Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/148

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perceived, and other men’s actions often reveal passions which we have never had, at least with anything like their suggested colouring and intensity. This first view is strangely artificial and mistakes for the natural origin of the belief in question what may be perhaps its ultimate test.

The second suggestion, on the other hand, takes us into a mystic region. That we evoke the felt souls of our fellows by dramatic imagination is doubtless true; but this does not explain how we come to do so, under what stimulus and in what circumstances. Nor does it avoid solipsism; for the felt counterparts of my own will are echoes within me, while if other minds actually exist they cannot have for their essence to play a game with me in my own fancy. Such society would be mythical, and while the sense for society may well be mythical in its origin, it must acquire some other character if it is to have practical and moral validity. But practical and moral validity is above all what society seems to have. This second theory, therefore, while its feeling for psychological reality is keener, does not make the recognition of other minds intelligible and leaves our faith in them without justification.

In approaching the subject afresh we should do well to remember that crude experience knows nothing of the distinction between subject and object. This distinction is a division in things, a contrast