THE inclusion of two such different things as science and philosophy in the same chapter may well surprise the reader of today; for he is accustomed to think of science as dealing with a well-defined subject matter,--as specialized knowledge, admitting of practical application to the actual problems of life,--whereas philosophy appears to him as something nebulous and remote and, worse still, of very little use. In an age like ours, when the application of scientific discovery to practical ends has had such tremendous consequences in transforming the material conditions of life, it may seem little short of blasphemy to mention science and philosophy in the same breath!
And yet the two are not so far apart in aim and method as may appear at first sight. Both aim at the ascertainment of truth; both begin with the careful observation of pertinent facts and strive to draw the correct inference from the facts observed; both rely on the uniformity of nature, taking it for granted that the relation between cause and effect is constant and invariable. The only difference between them lies in the scope of their inquiries, science reserving for itself only well- defined fields of investigation, while philosophy claims the whole as its domain. The aims of science, then, are more modest: it deals only with proximate causes; it is satisfied with the immediate explanation, with relative truth. Philosophy is in search of an ultimate explanation, the absolute truth. Now it may be that the attempt to wrest a final explanation from the multiplicity of phenomena the universe presents is doomed to failure. But should we, then, not make the attempt at all? If there be no other result, we may, at