Page:Appearance and Reality (1916).djvu/393

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exists, or barely does not exist, and for which an idea is false, or else is true—how is it possible to be just to the various orders of appearance? For, if we are consistent, we shall send the mass of our chief human interests away to some unreal limbo of undistinguished degradation. And, if we are not consistent, yet how can we proceed rationally without an intellectual standard? And I think we are driven to this alternative. We must either be incapable of saying one word on the relative importance of things; we can tell nothing of the comparative meaning, and place in the world, owned by art, science, religion, social life or morality; we are wholly ignorant as to the degrees of truth and reality which these possess, and we cannot even say that for the universe any one of them has any significance, makes any degree of difference, or matters at all. Either this, or else our one-sided view must be revolutionized. But, so far as I see, it can be revolutionized only in one of two ways. We may accept a view of truth and reality such as I have been endeavouring to indicate, or we must boldly subordinate everything to the test of feeling. I do not mean that, beside our former inadequate ideal of truth, we should set up, also and alongside, an independent standard of worth. For this expedient, first, would leave no clear sense to “degrees of truth” or “of reality”; and, in the second place, practically our two standards would tend everywhere to clash. They would collide hopelessly without appeal to any unity above them. Of some religious belief, for example, or of some aesthetic representation, we might be compelled to exclaim, “How wholly false, and yet how superior to truth, and how much more to us than any possible reality!” And of some successful and wide-embracing theory we might remark that it was absolutely true and utterly despicable, or of some physical facts, perhaps, that they deserved no kind of attention. Such a separa-