The thesis of the chapter must now be left to take its fortune. I shall close by reminding the reader, in a very few words, of certain further results which must be accepted if the present conclusions be subscribed to.
An important result is that what has been called 'the ethical argument for freedom' now acquires apodeictic force. This argument states that if you believe in the 'ought,' you must believe likewise in freedom, since the 'ought' is meaningless without the postulate of freedom. Valid so far as it goes, the argument yet fails in its ultimate intention unless the necessity of believing in the 'ought' is sufficiently demonstrated. The present chapter, in so far as it is valid, supplies that condition. I have tried to show that recognition of the 'ought' is rooted in the very nature of self-conscious experience, that, accordingly, the moral life with all that it implies is for man an inexpugnable reality, which constructive philosophy can ignore only by doing violence to the very datal facts of the world which it sets out to explain.
Again, the recognition of the 'ought,' because it is the recognition of freedom, is also the recognition that Reality is not rationally or intelligibly continuous. It has commonly been felt, and I have tried in an earlier section to show that this feeling is bene fundatum, that only by subterfuge can a case be made out for the significance of morality on a meta-physic like that of Absolute Idealism. But there is a certain reluctance to allow that freedom, and therefore morality, is inconsistent not only with the Idealist theory of the universe, but with any theory of it which maintains its thoroughgoing 'intelligibility.' Yet that the universe is 'intelligible throughout' means, if it means anything, that the intellect could, under ideal conditions of information, pass inferentially from point to point within the Whole; and meaning this, it means determinism, and the denial of morality. I am not convinced that this implication of thoroughgoing intelligibility is always squarely faced. There seem to be some thinkers at least who are prepared to defend freedom, and a good many more who are resolute in their claims for morality, who nevertheless look askance at the doctrine that Reality is not 'intelligible.' But unless morality be construed after the non-moral manner of the Spinozistic 'ethics,' and freedom be accorded a similarly Pickwickian meaning, the contradictoriness of this attitude is patent. For myself, believing that both freedom and morality are real in their common-sense meanings, I must draw the inference that Reality is not rationally continuous, and regard the doctrine of the Supra-rational Absolute, arrived at on epistemological grounds, as receiving substantial confirmation from the consideration of practical experience.