University Studies of the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



UNIVERSITY STUDIES, VoL. XXV APRIL-OCTOBER, 1925, Nos. 2-4, pp. 43-152


(c) 1925 University of Nebraska



I. Time and the Anthithesis

Between Thought and Things.. 3

II. Measured and Measuring Time.. 12

1. Mathematical time versus duration.. 12

2. Properties of mathematical and durational time… 14

3. Time and its predicates .... 22

4. The good man as measure ... 29

III. Types of Logic in Relation to the Concept of Time ... 31

1. Forms of Understanding .. 31

2. The distrinction between formal and moral reasoning .. 33

3. Experience as the unifier of formal and moral reasoning.. 63

IV. Time as the Unifier of the Formal and Moral Elements of Reason...64

1. Immediate experience and reflection ... 64

2. Creative imagination ... 67

3. Fact and value and imaginative thought .. 75

4. Embodiment of time in the imaginative life ... 103

It is the central aim of this thesis to examine the intricate factors which condition this inevitable cloud-gathering called ' epistemology.' We may distinguish two fundamental accounts which the human mind is inclined to give regarding the discrepancy between the perfect theory of knowledge for which we seek, and the circular results which we always achieve. (1) There is first the view that the obdurate self-contradictions of our ways of knowing are inevitable and unavoidable. This is the case, for instance, in Bergson's belief in an ever-growing reality which must always burst the measures to which we would confine it. This view, in its radical form, is always dualistic or pluralistic. It regards the chasm between thought and reality, between the measured and the measuring, as evidence of a primal and incurable rift in the nature of existence itself. Our universe, it holds, is a dual and unstable one, sharing our struggle for existence. There exists in the essence of things, the irrational, the chaotic. Reality is woven of two irreducible opposites, which we meet in our experience as the opposition of truth to error, good to evil, and beauty to ugliness. We can find no common denominator to which these forces may be reduced, simply because none exists. In the last analysis, evil, ugliness, and error are not to be understood but to be fought; we seek to understand them only that we may strike. Yet, despite this dualism of theory, it leads to a curious monism of practice: Our warfare against this triune of foes will be effective to the degree that we do understand them; and when our enmity against them is at its best, we live as if they could be fully understood! Thus, in science, we act as if nature were conserved; while with Alchemists' hearts we yearn to violate her 'givenness.' Nevertheless, this 'intentional' positing of an absolute order is here at least made a pre-condition of thinking, not thought's goal. There is indeed a far cry between accepting the 'uniformity' and rationality of nature as the guide to thought, and in accepting them in advance as thought's assured goal.