Whatever, then, a man’s mental and moral habit might be, it would perforce have affinity to some essence or other; his life would revolve about some congenial ideal object; he would find some sorts of form, some types of relation, more visible, beautiful, and satisfying than others. Mr. Russell happens to have a mathematical genius, and to find comfort in laying up his treasures in the mathematical heaven. It would be highly desirable that this temperament should be more common; but even if it were universal it would not reduce mathematical essence to a product of human attention, nor raise the “beauty” of mathematics to part of its essence. I do not mean to suggest that Mr. Russell attempts to do the latter; he speaks explicitly of the value of mathematical study, a point in ethics and not directly in logic; yet his moral philosophy is itself so much assimilated to logic that the distinction between the two becomes somewhat dubious; and as Mr. Russell will never succeed in convincing us that moral values are independent of life, he may, quite against his will, lead us to question the independence of essence, with that blind gregarious drift of all ideas, in this direction or in that, which is characteristic of human philosophising.
The time has not yet come when a just and synthetic account of what is called pragmatism can be expected of any man. The movement is still in a nebulous state, a state from which, perhaps, it is never destined to issue. The various tendencies that compose it may soon cease to appear together; each may detach itself and be lost in the earlier system with which it has most affinity. A good critic has enumerated