The course of nature is for him an unmeaning expression, unless it be referred to some author; and he therefore makes extensive use of the teleological method.
By reducing the human mind to a series of unrelated atomic sensations, this teaching destroyed the possibility of knowledge, and further, by representing man as a "being who is simply the result of natural forces," it made conduct, or any theory of conduct, unmeaning; for life in any human, intelligible sense implies a personal self which (1) knows what to do, (2) has power to do it.
Again, an infinite world cannot be wholly engaged either in evolution or in dissolution, so that it is really unmeaning to discuss the universality of the cosmic process until it is settled that we have a universe at all, capable of being considered as a whole.
Passing by these contentions as unmeaning or irrelevant and seeing nothing but irreconcilable contradiction between the conceptions of the world as immutable law and a self-determining subject pragmatism (q.v.) seeks other means of vindicating the reality of freedom.
But, to use words in themselves unmeaning, as symbols by which to conduct and convey the complex intellectual processes in which mental conceptions are suggested, compared, combined, and even analysed, and new ones created - this is a faculty which is scarcely to be traced in any lower animal.