CHAPTER VIII
THE MORAL SELF

We have had many occasions in the foregoing discussions to employ the term "the moral self." The time has come to make a somewhat detailed examination of its contents. We may assume at the outset that all schools of philosophy, not to say all programs of psychology, make room for the elementary meaning of the concept. Self, like many other broad terms of science--substance, energy, life, consciousness--, does not lend itself to exact definition. To define a word one must at least establish its position in a series of related terms, be it a class, a form of reaction, or the principle of the Whole. That is to say, we must refer the concept to some other idea which has come within the range of our experience and has left a distinct impression. Common sense has long since done this for the concept of the self, and scientific inquiry has failed to adduce any objections against its continued use. Therefore we shall endeavor to assemble its obvious facts and principles for study and evaluation.


1. Individuality--the First Property of the Moral Self.

When is an object an individual? The fortunes of the word have been various and not always happy. The temptation of the uninstructed mind is to assign the property to every type of body--sun, star, electron, protoplasm, tree, and animal; also to qualities and relations--color, shape, odor, cause. It is taken to mean a property which sets off a given body from every other and from the whole. Recent practice tends to restrict its application. Individuality is to be ascribed only to those bodies whose parts bear such a

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