Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/187

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

assimilated to logical terms, and concepts gained by identification of similars taking the place of those gained by grouping disparate things in their historical conjunctions. These contiguous sensations, which occasionally exemplify the logical contrasts in ideas and give them incidental existence, were either ignored altogether and dismissed as unmeaning, or admitted merely as illusions. The eye was to be trained to pass from that parti-coloured chaos to the firm lines and permanent divisions that were supposed to sustain it and frame it in.

Rationalism is a kind of builder’s bias which the impartial public cannot share; for the dead walls and glass screens which may have no function in supporting the roof are yet as needful as the roof itself to shelter and beauty. So the incidental filling of experience which remains unclassified under logical categories retains all its primary reality and importance. The outlines of it emphasised by logic, though they may be the essential vehicle of our most soaring thoughts, are only a method and a style of architecture. They neither absorb the whole material of life nor monopolise its values. And as each material imposes upon the builder’s ingenuity a different type of construction, and stone, wood, and iron must be treated on different structural principles, so logical methods of comprehension, spontaneous though they be in their mental origin, must prove themselves fitted to the natural order