Philosophy

Articles

An Outline of Genetic Psychology According to the Theory of Inherited Mind

R. F. Rattray

One of the great difficulties in effecting a synthesis of experience is the contradiction of the apparently mechanical character of the physical universe on the one hand, and the sense of freedom we associate with life on the other. In our own persons, we are told by medical science, or some of it, we are governed by physiological laws which are mechanical, as distinct from vital, in their nature. The best reconciliation of these with freedom, in the writer's opinion, is the philosophy of Samuel Butler. In studying freedom as experienced by human beings Butler pointed out that a large number of practices which are apparently mechanical are really habits that have become stereotyped, and he drew attention to the fact that human actions can be classified as follows:—