Bertrand Russell


Introduced by

Nikolay Milkov

Philosophy / U. Paderborn

33098 Paderborn, Germany


Text Edited by

Kenneth Blackwell



Russell preserved notes he took on McTaggart’s course on Lotze’s major works in 1898. They are published here for the first time. Russell’s abbreviations are expanded and deletions noted. N. Milkov introduces the notes and provides Russell’s biographical and philosophical background. The course on Lotze, on whose philosophy of geometry Russell had already written,  was influential in his development away from monism.




n the Lent term, 1898, at Cambridge J.McT.E. McTaggart delivered sixteen lectures on Hermann Lotze. Russell took extensive notes on thirteen.[1] This conspectus was written at a very important point of his philosophical development. He always insisted that between 1896 and 1898 he was “a full-fledged Hegelian” (MPD, p. 42). In fact, however, Russell got acquainted with Hegel only through his tutor McTaggart. He read Hegel (his Logic) for the first time in March 1897 and was deeply disappointed: it didn’t match his standard of exactness. In late March 1897 McTaggart visited Russell for a few days (Papers 2: xxxvi). It goes without saying that the two men discussed problems of Hegel’s Logic. It is also likely that at this meeting McTaggart directed Russell’s attention to Lotze. (In fact, Russell already knew Lotze well—he had discussed Lotze’s Metaphysik at length in The Foundations of Geometry.)

    It is important that the philosophers who demonstrably influenced the young Russell through reading, F. H. Bradley and Bernard Bosanquet, were called “neo-Hegelians” only by their opponents. They “had some knowledge of Hegel, and a good deal more of Kant. The fact of their having this knowledge was used by their opponents ... to discredit them in the eyes of a public always contemptuous of foreigners.”[2] The “neo-Hegelians” themselves repudiated the application. In fact, Bradley and Bosanquet were more under Lotze’s sway. This should be no surprise since in 1880 their teacher T.H. Green started a project to translate Lotze’s Logik (1874) and Metaphysik (1879) into English. After Green’s untimely death two years later, the project was continued by a team under the guidance of Bosanquet. Besides Green and Bosanquet, A.C. Bradley (brother of F.H. Bradley), R.L. Nettleship and J. Cook Wilson contributed to translating and editing Lotze’s works. The two titles appeared in English in 1884. At the same time, in Cambridge another tutor of Russell’s, James Ward, who had studied with Lotze in Göttingen in 1869–70 and was generally considered Lotzean, and Henry Sidgwick were instrumental in preparing the translation of Lotze’s three volumes of Mikrokosmus. The translation was started by Elisabeth Hamilton, daughter of Sir William Hamilton, and after her death was continued by E.E. Constance Jones. This translation appeared in 1885.

    This story suggests that the ideas Russell adopted from Bradley and Bosanquet were often Lotze’s ideas. It is supported by the fact that for scholars well versed in German philosophy of the nineteenth century, the so-called British neo-Hegelianism was always a puzzle. The point is that after 1840 no German philosopher of repute was a Hegelian. (A possible exception was Kuno Fischer, who worked in history of philosophy.) Already in the 1830s and 1840s, a time of rapid development of the sciences in Germany, Hegel’s “natural philosophy” became hopelessly irrelevant. Rudolph Hermann Lotze (1817–1881) was a typical product of this new orientation. He received his phd and habilitation (a second dissertation) both in philosophy and in medicine. He was clearly not Hegelian and also not a Kantian. At the same time, however, Lotze had no animus towards the German Idealists: he openly adopted ideas of Kant, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel. But Lotze successfully remixed them in order to make them the subject of exact discussion. (Suffice it to say that he decisively influenced the champion of exactness, Gottlob Frege, who had his own conspectus of Lotze’s Logik: “17 Key Sentences on Logic.”) In the wake of this programme, Lotze introduced a radical form of anti-psychologism in logic, the objective content of perception and judgment, the context principle in philosophy of language, the concept of value in logic, etc., developing in this way a method of piecemeal progress in philosophy clearly formulated years later by Russell. In contrast, the philosophy of the German Idealists was strictly systematic. Correspondingly, Lotze instructed his readers to regard his philosophy as “an open market, where the reader may simply pass by the goods he does not want” (Logic, p. 4). This made Lotze one of the most “pillaged” philosophers.[3]

    The prominent role Lotze played in Russell’s thinking is evident in the fact that he was extensively discussed in The Foundations of Geometry (1897), The Philosophy of Leibniz (1900), and The Principles of Mathematics (1903). In Geometry, in particular, Russell found Lotze’s exploration of space and time “excellent in many respects” (§85). It is true that Russell also severely criticized Lotze’s views. In many cases, however, this happened because Russell failed to follow Lotze’s “dialectic” (not to be confused with Hegel’s dialectic) which suggested two alternative perspectives, both of them well grounded. Be this as it may, while Russell disparaged some of Lotze’s ideas, at the same time he “pillaged” other ones. Here are three examples:

    (1) Lotze suggested as fundamental the order between all objects and terms which is the “universal inner connection of all reality” (Metaphysik, §iii). Central to his philosophy is the spatial and temporal order. Especially important in Lotze’s theory of order is the concept of relation. His ontological motto was: “to exist” means “to be related” (Microcosmus, p. 587). (2) Russell adopted Lotze’s idea that thinking is only possible when there are things (individuals) that are related. Russell followed this view till the end of his days, maintaining that “there are ‘things’ which have properties and have, also, relations to other ‘things’” (MPD, p. 158) Counting and measuring—actually, the whole of mathematics—are impossible without a reliable ontology of individuals. (3) Another idea Russell adopted from Lotze was atomism in philosophy of matter.

    To put it in more detail, in May 1897 Russell reread Lotze’s Metaphysik (after his work on geometry). The first product of this reading was his paper “Why Do We Regard Time, But Not Space, As Necessarily a Plenum?”. In it he adopted the logical discussion of metaphysical problems. There are two concepts of space and time: (1) as consisting of relations; (2) as adjectives of the Absolute. Philosophers become monists or pluralists depending on which conception they adopt. This change in Russell’s philosophy went together with the belief, also supported by Lotze, that mathematics is reducible to logic.

