{ } = word or expression can't be understood
{word} = hard to understand, might be this

[Opening remarks missing]

...nominalism and realism is always mentioned, and as a purely bookish question, you have to know it in your exam, even in the comprehensives. Who is in the comprehensives this year, { }? Anybody? Nobody? Well, so it is a topical question of the ordinary course curriculum in philosophy.

I have tried last time to bring it near to you by saying that for a man who speaks of God and -- the gods, of the divine, and for a man who speak of things, and for a man who speak of man, the problem of the -- universals represents itself in a different manner. This is an approach you do not find in the textbooks. I hold -- and that's my own conviction, or my own contribution to the whole thing; it just is now the -- the latest stage of the discussion with the modern existentialists, with Heidegger, and these people, the Kierkegaardians -- that when we speak of man as a Frenchman, or as a slave, or as a free man, or as a bundle of nerves, or as a psychological mistake -- in modern science, really man seems like a -- a psychological mistake -- that we have to expect that the -- the -- the thing we speak of, man, talks back, and says that if you tell -- call me an idiot, I shall say you are the idiot. And that is, gentlemen, that if we label people -- that was the gist of what I tried to say last time -- we have to s- -- use mutual universals. Mutual. If you call me "Professor," I have to call you "Student." If you call somebody "Father," he has to call you his son.

I have just this trouble -- a great trouble and great trouble with a young man who is very enthusiastic about me, which is very nice. And we cooperated on a book. And he contributed some letters which I then answered, and we published this as a book. He's a student. And in his great enthusiasm for me, he offered me -- suddenly to call me "Father." I was disgusted. I didn't want to be his father at all. I didn't want to replace his very nice father whom he has, or who is a very, very good and fine person. And I thought it was terrible sentimentality. He wanted to get rid of the great challenge of this book which put him under obligation to do something in the field of intellectual endeavor, as my student, you see, or as my collaborator. And instead he wanted to back out and by burying the whole situation in sentiment, you see, and by calling me "Daddy," he -- he was out of any obligation to do anything. I was still protecting him, you see, and shielding him.

And so I have a terrible time now to get out of this fix, because I don't wish to respond with anything like son-like treatment for him. I want to be very harsh and -- you see, and provoke him to feel adult. He's 25, and so he's not a baby.

And to get a letter from this man, "Dear Father," is just -- turns my stomach.

There you see that this is a universal which he tries to apply to me out of place, you see, because I cannot respond. And there you perhaps see very practically that -- what a universal is in be- -- between people.

If we have a correspondence, you with -- perhaps with a Swede, and you say, "Dear Swede," and he answers, "Dear American," you see, that is very clear and simple. Most people today in international relations take the liberty of pigeonholing their correspondent by calling him "Dear Frenchman," or "Dear German," and thinking of him in these terms. And we -- I think I mentioned this last time already that this is quite a dangerous thing, because if every one of another nation to you is only the representative of this other universal of Sweden or Norway, you see, he'll also only consider you an American. I can tell you very -- again, give -- a very practical example of this.

I was an American -- in Germany for the state department two years ago, and I was asked, "What does the American" -- singular, please -- "the American think of the policy of the United States in Europe?"

And I -- the only thing I could answer is, "There are 150 million Americans. Perhaps some more. And every American has a right to his own opinion. And you must not ask me what the American thinks."

"Oh," he said. "Don't be stupid. What does the American think of Germany and the occupation?"

And I said, "My dear man. Be careful. If you force me to speak in the name of 155 million Americans in the singular, `the American,' I'm compelled to speak of the German and say that the German is guilty -- has a war guilt. And guilty of the excel- -- extinction of 6 million Jews. So it doesn't pay you to ask me the silly question, because you must want me to distinguish between the Germans as being different people. If I -- you ask me to subsume, you see."

But you ask this silly question all the time. I mean, the German, of course, was just Americanized, because all your questionnaires, all the statistics run in this same, idiotic direction of lumping together people who don't belong together. Just ask the people in Harlem how they feel now about the Puerto Ricans with whom they are lumped together. Isn't that true? Terrible. They are just figured in, you see, for the average American as another colored person. There you have the -- Harlem, with the whole tradition of American -- civilizations, people serving up, and making a place for themselves. In come these low-grade people from Puerto Rico, and they are lumped together. And it's a most depressing experience

-- catastrophical, really, for the leading people in Harlem, that everything they have built up there is now destroyed. Have you ever thought of this injustice that's done to the -- to the black people in Harlem by the -- coming of the Puerto Ricans to Manhattan? Because the other people just say, "This is just it. All the same."

This is uni- -- this is the practical -- significance of the universals today, and you must see that's very explosive. It's the most explosive topic, you see, taking off the fair busi- -- fair employment practices, and so. They are all -- everybody also is simply lumped together, you see, under some category; then he can't get a job.

So this is very serious, gentlemen, and you don't know it, because you think this is not a question of your mental vices. But it's a mental vice to call a man a Jew, or a Christian, or a Pole in this country. You can say he's Jewish. You can say he's Polish. You can say he's colored, if he is black. But you cannot say "He is `this.'" That's different.

The solution, gentlemen, for the problem of the universals in the social sciences is always to use the adjective, and never to use the noun, because all the things in society are the qualities, but they are not identifications. You can have the quality of being called a white man, but you can be as black underneath as possible. Most white men are, today, in their hatred, and their fear, and their insecurity.

And so, gentlemen, the universals enter a new phase today in the treatment of human beings. We receive as much as we give when we qualify "people." When this German asked me, "What does the American think?" I am entitled to say, "Well, if all Americans are alike," according to his supposition, then I can say, "The German -- made the -- Second World War. The German extinguished the Jew, and there is never reconciliation possible, because all are one." Can you see this?

That's the problem of the universal, that all are one. All men are men. Seems very convincing today, but according to your image of man you carry inside yourself, you see. He then may have to commit suicide or make a pyre and throw all the rest of the human race on the pyre, because they are just -- you can't stand them, according to the image you have of the unity.

