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By R. G. Collingwood

2014 Reprint of 1933 variation. detailed facsimile of the unique version, now not reproduced with Optical acceptance software program. R. G. Collingwood (1889-1943) was once a British thinker and training archaeologist top identified for his paintings in aesthetics and the philosophy of background. Collingwood is the writer of 1 of an important treatises in meta-philosophy written within the first 1/2 the 20th century, "An Essay on Philosophical procedure" (1933), that's a sustained try and clarify why philosophy is an self sustaining self-discipline with a particular process and material that range from these of the typical and the precise sciences.

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The specific classes of a philosophical genus do not exclude one another, they overlap one another ... This overlap is not exceptional, it is normal; and it is not negligible in extent, it may reach formidable dimensions. If this is true, it wiII have serious consequences. I t will make a difference as to the precise sense in which these classes together exhaust the genus, for their 'togetherness' will be of a peculiar kind. It will even make a difference as to the sense in which they are species of a genus at all.

It seems in fact to be generally adm itted tha t no philosophical importance attaches to mere differ- THE SCALE OF FORMS 55 ences of degree. Philosophers are often engaged with the question whether a certain thing possesses a certain attribute or not; whether, for instance, a bad work of art possesses some beauty or none at all; but the mere degree to which the attribute is present is held as a rule to be a matter outside their province. differences in degree as somehow connected with differences in kind, so that the concept is specified not according to mere differences of degree, but according to some combination of differences in degree with differences in kind.

To make some progre ss towards answering that questron is the purpo se of this essay; and, dividing the proble m into parts and begin ning with the simplest, I shall first consider what, in the statem ent that philosophy is conce rned with the universal, is mean t by the word universal. To give an account of the universal, or, as it is also called, the concept, is the business of logic; but we canno t here conte nt ourselves with simpl y acceptingwh at logical text-books have to say on the matte r.

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