    The immediate result of the impact of Lotze on Russell after he attended McTaggart’s lectures was the manuscript “An Analysis of Mathematical Reas­oning”, which he started writing on 1 April 1898. In it Russell maintained for the first time that whatever can be a logical subject is a term, an idea central to the Principles (§47). The idea was underpinned by Lotze’s conception that judgments have objective content—they relate things (individuals) that are clearly identifiable. But it was also supported by Russell’s 1897 conception that the correct understanding of space and time requires clearly identifiable individuals. Finally, late in April 1898 Russell read Dedekind’s Nature and Meaning of Numbers (1893), after which he ceased to believe that mathematics investigates quantities: it explores extensive magnitudes.

    This story challenges the conventional understanding of Russell’s turn from 1898 towards pluralism. The received view, supported by Russell himself, is that the turn happened “towards the end of 1898.… Moore led the way, but I followed closely in his footsteps” (MPD, p. 54). The detailed analysis shows, however, that Moore’s writings cannot be the source of the changes in Russell’s philosophy at the fin de siècle. Russell was so enthusiastic with Moore’s paper “The Nature of Judgment” only because he saw in it his own theoretical changes of April 1898 but expressed most clearly.



works cited


Collingwood, R. G. An Autobio­graphy. Oxford: Oxford U. P., 1939.

Dedekind, Richard. Was sind und was sollen die Zahlen? [The Nature and Meaning of Numbers]. 2nd ed. Braunschweig: Vie­weg, 1893.

Frege, G. “17 Key Sentences on Logic” (1906 or earlier). In PosthumousWritings. Ed. H. Hermes, F. Kambartel and F. Kaulbach. Trans., Oxford: Blackwell, 1979.

Hegel, G.W.H. Greater Logic.

Lotze, Hermann. Logik: drei Bücher vom Den­ken, vom Untersuchen und vom Erkennen. Leipzig: Herzel, 1874. (Russell’s library: 1880 ed.; few marginalia) Trans. as Logic: in Three Books of Thought, of Investigation and of Know­ledge (1884).

—. Metaphysik: drei Bücher der Ontologie, Kosmologie und Psychologie. 2nd ed., Leipzig: Herzel, 1884 (1st ed., 1879). (Russell’s library: 100+ marginalia.) Trans. as Metaphysic: in Three Books, Ontology, Cosmology, and Psychology (1884). (Russell’s library: 1887 ed.)

—. Mikrokosmus: Ideen zur Naturgeschichte und Geschichte der Menschheit: Versuch einer Anthropologie. 3 vols. Leipzig: Herzel, 1856–64. Trans. as Microcosmus: an Essay concerning Man and His Relation to the World (1885).

Moore, G.E. “The Nature of Judgment”. Mind n.s. 8 (1899): 176–93.

Passmore, John A. A Hundred Years of Philosophy. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1966.

Russell, Bertrand. EFG.

—. “Why Do We Regard Time, But Not Space, as Necessarily a Plenum?” (1898); 11 in Papers 2.

—. “An Analysis of Mathematical Reasoning” (1898); 18 in Papers 2.

—. PL.

—. PoM.

—. MPD.

lectures on lotze[4]


MacTaggart. Lent Term 1898.


ogic Book. II.

Lecture IV. Disparate sensations: not only in different senses, but red and blue also disparate. Not so of musical notes, according to Lotze: could imagine intermediate notes if had heard two. Cases where comparative terms accurate only: hotter and bigger e.g. Antinomies of motion: Zeno’s arrow destroys rest as well as motion. Therefore leads to scepticism. Argument denies community between moments, which is essential to rest. Fallacy is in regarding time as discrete.

In Mathematics, how know of all triangles what proved of one? Not owing to nature of space but because can set aside all irrelevant properties. Lotze here sets aside problem, which is: Why have geometrical propositions this peculiarity? Why is not life of German Emperor essential? We are à priori certain that it isn’t, which is peculiar to Mathematics. [McT. has no solution to offer].

Probability, says Lotze, subjective: has to do with our rational expectation. No event improbable after it has happened. Therefore don’t need higher cause for what was formerly unlikely, if it happens, than for anything else. This not valuable remark. If double 6’s happen often, dice may have been loaded for that purpose, which is different cause, if not higher.

Book III. Scepticism: presupposes truth: can’t say you aren’t getting truth, unless there is truth you aren’t getting. Besides scepticism asserts propositions. Can’t say properly we can know nothing, for this is knowledge. But suppose we say all the same that there is truth, but we can’t get it. Why should sceptic believe there is truth? Therefore this modified scepticism also unsound.—Even if what we know are phenomena, shouldn’t say we only know phenomena, for this suggests noumena better.

What mean by saying a thing real? Lotze objects to Setzung positingas implying action. Takes Wirklichkeit reality〉. Three stages, Being, Becoming and Validity. These three irreducible to each other. Events real, though can’t say they are. Validity: reality which belongs to Propositions. Propositions about triangles valid though there are none: therefore proposition valid independent of Being.—Concept can’t be valid, only judgment.—In empirical cases this obvious: not in Philosophy. Nevertheless McT. admits it in Philosophy too: mistake in Kantian categories.

Can’t have anything absolutely passive: effects always partly due to nature of effected.

Law of “like cause like effect” can’t be proved by experience, nor even shown to be probable: for apart from law, future needn’t resemble past.

Relation between two ideas is a third idea therefore can’t be explained away.—Talk of relations between things or between things and ideas. Correct to speak of relation between ideas, not between things. Whatever holds here is in each. If a relation exists, something different from if relation didn’t exist. In case of ideas, difference is difference of mind, not of ideas. Therefore relation may be between ideas. But in case of things, relation can’t hang in air: only thing to be changed is the things related. Relation between things means correlated changes. Of course ideas are affected by relation, but relation is not merely in this affection.—As regards things, we have change in A, and change in B. Seem to have made things independent, and lost relation. This developed in Metaphysics by unity of things, M.—Universals valid, not existent. But Lotze doesn’t mean ultimate reality isparticular things as such: individuals exist only by virtue of universals.—Processes like classification purely subjective, but may bring out objective truth. McT. thinks this question of detail in each case, whether such processes have happened.—Ultimate propositions must be self-evident but not identical or analytic. Test not contradiction but absurdity of negative. McT. thinks ultimate truths not necessarily self-evident, but got by induction.