So -- gentlemen, today this question of the universals again is loaded with dynamite. And I only can hint here at the solution in a new era of the social sciences, which is terribly urgent. It shows, gentlemen, that the use of the noun for human beings perhaps may be forbidden, that you can say this man is social,

or this man is intelligent, or this man is white, or this man is green, or this man is good. But you cannot say he's goodness, you see. You cannot say he's virtue. You cannot say he is stupidity. And that's what you really try to say when you give a man the title, "He's a Russian," you see, because then he comes under the rubrum of the people with whom you can't have intercourse without jeopardizing your career in General Electric at this moment. So you better have no intercourse with a Russian.

I have a friend who's a wonderful man, and he went around and -- sold his art, and for the last three years, he couldn't find employment because he has a Russian name. He was a man who fled Russia from the Bolsheviks 30 years ago. But that's -- it doesn't matter, you see. Once a Russian name, always a Russian name. And the poor man, who -- who is much more anti-Bolshevik because he, after all, paid the penalty of emigration, you see, can't get employment on a college campus in this country at this moment. It's improving now, but the last three years were very hard on this man, because people were crazy from fear of Mr. McCarthy.

Only to show you how practical this question of the universals is. Can you see this? No? You can't? What's your question?

(Do you mean all men are one, or -- or men are -- are all different?)

Were you here last time?


I tried to tell you that the word "universal" means the application of general statements to any one object of observation or meditation. I have this here, and I have this here. You would call this a chair. And you would call this -- well, you may not. Is this a chair? Well, what is universal between them is: there are two seats, aren't there? Now is this word "seat" an inherent quality of this chair, or is it arbitrarily invented {probably} by you? That's the question of the universal. The question of the universal is: is it a mere fiction of a name, arbitrarily applied by your mentality and mine to these two things? Or is inherent in them something that compels you, if you want to speak the truth, to call these two things "seats"?

With regard to -- are you forced today to say that the elements are higher units of hydrogen, or of electron? The physicist tells you that you have to admit that they are all arrangements of electrons. Isn't that true? So scientifical truth -- scientific truth demands from you to call these arrangements of electrons, Sir. You are not interested in the truth, I know this. You just talk. But Sir, people who

are concerned with the truth, they would be very hard put to defi- -- to say: what is this process by which I am in the face of the -- God forced to call these two things "seats?" I am a horse trader. I am cheating if I call mule a "horse." You know this. That would be cheating. I can't sell a man over -- who is absent by correspondence and -- a horse and then the thing arrives and it's a mule. I have -- haven't I cheated him? A question of the universals, Sir.

I say, " Well, what is a mule?" Do you know? What is a mule?

(It's not a horse.)

How do you know? How do you know? What is the -- the son of an American mother and a German father? Is he a German? That's the escapism of the American {mind}.

Now, what's your question, Sir? You see, let us -- let -- I know, you live all in this era, gentlemen, of things. From 1500 to 1900, we lived in the era of the natural sciences. Always think that we have this scheme: 1100 to 1500, theology; 1500 to 1900, the knowledge of things; and now, beginning, the question of this -- the -- the question of man. Most sciences we have today, they call themselves social sciences, they are just natural sciences about man, trying to treat man as a thing. All psychology does this: treats man as an object of science. There's no mutuality.

So we are still -- you are all only living in this era where you say, "Well, this is not an important question. I call this a seat. I call this a chair." There is a minimum of honesty. It's not a horse, you say, the mule. So he can't get the money for the horse, you see, in law.

But as I told you, the ordinary habit of all of you is: I call this arbitrarily God. I call this arbitrarily -- oxygen. I call this arbitrarily democracy. No, there you wouldn't. But -- but with most things, you think that you speak arbitrarily, that you label everything according to your will. That is nominalism, gentlemen. And for the last 400 years, we have been under the rule that words apply to things, definitions, what I arbitrarily define so-and-so is within your power. Nominalism says that to call something with a term is arbitrary, is convention, human agreement.

You may have heard that there was a special conference of the physicists in April in which they fixed the new words, "kappa," and -- and "superon" and "neutron" and -- for the electron problems, inside the electron. Has anybody heard of this conference? You should, it's very interesting. They had nine new names bestowed on the -- on the various forms. And they had a new term, "spin." Have you heard of spin? It's an English term. You don't even understand it.

Spinning of the top. So that they say any elementary particle is -- has -- has quantity, has charge -- electric charge, and has spin. It turns. Have you heard this? It's very important. It's a new, conventional term about, you see, a thing, and we think it's real. But the origin of the name is -- is -- is -- is human -- the human mind. And I cannot be forced to give it this name, "spin." The physicists have just agreed on this. That is the attitude of the nominalists, gentlemen, with regard to -- universals.

Well, I -- I see already that you are impenetrable. You won't understand. Pardon me?

(So you say that we can't call a Russian "a Russian," as such. Well, what is -- )

You must say very -- well, I say the consequences are very bad. Once you begin to say this, you petrify. I mean, you can. Everybody does it. But I'm only showing you -- at this moment, I'm not sitting in judgment. I'm only descriptive, Sir, of what you do every day. I don't say, "You cannot." But I say, "If you do this, you are not a nominalist," because you are acting under an obsession. You are obsessed.

(Well, Sir --?)

So -- ja?

(I'd like to know what the "American" is that you always speak of, then.)

Pardon me. {You --} the educational system. that's American, I would say. Anybody -- the man on the filling station doesn't come under what I call American, usually. He's a normal human being. But you are not. You are in Dartmouth.

(Well, that's just it. I mean, throughout the year, you use the term "American" or "America.")


(And I frankly haven't been able to determine exactly what you mean by that, whether you mean every American, all 150 million? Whether you mean just us in this class here? Or whether you mean just the working class?)

Well, we have talked quite seriously about four mentalities. You remember, the French, the German, the English, and the American. And obviously anybody who falls into the apparatus of the -- higher strata of the working of this civiliza-

tion, of this society, is thereby participating in what I have called -- and I think I have clarified to be -- American. Otherwise I think you are a normal human being. That is, you are able to contain elements that are neither French, nor German, nor English, nor American. But these three -- four forms of education in Oxford, in Dartmouth, in Heidelberg, and in Paris work you in a special way. They are -- they are a kind of gymnastics. It's a training. And through this training, you receive certain specific qualities.

