"The question we have, therefore, to consider first of all is fundamentally: What is Man? What is a man? What is a human being? What is the defining or characteristic mark of humanity? To this question two answers and only two have been given in the course of the ages, and they are both of them current to-day. One of the answers is biological—man is an animal, a certain kind of animal; the other answer is a mixture partly biological and partly mythological or partly biological and partly philosophical—man is a combination or union of animal with something supernatural. An important part of my task will be to show that both of these answers are radically wrong and that, beyond all things else, they are primarily responsible for what is dismal in the life and history
of humankind. This done, the question remains: What is Man? I hope to show clearly and convincingly that the answer is to be found in the patent fact that human beings possess in varying degrees a certain natural faculty or power or capacity which serves at once to give them their appropriate dignity as human beings and to discriminate them, not only from the minerals and the plants but also from the world of animals, this peculiar or characteristic human faculty or power or capacity I shall call.
Chapter I. Introduction 11the time-binding faculty or time-binding power or time-binding capacity. What I mean by time-binding will be clearly and fully explained in the course of the discussion, and when it has been made clear, the question—What Is Man?—will be answered by saying that man is a being naturally endowed with time-binding capacity—that a human being is a time-binder—that men, women and children constitute the time-binding class of life."