Page:Appearance and Reality (1916).djvu/390

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

in effect, to judge. And all judgments we have found to be more or less true, and in different degrees to depart from, and to realize, the standard. With this we may return from what has been, perhaps, to some extent a digression.

Our single standard, as we saw above, wears various aspects, and I will now proceed briefly to exemplify its detail, (a) If we take, first, an appearance in time, and desire to estimate the amount of its reality, we have, on one side, to consider its harmoniousness. We have to ask, that is, how far, before its contents can take their place as an adjective of the Real, they would require re-arrangement. We have to enquire how far, in other words, these contents are, or are not, self-consistent and systematic. And then, on the other side, we must have regard to the extent of time, or space, or both, which our appearance occupies.[1] Other things being equal, whatever spreads more widely in space, or again lasts longer in time, is therefore more real. But (b), beside events, it is necessary to take account of laws. These are more and less abstract or concrete, and here our standard in its application will once more diverge. The abstract truths, for example, of mathematics on one side, and, on the other side, the more concrete connections of life or mind, will each set up a varying claim. The first are more remote from fact, more empty and incapable of self-existence, and they are therefore less true. But the second, on the other hand, are narrower, and on this account more false, since clearly they pervade, and hold good over, a less extent of reality. Or, from the other side, the law which is more abstract contradicts itself more, because it is deter-

  1. The intensity of the appearance can be referred, I think, to two heads, (i.) that of extent, and (ii.) that of effectiveness. But the influence of a thing outside of its own limits will fall under an aspect to be mentioned lower down (p. 376).