(Well, I understand that. So it would seem to me that if this training brings about certain qualities that make it possible for you to call an American "American," then certain other things that occur in Russia might make it possible to call a Russian a "Russian.")

Oh, doubt- -- undoubtedly. The problem is -- why you say it is better to use the adjective than the noun is because it allows the Russian to be Russian plus X; and it allows you to be American plus X. You see, I always think that every human being is bigger than any label you can pin on him. So if I speak of the American, he's always free to surprise me by being better than what I've called "the American," you see. Every one of us is half known and half unknown, you see. And whenever I say, "This is known of you," the man can slap me in the face and say, "But you don't -- know only half of me. The rest is still free and to come." You understand?


The problem of hu- -- the humanities, gentlemen, is that you have to treat your vis … vis as that what you know of him, plus what you don't know of him. You see? Whereas in -- in natural science, you say, "I know everything of it," because it's a thing. About this chair, you really -- you can treat this chair as known, as analyzable. Weight, quantity, shape, you see, composition, material, price -- everything can be known about it. You see, that's a thing.

And it doesn't -- can't -- can't sigh and say, "Please treat me as a living being," when you get a fairy st- -- tale-teller. He begins to treat the things as things who can talk back. And they be- -- come to life, isn't that true? And -- the moment anything comes to life, it is more than is known.

(Well, it seems to me that some of the things that you condemn, that -- that seem to you to be typically American, are not necessarily those -- the things that you spoke of: that is, the half that you know. I mean, I would think that they would be not in every American, but in every individual as such. In other words, if you say the American has a different regard for family outlook, when you speak of various aspects of that, I don't -- it doesn't seem to me that that's a

general thing that applies to every person in America, but just the other half, the part that applies to some, and not to others.)

Wonderful. I fully accept this criticism. You talk back. You see, we are in the social sciences. You have the perfect right to say this doesn't apply to the families you know. And I only can offer this as an explanation of a certain number of features, you see, which you perhaps also know. And you can say, "But I know families where it doesn't fit, because they are alive. They can always defy me."

Any one -- any criticism in society invites already the remedy that some people cease to be that way. And my criticism, of course, has been applied for centuries, so some people have always steered clear of -- of the -- of the -- the wave I describe. You are quite right. There is no such thing in -- in human society, where a universal really is -- valid forever. It isn't. You must understand this. That's why I give you these ten commandments, in order to show that at every one moment, the mind changes, doesn't it? I mean, this was an appeal to your sense of life.

Don't you see this? That the same mental process appears in a child as listening, and in a ruler as command, after all shows you how free you have to be to understand these -- all these words which I use, you see. You have to be able to realize that they appear in any one moment in different form.


No, one moment. I -- let me first finish this, because otherwise we will never get over this. First I have to get through the -- { }. Afterwards, you put your question.

Gentlemen, with regard to men, I told you that we cannot be realists, and we cannot be nominalists. At this moment, I want to leave the solution in suspense when we deal with the social sciences at the end of the course. We'll have to come back to this question, gentlemen, how we speak to each other. But one concept you may put down. The whole problem is neither nominalism or realism simply, because it is mutuality. I won't call it "mutualism," that would be too terrible.

The problem of the use of general terms among people is the question of saluting each other. And the way you are introduced to another person is something that can only be handled if he is introduced to you and you are introduced to him at the same time. And so the question of mutuality is paramount. Can you understand this? Sir, do you understand this?


Therefore, the question is suddenly on a new plane. Where you have two people who are -- want to call each other with the right name, the question is never of la- -- one of labeling one object, one of -- but of two -- subjects calling upon each other in the right manner. And you know how important it is when you speak to the dean, to call him "Dean."

The problem of the -- the priests of the Middle Ages, and of the monks who went to Paris or to Bologna to study canon law, or medicine, or theology was the question: Was God purely a name in this bad sense of figment of their own imagination? Was it just a purely -- same convention as at this conference in the Pyrennees, where they now fix the term "superon" on a neutron, on some poor parts of the electron, without the electron having any court of appeal? Is God a neutron? Is God a superon? Is God a histeron? This is just this terrible. That's what you think. You think, "What I arbitrarily call God."

Now gentlemen, I tried -- and I made a shortcut, and you didn't understand it. So that's why I am back to this once more. I tried to tell you that when you are the priest of God Almighty, who has become known from generation to generation through the ages, and if you are an elder in society who has this great task of tying together three generations who all must speak a different language, who all halt at a different mental stage -- of whom one is a child who just learns the A,B, C; the other is a fighter who wants to reason out his own philosophy; and the third is a -- ruler, like President Eisenhower, who has to hold together the country between McCarthy and Truman -- then you have the problem of not speaking arbitrarily.

Mr. -- the man who today makes the 4th of July address, gentlemen, cannot speak of those people who began to act wildly against the British in 1776. He has to call them the "Founding Fathers," by danger of excommunication, and by danger of threatening the commonwealth of the United States. He has to call them the "Founding Fathers" because he only speaks in -- the authority of their name. You only come to his bonfire and to his 4th of July speech, because you assume that he is in the line of President Washington. When you come to commencement, the president of this college has to speak as president of Dartmouth College, because that's why you're there. And that's why you listen to him. And that's why he can make himself heard.

Now gentlemen, here I put this question before you: what is this then, this universal of president of Dartmouth College, when you sit there at commencement? That's very serious. This -- this last generation of you which have -- who have read the funnies only, have brushed aside all these questions and said, "That's no question." You haven't even been interested in the truth, gentlemen. You have always been -- glibly said, "Oh, that's Johnny." John Dickey. John Sloan

Dickey. "Johnny," perhaps. I don't know how you call him. But certainly you have never felt what a strange road you travel on which you are forced to speak of the president of Dartmouth College as a man who can make and break you, who can give you a diploma, or can withhold it. He's an authority, as we say, in the Ez- -- Eleazar Wheelock succession. That's his official -- the official paraphernalia of this.

