Ideals of Conduct: An Exposition of Moral Attitudes

By John Dashiell Stoops | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIV
RATIONALISM, INDIVIDUALISM, ROMANTICISM, AND VOLUNTARISM AS FORMS OF INTROVERSION

We can understand the modern individualistic development only if we see it as the continuation of the mediæval inner ideal. The normal will follows through to the completion of the objective ends of conduct. On the other hand, a blocking of the will before it reaches its objective ends results in various developments. Because the modern world inherited from mediævalism the tradition of an inner mind, this inner mind in its modern individualized form continued to build around itself a wall of defense. Any world which was immediately possible was still incompatible with the demands of the inner ideal. Hence a blocking of the will by its environment. There floated free therefore between the organism and the objective world an inner world--a world of ideas, of feelings, of attitudes. This inner mental world was elaborated by the imagination into various forms of mental absolutes and infinites. When the will is blocked so that it does not attain its objects, any one of three main types of introversion may result. There may be a detachment of the idea or of knowledge from its object. This is the explanation of rationalism or of intuitionalism. This is true transcendentalism. It is

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