CHAPTER III
THE SCIENTIFIC LAW

§ 1. -- Résumé and Foreword

THE discussions in my first two chapters have turned upon the nature of the method and the material of modern science. The material of science corresponds, we have seen, to all the constructs and concepts of the mind. Certain parts of this material, namely, constructs associated with immediate sense-impressions, we project outwards and speak of as physical facts or phenomena; others, which are obtained by the mental processes of isolation and co-ordination from stored sense-impressions, we are accustomed to speak of as mental facts or concepts. In the case of both these classes of facts, the scientific method is the sole path by which we can attain to knowledge. The very word knowledge, indeed, only applies to the product of the scientific method in this field. Other methods, here or elsewhere, may lead to fantasy, as that of the poet or of the metaphysician, to belief or to superstition, but never to knowledge. As to the scientific method, we saw in our first chapter that it consists in the careful and often laborious classification 1 of facts, in the comparison of their relationships and sequences, and finally in the discovery by aid of the disciplined imagination of a brief statement or formula, which in a few words resumes a wide range of facts. Such a formula, we have

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1
The reader must be careful to recollect that classification is not identical with collection. It denotes the systematic association of kindred facts, the collection, not of all, but of relevant and crucial facts.

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