Lecture V. Metaphysic. Distinction between Metaphysics and Logic that Metaphysics has for object Reality as opposed to Possibility. For Lotze, follows that Metaphysics deals with change, which Logic doesn’t.All Reality interconnected: can’t be proved but involved in

all proof. Explanation assumes things are connected, by cause and effect. Causation can’t be proved by experience. Things wouldn’t require explanation unless universe interconnected. Apart from this, things wouldn’t seem reasonable or unreasonable, therefore no explanation sought for. Explanation due to interconnection, as well as presupposing it.—Can’t base metaphysics on Psychology because Psychology involves Metaphysics. Final evidence in any case immediate evidence of Propositions: also talk in Psychology of Reality, causation etc., which involve Metaphysics if need explanation: if don’t need explanation, no Metaphysics required, psychological or other.—Metaphysics says Lotze, against Hegel, can only supply general laws, not tell where or how realized.—Lotze emphasizes importance of idea of Plan: higher than Law. Plan means unity capable per se of producing difference. Lotze doubtful if we can get it.—Can’t suppose only one ultimate Law: moreover these must have data given to them. Laws and matter not in unity: each exists independently. Idea of plan differs: all laws fused in a system by plan, and moreover data not indifferent to plan. In what sense fused into a whole? Not mere unity: difference too. Lotze says unity aesthetic. This only analogy, but important. In picture, no contradiction in things being different, and yet there is a unity. This what Lotze means. No logical reason why things not different, but harmony would be spoilt if it were. Lotze doesn’t think this ideal can be proved, unless on religious grounds.—Hegel shouldn’t have deduced facts he didn’t know from dialectic—Didn’t, says McT.—Dialectic doesn’t give Temporal succession.—Hegel didn’t say there was sequence corresponding to dialectic, says McT.

Start from common sense. Three books: Ontology, Cosmology, Rational Psychology. First book: What is Being of things? Not analyze difference between Reality and Non-Reality, because unanalyzable.—Being of things: four classes, things, qualities, occurrences and relations. Consider things as opposed to other three here. Common sense says: From sensations get conclusion there are things behind them. Therefore sensation evidence for things. But common sense regards things as permanent. Common sense regards things as persisting in relations in which theywould be perceived if we were there. What mean by saying things exist? is a question with a meaning.—Some say things are so because they have quality of Pure Being. Lotze’s criticism same as Hegel’s, that this is Nothing.—Others say things are things owing to Setzung. Lotze says mere positing is nothing: must

know what and where you are positing. May posit a quality or even a contradiction in terms.—Lotze says, against Herbart, Being not necessarily perman­ent. Argument later on, where says some Being not eternal. Can’t put Being in things not in relation but afterwards entering into relations. If a thing once isolated, must remain so.—What we mean by a thing being is that it is in relations with other things. What qualities must things have in order to be in relations.—May mean common quality or principle of individuation.—Things change: this fact ultimate.—Two senses of identity: material identity and identity of content. Have to find things which have first sort of identity. Keep Identität and lose Gleichheit equality. Therefore a thing can’t be a simple quality: this must change wholly or not at all. No meaning in blueness turning into redness or sweetness. (Hegel remarks Identität without Gleichheit begins with quantity.) Both Lotze and Hegel say conscious spirit only thing which can change without losing identity.—Can’t regard Reals as changeless, and grouping alone to change, as Herbart did. For we at any rate change when we perceive a change, and we are reals. [?] Changes therefore may be in reals. But predicates are unchangeable: this postulate, and involved in our knowledge of change.

Relations between things: is essence in composition or behaviour? Must be latter, since in simple things can’t be former. But essence per se can’t give thing as opposed to idea of it: have essence in our minds. Some difference therefore between essence in things and in us. What is it? Can’t have indeterminate matter with essence superposed, for couldn’t get any particular essence. Cause can’t act on effect without effected thing’s cooperation, which involves effected thing having a nature.—If matter and qualities have always necessarily coexisted, matter can’t explain essence, since mere abstraction impossible without essence.—Reality not a stuff to fill out images with, but just whole nature of things as they are. Can’t say essence plus abstract quality Reality makes thing. Things are real when behave as such, says Lotze. What mean? (1) Remain identical with itself. (2) Centre of influence. (3) Must change with some definite actions and reactions. (3) suggests thing is a law. Can’t find subject, but only these marks. Law not necessarily general law. Thus thing only law of actions and reactions.


Lecture VI. Ended with thing may be a law. Common sense says: conforms to law. But know nothing else, therefore thing not left over. If

it were left, would have no reason to obey the law. May call thing realized law, though both words bad.—A law must allow for change. There are unchanging ideas, but also changing things. Substance mode of behaviour of things. Combination of change and regularity is what induces us to look for things. Lotze thinks entirely irregular change unknowable. Partial regularity is what makes us look for things to explain change.—Law leads us to becoming: ultimate fact. Can’t be got out of Being and Not-Being. Lotze means Becoming in Time is ultimate idea. Hegel’s Becoming not necessarily in time says McT. [?] Can’t have Law without Becoming, but can’t have law if you have mere Becoming, for wouldn’t have connection between a and b.

Thing is conceived as having some permanence: Law persists.

