Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/112

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is its own condition or that of the other objects is a grotesque falsehood. A babe’s casual sensation of light is a condition neither of his own existence nor of his mother’s. The true conditions are those other parts of the world without which, as we find by experience, sensations of light do not appear.

Had Kant been trained in a better school of philosophy he might have felt that the phrase “subjective conditions” is a contradiction in terms. When we find ourselves compelled to go behind the actual and imagine something antecedent or latent to pave the way for it, we are ipso facto conceiving the potential, that is, the “objective” world. All antecedents, by transcendental necessity, are therefore objective and all conditions natural. An imagined potentiality that holds together the episodes which are actual in consciousness is the very definition of an object or thing. Nature is the sum total of things potentially observable, some observed actually, others interpolated hypothetically; and common-sense is right as against Kant’s subjectivism in regarding nature as the condition of mind and not mind as the condition of nature. This is not to say that experience and feeling are not the only given existence, from which the material part of nature, something essentially dynamic and potential, must be intelligently inferred. But are not “conditions” inferred? Are they not, in their deepest essence, potentialities and powers? Kant’s fabled conditions also are inferred; but