The pure ego apart from its content is a mere abstraction. Although the world of phenomena is divided into subjective and objective realms, both are equally within each self, the images of the subjective merely representing the things in the objective world. But while we cannot say of any reality that it is outside of us, neither can we say of any reality that it is only inside of us. In thinking about anything in the world a distinction is made between the knower and the object of knowledge. All but the pure ego can thus be separated from it and in that case of separation it is a mere abstraction, or nothing. As I know a thing more perfectly, I have it more completely within myself. But it can also be said that the more thoroughly I know an object the more distinctly contrasted with myself does it become.

from The Ultimate Unity for Thought is the Society of Minds (1906)

Portrait of William Henry Chamberlin

William Henry Chamberlin

February 12, 1870 – May 9, 1921

William Henry Chamberlin Jr. was an American Mormon philosopher, theologian, and educator. His teachings and writings worked to reconcile Mormonism with the theory of evolution. He taught philosophy and ancient languages as well as science and math at several Latter-day Saints (LDS) institutions including Brigham Young University in the early 20th century. He was one of four educators at Brigham Young University whose teaching of evolution and attempts to reconcile it with Mormon thought, although strongly popular with students, generated controversy among university officials and the LDS community. Chamberlin has been called "Mormonism's first professionally trained philosopher and theologian."


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