Changes predicated by Law are hypothetical: conditions may not be realized. Laws give potentialities. What makes thing melt when conditions occur? Not logical necessity, for why should thing bother about Logic? Ultimate nature of things is only answer: thing is law.—But how about cases where thing influenced by outside things? Internal action in A must set up ditto in B. Relation can’t be between things, but must be quality of something. How possible change in A produce one in B? Not more mysterious than producing change in itself, but seems so: take internal action as ultimate. How can a thing have states at all? How thing same still? Put off this question. Degrees of Being possible, says Lotze: measured by power of thing: influences others, not itself influenced much: Spinozistic. Not like Degrees of Reality in Bradley.—All transeunt action requires plurality of causes: A, the external cause, and B, the thing effected, whose nature is relevant: therefore two at least. Lotze doesn’t use cause and effect as parallel terms: Cause is thing, effect is change in thing effected. A and B causes, α state of A which brings about β, the effect in B. Vide §52, Metaphysik. Cause can be counteracted, ground can’t. [?]—Something must happen to causes to make them produce effect. Herbart thinks coexistence in space. Lotze says, no reason to suppose causes do touch one another, and no reason why if they did they should cooperate more than distant things.—What mean by an influence passing from A to B? How does it exist while passing? Only a thing can pass. But relations between | things in this case causality, and thus problem breaks out again. Identity of cause and effect, as Lotze points out, extraordinary confusion. Is causation transference of state from A to B? No, for (1) cause and effect not same state. (2) Can’t transfer state, for can’t exist

during transference. (3) Why should state go to B? Causal connexion, ex hypothesi, begins when state gets to B, therefore why get there? Need new cause, and so ad infinitum.—Shall we get rid of transeunt action altogether? Criticism of Leibnitz: Absolute predetermination necessary, or states of A and B may cease to correspond. What difference whether predetermined world exists or only imagined by God? None unless parts of world all conscious. (This no difference to Leibnitz, since admitted consciousness everywhere).—Determinism involved morally repugnant says Lotze, but only asserts it.—How is it monads develope at right rates? a, α in A, b, β in B: why α and β simultaneous? May be more intermediate stages in one case than in the other. (Leibnitz would deny this: same number of stages between a, α and b, β). Nothing in Leibnitz, says Lotze, to necessitate laws. Those without laws, says Lotze, prohibited by God’s wisdom, those with, except actual one, by his goodness. (But this unfair to Leibnitz).—Transeunt action or determinism thus remain alternatives.

Lecture VII. Lotze’s solution of difference of causality. Inexplicability of immanent causality less objectionable than that of transeunt ditto. That change in x should produce another change in x is fact in which reason can rest. All transeunt action can become immanent by regarding everything as one thing, M. M = ϕ(ABR) : A, B any two things, R rest of reality. Equality here means identity. All changes are in M, and therefore all causality immanent. M preserves its own nature when affected, but reacts only against itself. Substantial unity essence of Lotze’s M, and deduced by him from interaction. M ought to determine Lotze’s whole view of Absolute, but doesn’t quite. M both one and many of course. Reality, says Lotze, larger than thought: can’t understand Becoming, how then Absolute? (McT. makes obvious retorts). (McT. says Lotze should have said formal thought: mustn’t say “either—or” too much).—Since only one substance, all relations fall within it, and are relations of adjectives.—On this theory of causality, says Lotze, we can save Free Will: for an unmotived change could start fresh series in M: uncaused cause can have effects [Blasted rot!].—Two sorts of relations: between, which only affect ideas; in, which affect things. (Latter can only be causal. Similarity, e.g., doesn’t seem to affect things). Does likeness only exist in us, not in things? Lotze would say: In so far as relation affects things, would be found as independent quality in each. Doesn’t say this explicitly, but should.—Why

does M change at all? Why was first change what it was? Lotze says these questions ultimate and unanswerable. Answers, if known, might satisfy mind though not Logic.—No possibilities to which M must submit. (Proper reasons given). Lotze admits Hegel saw this, but several post-Hegelians did not. Schelling’s later works e.g. thought pure thought could only lay down possibilities: pure thought tells Reality it may be A, B or C, but not D: Reality then chooses A.—Lotze points out that this is ROT.—If say: M = ϕ(ABR), Idealism: if say ϕ(ABR) = M, Realism, says Lotze. Difference depends on which we emphasize. Lotze thinks neither form best: can’t do without either unity or differentiation to start with: neither comes out of other.

Differential form, says Lotze, better for Science. (McT. objects). But Realism, says Lotze, doesn’t enough emphasize aesthetic unity among ultimate laws.—Been talking of M having states. What mean by this? Lotze takes it with a jump. Says Self only thing we conceive to remain a unity while changing. Thing must be more than thing: can only be distinct from states, if it distinguishes itself from its states. Lotze gives no proof and can’t: says what is true, that we do conceive of ourselves as things, but can’t show we can conceive nothing else so. To be thing, must be object for Self. Mere beginning of feeling is therefore enough. [Why?] Reality needn’t all be rational, but must all be sentient, says Lotze. [Rot! Only by assuming rationality has he got sentience]. [His ground is that sentience necessary to make things intelligible]. A finite thing not conscious of itself, says Lotze, can’t be distinguished from M, which is its ground: only self-consciousness makes things distinct.—Lotze not monadist: merges everything in M. Nevertheless approaches Leibnitz in finding conscious selves everywhere. Lotze says later M must be person, for otherwise couldn’t have states. (This too sudden, says McT. very justly. But idea is new that mere fact of coexistence of change and unity in one being involves its spiritual nature as a Self.)—Here Ontology ends. Cosmology deals with matter, beginning with space. Thinks space purely subjective. Space sui generis, not thing, nor property, nor relation, nor arrangement. Lotze doesn’t even subsume space under idea of form of intuition. Parts of space not instances of genus space, because all spaces interconnected.


