Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/180

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accidental, in the quiet of reflection he could not but recast everything in ideal moulds and retain nothing but eternal natures and intelligible relations. Aristotle conceived that while the origin of knowledge lay in the impact of matter upon sense its goal was the comprehension of essences, and that while man was involved by his animal nature in the accidents of experience he was also by virtue of his rationality a participator in eternal truth. A substantial justice was thus done both to the conditions and to the functions of human life, although, for want of a natural history inspired by mechanical ideas, this dualism remained somewhat baffling and incomprehensible in its basis. Aristotle, being a true philosopher and pupil of experience, preferred incoherence to partiality.

Active life and the philosophy that borrows its concepts from practice have thus laid a great emphasis on association by contiguity. Hobbes and Locke made knowledge of this kind the only knowledge of reality, while recognising it to be quite empirical, tentative, and problematical. It was a kind of acquaintance with fact that increased with years and brought the mind into harmony with something initially alien to it. Besides this practical knowledge or prudence there was a sort of verbal and merely ideal knowledge, a knowledge of the meaning and relation of abstract terms. In mathematics and logic we might carry out long