This book is a prolonged effort to establish a distinction between what is called mind and what is called matter. Nothing is more simple than to realise this distinction when you do not go deeply into it; nothing is more difficult when you analyse it a little. At first sight, it seems impossible to confuse things so far apart as a thought and a block of stone; but on reflection this great contrast vanishes, and other differences have to be sought which are less apparent and of which one has not hitherto dreamed. First let us say how the question presents itself to us. The fact which we must take as a starting point, for it is independent of every kind of theory, is that there exists something which is "knowable". Not only science, but ordinary life and our everyday conversation, imply that there are things that we know. It is with regard to these things that we have to ask ourselves if some belong to what we call the mind and others to what we call matter.