Creative Evolution

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H. Holt, 1911 - Evolution - 407 pages
 

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Contents

I
ix
II
1
III
98
IV
186
V
272

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Page 2 - My mental state, as it advances on the road of time, is continually swelling with the duration which it accumulates: it goes on increasing— rolling upon itself, as a snowball on the snow.
Page 14 - ... the present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause.
Page 4 - Duration is the continuous progress of the past which gnaws into the future and which swells as it advances.
Page 249 - In reality, life is a movement, materiality is the inverse movement, and each of these two movements is simple, the matter which forms a world being an undivided flux, and undivided also the life that runs through it, cutting out in it living beings all along the track. Of these two currents, the second runs counter to the first, but the first obtains, all the same, something from the second.
Page 264 - ... synonymous with invention and with freedom. Now, in the animal, invention is never anything but a variation on the theme of routine. Shut up in the habits of the species, it succeeds, no doubt, in enlarging them by its individual initiative; but it escapes automatism only for an instant, for just the tune to create a new automatism. The gates of its prison close as soon as they are opened; by pulling at its chain it succeeds only in stretching it. With man, consciousness breaks the chain. In...
Page 5 - From this survival of the past it follows that conscious- ' ness cannot go through the same state twice. The circumstances may still be the same, but they will act no longer on the same person, since they find him at a new moment of his history.
Page xiii - It thus obtains a symbolism which is convenient, perhaps even necessary to positive science, but not a direct vision of its object. On the other hand, a theory of knowledge which does not replace the intellect in the general evolution of life will teach us neither how the frames of knowledge have been constructed nor how we can enlarge or go beyond them. It is necessary that these two inquiries, theory of knowledge and theory of life, should join each other, and, by a circular process, push each...
Page 38 - If this be true, it is no less certain that the existing world lay potentially in the cosmic vapour, and that a sufficient intelligence could, from a knowledge of the properties of the molecules of that vapour, have predicted, say the state of the fauna of Britain in 1869, with as much certainty as one can say what will happen to the vapour of the breath on a cold winter's day .... The teleological and the mechanical views of nature are not, necessarily, mutually exclusive.
Page 100 - Each of us, glancing back over his history, will find that his childpersonality, though indivisible, united in itself divers persons which could remain blended just because they were in their nascent state: this indecision, so charged with promise, is one of the greatest charms of childhood. But these interwoven personalities become incompatible in course of growth, and, as each of us can live but one life, a choice must perforce be made. We choose in reality without ceasing; without ceasing, also,...
Page 76 - Whether we will or no, we must appeal to some inner directing principle in order to account for this convergence of effects. Such convergence does not appear possible in the Darwinian, and especially the neo-Darwinian, theory of insensible accidental variations, nor in the hypothesis of sudden accidental...

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