Inside Experience: A Naturalistic Philosophy of Life and the Modern World

Inside Experience: A Naturalistic Philosophy of Life and the Modern World

Inside Experience: A Naturalistic Philosophy of Life and the Modern World

Inside Experience: A Naturalistic Philosophy of Life and the Modern World

Excerpt

Of all things difficult to attain, understanding is perhaps the most difficult and the most important. When persons arrive at an understanding they come to agreement, and agreement is committal to a common cause: it is reciprocal engagement and mutual confidence. The bitterness of misunderstanding is indicated in the reproaches which attend it: charges of betrayal, intimations of bad faith. Mutual pleading of faith is more readily secured in appearance than in reality. It is possible only when there lies back of it a common store of experiences. Without resemblance of experiences, words have different meanings, and communication is a sham: ideas diverge even when their formula is the same. Yet, without understanding and that reciprocal committal and mutual faith which is its essence, any so-called society is but an aggregate held together by fear of danger or promise of profit. A community is constituted by those who communicate with one another, who agree with one another in action because they share in a common understanding.

The humane import of a philosophy of experience . . .

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