Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/183

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duality between reason and understanding.[1] The true contrast is between impulse and reflection, instinct and intelligence. When men feel the primordial authority of the animal in them and have little respect for a glimmering reason which they suspect to be secondary but cannot discern to be ultimate, they readily imagine they are appealing to something higher than intelligence when in reality they are falling back on something deeper and lower. The rudimentary seems to them at such moments divine; and if they conceive a Life of Reason at all they despise it as a mass of artifices and conventions. Reason is indeed not indispensable to life, nor needful if living anyhow be the sole and indeterminate aim; as the existence of animals and of most men sufficiently proves. In so far as man is not a rational being and does not live in and by the mind, in so far as his chance volitions and dreamful ideas roll by without mutual representation or adjustment, in so far as his body takes the lead and even his galvanised action is a form of passivity, we may truly say that his life is not intellectual and not

  1. This distinction, in one sense, is Platonic: but Plato’s Reason was distinguished from understanding (which dealt with phenomenal experience) because it was a moral faculty defining those values and meanings which in Platonic nomenclature took the title of reality. The German Reason was only imagination, substituting a dialectical or poetic history of the world for its natural development. German idealism, accordingly, was not, like Plato’s, a moral philosophy hypostasised but a false physics adored.