Now within Dartmouth, you have a certain feeling of this name of this authority. Outside, you haven't. You have lost all respect for all sacred names, "which I call arbitrarily `God.'" That's your attitude, except on Sunday, when you make a pious face and go with your parents. But otherwise, what is sacred? There are no sacred cows. You say it's all just labels. You go -- look into the Webster and you say, instead of God I can say "idol"; and instead of idol, I can say "the divine"; and instead of the divine, I can say "the sublime"; and so from the sublime to the ridiculous there's just one step.

No? And so gentlemen, the question of our gods, the question of the spirits which we invoke in order to make ourselves heard, the spirit in which you are allowed to get up in the student council and make a proposal, the -- right with which -- this -- gentlemen at this moment claimed to make himself heard here in class s- -- because he's -- all men are born equal: this right is a very strange thing, gentlemen, because it is a universal, a universal which does not apply to your flesh. And it doesn't apply to this chair, to the manufactured things of reality, to stones. But you owe it as participants of the spirit, of God. I -- you can make yourself heard, because into every human being, God has sent one spark of His own presence. And you have a right to be heard only as long as I believe in God. Otherwise I can hang you, or burn you, like Hitler did with the Jews, because he didn't believe in God. Very similar. What you have to do with other animals -- I crush fleas. I crush insects. So why can't I crush another race? I have nothing to do with it. Where is it written that other people have any rights? In themselves they can't. Otherwise you couldn't go to war. But we go to war when they represent a wrong spirit, when they threaten our own tradition, and we feel that we are in a righteous war.

Gentlemen, these are -- the question of your very existence once you are drafted. You must know whether you can shoot or not shoot. The conscientious objector says he can't. You have to know where you stand, and whether you want to suffer the -- in a conscientious objector camp for the rest of your life.

So the question of the universal, gentlemen, is the question of your place in reality, of your rights against other people. You can talk of the Russians, you see, in natural science, just as long as they aren't here in this room. But if you have armed Bolsheviks here, with the hydrogen bomb, in this room at this moment,

I'm here to talk. I'd better watch out how I can invoke their, you see, loyalty to listen to me. What have I to say to these Bo- -- Russians? They say, "You have offended us. You have only called us Russians. We are the representatives of the great revolution," they'll say, of course. They'll not say they are Russians. They will not accept my label. They'll say, "We have a different term. You are an obsolete capitalist. And you are going to be executed. You are a -- {have-been} intellectual. You are l-" -- as they call us, "airmen," you see. Men of the air. No roots in reality. "But we are the soldiers of the future. And therefore, out you go." And we -- they have their universal. We have our universal. They are both leading to the extinction of the opposite.

So gentlemen, the question of the universals is the question whether Europe is going -- was going to remain Christian in 1100. It's the question that in 1500, it lost interest in this question and turned to the world of things, and that you are completely blinded by this world of things, and think that man has the right to call everything arbitrarily. Will you take this down, gentlemen? Man can call every thing arbitrarily, if he can agree with his fellow man on how to call this thing arbitrarily. It is the congress -- conference of scientists which gives the name "neutron."

So gentlemen, the problem of the universals gets always dark and obscure at the very moment when you forget the great problem how one man agrees with all other men. You think, "Oh, the scientists agree." They always disagree, gentlemen. Don't be betrayed, you see. They only -- they agree for a certain while. And so I told you that in science, the universal is fixed temporarily according to the state of the science. And every generation, or every 10 years, or every 5 years, the words of science must change, or there is no progress.

And the progress involves the {ducta ignorantia}, learned ignorance, that is, the power to forget what I have said before, and how the neutron was called 50 years ago. There was no neu- -- were no neutrons as you know, and you may be sure that 150 years from now, there will be no neutrons, either. Yet, you put up with this strange saying, gentlemen, and we take down {for it} the following law:

For things, every moment of time can have a universal under the condition that in new time, it is given up and replaced by another. Things are labeled temporarily. This is called a "seat," or a "chair." Now in Volapuk or Esperanto it's called with a different word. It doesn't matter. Temporarily in the thi- -- dead things which cannot talk themselves are labeled one way or the other by all men at the same time. Everything -- that is, an automobile is today called "an automobile" over the whole world. And that has blinded you.

In all your politics, you only think of the moment. You want to have the United Nations functioning in 1954. Gentlemen, reasonable people don't think so. They are thinking of the future of mankind, of the year 3000. And therefore they don't want the tyranny established in 1954. And I'm very glad that there is Russia and America, because otherwise we would have nothing to live for. And all these stupid people who say, "Union now," they just don't know what they're talking about, because they only think of a state of affair in which all people at this moment agree on a thing, a dead thing. That's your attitude.

Now gentlemen, the problem of the universals, when applied to human beings, and when applied to the divine is quite different. The divine is -- are the names for those elements of life, or those powers in our life who bind all people of all times, despite the difference of time. God is he who has created the world and will go to the last judgment. And therefore, you cannot arbitrarily define God.

So gentlemen, on this axis, the things are labeled every day differently. If this is -- 1800 and this is 1850, and if this is 1900 and if this is 1950, then obviously, gentlemen, the universals for "chairs," for "seats," for "locomotives," for "automobiles" are in every one year identical, and every 50 years, they differ. The problem of God is the problem to have one name through all ages. That's a problem you have never asked. That's why you do not know what God is about.

One boy came to me. I said -- he opened Revelation and tried to read it, didn't understand it and he thought it was stupid book. Well, he had a ru- -- a ruined brain. A man who deals today with caterpillars and automobiles certainly doesn't know anything -- what he's talking about when he tries to understand Revelation. Revelation is the book of the identity of the name of the divine in the Old and the New Testament. Since he has never asked, never shared the -- the endeavor, the concern of the believer, he cannot understand Revelation. You have not this concern to share the faith of the founding fathers, gentlemen.

Once you have this, you have suddenly a different, new problem, because all you have to find is that name which you and they have in common. So you cannot tamper with a name. If you cease to be a nominalist, you cease to be a mutualist, you have to be a realist. With regard to all those powers who cannot change through time, by the essence of you and I being in the same boat as Adam and Eve, the names cannot be tampered with. And that's called "realism," because it means that the names have an authority, a power of which you and I can be destroyers, but you cannot be creators. You can destroy them. You can be an atheist. You can deny them. You can be a skeptic. You can be a cynic. You can -- you can be -- you can be a New Yorker.

