A Theory of Monads: Outlines of the Philosophy of the Principle of Relativity

A Theory of Monads: Outlines of the Philosophy of the Principle of Relativity

A Theory of Monads: Outlines of the Philosophy of the Principle of Relativity

A Theory of Monads: Outlines of the Philosophy of the Principle of Relativity

Excerpt

We are accustomed to distinguish between science and philosophy. The main ground of the distinction is that experience, when we study it systematically, presents to us two distinct aspects, one subjective and the other objective. Science deals with Nature, the objective aspect of the world when it confronts the mind as external existence. Philosophy deals with Mind, the subjective aspect which experience presents when we have regard to the fact that external existence itself is primarily and fundamentally apprehended as idea. The two aspects of reality, the aspect of existence which it presents to science, the aspect of idea which it presents to philosophy, are not reciprocally exclusive, and cannot exist harmoniously in independence, for each in its very definition is universal in the absolute meaning of the term, and each, therefore, is inclusive of the other. Hence the initial difficulty of the problem of their relation, a problem which since the development and triumphant advance of scientific knowledge in the nineteenth century has come more and more to be the main and crucial problem of philosophy.

Every relation implies an identity underlying the manifest difference in the terms; but in the case of the two aspects which reality presents to our mind, the scientific and the philosophic, there seems no possibility of reconciling the difference in an identity. We seem in fact to have, not a relation, but two alternatives, the adoption of either, philosophy or science, involving the rejection of the other. For, in so far as science is knowledge, it must fall . . .

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