Lecture VIII. Lotze’s Theory of Space: fundamentally like Kant’s: space only way of perceiving things. Lotze objects to Kant that you

don’t get rid of all differences by saying space phenomenal. If things appear in space, must have something which causes them so to appear: unlike Kant, Lotze says must be corresponding properties of things in themselves. Lotze’s doctrine improvement on Kant: avoids Kant’s duality. Form must have some connection with matter. Why put squareness into some things, roundness into others, if neither has any relation to things themselves? Must be something in sensations that has to do with space. Space-relations our phenomenal way of viewing certain non-spatial qualities of things in themselves.—Antinomies: (1) World infinite in space: Kant says infinitely extensible, not extended. Lotze says can’t be aware of empty space, therefore if extensible, things must be capable of giving infinite number of sensations, therefore difficulty remains, for matter of experience somehow referred to things in themselves. Kant would have done better, says Lotze, to suppose finite amount of matter, with phenomenal empty space beyond. (2) Infinitive divisibility: here too don’t get out of difficulty by saying space phenomenal, for wherever we do divide space, there must be some content, therefore infinite divisibility, even if space phenomenal, implies infinitely divided things in themselves.—Lotze’s arguments for supposing space subjective: (1) can’t suppose hole in space, but if real, we could imagine a hole [Why?]. If space only made by unbroken movement of our impressions, gap becomes impossible. [?]. (This argument seems weak in second part.) [What does a gap mean, except empty space?] Space must be constituted by relations between empty points, if real, since objects move in space, and therefore do not constitute points of empty space. Can’t imagine two different kinds of relations between empty points: all such relations must be exactly alike. [Why?] But this won’t do. Can’t argue space must be outside ourselves because we perceive it: same would prove toothache exists outside us. For both, however, must be external causes, only not like effects.—If space somehow real, say a piece of matter π was in point p. What mean? Matter postulates π being at p makes no difference to either. But what then is relation between π and p? Change of relation must change related terms. Again: p has no influence on π’s nature. But if κ approaches π, π will be more strongly attracted. How account for this? κ and its place q just what they were. Where is the change which results in increased attraction? No place for it.

Can we deduce space? Lotze says no, but can show must be some form of space. Says Hegel knew this:   didn’t deduce space as it is, but

showed it filled necessary form of space, which more abstract. Are there non-Euclidean spaces? etc.

Time. Misleading to regard time as having one dimension as opposed to three. All parts of a line equally real, but past and future, if real, differently so from present. Time not parallel with space. Gives time more validity: must, since Becoming, to Lotze, ultimate fact. Can’t conceive time as separate from events. Not empty time which causes things to change. But if time and events change independently, might take opposite orders. No reason why correlated.—Lotze not frightened of endlessness of time: not disputed by Kant, who only shows if so we can’t sum it. Why, says Lotze, should we be able to sum it? Why not have a real infinity, if necessary? He says we can certainly have valid infinite, as in Trigonometry. (But doesn’t follow can have real infinite). (I agree don’t see why real infinite shouldn’t exist. Hegel says destroys connection of our thoughts, for can’t determine anything, owing to endless regress. This only means rejection of real infinite as interfering with complete determinism). Did Lotze regard God as coeternal with finite world and as in time? McT. thinks not.—Perceptions of space not in space, but perceptions of time are in time. Therefore even if time effect of perceptions, time is still time. (Kant ought to have seen importance of this difference: time form of all perceptions) [No!] (May be involved in space something more fundamental than time, though space itself less fundamental than time.) (This view not Lotze’s.)—Mere lapse of time can’t turn ground into consequent. How then explain their succession? Ultimate fact. Time as whole merely subjective: almost a mistake. Could we get time out of anything timeless? Mere systematic relations couldn’t give present, past and future. These are unique. World might, however, have timeless relations appearing to us temporal, but these real timeless relations would have to contain something corresponding to present past and future. Lotze doesn’t, however, believe world is like this: thinks it in time, but puts argument as against Kant. If things have no relation to time, why appear in definite series? (Same argument as in space). Lotze’s final view common sense view: Time as a whole abstraction, but lapse of events real and can’t be transformed into anything else.—Present for Lotze, mere point of time. Lotze says we shrink from this

for moral and religious reasons. G.A., at any rate, the only thing Lotze could regard as timeless.


Lecture IX. Motion. What reality behind motion? Something in time but not in space. Approach should indicate closer relation between two things: must be change in relation of consciousnesses. (Must mean some particular sort of relation). Are changes necessarily continuous? Yes says Lotze, but objects to Kant’s view that can change continuously from something to nothing. Can’t partake of reality in varying degrees.—Cause and effect must be simultaneous, otherwise would be interval of empty time between, and effect need never happen. Effect must itself contain stages, each simultaneous with its cause.—(Hegel points out change must be discrete as well as continuous: not incompatible with Lotze, but positive to him). (At some instant a man passes suddenly from alive to not alive, which is discrete: qualitative changes must always be in some way discrete).—Persistence of motion: untenable that motion diminishes by time, since involves persistence of part not annihilated. More logical to suppose motion annihilated at instant of creation—Proof of first law: If travel under force any distance, force in question ceases as soon as any motion has happened. Therefore unless assume motion to continue after force stopped, would never get any motion (§163) [Rot!]. Absolute motion: §154 seq. Accepts absolute motion.—What noumenally corresponds to persistence of motion? Seems to argue some self-perpetuating change in Reality. (Don’t see necessity: motion purely abstraction, don’t say any motion will go on for ever.) [Rot!]

Matter. Is it homogenous throughout or not? Lotze doesn’t decide: no reason to assume complete homogeneity, he says.—Mustn’t conceive position depends on attraction and repulsion: position depends on its nature, attractions etc. are its efforts at self-conservation. (Conservation bad word, since suggests change not real). (Word probably inconsistent remnant of Herbart.) All motion must be effect of action at a distance. [Assumes there are many things].

Atoms. Atomic view convenient for stinks says Lotze. Presumption in its favour because can cut things up small.—If atoms have finite size, forces must pass through them instantaneously and lose nothing by transmission. Hence doesn’t believe in extended atom. Atom like

Herbart’s not extended, and qualitatively different from each other. This atom has for Herbart the awkwardness of not explaining contact action or any other action. (Pity Lotze doesn’t make atoms selves.)—Relations of multiplicity to unity: not relation of incompatibility. Unity systematic, or aesthetic. Also calls it dialectic unity, meaning the kind of unity proved by dialectic to be true of the world. Says Hegel failed from applying to details of fact principles which can only give a general direction to our thought.—Nothing to prevent one thing from ap­pearing as several atoms in different parts of space.—Unextended atom may be divisible, though not spatially.

