§3. The Varieties of Secondness 2)


325. The idea of second is predominant in the ideas of causation and of statical force. For cause and effect are two; and statical forces always occur between pairs. Constraint is a Secondness. In the flow of time in the mind, the past appears to act directly upon the future, its effect being called memory, while the future only acts upon the past through the medium of thirds. Phenomena of this sort in the outward world shall be considered below. In sense and will, there are reactions of Secondness between the ego and the non-ego (which non-ego may be an object of direct consciousness). In will, the events leading up to the act are internal, and we say that we are agents more than patients. In sense, the antecedent events are not within us; and besides, the object of which we form a perception (though not that which immediately acts upon the nerves) remains unaffected. Consequently, we say that we are patients, not agents. In the idea of reality, Secondness is predominant; for the real is that which insists upon forcing its way to recognition as something other than the mind's creation. (Remember that before the French word, second, was adopted into our language, other was merely the ordinal numeral corresponding to two.) The real is active; we acknowledge it, in calling it the actual. (This word is due to Aristotle's use of {energeia}, action, to mean existence, as opposed to a mere germinal state.) Again, the kind of thought of those dualistic philosophers who are fond of laying down propositions as if there were only two alternatives, and no gradual shading off between them, as when they say that in trying to find a law in a phenomenon I commit myself to the proposition that law bears absolute sway in nature, such thought is marked by Secondness.


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