But I prefer to be a fundamentalist, because I at least know what I'm dealing with. I'm dealing with the cement and mortar between the -- different times of the human race. And the cynic and skeptic who says, "Oh, just funny, the name God, or Jesus Christ, or so. We are through with this," doesn't even know what the problem is. He says, "I don't need it. I go on the Long Island Railroad every morning to my office, and that's all I need." And what follows after his grave, and what went on before he was born is no concern of his.

And so he is a degenerate. And we call a "degenerate" a man who lives in his own generation without connection with the past and the future. That's a degenerate. And the modern American -- pardon me, again, making the simplification -- as far as he is publicly appealed to, is appealed to -- by the standard of living, and by all things of an ephemeral character. That's the official talk of the town. That's how the elections are run, on issues of the moment. How man- -- how much wheat fetches. Is this an election issue for the great country? Or all the things, you see: when will the McCarthy investigation be called off to prepare the elections in due time for the Republican Party? Is this worthy of 155 million people who have to prepare the future of the world?

Pardon me, but the -- then you see how important it is, you see, to appeal to the -- to the Christian or the believer in the American who at this moment denies that this is part of the American heritage. Of course, I can -- I can have a claim to say this is true Americanism, you see. And there is the American element in the Pilgrim fathers certainly, who thought that they were building up the kingdom of God for hundreds of years to come.

So I have to this duty, gentlemen, against the textbooks of philosophy -- I'm sorry -- to insist that I introduce you into something that will be -- with you for the rest of your life this problem: how to deal with the divine, how deal with things, and how to deal with men, gentlemen, shows you that the universals appear always in three different aspects. If you think that the belief in, let us say, in the holiness of wisdom -- the fourth person of the deity, as the Greek Church calls it, is not a religious question, but a philosophical question -- you will say it's a nominal question. Of course, you treat it as a thing. If you say, "It's a revea- -- a real thing, the Trinity, I have to speak of these names as indispensable," and you look up to them, and you try to bind them to the future and the future to them. If you call the people "Greek Orthodox," or "Protestants" and "Catholics," you use the terms mutually, because the Greek Orthodox will say, you see, "You are a Protestant." If you call me an easterner, I call you a westerner. Then Protestant will { }, "I thought I was a Protestant, you see. We're not like that." And specially the Protestants and the Roman Catholics don't like that the easterners treat them as equally bad. You see, for a Greek Orthodox, the Roman Catholics are as heretical as the Protestants. So the Roman Catholics in this country are very

nervous when the Greek Orthodox begin to talk, because all the time the Roman Catholics in this country have used the universal, "The heretics are the Protestants, and we are the orthodox." And now suddenly there is an Orthodox Church and says, "The real offender, the real heretic is the pope in Rome." There you see what the universals do.

So gentlemen, the universals are three methods: the nominalistic, the realistic, and the mutual element are always in the use of the universals. I give you something very important, gentlemen, which as I said, nobody else has -- will ever tell you. This is my own contribution to this doctrine. And the -- only in the the light of this practical today-doctrine will you understand the passion of the medieval schoolmen who expressed the same thing in a -- quite a different manner, because they always had of course the invocation of the Trinity at heart. And they knew that once they knew they would allow the names under which God was invoked to be just called nominalistically figments of the human mind, that then their whole unity, the necessary unity of St. Augustine in the university would fall to pieces, because they would have no name into which they would have to serve the truth, in which they would be crusaders in the progress of science. Because under what heading do I meet my colleague in the department of philosophy? Today Mr. Mandelbaum -- we certainly are so different as can be in the name of the -- of the Trinity, in the name of that truth which is given to man to reveal in his own life and which is also objectively true, you see, beyond him and his own time, which he -- Mr. Mandelbaum and I have to carry through this generation so that it can reach the next generation. This is our obligation. Otherwise we couldn't teach together in the same department.

It's a very complicated process, gentlemen, under which you are exposed to the different opinions of the dubious. { } always something necessary. You remember -- in {necessariis} unitas, the unity in the necessary. It's bad enough at this moment, because many my -- of my colleagues have forgotten that there is -- there is a necessary unity. They have a cheap loyalty to Dartmouth College instead. That's not enough, gentlemen. I must be able to criticize Dartmouth College. I cannot serve you in my full capacity of a teacher if I am not free to criticize Dartmouth. That's not the name in which I speak to you. Isn't that true? I must speak in the greater name, of a greater truth than Dartmouth.

(Did spirit exist in Paris between the two schools?)

Pardon me?

(Did the spirit exist between the two schools in Paris?)

Pardon me?

(Did this spirit exist between the two schools --)

Oh yes. There were both priests. They went to Mass together. They prayed for each other, you see, "Love thy enemy." They were enemies, you see, but they loved each other. You're quite right -- the question is, of course, that it nearly always broke down. But in Bonaventura and Thomas, I told you, it came to the most wonderful flowering. They were as different as can be, and they loved each other, feeling that the other was -- went a way on which the other could not. You've given me a good point. I'll -- I'll come back to this in five -- in 10 minutes.

But let me put the universal doctrine a strange way. You express it in a rather -- well, as I said, in a schoolbook manner. They said the universals can be considered as being ante rem, in re, or post rem.

Now I give you my explanation to encourage you to look through these rather abstract words. This means the universal exists -- the universal man exists before you and I exist. There are ideas of God. There are Platonic realities, you see. That's the Platonism, um-hmm. The chair is a preconceived idea that is real. And this is only a sub-case of this idea of the chair. That's the so-called idealistic position, which is valid for the divine. God's name precedes me. Well, we -- I'll come to this. This is the Platonic position. This is the Aristotelian position, gentlemen. And this is the nominalistic position. This means, "Oh -- first I find here a chaos of things -- chairs and -- and blackboards, and nails, and pinpricks here, and something -- a piece of paper. And I'm forced in order to get -- make order," as you think -- you are all nominalists -- "I then arbitrarily classify these things." You stand here in this room and you say, "Well, these things all look similar. I call them seats. Then I take this metal. I call this metal here. And then I have here these strange people with the sweaters, I'll call them students. And the people -- man with the tie, I call a professor." And -- you see, it's { }, there is one man with a tie. { } and they are semi-professors.