Lecture X. No à priori reason why force diminish with distance. But doesn’t agree with Herbart: if admit action at distance, force should diminish as more nearly satisfied. Lotze says this unjustifiable analogy from some neutral facts.—Continuity of change necessary to account for time. All action reciprocal however, therefore force can’t take time to act. Time comes from fact that cause and effect each take some time, though they are simultaneous: they are coexisting series.—Can number of elements be increased or diminished? (Should have waited till elements are treated as souls). Number of elements may vary according as idea to be realized wants more or less of them. (This point as Lotze puts it not specially applicable to matter.—From this point of view, Lotze more of a monist than Hegel. Hegel less definite as to differences than Lotze is in this passage. Never said elements not as ultimate as whole. According to Lotze, Smith is not an end in himself. I believe his arrangement is responsible for result: shouldn’t have treated element of matter as same as element of spirit.) No à priori reason to suppose processes of nature convertible. World might have a purpose.—No meaning in saying psychological and physical energy equal or unequal. | —Can never reduce qualitative to quantitative differences, though may find causal connections between them.—Principle of nature’s parsimony meaningless.—Value of Science: (a) Rubbish of Hegel: took Universe as too small a thing. In spite of Copernicus, thought Absolute developed itself only on the shores of the Mediterranean. (This only true of application of theory to practice, not of theory itself). (Hegel assumed no religion lower than fetishism, none higher than Prussian Evangelicalism). (b) Though

ideas of physical science inconsistent, they work. Lotze thinks it not edifying to emphasize inconsistency. (c) Mechanics versus activity. All activity regulated by mechanical laws: forces at most can only be directed by activity. All action mechanical, but none purely mechanical. Nothing passive recipient of influences: its nature always manifested in its deeds. [What does a thing’s nature mean?]—Life: If anything special, not vital force but vital impulse. Not force in mechanical sense. Life always dependent on inorganic things, and mechanism of body indistinguishable from that of inorganic matter. Can’t rest distinction on view that in organism whole before part: whole brought together in time from the parts. (Might help with eternal existence, where whole has always existed).—Can suppose individual things have tendency not only to self-preservation, but to self-improvement [McT. approves. Rot!].—Creation and preservation same thing, says Lotze.—Unconscious may pursue an end, but then no reason to call it a soul.

Lecture XI. Psychology. Lotze believes in simplicity of soul, but not on account of Freedom. Only à priori to suppose bodies haven’t freedom: therefore freedom doesn’t prove a thing psychological. Can’t prove immortality from inconvertibility of psychological and physical. This only proves the ultimate elements of which we are composed as having a psychological aspect. Lotze’s objection to our being so composed is derived from unity of consciousness: this proves a unity of substance. Shouldn’t set out from existence of sensations, but from a subject which has sensations. Any comparison of ideas presupposes absolute unity of subject which compares. Hence Lotze derives substantiality of soul. (This seems to me a valid ground.) Lotze is not denying soul may be effect, but if it is, it is heterogeneous from cause. Unity is like that of a particular, in virtue of which, when two forces act on a particular, they coalesce into one. (I should say can’t say they really do coalesce in this case: resultant not combination of forces). Can’t have sensation without subject, (nor yet thoughts, though Green attempted these. If God’s thoughts, then not ours). [McT. regards this as reductio ad absurdum: doesn’t see denial of Self involved, and therefore all thoughts simply God’s]—Lotze’s argument not from inspection, but from analysis. To see soul at all proves that soul is simple: Lotze does not argue that it is simple because it appears simple. Lotze

thinks an indivisible unity, if it is God, can be divided.

Lotze disbelieves in immortality: says, to begin with, pre-existence strangely improbable, as also immortality of animals. Says M produces new souls as required. (How can M require sometimes more, sometimes less? Could substantival diversity be created?) If M used to do without us, can do without us again. Therefore no immortality. (Can’t metaphysically make a difference between past and future in this respect). Lotze says immortality not question for metaphysics. (Lotze illustrates that Kant wrong in thinking G.A. and immortality stand and fall together: on the contrary, they are opposed to each other. If we believe in G.A., impossible to prove by pure thought that we are immortal, since G.A. supplies the necessary permanence of the universe).—No bond required between body and soul: nothing but interaction. Heterogeneous things can interact. Personality lies in soul alone, not in body and soul together. Soul not ubiquitous in body. No difficulty in supposing soul to have position in space. But soul may occupy several discrete points, and may travel about the brain.—Secondary qualities, we know, are not in the objects.—Chemistry of ideas should be distrusted. No reason to suppose there is such a thing.

Lecture XII. Unconscious ideas self-contradictory: we mean, states of the soul arising from ideas, and capable of again producing ideas. (Questionable whether “unconscious state of the soul” is any better. If soul indivisible unity, as Lotze says, what mean by an unconscious state which coexists with conscious ideas?)—Association of ideas: None by similarity: only contiguity, in time or space.—Psychological mechanism just as dangerous as chemistry of ideas. Theory is: all ideas aroused by reaction against outside stimulus. But reactions are qualitatively dissimilar, which goes beyond mechanism.—Universal conception can’t arise by cancelling peculiarities of particulars: particular images would have to disappear if this were so, and we should not see relation of universal to particular.—How get notion of space? Assume for simplicity ordinary view of space as something outside us. Soul itself non-spatial: how then get ideas representing spatial extension? Local signs (Psychology). [McT. characterizes this as ordinary view in Psychology now-a-days.]—Mind and Brain: needn’t assume special vital force.—Why not say last atom of nerve actually presses on soul? Can’t touch, but no more do two atoms. Inner state in one affects ditto in other, in both cases.No reason   to suppose soul ubiquitous in

body on ground of immediate consciousness, since have ditto of other objects.—Lotze thinks not all mental phenomena connected with brain by correlation.—Memory can’t be stored in brain, says Lotze. Argues that every atom would have to have many impressions, since same thing may appear in many points of retina.—What happens to soul when unconscious? Doesn’t exist, says Lotze. Is born again when you’re called in the morning.—Sums up Metaphysics by saying ground of what is should be sought in what should be: Metaphysics should be based on Ethics. (McT. objects this should be result, not postulate, as with Lotze. Lotze’s position absolutely unjustifiable.)—Find out Lotze’s views on religion from Mier. Bk. IX.

