These reflex judgments are then, in our view, intellectually incorrigible, finally valid for human experience, and as such must be pronounced to possess unqualified 'Phenomenal' truth. But we have to see now that it is definitely only at the Phenomenological level that their truth can be asserted. They do not possess 'Noumenal' or 'Ultimate' truth. They are intellectually incorrigible, but not intellectually satisfactory. If we had to allow to them the latter character, then of course the epistemological argument for the supra-rational character of the real would collapse. We should be admitting that we were mistaken in holding that the intellect is incapable of reaching satisfaction in any union of differents. Here would be a plain instance to the contrary, the acceptance of the authority of self-awareness as a completely satisfactory bond of union.
But the all-important distinction must be observed between a bond of union which satisfies because it is intrinsically satisfactory, and one which satisfies only because we see that under the conditions of finite life we cannot hope to transcend it. This is the key to the right appreciation of the status of the 'truths' guaranteed by self-awareness. These are intellectually satisfactory only in the latter sense. When we regard them, we see that to question them is absurd from the point of view of finite experience, since even the questioning mind itself cannot free itself from the recognition of the authority of self-awareness. It is right and proper, therefore, for finite mind to accept as final these pronouncements which it has no power ever to transcend. But to accept a connection because it is seen to be untranscendible by finite mind is one thing. It is quite another thing to accept a connection because it is seen to be intrinsically satisfying, genuinely self-explanatory. The latter is the kind of connection that the intellect demands for the ultimately real - a unity in difference, in which the differences are intrinsic to the unity and the unity is itself wholly bound up with the differences. Only then does there cease to be any possible question - as distinct from any answerable question - as to how or why. But, most emphatically, we do not have this intrinsic satisfactoriness in the case before us. We do not understand the meaning and status of self-awareness in the scheme of things, nor, therefore, how it is connected with the connection which it professes to warrant. We have to accept self-awareness as an intellectual surd, an irreducible 'fact' for us, no doubt, but, just because irreducible, a sheer mystery. And how can we say that complete intellectual satisfaction is achieved in a complex which has its roots in sheer mystery? I am not saying, it must be remembered, that there is here the sort of intellectual dissatisfaction which stimulates further inquiry. Rather the reverse. The Idealist has already been criticised for supposing that any fruitful inquiry can be made by finite mind into the questions that remain. But I am insisting that however keenly we may be aware that a connection guaranteed by self-awareness is not transcendible by finite mind, there does still remain a question which we realise we should have to answer if we were to understand the connection, make it fully intelligible - 'how is finite self-awareness related to the universe at large, the scheme of things as a whole?' If we admit that the intellect will accept as real only what is self-consistent, then we must allow that until such a question is answered we do not 'know' reality.
What we get then in these reflex judgments is the intellectually incorrigible, not (strictly) the intellectually satisfactory; final Phenomenal Truth, not final Noumenal Truth. We get Truth in so far as Truth possesses positive significance for finite beings, although not the Truth which would reveal the ultimate nature of Reality. This Phenomenal Truth is, on my view, as already observed, the highest at which philosophy can aim. But it is by no means confined, as we shall see, to such relatively trivial aspects of experience as we have so far dealt with. I shall try to show in later chapters that a similar 'intellectual incorrigibility' attaches to the belief in personal freedom, and again to the belief in moral values. These too, I shall argue, are judgments which are bound up with the very nature of finite experience, judgments which are certainly not self-explanatory, but which are nevertheless incapable of significant question under the conditions which govern human nature.