Page:Appearance and Reality (1916).djvu/303

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phenomenal co-existence and sequence. It is an order and way in which events happen, and in our view of Nature I see nothing inconsistent with this arrangement. From the fact of such an orderly appearance you cannot infer the existence of something not contained in finite experiences.[1]

We may now consider a question which several times we have touched on. We have seen that in reality there can be no mere physical Nature. The world of physical science is not something independent, but is a mere element in one total experience. And, apart from finite souls, this physical world, in the proper sense, does not exist. But, if so, we are led to ask, what becomes of natural science? Nature there is treated as a thing without soul and standing by its own strength. And we thus have been apparently forced into collision with something beyond criticism. But the collision is illusive, and exists only through misunderstanding. For the object of natural science is not at all the ascertainment of ultimate truth, and its province does not fall outside phenomena. The ideas, with which it works, are not intended to set out the true character of reality. And, therefore, to subject these ideas to metaphysical criticism, or, from the other side, to oppose them to metaphysics, is to mistake their end and bearing. The question is not whether the principles of physical science possess an absolute truth to which they make no claim. The question is whether the abstraction, employed by that science, is legitimate and useful. And with regard to that question there surely can be no doubt. In order to understand the co-existence and sequence of phenomena, natural science makes an intellectual con-

  1. I admit that I cannot explain how Nature comes to us as an order (Chapters xxiii. and xxvi.), but then I deny that any other view is in any better case. The subject of Ends in Nature will be considered later.