Microcosmos. The Real is Thought, i.e. content of thought. (This conclusion has been got in previous books). Can’t be mere thought, because active. All contents are states of an infinite being: minds are the only reality. How about tables and chairs? Leibnitz and Fichte. May argue no minds but people and animals: table merely coherent dream of all minds: Fichte. Or may suppose table has reality, but this reality is one or more minds. Lotze takes Leibnitz’s view. We say: All that is real is mind: we take all we commonly suppose real, and call it mental.—Nothing not self-conscious can be external to G.A. (G.A. is still M.) [Why the limitation?] Conscious being unity for himself, and therefore has some being not merely God’s. Distinguish between Realität and Wirklichkeit. Realität applies only to things as opposed to qualities and truths. Realität has degrees: in proportion as thing detaches itself from G.A. and is more self-conscious, it has more Realität. (Means well, says McT.: means, a thing can be a thorough unity for itself, and yet be part of another unity. More real, more intimately connected with other things. Shouldn’t have talked of “detaching itself from infinite”.) Soul ultimate: can’t be explained in other terms. Fact that soul becomes contradictory in Sciences is due to their defects, not its.—Shouldn’t say Soul real in virtue of self-existence: Reality and self-existence identical.

Lecture XIII. Religious ideas. Can’t be certain of religious truths as of laws of thought: latter give hypotheticals, religion makes assertions of matters of fact. Is religious truth like sense-perception? No! Mere sensations not knowledge; when knowledge, no longer certain. Arguments for G.A. Reserve ontological. Cosmological: may prove real being, not necessary one: necessary would imply dependence

on something else. Can only infer: unnecessitated: this doesn’t amount to G.A. Physico-theological: Design: Can at best only prove a probability. Moreover, does the world show signs of design? A great deal of it doesn’t. Might suppose there is a powerful purpose struggling against opposition. This would give a G. not A., who would be no use.—Moreover can’t be sure the purposes we see served in nature as good. Might easily get as much harmony as we have owing to purely mechanical laws.

Ontological: Two forms: one wholly worthless, the other only logically. Scholastic form worthless: proved G.A. because existence one of G.A.’s predicates. Cruder but better form that of Anselm: that which exists both in reality and thought greater than one who only exists in thought. But G.A. greatest of Beings, therefore exists. Lotze admits Kant valid logically, because needn’t imagine G.A. But says argument suggests following: (Vol. ii p. 670). Immediate certainty that greatest in thought must be real, because intolerable to suppose our ideals non-existent. (Is this mere assertion, or argument? No right to suppose world not intolerable. Lotze might of course say, immediate certainty, and won’t argue about it.)

The morally intolerable cannot be, says Lotze. This is principle of his religion. Follows that G.A. must be a Person [“The Blessed Truth” of M. Arnold.[5]] The Good must exist as a Person, because Lotze’s soul longs for this belief. (This is all Lotze’s ground for thinking G.A. a Person).—Difficulty concerning personality of G.A.: come from his being all reality: (1) No Ego without a soul. Says Ego must have a nature independent of non-Ego, for otherwise couldn’t tell them apart. Therefore possible to have Ego-nature alone. (But we haven’t got to put together Universe out of separate bits: bits together to start with. Ego and non-Ego in relation to begin with: no meaning apart from one another, though meanings not wholly relations to each other.) (2) No good pressing reflection: needn’t have things reflected on non-Ego. (This argument right. Lotze wouldn’t think necessarily that G.A. can think, but he must feel pleasure and pain.) (3) G.A. could be personal by apprehending himself in opposition to his states and as having states. (This valid, if changing states possible without anything external.) (4) If reason in world, and G.A. not person, reason

unconscious. (Might retort, if can’t strip off consciousness from reason, can’t strip off finitude from consciousness either. Reason in finite beings, though no one of them). (5) Want a God who can suffer (i.e. feel pleasure and pain probably, not necessarily pain). (We know of no change apart from outside causes.) [But you accepted Lotze’s account of M’s function in causality, which makes gross inconsistency].—G.A. more personal than we are. We have ragged edges; Person is self- explaining unity. (McT. says we are less and less self-explaining unities as we get higher. Lotze has confused self-contained with self-centred. Former only Universe. Latter person. Pre-Kantians—Leibnitz and Spinoza—thought a thing real in proportion as isolated. This was the root of their difficulty.

Lecture XIV. Every self-conscious mind for Lotze indivisible unity: but all are parts of G.A. who is also self-conscious. (Confuses self-centred and self-contained. Can M on Lotze’s plan be self-conscious?) M must be as real as its difference. (But, can M be what we might call a punctual unity?) Comparison presupposes indivisible unity of comparer. (Can one indivisible unity be inside another? G.A. has a mind, and so have I. Therefore my mind is G.A.’s. That can’t be all his mind. Therefore I am part of G.A., who is therefore not indivisible.) So truth and goodness depend on God’s will, or are they conditions he conforms to? Truth can’t be prior to G.A. in any sense. Can’t say G.A. can’t will a contradiction in terms, if contradiction supposed independent of G.A. For truth not antecedent to all Reality, i.e. to M. Truths and realities only conditioned by wider realities, therefore no truth which conditions all reality. Equally absurd to say truth is true because G.A. wills it. His existence and volition implies that there is already truth: can’t have reality without truth. Can’t say truth follows logically from God’s nature, for logical sequence presupposes truth. Impossible to say benevolence might be bad, for possibility nonsense as applied to M.—Leibnitz didn’t imply that God was in doubt which world he should choose: God was completely determined by his goodness.—God can have will, since fundamental nature of will is approval and disapproval, not removal of evil. Thus, though God is timeless, may have will. (Lotze has said there must be movement in God: the contradiction here seems unavoidable.)—G.A. does not foresee our future actions: he timelessly regards them as real. (This seems equally to destroy our free will. If we are determined to be dem-

oralized, Lotze’s doctrine is as good an excuse as any other.)

