The Transcendence of Realism and Idealism. Conditions of Transcendence.
EARLIER we had occasion to speak of the disconcerting situation created in philosophy by the perennial opposition between idealism and realism. It seemed more than likely that an opposition such as this is due not so much to the stupidity or intolerance of the opponents as to the peculiar character of the opposition itself. The sources of the opposition we have now found to lie in certain 'prejudices' or presuppositions of thought which are, in a very real sense, ineradicable. The ultimate premise of either position is a logically unsupported judgment of value, and, in so far as these judgments are felt and acknowledged, they are immitigable.
We have spoken of these ultimate premises as 'prejudices' and in a sense they may be so called. Both the driving force of idealism and the resistance of realism are in part psychological and it is just as well to recognize this fact. It is for this reason that Jung finds them ineradicable and both necessary to life.1 It is for this reason also that, as we have seen, Paulhan finds them necessary for the life of society and, therefore, in principle ineradicable. In a deeper sense, however, they are neither merely psychological nor social and cease to be prejudices in any dyslogistic sense. They are 'moral' in the sense already defined, and it is this moral 'assurance', felt by both parties to the opposition, that makes all 'refutations' of either position futile and the opposition in some sense for ever ineradicable.
Both idealism and realism are then ineradicable. But because they are ineradicable it does not follow that they are irreconcilable. Both are equally indigenous to life; idealism is as natural as realism. Life, in fact, creates the opposition, but it also knows how to reconcile it. Both are necessary 'life-forms of thought', and precisely because both are necessary both must be possible. Life does not say merely either or; it says both real and ideal. It gives its ontological predicates with equal readiness____________________