks concerning his unfitness to assume a due share of the responsibilities of life, from the tribute of Frederick the Great (“If,” he said, “I wanted to ruin one of my provinces, I would make over its government to the philosophers”) to the fashionable jibes against the scholar in politics. There is certainly much exaggeration in the current notions of the incompatibility of the reflective and the directive (perhaps it would be unwise to say the active) temperament; and there is much reason for the claim that the science-molded philosopher may say, “nous avons changé tout cela.” Indeed a recent writer has forcibly maintained that the nearest analogue of the man of science is the “so-called man of business, and the chief distinction between the two is that the one deals with the unfamiliar, the other with familiar things.”[1] This significant difference was long ago presented by De Morgan as one of the advantages that a logical training secures. “I maintain that logic tends to make the power of reason over the unusual and the unfamiliar more nearly equal to the power over the usual and familiar than it would otherwise be. The second is increased; but the first is almost created.” This is but one of the differences in training, interest, thought-habit, and temperament that estrange the scholar from the man of affairs. Yet much of this unfamiliarity is a matter of technique, and as such belongs equally to the arts of life and to the sciences; the ignorance of one another’s techniques is no cause for lack of sympathy and comprehension of the aims and efforts of practical and scientific specialists. A further contrast is emphasized by philosophical historians. “In practical life, the wisest and soundest men avoid speculation, and insure success because, by limiting their range, they increase the tenacity by which they grasp events; while in speculative life the course is exactly the reverse, since in that department the greater the range, the greater the command, and the object of the philosopher is to have as large a

  1. F. W. Clarke, Popular science monthly, February, 1900.