Supreme Good. No moral judgment can be passed on mind which doesn’t feel pleasure or pain. If no sacrifice in choosing Good, couldn’t pass moral judgment on such person (Mistake, says McT.: if a person belongs to a class capable of evil, he deserves praise for feeling no desire to do so) [Don’t see the point.]—Goodness, says Lotze, must be some one’s happiness. Best Good is love which seeks happiness of all. (Is love, or happiness produced, the good? If the love, is it good as making lover or beloved happy?)

Lecture XV. Nature of G.A. Religious feeling objects to notion that world proceeds necessarily from G.A.: thinks proceeds freely. (Don’t know what freely means in case of perfect Being.) Creation, not emanation: but not creation in time.—Indemonstrable belief in freedom of will: he demonstrates it all the same, only points out the proof logically unsound. Rejects Herbart’s sense of freedom: means by freedom absence of determination. Proves freedom from penitence, having indemonstrable conviction that proof is sound.—Kant’s solution won’t do, for moral action is in time and phenomenal. If, as actions in time, they are determined, don’t get freedom which Lotze’s soul requires.—A priori necessity of causality doubtful, because leads to infinite regress. (If difficulty about infinite regress, must suppose every chain of consequences started by free will of some finite being. Can’t bring in G.A., or don’t need human freedom. Miracles not impossible. (True: General laws not everything: plan essential, and plan may sometimes dispense with law)—Says miracles don’t withdraw things from laws, but put them under special laws. (Rot! What law a thing comes under, equally depends on law.) Has the world as a whole a purpose? Speculating can’t prove it, but religious feeling proves it. End must be Blessedness. No moral law can have force unless obedience pleases some one. (No proof possible or required: ultimate proposition with regard to values.)—Dogmas are symbols: if worth while to express your convictions by any set of symbols, then should belong to church which uses them.—Jesus Christ’s relation to G.A. may have been unique: don’t know. Son of God shouldn’t be taken as expressing unique relation. Lotze’s views are at most Arian.—Redemption faith which rescues us from wretchedness of Creation. Practical Philosophy: includes rules of prudence as well as Ethics. Says moral laws must be obvious. (Don’t see why he should say so, since he has a morality of

ends, not of laws like Kant.) This is conscience.—Can’t simply take pleasure as good, because can’t be certain of more than our pleasure at moment.

Different pleasures have different qualitative values. (How know this? Is it immediate, like perception of quantity of pleasures? Wish conscience would speak clearly.)—Supreme idea of Ethics is Benevolence: but Supreme Good is a form of pleasure. Benevolence is a means. But value lies in particular actions, not in principle.

Lecture XVI. Active, not contemplative, life is ideal: depends on Lotze’s Hedonism. Doesn’t care about work for work’s sake. Not like Carlyle, who thinks man not entitled to pleasure or anything else.—Lotze not so much given to à priori proofs of ethical propositions which can only be settled empirically: compare his treatment of divorce or private property. Doesn’t emphasize supremacy of man over woman as all other German philosophers do, especially Kant.—The end does justify the means: [Jesuit in disguise!]: everybody thinks so in case of G.A.: the evil in the world being justified by its happy issue.—As to State, Lotze is individualist empirically: society is not an organism. State is an institution for mere earthly prosperity.—Defends vindictive justice: injured person not compensated by mere restoration of injury, therefore since it is agreeable to see the thief punished, we have a right to punish him. (Fallacious, since impulse to enjoy others’ pain not good.)—Aesthetics. The agreeable merely pleases me: the beautiful gives me a pleasure for which I claim universal validity. Judgment of beauty claims objectivity. Beauty must be something which agrees with something common to all of us. (This seems to show that everybody is right in his aesthetic judgments, which impossible, since people contradict each other about beauty, and yet claim objectivity. Might say objectivity a mistake.) Lotze denies we can drop objectivity without losing the value of beauty. (Don’t agree). Beauty can’t be Anschauung or Begriff: must be Idee: defined by end to be reached. Three things in Universe: laws, substances, and plan. Cognition can’t quite conjoin these three. But occasionally the unity of the three appears to our immediate intuition: when this happens, we get Beauty. For this, the means must be spontaneously active for the end in one object.—Lotze says human body most beautiful thing in world, and proves it fallaciously.—Music expresses Reality as a whole better than other arts, because it can’t express anything particular.


[1]   Apparently McTaggart lectured on three books of Lotze’s: (1) Logik (Lectures IIV—see IV below); (2) Metaphysik (VXII below); (3) Mikrokosmus, Book ix (XIIIXVI below). Book ix, to which Russell refers at the end of his notes on Lecture XII (71: 11 below), discusses what Lotze understood as metaphysics.

[2]   Collingwood, An Autobiography (1939), p. 15.

[3]  Passmore, A Hundred Years of Philosophy (1966), p. 51.

[4]   Transcribed from a microfilm printout of an unfoliated notebook in the Morrell papers, Ransom Center, Texas (ra Rec. Acq. 385, box 6.50). Lecture divisions were made uniform and symbols italicized; double underlines became small caps. Square brackets are Russell’s. See K. Blackwell, “Russell’s Personal Shorthand”, Russell 35 (2015): 66–70; “G.A.” for “God Almighty” is retained. “affected” was expected at 58: 11, 60: 27 twice and 61: 26 and 28. “Mier” at 70: 11 remains unidentified.

Line 57: 32 noumena ] written over deleted phen’a

Line 65: 18 coeternal ] written over deleted coexistent

Line 66: 30 -conservation ] replaced -preservation ; 66: 34 stinks ] nickname for science

Line 67: 2 has for Herbart ] after deleted is like Lotze’s thing:

Line 68: 17 simplicity of soul, ] written above deleted immortality

[5]   “[T]hat favourite doctrine of our theologians, ‘the blessed truth that the God of the universe is a Person’” (Arnold, Literature and Dogma [New York: 1873], p. 242).