chapter  IV
10 Pages

THE POSITIVE CONCEPTION OF ENVIRONMENT

Facts of a spiritual order, not less than all other happenings, are relative to their situation, at once geo­ graphical and historical. If this elementary truth is ignored, there is the risk that not only the linking up of human concepts but the succession of systems as well may be left suspended in the abstract. Thus, as we have seen, the so-called history of philosophy is as a rule nothing more than a sequence of theoretical memoirs, at the most eked out by as many biographies. In these days, when the natural sciences are constantly demonstrating that an organism is to be explained by its conditions of existence, the time is now come for the positive study of the mind to apply a similar principle to the manifestations of thought.