It works. You think, and you're quite sure that arbitrarily you can at this moment invent the terms to describe the content of this room. And you believe this, because you are just all manufactured people of the modern, technical age. You think these are bulbs, and these are windows. And you invent these terms in common agreement at this moment, or if you have a new thing which you discover -- these are curtains, and so on, the blackboard, et cetera. Gentlemen, that means that your universal comes only after the things exist. And they are figments of the human mind, and they can be arbitrarily shifted.

And now gentlemen, of course this is -- you can just look at the content of this room, and you can see that they -- universalia post rem, bulbs and seats, have also existed before the chairs were made, because the manufacturer went and

said, "Let us make chairs." And another said, "Let us make bulbs." And he had very much the bulb in his head before he had them in his hand. And so the same thing to -- which to you seems to be a universal post rem, the term "chair" to the entre- -- entrepreneur and to the inventor of course is the thing which he first had in his mind, and was compelled to make under the impli- -- impact of this idea, that this thing already did exist. And then he -- it came -- was incarnated and came into being, and here are so many specimens of this one idea of his.

Well, you -- if you take the humanistic view, however, of the modern manufactured and manipulating animal, man, you will say that you call the things arbitrarily. And therefore you will then hold the nominalistic position that the name of a thing comes after the thing is created.

The Aristotelian position says, "This is wood. Chaotically, in the chaos of things, it is unique. Everything is unique, but there is an appeal, the thing makes to me to find out the similarities, the semblance with other things.

And so the same thing, gentlemen, is specific and general in itself. The dividing line in this chair is that it is something original, but it cannot be, you see, found in any other chair, because it's this chair, after all, you see. And you put the same chair here a second time, it is still not this chair, you see, but just a second chair. On the other hand, I'm forced to call Chair Number 1 and Chair Number 2 "chair," if I want to remain reasonable. I have to do this for economic reasons.

And so gentlemen, Aristotle and the so-called middle group, the -- say that the universals are in re. That is, we are forced to find that by which the thing is equal or identical with other things, at the same time that we notice that it is not -- equal. The similarity and the dissimilarity are a challenge which has to be met. We are forced to state what is the same and what is not the same in this thing with some other part of the universe. This is a middle {title}. And we first, as I said, said that the universals were first in the mind of the creator, whether it's the manufacturer who makes chairs or bulbs, Thomas Alva Edison, would be God almighty with regard to bulbs. And with regard to you and me, the power that made us would be the one who had the idea of a man in His mind when He created Adam. And you and I are specimens of the species man, which you also cannot deny.

So the medieval mind, gentlemen, starting with God, was led to believe first in realism, that the -- and then the -- end of the Middle Ages, when the interest in things developed, led in the 15th century or 14th century to nominalism. The way of the Amer- -- medieval mind is from realism to nominalism. And the the Middle Ages end when nominalism takes the lead. And the man who represents

this nominalism in the 15th -- at the end of the Middle Ages is a man called Ockham. He is the man who says post rem. He introduced the sophist era, where they said, "No sacred cows, no names of God. Everything arbitrary." That's the cradle of modern natural science, because it is correct to say this with regard to things, to transient things. That part of you and me which is transient must be treated in such a way that you can every day give a better term for this part of me which is changing. Whether you call this my -- my body as composed out of the four humors, as the doctors said in the Middle Ages, or whether you say today that I am composed out of cells, that has to be left free. Next day they will say I am -- we are composed out of electrons. And I don't know what they will say in the end.

So gentlemen, my -- the description of the mortal part, of the thing part, the objective part of you and me must be left to the nominalists. There will always be, with regard to things between you and me, the -- that I have to say, you are an American. That is, there is a similarity between you and other Americans, but that's not all you are. The dividing line will always have to be found in your being similar or identical with other Americans and being not similar. You see, that the universalia in re helps us out in the social -- the sociological situation, because they say, "Yes, there is a similarity which entitles me to say `American.' But I must be careful to say," you see, "that this is never the whole story for the individual." You understand?

Now the third solution is, with regard to those names under which we go to work together, or hold peace together. You have to invoke -- you want to write a peace treaty, gentlemen, between the United States and Germany -- which hasn't been written yet, as you know -- probably never will be written -- you would have to invoke peace. That is, both parties would have to say, "We bow to the necessity to end the war, and we vow to make peace." Obviously, they could not say, "We call this arbitrarily war and this arbitrarily peace." It would make no sense. They just bow to what is peace. Peace is real, and there is only one state that is really fully peace, and there is only one state that is fully war, and there are many states in between. But peace and war are not your arbitrary figment of the imagination. Once you say this, you are in hell. The cynics, the devil says there is no difference between peace and war.

And you, have -- however, the average, educated person in the Western world, gentlemen, is so inferior to the Russian mind, because the Russians believe in revolution. That is, they believe in a divine element, in one element of the divine, in the historical creative process. And you don't believe in God -- in -- in reality at all, because you really think that you can pick and choose.

A lady said to me the other day to me that she couldn't go to church, because

some group in the church -- some committee had collected money, and then they had gone to dinner on this money, which they had collected, and said, "We have worked so hard, let's have a good time." So she was so shocked that she left the church.

"Well," I said, "have you ever thought that these rascals need the church? And you would -- might need the church? That is, have you -- you only ask the question if you like the church." That's treating the church as a -- as a universal post rem. First you know what you want, and then you try to find it. And you put the label on it.

Gentlemen, that's not the way, unfortunately we live in the real world. You are born an American, and you can't invent Christianity at this moment, or the right religion. It's beyond you and me, you see. You have to find the lifeline of the human race, from beginning to end. You can join there that cavalcade. But it isn't up to you to find a better religion. That's only for people in Los Angeles.

