Page:Appearance and Reality (1916).djvu/284
by the state of another thing, each within that known relation being only for the other, and, apart from it, being unknown and, so far, a nonentity.
And that is the general conclusion with regard to Nature to which we are driven. The physical world is the relation between physical things. And the relation, on the one side, presupposes them as physical, while apart from it, on the other side, they certainly are not so. Nature is the phenomenal relation of the unknown to the unknown; and the terms cannot, because unknown, even be said to be related, since they cannot themselves be said to be anything at all. Let us develope this further.
That the outer world is only for my organs appears inevitable. But what is an organ except so far as it is known? And how can it be known but as itself the state of an organ? If then you are asked to find an organ which is a physical object, you can no more find it than a body which itself is a body. Each is a state of something else, which is never more than a state—and the something escapes us. The same consequence, again, is palpable if we take refuge in the brain. If the world is my brain-state, then what is my own brain? That is nothing but the state of some brain, I need not proceed to ask whose. It is, in any case, not real as a physical thing, unless you reduce it to the adjective of a physical thing. And this illusive quest goes on for ever. It can never lead you to what is more than either an adjective of, or a relation between,—what you cannot find.
There is no escaping from this circle. Let us take the instance of a double perception of touch, a and b. Then a is only a state of the organ C, and b is only a state of the organ D. And if you wish to say that either C or D is itself real as a body, you can only do so on the witness of another organ E or F. You
- For me my own brain in the end must be a state of my own brain, p. 263.