Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
the manifestation of the force of free
will in human beings in space, in time, and in dependence on cause
forms the subject of history, while free will itself is the subject of
In the experimental sciences what we know we call the laws of
inevitability, what is unknown to us we call vital force. Vital
force is only an expression for the unknown remainder over and above
what we know of the essence of life.
So also in history what is known to us we call laws of
inevitability, what is unknown we call free will. Free will is for
history only an expression for the unknown remainder of what we know
about the laws of human life.
History examines the manifestations of mans free will in connection
with the external world in time and in dependence on cause, that is,
it defines this freedom by the laws of reason, and so history is a
science only in so far as this free will is defined by those laws.
The recognition of mans free will as something capable of
influencing historical events, that is, as not subject to laws, is the
same for history as the recognition of a free force moving the
heavenly bodies would be for astronomy.
That assumption would destroy the possibility of the existence of
laws, that is, of any science whatever. If there is even a single body
moving freely, then the laws of Kepler and Newton are negatived and no
conception of the movement of the heavenly bodies any longer exists.
If any single action is due to free will, then not a single historical
law can exist, nor any conception of historical events.
For history, lines exist of the movement of human wills, one end
of which is hidden in the unknown but at the other end of which a
consciousness of mans will in the present moves in space, time, and
dependence on cause.
The more this field of motion spreads out before our eyes, the
more evident are the laws of that movement. To discover and define
those laws is the problem of history.
From the standpoint from which the science of history now regards
its subject on the path it now follows, seeking the causes of events
in mans freewill, a scientific enunciation of those laws is
impossible, for however mans free will may be restricted, as soon
as we recognize it as a force not subject to law, the existence of law
Only by reducing this element of free will to the infinitesimal,
that is, by regarding it as an infinitely small quantity, can we
convince ourselves of the absolute inaccessibility of the causes,
and then instead of seeking causes, history will take the discovery of
laws as its problem.
The search for these laws has long been begun and the new methods of
thought which history must adopt are being worked out simultaneously
with the self-destruction toward which--ever dissecting and dissecting
the causes of phenomena--the old method of history is moving.
All human sciences have traveled along that path. Arriving at
infinitesimals, mathematics, the most exact of sciences, abandons
the process of analysis and enters on the new process of the
integration of unknown, infinitely small, quantities. Abandoning the
conception of cause, mathematics seeks law, that is, the property
common to all unknown, infinitely small, elements.
In another form but along the same path of reflection the other
sciences have proceeded. When Newton enunciated the law of gravity
he did not say that the sun or the earth had a property of attraction;
he said that all bodies from the largest to the smallest have the
property of attracting one another, that is, leaving aside the
question of the cause of the movement of the bodies, he expressed
the property common to all bodies from the infinitely large to the
infinitely small. The same is done by the natural sciences: leaving
aside the question of cause, they seek for laws. History stands on the
same path. And if history has for its object the study of the movement
of the nations and of humanity and not the narration of episodes in
the lives of individuals, it too, setting aside the conception of
cause, should seek the laws common to all the inseparably
interconnected infinitesimal elements of free will.
From the time the law of Copernicus was discovered and proved, the
mere recognition of the fact that it was not the sun but the earth
that moves sufficed to destroy the whole cosmography of the
ancients. By disproving that law it might
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