This however, you think. That is, gentlemen, I want you to understand, the question of the universal is debated in the textbooks as though it was dealing with everything under the sun -- God, man, and things -- in three aspects. Before, in, and after the thing is before us. That's not true. We -- we are mobile, and flexible, and dynamic people today, and we know that if we look up to the powers that rule us, you use your language in one way. If you speak of commercial things, you use your language in another way. And if you speak to other people, you use again your language in a different aspect. These are three modes of speech, and three modes of thinking which you all three must apply. There is no one-way street to beatitude. But that's what you think. You think that you have to define your thinking, and your terminology, and your method of speech, and your behavior on a -- in a one-way street.

Gentlemen, the people who dealt with the universals entered this tremendous experience that man must speak to man, to things, and to God -- of the gods, and to the gods in a different manner. The founding fathers of this country can only be -- spoken of as the "founding fathers." You cannot speak of them as "these scoundrels," because then you destroy your American heritage. Isn't that true? You cannot debunk George Washington with any meaning. You cease to be an American. That's very -- at least you must know what you are doing then. Then you must put something better in its place.

I have to appeal to you to -- in these simple terms of "founding fathers," because you have lost sight of the higher units of the Trinity and the Church. That's nothing sacred to you anymore. But I think that any American in his -- if he -- whether he admits it or not, does want to speak -- have the right to speak on

the founding fathers with some meaning. And you still want to speak of Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address. And you can only do this if you hold onto the universalia ante rem. That is, that you are forced to use these names as sacred in order to be listened to, to be obeyed, to be able to be a judge in a court of the -- of the United States and to execute justice, because you cannot judge a jus- -- criminal unless you can invoke the laws of the United States. And by invoking the laws or the Constitution of the United States, you appeal to compelling names. They are not figments of the imag- -- your imagination, or anyone's mind. What is the difference, gentlemen? They are historical decisions. They have come true. They have been verified. And there is this one thing I offer you to get you beyond your textbook knowledge and your department of philosophy studies, and that is that the whole quarrel of the universals hinges on one experience, which you haven't made yet, but which you must make in your life. That's the verification of your own truth. You remember that we introduced this { } of protest and suffering after doubt. Now when a man has said, "This is so," and he is willing say it -- to stick his neck out for it, and then to take the consequences, as you -- as John Quincy Adams, or Plato, or John -- Cardinal Newman, you see, the -- that which he has said becomes verified. And he cannot budge. He cannot go behind it. He has said it. And his whole life is in it. And once we are the heirs of the founding fathers, or of Plato, or of Newman, we cannot go behind this name and say, "We call it arbitrarily onism, instead of Platonism." You have to call it Platonism. Plato has a right to be mentioned in our life as representing a part of reality. The names, gentlemen, of God, of Christ, of Plato, of Caesar, of Marc Antony, of Cleopatra, whatever name you're thinking about, the names are compelling. You have to use them to be understood under -- in whose line of succession you want to act.

Now your question.

(It goes back to { } of -- you might say that throughout the ages God has been known by all men. Although He has been known, He's not been proved. The proof such as the { } first cause and all those. But there's never been a proof that has satisfied everybody.)

Fortunately no, no. He cannot be proven.

(Okay. And at that point, would you agree that it's a safe assumption to make that God will never be conclusively proved?)

Of course. Otherwise He wouldn't be God. { }.

(Then you went on to say, quote, one can't arbitrarily define God.)


(Well, if there is no standard God, then what's the point of arbitrarily defining God? Or you also said that you can't {invoke religion} if there is no {standard}.)

Well, Sir, you -- you -- it's very simple, very simple, Sir. In your human figments of the mind, we define our terms. Here we call each other by mutual names. But God we invoke. And God is not a concept. He cannot be defined. The first definition of God is that he cannot be defined. It's a negative one. All the conceptual knowledge of God is that He is not what you think He is. The first scholastic, or the first founder of -- of medieval theology is Anselm of Canterbury, as I told you. And he -- begins his great statement with an explanation: If to any priest a -- a penitent comes, and says, "I have sinned, so deeply" -- as today a man comes to the psychoanalyst, very much the same thing -- and he is in despair because he has committed some sexual crime -- that's why they usually are in despair, or he's frustrated sexually -- so he feels he's rotten to the core; and he says to the psychoanalyst, who puts him on the couch, "My -- I cannot tell you this. My sins are scarlet -- scarlet-like and nobody can forgive me." Then he is so surprised, because the first thing the psychoanalyst does, he remains immobile and quite indifferent to all the terrible sexual urge that is talked about there. And that's a great relief to the patient, because he thinks nobody could stomach all he's done. Now the same thing -- exactly the same is at the beginning of Western man's emancipation of thought, that the penitent comes to the priest and, as I told you, and says, "God cannot forgive me, because I'm too great a criminal. I'm too great a swine."

Do you know what then Anselm's great scholastic founda- -- cornerstone was? "Then thou shalt tell him that God is greater than what he thinks He is." That's exactly the answer to this. God is beyond the definition this man can give of God. And this is the living experience you and I always make: that {always} with all your nice systems and definitions, there is always one power that is greater.

For example, my dear man, here we are. And I'm talking. And I think I know you. You are my student. Now you make this question. From this moment on, you are the same man who you were before, plus what you have said. This little element of life is undefinable, because it is something that didn't exist before. You hardly knew that you were going to say this a half-an-hour ago. Now you have said it. Now you are the man in class who has said this. That is, you have decarcerated, you have unchained yourself; you are beyond the definable human being which we thought we all knew before. So we all live on to the next word we have to say.

And in speaking, Sir, you take part in the revelation of God among men, because by what men say, the creator is known through His creatures. And therefore you are absolutely right to say God cannot be defined. But He can be invoked. That's something quite different. We invoke what we -- whom we know to rule us. We define what we know we can make ourselves, or unmake. And you see the line is between who and what.

Now you and I, Sir, are in a strange human position. We are half whats and half whos. In a class, you can speak to me, as with the others, you are a person, you are a who. Inasfar as I put you on the scales and describe your hair, and your sweater, et cetera, you are a what. You are an object.

