Does The Primacy Belong

though he treats this use as merely 'heuristic/ i.e. as supplying a necessary point of view from which we must carry on our scientific investigations, but not as enabling us to attach any real predicates to such beings as objects. But the division between such a provisional hypothesis or postulate of science and its recognised truth is not easy to maintain—as is shown by the speculations of many of our modern biologists, whose general repudiation of teleological speculations does not prevent them from continually in detail making use of the idea of purpose, whenever it is necessary to explain any special modification of structure or function that seems to conduce to the preservation of the individual or the species.

We ought not, however, to make too much <of such concessions. For it must be allowed that the main work of science has been to follow out the lines of external connexion between phenomena, and that, even in regard to the organic world, it generally pursues the same method to the same result. Even, therefore, if in this region it cannot altogether banish the idea of final causes, yet it keeps that thought as far as possible in the background; and it treats all the phenomena with which it deals as the necessary results of .the action and reaction of elements which are not themselves subordinated to any pervading unity. And the Darwinian theory, many as are the applications of the idea of purpose to which


it has led, is itself an attempt to carry the idea of an external necessity, resulting from the rela-

of the organism and the environment, into the explanation of those very phenomena which were once thought to be the clearest evidences of design.

But, in the second place, there is a better way of proving the limited and provisional character of the ordinary scientific view of nature, as a system of external necessity; and Kant himself, though he

that view, and indeed, gave it a fuller and more distinctive philosophical expression than

anyone before him, was also the first to supply the means of refuting it. For, while he

treated the world of experience as a system of are external to each other in space, and pass through successive phases in time, according to necessary laws of coexistence and succession—he showed also that this world of necessity stands in

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