[tape interruption]

...and we are also mortals who participate in our dividedness, in our mortality, and you will be put in a coffin one day. And I will be put in a coffin one day. And we will be {spores} again, and cease, you see, to be separate.

So every human being, gentlemen, is half definable, and half indefinable. Isn't that true? Can you see this? And this is what forces man always to talk in these three rings. By the power you have to speak to me, you can add life. And in bringing this life to bear on that, without { } something new enters which has not existed five minutes before. After you have spoken, there is a new spot in the universe. And in power of my -- of our listening to you and your speaking this, we are moved forward to a new moment in the history of creation, of the world. { }. That's indefinable before, because it hasn't happened. It hasn't happened before.

Now, if you were quite alone, the only man in the universe, endowed with immortality, man and God would be identical. There would be no reason, you see, for -- distinction between the lasting God and you, because you would be immortal. You would never die. And so you would also have no brothers, no fathers, no grandchildren to care of. You -- you would be God in your own right. And on the other hand, Sir, if you couldn't speak, if you were just a brute animal, there would be no reason to exempt you from the -- from the space. The whole question of the universals only exists because we are tripartite beings. We are half under the care of others, but we are half under -- endowed with the care for others. And we are mixed in between, fighting for our own existence between those who have cared for us before, and those who are -- for whom we are going to care in the future. You remember again our 10 commandments and the three stages of life: the child, the adult, and the elder.

Well, whoever has an office in the society, gentlemen, partakes in the sacred

names in whose name you are sent to school, for example, and you pay taxes, and you are protected by the police. In power of your individuality, you are fighting your way through college now and you are later making a living on your own. And in a -- in a -- with regard to your -- to your childishness, you are not responsible for what you say. You are just objects of other people's care.

Every human being, gentlemen, represents this problem of the universals, because every one of you wants to be treated in part as a -- in an objective manner. If you have an appendix, you want to have it treated objectively. It must be operated. It has become so dead that it can be taken out, and you remain as a living being and the appendix is in the -- in the glass bottle. Isn't that true?

If you only could see that with the question of the universals the medieval people and you are brothers. They have dealt with exactly our problem. And it appears only in a scholastic dress, because they were on the other side of the natural science period, and they had not yet lowered their standards and denied that anything was beyond the arbitrary. I mean, a medieval man like Thomas Aquinas of course could never expect the state of affairs in which people in Dartmouth would say that they would "say arbitrarily God." That was beyond -- there hadn't been, you see, they hadn't had 400 years of {Christmas} { }. So they didn't have this -- this strange humanity which really thinks that it can make everything by manufacturing. Life, and artificial insemination and -- and what-not. I mean, I -- there's nothing the American -- at this -- people are told they can produce arbitrarily. I'm told that -- students spell -- sell their -- their sperm free- -- freely to ladies who otherwise can't have children. Isn't that so? I know no -- no details, but it must be true. That in all girls' colleges, they are told this is the way to have children if their husband happens to be impotent. Nice story. I mean, mass production. Isn't this true? Is this true? I would like to know. I mean, you -- you see, I -- you can't write to this in The New York Times, they won't tell you.

(There was an article in --)


(There was an article in one of the papers on that.)

(Yes. Two -- two women are -- have -- have conceived children through that.)

(Only two?)

Well, I was told that this -- is the topic of teaching in col- -- in girls' colleges. Is it true?

(I know it's a topic of teaching in medical schools.)


(I know it is in medical schools. I don't know whether it is in girls' colleges.)

Ja. There you are. So it is very hard for -- to you to believe that there are certain elements of life, gentlemen, that are not things. You believe that everything is a thing. That's really your indulgence, or your weakness. Please investigate. Perhaps you take this down. The question you have to answer yourself, if you want to understand the process of the mind: Is everything a thing? Is everything a thing? By saying "everything," you usually mean that you have said everything. But gentlemen, of yourself and of your father, you must not speak as "thing." Once you begin to think of yourself as "thing," of course the rest is suicide. There's no reason why you shouldn't destroy yourself.

Isn't that -- is that -- suicide is always a case in which a man is so schizophrenic that he treats himself at the same time as an object and as a subject. And he says, "Since I -- I'm just an object of my own will, and imagination and decision, I shoot myself." It's very simple. It's the ultimate of -- of -- of mono- -- monism, because you become a thing. And this is really the decision, gentlemen. Anybody who says that suicide is normal cannot understand the processes of the human spirit, the founding of universities or the progress of science.

Suicide is the limiting -- limiting concept, gentlemen. If you say that a man can commit suicide, that this is just as right as not to commit suicide, that's a modern real form of atheism. And it's a very, very difficult thing you have to face there, because I -- I have not found in this college one man -- that's very strange, but I -- and not one woman, which is worse -- well, I have not found, yes, that's true, because I don't doubt that there are, but I have not found them -- who say that suicide is out. And that's why we are in such a bad shape, because once you -- you give to man the quality of being a thing, you see, you cannot invoke God over his head. You cannot go to your friend and say, "You cannot commit suicide." This -- for this you have to invoke the higher powers. You have to remind him that he cannot, you see. Not just { }, that he may not. And that's always the invocation of something indefinable. If you and I can be defined, you can take your life. No argument.

So perhaps you take this down, gentlemen. In 1954, the form of the universals takes this form of the criterion of human dignity, or human suicide. In the Middle Ages, it took the form of the invocation of God. In between, it took the form of the labeling of things. Once you have understood this, you are in the living process of our great Western tradition. But you have to learn, gentlemen,

that there are three lingua, three languages. About God, man and things, we have to speak differently. This is your whole question. I don't know -- know you don't believe this. But I have to tell you that this is the decisive criterion by which you either will survive or not survive your own generation. We have to speak of the gods, we have to speak of man, and we have to speak of things in a different manner, because we have to speak to people, we have to invoke the gods, and we have to label dead things.

We are quite free to label this a chair, or a seat, or an amytrophe, or what are you ever -- category. Woe to you if you call me arbitrarily, you see. And woe to you if you call the founding fathers a fraud. You can't do this.

Thank you. Let's stop here.